MS Degree Requirements

The M.S. degree program has two options: (1) thesis; and (2) comprehensive examination. Students will choose one of these two options. For both options, no more than 12 credit hours of non-transportation courses can count toward the required number of course-work units. Exceptions must be approved by the student’s advisor and the Director of the Transportation Science program. Opportunities are available for part-time study toward the M.S. degree. The normative time for completion of the M.S. is one year, and the maximum time permitted is four years, as part-time status is allowed.

Transportation courses must be chosen from lists in each of the three program areas. Each student must choose (1) at least three graduate courses from Area 1 (Transportation Systems Engineering), and (2) at least one graduate course from each of Area 2 (Urban and Transportation Economics) and Area 3 (Transportation Planning), and at least one additional graduate courses from either of these two areas.

Specific courses in each of these areas are shown below (transportation courses are indicated in bold):

Area 1 (Transportation Systems Engineering): CEE220A (Travel Demand Analysis I), CEE221A (Transportation Systems Analysis I), CEE222 (Transit Systems Planning), CEE224A (Transportation Data Analysis I), CEE225A-B (Transportation Planning Models I-II), CEE226A (Traffic Flow Theory I), CEE227A (Transportation Logistics I: Introduction to Logistics and Supply Chain Management), CEE228A (Urban Transportation Networks I), CEE229A (Traffic Systems Operations and Control I).

Area 2 (Urban and Transportation Economics): Economics Econ210A-B (Microeconomic Theory I, II), Econ281A-B (Urban Economics I-II), Econ282A-B (Transportation Economics I-II), Econ289A-Z (Special Topics in Urban and Transportation Economics). NOTE: Econ281A-B and Econ282A-B require Econ210A or consent of the instructor. Students can only count one Econ289 course toward the required number of units.

Area 3 (Transportation Planning): Planning, Policy, and Design PP&D202 (History of Urban Planning), PP&D207 (Development Control Law and Policy), PP&D212 (Transportation Planning), PP&D223 (Regional Analysis), PP&D231 (Transportation and the Environment), PP&D233 (Transportation, Transit, and Land-Use Policy and Planning), PP&D235 (Geographic Information Systems Problem Solving in Planning), PP&D237 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems), PP&D238 (Advanced Geographic Information Systems), PP&D242 (Regional Development Theory), PP&D244 (Land-Use Policy), PP&D252 (Issues in Environmental Law and Policy).

Pre-approved upper-division undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars:
A. Pre-approved upper-division undergraduate courses: CEE121 (Transportation Systems I: Analysis and Design), CEE122 (Transportation Systems II: Operations and Control), CEE123 (Transportation Systems III: Planning and Forecasting), CEE124 (Transportation Systems IV: Freeway Operations and Control), CEE125 (Transportation and the Environment), Economics Econ105A-B (Intermediate Quantitative Microeconomics and Macroeconomics I-II), Econ123A-B (Econometrics I-II), Econ149 (Special Topics in Economics of Public and Private Organizations).
B. Independent study units: CEE296, CEE298, CEE299, Econ299, Planning, Policy, and Design PP&D298, PP&D299.
C. Seminars: Economics Econ285A-B-C (Colloquium for Transportation Science I-II-III). At most two of these classes may count toward the required units.
D. Students who choose the thesis option may also take up to eight units of CEE296 (4 to12 units) and PP&D298 (2 to 4 units).

Substitutions must be approved by the Transportation Science executive committee. Alternatively, students may petition the Director of the Transportation Science program after approval by their advisor.

For details about these courses, please consult the UCI general catalog (

Plan I: Thesis Option

Students who select the Thesis option must complete at least 36 units of study, up to eight of which can be taken in conjunction with the thesis research topic (thesis units should be taken in the home department of the faculty advisor); they must also complete at least 28 units of course work with no more than 8 units of pre-approved upper division undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars. The thesis should reflect an original research investigation and it should be approved by a thesis committee of at least three full-time faculty members (a majority of which must be Transportation Science faculty) with primary appointments in at least two of the following departments: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics, and Planning, Policy and Design. Thesis research findings must be presented in a public seminar.

Plan II: Comprehensive Examination Option

Students who select the comprehensive examination option must successfully complete 36 units of course work and pass a comprehensive examination. These units may include no more than 6 units of pre-approved upper division undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars. The comprehensive examination requirements may be met with a 20 page paper dealing with a transportation topic; this paper will need to be approved by the student’s advisor and the Director of the Transportation Science program.