MS Degree Requirements

The M.S. degree program is 44-unit program with two options: (1) thesis; and (2) comprehensive examination.
The normative time for completion of the M.S. is four quarters, with some students finishing in a single academic year and others staying into a second year. Many students will choose to stay for five or six quarters, and the maximum time permitted is four years. Core courses must be chosen from lists in each of the four program areas Area 1 (Transportation Systems Engineering) Area 2 (Urban and Transportation Economics), Area 3 (Transportation Planning) and Area 4 (Computer Science). Substitutions and exceptions must be requested ahead of time and must approved by the Director of the Transportation Science program. Each student must choose at least two graduate courses from Area 1, at least one graduate course from each of Areas 2 and 3, and at least four additional graduate courses from any of the four areas. At least five of the eight core courses must be transportation courses, which are indicated by an asterisk. Please be aware that some of these classes have pre-requisites, so not all classes are suitable for all students. For example, Econ281A-B and Econ282A-B require Econ210A or consent of the instructor and students without prior training in economics may find that Econ210A is beyond their ability. Pre-requisite classes need not be taken at UCI, but students must demonstrate that courses taken at other institutions are comparable to the stated pre-requisite classes.
Specific courses in each of these areas are shown below:

  • Area 1 (Transportation Systems Engineering): CEE220A* (Travel Demand Analysis I), CEE 220B* (Travel Demand Analysis II), CEE221A* (Transportation Systems Analysis I), CEE222* (Transit Systems Planning), CEE 223* (Planning and Forecasting), CEE224A* (Transportation Data Analysis I), CEE226A* (Traffic Flow Theory I), CEE228A* (Urban Transportation Networks I), CEE229A* (Traffic Systems Operations and Control I).
  • Area 2 (Urban and Transportation Economics): Econ210A: (Microeconomic Theory I), Econ281A* (Urban Economics I), Econ281B* (Urban Economics II) Econ282A*(Transportation Economics I), Econ 282B* (Transportation Economics II), Econ289A-Z (Special Topics in Urban and Transportation Economics). Students can only count one Econ289 course toward the required number of units.
  • Area 3 (Transportation Planning): Planning, Policy, and Design PPD202 (History of Urban Planning), PPD207 (Development Control Law and Policy), PPD212* (Transportation Planning), PPD231* (Transportation and the Environment), PPD233* (Transportation, Transit, and Land-Use Policy and Planning), PPD235 (Geographic Information Systems Problem Solving in Planning), PPD237 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems), PPD238 (Advanced Geographic Information Systems),
  • Area 4 (Computer Science): CS206 (Principles of Scientific Computing), CS248A (Introduction to Ubiquitous Computing) CS260* (Fundamentals of the Design and Analysis of Algorithms) CS268 (Introduction to Optimization) CS271 (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence) CS271A (Machine learning), CS274A (Probabilistic Learning: Theory and Algorithms).

Pre-approved upper-division undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars:

  1. 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), ICS45C (Programming in C/C++ as a second language), ICS46 (Data Structure Implementation and Analysis), CS115 (Computer Simulation), CS 121 (Information Retrieval), CS122A (Introduction to Data Management).
  2. Independent study units: CEE296, CEE298, CEE299, Econ299, PPD298, PPD299, CS298, CS299.
  3. Students who choose the thesis option may also take up to eight units of CEE296, PPD298, and CS298.
    After approval from their advisor, students may petition the Director of the Transportation Science Program with requests for substitution of the required courses.
    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 44 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 36 units of course work with no more than 4 units of pre-approved undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars. The thesis should reflect an original research investigation and it must be approved by a thesis committee of at least three full-time faculty members, a majority of which must be Transportation Science faculty.

Plan II: Comprehensive Examination Option

Students who select the comprehensive examination option must successfully complete 44 units of course work and pass a comprehensive examination. These units may include no more than 12 units of pre-approved undergraduate courses, independent study units, or seminars.