Academic Curriculum

The Transportation Engineering educational program is associated with multiple degrees in transportation engineering offered by the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Transportation Engineering research areas are often interdisciplinary and require students to enroll in a variety of courses from different disciplines at the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

At the undergraduate level, students are offered a variety of transportation-related courses with two core courses titled “Introduction to Transportation Engineering” (CE 2710) and “Highway Engineering and Safety” (CE 3720). Additional transportation-related courses may be taken as electives.

At the graduate level, the focus is to train students on different tools and skills using the latest technologies to solve transportation-related problems. Accordingly, a Master of Science (MS) Degree in Transportation Engineering is offered with the possibility of pursuing a Philosophical Doctorate (Ph.D.) Degree for the students who are more interested in research and development careers in academia or in the industry.

MS in Transportation Engineering
The MS Program in Transportation Engineering has two options: a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The thesis option requires the student to take 8 courses and 6 thesis research credits (3 credits of CE 6998 and 3 credits of CE 6999). The non-thesis option requires the student to take 11 courses. The Master level courses offer knowledge on emerging concepts and the latest technologies associated with smart transportation systems. In particular, the courses are categorized under three pillars: a) a Fundamental Numerical Methods Pillar; b) a Transportation Application Pillar; and c) a Smart City System Level Integration Pillar (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Transportation Program Structure

Each of the pillars is characterized by (a) required course(s) and elective courses. These courses may be seen in Table 1 below. Upon the completion of the 9 or 11 course work requirements, the student may pursue a Ph.D. degree with focus on three additional bodies of materials: Traffic Flow Theory materials, Network Flow Modeling materials, and Planning materials.

Table 1: Transportation Program Courses**


I- Numerical Methods

II- Transportation Application

III- Smart City Integration

Course 1

Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (CE 6210)*

Traffic Engineering and Highway Safety (CE 6721)*

Sustainable Urban Planning (CE 6730)

Course 2

Probability Methods in Civil Engineering (CE 6102)*

Intelligent Transportation Systems (CE 6722)*

Shared mobility in Connected Environments (CE 6800)

Course 3

Smart Systems and Complex Network Modeling (CE 6800)

Fundamentals of Highway Safety (CE 6800)

Automation and Sensing in CEE Applications (CE 6800)

Course 4

Big Data and Machine Learning in Civil Engineering (CE 6800)


Human Factors in Civil Engineering (CE 6800)

* Required courses
** Additional courses may be recommended/required by the academic advisor such as EMSE 6020 (Decision Making with Uncertainty) and EMSE 6710 (Applied Optimization Modeling).



Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering

Students joining the Transportation Engineering program at the George Washington University should have a background in mathematics, physics, computer science, and/or engineering. If the student has not been exposed to prior transportation-related materials at the undergraduate level, additional coursework may be prescribed per the recommendation of the transportation program director.

After one semester of coursework, Ph.D. students should pass a written qualifying exam on materials related to mathematical and transportation fundamentals (additional details may be seen in the CEE Ph.D. Student Handbook). If successful, an oral research-oriented qualifying exam should be conducted. A student cannot pursue his/her graduate studies if one of the aforementioned exams is failed.

A student who already finished his Transportation Engineering MS degree studies at the George Washington University is required to take a minimum of three Ph.D. level courses and 12 research dissertation credits (i.e. six credits of CE 8998 and six credits of CE 8999). These courses are:

CE 8900: Advanced Network Flow Design and Analysis

CE 8900: Advanced Demand Modeling

CE 8900: Advanced Topics in Traffic Flow Theory

A student who did not successfully pursue an MS Degree in Transportation Engineering at the George Washington University needs to fulfill the course work requirements as specified in the Transportation Engineering MS Degree Description. In addition to these requirements, the Ph.D. student needs to take 12 dissertation research credits and the minimum three Ph.D. level courses mentioned earlier.

The courses that are mostly taken at the GW Transportation Graduate Program are:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

CE 6101: Numerical Methods in Engineering

CE 6102: Application of Probability Methods in Civil Engineering

CE 6701: Analytical Mechanics

CE 6707: System Dynamics and Control

CE 6721: Traffic Engineering and Highway Safety

CE 6722: Intelligent Transportation Systems

CE 6800-a: Advanced Demand Modeling*

CE 6800-b: Advanced Theory in Traffic Flow*

CE 8370: Intelligent Systems Theory and Applications

Computer Science

CSCI 6010: Introduction to Computer Science Fundamentals

CSCI 6212: Design and Analysis of Algorithms

CSCI 6511: Artificial Intelligence


ECON/STAT 8375: Econometrics I

ECON/STAT 8376:  Econometrics II

ECON/STAT 8377:  Econometrics III

Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

EMSE 6020: Decision Making Under Uncertainty

EMSE 6115: Uncertainty Analysis for Engineers

EMSE 6701: Operations Research

EMSE 6730: Integer and Network Programming

EMSE 6750: Stochastic Foundations of Operations Research

EMSE 6760: Discrete Systems Simulation