Specializations GC

Our students can give a defined profile to their master degree by choosing one of the specializations of the section of Civil Engineering.

A specialization is made of a set of courses offered to students. The purpose of these courses is to extend a certain aspect the student’s learning field. It represents 30 ECTS credits, which have to be obtained during the Master degree. The specialization has to be chosen no later than the end of the first Master semester (MA1).

Students therefore have to choose and validate:

♦ 30 credits of optional courses directly related to the specialization (precise informations can be found in the courses descriptions)

♦23 credits of optional courses from any field of Civil Engineering (not necessarly related to the student’s specialization), chosen from the optional courses list of the Civil Engineering Master study plan.

NB:If the student chooses a specialization, at least one of the subjects in Block 2 “Compulsory practical subjects” must be related to this specialization

Registration deadline: at the end of the 1st semester of the Master (MA1)

NB: If the student chooses a specialization, at least one of the branches of block 2 “Compulsory practical branches” must be related to this specialization

The section of Civil Engineering offers a specialization in Geotechnical Engineering for students interested in focusing, during their Master´s degree, on the sciences of the underground, here put together under the term of “geotechnical engineering” taken in its large sense, and on its associated techniques.

The specialization in geotechnical engineering gather the main fields related to the underground at the level of the Master´s degree.These are mainly:

  • the geology of the engineer and the environment
  • soil mechanics
  • rock mechanics
  • groundwater flows
  • foundation works
  • underground structures
  • geological materials

The different courses making the specialization in geotechnical engineering can be found in the study plan of Civil Engineering for the given year, specialization B.

Transportation and mobility are a perfect examples of multidisciplinary fields. The study of mobility and transportation systems of a company, a city, a region, a country or a continent needs to be addressed not only by its technical and economical aspects, but also by its different sociopolitical, cultural and corporate relations. The quest for a more sustainable mobility needs to take into consideration, since the very beginning, the close relation between transportation on one side, and economy, society and environment on the other side.

The specialization in transportation and mobility aims to deliver the key methodologies and tools needed to take a global approach, the only one capable to take into consideration the multidisciplinarity of this field. The offered range of courses includes education related to the three sections of ENAC (Civil Engineering, Architecture, Environmental Engineering) and aims to:

  • Consolidate the expertise of aspects related to transportation engineering
  • Extend and deepen the knowledge of economics in the transportation field
  • Understand the relations between territory and transportation
  • Integrate the aspects related to the environment and society

The different courses making together the specialization in transportation and mobility can be found in the Civil Engineering study plan for a given year, specialization C.

The objective of the specialization in hydraulics and energy is to give a multidisciplinary education to the students, giving them the possibility to understand, design, and manage complex systems of hydraulic and energetic infrastructures.

The education incorporates the theoretical basics and technical knowledge needed by the engineer of the infrastructures and installations in question. The courses deal in particular with:

  • Infrastructures for supply of drinking and industrial water
  • Works along watercourses (usage and protection against water)
  • Dams and hydroelectric structures
  • Energy systems and facilities

The basics in hydrology, hydraulics and geotechnical and structural engineering, as well as systemic approaches to the design and building of these complex systems is deepened. Methods of analysis of the systems in question from a economical, environmental and risk point of view are treated as well.

The different courses making together the specialization in transportation and mobility can be found in the Civil Engineering study plan for a given year, specialization E.

The development of a modern society needs a secured availability of multiple infrastructures: buildings, traffic routes, infrastructures, protection works, water and energy production and distribution infrastructures. All these constructions require working and safe bearing structures, as well as architectural and economical qualities. Structural engineer possess at the same time the skills to design, to calculate and build his structures, as well as to manage, maintain and renovate.

The offered education in the scope of the specialization in structural engineering reflects the following orientations:

  • Development of theoretical knowledge in the field of structural mechanics
  • Study of the structural dynamics and paraseismic engineering
  • Deepening of knowledge in the fields of concrete and metal structures
  • Discovery of wooden structures and new materials, such as composites
  • Principles of structural design and its application to bridges
  • Deepening of knowledge in the field of material behavior and structure maintenance

The different courses making together the specialization in transportation and mobility can be found in the Civil Engineering study plan for a given year, specialization D.


Double spécialisation / spécialisation-mineur

The official acceptance (= noted in the diploma supplement) of a double specialization has been accepted by EPFL in the study regulations 2022-23 and concerns students starting their Master’s degree from the fall semester 2022. 

If you are under the “old regime”, you can make a specific request to the academic service via [email protected] to see if a retroactive application of this rule would be possible in your case.

If this is not accepted, the Civil Engineering Section can issue a “section level” certificate stating that you have acquired the equivalent of a second specialization.

For a minor and a specialization, the student registers for the minor in his or her portal and then contacts the section to register for the specialization in the GPS.

Concerning the double specialization, inform the section which will make the necessary arrangements in November 2023.