As these programs are graduate-based, a prior background in civil or structural engineering is assumed. Students take courses in seismicity and seismic design parameters, the seismic responses of structures, the dynamics of structures, and soil dynamics. Students learn how different types of materials react to seismic loading (eg. concrete vs. steel vs. masonry vs. timber) and which materials are best for various applications. Students also learn how to incorporate seismic-mitigating strategies into older buildings that are not seismically sound. Laboratory sessions are integral; students get to experiment with various techniques to determine if and how theoretical principles work in reality.
Students also take courses in geotechnical engineering, coastal engineering, materials engineering, and construction techniques. These are designed to give the students a broader background in related engineering principles.
Study and Work in Earthquake Engineering in Canada