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PhD in Civil Engineering


A graduate program leading to the PhD is offered with a major in civil engineering. Specific departmental requirements for the PhD include:

  • A minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, exclusive of credit for the MS thesis. Of this number, a minimum of 24 credit hours in 600 Doctoral Research and Dissertation will be required. It is expected that the research work will be in journal publication form prior to approval of the dissertation.
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of graduate courses in civil engineering or environmental engineering, exclusive of thesis or dissertation credit. At least 6 credit hours of which must be 600-level courses.
  • Additional coursework in civil engineering, environmental engineering, or related scientific and engineering fields, amounting to a minimum of 18 credit hours, subject to approval by the student’s faculty committee. These related fields will normally include such disciplines as mechanics, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, physics, and other engineering fields. A minimum of 6 credit hours of mathematics will be required beyond the civil engineering undergraduate requirements.
  • At the discretion of the student’s dissertation committee and depending on the student’s background, more than 36 credit hours of courses may be required.
  • A maximum of 24 course credits from the master’s degree may be used to satisfy the course requirements for the PhD.
  • One foreign language if the student’s faculty committee feels that a reading knowledge of a foreign language is crucial to the student’s research efforts.
  • Upon completion of at least one-half of all coursework, each student must pass a comprehensive examination. After completion of the dissertation, prior to graduation, each student must pass a dissertation defense examination administered by a faculty committee.


The department offers two seminar series, CE 539 Geotechnology Seminar and CE 550 Transportation seminar. Full-time graduate students may be required to register for the appropriate seminar and attend. Part-time students are encouraged to register and attend the seminar. Seminar hours may not be applied towards degree requirements.

View the Graduate Catalog for more information.