CEE PhD Information

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with two designations: Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. Ph.D. programs usually include 50 to 60 hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor's degree level. Foreign languages are not required. The focus of doctoral studies is the student's dissertation research, which must make a significant contribution to professional knowledge in the field. Major steps toward the Ph.D. degree include:

  • preliminary examination
  • appointment of dissertation committee
  • completion of coursework and English proficiency requirement
  • advancement to candidacy
  • research proposal defense
  • completion of dissertation
  • final oral examination

Admission to the Ph.D. program is granted only to students who show promise and provide sufficient evidence that they can meet scholastic requirements of study, including independent research, at an advanced level. The preliminary examination is only open to students with GPA of better than B+.

CEE Ph.D. Guidelines (.pdf)

Link to program completion flowchart: CEE Ph.D. Flowchart (.pdf)

Link to list of acceptable courses for fulfilling the mathematics cognate requirement: Acceptable Cognate Courses (.pdf)

Preliminary Exam Procedures

The specific format of the Preliminary Examination will vary, depending on the student's area of specialization. Areas of specialization for the Preliminary Examination are:

A student may schedule his or her Preliminary Examination during either the first week of January or during the first two weeks of May. The next exam period will be held April 30-May 11.

For details regarding scheduling and requirements, please refer to the Ph.D. guidelines document as well as the document specific to your area, if available. Questions not answered by these documents can be directed to your faculty advisor.


Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

Areas of specialization include:

  • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Materials and Highway Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Next Generation Transportation Systems 


Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering

Areas of specialization include:     

  • Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology
  • Hazardous Substance Treatment and Control
  • Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics
  • Management Policy and Economics
  • Surface and Groundwater Hydrology
  • Watershed Hydrology and Ecohydrology
  • Water Quality Engineering
  • Geostatistical Modeling and Optimization
  • Atmospheric Modeling
PDF icon Geo_QE_procedures_2017.pdf164.76 KB
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