Students studying for their PhD in Civil Engineering start by dividing their time between classroom study and research and then move into a research area, such as construction project management, environmental engineering, highway infrastructure, structural engineering, and geotechnical engineering. PhD students in the Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) department must also pursue a minor outside of civil engineering, which may be established by three courses in this area.
CEE doctoral students complete a qualifying examination, administered by a four-member committee made up of the major advisor and three other members the advisor selects, within the first 18 credits of admission. This examination assesses students’ ability to succeed at the PhD level and identifies strengths and weaknesses to help plan upcoming courses. Then, to become a candidate for the doctorate, the student must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the dissertation committee. Lastly, the student must submit and defend the dissertation to the satisfaction of the dissertation committee.