The Ph.D. is the highest level of study and requires a serious commitment. Graduates of the doctoral program are well positioned for careers in academia, industry, government and consulting. Students who have excellent academic backgrounds and demonstrated capability for independent study/research are encouraged to apply to the doctoral program.
Students entering the doctoral program in civil and environmental engineering are expected to meet the general admission requirements of the graduate school; gain acceptance into the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and hold a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering or a related field. Students are required to complete a minimum of twelve credits beyond the baccalaureate level. Students entering the program with a Master of Science degree are required to complete a minimum of five course credits. Note that additional requirements can be determined by the thesis committee.
Doctoral degrees require the fulfillment of the specific department requirements including the number of courses with grades of S (satisfactory) or at least a B-, as well as successful completion of the qualifying examination and doctoral dissertation.
The Ph.D. is a research-oriented degree that requires in-depth knowledge of a specific topic of study. Programs of study are highly individualized, but consist of two main components: course work and independent research. Unlike bachelor's degree and some master's degrees, progress toward the doctoral degree is measured by achievement, not time or number of courses completed. That notwithstanding, it is often constructive for planning purposes to consider that it takes on average about five calendar years of concentrated study beyond the bachelor's degree to complete the requirements for the doctoral degree. Doctoral-level research leads to fascinating discoveries and novel technologies. While exhilarating at times, a doctoral research project demands steady commitment generated by self motivation and careful planning.
The department also participates in the Joint-Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering.