Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering

A student holding either a Bachelor of Science degree or a Master of Science (MS) degree in engineering may apply for admission to graduate studies to work toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) majoring in his or her particular field of engineering. The work in the major field will include the preparation and defense of a Doctoral dissertation (involving results of research conducted by the candidate).

Qualifying Examination

The Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering requires that all PhD students pass a Qualifying Exam. The exam format is at the discretion of the area coordinator and faculty and typically involves both a written and an oral component. The qualifying exam should be completed before the completion of the first year of study. In some areas, the qualifying exam is done at the end of the first semester.

Qualifying Examination Format

The objective of the Qualifying Examination is to evaluate:

  • Whether the student has the general area knowledge required to successfully pursue PhD studies; and
  • That the student has demonstrated successful research potential

If a student fails to pass either component of the Qualifying Examination, he or she is allowed to retake the exam no later than the end of the following semester. If a student fails the second attempt, he or she will have to leave the PhD program.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program