Doctorate Programs

Doctoral Program
Advanced Degrees with Excellent Research

The program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to develop your capability to perform research or high-level design. The department offers Doctor of Philosophy programs in civil, environmental and ocean engineering. Admission to the doctoral program is made through the departmental graduate admissions committee, based on review of your scholastic record. A master's degree is required before a student is admitted to the doctoral program. Your master's level academic performance must reflect your capability to pursue advanced studies and perform independent research.

A minimum of 84 credits of graduate work in an approved program of study beyond the bachelor's degree are required for completion of the doctoral program. Up to 30 credits obtained in a master's program can be included in this program. Of the remaining credits, 15 to 30 credit hours of course work as well as 30 to 45 credit hours of dissertation work are required. For more information, visit the Office of Graduate Academics.

Within two years from time of admission, you must take a written qualifying examination that is intended to test your comprehension of undergraduate and master's level engineering fundamentals and mathematics. Upon satisfactory performance in the qualifying examination, and completion of the required course work, you must take an oral preliminary examination. This examination is primarily intended to evaluate your aptitude for advanced research and examine your understanding of the subjects associated specifically with your dissertation topics. Upon satisfactory completion of the preliminary examination and all course work, you will become a doctoral candidate and start your dissertation research.

Doctoral research work must be based on an original investigation and the results must make a significant, state-of-the-art contribution to the field, and must be worthy of publication in current professional literature. At the completion of the research, you must defend your thesis in a public presentation.

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Admission Requirements

Admission into the Graduate Certificate or Master's Degree programs requires an undergraduate degree in Engineering, or in a related discipline, with a grade point average of "B" or better from an accredited college or university.

Required Documentation

All applicants must submit the following documents to be considered for admission:

  • Completed online application for admission
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE scores*
  • Application fee

Optional Documents:

  • Resume/CV

* Starting Fall 2014 GRE scores required for all applicants applying into a full-time graduate program in the School of Engineering and Sciences. (Code #2819) All scores are only valid for five years prior to the application term. GRE required for all PhD applicants.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

TOEFL/IELTS - International students (Code #2819).  For English language proficiency requirements please click here.

Approximately two weeks following receipt of the above material, you will receive a decision letter from the Office of Graduate Admissions. If accepted you will receive an acceptance letter outlining the program to which you were accepted, as well as your assigned Academic Advisor's contact information.

For questions related to program requirements please check with the Office of Graduate Admissions at [email protected].

For more details on deadlines and how to apply please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website at