Built Environment Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview

The built environment doctoral program is designed to develop the student’s capability to perform research or high-level design in the built environment.

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  • Identify critical issues in the built environment where research can assist in advancing the architecture / engineering / construction (A/E/C) industry
  • Integrate academic research with experiential practice-based opportunities in order to advance topical issues within the industry
  • Critique scholarly research within the built environment and in allied fields
  • Identify and apply appropriate quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method research methodologies
  • Convert current business, psychological, design and construction research methodologies for use in built environment research
  • Deploy cutting edge technologies, including supercomputers, 3-D printers, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc. to advance research

Each Ph.D. curriculum must also adhere to the institute wide standards listed in the academic catalog.

Degree Requirements

Eighty-four 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 54 credits, 15 to 30 credit hours of coursework, as well as 30 to 45 credit hours of dissertation work, are required. The preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves, but rather as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability.

If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, please contact [email protected] to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.

Core Courses Include:

  • CM 699 Research Methods in Construction Management
  • CM 530 Strategic Responses to Cyclical Environments
  • CM 580/501 Construction Management or Engineering I
  • CM 590/601 Construction Management or Engineering II
  • CM 799 Built Environment Research Colloquium
  • CM 960 Doctoral Research
  • PRV 960 Doctoral Signature Course
  • CAL 539 Foundations of Ethics

Elective Courses

Methods of Inquiry (at least two)

  • SYS 611 Modeling and Simulation
  • SYS 660 Decision and Risk Analysis
  • MGT 719 Quantitative Research Methods
  • MA 541 Statistical Methods
  • MA 540 Introduction to Probability Theory
  • CE 565 Numerical Methods for Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • EE 605 Probability and Stochastic Processes I
  • CE 679 Regression and Stochastic Methods
  • EE 605 Probability and Stochastic Processes I
  • CE 679 Regression and Stochastic Methods


Environmental Management (at least one)

  • SM 515 Environmental Management
  • SM 510 Perspectives in Environmental Management
  • CM 560 Sustainable Design
  • CM 561 Green Construction
  • CM 545 Environmental Analysis and Planning

Qualifying Examination

Within two years from the time of admission, a student must take a qualifying examination that tests his/her basic knowledge and ability to critically analyze the research literature. Upon satisfactory performance in the qualifying examination, and completion of the required course work, (s)he must take an oral preliminary examination. This examination is primarily intended to evaluate the student’s aptitude for advanced research and examine his/her understanding of the subjects associated specifically with the dissertation topics.

Doctoral Dissertation and Advisory Committee

Upon satisfactory completion of the preliminary examination and all course work, a student will become a doctoral candidate and start his/her 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, a student must defend his/her thesis in a public presentation.

For additional information about courses, please review the academic catalog.