PhD in Civil Engineering

2020 U.S. News & World Report

Best Engineering Graduate

Students admitted to PhD in Civil Engineering program have to earn a minimum of 24 course credits (beyond the Master degree) and 36 dissertation credits to satisfy degree requirements. Additionally students must pass: (a) a PhD Qualifying Examination; (b) a Proposal Examination and (c) a Dissertation Defense.

Students admitted to the program are defined as “PhD Applicants” until they pass the Proposal Examination at which time they are considered “PhD Candidates.” PhD Candidates must complete one year residency as part of the degree requirements, i.e. as a PhD Candidate, the student must complete a minimum of one year (or equivalent) of research in the Lawrence Tech campus environment.

Course credits are subjected to following limitations:

  • Maximum of 9 credits from 5000 level civil engineering courses
  • Minimum of 12 credits from 6000 and higher-level courses
  • Maximum of 9 credits from 6000 and higher-level courses from other departments
  • Maximum of 3 Civil Engineering Independent Research courses (i.e. ECE7993)
  • 3 credits of 5000 and higher-level courses in mathematics, probability, statistics or programming  
  • English as Second Language (ESL) and any required prerequisite course credits are not counted towards the degree 

Descriptions of all graduate courses offered by the Department of Civil Engineering are provided in the Civil Engineering Graduate Course Descriptions brochure. Students are required to consult the Director of Civil Engineering Graduate Programs in selecting courses not offered by the Department of Civil Engineering. Students are not allowed to register for any dissertation credits until they have passed the Qualifying Examination.

Credit Transfer Policy

Lawrence Tech allows the transfer of a maximum of 6 credits of qualified graduate level coursework from other institutions. Transfer courses must have been taken within the past five years and passed with a “B” grade or better. An applicant transferring from another institution with special circumstances will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Research Specialization

Students admitted to the PhD in Civil Engineering program may select from one of the following civil engineering specializations:

  • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Structural Engineering and Materials
  • Transportation and Pavements

Selection decision will also depend on students’ background during their MS in Civil Engineering. Those who have not been adequately exposed to the selected specialization are required to enroll in additional courses to bridge the gap. Depending on the specialization selected, each student is assigned to an Advisor who will guide and advise the student throughout the process.