Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

The doctoral program in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences is for students who are passionate about conducting innovative research in these areas.

Our faculty are recognized leaders who work closely with students on high-impact research programs, and our close-knit collegiate environment ensures success for graduates in industry, government, and academia.

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of backgrounds in engineering and physical sciences.

Research areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Fluid Dynamics
  • Earth Sciences
  • Structural Engineering

Degree requirements

  • A minimum of 72 credit hours, including a portion of the course requirements in related disciplines outside the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences
  • A series of written examinations demonstrating advanced skills in your field of study
  • An oral candidacy examination in your major areas of study
  • A defense of a written dissertation in front of a committee composed of your research advisor and three additional readers.

Students are expected to complete all Ph.D. requirements in approximately four to five years. A master’s degree is not required to pursue a Ph.D.

More information can be obtained from the Graduate Student Handbook.

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in any field of engineering or physical sciences
  • The GRE general test is optional.
  • At least 3 letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae and statement of intent

International students are required to submit the scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with their applications.

Financial support

  • Generous 12-month stipends
  • Substantially increased stipends for doctoral students with fellowships
  • 100% health insurance premiums paid
  • Full-tuition scholarships
  • Conference workshop/travel funding opportunities

We also offer dedicated graduate student career coaching.


Spring application deadline: November 1.
Priority deadline to be considered for internal Select Fellowships: January 1.
Fall application deadline: February 1.


Questions about the program

Amy Hixon
Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences
Director of Graduate Studies

Questions about the application process

Valerie McCance
Academic Program Administrator, Graduate Studies