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Ph.D. Programs


Specialization areas for Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

Specialization areas for Ph.D. In Environmental Engineering can be found on the Environmental Engineering program webpage

Program Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of
    • at least 60 units of approved graduate level course work
    • a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Credit toward the 60 units of required course work is given for approved course work in the area of specialization of the Ph.D. program.
  • Typically Ph.D. students have completed a master degree with 27 units of course work, and take 33 additional units of course work in order to satisfy the 60 unit requirement.
  • Ph.D. students take 9-12 units per semester, completing the required courses in 3-4 semesters. 
  • The Ph.D. program has three milestones:
    • Ph.D. Screening Examination: a written examination which should be taken by the 3rd semester.
    • Qualifying Examination: taken once the student has selected a dissertation topic and has done preliminary research resulting in a Dissertation Proposal.
      • an oral exam based on the proposed Dissertation Proposal and course work.
      • to be taken by the end of the 5th semester in the Ph.D. program.
    • Dissertation Examination: the Ph.D. student presents the Dissertation in manuscript form and defends it orally. This examination is usually taken within 6 months to a year after the Qualifying Examination.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor degree from an accredited American college or university, or from a foreign institution of acceptable standing.
  • GRE General Test.
  • TOEFL scores, if applicable.  Please review the requirements here.
  • Applicants must demonstrate from their previous major studies that they
    • meet the level of academic achievement
    • will be successful in advanced study
  • Admission decisions are based on:
    • Grade Point Averages
    • GRE scores
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • a statement of purpose
  • The Ph.D. program in Environmental Engineering is open to students with degrees in engineering or sciences. Students with degrees in other fields may be admitted based on the recommendation of a Program Adviser.

Financial Aid

  • The University, the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering provide financial assistance to qualified students through the following:
    • scholarships
    • grants
    • teaching and research assistantships
    • loans arranged with the University's Financial Aid Office