PhD Options

The Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering degree is offered through the College of Engineering. The most current information on requirements for the degree can be found at: 

The Civil Engineering department offers the following options:

Applied Mechanics

This option involves research in areas central to engineering mechanics including solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermal mechanics, geo-mechanics, and structures.

Coordinating Departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Typical Research Areas: solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, biomechanics, thermal sciences, structural mechanics.

Civil Engineering

This option involves research in geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, and water resources engineering.

Coordinating Departments: Civil Engineering. Typical Research Areas: geosynthetics, seismic response of structures and foundations, innovative structural materials, intelligent transportation systems, transportation operations, transportation planning, recycled pavements and base materials, road ecology and constructed wetlands, ecohydraulics, and fluid mechanics.

Master of Science in Civil Engineering Research

Graduate education is an opportunity to specialize in your field of interest.  As an undergraduate, you develop broad-based technical expertise with an emphasis on engineering science and design. As a graduate student, you will expand your knowledge of your chosen field tremendously. This experience requires dedication, independent thought, and technical integrity; and rewards you with an increased understanding of what you are passionate about and broader career opportunities.

The Master of Science degree can conclude with one of two options. Plan A,  includes rigorous research and investigation under the guidance of a faculty mentor and graduate committee.  The degree culminates with a publicly defended thesis.  Plan B is a Scholarly paper which illustrates the depth of understanding and professional readiness in the field. Plan B is also under the guidance of a faculty advisor and committee.

PhD Civil Engineering Research

PhD study and research is academia's most exact and directed degree goal.  In finality, earning a doctorate would offer distinct independent knowledge that will contribute to the field based on original academic work and research. Specific course selections will be determined by the student and his/her committee to support his/her topic of interest and research project. This degree is culminates in a publicly defended scholarly dissertation.


Civil Engineering Research:

Structural Engineering

Earthquake engineering

Use of alternative (recycled) materials in structural application

Effect of cold on structural behavior and durability

Reinforced concrete behavior and design


Transportation Engineering

Traffic Safety and Operation

Travel Behavior Studies

Transportation Planning and Economics

Active Transportation and Public Transit

Logistics and Freight Management                                                                


Geotechnical Engineering

Geosynthetics for soil reinforcement

Effect of cold temperature on soft marine clays

Soil-Structure interaction

Highway materials


Water Resources Engineering


Stream and Habitat Restoration

Constructed Wetlands

Computational Fluid Dynamic

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

Financial Assistance

Teaching and research assistantships are available in the department. Teaching assistantships involve assisting professors with the conduct of classes including preparation and grading. Research assistantships provide the opportunity for work on a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Results of the research done on an assistantship may form the basis for the graduate student’s professional paper, thesis or dissertation. For more information on appointment criteria for assistantships, see the Graduate Assistantships sections of the departmental website.