Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering

The doctoral degree in civil engineering is awarded upon demonstration of an ability to make substantial creative contributions to knowledge in architectural, construction, structural, or transportation engineering. The full-time doctoral program generally consists of at least two complete years of academic preparation, followed by at least one year of full-time research in residence at the university. The coursework must include core courses in the respective fields listed in the section describing the Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

To be admitted to candidacy, students must pass a qualifying examination, which involves an oral presentation of two research papers selected by the student's adviser. The qualifying examination is administered by a research committee approved by the chairperson. The exam is diagnostic in nature. The results of the exam will determine the student's potential for success in the Ph.D. program. The department may waive this requirement for students who hold an M.S. degree from Illinois Institute of Technology in the same field. This examination should be completed within three semesters of entry into the program.

Next, candidates must complete a comprehensive examination, which is an oral examination that is administered by a research committee approved by the chairperson. The candidate presents the research proposal and answers questions of a general professional nature. The research project must be in harmony with the interests of the faculty and with the facilities of the department. The candidate should pass the comprehensive examination at least one year prior to the date of graduation. 

Although doctoral research can begin upon admission to the Ph.D. program, the major portion of the research should take place after the qualifying examination is passed and the research proposal (comprehensive exam) is approved by the research committee. Research will be conducted under the supervision of a full-time faculty member and students should work to involve all members of their research committee.

The preliminary thesis draft must meet the approval of all members of the research committee. An oral examination in defense of the thesis is given as an open university seminar. The thesis defense must meet with the approval of the research committee; if it does not, the committee has the authority to determine whether or not to grant a re-examination.


Minimum Credits Required 84
Maximum 400-Level Credit 12
Maximum Transfer Credit 32
Master of Science transfer coursework (32)
Maximum amount eligible for transfer is 32 credit hours32
Ph.D. Coursework (28)
Select 28 credit hours28
Ph.D. Research (24)
CAE 691Research and Thesis for Ph.D. Degree24
Total Credit Hours84