University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    
    Jun 17, 2024  
University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 ARCHIVED CATALOG: LINKS AND CONTENT ARE OUT OF DATE. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR.

Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ph.D.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs in the College of Engineering

I. Contact Information


Raj Siddharthan, Graduate Program Director
Office: (775)784-1411
siddhart@unr.edu

Department website: http://www.unr.edu/cee

II. Brief Introduction


Continuing education beyond the bachelor’s degree is recommended for prospective civil and environmental engineering professionals. The department offers programs leading to the master of science degree and the doctor of philosophy degree in civil and environmental engineering. In consultation with an advisor, students take courses with emphasis in structures, soil mechanics and foundations, pavement materials, traffic and transportation engineering, or environmental and water resources engineering. More specific departmental requirements for the doctorate programs may be obtained from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes


Doctoral students must demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge in their chosen sub-discipline by completing a unique program of study which is developed in consultation with their Ph.D. advisor(s) and members of their dissertation committee. The program of study typically includes required courses and elective courses, many of which are interdisciplinary, and also includes a substantial fundamental research component related to their specific sub-discipline within civil and environmental engineering.

The research is expected to advance the current knowledge in their chosen sub-discipline. Each doctoral student also completes a minor involving coursework in a field of study outside civil and environmental engineering that is generally closely related to the area of fundamental research that is being conducted. The results of the research are presented in a Ph.D. dissertation, are typically published in one or more professional research journals, and are usually presented at one or more professional conferences.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering to engineering problems.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability constraints.

IV. Admission Requirements


Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field such as biology, chemistry, math or physics. Other disciplines will be considered provided prerequisite courses in math, science and basic engineering are completed. Additionally, applicants should meet the following minimum standards:

  • GPA of 3.25
  • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1100
  • TOEFL or equivalent score of 550

Applicants should also submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose with their application.
Applications for assistantships are due by February 15 for the fall semester and by October 1 for the spring semester.

V. Program Requirements


Students in the doctoral program can choose from five areas of specialization:

  1. Earthquake and structural engineering
  2. Geotechnical engineering
  3. Pavements/materials engineering
  4. Transportation engineering
  5. Environmental engineering

Specific coursework requirements vary for each specialty. Our students work closely with faculty advisors to design a course of study that meets degree requirements and prepares them to write a dissertation in their area of expertise.


There are four main requirements for the Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering.

  1. Coursework requirements: You must complete core and elective coursework. Specific courses will be determined with the help of your advisory committee.
  2. Qualifying exams: Within the first year of your program, you must pass a qualifying exam covering core areas within your field of specialty.
  3. Comprehensive exams: Ideally, your comprehensive exam is taken as soon as possible after completing course requirements. This exam, which has both an oral and written component, is designed to test your mastery of a broad field of knowledge within civil and environmental engineering and is not restricted to coursework that you have completed. The written exam is designed by faculty within your area of specialization, and the oral exam is given by your advisory committee. Passing this exam allows you to advance to Ph.D. candidacy.
  4. Dissertation: Your dissertation represents an original and independent research project that makes a contribution to scientific knowledge in your field. It should reflect both the ability to select an important problem for investigation and mastery of research techniques. Your dissertation must be successfully defended in front of your advisory committee.

VI. Total Units


72 units

VII. Note(s):


Ph.D. Program Progression

Progression Step
Deadline
1. Complete qualifying exams. Within first year.
2. Establish advisory/examining committee. After qualifying exams and 12 credits.
3. Prepare research proposal for examining committee. Within two-three years.
4. Submit program of study form.  
5. Complete comprehensive exams. After completing 75 percent of coursework.
6. Complete coursework and research.  
7. Apply for graduation. During final semester.
8. Defend dissertation. During final semester

 

VIII. Undergraduate Prerequisites


Admission to the Ph.D. program requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field such as biology, chemistry, math or physics. Other disciplines will be considered provided prerequisite courses in math, science and basic engineering are completed.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs in the College of Engineering