University General Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    
    Apr 12, 2021  
University General Course Catalog 2020-2021

Civil and Environmental Engineering (Pavement Engineering and Science Specialization), Ph.D.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search

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 emphases in earthquake and structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, pavement engineering and science, transportation engineering, or environmental engineering. More specific departmental requirements for the doctorate programs may be obtained from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Contact Information


Ramin Motamed, Graduate Program Director
(775)784-6960
motamed@unr.edu

Department website

Graduate Handbook *

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:

  1. an ability to apply engineering research and theory to advance the art, science, and practice of the discipline
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze, interpret, apply, and disseminate the data
  3. an understanding of research methodology

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:

  • With an M.S. degree:
    • B.S. GPA 3.0 & M.S. GPA 3.5
    • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 302
    • TOEFL or equivalent score of 550
  • Without an M.S. degree:
    • B.S. GPA 3.25 
    • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 302
    • 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 January 15 for the fall semester and by September 1 for the spring semester.

I. Program Requirements


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 exam: Within the first year of your program, you must pass a qualifying exam covering core areas within your field of specialty.
  3. Comprehensive exam: 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 as part of a public presentation.

II. Total Units


62 units

Ph.D. Program Progression


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

* Curriculum requirements in the catalog supersede the Graduate handbook.

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: Catalog Search