May 29, 2023  
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023

Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D.

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This is a research-oriented degree focused on the development of new knowledge in the student’s chosen area of study. It includes the preparation of a dissertation that documents the original contribution of the student’s research. The Ph.D. program consists of a total of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. This includes a maximum of 30 credit hours for the dissertation and a minimum of 42 credit hours of courses. If the student holds a master’s degree, up to 24 applicable course credit hours can be applied towards the 42 credit hours of courses. A 1-credit graduate seminar course is also required for graduation and can be counted toward the required 42 credit hours of courses (if a Ph.D. student earned an MS degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer and has already taken the seminar course, the student is not required to repeat the course).  In addition to the examination processes required of all Rensselaer doctoral students, civil engineering and environmental engineering students working toward this degree must pass a qualifying examination during the student’s second semester if a student has an M.S. degree counting toward the degree requirements or during the student’s fourth semester if the student does not have an M.S. degree counting toward the degree requirements.

Civil and environmental engineering Ph.D. students must take their candidacy examination within two semesters after passing the qualifying examination. This is an oral examination based on a dissertation proposal submitted by the student at least two weeks prior to the examination. The student’s dissertation committee will administer the candidacy examination. Civil and environmental engineering Ph.D. candidates are generally expected to submit one or more manuscripts for publication in a scholarly journal.

Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced proficiency in the core areas of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • demonstrate proficiency in research techniques (theoretical, computational, and experimental).
  • demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • disseminate original research in conference and journal papers.

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