Civil Engineering, PhD
Graduate Education policies and procedures apply to this program.
The PhD degree in civil engineering is offered through a coordinated program with the University of Colorado Boulder.
Specialty Areas for Degrees:
- Civil Engineering Systems
- Construction Engineering and Management
- Geomatics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Hydrologic, Environmental, and Sustainability Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Transportation Engineering
Note: The multidisciplinary engineering and applied science PhD is also offered through the Department of Civil Engineering.
What is Civil Engineering Systems?
The doctoral program in civil engineering systems has different rules than the four other traditional doctoral tracks in order to facilitate more interdisciplinary research. This doctoral track can be the degree that would follow a master of engineering.
Additional Doctoral Admissions Requirements
In addition to the admissions requirements listed for master's students, doctoral applicants need to have the support of a faculty advisor before they are admitted. Once doctoral students are approved by the graduate admissions committee, their application must be reviewed again by the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at CU Boulder as the programs are jointly administered. Prospective PhD students should contact the Department of Civil Engineering at CU Denver to inquire about application requirements and to obtain the "Rules and Policies for the Coordinated PhD Program."
Requests for applications for graduate study in civil engineering should be addressed to
CU Denver Department of Civil Engineering
Campus Box 113
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
The PhD in civil engineering systems requires the completion of at least 60 credit hours, including at least 30 dissertation research hours and at least 30 credit hours of coursework relevant to the student’s dissertation research. Nine (9) credit hours must be completed at CU Boulder.
Doctoral students may transfer up to 15 credit hours toward their required coursework, but not for dissertation hours. Students who complete their master’s degree at CU Denver or CU Boulder may transfer up to 21 credit hours.
Each candidate for the degree is expected to take a preliminary examination by the end of the second year. After successful completion of this exam, the student is required to take the comprehensive examination and the doctoral dissertation defense examination.
Additional requirements are outlined in the Rules and Regulations document that each student signs after being admitted to the program. Each student must also satisfy the degree requirements of the CU Denver Graduate Education.
The program must be completed within eight years of the date the student begins the degree program.
Students must hold an earned master's degree before they can be admitted to a doctoral program in the Department of Civil Engineering; there is no direct admission from a bachelor's program to the doctoral program. However, a student enrolled in a master's program may apply for the doctoral program before the master's degree is granted, as long as the master's degree is conferred before they enroll as a doctoral student at CU Denver.