Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, PhD

Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, PhD

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, PhD

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Program Description
Degree Awarded: PHD  Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

The faculty in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering offer a graduate program leading to the PhD in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. A broad range of theoretical and experimental research programs have been established in civil and environmental engineering to prepare graduate students for careers in professional practice and research. These programs are constantly evolving with the changes in society and the profession, and many are transdisciplinary in nature.

The pattern of coursework applicable to the degree is potentially unique for each student, although it must conform to the general guidelines for subject matter content for the degree as authorized here and in the program's graduate handbook. Students are admitted to one of the following specialty areas in engineering: environmental, geotechnical, hydrosystems, steructural, sustainable and transportation.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

All candidates for the doctorate are required to complete 84 approved graduate credit hours; of these, 30 credit hours can be from the previously awarded master's degree. Additional graduate credit work may be assigned by the graduate supervisory committee, depending on the background of the candidate.

The graduate credit hours must include a minimum of 12 credit hours of research and 12 credit hours of dissertation work.

This degree program also requires written and oral comprehensive examinations and approval of the dissertation prospectus for the student to be eligible for doctoral candidacy.

After entering candidacy, the student completes the research, and writes and successfully defends the written dissertation.

A final oral examination in the defense of the dissertation work is required for all students.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a master's degree in engineering or a closely related master's degree program from a regionally accredited institution. Exceptionally qualified students with a bachelor's degree may be admitted to the doctoral program.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.20 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.20 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. a resume
  6. a personal statement
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency. Those seeking a teaching assistantship must demonstrate proficiency in spoken English with a score of 55 or better on the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit or a score of 26 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL.

A student whose undergraduate or master's degree is not in civil engineering is required to take appropriate undergraduate or graduate courses as deficiency courses, to establish a base of knowledge in the discipline. Deficiencies for admission to the program are specified at the time of admission, and details can be obtained at the graduate studies section of the program's website.

Prospective students should note that GRE scores are used in the admission decision. The average scores for those who were admitted to the graduate programs over the last five years are 732 for MS/MSE and 751 for PhD (GRE General Test) or 157 for MS/MSE and 159 for PhD (GRE revised General Test) in the quantitative section; 1203 for MS/MSE and 1239 for PhD (GRE General Test) or 308 for MS/MSE and 311 for PhD (GRE revised General Test) as combined quantitative and verbal scores. More information regarding how to send official GRE scores to Graduate Admission Services can be found at

Students' credentials for admission are evaluated by the graduate program chair and a committee chaired by the specialty area coordinator.

Application Deadlines
Session A/CIn Person 01/01Priority
Session A/CIn Person 07/01Priority
Contact Information

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Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.
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Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
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Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

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What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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