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Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Requirements

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 isn't restricted to coursework that you've 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.

Advisory Committee

Your advisory committee plays a key role in guiding you along the path toward your Ph.D. 

Your advisory committee will help you develop your program of study, which is the specific list of courses and credits taken to meet degree requirements. Your committee will also supervise your dissertation research, review your research proposal and administer your comprehensive exams.

Your committee must consist of at least five faculty members, three of which must be from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, one from a related department and one from the University at large as a Graduate School Representative.

Ph.D. Program Progression

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

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University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
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Reno,  NV  89557-

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