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Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Our Ph.D. program emphasizes regionally relevant infrastructure issues, including seismic engineering, water scarcity and transportation engineering for the desert Southwest.

Program at a glance

Application deadlines

  • Fall enrollment: Jan. 15
  • Spring enrollment: Sept. 1

Admissions requirements

  • Minimum GPA: 3.25
  • Minimum GRE: 302
  • Minimum TOEFL: 550 (PBT) or 79 (IBT)

Graduate Program Director: David Sanders,

Why choose this Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering?

The nationally ranked graduate program in civil and environmental engineering offers students the opportunity to work with well-known faculty in world-class experimental facilities, enabling large-scale testing of bridges, structures and pavements.

Graduates have gone on to leadership roles in industry and public sector companies both in Nevada and around the globe. A number of graduates are also conducting research in academic positions.

Research in civil and environmental engineering

The department offers five areas of specialization for civil and environmental engineering students:

  • Earthquake and structural engineering: Faculty have particular expertise in bridge engineering, engineering for extreme events, and the seismic performance of non-structural systems.
  • Environmental engineering: Current areas of focus include water and wastewater treatment, fate and transport of contaminants, biochemistry and in-situ bioremediation, and the water-economy nexus.
  • Geotechnical engineering: Research areas focus on soil-structure interaction, vehicle-pavement interaction, and behavior of soil and retaining structures under seismic conditions.
  • Pavements and materials engineering: Faculty research focuses on developing innovative asphalt mixtures or improved processes for laying pavement that can improve its ability to stand up to stress and harsh weather.
  • Transportation engineering: Researchers have experience with traffic control systems, simulation and modeling, and intelligent transportation systems.

 Please visit the department's faculty listings for more information on research specialties or learn more about the requirements for the doctorate in civil and environmental engineering.

How do I apply?

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:

  • GPA of 3.25
  • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 302
  • For International Students only: 550 TOEFL (PBT) or 79 TOEFL (IBT) or 6.5 IELTS Score

Applicants should also submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose with their application.

Prospective students can start the application through the Graduate School website, which also provides detailed instructions on the Graduate School's application and admission requirements. The College of Engineering will waive application fees for students with qualifying test scores. Please see the Grad Fee Waiver page for details.

Is funding available?

Almost all Ph.D. students receive some form of funding. The department offers both teaching and research assistantships. Awards are made on the basis of scholarship and promise for outstanding achievement. The student's GPA, GRE scores, statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are all factors when awarding assistantships. Students do not need to submit a separate application for a teaching assistantship but are encouraged to contact faculty directly to learn about available research assistantships.

For more on funding, review the pages below:

What's next?

You can apply now or contact the graduate director if you'd like to learn more about the Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering.

David Sanders, Ph.D.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Director
(775) 784-4288
Office: Scrugham Engineering and Mines 110

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Contact Civil and Environmental Engineering

Phone (775) 784-6937
Fax (775) 784-1390
Location Scrugham Engineering and Mines
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

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