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School of CEEES | Glenn Department of Civil Engineering

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The Glenn Department of Civil Engineering is one of four named civil engineering departments in the country. The program has been an integral part of Clemson since the University was founded in 1889, with the first civil engineering degree awarded in 1896. Students work closely with faculty, peers and industry on hands-on research projects that prepare them to work domestically and abroad within one of the most in-demand engineering fields.

Information on admission requirements, financial assistance, and academic policies and procedures as a student in CE can be found in the catalog and handbook.


Accreditation

ABET LogoThe Bachelor of Science in the Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Civil and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Program Criteria.

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Ph.D. Program

Redmond with 2 graduate students working on research in office.

The Department of Civil Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Within this degree, there are six primary emphasis areas: Applied Fluid Mechanics, Construction Engineering and Management, Construction Materials, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Systems.

Coursework leading to the Ph.D. is planned to give students a comprehensive knowledge of Civil Engineering and a mastery of the methods of research. A Ph.D. is not awarded solely based on coursework completed or comprehensive examinations. The final basis for granting this degree is the student's grasp of the subject matter across a broad field of study, competence in planning and conducting research, and ability to express themselves adequately and professionally, both orally and in writing. Ultimately, only the Ph.D. Advisory Committee can certify that a student has earned this degree.

  • Advisory Committee & Plan of Study

    Ph.D. students are required to select an advisory committee consisting of an advisor and at least three committee members.  Consult with the CE Graduate Student Handbook and the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Handbook for more information about the makeup of the committee. Students are expected to submit their official Committee Selection and Plan of Study (accessed in iRoar) to the Graduate School before their research proposal defense/comprehensive exam.

    The Plan of Study includes all courses that will be used to satisfy the requirements of the degree. An approved Committee Selection and Plan of Study must be on file with Graduate Enrolled Student Services before a student will be allowed to apply for graduation.

  • Dissertation Defense & Comprehensive Exam

    The comprehensive exam* and research proposal defense typically occur upon the completion of required coursework. Per Graduate School policy, the comprehensive exam must take place no more than five years and no less than six months before the date of graduation. Students are allowed two attempts to pass the comprehensive exam. After the second failed attempt, the student will be declared ineligible to enter into candidacy for a doctoral degree at Clemson University. There is no Departmental format for the Ph.D. comprehensive exam – the administration of the exam varies based on the expectations of the committee.

    The Graduate Committee Selection and Plan of Study must be on file with Graduate Enrolled Student Services before taking the comprehensive exam. Students will be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy upon completion of the exam and at the recommendation of the Graduate Advisory Committee.

    *Structural Engineering graduate students are also required to take a qualifying exam. See faculty advisor for more information.

    Final Dissertation Defense

    During the final semester, Ph.D. candidates will submit their dissertation to the Graduate Advisory Committee and present an oral defense of their research. See the website of the Manuscript Review Office for details on formatting, deadlines, submission, etc.

  • Checklist for Completing Ph.D.

    It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of and complete all CE Departmental and Graduate School requirements for the Ph.D. degree.  Students graduating should refer to the deadlines listed on the Graduate School website. Following are general checklists for students pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil  Engineering:

    1. Selection of major advisor and research topic
    2. Submission of GS2a – Committee Selection (end of first year)
    3. Submission of GS2b – Plan of Study (end of first year)
    4. Comprehensive exam and proposal defense
    5. Submit signed GS5D form – Results of Doctoral Comprehensive Exam and Candidacy to Graduate Enrolled Student Services (provide a signed copy to Kristi Baker)
    6. Apply for graduation via iRoar at the beginning of the final semester;
    7. Consult with advisory committee to schedule the dissertation defense date
    8. Notify Graduate School of defense date at least ten days prior to the defense
    9. Final defense of dissertation
    10. Submit signed GS7D – Final Exam and Thesis Approval Form to Graduate Enrolled Student Services in 104-D Sikes Hall (provide a copy of signed form to Kristi Baker)
    11. Submit completed thesis with all committee-recommended revisions to the Manuscript Review Office
    12. Make any required formatting revisions and resubmit thesis to the Manuscript Review
  • Applying to the Ph.D. Program

    Requirements

    The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 30 credits beyond the master's degree and at least 60 credits beyond the bachelor's degree.

    There are no formal course requirements for students pursuing a graduate degree in Civil Engineering; however, each program area has individual degree requirements. Students should consult with their faculty advisor for more information on the core courses for their area. The following are the Graduate School requirements for Ph.D. students.

    Ph.D. students without an M.S. Degree
    • 18 credits minimum dissertation research (CE 9910)
    • 12 credits minimum of coursework
    • 30 credits remaining divided between coursework and dissertation hours based on the recommendation of the advisory committee

    60 credits minimum beyond the Bachelor of Science degree

    Ph.D. students with an M.S. Degree
    • 18 credits minimum dissertation research (CE 9910)
    • 12 credits minimum of coursework

    30 credits minimum beyond the Bachelor of Science degree

    How to Apply

    Students interested in applying to the CE doctoral program must be accepted to the Clemson University Graduate School. Application information and forms can be found on the Graduate School website. International students are welcome to apply and must meet Graduate School requirements for TOEFL and GRE scores.

    Additional information concerning deadlines and program contacts can be found on the Civil Engineering Graduate Admissions page.

    Apply | Graduate School
Apply to CE Program

The Glenn Department of Civil Engineering is one of four named civil engineering departments in the country. The program has been an integral part of Clemson since the University was founded in 1889, with the first civil engineering degree awarded in 1896. Students work closely with faculty, peers and industry on hands-on research projects that prepare them to work domestically and abroad within one of the most in-demand engineering fields.

Information on admission requirements, financial assistance, and academic policies and procedures as a student in CE can be found in the catalog and handbook.


Accreditation

ABET LogoThe Bachelor of Science in the Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Civil and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Program Criteria.

View Accreditation