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PH.D Program Requirements

Overview for Degrees

Ph.D. Students without an M.S. Degree

  • Minimum of 60 credits beyond the Bachelor of Science degree;
  • Minimum of 18 credits dissertation research (CE 9910)
  • The remaining 42 credits are divided between coursework and dissertation hours based on the recommendation of the Graduate Advisory Committee, with a minimum of 12 credits of coursework.

Ph.D. Students with an M.S. Degree

  • Minimum of 30 credits beyond the M.S. degree;
  • Minimum of 18 credits dissertation research (CE 9910);
  • Minimum of 12 credits of coursework

The Graduate Advisory Committee

All Ph.D. students are required by the Graduate School to select at least four faculty members to serve as their Graduate Advisory Committee. The purpose of the advisory committee is to approve the Plan of Study, administer the qualifying exam and final defense, and recommend the student for graduation. The Ph.D. advisory committee chair or at least half of the committee, including the major advisor, must be comprised of Clemson University faculty. Either the committee chair or at least half of the committee members must hold rank in the Department of Civil Engineering. In addition, at least four members of the committee must hold a Ph.D. degree. Individuals who are not employed by Clemson University must be appointed to adjunct faculty status to be eligible to serve.

Committee Selection and Plan of Study

Ph.D. students will officially declare their advisory committee and submit a Plan of Study at the end of the first year by submitting the Form GS-2 to the Graduate School (accessed via iRoar ). This is a two-step process – 1) the selection of the Graduate Advisory Committee, and 2) the submission of the Plan of Study. The GS-2 may be revised later on if there is a change in the composition of the graduate committee, or if the Plan of Study needs to be modified.

Proposal Defense/ Comprehensive Exam and Admission to Candidacy

Upon completion of the required course determined by their Plan of Study, students are eligible to take the comprehensive exam, which generally also includes the presentation of their research proposal to the Graduate Advisory Committee. Students must have both components of the GS2 (Committee Selection and Plan of Study) on file with Graduate Enrolled Student Services before taking the comprehensive exam.

Final Dissertation

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