Doctor of Philosophy in civil engineering

The Department offers doctoral programs in all the major areas listed as core specializations under the Master of Science degree: construction engineering management, environmental engineering, structures, and transportation.  Ph.D. applications are currently not being accepted at this time for geotechnical engineering.

Courses related to these areas can be found in the Graduate Handbook

Mission statement

The mission of the doctoral program is to prepare students for leadership positions in civil engineering practice, research and teaching.

Learning outcomes

Graduate engineers with a Ph.D. degree will:

1. Design and complete original research in their specialty area.
2. Demonstrate the ability to lead project teams.
3. Evaluate complex and novel engineering problems and derive solutions using original (nonstandard) approaches and       methodologies.
4. Communicate technical information to a range of audiences both verbally and in writing.
5. Demonstrate professionalism with a commitment to the highest standards of ethical principles.


To gain admission to the Ph.D. program in civil engineering students should have a Bachelor of Science (or Bachelor of Engineering) degree from an ABET accredited institution (or from a comparable foreign institution) with an overall GPA of 3.3 or greater. Students who do not satisfy these minimum requirements must earn a Master of Science (or Master of Engineering) in civil or environmental engineering, or in a closely related field, with a GPA in graduate courses not less than 3.5 (or equivalent). Only regular admission may be granted to the Ph.D. program.

After completing a B.S. degree, if a student in the Ph.D. program fails to meet all subsequent requirements thereof, they may elect to transfer appropriate credits toward the M.S. Civil Engineering (MSCE) or Environmental and Sustainability Engineering (MSESE) degree program.

For admission and full funding consideration, please have your application completed by March 1st. Most decisions will be released by April 1st. 

Admission to the Ph.D. program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and is upon satisfying the following requirements:

  • The GRE is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering. However, the department may request a recent GRE score for applicants if they are unable to reach an admission determination based on the required material.
  • Statement of Purpose. While not required, a personal statement that describes a student's short- and long-term goals is strongly recommended.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Professional resume/CV.
  • International applicants are required to submit an official course-by-course transcript evaluation. Accepted evaluation services include WES, ECE or SpanTran. Note that the official transcript evaluation must be transmitted directly from the evaluating agency to the WSU Office of Graduate Admissions. The transcript evaluation will serve as your official transcript.
  • All students who have earned degrees from a country where English is not the native language must demonstrate English proficiency via a qualified examination. Applicants must earn a minimum score of 79 from internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 from a paper-based TOEFL (pBT), an IELTS score of 6.5, or an overall Duolingo score of 110.
  • All applicants must pay the $50 Application Fee