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Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics (PHD)  
Program Description

Our research expertise covers the spectrum of civil engineering disciplines, leading the field in dynamic traffic simulation, sediment transport, design and health monitoring of structures, FRP materials, and infrastructure resilience. Funding comes from national, state and local agencies, public foundations, and private companies. Five of our faculty have won National Science Foundation Young Investigator Awards, and two have received American Society of Civil Engineers Huber Prizes. We also boast two ASCE Distinguished Members.  As a result, our graduate program is ranked 40th out of 141 civil engineering graduate programs in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report – even as the second-smallest department in the top 50.   Our group of 10 research faculty produced 35 ISI journal publications in 2016. We have been accredited as a testing laboratory for fiber-reinforced polymer materials, conducting a large-scale testing regime. 

The doctoral program is designed to prepare a professional engineer for senior responsibility in industry, research, or teaching. The successful candidate must demonstrate the ability to devise and execute a program of study and research, which makes a fundamentally new contribution to the chosen field. The most important aspect of the doctoral program is the dissertation, which is the evidence of this fundamental contribution. The student should be prepared for a very demanding period of study beyond the master’s degree.

A minor field may be selected from architecture, chemistry, environmental engineering, geology, mathematics, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, mining engineering, nuclear engineering, physics, or systems engineering, or from within the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Still other fields are available as minors with the approval of the head of the department. 

At the option of the department, a Master of Science degree may be awarded to candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree who have passed the comprehensive examination, provided they write a thesis or engineering report. 

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Civil and Architectural Engineering and Mechanics -

The department offers programs leading to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a major in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Work is directed toward research and professional development in such areas as engineering mechanics, engineering materials, highway engineering, hydraulics and fluid mechanics, geomechanics, geo-technical engineering, water resources, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. Certain interdisciplinary options such as regional development and urban planning, and environmental engineering are available by combining various areas of the program with programs in other departments. For further information concerning these options, see the College of Engineering web site.

The department also offers a degree in Master of Science, Masters of Engineering, an Accelerated Masters Degree in both MS and ME degrees and has three certificate programs; Advance Transportation, Geoengineering and Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering.



College of Engineering  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Karen E Van Winkle
Graduate Program Coordinator
Karen E Van Winkle
Director of Graduate Studies
Jennifer Guohong Duan
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Abraham Edward Cooper
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Doctoral program, the candidate must have attained a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering or a related field and be admitted to both the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and the University of Arizona Graduate College.  Minimum eligibility requirements for admission to the Graduate College includes a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 grade scale.  An official on-line application for admission to the UA Graduate College

Required Materials for Graduate Application:

  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Official transcripts from ALL universities/colleges attended  Please do not send transcripts until you have been recommended
  • Minimum GPA 3.5
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (For international applicants only)
Standardized Tests

Required Standardized Tests -

  • GRE score of at least Quantitative 155, Verbal 151, and minimum GPA of 3.0 are required. To be competitive for scholarship, applicants are expected to have GRE score exceeding 160 in Quantitative.  GRE Institution Code (University of Arizona) - 4832  /  GRE Subject Code(s) - CE 1102, CE 1199 (other), EM 1501
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 79 (iBT)(CBT = 213)  or IELTS-composite score of 7 (no subject area below 6).  (For international students only)
Financial Aid
  • Teaching and Research Assistantships
  • Fellowships
  • Tuition and Registration Scholarships
  • Available for qualified students

Prospective students should directly contact faculty members with whom they potentially share research interests regarding Research Assistantships.  

Applicants are encouraged to apply for institutional funding offered through the UA Graduate College, including Graduate Access Fellowships, UA/SIGP Fellowships, and NASA Scholarships.  Domestic students should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Loans, FAFSA, to qualify for institutional funding  Detailed information on UA financial aid may be found at

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 1st
  • Spring: June 1st


International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 1st
  • Spring: June 1st


No Summer Admissions


International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Hours - 72

  • 54 units of coursework (12 units of minor) and 18 units of dissertation

Minimum GPA - 3.50

Language Requirement(s) - N/A

Minor Requirements
  • GPA 3.5
  • Minimum of 3.5 GPA during M.S. study for Ph.D. Program
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 79 (iBT)(CBT = 213)  or IELTS-composite score of 7 (no subject area below 6).  (For international students only)
Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 55%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 91%
Enrollment Percent Female 9%
Enrollment Percent International 77%
Enrollment Percent URM 5%

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Last revised 03 Oct 2018