Graduates of our PhD program are extremely well prepared to make positive, sustainable contributions to our society through the application of the knowledge they gain. Their expertise in a chosen specialization of civil engineering is enhanced while taking four graduate courses as well as undertaking their research that advances the current state of knowledge in their chosen field. With the most advanced degree offered by the university, our PhD graduates will have the necessary research expertise to qualify them for successful careers in academia, advanced research institutes or the public and private sectors.
Our award-winning faculty members, who are often national and international leaders in their field, provide outstanding support as graduate student advisors. Students and advisors come from around the world to engage in groundbreaking research that makes a positive impact on our world. Advisors are there to support students in many ways throughout their time in our program.
Our state-of-the-art research facilities are some of the largest physical laboratories on campus. Sophisticated instrumentation and high-end computational resources to support the most advanced research across a wide range of civil engineering disciplines, including environmental engineering, structural engineering, water resources engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and building and construction management.
Financial support may be available to students focusing on industrially-relevant research topics. A wide range of scholarships, bursaries and teaching assistantships are also available to provide additional supports to students.
Expected duration: 4 years
Tuition and fees: Two years tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)
The objective of the PhD program is to provide students with specialized knowledge in their chosen areas and to prepare them for careers in academia and research. The Phd must contribute to the creation of knowledge in the major field of study. Each PhD candidate must demonstrate competence to complete a significant research project and present their findings. The material must be at a level that is acceptable for publication.
The PhD program consists of coursework, original research and thesis. Normally, 12 credit hours of coursework (all at the 7000 level) are required beyond the master’s degree or its equivalent. The minimum time requirement is two calendar years of full-time study and research, of which at least one academic year must be spent on campus. For research projects conducted off-campus, the student must be geographically near to the campus and visit it regularly.
While collaboration between different research areas, departments and faculties is encouraged, our department has been broken down into seven main areas:
- Water Resources
- Construction Engineering and Management
- Masonry and Cementitious Materials
To qualify for admission to the PhD in Civil Engineering program, you must normally have completed a master's-level degree in Engineering.
Students in a master’s program who have achieved an average GPA of 4.0 in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate studies may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:
- Completion of 6 graduate courses (18 credits) with a grade of A or better in each;
- Satisfactory progress in the research program;
- Written recommendation from the supervisor, the thesis advisory committee and a selection committee (appointed by the head);
- Approval by the department and Faculty of Graduate Studies.
The transfer must take place within 20 months of initial registration in the master's program. Following transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program apply, including the completion of an additional 12 credit hours at the 7000 level.
Qualification for admission to the civil engineering graduate program is contingent on first receiving tentative acceptance from an academic advisor who will accept you into their research group.
In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
How to apply
The civil engineering PhD program accepts applications for Fall, Winter and Summer admission. Applications are submitted online and must include the following before they will be reviewed by the admissions committee:
- $100 application fee (non-refundable)
- Uploaded copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- Proof of English language proficiency, if required
To find an advisor, explore the Department of Civil Engineering's faculty and staff page and contact a faculty member whose research interests align with your own. Please note that your advisor must hold a PhD or equivalent and be a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (typically includes academic staff holding a rank of assistant professor or above).
Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.