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Doctor of Philosophy

Plan of Study

A plan of study must be developed, submitted, and approved by the supervisory committee before 30 credit hours, including transfer credit, are completed towards degree. The requirements for the doctoral plan of study are as follows:

A minimum of 72 credit hours, including

  • 45 credit hours of approved coursework
    • May include applicable coursework taken as part of a masters degree
    • 9 credit hours of core graduate coursework
      (See later section for additional information regarding the graduate core.)
    • 400-level courses are not permitted in a PhD plan of study
    • See Appendix I for a schedule for all CE-prefix courses offered by the department
  • 3 credit hours of CE 593 or CE 693 Practicum
    • Taken with permission under the direction of the student’s graduate advisor
      (See later section for additional information regarding Practicum.)
  • 24 credit hours of CE 699 Dissertation Research
    • Taken with permission under the direction of the student’s graduate advisor
    • The graduate advisor must be a full member of the department’s graduate faculty
    • Once taken, CE 699 must be taken every term until graduation

Doctoral Examinations

The department requires successful completion of three examinations

  • Qualifying Exam: The “qualifier” is taken in the second semester of study and includes a written component with possible oral follow-up. It is administered by a department committee including at least two faculty members from the student’s area of study (i.e., core course area)
  • Preliminary Exam: The “prelim” is administered by the student’s supervisory committee and requires both a written and oral component. Also included in the prelim is a written dissertation research proposal along with a presentation and defense of the proposal.
    • All members of the supervisory committee are required to participate in real time; virtual attendance video or teleconference is only permitted for off-campus committee members
    • All members of the supervisory committee are required to present and to complete an assessment of the student’s attainment of the program’s student learning outcomes; other faculty and students attending the preliminary exam and proposal defense may also complete the assessment form (see Appendix II)
  • Dissertation Defense: The “defense” is also administered by the student’s supervisory committee and focuses on the dissertation research. The presentation is to be publically announced and open for fellow students and faculty to attend.
    • The student is responsible to advertise the Dissertation Defense, including dissertation title, short abstract, graduate advisor(s) name(s), time, and location, to all faculty and graduate students (see Appendix V for information on advertising and conduct of the defense)
    • All members of the supervisory committee are required to participate in real time; virtual attendance video or teleconference is only permitted for off-campus committee members
    • All members of the supervisory committee are required to complete an assessment of the student’s attainment of the program’s student learning outcomes; other faculty and students attending the defense may also complete the assessment form (see Appendix II)
  • Each doctoral exam is allowed to be taken a maximum of two times

Doctoral Residency

The residency requires the student to spend an academic year in continuous residence on the campus of The University of Alabama as a full-time student in the Graduate School. An academic year is any two consecutive regular semesters such as the fall and the following spring semester or spring and following fall semesters.

A full summer with at least 9 credit hours in the 13 weeks from Interim though the end of Summer II may also be used with the immediately proceeding spring or following fall to satisfy residency.

Core Graduate Course Requirements

The faculty has defined core course requirements in four areas. Each student’s plan of study is required to include one of the following sets of core graduate courses:

Construction Engineering and Management Core Coursework (MSCivE, Ph.D.):

  • CE 573 Statistical Applications in Civil Engineering
  • CE 567 Construction Accounting and Finance
  • CE 568 Construction Scheduling

Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Core Coursework (MSCivE, MSEnvE, Ph.D.):

  • CE 573 Statistical Applications in Civil Engineering
  • CE 575 Hydrology
  • CE 626 Physical and Chemical Processes

Structural Engineering and Materials Core Coursework (MSCivE, Ph.D.):

  • CE 573 Statistical Applications in Civil Engineering
  • CE 534 Advanced Structural Mechanics
  • CE 531 Structural Dynamics

Transportation Systems Engineering Core Coursework (MSCivE, Ph.D.):

  • CE 573 Statistical Applications in Civil Engineering
  • CE 559 Pavement Design and Rehabilitation
  • CE 655 Sustainable Transportation

Notes

  • Students on graduate assistantships must register for a minimum of 1 credit hour of CE 693 each semester they are supported
  • Students are responsible for all forms and must route all forms through the Department prior to submission to UA’s Graduate School.