Civil & Environmental Engineering

Doctoral Programs

The UMass Lowell Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering offers three doctoral programs.

  • Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.)  
    Civil and Environmental Engineering Option 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 
    Civil and Environmental Engineering Option 

D.Eng. and Ph.D. - Civil & Environmental Engineering Option

Objectives

The objective of the Doctor of Engineering/Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering is to develop decision-making, research-oriented engineers with the ability to produce new engineering knowledge and analyze complex, cross-disciplinary issues.  Successful applicants are expected to perform advanced research in one or more areas of concentration within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and successfully complete both core courses and electives that may be drawn from a variety of disciplines. Beyond the core courses, the program can be tailored to the needs of each student through a formal arrangement between the student and his or her research advisor.

Areas of Concentration

The areas of concentration within the Doctor of Engineering/Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering are:

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering 
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Structural Engineering 

Program Curriculum                                  

In addition to the general degree requirements described earlier, students are required to take the Core Courses in one of the program concentration areas listed below.

Core for Environmental Engineering Concentration
14.561 Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes
14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology
14.567 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
14.568 Environmental Fate and Transport
14.578 Biological Wastewater Treatment
14.595 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation

Core for Geoenvironmental Engineering Concentration
14.531 Advanced Soil Mechanics
14.536 Soil Engineering
14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology
14.567 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
14.595 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation

and at least one of the following:

14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics
14.538 Soil Behavior
14.527 Geotechnical and Environmental Site Characterization

Core for Geotechnical Engineering Concentration

14.531 Advanced Soil Mechanics
(and any four of the following:)
14.527 Geotechnical and Environmental Site Characterization
14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics
14.530 Deep Foundations
14.532 Theoretical Soil Mechanics
14.533 Advanced Foundation Engineering
14.534 Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
14.536 Soil Engineering
14.537 Experimental Soil Mechanics
14.538 Soil Behavior
14.539 Ground Improvement

Core for Transportation Engineering Concentration
14.540 Urban Transportation Planning
14.541 Traffic Engineering
14.581 Engineering Systems Analysis
14.583 Stochastic Concepts

Core for Structural Engineering Concentration
14.504 Advanced Strength of Materials
14.551 Design of Steel Structures or
14.552 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures
14.556 Finite Element Analysis or equivalent
14.557 Structural Dynamics

Admissions Requirements

Admission to applicants who have at least one degree in engineering from an accredited university and department requires high academic standing in all prior course work.  Admission may be also offered to applicants who hold a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree in non-engineering fields. In such cases, the applicant must successfully complete all requirements for a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering prior to being considered a candidate for the Doctor of Engineering/Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Plan of Study

Within about one academic year of initiation of doctoral study, each student must work with his/her research advisor to develop a Plan of Study that complies with doctoral program and University policies. Courses substitutions in the Plan of Study must be reviewed by the Departmental Graduate Committee.  Formal requests for substitutions are made by the student's Research Advisor. The student's Research Advisor is the supervisor of the student's research activities. The Advisor will work with the student to develop Dissertation research focus and request the service of appropriately qualified persons in the student's Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Committee will comprise a minimum of 4 persons of which at least 2 will be full time, regular faculty members of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The function of the Dissertation Committee is to ensure that the final edition of the student's dissertation meets the high technical standards expected in doctoral work and that the student successfully defends his/her findings prior to the award of the Doctor of Engineering degree. Dissertation Committee members are not necessarily co-investigators of the student's research topic.

Qualifying Examination

Upon the completion of a maximum of 45 credit hours of graduate work that count towards the doctoral degree, the student will apply to the Dissertation Committee to take a Qualifying Examination. In addition, students who were admitted as non-engineering degree holders into the Doctor of Engineering/ Doctor of Philosophy program must satisfy all requirements for the award of the M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering before they are allowed to take the Qualifying Examination. The Qualifying Examination may be written and oral. The Dissertation Committee members will submit their grades to the Doctoral Program Coordinator who will tally them and report the overall grade on a pass/fail basis, to the student and his/her advisor. Students who successfully complete the Qualifying Examination will be designated as Candidates for the Doctor of Engineering /Doctor of Philosophy degree. For each doctoral student, a maximum of two Qualifying Examinations will be allowed. A doctoral student who fails the Qualifying Examination two times will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program. Shortly after passing the Qualifying Examination, the Doctoral degree candidate will be expected to develop a thesis plan in collaboration with his/her advisor, and defend it successfully before the Doctoral Committee.

PH.D. Program in Chemistry - Environmental Studies Option

A Ph.D. in Chemistry with an option in Environmental Studies is offered jointly by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The program is described in detail in the Chemistry Department section of this catalog.