Programs – Ph.D. in CE


The Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering (specializing in Construction Engineering and Management) is open to outstanding applicants who have demonstrated excellence in their coursework and a capability for independent research. The focus of the doctoral work is on the student’s dissertation research, which must make a significant contribution to knowledge. Ongoing and recent research by Tishman Construction Management Program faculty and students is described on the Research Page of this website. All admitted Ph.D. students are offered a Fellowship and full financial support for the entire duration of their program.

Interested applicants should read the information on this page first. For additional information, please visit the FAQ section of this website and the main CEE admissions page.

The Ph.D. program usually includes 50 to 60 hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree level. Students entering with a Master’s degree require at least 21 credit hours of coursework beyond the Master’s program, not including independent study, to prepare the student for research in a specific area of Construction Engineering and Management. Students without a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan may need to take additional courses to obtain the broad knowledge in Construction Engineering and Management expected of a University of Michigan Ph.D.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for application to the Ph.D. program. Letters of recommendation are also required. 
Students who do not meet undergraduate degree requirements for regular admission may be granted conditional admission. Students may be required to take courses without graduate credit to remedy deficiencies in their undergraduate programs.

Major steps toward the Ph.D. degree include:

  • qualifying examination (usually taken after completion of one or two terms of coursework beyond the master’s degree)
  • appointment of dissertation committee
  • completion of coursework and English proficiency requirement
  • preliminary examination
  • advancement to candidacy
  • completion of dissertation
  • final oral examination
  • Admission to the Ph.D. program is granted only to students who show promise and provide sufficient evidence that they can meet scholastic requirements of study, including independent research, at an advanced level. The qualifying examination is only open to students with GPA of better than B+.

Link to CEE Ph.D. guidelines: CEE Ph.D. Guidelines (.pdf)
Link to program completion flowchart: CEE Ph.D. Flowchart (.pdf)
Link to list of acceptable courses for fulfilling the mathematics cognate requirement: Acceptable Cognate Courses (.pdf)

Application Materials

Required Materials:

Application materials required for Ph.D. applications consist of the following:

  • Completed application form (see website below)
  • Application fee
  • Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (Marksheets) from college or university that has awarded or will award degree
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • International Students only:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) scores (international students only).

Application Forms:

Web applications, application forms, and other materials are available for Ph.D. admission from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies

For further information contact: