Each specialty area (Structures, Geotechnical, Environmental, and Transportation) have slightly different requirements, so please see your advisor regarding the specific details; however, the general process is described below.
During the course of pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, a series of four examinations must be passed.
The first examination, called the Qualifying Examination, is required to determine the formal acceptance to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree and is based on a written and/or oral examination administered by faculty members in the student’s area of concentration. This examination should be taken during the first semester of enrollment at the post-master’s level. The student, upon passing this examination, will be advised on the program of coursework that should be taken to prepare for the Ph.D. degree. (In some special circumstances, a master’s student may request that the master’s oral examining committee conduct an oral qualifying examination concurrently with the final examination for the master’s degree).
The second examination, called the Comprehensive Examination, is required to determine if the Ph.D. candidate is adequately prepared to conduct the doctoral research. This examination is taken after the coursework is essentially completed. This examination will focus on the coursework. The student may be advised to take some additional coursework. The examination may be written and/or oral.
The third examination is the Presentation of the Proposal for Research. The proposal is typically presented about the same time as the Comprehensive exam is taken(and may be concurrent in some instances); however, depending in the preparation of the student, the Proposal Presentation may be before or after the Comprehensive exam. A written proposal of the research must be distributed to the student’s doctoral committee for review after which an oral presentation and examination on the proposed work will be administrated. The exam will focus on the research to be conducted and on the student’s preparation to conduct the work. The student may be advised to restructure portions of the planned work.
The fourth examination, called the Defense of the Doctoral Dissertation, is required to determine if the Ph.D. degree should be awarded on the basis of the research that is presented. The student must submit the written dissertation to the committee members at least two weeks prior to the exam. This is an oral examination that is administered by the Doctoral Committee.
Additional requirements are that the student take a minimum of two years of coursework and one year of research beyond the bachelor’s degree (a minimum of 72 hours). One year of credit may be given for the M.S. degree with the second year comprising approximately 30 credit hours of coursework.
Forms to be Completed for Ph.D. Degree
It is the student’s responsibility to see that the following forms are properly completed and submitted according to published deadline dates. The deadline dates vary from semester to semester. These dates are published approximately one year in advance by the Graduate School.
- D-1 Qualifying Exam Results & Doctoral Committee Approval
- Due prior to beginning of second semester
- D-2 Plan of Study Form
- Prior to end of first year
- D-3 Result of the Comprehensive Examination
- Seven months prior to graduation
- D-4 Report of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense**
- Two weeks prior to graduation
* For exact deadlines, refer to the published deadline dates available from the Graduate School .
**Dissertation in final format is due at Graduate School six weeks prior to graduation
Submission of Dissertation, Thesis, or CE400 Report
Graduate students are required to submit one copy of their dissertation or thesis to the Graduate School, 210 Jesse Hall on a CD.
It is not necessary to submit CE400 Reports to the Graduate School.
The Civil & Environmental Engineering Department requires two hard-bound copy of dissertations, theses and CE400 reports. The student and advisor will decide on how many additional hard-bound copies are required. The student should submit a minium of two loose copies to the Department secretary who will submit the bindery requisition and collect the fee for payment to the bindery company. One copy will go to the advisor and one to the Department library. All thesis covers will be green, dissertation covers black, and CE400 reports gray.
A student must complete at least two nine-hour semesters or three six-hour semesters in an 18-month period at MU. All courses taken to satisfy the residency requirement must be approved by the student’s doctoral program committee. Correspondence and off-campus courses may not be counted toward the residency requirements.