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Multidisciplinary Studies Building (MS)

MS 4.01.76

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday

8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Contact US:

Phone: (210) 458-4331

Fax: (210) 458-4332

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Civil Engineering (Ph.D.)


Basic Degree Information/Description

The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department offers the opportunity for advanced study and research leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering. The educational objective of this program is to produce graduates who are capable of conducting original research in industry or academia as well as assuming a leadership role in their chosen employment field. The program has four separate tracks, namely Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, and Water Resources. The Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering is awarded to candidates who display an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and demonstrate the ability to make an original contribution to knowledge in their field of specialty.

Why pursue a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering?

The program will produce graduates who have advanced technical knowledge in Civil Engineering and are vital to the interests of San Antonio, the State of Texas and the nation.

Nationally, according to the 2018 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Careers in Civil Engineering are projected to grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

As infrastructure continues to age, highly trained technical professionals will be needed to manage projects to rebuild, repair, and upgrade structures of all types to meet these demands.

Research is needed in emerging areas of civil engineering such as smart structures, advanced materials, data analytics, computational mechanics, water sustainability and intelligent transportation systems to advance knowledge and address our infrastructure needs.

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

Admission Prerequisites: 

Required Degree: a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from an accredited university, The degrees should be in civil engineering or other related scientific or engineering discipline.

Other Degree Requirements: Exceptional applicants without a Master of Science degree may be considered for admission to the program on a case-by-case basis;

Application Requirements:

General University Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet University Wide Requirements

Application: A complete Graduate School application

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic potential;

Test Scores: Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores;

Statement of Purpose: A letter of research/specialization interest;

Resume or Curriculum Vitae: a résumé/curriculum vita.

Other: A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate courses.

Evaluation of Foreign Credentials: All applicants including non-U.S. citizens (International), U.S. citizens (Domestic), or permanent residents who have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions are required to submit an evaluation from an approved Foreign Credential Agency of transcripts from all foreign institutions attended. If official transcripts are used in the foreign credential evaluation, the official transcript requirement will be considered met. However, if unofficial documents are used in the foreign credential evaluation, final official transcripts must be sent to UTSA.

  • An approved evaluation requires a detailed course-by-course evaluation. Summaries will not be accepted.
  • The Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA) is a private corporation that provides evaluations of foreign school credentials. The application is available at: Application for Credentials Evaluation.

International Applicants:

  • IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5.
  • TOEFL: Minimum scores of 79 or 60 for Internet or paper versions, respectively.

Additional Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet international graduate student admission requirements.

Applications must be submitted to the UTSA Graduate School online at Incomplete applications will not be considered. Acceptance to the program is decided by the Doctoral Studies Committee (DSC), comprised of graduate faculty members selected from the CEE Department. Full-time students accepted for the program are eligible to apply for financial support in the form of competitive teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or research fellowships.

Degree Requirements

The Doctoral program in Civil Engineering requires that students complete a minimum of 60 semester credit hours beyond the Master’s degree. This coursework includes courses that have been designed to provide advanced instruction in areas considered to form the foundation for the discipline of civil engineering. Enrollment in the Graduate Seminar is required for a minimum of 2 semester credit hours. A minimum of 15 semester credit hours of Doctoral Research and 15 semester credit hours minimum of Doctoral Dissertation must be completed prior to graduation. Any grade lower than “B” in graduate or remedial coursework at the undergraduate level does not count toward the 60 semester credit hours. Students can apply, with the approval from the chair of their Dissertation Committee, up to 12 semester credit hours of graduate coursework to elective courses (see below), if not applied toward their Master’s degree. Students with only a baccalaureate degree are required to have a minimum of 75 semester credit hours to graduate. Additional degree requirements include both passing a written and/or oral qualifying examinations, writing a doctoral dissertation, and passing a final examination/dissertation defense.

Twenty eight semester credit hours of required elective courses must be selected by each student according to his/her selected track of study, as defined below. These need to be approved by the student’s Dissertation Committee. These elective courses may be offered by departments in the College of Sciences, the College of Engineering or by other departments at UTSA.

Contact Information

Graduate Advisor of Record: Adolfo Matamoros, Ph.D.

Email Address:

Telephone: (210) 458-7851

Faculty webpage: