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Engineering student group discussing a project.

Why Pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering

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. This doctoral 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. 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.

Program Details

The Civil Engineering PhD program has six separate tracks:

  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resources
  • Building Performance
  • Construction Science and Management

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.

UTSA branded beam in the Large Scale Testing Lab

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Civil Engineering (PhD)
  Required Degree Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) Departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level.
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions. Submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  English Language Proficiency 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS / Duolingo 100
  Purpose Statement Required
  Resume Required
  Letters of Recommendation 2 academic or professional reference(s) demonstrating your attributes for successful completion of this program (you will request these through the Graduate Admissions Application; let your recommenders know of your deadline to ensure submissions are on time)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however, if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply 2024-25 Application

Application Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation, if applicable, must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Civil Engineering (PhD)
Timing on Admission Decision: Completed applications will be reviewed for admission on a rolling basis. Decisions generally will be made and sent to applicants within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the application.
Application Deadlines for: Priority International Domestic
Fall 2024 February 1 June 1 August 1
Spring 2025 Not Available October 1 October 1
Summer 2025 Not Available Not Available Not Available

Funding Opportunities

For information about graduate student funding, click below.

Learn More

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.

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 Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design or by other departments at UTSA.

Graduate Advisor of Record

Marcio Giacomoni, PhD