Civil Engineering Doctoral Degree Program

Civil Engineering Department

Objective and Description

The objective of the graduate program in civil engineering is to prepare students for continued professional and scholarly development consistent with their technical interests. Students, with the assistance of a faculty advisor in their area of interest, plan their programs of study in one of the technical areas in civil engineering.

Research Areas

Typical program and research areas are:

  • Environmental (water and air quality control, and solid and hazardous materials control);
  • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Geotechnical (soil mechanics and foundations);
  • Infrastructure Systems;
  • Structures and Applied Mechanics;
  • Transportation (traffic planning, highways, airports and transit);
  • Water Resources (hydrology and hydraulics);


The Ph.D. degree is a research degree and, as such, requires the candidate to successfully carry out original, independent research in an area acceptable to the civil engineering faculty. Students are admitted to work with a particular faculty member and should contact faculty members in their area of interest prior to applying. Normally, a minimum of one year of advanced coursework beyond the master's degree is required.

The Ph.D. program of work must consist of at least 5 courses beyond the core courses for the Master's program. See the University Catalog for course information.

The student's major professor/Ph.D. committee should comprise the following:

  • A minimum of two other CE faculty members.
  • A minimum of one member outside of CE, in the student's minor area.
  • A minimum of 4 members.
Admissions Requirements


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What courses and specializations are available?
    • See the Graduate Program Study Planning Guide
    • Important: When you fill out the ApplyTexas application, please indicate your area of interest within CE (construction, environmental, geotech, infrastructure, structures, transportation, water resources). If you do not, processing of your application will be delayed.

  2. What is the difference between an MS and ME?
    • MSCE: Master of Science requires 24 hours of coursework and a thesis (6 hours). Recommended if student wants to pursue a Ph.D.
    • MECE: Master of Engineering requires 36 hours of coursework
  3. What are the admission requirements?
    • See the catalog for Ph.D. Degree.
    • NOTE: Ph.D. students are admitted to work with a particular faculty member. Contact faculty members in your area of interest to find one willing to work with you.
  4. What if I don't meet the requirements for unconditional admission?
    • If applicants do not meet a majority of standards for unconditional admission, they may be considered for probationary admission after careful examination of their application materials.Probationary admission may require that the applicant receive a B or better in at least their first 9 hours of graduate coursework applicable to their degree being sought at UT Arlington, take additional English courses, and/or deficiency courses as required.
  5. What funding is available?
    A limited number of $1000 scholarships are available for continuing students. Provide in-state tuition ($4000/semester instead of $8000) Student can contact faculty members in their area of interest about research assistantships.20 hours/week Many available for Ph.D. students; few for master's students Teaching assistantships reserved for Ph.D. students, on a competitive basis Employment at local engineering firms On-campus Jobs TPEG grants Other financial aid.
  6. How do I apply?
  7. What is the application deadline?
    • See the Graduate Application Deadlines.
    • Note: These are soft deadlines – we continue to process applications, even if they are received after the deadline. Students from some countries who apply after the deadline may, however, have difficulty receiving a visa in time to start the following semester.
  8. What application materials are required?
    • If your undergraduate degree is NOT from UTA:

    • Online application

      1. Fee

      2. Transcripts from all previous schools attended

      3. GRE

      4. TOEFL/IELTS (applicants from non-English speaking universities only)

      5. Ph.D. applicants only: Statement of purpose

      6. Ph.D. applicants only: 3 reference letters

    • If your undergraduate degree IS from UTA:

      1. If you were accepted to the Fast-Track program, no additional application is required.

      2. If your GPA is above 3.5, contact Dr. Abolmaali – you may qualify for facilitated admission.

      3. Otherwise, you need to submit:

        • Online application 

        • Fee

        • Only if undergraduate GPA was < 3.0: GRE score

        • Ph.D. applicants only: Statement of purpose

        • Ph.D. applicants only: 3 reference letters

  9. What kind of transcript must I submit?
  10. Where do I send my transcript?
  11. Can I provide a copy of my transcript, or must it be original?
    • Original
  12. How do I take the GRE/TOEFL?
  13. Where do I send my GRE scores?
    • UTA code 6013
  14. Can I be admitted conditionally and take the GRE after I arrive in the US?
    • No – we must have a GRE score to admit you
  15. Can I take the TOEFL or the IELTS?
    • Yes, either one is fine
  16. Must I complete all deficiency courses before I apply?
    • No, you can take them along with master's courses.
  17. How long does it take to process my application?
    • Typically about a week after it is complete (including GRE, transcripts, etc.).
  18. Can I have a deficiency course waived?
    • If you have had the course content previously, e-mail me ( a syllabus detailing the course content.
  19. Can you waive the GESP?
    • Only if your undergraduate degree was from a university where courses were conducted in English.
  20. How do I defer my admission until the next semester?
  21. How do I change to an area of civil engineering different from the one I applied for (e.g. I want to change from environmental to water resources)?
    • Send an e-mail to to have your deficiency courses rechecked.
  22. What do I include in my statement of purpose? (Ph.D. Applicants only)
    • Why you want to pursue a Ph.D. degree.
  23. Can the statement of purpose be longer than 200 words? (Ph.D. Applicants only)


  24. Where do I send my statement of purpose? (Ph.D. Applicants only)

  25. Where do I send my reference letters? (Ph.D. Applicants only)

  26. Can the references be submitted electronically? (Ph.D. Applicants only)

    Yes, but there’s not a special form. Just e-mail them.

  27. Can the references be snail-mailed? (Ph.D. Applicants only)

    Yes, directly to the CE Department

Contact Dan Tatum at or 817-272-5670 if you have questions not on this list.


All applications for admission will also be considered for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Some of the offers for financial aid are made well before the final deadline for application. Applicants are strongly urged to complete their applications early to take advantage of all the opportunities for financial aid available in the College of Engineering and the University.