Doctoral Candidate Qualification Procedures of Each Departmental Area

Area Area Doctoral Candidate Qualification Procedures
Construction Management Students may apply to become a doctoral candidate in the construction management area after having received a master's degree and after having completed an additional 8 hours of study at Illinois. The student must first find a faculty member (advisor) willing to supervise his or her doctoral studies. Upon receiving an application to the Ph.D. program, the student?s advisor will form a committee of construction management and other appropriate faculty members to review the student's qualifications. At a meeting of this committee, the student?s records, including courses and grades at the Illinois, will be reviewed and the student will be asked to make an oral presentation of previous research or scholarship such as the results of his or her master's thesis or a special project.
Construction Materials  Students must complete the qualifying examination no later than the end of the third semester of their doctoral program and after completing at least four CEE 400- or 500-level courses. At least 7 days prior to the exam, the student must submit to his/her advisor an application packet consisting of a one-page statement of research objectives, a Ph.D. Program Plan, transcripts of all college-level courses, a professional resume, and a list of classes that establish the basis of the oral exam.  A post-BS GPA of 3.5 or greater is required. The Qualification Examination is a one-hour oral exam in addition to review of the application packet. 
Environmental The Qualifying Examination should be taken upon completion of the appropriate core and specialty courses before the completion of 40 credit hours of post-bachelor’s courses. Students who transfer into the environmental engineering program with a master’s degree should take the qualifying examination before completion of one year in the program and are required to take it no later than the beginning of their fourth semester in the program. The examination will be offered one to two weeks prior to the beginning of courses in the fall and spring semester. The examination includes a three hour  written exam, one take-home written exam, and a follow-up oral exam. Three pre-selected faculty members participate in the grading decision. 

Students may apply to become a doctoral candidate in the geotechnical area only after having completed a minimum of two semesters of graduate study at Illinois. They must have a minimum of two 500 level courses in geotechnical engineering and a 3.5 minimum GPA. Upon receiving an application to the Ph.D. program, the group coordinator will arrange a meeting of the geotechnical faculty. The exam format will be a written exam followed by an oral exam. A majority of faculty in attendance must approve of passing decision.

Structural Students must complete a written qualifying examination that covers five core areas of structural engineering: analysis of truss and frame structures,  structural dynamics, structural mechanics, concrete structures and steel structures. Students must pass an offering of the QE exam within 16 months of starting their post MS graduate work. The exam is offered in the fall and spring semesters each academic year and details of the exam are given at the start if each semester. 
Transportation The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, declares in writing to the transportation QE coordinator the intent to pursue the Transportation QE. This QE must be taken before the end of the third semester of graduate studies following award of the M.S. degree or 36 hours after BS degree. The advisor and the student appoint a committee consisting of three faculty with at least two from transportation and two out of three must be tenure-track faculty. The qualifying exam is a two-hour oral examination or the interdisciplinary format. Please consult with your advisor. 
Water Resources Engineering and Science Students may apply to become a doctoral candidate after having completed two semesters of study at Illinois. Students earning their M.S. degrees at Illinois in the environmental hydrology and hydraulic engineering area are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to apply to become a doctoral candidate within one year after earning their M.S. degree. Students earning their M.S. degrees from other institutions are required to apply to become a doctoral candidate within two years after the start of their study at Illinois. Approval of the faculty is based upon performance in courses and in a week-end long, take-home, written qualifying examination administered in January, followed by an oral qualifying examination.  The oral exam should occur within 3 weeks of the date of the written exam.

The director of graduate studies (DGS), in consultation with the student and advisor, appoints a committee of at least three faculty, that includes a minimum of two faculty from CEE. The student's advisor (from CEE) serves as the committee chair. The committee chair works with the committee to define the exam format at least 30 days prior to the exam. There are two primary formats, which are either (1) combination of a written and oral exam covering the area of specialization knowledge or (2) written set of questions in the area of specialization that the student must orally respond to the committee.

* The Interdisciplinary Qualification Procedure is primarily used by SRIS, EWES and SRHM.