Direct-Admit Ph.D.

In addition to the traditional Ph.D. program, the CEE Department offers a Direct Ph.D. program in both Civil and Environmental Engineering, which allows highly qualified applicants, generally with a B.S. degree GPA of 3.5 equivalent or better, to be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program without an M.S. degree. Current M.S. students can petition to be in the Direct-Admit Ph.D. program after one semester of graduate studies at Illinois and support by a CEE faculty advisor.

The Direct-Admit Ph.D. program has the same cumulative credit hour requirements as the M.S.+ Ph.D. program. Students in the Direct-Admit Ph.D. program are not required to obtain an M.S. degree but may choose to apply for an M.S. degree in CE or EE during their Ph.D. studies. The Direct-Admit Ph.D. Program requires approximately five years past the Bachelor’s Degree.

Credit Hour Requirements for Direct-Admit Ph.D. in CE and EE:




CEE 599

Thesis Research (min-max applied toward degree)

32 (min.)


Elective courses (subject to other requirements and conditions below)

56 to 64


Total Hours



Other Requirements:

  • Other Requirements and Conditions may overlap
  • A maximum of 8 hours of CEE 597 (or other independent study) may be applied toward the elective coursework requirement; approval required.
  • There is no department-wide foreign language requirement. However, the faculties of some areas of specialization may require foreign language proficiency if essential to the conduct of research in that area.
  • 24 credit hours must be in major field. 24 credit hours of elective coursework must be at the 500-level, with at least 12 hours in major field.
  • 64 graduate hours must be completed in residence
  • Ph.D. exam and dissertation requirements:
    • Qualifying exam
    • Preliminary exam
    • Final exam or dissertation defense
    • Dissertation deposit