Feb 28, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Civil Engineering, Ph.D

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Candidates will be required to complete satisfactorily the equivalent of at least two full courses in addition to the course requirement for an M.A.Sc. Degree, of which at least one must be from within the Department of Civil Engineering at McMaster University. Additional course work may be presented if deemed necessary by the candidate’s research supervisor. In addition to the above course requirements, all full-time Ph. D. candidates must attend and participate in the Department of Civil Engineering Graduate Student Seminar Day each year, for the first 12 terms (48 months) of study.

Candidate Evaluation

The Ph.D. candidate will be evaluated by the Ph.D. Supervisory Committee after two academic terms in the Ph.D. program. This will be based on an evaluation of the candidate’s ability to think, intellectual background, and general caliber as a doctoral student. The candidate must also pass a Comprehensive Examination which is normally taken in the second year of the doctoral program. The purpose of this examination is to test the candidate’s acquisition of knowledge and maturity of approach to problems in the major field of study, as well as in appropriately chosen cognate subject areas. The detailed regulations governing these examinations may be obtained from the Department.

Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination will be in two parts. Part A is to test the candidate’s knowledge, both breadth and depth, of undergraduate material in the major field of student, with graduate level understanding and the ability to think independently. This portion is to be completed within 8 - 10 months, but not exceeding 12 months, of admission to the doctoral program. Part B is to test the candidate’s competence and ability to conduct research in a chosen specialty. This part must be completed within 12-18 months of admission to the doctoral program, subject to passing Part A. Both parts of this examination include a written and oral portion. For further details, please see the Department of Civil Engineering Graduate Student Handbook.

Additional Information

Part-time doctoral studies are permissible. Graduate students will also be required to present seminars related to their research topics.

Industrial Ph.D. Option

The general Regulations for the degree Doctor of Philosophy appear earlier in the Calendar. This program option offers the candidate the potential to conduct all or a portion of their research at their company or research institute of employment. To be enrolled under the option, the candidate must be a full-time student in the degree program, have previously completed a Masters of Applied Science or its equivalence, and be employed by a company or research institute outside of McMaster continuously till degree completion. A candidate is required to complete the normal course requirements of their enrolled department as well as any milestones, but is exempt from seminar requirements. As a doctoral candidate they must take the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination that is designed to test the breadth of knowledge and the ability to synthesize and integrate ideas from within and peripheral to the candidate’s research area. The Comprehensive Examination will normally take place between 6 and 18 months after the candidate initially registers in the Ph.D. program. A supervisory committee monitors the progress of a Ph.D. candidate and determines when the candidate is ready to write the thesis. The student is required to defend the thesis at a Final Oral Examination.

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