60 months
23100 USD/year
23100 USD/year
11310 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Department offers two doctor of philosophy (PhD) Programs: one in Civil Engineering and one in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. Each program requires students to develop a dissertation that communicates the results of original research at a high level of scholarship.


While all PhD programs in civil engineering are highly individualized, they all consist of these three basic elements:

  • a program of graduate coursework
  • qualifying examinations (written and oral)
  • defense and approval of a doctoral dissertation

More specifically, a PhD program must consist of a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. A maximum of 36 credit hours from the MS degree can be credited towards the PhD degree. 

At least 42 credit hours beyond the MS degree are normally required for the PhD degree, which will include from 12 to 24 credit hours for dissertation and at least 18 hours of coursework. 

However, no matter how many credit hours are allocated for the dissertation on a student's transcript, the quality of a dissertation is the crucial consideration. The dissertation must represent a significant contribution to the field of study.

The program of coursework is formulated by the student and his/her advisor in the first or second semester after admission to the Civil Engineering degree from the University at Buffalo SUNY - School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 

Core course requirements, as specified below, must be satisfied either through courses taken within the doctoral program or previously as part of an MS program. Individual program areas may require a minor concentration or specific grouping of courses.

Please note that proposed PhD programs in pure science or mathematics devoid of applied elements are not generally acceptable within CSEE, nor are programs in technology that are deficient in scientific or mathematical background.

Programme Structure

  • CSEE maintains a basic core requirement for civil engineering MS and PhD degree candidates consisting of one of two courses in mathematics and one of two courses in mechanics, either fluids or solids.
  • The courses comprising the core are selected to ensure that advanced degree recipients from the department have knowledge in the basic mechanics and mathematics that are the "fundamental language" of civil engineering.
  • The only exception to this rule is when a student can demonstrate that he/she has already taken an equivalent course before coming to UB. In this case the student should take an alternative course, as specified by the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • While high performance in all graduate work is important, excellent grades in core courses are particularly significant in the faculty's assessment of a student's potential to pursue a PhD.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 60 months

Start dates & application deadlines


72 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

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Other requirements

General requirements

  • Application
    • Transcripts
    • GRE & TOEFL Scores
    • Statement of Purpose Essay
    • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
    • Online Recommendation Letters
    • Application Fee

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    23100 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 11550 USD per semester during 60 months.
  • National

    23100 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 11550 USD per semester during 60 months.
  • In-State

    11310 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 5655 USD per semester during 60 months.

Living costs for Buffalo

920 - 1560 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


In support of the University at Buffalo’s PhD Excellence Initiative, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers competitive, elite fellowship packages designed to attract the best and brightest scholars in the world.

The Presidential Fellowship offers outstanding prospective graduate students an elite fellowship package to the top 10% incoming enrolled doctoral students each academic year. Our competitive packages pay a stipend of up to $43,000 USD per year for up to 4 years and includes summer support. This award also includes a full tuition waiver of $11,310 USD for New York State Residents and $23,100 USD for Non-Residents bringing the total package of support to $54,310-$66,100 dollars per year. 

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Civil Engineering
University at Buffalo SUNY - School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


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