Civil Engineering (DE)


The DE in Civil and Environmental Engineering requires that students complete the doctoral core courses, the core courses for one concentration, and additional courses as specified by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and 30 credit hours of dissertation research. The Doctoral program is divided into three parts: Coursework, Dissertation and Examination.

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    Admission Requirements

    Although only transcripts are required for admission to the program, items to be considered in admission to the DE program are: completion of a master’s thesis, a high GPA, successful completion of courses in advanced engineering math and design of experiments, recommendation letters, and good performance on graduate level placement exams.


    Degree Requirements (81 credit hours)


    Coursework consists of 51 post-baccalaureate course credit hours at the graduate level. Up to 30 credit hours can be transferred but at least 21 additional graduate credits must be accrued at Detroit Mercy. Coursework is divided into Doctoral Core, Concentration Core and Discipline Specific. There are two Doctoral Core courses (or equivalent): ENGR 5020 Design of Experiments (or EMGT 5470 Six Sigma II) and ENGR 5300 Advanced Engineering Mathematics. Discipline Specific courses are those related to Civil and Environmental Engineering. Students are expected to have a GRE Analytic Writing Section score of 3.5 out of 6, TOEFL Writing score of 4 out of 6, TOEFL iBT Writing score of 24 out of 30, or have their Master thesis evaluated for skill in writing. Student not meeting this requirement will be required to take up to three additional courses in writing such as English Second Language.


    Dissertation credits consist of research credits under the guidance of a Doctoral Dissertation committee headed by a faculty member who acts as the supervisor. Although Doctoral research is independent, novel and advances the state-of-the-art, the committee members can provide guidance, advice and technical expertise. A minimum of 30 dissertation credits is required for the Doctor of Engineering degree. Dissertation credits may only be taken after passing the Qualifying Examinations.

    Qualifying Examinations

    Examinations comprise three stages: Qualifying, Dissertation Topic and Final. The exam consists of two parts: Mathematics and Discipline Specific (in this case, Civil and Environmental Engineering topics relevant to the individual examinee). The Mathematics Qualifying Exam must be taken as soon as the student enters the program. Students passing the Qualifying Exams are allowed to advance in the Doctoral program. The Discipline Specific Exam should be taken as soon as the student has taken the first 30 credit hours of coursework. Students may not register for dissertation credits until they pass both Qualifying Exams. Students failing the Qualifying Exam are dismissed from the Doctoral program. The Dissertation Topic Examination consists of the formal presentation of the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee. The committee provides feedback to the student regarding scope, depth and relevancy of the topic. With approval of the committee, the student can proceed with the research and subsequent accrual of dissertation credits. The Final Examination consists of the formal and public presentation of the dissertation results. The written dissertation must also be approved and accepted by the supervisory committee. The Final Examination, in concert with submission of the approved version of the written dissertation, constitutes the last step in completion of the Doctor of Engineering degree.

    Information about the Mathematics Qualifying Exam can be found here. Masters and Doctoral Thesis guidelines can be found on the Engineering & Science website.

Program Contact Information

Dr. Utpal Dutta
Chair of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering
Telephone: 313-993-1040
Fax: 313-993-1187