Infrastructure Materials Engineering Graduate Program

Doctor of Philosophy Degree - Infrastructure Materials Engineering

The Ph.D. program with an emphasis in Infrastructure Materials Engineering is highly flexible to accommodate a wide range of student educational objectives and research interests. Overall, however, the Ph.D. program demands very high standards of scholarship from students. Students are expected to develop both great depth and breadth in their knowledge and to conduct research that is a significant and original contribution at the frontiers of knowledge. The program is intended to prepare students for careers in teaching and research in academia or careers in research and advanced engineering applications in industry.

Ph.D. students in IME must follow all rules and requirements of the Graduate School and the Civil Engineering graduate program. The Ph.D. degree in Materials requires the completion of significant coursework beyond the M.S., conducting independent research leading to the preparation of a dissertation, and completion of major examinations and other milestones, as described in the Civil Engineering PhD guidelines.


There is no specific minimum number of courses required for the Ph.D. degree. Nonetheless, Ph.D. students are expected to take a significant number of courses to develop breadth and depth in their knowledge and to prepare them to conduct independent research. Courses should be selected by the student in consultation with their Research Supervisor and their Dissertation Committee. As a guideline, Ph.D. students in IME typically take 6 to 8 courses beyond the M.S. To guide course selection, the student should consult the list of example courses in the IME graduate major (see below).


The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree, and conducting high quality original research represents the most fundamental requirement of the degree. Research for the Ph.D. is expected to be significant in scope and to be an original contribution at the frontiers of knowledge in the field. Further, while research is conducted under the guidance of the Research Supervisor and the Dissertation Committee, Ph.D. students are expected to work independently in the conduct of their research.

To develop a suitable topic and scope for their research, Ph.D. students are encouraged to discuss their ideas and interests with the faculty in IME. Ph.D. students are also encouraged to identify a faculty member to serve as their Research Supervisor and to identify a topic for their Ph.D. research as early as possible.

While the student will work closely with their Research Supervisor, the student will also form a Dissertation Committee to help guide and review the research. The Dissertation Committee normally consists of a minimum of five faculty members, with at least one member outside of the CE graduate studies committee.

Research for the Ph.D. culminates in the preparation of a Dissertation. The Dissertation must be approved by the Dissertation Committee.

Master of Science Degree - Infrastructure Materials Engineering

The M.S. degree program with an emphasis in Infrastructure Materials Engineering is intended to provide students with a strong background in infrastructure materials for careers in the design of new sustainable materials and efficient use of conventional materials for infrastructure applications, forensics and repair. The program permits considerable flexibility in the selection of courses and participation in research experiences, thereby allowing students to tailor the M.S. program according to their background and educational objectives.

The student is responsible for developing a suitable program of coursework and research in consultation with a faculty advisor in IME. Graduate students in IME must follow all rules and requirements of the Graduate School and the Civil Engineering M.S. degree program.


Entering M.S. students in IME are expected to have already completed at least one lower division undergraduate course in engineering materials. If this is not the case, the student is expected to correct the deficiency as soon as possible in their M.S. program by taking CE 324P Properties and Behavior of Engineering Materials. This course cannot be counted towards fulfillment of coursework requirements for the M.S. degree.

Degree Options

The M.S. degree includes both coursework requirements and opportunities for research. To provide flexibility in balancing the emphasis between coursework and research in their M.S. program, students can choose from one of the following M.S. degree options: Thesis Option, Graduate School Report Option, Departmental Report Option, or Coursework Only Option. The requirements for these options are described in the Civil Engineering M.S. degree program.

The four degree options allow students to vary the balance between coursework and research in their M.S. program. The Thesis Option has the largest emphasis on research among the three options. The Coursework Only Option has the largest emphasis on coursework among the three options. The Graduate School Report and Departmental Report Options can be considered to lie between the Thesis and Coursework Only Options in terms of emphasis on research.

Students are not required to choose among the four degree options at the time of initial enrollment in the M.S. program. Students should discuss the degree options with a faculty advisor and are encouraged to choose one of the four degree options sometime during their first semester or early in the second semester in the program.

Students that are funded as Research Assistants are expected to complete the Thesis Option. However, the Thesis Option is open to all M.S. students in Infrastructure Materials Engineering, whether or not they are funded on a research project. Students interested in completing a thesis, but are not funded as Research Assistants, are encouraged to discuss potential thesis topics with the faculty in IME.

Course Selection

Students enrolled in any option take most of their courses in the IME major area, but must take at least six hours but no more the twelve hours of coursework outside of the major area, in supporting areas of study (i.e. in a minor area). The intent of this requirement is to assure that coursework programs provide both depth and breadth. Students should consult with their faculty advisor for approval of courses in both the major and minor/supporting areas. A list of commonly chosen courses in the major area is included below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and simply provides examples. More information and complete syllabi from recent offerings of the courses are available:

Examples of courses commonly chosen in the IME major area

  • CE 391Q Bituminous Materials
  • CE 393 Advanced Concrete Materials
  • CE 393C Experimental Methods in Cement Chemistry
  • CE 393N Novel Structural Materials
  • CE 397 Advanced Characterization of Bituminous Materials
  • CE 397 Characterization of Viscoelastic Materials
  • CE 397 Concrete Durability
  • CE 397 Evaluation, Materials, and Techniques for Concrete Repair
  • CE 397 Flow and Viscoelasticity in Cement-Based Materials
  • CE 397 Structural Fire Engineering
  • CE 397 Structural Health Monitoring
  • CE 397 Sustainable Materials
  • CE 397 Sustainable Pavement Engineering
  • CE 397F Forensic Engineering: Materials and Structures
  • CE 383P Prestressed Concrete
  • CE 391P Pavement Design
  • ARE 345K Masonry Engineering
  • ARE 362L Structural Design in Wood
  • ME 349 Corrosion Engineering
  • ME 378P Properties and Applications of Polymers
  • GEO 391N Analytical Techniques and Applications in Geology
  • ARC 385T Materials Conservation: Field Methods (or Laboratory Methods)