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Degree Requirements

Current Degree Requirements

Core Courses

  • Environmental Engineering
  • a) Core Courses (8 units): Students must choose either a “Water track” or an “Air track”
    - Students pursuing the Water track must complete ECI 243A (4 units) and ECI 243B (4 units) - Water and Waste Treatment 
    - Students pursuing the Air track must complete ECI 242 Air Quality (4 units) and ECI 247 Aerosols (4 units)

    b) Elective Courses: In addition to the above required core courses for the Water or Air track, students in the Environmental Engineering track are encouraged to complete as an elective two quarters of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Seminar: ECI 296 (1 unit each quarter; 2 units), although these units will not count towards the required 36 units total.
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • a) Core Courses (12-13 units); Students pursuing the Geotechnical Engineering track must complete the following core course:
    - ECI 281A – Advanced Soil Mechanics (4 units)

    and an additional two core courses from the following list:
    - ECI 259 - Asphalt and Asphalt Mixes (4 units)
    - ECI 280A - Nonlinear Finite Elements for Elastic-Plastic Problems (4 units)
    - ECI 280B - Nonlinear Dynamic Finite Elements (5 units)
    - ECI 281B - Advanced Soil Mechanics (4 units)
    ECI 282 - Pavement Design and Rehabilitation (4 units)
    - ECI 283 - Physico-Chemical Aspects of Soil Behavior (4 units)
    - ECI 284 - Theoretical Geomechanics (4 units)
    - ECI 286 - Advanced Foundation Design (4 units)
    - ECI 287 -Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (4 units)
    - ECI 288 - Earth and Rockfill Dams (4 units)

    Elective Courses: Students interested in geotechnical engineering practice are encouraged to take
    - ECI 281B - Advanced Soil Mechanics (4 units)
  • Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics
  • a) Core Courses (12-16 units): Students pursuing the Structural Engineering or Structural Mechanics track are encouraged to complete all four, but must complete a minimum of three of the following core courses:
    - ECI 201 - Introduction to Theory of Elasticity (4 units)
    - ECI 211A - Advanced Matrix Structural Analysis (4 units) (formerly ECI 211)
    - ECI 212A - The Finite Element Method in Structural Mechanics (4 units)
    - ECI 213 - Analysis of Structures Subjected to Dynamic Loads (4 units)
  • Transportation Engineering
  • a) Core Courses (17-18 units): Students pursing the Transportation Engineering track must complete the following core courses:
    - ECI 251 – Transportation Demand Analysis (4 units)
    - ECI 256 – Urban Traffic Management and Control (4 units)
    An economics course such as ECN 100, ECN 145, ECI 268, ARE 275, ARE/ESP 175, ARE 176, or a course similar in spirit as approved by the Transportation Engineering Area Advisor (econometrics courses are normally not considered similar in spirit: they are statistics-oriented, and can have relatively little economics content per se). (3-4 units)
    - TTP 281 – ITS weekly seminar series: must be taken each quarter for at least the first two years (or until graduation). Can be waived due to a conflict with another course, after confirmation with the Transportation Engineering Area Advisor. Note: this course does not
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • a) Core Courses (8 units): Students pursuing the Water Resources Engineering track must complete two core courses from the following list:
    - ECI 240 - Water Quality (4 units)
    - ECI 260 – Sediment Transport (4 units)
    - ECI 264A – Transport, Mixing and Water Quality in River and Lakes (4 units)
    - ECI 272A - Advanced Hydrogeology (4 units) *last offered 2014-15
    - ECI 272N – Transport through Porous Media (4 units) (currently offered at ECI 289I)
    - ECI 273 - Water Resource Systems (4 units)

    - ECI 276 - Watershed Hydrology (4 units)
    - ECI 277A - Computational River Mechanics (4 units)
    - ECI 278 – Hydrodynamics (3 units)
    ECI 279 - Advanced Mechanics of Fluids (4 units)
    - ECI 274 – Introduction to Turbulence (4 units) (previously offered as ECI 289I)
  • Required Background Courses for Students Without an Engineering Degree
  • Students without a BS in Engineering who are admitted to the CEE graduate program are required to complete the following courses or equivalents. The engineering nature of prior degrees or individual courses may be certified by the Graduate Advisor, with appeal to the Graduate Program Committee based on the course content of prior degrees.  Students should complete the "Prerequisite Completion" form. 
    This requirement is a total of 6 to 7 Upper Division Undergraduate courses. 

    Select four courses from the following six categories:
    - ECI 100 or ENG 103 Fluid Mechanics 4 units
    - ENG 104 Mechanics of Materials 4 units
    - ECI 140B or ENG 105* Thermodynamics 4 units (* or Chem 110C or Chem 107A or Chem 107B)
    - ECI 141 Engineering Hydraulics 3 units
    - ECI 115 Computer Methods 4 units
    - ECI 114 Probabilistic Systems Analysis 4 units

    Including at least two of the following three classes:
    - ECI 100 or ENG 103
    - ENG 104
    - ECI 140B or ENG 105

    In addition to the above courses, students must complete upper division engineering course units (typically 2-3 courses) approved by the students Major Professor or Graduate Adviser. 

Special Requirements

  • Public Speaking and Technical Presentation
  • Students are required to acquire or demonstrate proficiency in public speaking and technical presentation. Students satisfy this requirement by completing an approved ECI course (below), by participating and presenting in an appropriate seminar series (e.g. ECI 296), or by giving an oral presentation at a conference and receiving feedback, or an equivalent speaking experience approved by the Major Professor and Graduate Advisor. 

    Approved Course List:
    - ECI 211A
    - ECI 233
    - ECI 239

    - ECI 243A
    - ECI 243 L
    - ECI 256
    - ECI 262 (formerly ECI 289I)
    - ECI 274 (formerly ECI 289I)

    - ECI 290 (last offered Spring 2019)
    - ECI 291 (MS II Capstone Course, formerly ECI 289C)
    - ECI 292C (MS II Capstone Course Series, formerly ECI 289D)
  • ECI 390 (Teaching Assistant Training)
  • ECI 390 is required for Teaching Assistants in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the same quarter as the student is serving as a TA, but does not count toward degree requirements.
  • First Year English Course Requirement
  • All graduate students must take an English language course during their first academic year, unless:
    - The student has an undergraduate or graduate degree from an approved English-medium institution, as confirmed with the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies; or
    - The student has a TOEFL (iBT) score of 105 or higher or IELTS score of 7.5 or higher; or
    - The student scored 24 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT) writing and 23 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT) speaking. 

    More information about the requirement, and approved English language courses can be found on the International & Academic English website

  • Other
  • Students are responsible for meeting all Graduate Program, Departmental, College, and Graduate Studies requirements set forth in the Guidance Manual, the Degree Requirements, the General Catalog and Class Schedule. 

PhD Qualifying Examination

  • General Information
  • The purpose of the qualifying examination is to determine if the student has the ability and academic preparation necessary to successfully conduct independent research and complete a doctoral dissertation.  The format of the QE is specific to a students' area of specialization (see more in the Guidance Manual and/or Degree Requirements)

    Students must complete the course requirements and have an approved final Program of Study before taking their Qualifying Examination.

    There is a lot of great information on the Graduate Studies Qualifying Exam website! 
  • Committee Membership
  • The CEE QE Committee must consist of at least four individuals, with an optional fifth member. The committee sall be constituted subject to the following constraints:
    - The Chair of the Dissertation Committee (the Major Professor) cannot be the Chair of the Qualifying Examination Committee
    - At least three members of the QE committee must be members of the CEE Graduate Program (including Graduate Group members)
    - At least one person on each QE committee shall not be a member of the CEE Graduate Program
    Please see the Guidance Manual and/or degree requirements for more information about eligibility to serve on the QE committee, or check in with Graduate Program Coordinator
    *Note: Individuals who hold EWOS status are not members of the CEE Graduate program; if their regular appointment is in CEE, they also do not qualify as external to the CEE Graduate program, and can only serve as the optional fifth committee member. 
  • Timeline
  • The QE should normally be taken by the 6th quarter for students who enter with a relevant MS, and no later than the end of the 9th quarter after admission. 
    10-12 weeks prior - Discuss your exam with your Major Professor, and invite committee members.  Verify that your approved final Program of Study is complete with the Graduate Program Coordinator. 
    6-8 weeks prior - Set the date of the exam and reserve the room
    5-6 weeks prior -  Submit the signed QE application (and/or the external member form and/or remote participant form as needed) to the Graduate Program Coordinator (The Graduate Program Coordinator will submit the QE Application to Graduate Studies for approval.  The QE cannot proceed until Graduate Studies has approved the committee)
    *QE Applications MUST be submitted to Graduate Studies at least 30 days in advance or they will be denied.  Please try to submit 35-40 days in advance to secure departmental approval and signatures. 
    2-4 weeks prior - meet with committee members and share any requested documentation (dissertation prospectus, slides, etc - discuss requirements with committee)
  • Required Paperwork
  • All students must submit the Qualifying Examination Application (GS319).
    Students should plan to submit the Qualifying Examination Application AT LEAST 30 days prior to their QE date (35-40 days is recommended).  Late applications will be denied. 

    If you have a member of your QE who is external to the UC faculty, you should check in with the Graduate Program Coordinator, and submit the External Committee Membership Application (GS311) form, along with the persons CV. 

    If you plan to have one member of your QE participate remotely, you will need to submit the Committee Member Remote Participation Request (GS342) form. 

    Current guidance on remote/in person exams can be found on the Graduate Studies website.
  • Reserving a Room
  • It is the students responsibility to reserve a room for in-person QEs (or create a meeting link for remote QEs). 

    Space in Ghausi/Academic Surge: Please email and include your date and time to see if they can assist in finding space for your QE.  I highly recommending reserving the space for 30 minutes before and after your QE so you don't feel rushed (as possible). 

    You can also reserve space in Walker Hall (1212, 1004, 1003, 1136).  Visit the Grad Studies Facility Reservations website to learn more about the Walker Hall Rooms, and also find the link to reserve rooms online
  • Resources for preparing for your QE
  • Graduate Studies Qualifying Exam website
    Graduate Council Policy - Doctoral Qualifying Examinations GC2005-02 (rev. 06)
    Acing your Qualifying Exam
    Additional Hints to Help You Succeed on Your QE
    QE Regulations (Graduate Studies document)
    Graduate Studies Remote Participation in Graduate Examinations
  • QE Info Session from 6/2/21
  • - PowerPoint Slides 
    - Recorded Presentation

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Please read the full Guidance Manual for Graduate Students and their Advisors for complete policy and requirements. Please see this website for program requirements as approved by the Graduate Council on November 15, 2019:
Other Program Documentation
Previous Requirements