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Graduate School


Civil Engineering

Interim Department Chair

Dr. Dinesh Katti

Department Location

201 Civil and Industrial Engineering Bldg.

Telephone Number

(701) 231-7244

Degrees Offered

Ph.D., M.S.

Application Deadline

Feb 15 for Fall admissions and Sept 15 for Spring admissions

English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 71


Program Description

The Department of Civil Engineering offers the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering and the M.S. degree in environmental engineering. Also, the College of Engineering and Architecture offers a program leading to a Ph.D. degree in engineering in which civil engineering is a possible area of specialization.  The M.S. in environmental engineering and the Ph.D. in engineering programs are described in their respective sections. The department also participates in several interdisciplinary programs such as Environmental and Conservation Sciences, Materials & Nanotechnology and Transportation and Logistics.

Specialty areas in the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering include construction, environmental, geotechnical, materials, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering. Other related areas are also accommodated. The academic and research foci are tailored to individual needs and interests. To complement the major area of study, additional courses are often selected from other disciplines. The programs are designed to advance the technical knowledge, competence, and interdisciplinary understanding of the students and to prepare them for entering or advancing within the civil engineering profession. 

Admission Requirements 

Application to the Civil Engineering program is open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing.  In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, the applicant must have adequate preparation in civil engineering. A master’s degree in civil engineering is preferred for applicants to the Ph.D. program. 

Financial Assistance

Research and/or teaching assistantships may be available. Applicants are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference (and TOEFL results for international applicants) must be submitted to the Graduate School.

For teaching assistantships,  TOEFL and additional  requirements for eligibility can be found on the Graduate School webpage. 

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree is offered in the thesis format. This format emphasizes research, and the ability to analyze and interpret data and to prepare a scholarly thesis. The student and adviser develop a program of study consisting of at least 30 credit hours of graduate level material to meet individual educational goals. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained. An oral defense of the research-based thesis is required.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires a total of 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree in civil engineering with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher (60 credits beyond an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering or a sub-area of Civil Engineering) for graduation. A dissertation advisory committee should be formed and a plan of study filed by the end of first year after admission. A minimum of 30 hours of additional course work chosen by the student and his/her advisory committee from appropriate existing Civil Engineering graduate courses, new courses, and courses outside the department must be completed.

An M.S. degree from another institution may substitute for up to 30 credits of the 90 credits required; however, suitability of transfer or use of courses and research credits in the plan of study would be decided by the adviser and advisory committee.

A comprehensive preliminary exam is administered after completion of the greater portion of the course work. The committee chair will coordinate the examination. The format and duration will be determined by the committee. The student will present a research proposal within one year after the preliminary examination. A minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 credit hours can be earned for research, preparation, and defense of a dissertation in Civil Engineering. A minimum of 12 credit hours in a minor or cognate area as deemed appropriate by the student and the advisory committee may be completed by the student. The student will defend his/her dissertation in a final examination attended by the advisory committee members and other academics.

Click here for course descriptions.


Magdy Abdelrahman, Ph.D. 
University of Illinois-Urbana, 1996 
Research Interests: Characterization of Modified Asphalt Binders and Mixes, Pavement, Maintenance and Rehabilitation Techniques, Performance-Related, Specifications for Pavement Materials, Quality Control and Quality, Assurance in Pavement Construction. 

Donald A. Andersen, Eng.D. 
Texas A & M University, 1982 
Research Interests: Transportation, Pavements, Traffic Engineering 

Achintya N. Bezbaruah, Ph.D. 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002 
Research Interests: Environmental sensors, Recalcitrant and micro pollutants, Contaminant fate and transport, Small community water and wastewater treatment, Environmental management  

Xuefeng (Michael) Chu, Ph. D.
University of California, Davis, 2002
Research Interests:  Watershed Hydrologic and Environmental Modeling, Overland Flow and Infiltration,  Integrated Modeling of Flow and Contaminant Transport 

S. Gajan, Ph.D. 
University of California, Davis, 2006 
Research Interests: Geotechnical Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Dynamic Soil - Structure Interaction  

Dinesh Katti, Ph.D. 
University of Arizona, 1991 
Research Interests: Geotechnical Engineering, Constitutive Modeling of Geologic Materials, Expansive Soils, Multiscale Modeling, Steered Molecular Dynamics, Computational Mechanics, Nanocomposite, and Bio-nanocomposites. Computational Biophysics 

Kalpana Katti, Ph.D. 
(Graduate Coordinator)
University of Washington, 1996 
Research Interests: Advanced Composites, Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Biomimetics, Materials Characterization and Modeling, Analytical Electron Microscopy, and Microspectroscopy, Bone Tissue engineering 

Eakalak Khan, Ph.D. 
University of California, Los Angeles, 1997 
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Quality, Water and Wastewater Treatment, and Storm Water and Non-point Source Pollution 

Wei Lin, Ph.D. 
SUNY at Buffalo, 1992 
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Hazardous Waste Management 

G. Padmanabhan, Ph.D. 
Purdue University, 1980 
Research Interests: Stochastic Hydrology, Water Resource Systems, and Hydrologic Modeling  

Gary R. Smith, Ph.D. 
Purdue University, 1986 
Research Interests: Quality Control and Systems Applications, Decision Analysis and Modeling Techniques, Safety Performance Measurement and Improvements in Labor Productivity  

Amiy Varma, Ph.D. 
Purdue University, 1993 
Research Interests: Transportation Systems and Planning, Traffic Engineering, Airports, and Infrastructure Management  

Mijia Yang, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Akron, 2006
China University of Mining and Technology, 1999
Research Interests: Advanced Materials, Structural Assessment, Solid Mechanics 

Frank Yazdani, Ph.D. 
University of New Mexico, 1987 
Research Interests: Structures, Constitutive Modeling of Materials, and Continuum Mechanics  


Denver D. Tolliver, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic University, 1989 
Research Interests: Transportation, Planning and Economics 

Robert Zimmerman, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 1991 
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste 


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM