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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement Summary

All work toward the Ph.D. degree must be completed within 10 years, which includes the time spent completing a master’s program. In addition to the CEE department requirements below, Ph.D. candidates must meet the UW Graduate School Doctoral Degree requirementsNote: Transportation students must also meet the Transportation Specialty Ph.D. Requirements.

  • 90 total credits are required for the Ph.D. degree.
  • A minimum of 60 credits must be taken at the University of Washington.
  • Prior to scheduling the General Exam, the following requirements must be met:
    • Minimum 60 credits approved by the student’s faculty adviser. Credits may be counted from the quarter the General Exam is taken. An appropriate master's degree from an accredited institution may be used to satisfy 30 of the 60 credit requirement (an official transcript will be required by the Graduate School). More than 30 coursework credits may be applied if the master’s degree is from the CEE department.
    • Minimum 18 numerically graded credits of approved 400-500 level coursework. Coursework credits from a master’s degree from the CEE department may fulfill this requirement.
    • Minimum 18 credits of 500 level coursework (not counting seminars). Coursework credits from a master’s degree from the CEE department may fulfill this requirement. This requirement may overlap with #2.
  • Prior to scheduling the Final Exam, a minimum of 54 coursework credits (400 level or above) are required. This may include coursework credits counted from the master’s degree, maximum 3 CEE seminar credits, and a maximum of 3 CEE 600 – Independent Study credits.
  • Students should have taken classes that provide advanced breadth of knowledge beyond their primary research area, to be approved by the general exam committee.
  • Students without a master’s degree from the UW CEE department must meet the seminar credit requirements for the master’s degree in their specialty area.
  • Minimum 27 dissertation credits (CEE 800) over a period of at least three quarters. Students are limited to a maximum of 10 dissertation credits (CEE 800) per quarter.
  • Students should maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Minimum 2.7 grade for a course to count.
  • Completion of all work for the doctoral degree within ten years, including quarters spent On-Leave or out of status as well as applicable work from the master's degree, if counted toward the Ph.D.
  • Students must also adhere to Graduate School policies.