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Degree Options:

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (Ph.D. Co-op Optional)

Civil Engineering

The Ph.D. degree is a thesis-based program where students are required to complete courses in addition to writing and defending a thesis.

Current Student Inquiries:

+1 905.525.9140 x 24287
Future Student Information


The PhD degree requires minimal specialized courses with intensive research, leading to original scholarly work with a distinct contribution to fundamental knowledge and technological innovation in broad areas of civil engineering. Equivalent of 4 half courses beyond the Master's degree and successful defence of a thesis is required. Candidates are required to pass a Comprehensive Examination. Under some circumstances, arrangements can be made with the Department for part-time Ph.D. study.

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How to Apply

Admission Requirements:

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a Ph.D degree is normally an average of A- over the course of an applicant's master's program. Applicants are also required to have a minimum average of a B during the last two years of their undergraduate studies. Please note that this is a highly competitive program and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

All applicants are notified of the results of their application in the online application system.


January 2023 Admission:

  • Applications open April 3rd 2022
  • Canadian/Permanent Residents:
    • Application Deadline: October 25th
  • International Students: 
    • Application Deadline: August 2nd

September 2023 Admission:

  • Applications open Sept 6th 2022
  • Canadian/Permanent Residents:
    • Application Deadline: June 15th 2023
  • International Students: 
    • Application Deadline: March 15th 2023

How to Apply:

Applicants are required to upload the following documents in the application system when applying to the Department of Civil Engineering, if a document is missing the application will not be considered. We do not accept hard copies of documentation, only PDF copies will be accepted. 

  • Copies of all official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (PDF)
  • 1-Page Statement of Interest
  • Proof of English-Langugage Proficiency, TOEFL or IELTS accepted (Exempted if applicant attended University in Canada, USA, UK, or Australia)
  • 2 Academic References

Applicants are required to provide the names and contact information of two academic references. These references are to come from instructors most familiar with your academic work. Referees will be contacted via our electronic referencing system, references uploaded by the applicant will not be accepted. If a referee is unable to use the electronic referencing system they may email the reference form to

Ready to apply?

English-Language Minimum Requirements

International English Language Test Scores (IELTS) Academic Test Only

  • Minimum 6.5 overall score
  • Minimum 5.5 score for each section

TOEFL Scores

  • Minimum 567 - written test
  • Minimum 227 - computer-based test
  • Minimum 88 - internet-based test

*Please note that official transcripts are not required unless an applicant is granted an offer of admission*

Admissions Questions? Click Here 


  • Bioelectrochemical systems
  • Bridge Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics and Finite Element Analysis
  • Construction Data Sensing and Fusion
  • Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
  • Effective Design of Structures
  • Geomechanics
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Intelligent Construction Systems
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Material Durability and Service Life Modeling
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Wastewater Treatment Engineering
  • Water Resources/Environmental Information Systems

Program Structure

Research programme requiring the completion of the equivalent of 4 half courses beyond the Master's degree and successful defence of a thesis. Candidates are also required to pass a Comprehensive Examination. Under some circumstances, arrangements can be made with the Department for part-time Ph.D. study.

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there a deadline to apply to your program?
Yes, please review the "How to Apply" section.
Do I need to send you official transcripts?
No, we do not require any official transcripts unless an applicant is granted an offer of admission. Only PDF copies are required for application review.

Do I need a supervisor?
Yes. The M.Eng, M.A.Sc and Ph.D programs all require students to have a supervisor.

Do I need to find a supervisor myself?
No, applicants are not required to find a supervisor themselves. If an applicant makes it to the final round of the admission competition then all faculty members will review their application. If a faculty member is interested then an offer of admission will be granted.

How much is tuition?
This information can be found here:

Will I receive a scholarship?
Full-time M.A.Sc and Ph.D students receive funding from the department in the form of scholarships.

Do I need to submit GRE results?
No, we do not require or accept GRE results.

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Thank you for your interest in McMaster University Faculty of Engineering. Please fill out the form below, and we will connect with you to answer all of your questions. 

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