Civil & Environmental Engineering

Two wind farm engineers working around the base of a wind turbine , they are wearing orange hi vis jackets and blue hard hats . one is male , one is female. In the background wind turbines can be seen across the landscape. In the foreground a female engineer uses a builder's level whilst her colleague accesses the entrance to the turbine.
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Looking to develop innovations for a cleaner environment, more reliable infrastructure, and a safer, more sustainable world? Master the skills you need with a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Case Western Reserve, one of the top research universities in the U.S. 

Civil and environmental engineers are in demand and work on a wide variety of projects—including transportation systems, schools and office buildings, bridges, dams, and industrial plants. You’ll come away from our program prepared to pursue a career in academia, industry, government, construction and private-consulting organizations. 

What to Expect

You can complete your PhD in about three to five years. You’ll work alongside our faculty, who are experts in the fields of engineering mechanics, environmental engineering, infrastructure performance and reliability, geotechnical engineering and structural engineering.

With tremendous opportunities to conduct interdisciplinary research, it’s no wonder half of our graduates become faculty members at top universities—such as Washington University in St. Louis, New York University, Arizona State University, Wenzhou University and others. And many of our graduates go on to work for government laboratories (such as NASA) and private engineering consulting firms.

The Department of Civil Engineering has the greatest mentors, professors and students, as well as the most interesting research topics. The Case Western Reserve experience paved my way toward a career full of excitement.

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Beyond the Classroom

Our department features two new research labs focused on structural engineering and geotechnical engineering, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in these fields. We’re also building a new concrete research laboratory and renovating the environmental engineering research laboratory to ensure you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty. 

Much of the research we conduct involves cross-disciplinary collaborations and interactions with industry partners—giving you ample real-world experience to prepare you for your career, whether you choose a path in academia, the corporate world or the public sector. Our highly collaborative culture extends to campus life as well—our graduate students have an active student council that organizes academic and social events, and there are several engineering student groups where you can meet like-minded peers. 

By the Numbers


university in Ohio, U.S. News & World Report


research, training and grant revenue to the engineering school in fiscal year 2020


years to complete the program


engineering alumni living and working in more than 70 countries


percent of our PhD graduates become professors

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a statement of purpose
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Test scores for GRE
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL or IELTS

Contact Us

Headshot of Nathaniel Vishner
Nathaniel Vishner
EMAE & ECIV Student Affairs Specialist
Case School of Engineering

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