FAQs for Prospective Graduate Students

General Application Questions

Can I apply directly to the Ph.D. program, or is a master’s degree required before doing so?

Prospective students may apply for admission directly into the Ph.D. program from their undergraduate studies. Many Ph.D. students complete a master’s degree during the course of the doctoral program, but it is not required. Students may also enroll as master’s student and later apply for admission into the Ph.D. program.

Can I submit a supporting document after the deadline?

No, all materials, including official test scores, must be received prior to the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Can students earn joint or dual master's degrees with other programs?

The only formal dual degree program in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is between the School of City and Regional Planning and CEE’s Transportation Systems Engineering group. Students must apply separately to each program and meet each program's degree requirements. A small, limited number of credits may be used toward both degrees. Students completing the dual degree program receive a Master’s degree from each program, and the degrees must be awarded simultaneously. Learn more.

Even though no other formal programs exist, students may pursue multiple graduate degrees with other Georgia Tech schools. Students must apply separately to the other school's program and must meet the program's degree requirements. Separate Master’s degrees are awarded from each school when the degree requirements are satisfied.

Can you evaluate my chances of admission before I apply?

No, a complete application package is necessary before the faculty can consider a student for admission and possible funding support.

If I do not have an engineering background, am I eligible to be considered for a master's or Ph.D. degree in engineering? Will I need to take any pre-requisites before being accepted?

Yes, you may apply for the master's or Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or its equivalent. CEE has no published prerequisites, but our faculty may suggest additional coursework as needed.

May I apply to more than one academic group within Civil and Environmental Engineering?

No. Applications will only be considered by the group listed on the application.

Where can I learn about the faculty’s research?

Visit our faculty profile pages to see a complete list of our professors and learn about their research interests and expertise. You can also visit the research section of our website to learn about the strategic focus on our research efforts and you can learn more about our academic groups.

Where will I find a job after graduating?

Our Ph.D. students go into academia, research and teaching positions, industry, consulting, government agencies, national labs or start their own businesses.

Throughout the year, CEE holds several career fairs such as the Fall CEE Career Expo in September and the ASCE/AEES Career Fair in February. CEE also has career events throughout the year such as Resume Blitz, info sessions with the GT Career Center, and mixer events with industry leaders.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Can I apply for admission for the spring term?

Although we accept applications for spring semester, we typically reserve spring admissions for Ph.D. students. Master's students are welcome to apply, but we encourage master's students to apply for fall semester admission.

What are the application deadlines?

The application deadlines are December 1 for the fall semester and August 1 for the spring semester. Application deadlines for the MSENVE program at our Shenzhen campus are May 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. All materials must be submitted prior to the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Does CEE make admissions decisions on a "rolling basis" as mentioned on the Georgia Tech Graduate Studies web page?

No. The CEE faculty prefers to view the entire pool of applications for a term before making admission decisions. We expect to report decisions, initially via email, by March 30 for the fall and summer semesters and by October 30 for the spring semester.

Degree Requirements

How long does it take to complete the degree?

A full-time student will usually complete a master’s degree in a year and a half. Ph.D. degrees generally take four to six years beyond the bachelor’s degree, with most of this time spent researching and writing the doctoral thesis. In both cases, the time to complete a degree is dictated by the pace of coursework and research completed by the individual student.

What are the course requirements for the master’s degree?

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for the Master’s degree (30 credit hours of coursework for the non-thesis option, and 24 credit hours, plus 6 thesis hours, if writing a master’s thesis). Students must complete 18 credit hours within their chosen academic group among Construction and Infrastructure Systems Engineering; Geosystems Engineering; Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials; Transportation Systems Engineering; and Water Resources Engineering. Each academic group within the School determines its own specific course options.

What are the course requirements for the Ph.D. degree?

The Ph.D. is primarily a research degree. The specific courses or program of study to be taken are established for each student by their faculty advisory committee. Doctoral students generally take approximately 50 credit hours of course work beyond the bachelor’s degree. All doctoral students must also complete a Minor Field of Study, consisting of at least 9 credit hours outside of CEE.


Can I have the application fee waived?

No, the application fee must be paid as part of the submission of your online application. Your application will not be transmitted to Georgia Tech until the application fee has been processed.

How do I apply for financial aid/assistantships?

There is not a separate application for graduate research and/or teaching assistantships. By answering "Yes" to either of the funding questions in the online application ("Do you request funding?" and/or "Do you require funding?"), the faculty will consider you for funding during the application evaluation. You should mention your research interests and experience in your Personal Statement.

What is the cost to attend?

Current tuition and fee information is found at the Georgia Tech Bursar’s Office web site. Ph.D. students are expected to register for summer semesters as well as fall and spring.

What funding is available in CEE?

Nearly all funding from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is in the form of a research or teaching assistantship (GRA or GTA). These require 20 hours per week of lab or class support and provide a monthly stipend along with a waiver of most tuition.

The average stipend amounts are as follows:

  • Master’s GRA: $2,300 per month
  • GTA: $2,300 per month
  • Ph.D. Pre-Candidacy GRA: $2,450 per month
  • Ph.D. Post-Candidacy GRA: $2,600 per month

To apply for an assistantship, simply indicate that you are interested in a GRA/GTA position on your application. Faculty will review your credentials for eligibility. About 50% of all CEE graduate students are funded as GRAs or GTAs.

At times, CEE may also award fellowships on top of GRA/GTA offers, depending on availability.

Additional information about Graduate Assistantships, fellowships, loans, and off-campus employment options is available on the Office of Graduate Studies site.

Who makes the admission and funding decisions?

The faculty in the specific academic group within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering to which you apply make the admission and funding decisions.

GRE and English Language Proficiency Tests

Do I need to take the GRE exam?

The GRE is no longer required.

If I have a degree from a university where English is the language of instruction, do I still have to take the TOEFL?

Yes. The only exceptions are detailed on Graduate Studies' website

What are Georgia Tech’s codes for the reporting of GRE and TOEFL scores?

Georgia Tech's Institute Code for the GRE is R5248, and CEE's department code is 1102. The GRE is no longer required.

Georgia Tech's Institute Code for TOEFL registration is 5248, and CEE's department code is 65.

If you are taking the IELTS, please search "Georgia Institute of Technology", then choose "Graduate" to have your scores sent to Georgia Tech.

What are the minimum test scores and undergraduate GPA for the graduate program?

The minimum test score for the GRE is 155 in the Quantitative Section. We do not have minimum requirements for the other sections, but they are required to be submitted. Please note that the the GRE is no longer required.

The internet-based TOEFL exam - 90, with a minimum section scores of 19 or higher on each skill area

IELTS exam- Overall score minimum of 7; with minimum section scores for reading 6.5, listening 6.5, writing 5.5, and speaking 6.5

There is no set minimum undergraduate GPA for graduate applicants.

Online Application Issues & Recommendations

Where do I go if I'm having problems with the online application?

If you are experiencing issues with the online application, please view the FAQs on the Graduate Studies website. If you cannot find your answer, please contact them through this page.

Is there a specific format for recommendations?

The online recommendation has specific questions that references are asked to answer, and there is space for recommenders to provide additional written comments.

Can I send in paper copies of my recommendation?

The online application will require email addresses of recommenders. Recommenders are advised to use the electronic form.

My recommender has not received the email prompt to complete the recommendation. What should I do?

Ask your recommender to please check their SPAM filters -- often emails go there and the recommender is unaware they have been received.

Go to Status Checking. Make sure the email address for the recommender is correct -- if not, use the edit button to correct. If it is correct, then send a reminder by using the edit button adjacent to the recommender's name. This will resend all the information that was sent immediately after you submitted your application. Contact your recommender and let them know you have just resent the request so they can watch their email (and SPAM) to make sure they receive it. 

When will my recommenders receive an email notification?

As you complete the online application, you will be asked to enter your recommender's name and contact information. Your recommender will then receive an email with login instructions for completing the online letter of recommendation form. To ensure receipt of this email, please inform each recommender about this email prior to the submission of your application.