FAQs for Prospective Graduate Students

General Application Questions | Application Requirements and Deadlines | Degree Requirements | Funding | GRE & TOEFL Tests | Problems with Online Application | Recommendations

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 enter as master’s students and later apply for admission into the Ph.D. program.

Can I submit a supporting document after the deadline?

No, all materials must be submitted 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.

Do I have to complete the online application in one sitting (one login session)?

No, you can save your entries and return to complete the application at a later time.

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 should I mail supporting materials for my application?

Please use the this address:
Graduate Admissions
Georgia Institute of Technology
631 Cherry Street, Room 318
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0321

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 15 for the fall and summer semesters and August 31 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 Admissions 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 types of funding are available?

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.

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?

Yes, all applicants are required to submit GRE scores, except Georgia Tech undergraduate CEE students applying to the BS/MS program.

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 GRE registration is R5248, and CEE's department code is 1102.
Georgia Tech's Institute Code for TOEFL registration is 5248, and CEE's department code is 65.

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

New GRE scoring - Quantitative - 155
Old GRE scoring - Quantitative - 700
The internet-based TOEFL exam - 90, with a minimum section scores of 19 or higher on each skill eare
IELTS exam- Overall score minimum of 7; with minimum section scores for reading 6.5, listening 6.5, and writing 5.5
There is no set minimum undergraduate GPA for graduate applicants.

Problems with Online Application

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

CollegeNet is the vendor that hosts the online application process. If you have technical difficulties while completing your application or submitting letters of recommendation, you should send an e-mail to help@collegenet.com and include your User ID in the e-mail. The technicians at CollegeNet should be able to look at your application or letters of recommendation and help clear the problem.

If you are unclear on how to answer a particular question, you should contact the Georgia Tech Graduate Studies office by e-mail or phone at 404.894.1610.


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?

If you or your recommender have technical difficulty with the online letter of recommendation system, contact CollegeNet directly at help@collegenet.com or you may call CollegeNet at 503.973.5213. In the correspondence, include your User ID and the name of the applicant and recommender.

When does CollegeNet send the email prompt to recommenders?

The email prompt is not sent until the fee is paid and the applicant hits the submit button. Do not wait until the deadline, as your recommender will not have time to respond for a complete application.

My recommender contacted CollegeNet, but cannot access the online recommendation system. What should I do?

Contact the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at gradinfo@ce.gatech.edu to request a copy of the School's paper recommendation form. This form is not required, as only a letter is sufficient, but both the form and a letter are preferred.