2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Environmental Engineering PhD

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College: Engineering and Computer Science Degree: PhD
Department: Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Option: Dissertation
Program Websites: http://www.cece.ucf.edu/graduate/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Environmental Engineering PhD program focuses on pollution control, pollution prevention, and the correction of pollution effects on natural and man-made environments preparing students for careers in environmental engineering with consulting firms; with industry; within federal, state, and local governments; and/or in higher education.

The Environmental Engineering PhD program focuses on pollution control, pollution prevention, and the correction of pollution effects on natural and man-made environments. The program is known for its strong faculty research interests. Areas of study include drinking water treatment, astute treatment, solid and hazardous waste management, atmospheric pollution control and modeling, environmental water resources, and stormwater management. The program’s mission is to prepare students for careers in environmental engineering with consulting firms; with industry; within federal, state, and local governments; and/or in higher education.

The program offers an intensive, individually tailored research program suitable for the development of an academic or similar research-oriented career. Graduates of the program will have technical knowledge in critical areas of environmental engineering, critical thinking skills, formed and maintained partnerships with industry, government agencies, and professional organizations, and have developed an awareness of the changing environmental needs of society and the global environment.

This program has potential ties to professional licensure or certification in the field. For more information on how this program may prepare you in that regard, please visit https://apq.ucf.edu/files/Licensure-Disclosure-CECS-Environmental-Engineering-PhD-June2020.pdf.


The Environmental Engineering PhD program is research oriented and requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Thirty of the 72 credit hours can be met with either a nonthesis or thesis MS in Environmental Engineering. This leaves 42 credit hours of which 18 credit hours must be Dissertation and a minimum of 15 credit hours must be formal course work. A maximum of 9 credit hours of Doctoral Research can be used in the doctoral program, which could be replaced by additional formal coursework.  

For students not having an MS degree who directly enter the PhD program (BS to PhD), there will be a minimum of 45 credit hours formal coursework (i.e., 30 credit hours identical to the coursework for a nonthesis MS in Environmental Engineering plus a minimum of 15 credit hours course work past the MS).  However, unlike MS students, BS to PhD students will be required to take only 4 of the 5 required courses from the nonthesis MS in Environmental Engineering requirements. In addition, these students can enroll for Doctoral Research credit hours during or after their first semester in the program. The 27 credit hours required in addition to the 45 credit hours coursework will be 18 credit hours in Dissertation Research, and a maximum of 9 credit hours in Doctoral Research. Up to 9 credit hours of Doctoral Research can be replaced by additional formal coursework subject to the approval of the PhD adviser and the advisory committee. 

For both MS to PhD and BS to PhD students, the program of study must be developed with an advisory committee and meet with departmental approval at the beginning of the PhD program, at which time transfer credit will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Total Credit Hours Required: 72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree 42 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master’s Degree

Required Courses: 12 Credit Hours

All students completing the PhD program must take one course each from 4 of the 5 technical areas listed below for a total of 12 credit hours.

Waste Treatment/Water Treatment/Industrial Treatment

Water Resources

Elective Courses: 42 Credit Hours

  • To be approved by a faculty adviser and the graduate coordinator
  • At least 27 credit hours of formal course work is required, exclusive of research and independent study. For students entering the program with a completed master’s degree, at least 15 of the 27 credit hours (exclusive of independent study and research) must be taken at UCF after the master’s program, from approved formal courses. For students entering the program without a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering or a closely related discipline, at least 45 credit hours of formal course work are required.
  • Doctoral Research (XXX 7919) - 9 credit hours maximum (more than 9 research credit hours can be taken, but only a maximum of 9 credit hours will be counted toward the program of study).
  • Independent Study (XXX 6908) - 3 credit hours maximum
  • No more than a total of 12 credit hours of doctoral research plus independent study will be included in a program of study.
  • Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in a PhD program of Study.

Students can chose among the following courses with the consent of the academic adviser. Students that have no MS degree should complete the core courses for the MS degree in Environmental Engineering or Environmental Engineering Sciences. In addition, all elective courses will be 5000 or 6000 level courses.

In addition, elective courses can be chosen from any of the following disciplines:

Engineering: any 5000 or 6000 level course from any Engineering discipline. Typical electives come from Environmental Engineering (ENV courses), Water Resources Engineering (CWR courses), Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, and Industrial Engineering.

Non-Engineering: Statistics, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, General or Inorganic Chemistry, Biology, Math, and Physics.

Dissertation: 18 Credit Hours

  • ENV 7980  18 Credit Hours minimum


Students must pass three examinations. The first is the PhD qualifying examination. This examination must be taken within the first year of admission into the PhD program. It may be attempted no more than twice. In addition to the qualifying examination, students must pass the candidacy examination and the dissertation defense examination. The candidacy examination is normally taken near the end of the course work and consists of a written and oral presentation of a research proposal, and may include additional written or oral questioning by the committee. A copy of the written examination will be kept as part of the student’s official record. The dissertation defense examination is an oral examination taken as defense of the written dissertation.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation defense announcements be approved by the student’s adviser and posted on the college’s website and on the College of Graduate Studies Events Calendar at least two weeks before the defense date.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours. Evidence of meeting these requirements must be received by the College of Graduate Studies by the day before the first day of classes for the semester in which a student wishes to enroll in dissertation hours.

  • Completion of all but 6 hours, or less, of course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Equipment Fee

Full-time students in the Environmental Engineering PhD program pay $16 per semester for equipment used in the laboratories. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.

Independent Learning

The Independent Learning Requirement is met by successful completion of the student’s candidacy and dissertation defense examinations.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirement , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • A bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in Environmental Engineering or a closely related discipline.
  • Résumé.
  • Statement of educational, research, and professional career objectives.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Faculty members may choose to conduct face-to-face or telephone interviews before accepting an applicant into their research program.

Final articulation requirements will be determined by the department after students have been admitted and after discussions with their advisers.

Application Deadlines

Environmental Engineering PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1 Dec 1  
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1  
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Andrew Randall PhD PE
Telephone: 407-823-6429
Engineering II, 211-L

Graduate Admissions

Ashley Rivera Mercado
Telephone: 407-823-5692
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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