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PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > Outcomes Assessment > Unit Summaries > Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
Graduate Outcome Assessment

The CEAE department relies on faculty committees to assess each graduate student.

Candidates for the MS degree are examined by a committee of at least three faculty members. Final examination for the MS thesis plan is usually an oral defense of the thesis.

Candidates for the PhD degree are evaluated by faculty committee three times. PhD candidates complete a preliminary examination usually in their first two semesters of study, a comprehensive examination that includes presentation and defense of a thesis proposal, and a final examination that includes a defense of the thesis. Committees for PhD students include at least five members with at least one external member.

Responses to Queries from the Graduate School

Does your department have stated mission, vision, values and goals?

The CEAE mission statement appears in the University catalog, and on the CEAE website.

Does your department have stated knowledge bases and skills expected for graduate students upon graduation?

The CEAE department houses related, yet diverse, specialty areas of graduate study including building energy, construction engineering and management, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering and mechanics, and water resources engineering. Among the six areas there exists common interest in numerical modeling and simulation of physical processes. Even so, each area has a distinct knowledge base. The CEAE department entrusts faculty committees with the assessment of adequate knowledge and skills in candidates for graduate degrees.

Would your department include expectations regarding knowledge bases in the University catalog?

A single statement of expected knowledge base is not appropriate because of the diversity of the CEAE department.

How does the department determine appropriate breadth and depth of learning?

Here too, the main responsibility resides with faculty committees. There are published guides to graduate course selection available for most specialty areas (copies are attached), which help students achieve adequate breadth of knowledge. In addition, each application to CEAE graduate study is reviewed by a committee of faculty who determine whether coursework beyond the normal degree requirements is needed to ensure an adequate knowledge base.

Do you track your students after graduation?

There is no formal program for tracking.

PRP content addressing graduate program.

The CEAE department will undergo program review during the 02-03 academic year. The previous PRP report from CEAE noted the following:

  • The large population of graduate students, and opportunities for mutual support and assistance among students. The annual completion of PhD and MS degrees per FTE rank among the highest in the college.
  • The use of faculty committees to advise and assess graduate students.
  • Strong GRE scores among students accepted for graduate study.
  • Strong NRC ranking among civil engineering programs.
  • Robust activity in research that is reflected in diverse funding base among federal and state agencies as well as private industry, numerous research projects and opportunities for student financial support, and national reputation of the faculty.
CEAE recruiting.

To recruit students, the CEAE department points out our strong national ranking among civil engineering programs, the reputation of faculty in the candidates’ specialty area, the opportunity for financial support, the opportunity to interact with students in the same specialty area, and, for some students, opportunities for research and support on specific projects. CEAE recruits CU undergraduates through REU and UROP activities, and through the combined BS/MS degree option. Strong external candidates can receive support for travel expenses to visit Boulder and learn more about graduate study here.

Doctoral Program Requirements
Comprehensive Exam Required
External Members on Committee Required
Write a thesis Required
Traditional proposal & dissertation defense structure Required
Other Preliminary examination required.

Most PhD students are engaged in publication of papers and preparation of research proposals, however there are no specific requirements for these activities.

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Last revision 01/29/03

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