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PhD Opportunities at Carnegie Mellon

PhD Opportunities at Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University is routinely ranked among top universities globally and we are proud of our strong reputation in engineering disciplines. We are reimagining civil and environmental engineering through innovative leadership in education and research, and by integrating systems thinking and new technologies. Our program ranks 7th for Civil Engineering, and 8th for Environmental Engineering nationally and our university ranks 28th globally.*

The training and mentorship provided to our students and early-career researchers are helping to shape the future of the field by defining and leading new fields of study that leverage emerging technologies and science.

Carnegie Mellon University

Our Program

Our department is highly interdisciplinary. We approach problems with teams of faculty and students bringing different skills, insights, and methods from different disciplines. We are classified as an R-1 Research Institution** meaning we have a very high level of research activity.

As a PhD student, you will develop an individualized program of study with your research advisor in one of our three major focus areas:

  • Advanced Infrastructure Systems (AIS)
    This group leverages information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve the design, construction, and operation of a broad range of cyber and physical infrastructure systems
  • Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science (EESS)
    EESS PhD students develop skills, analysis tools, and technologies to meet the critical sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. EESS education provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to environmental quality protection and restoration, green practices, and environmental stewardship that spans engineering, science, social sciences, and policy.
  • Mechanics, Materials and Computing (MMC)
    This group addresses the numerical simulation of solid, fluid mechanical, and thermal phenomena. MMC’s research works to gain a better understanding and characterization of complex physical phenomena which are difficult, if not impractical, to study by alternative approaches.

Graduates of our program are in-demand and have launched careers in public and private sectors across a variety of industries, worldwide. The 2022 Global Employability University Ranking lists CMU in the top 15% for graduate employability.

Please join one of our virtual info sessions to find out how we can help you reach your career goals.

Carnegie Mellon University

Funding, Support, and Life in Pittsburgh

Many of our students who are conducting research are offered financial aid in the form of research assistantships that cover university tuition and fees and provide a stipend for living expenses. There are also a number of fellowship opportunities for students that are offered by the university and outside organizations.

We also think you will find that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a great place to live! Pittsburgh is consistently named in "Best of" rankings across multiple topics from livability, career opportunities, and start-ups to best city to meet people and instagram-worthy views. Pittsburgh is a friendly and welcoming city with urban opportunities.

Please see our website for more detailed information about funding and Pittsburgh livability.

*2023 ranking from US News and World Report; Times Higher Education (2022)
** Carnegie Commission on Higher Education


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