Civil Engineering

The PhD in Civil Engineering program is designed for highly qualified personnel interested in a rewarding career in fundamental or applied research. The Doctor of Philosophy program involves advanced courses and an intensive research program culminating in a thesis. The development of applied research skills will also prepare PhD graduates for a career either in or outside of academia in new and traditional fields of Civil Engineering including but not limited to structural, fire safety, geotechnical, water resources, construction, environmental and transportation engineering.

The PhD program in Civil Engineering is designed to train independent researchers. Our students are called upon to perform highly specialized and original research that makes a distinct contribution of knowledge to one of the major focus areas of our program: Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Construction Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Rock Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, and Transportation Engineering.

Under the direct supervision of one of our faculty members, our PhD candidates learn to review the state of current technical knowledge in an engineering research area, to identify strengths and weaknesses in this research and to devise a new research initiative to contribute to the area. Students must carry out this research project with objectivity and care, and they are expected to document and publish their results in internationally recognized journals and conferences.

The program consists of 8 full Course Equivalents (FCE) over four years (full-time): 1.5 FCE elective courses, 1 FCE Comprehensive Examination, 0.5 FCE PhD Seminar, and 5 FCE PhD dissertation. Students can follow a full-time or flexible full-time model. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to: 

  • Conduct independent research and show competence within specific area(s) of Civil Engineering through the formulation and execution of engineering research plan(s) using advanced mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts.
  • Design and execute experiments and/or analytical/numerical analyses, depending on the nature and scope of the research.
  • Develop novel solutions and demonstrate originality in the solution to Civil Engineering problems.
  • Analyze complex issues based on established principles and techniques within the discipline of Civil Engineering.

Admission Requirements for PhD

Applicants for admission must be graduates of a recognized university and show evidence of scholarly achievement. Except where otherwise stated in the Admission Requirements of a particular program, students must have a Masters degree or its equivalent with an academic average as specified by the academic unit. An applicant holding a degree other than one in the discipline area to which admission is sought will be considered on the basis of Master's courses taken and academic standing. 

Meeting the minimum requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission. No candidate will be admitted unless the academic unit recommends admission. All applicants will be advised in writing by the Office of Graduate Studies of their admission status.

Applicants are accepted under the general University regulations governing the graduate degrees, provided that the requirements of the Faculty of Engineering are also satisfied.

The applicant must hold a MSc degree in Civil Engineering or a closely-related area with at least a 70% average. Admission is dependent on the past academic history of the candidate and the assessment of the referees, the availability of space in the program and the availability and willingness of a suitable faculty member to supervise the applicant. A supervisor must be identified before the student is admitted to the program. For applicants having a non-thesis master’s degree, admission may be granted only if the average is at least 80%.

Applicants shall indicate the name of a potential supervisor in the application.

Required Application Documents

Although applications are accepted on a continual basis, to be considered in the initial Admission & Funding decisions for the Fall (September) semester, you are encouraged to apply by April 1.

Supervisor Information

Interested students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly and before submitting an application for graduate study.

The first step in the application process is to complete the online graduate studies application form.

After you have submitted the online form along with the required $100 CAD application fee, you will be provided with an online account where you can complete the remaining steps of the application process which include uploading the required supporting documents and monitoring the status of your application.

Click here to Apply to Graduate Studies - Fall 2022 

After you have applied 

After you have submitted the online application form, you will be provided with instructions by email on how to log in to myinfo, where you will be able to review and upload the remaining and required supporting documents.

Graduate Studies Reference Form (3 forms required)
  • An electronic reference form will be automatically sent by email to the references you identify on the graduate studies application form
  • This form is requested in support of the applicant's ability to undertake advanced study and research
Official Transcript
Proof of Degree
Program Specific Supporting Documents (If required)
  • For a list of program specific documents, please see this program's Additional Application Information section (if required, see above)
Official English Test Results (If required)
Additional Application Information

In addition to the general admission requirements for PhD programs, applicants must also submit:

Note: All applicants must identify and communicate with a potential supervisor prior to applying. For a list of potential supervisors and their research areas, please visit the following link:

Next Steps

Registration Procedures

Before Registering!

Check to make sure all of your course selections are currently being offered by referring to the University Course Calendar and the University Course Time Tables.

University Graduate Studies & General Regulations & Policies

Graduate Funding

At Lakehead University, we realize the importance of financial support for graduate students.

Therefore, financial assistance opportunities are available in several forms and are generally awarded to students by individual programs on the basis of academic promise and financial need.

The different funding options available include:

For your convenience, a searchable database of graduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards is provided below. Award eligibility, criteria, and application procedures for graduate funding is indicated for each award. Please use the general search tool to find available funding by program. Alternatively, you may also click the advanced search link to specify available funding by program level, award category and/or award amount.

Although financial support cannot be guaranteed to all graduate students in all programs, we encourage you to inquire about financial assistance with your Graduate Coordinator in your program of study. You may also contact the Graduate Funding Officer in the Faculty of Graduate Studies to learn more about your graduate funding options.

Conditions of Graduate Awards

Graduate scholarships are based on academic merit. Graduate bursaries are based on financial need, although there may be a merit component to the bursary. Where the award designates that an application is required, only those students who have submitted the specified application by the deadline will be considered for those awards. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only successful applicants will be notified.

Recipients of scholarships, awards and bursaries must be registered in order to receive funding. Graduate awards are applied to any outstanding balance on the student's account. Students are entitled to their awards only after their fees are paid in full. Only students with credit account balances will be refunded the balance of the overpayment. Overpayment refunds of these awards will be issued at the end of September, January and May each year.

The University reserves the right to make changes without prior notice to the terms, conditions and award values listed in this section and in the University Calendar.

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