ENGINEERING SCIENCE (Structural)                                                    

Degree Learning Outcomes

Graduates with the Doctoral Degree in Engineering Science (Structural Engineering) will demonstrate:

  • an in-depth understanding of the basic and advanced topics in structural engineering,
  • the ability to use common tools and techniques in structural engineering,
  • the ability to create and perform independent research on an original and novel topic in structural engineering,
  • effective professional skills including oral and written communication, leadership, independence, teamwork, and ethics,
  • the ability to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team in industry or in academia, and
  • the qualifications to be hired in industry or in academia.

Course Requirements

All students, in consultation with their advisors, develop course programs that will prepare them for the departmental comprehensive examination and for their dissertation research. All doctoral students will be required to take SE 200, Applied Mathematics in Structural Engineering, prior to taking the departmental comprehensive exam. JDP students must complete three quarters of SE 290 Structural Engineering Seminar (2 units) to meet graduation requirements, but they do not have to be taken consecutively. This must be completed before The Departmental Qualifying Examination (DQE). Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair. Requests can be sent to [email protected]. JDP students are required to maintain the same GPA requirements as regular UCSD students pursuing a Ph.D. degree.

Departmental Qualifying/ Comprehensive/ Ph.D. Preliminary Exam

The exam should be taken after three to six quarters of graduate study. This examination is intended to determine the candidate’s ability to successfully pursue a research project at a level appropriate for the doctorate.


It is administered by a committee designated by the Department and consisting of four members, three chosen in consultation with the primary co-advisors to represent the subject areas covered during the Examination, and one appointed from a related academic department.  At least one, but not more than two, of these members are from SDSU. The Departmental Comprehensive Exam Committee is chaired by the UCSD co-advisor of the student.

Senate Qualifying/ Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

The Ph.D. Candidacy Examination is an oral examination that includes presentation of a plan for the dissertation research project. The examination is designed to test the ability of the student to conduct original dissertation research, and must be taken within four years after admission to the doctoral program.

The Joint Doctoral Committee consists of at least five officers of instruction, with two members from SDSU, two members from UCSD, and one tenured UCSD member from outside the Department of the candidate. At least two members should represent specialties different from the student’s chosen field. The two co-advisors, one from each institution, serve as co-chairs of the Joint Doctoral Committee. The Joint Doctoral Committee administers the qualifying examination. 

Doctoral Dissertation Defense

The Dissertation Defense is the final Ph.D. examination. Upon completion of the dissertation research project, the student writes a dissertation that must be successfully defended in an oral examination and public presentation conducted by the doctoral committee. The final examination may not be conducted earlier than three quarters after the date of advancement to doctoral candidacy.