- Building Economics and Management
- Building Physics
- Building Materials
- Sustainable Building
- Concrete Structures
- Engineering Geology
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Steel and Timber Structures
- Water Engineering
(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on September 15, 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/1045)
(revised November 27, 2007)
(revised September 1, 2013)
1. Subject description and goals at the programme
The overall aim of the work at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering is to create the physical conditions for a
resource-efficient and sustainable society. The work is focused on
building, infrastructural facilities and the interaction between
technology, man and nature. Important general issues are thus related to
the safety and health of human beings, environmental impact, energy
utilisation, the operation, maintenance and management of
facilities/buildings and cost efficiency in social structures. The above
operational content represents the scientific scope of the Civil and
Environmental Engineering graduate school.
The graduate school of Civil and Environmental Engineering should
be in a position to provide, on an internationally competitive level,
both general and broad-based knowledge in and surrounding the scientific
field selected and which offers a high level of expertise within the
subject specialisation dealt with in the thesis.
1.2 Programme objectives
The graduate programme is aimed mainly at a PhD. There is, however,
the possibility within the framework of the graduate programme to take a
licentiate degree, either as part of a PhD or as a final examination.
The main objectives of the graduate programme are to provide:
- good knowledge in a broad area around the chosen subject specialisation.
- familiarity with the scientific literature within the chosen subject specialisation.
- an independent, critical, problem-oriented approach.
- training in scientific methodology and reporting.
- a good capacity to identify, formulate, process and solve technical and scientific problems.
Other key objectives are to develop the capacity to
- plan and lead technical research and development.
- plan and lead engineering work, where scientific education and research experience are required or can be used beneficially.
In order to achieve the established objectives, training needs to
be given in order to develop the capacity for scientific communication,
- to discuss scientific problems with research colleagues in and outside the country.
- to disseminate pedagogically written and verbal knowledge about
one's own research area, as well as its results and potential, to both
colleagues and the general public.
- to also find scientific results in the literature outside one's own
subject specialisation which are relevant to the stated problem.
This overall description of the purpose of the graduate programme
also applies generally to the licentiate programme. However, the
licentiate degree does not have the same breadth nor the same depth as
the PhD programme. Nor are the demands for independence in this
scientific work as strong.
2. General requirements for admission
Generally, for admission onto the PhD programme the applicant
should have a basic university education comprising at least 180 higher
education credits (according to the Swedish education system). The
orientation of the applicant's degree should also be linked sufficiently
to the PhD subject. In addition to this minimum requirement, there are
also special prior knowledge requirements for the subject.
To be admitted to the Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate school the following is required:
- Completion of a general, local or individual undergraduate
programme. The university programme should comprise at least 180 higher
education credits, which is supplemented by a further 60 higher
education credits within the graduate school's subject specialisations.
The university studies should have been completed satisfactorily.
- Applicants with a foreign first degree the same knowledge
requirements apply as for those with a Swedish first degree although
applicants from abroad who do not have English or a Scandinavian
language as a first language should also normally take an English
language test (e.g. TOEFL 550 (paper-based or TOEFL 213 (computer-based)
to be admitted.
Those who do not satisfy the admission requirements in the
syllabus can be admitted through a special admission procedure, in
consultation with the subject specialisation examiner, involving course
supplements. The head of department shall then approve the supplementary
course package. When these courses have been approved the prospective
graduate student is admitted.
3. The plan of the graduate programme
At the Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate school all the
following subject specialisations (see point 4 below) can be taken for
both a licentiate degree or a PhD. Completion of a course programme and
an independent scientific project is required for both these degrees.
The graduate student is assigned an examiner, a main supervisor and
at least one assistant supervisor. The examiners at the graduate school
belong to the department's research groups (normally research group
leaders) and represent its subject specialisations. An examiner could
also have the role of supervisor.
Together, the main supervisor and the graduate student prepare an
individual syllabus, which shall be approved by the examiner. The
individual syllabus comprises a list of courses and a plan for the
research work. The syllabus shall then be updated at least twice a year.
The graduate student shall belong to the Civil and Environmental
Engineering graduate school and can also belong to another graduate
school (e.g. an inter-institutional graduate school or national graduate
The graduate programme subject Civil and Environmental Engineering offers nine specializations:
- Concrete structures
- Building economics and management
Byggnadsekonomi och byggnadsorganisation
- Building physics
- Building materials
- Sustainable Building
- Geotechnical engineering
- Steel and timber structures
Stål- och träbyggnad
- Engineering geology
- Water engineering
In this context it can be pointed out that the Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering also runs a graduate programme, Applied
Acoustics, within the framework of an inter-institutional graduate
school (see separate study plan).
For the licentiate degree the course element in the programme
comprises at least 45 higher education credits. For the PhD degree at
least a 60-point course element is required. Subject-specific courses
are run by the graduate school and other departments/graduate schools at
Chalmers although there are also national and international courses.
The graduate student and an examiner will together agree on which
courses will be included in the degree.
5.1 Compulsory courses
Generic and Transferable skills (GTS) aims to give doctoral
students at Chalmers professional and individual development, and is a
program of activities/courses not directly linked to the respective
areas of research. The graduate student is required to take at least 15
credit points out of the GTS program before receiving a PhD degree.
Chalmers offers a range of activities/courses as part of the program. 9
credit points in the area of GTS are expected to be obtained before the
licentiate degree examination. Another 6 credit points are expected to
be obtained before PhD degree examination. Mandatory courses for the
licentiate degree are: "Teaching, Learning & Evaluation”,”Research
Ethics & Sustainable Development” and ”Career planning – Your
Personal Leadership”. 1,5 credit points are optional (from GTS
activities/courses). The 6 credit points after licentiate degree are
also optional and selected according to the student´s need.
The optional activities within GTS do not necessarily have to be
taken from Chalmers’ central activities or courses. The activities can
be obtained from other providers, after suggestion from the examiner or
supervisor, and approval by the deputy head of department in
consultation with the director of studies of the research school. As an
example, GTS could include related activities or courses given at the
In addition to the courses within Generic and Transferable Skills,
the student is also required to participate in the introduction day for
doctoral students (before the licentiate examination, at latest).
Further requirements are an oral popular science presentation to be
performed prior to the PhD thesis defence and a written popular science
presentation to be published on the back of the PhD thesis.
The 15 credit points in GTS are mandatory for doctoral students admitted after September 1, 2012.
If a graduate student also belongs to another graduate school other courses could be compulsory.
5.2 Other courses
Each subject specialisation offers or proposes suitable courses in view of the content of the research task.
Courses offered by the Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate school are presented in the home page, Graduate course list
Every second year the department offers a study trip on the topic
“Urban development” (equivalent to 1,5 higher education credits)
Graduate courses run at other graduate schools or departments could be included in the coursework.
5.3 Crediting of courses
Relevant courses from Master's programmes can be credited in the
graduate programme. A maximum of 30 higher education credits in the
graduate programme can be collected before the graduate studies have
commenced within the framework of a completed degree programme. This
applies to graduate students who are admitted with at least 300 higher
education credits from their Master's degree or equivalent. Graduate
students who are admitted with a 240-270 point first degree may not be
credited with any higher education credits from the first degree. Transfer of credits/reporting of credits form
6. Degree thesis
6.1 Licentiate thesis
The licentiate thesis shall be of such quality that (following
possible editing) it can be accepted for publication in an international
scientific journal of good repute. The thesis shall be written in
English. A special expert discussion initiator shall be summoned to the
publicly announced licentiate seminar.
6.2 Doctoral thesis
The PhD thesis can be a composite thesis comprising a summary and a
number of articles (normally 3-5) of such quality that they have been
accepted, or can be expected to be accepted, for publication in an
international scientific journal of good repute. Examined conference
articles can also be included in the thesis. Alternatively, the thesis
could be a monograph with the equivalent quality requirements. The
thesis shall be written in English.
7. Requirements for degrees
7.1 Licentiate degree
The licentiate degree comprises two years of full-time study,
equivalent to a total of 120 higher education credits. Of this, the
course element shall comprise at least 45 higher education credits,
including all compulsory courses, and the scientific work at least 60
higher education credits. The relationship in extent between the course
element and the scientific element can thus vary between 45/75 and
7.2 PhD degree
The PhD degree comprises four years of full-time study, equivalent
to a total of 240 higher education credits. Of this, the course element
shall comprise at least 60 higher education credits, including all
compulsory courses, and the scientific element at least 150 higher
education credits. The relationship in extent between the course element
and the scientific element can thus vary between 60/180 and 90/150.
The relationship in extent between the course element and the
scientific element is decided from case to case in consultation with the
Supervision comprises general advice and constructive critical
examination of the research and its results. The supervision also
includes general advice regarding the organisation and arrangement of
the studies and instructions for specific courses.
The head of department appoints one or several examiners for each
subject specialization. Examiners are appointed for a period of five
years. Professors and other persons on the associate professor level who
are permanently linked to Chalmers can be appointed as examiners.
An examiner has overall responsibility for the graduate programme
in a subject specialization and shall ensure that the graduate programme
satisfies the quality demands with regard to research tasks and other
elements. An examiner decides when 50% of the graduate programme has
been completed and the graduate student has thus reached the so-called
An examiner shall approve the individual syllabus and be involved
in study follow-up. An examiner shall also examine the licentiate essay
or PhD thesis in advance. The examiner approves, following consultation
with the main supervisor, a licentiate thesis and its presentation.
The head of department states which main supervisors shall be
available for each subject specialisation. The main supervisor shall be
on the associate professor level and be linked to Chalmers.
The main supervisor and the graduate student shall together draw up
the individual syllabus. The main supervisor is responsible for
ensuring that the graduate student receives sufficient qualified
supervision to follow the syllabus.
In conjunction with admission of the graduate student, an assistant
supervisor is appointed by the head of department to assist with agreed
advice and follow-up of the PhD work.
If the thesis is carried out in industry or at another organisation
outside Chalmers University of Technology, an assistant supervisor
shall be appointed at the research location where the work is done.
According to the above, an examiner can also have the role of
supervisor. However, BoM advocates that different people perform these
roles whenever possible.
9 Examination on the proficiency in the subject
The student takes part in course examinations where such are
arranged. In other cases knowledge control takes place through
submissions, seminars or oral examinations. The knowledge examination on
external courses is run by the examiner in question.
10 Additional guidelines
Reference can be made in other respects to the general instructions
for graduate schools at Chalmers University of Technology and the rules
of procedure for graduate studies decided by the President.