Reach to the end of the world
The emphasis in the Ph.D. systems-focused degree is upon a sound foundation in the fundamentals in a given area with considerable flexibility in course selection determined by the interests and background of each graduate student. The Department of Civil and Systems Engineering offers opportunities for a broad application of systems thinking and modeling in many areas like Energy, Public Health, Disaster Planning, Medicine, and Infrastructure. Systems is an inherently cross-disciplinary subject and students are encouraged to take courses from outside their home department. These courses are supplemented by systems seminars, generally delivered by visiting experts in the field.
Students with a primary interest in Operations Research, and those who wish to apply systems thinking and modeling to improve the design of public policies and environmental control systems can also enroll in the programs offered by Applied Math and Statistics and the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. There is considerable overlap and collaboration between these departments. To find out more about the research interests of individual faculty, please see the Team page or contact Prof. Lauren Gardner.
Our doctoral students take the equivalent of about two full academic years of formal course work. Roughly half of this is done in the principal subject area and the rest is chosen from allied fields. Although systems is a subject that crosses traditional departmental boundaries, doctoral students still take the Departmental Qualifying Exam (DQE) for their home department, and are also encouraged to take the appropriate core departmental classes to successfully pass the exam.