PhD in Building Construction

PhD Program Logistics


The Auburn University Graduate School requires the following for establishing the PhD committee.

  • After the student has enrolled in the doctoral program, an advisory committee (called PhD Committee) should be selected by the student, major professor and PhD program chair.
  • The PhD committee is responsible for developing the student’s Plan of Study and conducting the doctoral comprehensive and final examinations.
  • It should consist of at least four members of the Auburn University Graduate Faculty. Additional voting members may be appointed to the committee (including no more than one non-Auburn University faculty member, who must hold the terminal degree in the field).
  • Three of the Auburn University-affiliated committee members, including the major professor, must be members of the Graduate faculty at Level 2.
  • The major professor must also be a graduate faculty member in the department granting the degree.
  • The formal appointment of the advisory committee occurs when the “Committee Selection Form” is approved by the Graduate School.

Timeline and Key Milestones

The PhD program timeline/key degree milestones are organized in the linked table below.

Students are strongly suggested to refer to the Graduate School Doctoral Degree Bulletin for specific policies and Graduate School Calendar for deadlines.

Residency Requirements

Residency, defined as full-time enrollment while physically present on Auburn University campus, is a requirement for all PhD in Building Construction students. Although most students elect to complete their entire degree while in residence, some choose to meet only the minimum residency requirement and then complete other degree requirements while physically residing elsewhere and maintaining regular communication and coordination with their major professor and PhD committee. Finishing the PhD away from campus must be agreed upon by the candidate and by his/her Major Professor and a protocol must be established for meetings and/or research deliverables.

Residency for the PhD in Building Construction is accomplished when the student completes all course work and passes the comprehensive examination.

For more information on doctoral residency requirements, please consult the PhD Program Chair.

Research Proposal Defense

After passing the comprehensive examination, the PhD student will prepare a comprehensive research proposal and submit to the PhD committee.

The PhD committee will review the proposal, and if satisfied, will set up a suitable date for research proposal presentation and defense.

The research proposal defense can take place any time after the comprehensive examination but shall be completed at least two semesters before the final defense of the PhD research work.

Research Progress Presentation

After passing the research proposal defense, the PhD student (now called the PhD candidate) will be required to give an oral presentation to the committee once per semester to update them about his/her research progress and to get timely feedback.

The major professor in consultation with the committee members and PhD candidate will choose a suitable date for the presentation.

The major professor will also provide the committee’s feedback to the candidate in writing within 4 weeks of each research progress presentation.

Final Defense

The PhD candidate will submit a “final draft” of the dissertation to the committee at the beginning of the graduation semester.

The committee will review all submitted work, and if satisfied, will set up a suitable date for final presentation and an oral examination (called a “final defense”) in accordance with the graduate school calendar.

After the presentation and oral examination, the committee will discuss the presented work and collectively assign a “Pass” or “Fail” grade.

The candidate will be required to make all necessary corrections to the dissertation to the satisfaction of the committee members before a final grade is entered.

In case of a “Fail” grade, the committee will discuss and decide if a time extension can be provided to the PhD candidate for resubmission of work in compliance with the Auburn University’s Graduate School policies.