Ph.D.

Research and creativity change building and buildings

One of the strengths of the School of Building Construction graduate studies is that students can take advantage of resources in all programs in the College of Design (Architecture, Building Construction, City Planning, and Industrial Design) and elsewhere in the Institute. The program seeks to prepare graduates to become research leaders in their respective fields.  Graduates typically take positions in a range of research organizations or corporations such as universities; regional, state, and local government agencies; research and development firms; and private corporations.

  • The PhD enables students of exceptional ability and a strong interest in research to undertake advanced study in the field of building construction. 
  • Candidates take coursework as needed to prepare for advancing the knowledge in their chosen area, culminating in a written dissertation.
  • The dissertation is expected to demonstrate that the candidate possesses powers of original thought, talent for research, methodological capabilities to do advanced work in their chosen area, and the ability to compose and present their findings.

Curriculum

The required minimum core courses for all students in this program will be:

  • BC 7100 Quantitative Methods in Construction Research (3 credit hours);
  • BC 7200 Advanced Readings in Building Construction (6 credit hours);
  • BC 8000 PhD Seminar (1 credit hour); and
  • BC 8100 Research Methodology (3 credit hours).

A minimum of 12 credit hours of concentration electives, chosen from a list of approved electives (revised every semester by the faculty in the School of Building Construction), will be required. A minimum of 9 credit hours of course work will be required for the minor. A minimum of 26 credit hours of thesis, including a minimum of 12 credit hours of BC 8999 Doctoral Thesis Preparation and a minimum of 14 credit hours of BC 9000 Doctoral Thesis, will be required.

Additional requirements will be established by the PhD Advisor, in consultation with the BC Graduate Faculty on a case-by-case basis, in order to ensure each student is taking courses which can directly assist them toward gaining advanced proficiency in their chosen area of research.

Courses

Program Core - 13 credit hours
BC 7100  Quantitative Methods in Construction Research (3 credit hours)
BC 7200 Advanced Readings in Building Construction (6 credit hours)
BC 8000 PhD Seminar (1 credit hour)
BC 8100 Research Methodology (3 credit hours)
Concentration Electives - 12 credit hours (minimum)
To include the study of: history and precedent in the field; theory and concepts and their evolution; current debate; and methods of analysis and inquiry.
Minor Field of Study - 9 credit hours (minimum)
To include the study of: relevant history and precedent in the field; relevant theory; current debate; and methods of analysis and inquiry.
Thesis Preparation - 26 credit hours (minimum)
BC 8999
Doctoral Thesis Preparation (12 credit hours minimum)
BC 9000 Doctoral Thesis (14 credit hours minimum)
Total Course Requirements - 60 credit hours (minimum)

Sample Timeline

Develop Program of Study Before start of 1st semester
Core Coursework  Year 1
Minor and Electives Year 1
Qualifying Paper * End of Year 1
Comprehensive Exam End of Year 2
Defend PhD Proposal and Ascend to PhD Candidacy Year 3
Complete and Defend PhD Proposal Year 4-6

The four core courses that are required for all students in this program will be taught on regular basis each year. Additional requirements imposed by the PhD Advisor and BC Graduate Faculty will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The PhD degree program will not have any other core requirements; instead, the students will take courses directly in support of their research, including elective courses available in the School, the College and the Institute. 

Specific courses ensure that research methods, teaching techniques, and scholarly work worthy of critical peer review are developed. Additionally, the courses require students to be directly engaged in current intellectual debates and provide them with the methods of analysis, inquiry, and scholarship to generate meaningful and original contributions to the major and emerging issues in the discipline. The Minor Area encourages students to individualize their course of study by focusing on an area of complementary study outside of the College of Design. These courses, along with the make-up of the PhD Dissertation Committee which includes members from outside the College of Design and outside Georgia Tech, will also promote collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

*Some students may be required to complete a qualifying paper to demonstrate their writing and analytical skills; students who need to complete this requirement will do so at the end of their first year of study. Students who do not adequately demonstrate writing skills prior to admission will be notified of the potential requirement; the decision on which students will be required to complete this paper will be made by the faculty advisor in conjunction with the graduate faculty, during the admission process.