Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Building Construction

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in the School of Building Construction (BC) was approved by the Board of Regents in October 2011; the degree awarded is the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Building Construction.

The program of study requires a minimum of two years of full-time residency (not fewer than four semesters excluding summer) devoted to coursework and other preparation for advancement to candidacy. A total of 60 credit hours will be required for this PhD degree beyond the master's degree. Programs of study must include a program core of 13 credit hours, a minimum of twelve credit hours of concentration electives and a minimum of nine hours in a minor field; a minimum of 26 credit hours of thesis hours is also required. The major and minor requirements are minimums; the particular field of study may require additional work.

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

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

A minimum of twelve 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. This list is composed of graduate courses offered by other graduate programs at Georgia Tech. A minimum of 9 credit hours of coursework will be required for the minor. A minimum of 26 credit hours of thesis, including a minimum of twelve 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.

A program of study must be approved by the student's PhD Advisor. Each student will have a plan of study to ensure that the student’s educational goals may be achieved while meeting the academic policies of the Institute and the PhD program. The Building Construction PhD program will enable students of exceptional ability and with a strong interest in research to undertake advance study in the field of building construction and facility management; it will also build off existing collaborations between the School and other academic units in the Institute to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship.

A student must choose a minor field of study that is most relevant to her or his research, with the major field being in Building Construction. The minor field must be outside of the School of Building Construction, must include at least nine hours of coursework, taken on a letter grade basis of “B” or better, and must be approved by the PhD Advisor, working in consultation with Graduate Faculty in the School of Building Construction, and the Office of Graduate Studies and Admissions. Although the student’s plan of study will be approved, the student must additionally submit a letter and receive approval for the completion of the coursework on the chosen minor.

An overview of program requirements includes:

  1. A Program of Study must be approved by the student's PhD Advisor. Additional requirements may be set by the Graduate Faculty in the School of Building Construction.
  2. The student must have a minor field of study; the minor field must be outside of the School of Building Construction and must include at least nine hours of coursework. The minor must be approved by the PhD Advisor, working in consultation with BC Graduate Faculty, and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  3. Complete a Qualifying Paper, if applicable.
  4. Pass a PhD comprehensive (qualifying) examination consisting of written and oral portions.
  5. Complete a PhD proposal and orally defend the proposal. The student is considered a PhD candidate at that time.
  6. Complete a PhD dissertation and orally defend the dissertation.

To remain in good standing in the program, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours of coursework (not including independent study) per semester during completion of the required four semesters in residence. Exceptions to this requirement will be allowed upon approval of the BC Graduate Faculty.

After or while taking the required six credit hours of Advanced Readings in Building Construction (BC 7200), that will prepare the student for the Comprehensive Examinations, the student must register for a minimum of twelve hours of Doctoral Thesis Preparation (BC 8999); generally these hours are taken in the third year of study in preparation for the Dissertation Proposal. Typically, an additional year or more is required to complete the dissertation. During semesters the student is working on the dissertation, he/she must register for a minimum of 3 credit hours of Doctoral Thesis Preparation (BC 9000). In total, a minimum of 14 credit hours of BC 9000 are required for graduation, and a minimum of 26 credit hours of thesis hours are required. Satisfaction of the requirements for the Ph. D. degree includes successful public defense of the dissertation.

Curriculum Overview:


Program Core 13 credit hours
Four program core courses:  
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)

For more information, contact:

Academic Advisor
School of Building Construction
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0680
(404) 385-7089
www.bc.gatech.edu