PhD in Civil Engineering


PhD in Civil Engineering

Started in the academic year of 2009/2010. The minimum number of credits to obtain the degree is 180 (3 years).


  1. Train high-level technicians in the field of Civil Engineering, capable of applying the acquired knowledge using scientific methodologies, exhibiting an up-to-date general knowledge and having a particularly solid background in the specialty in which their PhD is carried out.
  2. Train Civil Engineering professionals with critical thinking, ability to understand, formulate and solve problems, and able to continue to learn (continuing education) in an autonomous way. For this goal, training is directed to understanding problems, applying the correct attitude and reasoning.
  3. Provide the ability to conceive, design, adapt and carry out research with a high standard of academic quality and integrity;
  4. Promote the development of original and innovative research in various Civil Engineering specialties that contribute to expand the current state-of-the-art and deserve international dissemination in prestigious scientific publications;
  5. Provide the PhD students with written and oral skills, sometimes in foreign languages, to allow them to communicate their conclusions and the reasoning underlying them accurately, clearly and unambiguously, both to experts and to non-experts.

Relevant information for students is provided here



Day and tutorial system

Tuition fee

Portuguese students:

2 750 Euros/ year

Foreign students:

2 750 Euros/ year


1st phase: 11th march to 5th april 2024


Entrance requirements for the 2024/2025 academic year

Vacancies for 2024/2025:


Admission rules:

In order to enroll in the PhD program, candidates must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

a) Hold, in the program scientific area or similar, a Master degree or legal equivalent. The candidate must have a minimum final grade of 14 (in 20) in these study cycles;
b) Hold, in the program scientific area or similar, a Bachelor degree and relevant academic or scientific curriculum, recognized by the Department Council, and the Scientific Council, as attesting the ability to carry out the PhD program;
c) Hold an academic, scientific or professional curriculum, recognized by the Department Council, and the Scientific Council, as attesting the ability to carry out the PhD program.


Documentation for the on-line application:
1. Qualifications certificate, listing the obtained grades; 
2. Academic and professional curriculum; 
3. Recommendation letters from two teachers or researchers that know the candidate, commenting his/her skills. 
4. Letter of intent, where the candidate explains why he/she is interested in carrying out this PhD program;


1. CV evaluation;
2. Grade averages, rankings in relevant curricular units for the chosen specialty;
3. Content and source of the recommendation letters and
4. Eventual personal interview.

Course coordinator:

Professor Rodrigo M. Gonçalves

Registration and Accreditation


Registration number R/A-Ef 3537/2011/AL01 on 10/10/2019


Publication date of the accreditation decision: 23/05/2019

for 6 years

About the Department of Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering (DEC) was established in 1996. Today it offers a bachelor’s in civil engineering (3 years), four 2nd cycle Master Programs in Civil Engineering and in Structures and Geotechnics (2 years), Building Rehabilitation (1.5 years) and Facade Technology (1 year), and a PhD program in Civil Engineering (3 years). In parallel DEC has developed specific “lifelong learning” and graduate courses in the field of Sustainable Construction and Rehabilitation, and Rehabilitation of Railway Infrastructures.

DEC develops scientific and technological research activities with national and international partnerships, participating in R&D projects in several areas, such as Structural Concrete and Masonry; Structures Retrofitting; Structures under Extreme Events; Numerical Simulation of Structures; Ecoefficiency of Construction Materials; Energy, Comfort and IAQ Performance of Buildings; Building Pathology and Rehabilitation; Geotechnics; Road Pavements; Spatial and Urban Planning.

There are currently more than 300 students enrolled in Civil Engineering at NOVA and the DEC’s faculty totals 35 teachers, 32 of whom with PhDs.

More info