Transportation Planning and Engineering, Ph.D.

On Campus

Transportation Planning and Engineering - Blurred Road

The Ph.D. program in Transportation Planning and Engineering pairs students with world experts in apprenticeships to solving real problems facing society. You can become researchers within the Connected Cities for Smart Mobility toward Accessible and Resilient Transportation (C2SMART) in the Tandon School of Engineering, where you get to work closely with researchers from other disciplines to conduct basic and applied research funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. DOT, and other agencies.

Graduates of this program have successfully pursued careers in academia and technical leadership positions in government and industry around the world. Having a Ph.D. from this program opens opportunities to work with agencies or nonprofit organizations like the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Transportation, or RAND Corp; or with top technology firms like IBM, Google, Amazon, or Ford.

Several faculty members pursue research funded by various agencies and companies, and in many cases may be able to provide full funding support to interested students.


Admission to this program requires an MS in Transportation Planning and Engineering or equivalent. Applicants from related backgrounds are encouraged to apply or to contact the faculty members to discuss their interests, whether they are in industrial engineering, operations research, electrical engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, or economics.


  • 51 credits of graduate work (not including the Ph.D. dissertation) in relevant major and minor areas of study beyond the bachelor’s degree, with an average grade of B or better (cumulative average of 3.0 or better on a 0-4 scale).
  • Completion and successful defense of a 24-credit dissertation related to the major area of study. Dissertations must consist of original research that meaningfully advances the state-of-art in the subject area of the research and should result in the publication of at least 1 paper in a strictly peer-reviewed technical journal related to the subject. A grade of B or better must be achieved for the dissertation.
  • Completion of 2 minor areas of study, each consisting of between 9 and 12 credits of graduate work. At least 1 minor area must be outside the transportation area.
  • Residency requirements for the Ph.D. in Transportation Planning and Engineering include the 24-credit dissertation, plus a minimum of 9 credits of applicable graduate course work taken at the School of Engineering.

In meeting the 51-credit course requirement, you must satisfy all requirements for the major and minor areas selected or their equivalent. In satisfying these basic Ph.D. requirements, you must also meet 1 of 2 conditions:

  • 39 credits of approved graduate coursework, not including individual guided studies (readings, projects, theses, etc.) beyond the bachelor’s degree, with an average grade of B or better (cumulative average of 3.0 or better on a 0-4 scale).
  • 21 credits of related graduate coursework beyond the master’s degree, with an average grade of B or better (cumulative average of 3.0 or better on a 0-4 scale).

Satisfying condition 2 requires that the department accept your MS degree in toto without regard to its specific content. This requires a recommendation from the department’s Graduate Committee and the approval of the department head.

Details about doctoral committees, qualifying examinations, and dissertation policies and procedures can be found in the School of Engineering Bulletin.