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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-05-28

Civil Engineering PhD

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


This section describes the process for degree completion. Students must follow a prescribed, yet flexible path, achieving milestones along the way. Generally, if a student is hard working and diligent, and is a full-time graduate student, he or she should be able to complete a PhD program within about 2 to 4 years beyond the master’s degree. For a student who has entered the PhD with only a BS degree, the total time may be 3 to 5 years.

The PhD degree is a research-oriented degree that requires coursework combined with intensive research. The PhD offers an intensive, individually tailored research program suitable for the preparation of students for an academic career, a research institute career, or specialized consulting career. The program is flexible in content, depending on the student and the advisor. However, certain University, College, and Department rules/policies must be met. The main requirements are listed below. A plan of study must be developed by the student and advisor, with input from the dissertation committee, and must receive departmental approval. It is usually developed near the beginning of the PhD program, at which time transfer credit will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. It can be amended as the research progresses.

  • Minimum hours required for PhD - 72 beyond the bachelor’s degree

  • Hours waived for an earned master’s - 30 credit hours maximum, provided a course-by-course review is performed

  • At least 27 hours of formal course work is required, exclusive of research and independent study. At least 15 of the 27 hours must be taken at UCF after the master's program, exclusive of independent study and research, and taken from approved formal courses

  • Dissertation - 18 credit hours

  • A minimum "B" (3.0) average must be maintained in the plan of study and no more than two C+, C, and C- are allowed. No D+ or lower grades are acceptable.

  • Doctoral research hours - 9 hours maximum (more than 9 research hours can be taken, but up to 9 hours only can be counted toward the plan of study).

  • Independent Study (XXX 6908) - 6 hours maximum (more than 6 independent study hours can be taken, but up to 6 hours can be counted toward the plan of study).

  • No more than a total of 12 hours of doctoral research plus independent study can be included in a plan of study.

  • Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in a PhD plan of study.

  • The student must pass a Qualifying Examination in one of the departmental disciplines. This examination must be taken within the first year of study beyond the master’s degree.  It may be attempted no more than twice.

  • The student must pass a Candidacy Examination prepared by the student’s committee. The Candidacy Examination is normally taken near the end of the course work and consists of a written portion (which may be the written research proposal and/or additional written questions), and an oral presentation of the research proposal. A copy of the written examination will be kept as part of the student’s official record. The student cannot register for dissertation hours until the Candidacy Exam has been passed. Admission to Candidacy requires the following:

    • Completion of all but 6 hours or less of course work, except for dissertation hours.

    • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.

    • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.

    • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.

    • Submital of an approved program of study.

  • The student must pass a Dissertation Defense Examination, which is the oral defense of the written dissertation.

  • International students have to meet College of Graduate Studies and International Services Center rules to remain in legal standing as a full-time student throughout their tenure at UCF.

The following illustrates the minimum credit hours requirements for the PhD plan of study. Please note that the academic advisor can increase those hours as he/she sees suitable.

Program Credit Hours

MS to PhD

  • Maximum of 30 hours waived
  • Minimum 15 hours of coursework (could include maximum 6 hours independent study)
  • Minimum 18 dissertation hours
  • Maximum of 9 Doctoral Research hours

Total: Minimum of 72 hours

BS to PhD

  • Minimum 45 hours of coursework (could include maximum 6 hours independent study)
  • Minimum 18 dissertation hours
  • Maximum of 9 Doctoral Research hours

Total: Minimum of 72 hours

Articulation Course Requirements

Articulation Courses are those undergraduate courses that are pre-requisites for graduate courses. Articulation courses are required for some students, especially with backgrounds outside the discipline. These typical senior-level courses give students the appropriate level of knowledge needed to take required and elective graduate courses in the discipline. Articulation requirements may vary for each individual student depending on their background. Please contact a faculty advisor for more information.

Graduate Course Requirements

PhD degrees are research-oriented. Because most PhD students in CECE enter the program with a Master’s degree, there are no set courses required for the PhD. Each program is unique, and depends on the individual’s background and interests, and the research needs of the dissertation project.


The PhD in Civil Engineering is a research-oriented degree that requires course work combined with intensive research. The program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Thirty of the 72 credit hours can be met with either a nonthesis or thesis MS in Civil Engineering. This leaves 42 credit hours, of which 18 credit hours must be Dissertation Research and a minimum of 15 credit hours must be formal course work. A maximum of 9 credit hours of Doctoral Research hours can be used in the doctoral program, which could be replaced by additional formal course work.

For students not having an MS degree who directly enter the PhD program (BS to PhD), there will be a minimum of 45 hours formal course work (i.e., 30 credit hours identical to the course work for a nonthesis MS in any of the Civil Engineering focus areas plus a minimum of 15 credit hours course work past the MS). In addition, these students can enroll for Doctoral Research credit hours during or after their first semester in the program. The 27 credit hours required in addition to the 45 credit hours course work will be 18 credit hours in Dissertation Research, and a maximum of 9 credit hours in Doctoral Research. Up to 9 credit hours of Doctoral Research can be replaced by additional formal course work subject to the approval of the PhD adviser and the advisory committee.

For both MS to PhD and BS to PhD students, the program of study must be developed with an advisory committee and meet with departmental approval at the beginning of the PhD program, at which time transfer credit will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Elective Courses—54 Credit Hours Minimum

  • To be approved by a faculty adviser and the graduate coordinator.
  • At least 27 credit hours of formal course work is required, exclusive of research and independent study. For students entering the program with a completed master’s degree, at least 15 of the 27 credit hours (exclusive of independent study and research) must be taken at UCF after the master's program from approved formal courses. For students entering the program without a master’s degree in Civil Engineering or a closely related discipline, at least 45 credit hours of formal course work are required.
  • Doctoral Research (XXX 7919) - 9 credit hours maximum (more than 9 research credit hours can be taken, but only a maximum of 9 credit hours will be counted toward the program of study). 
  • Independent Study (XXX 6908) - 3 credit hours maximum
  • No more than a total of 12 credit hours of doctoral research plus independent study will be included in a program of study.
  • Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in a PhD program of study.

Students can choose among the following courses with the consent of the academic adviser. Students that have no MS degree should complete the core courses for the MS degree in the respective focus area. These focus areas are: Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Transportation Systems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering and Construction Engineering.  For each one of these areas there is a suggested list of core courses.

Suggested elective courses include:

Geotechnical Engineering
  • CEG 6065 Soil Dynamics (3 credit hours) 
  • CEG 6115 Foundation Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CEG 6317 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 5835 Pavement Design (3 credit hours) 
Structural Engineering
  • CES 5144 Matrix Methods for Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5325 Bridge Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5606 Advanced Steel Structures (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5706 Advanced Reinforced Concrete (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5821 Masonry and Timber Design (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6010 Structural Reliability (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6116 Finite Element Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6209 Dynamics of Structures (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6220 Wind and Earthquake Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6230 Advanced Structural Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6527 Nonlinear Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6715 Prestressed Concrete Structures (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6840 Composite Steel Concrete Structures (3 credit hours)
Transportation Systems Engineering
  • TTE 5204 Traffic Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 6205 Highway Capacity (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 5805 Geometric Design of Transportation Systems (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 5835 Pavement Design (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 6256 Traffic Operations (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 6270 Intelligent Transportation Systems (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 6315 Traffic Safety Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 6526 Planning and Design of Airports (3 credit hours)
  • CGN 6655 Regional Planning, Design and Development (3 credit hours)
  • STA 5206 Statistical Analysis or ESI 5219 Engineering Statistics (3 credit hours)
Water Resources Engineering
  • CWR 5125 Groundwater Hydrology(3 credit hours)
  • CWR 5205 Hydraulic Engineering(3 credit hours)
  • CWR 5515 Numerical Methods in Civil and Environmental Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 5545 Water Resources Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 5634 Water Resources in a Changing Environment (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6102 Advanced Hydrology (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6126 Groundwater Modeling (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6235 Open Channel Hydraulics (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6236 River Engineering and Sediment Transport (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6535 Modeling Water Resources Systems (3 credit hours)
  • CWR 6539 Finite Elements in Surface Water Modeling (3 credit hours)
Construction Engineering and Management
  • CCE 5205 Decision Support for Infrastructure Projects (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 5006 Infrastructure Systems Management (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 5220 Green Design and Construction (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 6036 Advanced Construction Planning and Control (3 credit hours)* 
  • CCE 6211 Design and Monitoring of Construction Processes (3 credit hours)*
  • CCE 6045 Cost Analysis of Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (3 credit hours)  

Students are also allowed to take courses from other specialization areas. Students can take courses from Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering and other departments, including but not limited to Statistics, Mathematics, and Industrial, Mechanical, and/or Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science, with the consent of the academic adviser.

Dissertation—18 Credit Hours

  • XXX 7980 (where XXX can be CGN, CEG, CES, CWR, or TTE; 18 credit hours)


The student must pass three examinations.

Qualifying Examination

The first is the PhD Qualifying Examination in one of the departmental disciplines. This written examination must be taken within the first year of admission into the PhD program. It may be attempted no more than twice.

Candidacy Examination

The student must pass a Candidacy Examination, normally taken near the end of the course work. It consists of a written and oral presentation of a research proposal, and may include additional written or oral questioning by the committee. A copy of the written examination will be kept as part of the student’s official record.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours. Evidence that items have been completed must be received by the College of Graduate Studies on the Friday before the first day of classes for those who wish to enroll in dissertation hours in that semester:

  • Completion of all but 6 hours or less of course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Dissertation Defense Examination

The Dissertation Defense Examination is an oral examination taken as defense of the written dissertation. 

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation defense announcements be approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the College of Graduate Studies Events Calendar at least two weeks before the defense date.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Civil Engineering PhD program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.

Timeline for Completion

The following listing is intended as a guide and reminder to students and faculty as to the approximate timing of events for graduate students. It is intentionally somewhat vague to account for different starting semesters, different research project needs, and different levels of student capabilities. Note that PhD students should, prior to entering UCF, coordinate with the faculty to talk with a potential dissertation advisor and discuss plans for courses in the first semester.

  • Semester 1: Meet with advisor. Enter UCF and begin classes.
  • Semester 2: Schedule Qualifying Exam to be taken before, during or immediately after the second semester. Continue to take classes. Begin research planning.

  • Semester 3: After passing Qualifier, work with Advisor to form a committee. Prepare a Plan of Study, and file it with the Graduate Coordinator. Prepare a formal plan for research, and a research proposal.

  • Semester 4: Finish classes and/or take research hours. Take the Candidacy Exam as prepared by Committee. Obtaining doctoral candidacy is one of the major milestones in graduate study. After this important exam is passed, then the student truly becomes a PhD candidate, and can now begin taking dissertation hours.

  • Semester 5: Conduct Research. Register for Dissertation hours, and work on Dissertation.

  • Last Semester: File intent to graduate. Defend dissertation. Students must be registered in the semester in which they are completing the requirements for the degree program.

See Timeline for Completion of Degree Program. For specific course selection, please consult with program advisor to obtain an approved Plan of Study.

Examination Requirements

Qualifying Exam

Taken within the first year of admission, preferably within the first two semesters. This exam is a written exam consisting of open and/or closed book questions designed to (1) test the student’s knowledge of fundamentals within the broad discipline, and (2) to assess the student’s ability to think analytically and creatively. Questions are contributed by various members of the faculty, and the grading is typically on a pass/fail basis. If the student fails this exam, it may be re-taken once.

Candidacy Exam

Taken near the end of all coursework (often involves the defense of a proposal for research). This exam is to assess whether the student truly understands the research that he or she is about to undertake. This exam may include written questions, but should be oriented to the specific field of the research topic. It also tests the student’s ability to present technical information clearly and understandably in front of an audience. The exam may be re-taken at the discretion of the dissertation committee.

For further information about graduate student policies, please see the Graduate Policies > Doctoral Program Policies > Candidacy.

NOTE: In addition to passing the exam and obtaining committee approval, students must have the candidacy and dissertation advisory committee documentation received and processed by the College of Graduate Studies prior to the first day of classes for the term in order to enroll in dissertation hours (XXX 7980) for that term.

Dissertation Requirements

Each student must write a dissertation on his or her research that describes a significant and original contribution to the field of study.

University Dissertation Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense occurs after completing and writing the dissertation. The defense determines whether the student has done satisfactory work and fully understands the work that he or she has done. The oral defense of the dissertation is administered by the Advisory Committee which makes a critical inquiry into the work reported in the dissertation and into the areas of knowledge that are immediately relevant to the research. All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation. The dissertation must be approved by a majority of the Committee and a pass/fail report will be submitted to the Office of Graduate studies by the Committee. The committee has the final say on whether the student passes or fails. If failed, this exam may not be re-taken.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation defense announcements are approved by the student's advisor and posted on the college's website at least two weeks before the defense date and on the College of Graduate Studies Events Calendar.

Graduate Research

Research is a vital part of graduate education, particularly for doctoral students. The development of research skills and the practice of good research ethics begins with graduate study. Faculty serve a crucial role and are the primary source for teaching research skills and modeling research ethics.

  1. In the CECE department, much of our research is carried out as a part of Contracted Sponsored Research. Faculty obtain sponsored research from many different government agencies, and/or industry, and thus commit the university to doing certain research tasks. Students are typically hired to help the faculty conduct the research, and as such are contractually obligated to give their “best efforts” to accomplishing the research tasks. In most cases, students who are supported on contracts may use the results of their work as the basis for their dissertation.

  2. CECE has several institutes and laboratories. To learn more, please visit the research section of the website.
  3. Dissertation – This document may be among the biggest academic efforts that you will ever make. As of the writing of this handbook, it is required that all theses and dissertations be officially submitted to the College of Graduate Studies in electronic form. It is highly recommended that you (the student) discuss format and content with your advisor, and carefully review other theses or dissertations before you get started. The Graduate Studies web site has some helpful hints with regard to formats for the electronic version of these documents. Please see Thesis and Dissertation (ETD).
  4. It is important to be honest and ethical in conducting research as well as in taking classes. Report all data factually and completely.

  5. Patents and inventions may arise from the faculty and graduate student research. UCF has clear guidelines and a Patent and Invention Policy in the Graduate Catalog. Please see > Policies > General Graduate Policies > Patent and Invention Policy.

  6. Students should be aware that in our department, we require that theses and dissertations be written in a journal article format and in accordance with College of Graduate Studies requirements. The UCF College of Graduate Studies conducts workshops on thesis and dissertation formatting, library research, and writing essentials through their Pathways to Success program. It is highly recommended that each student coordinate with his or her faculty advisor as to the preferred journal format, prior to beginning to write the dissertation.

  7. There are specific Laboratory Safety Procedures that must be followed by each student working in a lab in the CECE Department. It is department policy that each student is responsible for knowing and following the Safety Procedures. Please see the laboratories manager and/or your faculty advisor to get a copy of the Safety Procedures for the appropriate lab.

  8. Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: > Compliance. 

    For more information on research institutes and laboratories visit the Research webpage  on the Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering website .

Financial Support

Financial support is a major concern for graduate students, especially since many rely on financial support from the university to pursue graduate study. In combination, the college, the university, and the department provide financial assistance to graduate students in several ways: (1) fellowships and scholarships are available to academically outstanding students, (2) Graduate Teaching Assistantships – GTAs (for grading or for lab teaching) are available in limited numbers, (3) Graduate Research Assistantships – GRAs (for helping faculty with research) are more widely available depending on the funding levels of the faculty. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (including a GPA of 3.0 and a full course load), and do acceptable research or grading or teaching work to maintain their financial support.

  • All students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their Plan of Study. They must not make any more than two ‘C’ grades, and those must be balanced with two ‘A’ grades. Students on contract are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks (whether it be grading, lab teaching, or research), while they are maintaining satisfactory progress in completing their academic courses. All GTAs (especially international students) that have any contact with undergraduate students must take all training required by Graduate Studies. International students must take the SPEAK test. See the following website for GTA information:

  • Students must meet their obligations (making satisfactory progress toward their degree, maintaining a 3.0 in their POS, doing satisfactory work for their research advisor) to continue to receive their financial support. Students must maintain satisfactory work as defined by their supervisor. Also, being on an assistantship agreement requires that the students register for the proper number of hours of classes in time to process tuition remission.

  • The duration of financial support may vary from one semester at a time to up to a 4-year renewable fellowship.

  • For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: Students > Employment.

Conference Presentation Support

The College of Graduate Studies offers a Graduate Presentation Fellowship that provides funding for master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting. Students must be the primary author and presenter.


The Student Government Association offers graduate students travel funding to pay transportation expenses for graduate students who are delivering a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting. Contact the Student Government Association at 407-823-5648 for more information. 

Graduate Student Associations

Chi Epsilon

Chi Epsilon is the National Civil Engineering Honor Society in the United States. We honor engineering students who have exemplified the principles of "Scholarship, Character, Practicality, and Sociability" in the civil engineering profession.  For more information visit the Chi Epsilon website or contact Kevin Mackie, PhD, UCF chapter representative at


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a worldwide community showcasing 123,000 members from the civil engineering profession. Founded in 1852, ASCE will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2002. The society is recognized as America's oldest national engineering society.  ASCE's objectives, at the professional and student level, include supporting educational pursuits, advancing technology, endorsing the civil engineering profession, and developing global leadership. At the university level, ASCE sponsors over 200 student chapters that strive to excel in accomplishing these goals. For more information visit the UCF ASCE Chapter website.


Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 75 chapters representing 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. ABC's membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors of the industry.  For more information visit the ABC website.


The UCF student chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) provides a forum for UCF student members interested in the highway industry that supports education, innovation, and fellowship; promoting a safe and efficient highway system for mobility now and in the future.  For more information visit the ASHE UCF Chapter website.


The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals who are responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. ITE facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for any mode of ground transportation. Through its products and services, ITE promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.  For more information visit the ITE website.


The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

In this section, we identify university resources available to students for professional development. A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing course work, passing exams, conducting research for a dissertation, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.

  • UCF has an active professional development program for graduate students, including the Professoriate Program, sponsored by Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the GTA Certificate Program, sponsored by FCTL, the Pathways to Success program, the Graduate Research forum, sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, and special award recognitions such as the Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, the Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis, and the Award for the Outstanding Dissertation (see section below for more information)
  • Doctoral students intending to pursue a career in academia have the opportunity to develop grant-proposal writing skills by working closely with faculty mentors.
  • Students are expected to publish the results of their research. In fact, the CECE department strongly encourages students to write their thesis or dissertation in the journal paper format.
  • Graduate students in CECE are encouraged to present a poster or a topic of research at conferences while still a student, and often their faculty mentor will be able to fund one or more such opportunities. Also, see the Financial Support section of this handbook for information about travel support.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact  

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, they offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for appointment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12 weeks for domestic students, 16 weeks for international students) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided, and a stipend is offered to current UCF students who complete the certificate. International students are provided the same training as well as information regarding language immersion and tricks and cultural awareness as a way of knowing what to expect from American students.

For more information > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

  • Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant
    For students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)
  • Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching
    For students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

  • Award for the Outstanding Dissertation
    To recognize doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidences such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see .  

For more information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, please see their website: > Awards.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor for individualized support for your job search.


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms n Files
    This web link provides a listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student.Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    If a student would like to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections, this form must be completed and approved.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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