If you are interested in joining my research group, please read the following carefully. Due to the large volume of email I receive from prospective students, unfortunately, I don’t have time to respond to most emails individually. Please check the information provided below and if necessary, contact me for more information.
If you are considering USC’s graduate program as a PhD student, there are three PhD admission deadlines: October 1, February 15 and March 15. To be ensured of consideration for financial aid, application materials must be finalized by December, 1. Since it can take some time for all materials to be processed, I would suggest you submit everything by mid-November. Please see our Department website for more information about the application process, our academic programs and our Faculty: http://www.usc.edu/dept/civil_eng/dept/ Please note that the admissions committee makes decisions.
The criteria we look at for PhD admission are TOEFL (if applicable) and GRE scores, recommendation letters, and the bachelors and masters degrees (school, GPA and transcripts). We also look for a good fit of research interests with our faculty. Specialization areas for PhD in Civil Engineering can be found at our Department website. My research group’s focus is in the area of Construction Engineering and Management (CEM). If you are interested in the CEM area and would like to join my research group, make sure you indicate me as your potential supervisor. If you are interested in other PhD specialization areas, I would suggest you contact Faculty in that area.
A strong and well-organized research statement, examples of past research done and any other evidence shows your interest and enthusiasm in the area of CEM research are important considerations for me. Due to a large number of applications, I contact only competitive applicants and usually invite them for a phone interview.
Based on current projects and funding availability, PhD and MS students join my group every year. PhD students are given priority for research assistantships. If you are a MS student and would like to work in my research group, I suggest you enroll in one of my courses and a directed research course and do very well. I will consider your application at that time. Our group’s research focus is on ‘advanced uses of information technology in engineering and construction’. Candidates are expected to have an understanding and significant interest in relevant engineering, architecture, construction management and programming. This includes information technology for construction engineering and management, automation of construction, project control systems, building information modeling, and energy and construction simulation. You are not required to have knowledge in all of these areas, but you must have at least basic knowledge of and desire to learn and research some of these subjects. Most incoming students spend their first year at USC enhancing their knowledge on these subjects. The most important things are that you are interested in your research area, you have the ability to work with a large degree of independence and also have the ability to work with your peers, if required. I usually schedule weekly meetings with my students to provide research direction, address possible problems/solutions and discuss progress made.