Frequently Asked Questions


Hint 1: Use ctrl-f [PC] or command-f [Mac] to search through this section.

Ah, you found me, the Coordinator of the Transportation Engineering Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee.  We receive many inquiries on daily basis from all over the world on this very subject.  UT has a very helpful web page for prospective students that you should check out first.  For international graduate students, additional attentions should be paid to information listed there.  In general, we have the following minimum expectations:


        3.0/4.0 (or 3.5/4.0 for graduate work)

        80/100 for certain grading systems


        550 for paper-based
        213 for computer-based
        80   for Internet-based (at least 20 for each part)


        V: 450, Q: 750 (V+Q ≥ 1,200) and AW: 3.5

        (Threshold values for the new system to come.)

For students who want to be considered for financial assistance, the requirements are obviously higher because of the keen competition.  Without a formal application through UT’s official admission process, we cannot and will not speculate on the likelihood of admission or the prospect of financial support.  Thanks.

I’m interested in pursuing advanced degrees in traffic or transportation engineering at UT.  How do I go about applying for admission and financial assistance?



Hint 2: You can always contact me if these don’t quite address your questions.

Depending on the publishers of the specific journals, you may or may not be able to obtain a copy, typically in PDF format, on the web.  This is especially challenging with paper-based for-profit journals.  The best way to find these papers is through Thomson Reuters’s Web of Science site, which is available to all major universities and research institutions.  Many of my papers are transportation related, so you might want to try the National Academies’ free TRIS system under Transportation Research Board.

A very useful search engine emerged in the past decade is Google Scholar, which is making a significant push for information and knowledge sharing.  There is a bit of learning curve in terms of how to phrase your search terms or author names, though.

A new service by has become available.  Check out my page there for the papers you’re looking for.

I’m interested in one of your journal papers.  Where can I get a copy of it?

Many files here are remotely hosted on Dropbox, which unfortunately is blocked by your country at the moment.  Since this is a major problem to many people, some workarounds have been attempted including VPN, etc.  This places the burden on the user, who may or may not be technically proficient to go through the process.  I’m looking at other locales to host the files so they wouldn’t be blocked, in your country or elsewhere.  In the mean time, please feel free to email me for the paper(s).

I’m having difficulties downloading your papers or CV, why is that?

UT has an excellent Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program (IGSP) that governs this matter.  CE graduate students need to complete all of the paperwork well in advance, take approved statistical courses, and meet graduate committee faculty member requirements to attain the minor or MS degree in Statistics.  UT’s IGSP site has detailed descriptions of the process and even a flowchart to guide you through the process.  Some of the recent CE alumni that successfully went through the IGSP program include:

  1. Wei Lu (’13)

  2. Manoel Castro-Neto (’08)

  3. Luis Alonso Diaz Robles (’05)

  4. Jeongran Yun (’04)

  5. Kenneth Odom (’02)

  6. Mohammad Qureshi (’00)

I’m the department representative to IGSP.  You can also contact Professor Mary Sue Younger, who chairs IGSP.

I’m a graduate student at UT and would like to minor in Statistics or get a MS degree in Statistics with the PhD or MS degree I’m pursuing in Civil Engineering.  What should I do?

The short answer is yes.  But that’s far from the whole story.  At the doctoral level, courses taken at another institution are not officially transferred although they may be used to meet degree requirements.  Where a requirement has been met through course work in another program, the student may petition the academic unit for a waiver of the requirement at the doctoral level. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from all institutions previously attended before any credit will be considered.  For these considerations, a course must:

  1. Be taken for graduate credit.

  2. Carry a grade of B or better.

  3. Be a part of a graduate program in which the student had a B average.

  4. Not have been used for a previous degree.

  5. Be approved by the student’s graduate committee and the Dean of the Graduate School on the Admission to Candidacy form.

Courses transferred to any graduate program will not affect the minimum residence requirements for the program, nor will they be counted in determining the student’s grade point average. Credits transferred from universities outside the University of Tennessee system cannot be used to meet the thesis or dissertation requirements or 600-level course work requirements. Credit for extension courses taken from other institutions is not transferable, nor is credit for any course taken at an unaccredited institution.

You can typically transfer up to 24 hours of courses, beyond your bachelor degree, in transportation engineering or closely related areas if the courses were taken the statute of limitation has not run out on them.  Do note that you should not “repeat” any of these transferred courses at UT by taking similar courses again.  Whether two courses are similar or not depends on the textbooks used and the official catalogue descriptions.

A wealth of information on this subject is provided in UT’s Graduate School catalog.

I have a MS degree in the area of transportation engineering from another university.  Can I transfer some of the courses if I were to pursue PhD with you?

There are different MS degree options within the department of CEE.  The selection of an option must be approved by the student’s major professor.

  1. THESIS OPTION - A minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate courses, including 6 hours of thesis (CE 500) and 24 hours of coursework.  A minimum of 15 semester hours of approved civil engineering coursework is required.  A minor may be selected but is not required.  For students paid as GTA, GRA, or by other department funds, this is the designated option.  The student is required to submit and successfully defend the thesis to graduate.

  2. NON-THESIS PROJECT OPTION - A minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate courses is required, which include a 3-hour special project course (CE 590) under the direction of the student’s major professor.  A minimum of 15 semester hours of approved civil engineering coursework (including CE 590 but not CE 500) is required.  A minor may be selected but is not required.  The student is required to pass a culminating written examination and submit/present the project work to the graduate committee to graduate.  Students on research projects but not pursuing the thesis option, should take this option.

  3. NON-THESIS COURSE OPTION - A minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate courses is required.  A minimum of 15 semester hours of approved civil engineering coursework is required.  The student is required to pass a culminating written examination to graduate.  This option is typically used by self-fund and distance education students not otherwise involved in CEE research projects.

Some very helpful information is available at CEE web site and in Graduate Catalog.

What’s the difference between the thesis and non-thesis options for the MS degree?

Microsoft’s older versions of IE may have some bugs in processing this the HTML codes here.  You are encouraged to use the latest version of IE or perhaps Chrome, Safari, or FireFox, which many users have reported better results.

Some of the text and/or pictures don’t look right on your web site.  What’s going on?