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Brasão da PUC-Rio

Graduate Program in Civil Engineering

More information

+55 21 3527-1194

Departamento de Engenharia Civil e Ambiental
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225
Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Office hours:
9:00am to 11:30am and
2:00pm to 4:30pm

General Information

Program Overview

The Graduate Program in Civil Engineering at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) offers Master’s courses since 1965, and  Doctoral courses since 1985, both in the Structures and in Geotechnics areas.

The program integrates excellence in education and research, offering civil engineers and professionals from other areas, particularly Geologists and Mines Engineers, excellent opportunities for advanced studies.


The Department's Graduate Program aims towards the training of researchers, faculty and high-level technical engineers.


Established in 1965, it is Brazil's first Civil Engineering Graduate Program (1965), with teaching and research quality widely recognized by the country's academic and engineering communities. The Graduate Program has received grade 6 (in a 3 to 7 scale) from the last CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel; from Brazilian Ministry of Education) evaluation (2010-2012).

Concentration areas and lines of research

Concentration Area: Structures

Line of research 1: Application of Optimization Techniques

Employing optimization techniques for the development of formulations and computational programs for the optimal dimensioning of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, topological optimization and shape of structures.

Line of research 2: Biomechanics

The theory of bark and membranes is applied in the study of the structural behavior of veins, corneas and cardiac valves subject to great deformations. The aging of human skin and its behavior after plastic surgeries is also investigated.

Line of research 3: Applied Computer Graphics

Computer graphics techniques are applied in the development of interactive computer programs focused on the analysis and elaboration of engineering projects, integrating stages of pre-processing, analysis and post-processing.

Line of research 4: Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Structures

Its main objective is to research and develop, numerically and experimentally, constitutive models, methods and techniques for the design and analysis of the behavior of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures.

Line of research 5: Structures and Inelastic Materials

Special projects in the manufacture, design and maintenance of metallic structural elements with emphasis on constitutive models and numerical techniques. Topics in the scopes of plasticity and viscoplasticity theories, with or without thermomechanical coupling.

Line of research 6: Metallic Structures

Study of the development of constructive techniques and efficient structural systems that can reduce the execution time of the work, safely and economically, through the standardization of the components and use of computer graphics resources.

Line of research 7: Instability and Dynamic of Structures

Development of theoretical and experimental researches on stability loss problems in static and nonlinear dynamics of structures. Complex mathematical and computational models are used to simulate the behavior of such systems.

Line of research 8: Non-Conventional Materials

Investigation on methods and technologies for the utilization of natural fibers, such as coconut fibers, sisal, "piaçava" and bamboo, in the production of composites with matrix of mortar or soil. Research on the use of the stem of the whole bamboo as structural element.

Line of research 9: Contour Element Methods
Development of the variational and mathematical foundations of contour element methods for mechanic problems of the continuous means. Basic research is practiced, but also with application concerns to practical engineering problems.

Concentration Area: Geotechnics

Line of research 1: Computational Geomechanics

Research on the behavior of soils, rocks and geotechnical works with the aid of numerical methods, such as the finite element  and contour elements methods, hybrid methods, stochastic methods and other computational techniques such as neural networks.

Line of research 2: Petroleum Geomechanics

Basic and applied studies for the petroleum industry, with emphasis on the geomechanical aspects of the problem. Investigations cover the experimental area, the analysis of the behavior of wells and reservoirs and the development of analytical and numerical models.

Line of research 3: Environmental Geotechnics

Investigation of the mechanisms of earth mass movements and the transport of underground fluids. Development of basic and applied studies with waste and tailings deposits, recovery of degraded areas and prevention of geoenvironmental accidents.

Line of research 4: Experimental Geotechnics

Studies on the behavior of Brazilian soils in tests performed in the field and/or in the laboratory. Reinforced soils with geosynthetics, the development, manufacture and assembly of equipment and instrumentation apparatus are also considered in this line.

Line of research 5: Rock Mechanics and Geology of Engineering

Description of rock masses and the quantification of their mechanical and hydraulic properties, fundamental activities for the design of engineering works, as well as for studies of risk analysis and accident prevention.

Course Recognition

Master’s and Doctoral degrees

CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Eduction Personnel; from Brazilian Ministry of Education) evaluation: grade 6 (in a 3 to 7 scale) for the 2010-2012 period.
Approved by the CNE/CES MEC n.288/2015 of July 08, 2015.
Granted degrees: Master and/or Doctor in Civil Engineering.

Requirements for obtaining the Master’s and Doctoral degrees

Master students should:

  1. Obtain a minimum of 24 credits in Master’s course disciplines, among which the following are compulsory:
    Structures Area: CIV 2103- Theory of Elasticity (3 Cr); MAT 2102- Advanced Calculus II (3Cr)
    Geotechnical Area: CIV 2520 - Mechanics of the Rocks (2Cr); CIV 2530- Mechanics of the Soils (4Cr); CIV 2531 –Geology (2Cr); CIV 2540 - Constitutive models for Geotechnical Materials –I (2Cr); CIV 2541-Geotecnical Seminar I (0Cr); MAT 2102 –Advanced calculus II (3 Cr)
  2. Be approved in the English Language Exam (LET 3101);
  3. Complete one semester of Undergraduate Teaching Internship (CIV 3200), if necessary;
  4. Present, defend and receive approval of his or her Master Dissertation (CIV 3000);
  5. Submit his or her final dissertation within the deadline of six months after the Master Dissertation defense date.

Doctoral candidates should:

  1. Obtain a minimum of 48 credits in graduate course disciplines (including the transfer of the 24 credits obtained from the Master's course disciplines);
  2. Be approved in the Qualifying Examination (CIV 3004);
  3. Be approved in the Thesis Proposal Exam (CIV 3007);
  4. Be approved in two Modern Foreign Languages exams, English being compulsory;
  5. Present, defend and receive approval of his or her Doctoral Thesis (CIV 3001);
  6. Complete two semesters of Undergraduate Teaching Internship (CIV 3210, CV 3220), if necessary;
  7. Submit  his or her final Doctoral Thesis within the deadline of six months after the thesis defense date.

Admission and Enrollment

Applicant selection criteria is based on academic transcripts, curriculum vitae, work plan, reference letters and, if necessary, interviews with Doctoral applicants.

Besides general requirements, the Civil Engineering Department demands that:


Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in Civil, Mechanic, Naval, Aeronautics or Mine Engineering. In exceptional cases, holders of other scientific or technological degrees can be considered, at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.


Applicants must hold a Master’s Degree.