Graduate Studies

NCAT test sections on Lee County Road 159


Forge Your Path in a High-Demand Profession

This is an exciting time to be a civil engineer, and your expressway ramp to a rewarding career in pavement engineering may begin with graduate school at Auburn University and a research assistantship through NCAT.


Pavement engineering encompasses all aspects of designing, building, and maintaining our pavement infrastructure. The technology behind making pavements safer and more durable is critical to the success of our national transportation infrastructure system. The quality of public roads and highways exerts a significant influence on our quality of life.


Why Auburn?

Auburn provides research amenities unmatched by other programs. These include the NCAT Test Track, the world's only full-scale, high-speed testing facility, as well as cutting-edge laboratory facilities. With nine Pavement & Materials faculty members and 11 additional highly qualified NCAT research engineers on staff, each graduate student interacts daily with a phenomenal team of experts who love sharing their knowledge.


A master’s or Ph.D. degree at Auburn combines a top-notch classroom education from Auburn’s outstanding Civil & Environmental Engineering faculty with practical, hands-on experience in materials testing, pavement construction, pavement design and analysis, pavement preservation, and the sustainability and resilience of pavements. A graduate degree from Auburn’s esteemed pavement engineering program is recognized as a benchmark of quality by employers, including transportation agencies, academia, consulting firms, construction companies, and material suppliers.


Students enrolled in the Auburn University Pavement Engineering Graduate Program learn concepts such as:

  • Sustainability: Engineers successfully develop and apply new technologies that make America's two million miles of roads cost-effective to build while contributing positively to our environmental and social fabric. They focus on practical research related to advancing knowledge in paving materials, construction, maintenance, testing and design so that our highways are safer to drive on and last for longer periods of time with low maintenance cost and positive environmental and social outcomes.
  • Resiliency: Engineers must have in-depth knowledge regarding the engineering behavior of paving materials, the processes involved in producing these materials, and how they will deteriorate under the combined effects of traffic and the environment. Urban and rural communities demand infrastructure that can withstand more extreme weather events. Auburn's graduates leave ready to make a difference. Putting your knowledge to work can make a positive impact locally, regionally, and globally.
  • Innovation: Graduate students at Auburn get hands-on experience working on projects funded by state departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and private corporations, providing a unique opportunity to build their network and connect engineering theory to practice. Plus, research studies make an impact by increasing the use of recycled materials and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Graduate Courses

Degree options include a non-thesis Master's of Civil Engineering, a Master's of Science in Civil Engineering, or Ph.D. The program is focused on practical research related to advancing knowledge in paving materials, construction, maintenance, testing and design.


Courses offered at the graduate level include:

  • Pavement Design
  • Design and Control of Asphalt Mixtures
  • Advanced Pavement Design
  • Advanced Concrete Materials
  • Pavement Construction
  • Pavement Management and Rehabilitation
  • Advanced Asphalt Materials Testing


Online Learning

Auburn’s online graduate programs are among the nation’s best, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Online Program rankings released in 2023. In fact, Auburn’s Civil & Environmental Programs ranked 3rd nationally. Even if a master’s degree or Ph.D. is not for you, there may be specific pavements-related courses that interest you, and fortunately, all of the courses taught by Auburn’s pavements faculty are available online. Want to combine four courses to create a Graduate Certificate in Pavements? We do that too! For more information about courses, programs, and degree options, please visit:


Learn More

To discuss degree programs and learn about specific opportunities for study and research, please contact: Pavements and Materials Graduate Coordinator Dr. Benjamin F. Bowers, Asst. Professor, Department of Civil Engineering.


How to Apply

Requirements for admission and application instructions are online at Request admission to the Materials/Pavements program in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program.

Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.


Financial Assistance

Qualified graduate students can earn research assistantships and full tuition waivers. Students may also be eligible for a number of scholarships and fellowships.


About Auburn

Auburn (population: 66,000) and neighboring Opelika (population: 31,000) are located in southeast Alabama and have been recognized by publications such as Southern Living, USA Today, Money magazine, and Forbes as great places to live. Both budget-friendly cities offer unique downtowns with fine dining and shopping, along with cultural opportunities that would rival many much larger cities. Both cities are also located less than two hours from Atlanta and Birmingham and only a few hours from the Gulf of Mexico beaches.