PhD Program in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering


  • Hydrology and Water Resources Management
  • Hydraulic Engineering
  • Water Supply and Sanitary Engineering
  • Irrigation Engineering and Management

Rationale of the Program
Major development problems in Ethiopia are water-related: food insecurity, low economic development, recurrent droughts, poor health conditions and low energy production. The root cause of these problems is not the lack of adequate water resources, but rather the limited development and management of this most important resource. Several institutions in Ethiopia have tried to mobilize resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and the sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030. However, the main challenge is to continue and accelerate the progress made in recent years toward the SDGs and to address the causes of poverty among the population.

The need for highly qualified human resources is highlighted in Ethiopia's Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) and the Africa Water Vision (AWV) for 2025. The AWV also calls for a new way of thinking about water and a new form of regional cooperation. This calls for expanding training of highly qualified professionals that can play the leading role in research, planning, decision making and policy development in the water sector. Moreover, there is a need for highly qualified professionals that cross the border of engineering, social, environmental and economics fields of studies.

Research in the area of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering will address the development and application of scientific principles, economic theory, mathematical and social techniques and fully integrate them with the management and planning of environmental and water resource systems. Understanding hydrologic and erosion processes, irrigation and water supply systems management, water quality, flooding, river basin and reservoir systems planning and operation, ecological systems management, and sustainable development are topics that need immediate consideration.

The general objective of the PhD program is to satisfy the national, regional and international demand for highly trained water educators, researchers and water resources management and development specialists.

Admission Requirements
PhD with course work

  • A candidate who has MSc. Degree or equivalent in water resources engineering, hydrology; irrigation engineering and management; hydraulic engineering, hydrogeology, integrated watershed management, water supply and sanitary engineering, water supply and environmental engineering, soil and water conservation engineering and management, natural resources management, and other engineering fields from a recognized institution depending on the research type for the PhD dissertation.
  • Candidates are expected to submit two recommendation letters, statement of motivation, and a research concept note (2–3 pages) for the PhD program.
  • The Faculty will give a written qualifying examination and/or an interview following presentation of research concept note. The Faculty Graduate Committees (FGC) and an academic staff who will be main supervisor of the applicant will conduct the evaluation of the application document as well as the interview. Refer the BiT–BDU guideline about the role of FGC.
  • Admission will be considered based on the soundness of the applicants’ PhD concept note specifying: relevance of the research topic; the scientific approach, theory and methodology; publication and research experience; written and oral examination.
  • The assessment of admission is made by the FGC, endorsed by the Faculty academic commission and approved by the counsel of graduate studies (GSC).
  • Candidates must also meet the general application and graduate admission policy of BDU.

PhD without course work

  • All the admission criteria mentioned above (applicable for PhD with course work) also hold for PhD without course work.
  • Applicants should demonstrate a strong academic and research background (i.e. at least 2 publications, in which one as first author, in peer reviewed journals of web of science or science citation indexed database during admission) including having the ability to independently pursue the research of interest in a scientific manner to be admitted in PhD program without course.
  • The publication should be in a related area with the PhD program and should have been published within two years of the application period.

Graduation Requirements
As per the University Senate Legislation.

As per the University Senate Legislation.