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Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Requirements for the doctoral degree programs include a written doctoral qualifying examination, course work, a research skills requirement, a responsible scholarship requirement, a comprehensive oral examination, a dissertation, and a final oral examination. Doctoral students also must take at least one semester of EECS 802 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Colloquium.

In the first semester, the student must select a major adviser and a committee on studies. This committee guides the student’s selection of courses, participates in the comprehensive and final examinations, and helps the student select a topic for research leading to the dissertation. Should the student’s interests change, the committee membership may be changed accordingly, with the approval of the department’s graduate studies committee.

All graduate students must have an approved Plan of Study on file by the beginning of their second semester of study.

The student’s committee consists of a minimum of 5 Graduate Faculty members and is chaired by the major adviser. The adviser and at least 2 other members of the committee must be members of the department Graduate Faculty. 1 committee member must be from outside the EECS department in the university.

Each doctoral student must pass a doctoral qualifying examination, which also meets the research skill requirement. This is a written examination taken within a single day that measures the student’s ability to comprehend and interpret technical literature in an unfamiliar topical area in the discipline. The examination is offered once a year, in the spring semester, and the student must take it at the first opportunity after completing the M.S. or after initial enrollment in the doctoral program. It may be retaken once, in the following spring semester. A more detailed description of the examination, including samples, is available in the graduate office.

Programs leading to the Ph.D. in electrical engineering or computer science require a minimum of 18 semester credit hours of course work beyond the requirements for the M.S. degree and a minimum of 18 credit hours of dissertation research. A minimum of 15 of these 18 hours must be EECS classes numbered 700 and above, excluding EECS 801 Directed Graduate Readings and EECS 891 Graduate Problems.

Students admitted to a doctoral program without an M.S. in the intended field also must meet the 24-hour course work requirement for the M.S. thesis option, for a total of 42 credit hours of course work. In this case, 30 of the 42 hours must be EECS classes numbered 700 and above, excluding EECS 801 Directed Graduate Readings and EECS 891 Graduate Problems and EECS 899. Waiver of required hours on the basis of graduate work done elsewhere may be allowed by petition to the graduate studies committee.

Each aspirant to the Ph.D. degree must complete a responsible scholarship requirement, which is met by completing and passing EECS 802.

Note: Responsible scholarship requirements were approved after this catalog was finalized. Contact your department or program for more information about this requirement for doctoral students.

The student must take the doctoral comprehensive examination after passing the qualifying examination, completing the research skills requirement, and completing at least ¾ of the course work requirement beyond the M.S. The student must complete the comprehensive examination before detailed work on the Ph.D. dissertation begins. Before the examination, the student must submit in writing to the committee a detailed proposal for a possible Ph.D. dissertation. In the comprehensive examination, the student is examined upon the proposal and on knowledge and insight in the specialization, and a dissertation committee is formed.

The examining committee for the comprehensive examination consists of 5 or more members of the Graduate Faculty, at least 1 of whom must be from outside the department in the university and at least 3 of whom are Graduate Faculty in the department. It normally includes the student’s committee on studies. If the student passes the comprehensive examination and later chooses another substantially different topic for the dissertation, a new proposal must be presented in writing and orally for the approval of the committee on studies.

Following completion of the Ph.D. dissertation, the candidate must defend the dissertation or project report in an oral final examination. The examining committee is once again constituted as in the comprehensive oral examination.

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