Ph.D. Program

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 8XXX Graduate-level coursework 12
ECE XXXX Additional graduate-level coursework 1 12
ECE 9000 Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Electrical and Computer Engineering 24
Total Hours 1 48

1 Students can also take up to 6 hours in ECE 7000, and a minor area outside the department is optional (12 credit hours at the Ph.D. level with a minimum of 3 credit hours at the 8000 level).

A doctoral student is required to orally defend his or her dissertation. The dissertation document (finished, not a draft) must be read and approved by the major professor and presented to the remaining committee readers two weeks before the scheduled oral defense.


Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering - Direct-Admit

ECE 8XXX Graduate-level coursework 21
ECE XXXX Graduate-level coursework 21
ECE 9000 Graduate-level coursework 24
Total Hours 1 66

1 Students can also take up to 6 hours in ECE 7000, and a minor area outside the department is optional (12 credit hours at the Ph.D. level with a minimum of 3 credit hours at the 8000 level).

A doctoral student is required to orally defend his or her dissertation. The dissertation document (finished, not a draft) must be read and approved by the major professor and presented to the remaining committee readers two weeks before the scheduled oral defense.


Ph.D. Qualifying Exam

All students enrolled in the doctoral program in Electrical and Computer Engineering are required to pass a written qualifying examination. The purpose of this qualifying examination is to assess the student's broad background in ECE and ensure their capabilities for conducting doctoral work. This exam covers undergraduate EE and CPE course work.

Students who are classified as doctoral students must pass the qualifying examination within the first two years of full-time doctoral enrollment. Students enrolled in the doctoral program part-time have two years to pass the qualifying examination after completing 9 credit hours of course work.

The qualifying examination is given twice a year, each fall and spring semester, usually the first Saturday in October and the first Saturday in March, or as scheduled by the department. Students planning to take the qualifying examination must submit to the graduate program director a Qualifying Exam Form by September 15 for the fall semester and by February 15 for the spring semester.

In addition to students enrolled in the doctoral program, the following students may also take the qualifying examination:

  • students enrolled in the M.S. program within the department
  • senior undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher enrolled in the department
Exam Overview

The ECE qualifying exam consists of a total of 25 problems, 12 problems form core courses in ECE and 13 problems from discipline-specific, upper-level areas. Each student must select a total of 8 problems (a minimum of two problems from upper-level areas) to work within a 4-hour duration for grading. Pass/fail results will be reported.

Sample Exam

ECE Qualifying Sample Exam

Permitted Calculators

A basic calculator is permitted; that is, any calculator permitted to be used on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination may be used. See the NCEES Calculator Policy for more information.

Course Coverage
  • Digital Computing (5 problems)
  • Signal Processing (2 problems)
  • Microelectrics (2 problems)
  • Power and Controls (2 problems)
  • Electromagnetics and Telecommunications (2 problems)
Links