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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering

The Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering is designed to offer students the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles in careers with industry, government, or educational institutions. The program has emphases in five concentrations: Computer Engineering, Systems and Control, Digital Signal Processing, Communications, and Electronic Materials and Devices. A thesis option is offered for students who want the opportunity to obtain expertise in research and who may be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. A nonthesis option is available for students who want a practical industrial applications-oriented degree.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to the University-wide graduate admission requirements, admission decisions will be based on a combination of the following:

  • a satisfactory score, as evaluated by the Electrical Engineering Graduate Studies Committee, on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, or in related fields for exceptional candidates
  • a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 semester credit hours.

Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version, 79 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

A student who does not qualify for unconditional admission may be admitted on a conditional basis as determined by the Electrical Engineering Graduate Studies Committee. Applicants with an electrical engineering background who wish to continue their education but do not intend to pursue the Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering are encouraged to seek admission as special graduate students.

Degree Requirements. The degree requirements for different options are as follows:

  1. The following five concentration core courses form the basis for the program:

    EE  5123   Computer Architecture (Computer Engineering)
    EE  5143   Linear Systems and Control (Systems and Control)
    EE  5163   Digital Signal Processing (Digital Signal Processing)
    EE  5183   Foundations of Communication Theory (Communications)
    EE  5693   Dielectric and Optoelectronic Devices (Electronic Materials and Devices)

  2. The requirements for each option, with minimum semester-credit-hour requirements and their distribution, are as follows:
    1. Thesis Option:

      The degree requires 30 semester credit hours including 24 technical course credits and 6 thesis credits identified as EE 6983 (Master’s Thesis). At least 6 credits, including 3 credits of a core course, must be taken from courses in the student’s concentration area. At least 3 credits of core courses must be taken outside the concentration area to satisfy the breadth requirement. No more than 3 credits of independent study should be included. One (1) credit hour of EE 6991 (Research Seminar) is required. Up to 6 credits may be taken from other graduate courses including courses from outside electrical engineering with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee. A current list of ECE Graduate Courses by Area is available in the department office. The distribution of required courses is given below.


      Thesis Option Hours
      At least two courses from student’s selected concentration 6
      At least one core course from outside the concentration 3
      Additional graduate electrical engineering courses
      (must include 1 credit hour of EE 6991 Research Seminar)
      9
      Other Electives (may be courses from outside electrical engineering)* 6
      EE 6983 Master’s Thesis 6
      Minimum total semester credit hours required 30
         
      *Chosen with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee.  

    2. Nonthesis Option:

      The degree requires 33 semester credit hours of technical course credits. At least 9 credits, including 3 credits of a core course, must be taken from one area to establish the student’s concentration. At least 6 credits of core courses must be taken outside the concentration area to satisfy the breadth requirement. No more than 2 credits of independent study should be included. One (1) credit hour of EE 6991 (Research Seminar) is required. Up to 6 credits may be taken from other graduate courses including courses from outside electrical engineering with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee. A current list of ECE Graduate Courses by Area is available in the department office. The distribution of required courses is given below.


      Nonthesis Option Hours
      At least three courses from student’s selected concentration 9
      At least two core courses from outside the concentration 6
      Additional graduate electrical engineering courses
      (must include 1 credit hour of EE 6991 Research Seminar)
      9
      Other electives (may be courses from outside electrical engineering)* 6
      EE 6943 Graduate Project 3
      Minimum total semester credit hours required 33
         
      *Chosen with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee.  

The Electrical Engineering (EE) courses are divided into five concentrations as follows:

Computer Engineering EE 5103, EE 5113, EE 5123, EE 5193, EE 5223, EE 5323, EE 5423,
EE 5453, EE 5463, EE 6323, EE 7423
Systems and Control EE 5143, EE 5243, EE 5343, EE 5443, EE 5463, EE 6343, EE 7443
Digital Signal Processing EE 5153, EE 5163, EE 5203, EE 5263, EE 5353, EE 6363, EE 7463
Communications EE 5153, EE 5183, EE 5283, EE 5373, EE 5473, EE 5583, EE 6383,
EE 7483
Electronic Materials and Micro Devices EE 5293, EE 5403, EE 5413, EE 5503, EE 5593, EE 5693, EE 6493

Degree plans must be consistent with the guidelines established by the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee. In general, undergraduate courses, general education courses, and courses satisfying provisional conditions for admission cannot be counted toward the total required degree credit hours.

Comprehensive Examination. Degree candidates are required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. The examination is to be administered in the form of a presentation of the thesis or research project to the student’s advisory committee, chaired by a tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty member. Students must register for one semester credit hour of Comprehensive Examination for the semester in which the examination is to be taken, if they are not enrolled in other courses.

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Master of Science Degree in Computer Engineering

The Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering is designed to offer students the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles in careers with industry, government, or educational institutions. Students enrolled in the M.S. degree program in Computer Engineering will have two options to obtain their degrees: (1) Thesis Option and (2) Nonthesis Option. A thesis option is offered for students who want the opportunity to obtain expertise in research and who may be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering. A nonthesis option is offered for students who want a practical industrial applications-oriented degree.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to the University-wide graduate admission requirements, admission decisions will be based on a combination of the following:

  • a satisfactory score, as evaluated by the Computer Engineering Graduate Studies Committee, on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • a bachelor’s degree in electrical or computer engineering or in related fields for exceptional candidates
  • a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate studies.

Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version, 79 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

A student who does not qualify for unconditional admission may be admitted on a conditional basis as determined by the Computer Engineering Graduate Studies Committee. Applicants with an electrical or computer engineering background who wish to continue their education but do not intend to pursue the Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering are encouraged to seek admission as special graduate students.

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree is 30 for the thesis option and 33 for the nonthesis option.

  1. The courses are divided into three groups as follows:

    Group A. The following four core courses of this group form the basis for the program:

    EE  5103   Engineering Programming
    EE  5113   VLSI System Design
    EE  5123   Computer Architecture
    EE  5193   FPGA and HDL

    Group B. Additional computer engineering courses:

    CS  5103   Software Engineering
    EE  5163   Digital Signal Processing
    EE  5223   Topics in Digital Design (may be repeated when topic varies)
    EE  5293   Topics in Microelectronics (may be repeated when topic varies)
    EE  5323   Topics in VLSI Design (may be repeated when topic varies)
    EE  5353   Topics in Multimedia Signal Processing (only Topic 1 and Topic 2)
    EE  5423   Topics in Computer Architecture (may be repeated when topic varies)
    EE  5453   Topics in Software Engineering (may be repeated when topic varies)
    EE  6952   Independent Study (Topic must be computer engineering related. Needs approval from Computer Engineering Graduate Program Committee to be counted in Group B.)
    EE  6991   Research Seminar

    Group C. Free elective courses:

    Any graduate-level electrical engineering course
    CS  5113   Computer Graphics
    CS  5233   Artificial Intelligence
    CS  5253   Expert Systems
    CS  5363   Programming Languages and Compilers
    CS  5523   Operating Systems
    CS  6103   Distributed Software Development

  2. The requirements for each option, with minimum semester-credit-hour requirements and their distribution, are as follows:

    Thesis Option Hours
    Core courses (any two from Group A) 6
    Additional computer engineering courses from Group A or B*
    (must include 1 credit hour of EE 6991 Research Seminar)
    12
    Elective courses from Group A or B or C* 6
    EE 6983 Master’s Thesis 6
    Minimum total semester credit hours required 30
       
    Nonthesis Option Hours
    Core courses (any two courses from Group A) 6
    Additional computer engineering courses from Group A or B*
    (must include 1 credit hour of EE 6991 Research Seminar)
    15
    Elective courses from Group A or B or C* 9
    EE 6943 Graduate Project 3
    Minimum total semester credit hours required 33
       
    *Chosen with approval of the Computer Engineering Graduate Program Committee.

    One (1) credit hour of EE 6991 (Research Seminar) is required for both the thesis and nonthesis options.

Degree plans must be consistent with the guidelines established by the Computer Engineering Graduate Program Committee. In general, undergraduate courses, general education courses, and courses satisfying provisional conditions for admission cannot be counted toward the total required degree credit hours.

Comprehensive Examination. Degree candidates are required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. The examination is to be administered in the form of a presentation of the thesis or research project to the student’s advisory committee, chaired by a tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty member. Students must register for one semester credit hour of Comprehensive Examination for the semester in which the examination is to be taken, if they are not enrolled in other courses.

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Master of Science Degree in Advanced Materials Engineering

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Advanced Materials Engineering (MatE) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program offered by the College of Engineering. The M.S. in MatE degree program is administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Master of Science degree in Advanced Materials Engineering is designed to train graduate students with the state-of-the-art technical knowledge and skill sets necessary for independent critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making to address multidisciplinary problems in materials engineering. The degree program also provides students with opportunities in taking multidisciplinary courses from the College of Engineering and other colleges at UTSA to enhance students’ leadership, problem-solving, and/or entrepreneurship skills.

The program addresses three interlinked areas of knowledge in advanced materials engineering: (a) Structure-function relationships in materials, which determine behavior at the macro-, micro-, nano-, molecular- and atomic-levels; (b) Synthesis, characterization and measurement of materials (ceramics, composites, metals, polymers, multifunctional, electronic and biomedical) especially those with novel properties, to address current and future technological challenges; and (c) Design and applications of materials that impact different facets of our economy, including materials in energy, nanotechnology, medicine, communications, sensors, transportation, structural and environmental applications.

The M.S. in MatE offers core courses to all enrolled students to achieve a common platform of understanding and knowledge. Subsequently, students will choose their concentrations according to materials classifications and applications. Currently two concentrations are offered:

  • Concentration I – Multifunctional Electronic, Dielectric, Photonic and Magnetic Materials
  • Concentration II – Multifunctional Biomedical Materials

With the approval of the Program Director and the student’s Supervising Professor, students may take approved graduate-level courses, including courses from the Management of Technology program, to augment the student’s education and creativity in interdisciplinary areas and to better prepare for jobs in research and in the industry.

Both thesis and nonthesis options are available.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to the University-wide graduate admission requirements, admission decisions will be made by the Admissions Committee based on a combination of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any discipline of engineering, materials science, physics or chemistry. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate studies.
  • A statement of research experience, interests and goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • A satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test as evaluated by the Admissions Committee. An applicant’s performance on the GRE is considered with other criteria when making an admission or competitive fellowship decision but will not be used as the sole or primary criterion to end consideration of the applicant.

Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version, 79 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the M.S. in MatE degree is 30 for the thesis option and 33 for the nonthesis option.

Thesis Option: The degree requires 30 semester credit hours including 24 technical course credits and 6 thesis credits identified as MATE 6983 (Master’s Thesis Research). A total of 18 semester credit hours, including 9 credits of core courses in Group A, at least 6 credits of concentration courses and 3 credits of another concentration course in Group B must be taken to satisfy the breadth requirement. No more than a total of 3 semester credit hours of MATE 6951-3 and Research Seminar courses (BME 6011 or EE 6991) should be included (Group C). Up to 6 credits may be taken from other graduate courses in Group C, including courses from outside the College of Engineering with the approval of the Advanced Materials Engineering Graduate Program Committee. A current list of MATE graduate courses is available in the department office.

Nonthesis Option: The degree requires 33 semester credit hours including 30 technical course credits and 3 project credits identified as MATE 6943 (Master’s Project). A total of 24 semester credit hours, including 9 credits of core courses in Group A, at least 12 credits of concentration courses and 3 credits of another concentration course in Group B may be taken to satisfy the breadth requirement. No more than a total of 3 credits of MATE 6951-3 and Research Seminar courses (BME 6011 or EE 6991) should be included (Group C). Up to 6 credits may be taken from other graduate courses in Group C, including courses from outside the College of Engineering with the approval of the Advanced Materials Engineering Graduate Program Committee. A current list of MATE graduate courses is available in the department office.

The requirements for each option, with minimum semester-credit-hour requirements and their distribution, are as follows:

Thesis Option Hours
Required Core Courses (Group A) 9
Concentration Specific Courses (Group B)  9
Prescribed Elective Courses (Group C)  6
MATE 6981-3 Master’s Thesis Research  6
Minimum total semester credit hours required  30
Nonthesis Option Hours
Required Core Courses (Group A)  9
Concentration Specific Courses (Group B)  15
Prescribed Elective Courses (Group C) 6
MATE 6941-3 Master’s Project  3
Minimum total semester credit hours required 33

Degree plans must be consistent with the guidelines established by the Advanced Materials Engineering Graduate Program Committee. In general, undergraduate courses of the same concentration, general education courses, and courses satisfying provisional conditions for admission cannot be counted toward the total required degree credit hours.

Comprehensive Examination. Degree candidates are required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. The examination is to be administered in the form of a presentation of the thesis or research project to the student’s advisory committee, chaired by a graduate faculty member affiliated with the M.S. in MatE program. Students must register for 1 semester credit hour of Comprehensive Examination for the semester in which the examination is to be taken, if they are not enrolled in other courses.

Program of Study

Group A. Required core courses:

MATE  5103   Principles of Materials Engineering: Fundamentals of Structure, Chemistry, and Physical Properties
MATE  5113   Functions, Evaluations and Synthesis of Advanced Materials
MOT    5163   Management of Technology    

Group B. Concentration specific courses:

Concentration I: Multifunctional Electronic, Dielectric, Photonic and Magnetic Materials
EE      5403   Advanced Dielectric and Optoelectronic Engineering Laboratory
EE      5413   Principles of Microfabrication
EE      5503   Introduction to Micro and Nanotechnology
EE      5693   Dielectric and Optoelectronic Devices
EE      6493   Advanced Topics in Electronic Materials and Devices (may be repeated when topics vary)
MATE  5213   Sensing and Sensor Materials
MATE  5223   Structure-Chemistry-Property Relations in Materials Science and Engineering
MATE  5233   Anisotropy and Crystalline Materials
MATE  5243   Optic and Nonlinear Optical Materials
MATE  5253   Magnetic Materials and Electromagnetic Engineering
MATE  5393   Topics in Advanced Materials Engineering (may be repeated when topics vary)

Concentration II: Multifunctional Biomedical Materials
BME    6913   Biomaterials II
BME    6923   Tissue Engineering
BME    6933   Tissue-Biomaterials Interactions
BME    6943   Biomaterials & Cell Signaling
BME    6953   Biomaterials for Drug-Delivery/Pharmacology
BME    6963   Fundamentals to Polymer Science with Select Biomedical Applications
BME    6993   Topics in Biomaterials
MATE  5513   Fundamentals of Microfabrication and Application
MATE  5523   Biosensors: Fundamentals and Applications
MATE  5533   Biomaterials
MATE  5543   Current Analytical Tools for Biomaterials Characterizations

Group C. Prescribed elective courses. Additional elective courses may be added with approval of the Advanced Materials Engineering Graduate Program Committee.

BME    6011      Research Seminar
EE       6991      Research Seminar
MATE  6951-3   Directed Research in Advanced Materials Engineering
ME      5483      Finite Element Methods
ME      5713      Mechanical Behavior of Materials
ME      5743      Composite Materials
MOT   5243      Essentials of Project and Program Management
MOT   5253      Starting the High-Tech Firm
MOT   5313      Emerging Technologies
MOT   5323      Biotechnology Industry
MOT   5333      Technological Drivers of Globalization
MOT   6971-3   Special Problems

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Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Electrical Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers advanced coursework integrated with research leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering. The program has emphases in five concentrations: Computer Engineering, Systems and Control, Digital Signal Processing, Communications, and Electronic Materials and Devices. The Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering will be awarded to candidates who have displayed an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and demonstrated the ability to make an original contribution to knowledge in their field of specialty.

The regulations for this degree comply with the general University regulations (refer to Chapter 2, General Academic Regulations, and Chapter 5, Doctoral Degree Regulations).

Admission Requirements. The minimum requirements for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering degree program are as follows:

  • Normally, a student is expected to hold a master’s degree before being granted admission to the program. Only exceptional, well prepared, and highly competitive candidates should apply to enter the Ph.D. program directly upon receiving a bachelor’s degree.

  • Applicants with a master’s degree must have a grade point average of 3.3 or better in their master’s degree program. Applicants without a master’s degree program must have a grade point average of 3.3 or better in the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate coursework in electrical engineering.

  • Applicants who would like to transfer in coursework from another institution or applicants admitted without an earned master’s degree in electrical engineering may apply a maximum of 30 semester credit hours of previously earned graduate credit toward their doctoral degree. Each student’s transcript will be evaluated by the Doctoral Studies Committee and credit will be designated on a course-by-course basis to satisfy the formal coursework requirements of the degree.

  • A satisfactory score, as evaluated by the Doctoral Studies Committee for Electrical Engineering, is required on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE score will be considered with other criteria in making admission or competitive scholarship decisions and will not be used as the sole criterion for consideration of the applicant or as the primary criterion to end consideration of the applicant.

  • Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version, 79 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

  • Letters of recommendation, preferably three, attesting to the applicant’s readiness for doctoral study.

A complete application includes the application form, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a résumé, a statement of research experience, interests and goals, and the TOEFL or IELTS score for those applicants whose native language is not English. Admission is competitive. Satisfying these requirements does not guarantee admission.

Degree Requirements and Program of Study. The degree requires 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree or 60 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, passing of qualifying examinations I and II, passing of a dissertation proposal examination, passing of a final oral defense, and acceptance of the Ph.D. dissertation. A two-semester residency research period is required.

The core courses for the five concentrations are listed below:

EE  5123  Computer Architecture (Computer Engineering)
EE  5143  Linear Systems and Control (Systems and Control)
EE  5163  Digital Signal Processing (Digital Signal Processing)
EE  5183  Foundations of Communication Theory (Communications)
EE  5693  Dielectric and Optoelectronic Devices (Electronic Materials and Devices)

The course requirements for 90 credit hours include 54 technical course credits, 18 research credits identified as EE 7951-3 (Doctoral Research) and 18 dissertation credits identified as EE 7991-6 (Doctoral Dissertation). At least two courses must be taken from core courses in two of the five concentration areas outside of the student’s concentration, to complete the breadth requirement. No more than 6 credits of independent study should be included. One credit hour of EE 6971 (Special Problems) is required and up to three credit hours of EE 6971 or EE 6991 (Research Seminar) can be included. Up to 21 credits may be taken from other graduate courses including at least two courses from outside electrical engineering with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee.

The course requirements for 60 credit hours include 30 technical course credits, 12 research credits identified as EE 7951-3 (Doctoral Research) and 18 dissertation credits identified as EE 7991-6 (Doctoral Dissertation). At least three courses must be taken from the five core courses and at least two courses from outside electrical engineering with approval of the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program Committee. An advanced graduate course (non-laboratory intensive) with a specified core course as prerequisite may be used, upon approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record, to satisfy the given core course requirement, if the student took the core (or equivalent) course for credit in a different degree program or at another institution. No more than 6 credits of independent study including those earned towards the Master’s degree should be included. One credit hour of EE 6971 (Special Problems) is required and up to 3 credit hours of EE 6971 or EE 6991 (Research Seminar) can be included. A Master’s degree with at least 30 semester credit hours received in a closely-related field is needed for this option.

In general, undergraduate courses, general education courses, and courses satisfying provisional conditions for admission cannot be counted toward the total required degree credit hours.

The preliminary program of study must be approved by the student’s dissertation advisor and the Graduate Program Committee prior to taking the Doctoral Qualifying Examination, and must be submitted subsequently upon the Dissertation Committee’s approval, to the Dean of the Graduate School for final approval. The courses are intended to focus and support the individual’s mastery of his or her particular area of expertise.

Advancement to Candidacy. All students seeking a doctoral degree at UTSA must be admitted to candidacy. One of the requirements for admission to candidacy is passing a doctoral qualifying examination. Students should consult the University’s Doctoral Degree Regulations (Chapter 5 in this catalog) for other requirements.

Qualifying Examination. The Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering qualifying examination contains two components: (I) Knowledge Competencies through fulfillment of graduate coursework in both primary and secondary concentration areas and (II) Communication and Research Competencies through submission of a written research proposal followed by an oral presentation to the Candidacy Examination Committee. Successful completion of a candidacy examination is required for formal admission into the Electrical Engineering Doctoral program.

(I) Knowledge Competencies: In order to establish knowledge competencies, the student must have a Preliminary Program of Study on file and must submit his or her request in writing to the Graduate Advisor of Record after completion of required coursework. The student must take and pass the concentration-specific written Qualifying Examination to demonstrate readiness to pursue a Ph.D. in the chosen field. The written exam is offered each winter and summer prior to the start of the Spring and Fall semesters. Other courses taken at UTSA that satisfy knowledge competencies are three courses including one core course of the student’s primary area and two core courses representing the student’s secondary areas, with a grade point average (GPA) of no less than 3.4. No courses with a GPA of less than 3.0 can be counted to satisfy the knowledge competency. An advanced graduate course (non-laboratory intensive) with a specified core course as prerequisite may be used, upon the approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record, to satisfy the given core course requirement, if the student took the core (or equivalent) course for credit in a different degree program or at another institution.

(II) Communication and Research Competencies: The purpose of the Exam on Communication and Research Competency is to evaluate the student’s capability to communicate technical materials, in both written and oral forms, in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The Exam on Communication and Research Competency is scheduled during each Fall and Spring semester within one semester after fulfillment of Knowledge Competencies. A Ph.D. supervising professor from the ECE Department should be identified prior to scheduling the exam. The examination includes a written research proposal and an oral presentation on an assigned topic relevant to the student’s area of concentration. The Candidacy Examination Committee is a three-member subcommittee of the ECE Graduate Committee established to evaluate each candidate. A majority decision is required for passing the exam. Full-time students who fail their first attempt at the candidacy exams may make a second attempt within one semester or prior to the end of the fourth long semester since the student’s admission to the Ph.D. program, whichever is earlier. No more than two attempts to pass the candidacy exams are permitted.

When both the Knowledge Competency and the Communication and Research Competency requirements are successfully satisfied, the Chair of the Graduate Program Committee will notify the student of his or her formal admission as a candidate to the Electrical Engineering Doctoral program. If a student passes the candidacy exam provisionally with coursework recommendations, including English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, the student will not be advanced to the Dissertation Proposal Examination until all provisional conditions are met.

Dissertation Proposal Examination. Students should take the dissertation proposal exam after they have passed the candidacy exam (and have satisfied provisional conditions, if any), but no later than the seventh long semester after enrolling in the program. The student must be registered and be in good academic standing to hold the dissertation proposal examination. The approved Dissertation Committee, chaired by the student’s Supervising Professor, conducts the dissertation proposal exam.

The dissertation proposal exam consists of a written review of the student’s dissertation research and future research plans, their defense in an oral presentation, followed by a closed oral exam administered by committee members. The committee shall examine the student’s knowledge in the subject area, make recommendations for modifying the research plan, alert the student to related work, and identify potential complications. The committee may recommend additional research and/or coursework as it sees necessary. Major deviation from the proposed research requires the approval of the Dissertation Committee. Unanimous approval of the Committee is required for the student to pass the exam. Students who fail their first attempt at the dissertation proposal exam are allowed to make a second attempt within one year. No more than two attempts to pass the dissertation proposal exam are permitted.

Final Oral Dissertation Defense. After admission to candidacy and passing the dissertation proposal exam, the next steps are conducting dissertation research, writing the dissertation and passing the final oral defense. The final oral defense is administered and evaluated by the student’s Dissertation Committee. The final oral defense consists of a public presentation of the dissertation, followed by a closed oral defense. The Dissertation Committee must unanimously approve the dissertation.

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