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Doctor of Philosophy - Electrical Engineering

The Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering requires 72 credit hours of course work and research credits. A minimum of 36 credit hours of course work and a minimum of 24 credit hours of research is required. The remaining 12 credit hours required can be earned through research or coursework and students should consult with their Advisor and/or Thesis Committee. There are three tracks in Electrical Engineering: (1) Antennas and Wireless Communications (AWC), (2) Energy Systems and Power Electronics (ESPE), and (3) Information and Systems Sciences (ISS). Students are encouraged to decide between tracks before pursuing an advanced degree. Students are also encouraged to speak to their Advisor and/or a member of the EE faculty before registering for classes and to select a permanent Advisor as soon as possible. The following set of courses is required of all students.

Core classes

EE CORE: EE Core Courses (AWC track) 9.0
EE CORE: EE Core Courses (ESPE track)  9.0
EE CORE: EE Core Courses (ISS track) 12.0

EE Technical Electives (must be approved by thesis committee)

EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (AWC track) 27.0
EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (ESPE track) 27.0
EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (ISS track) 24.0

Lists of courses within these categories can be found below.

Research Credit

EENG-707 GRADUATE THESIS / DISSERTATION 24.0

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination


Students wishing to enroll in the Electrical Engineering Ph.D. program will be required to pass a Qualifying Exam. Normally, full-time Ph.D. candidates will take the Qualifying Exam in their first year, but it must be taken within four semesters of entering the program. Part-time candidates will normally be expected to take the Qualifying Exam within no more than six semesters of entering the program.

The purpose of the Qualifying Exam is to assess some of the attributes expected of a successful Ph.D. student, including:

  • To determine the student's ability to review, synthesize and apply fundamental concepts.
  • To determine the creative and technical potential of the student to solve open-ended and challenging problems.
  • To determine the student's technical communication skills.

The Qualifying Examination includes both written and oral sections. The written section is based on material from the EE Department's undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree. The oral part of the exam covers one or more papers from the literature chosen by the student and the student's Advisor. The student's Advisor and two additional Electrical Engineering faculty members (typically from the student's Thesis Committee representing their track) administer the oral exam.

Ph.D. Qualifying exams will be held each spring semester. In the event of a student failing the Qualifying exam, she/he will be given one further opportunity to pass the exam in the following spring semester. If a second failure occurs, the student has unsatisfactory academic performance that results in an immediate, mandatory dismissal of the graduate student from the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. Thesis Proposal


After passing the Qualifying Examination, the Ph.D. student is allowed up to 18 months to prepare a written Thesis Proposal and present it formally to the student's Thesis Committee and other interested faculty.

Admission to Candidacy


In addition to the Graduate School requirements, full-time Ph.D. students must complete the following requirements within two calendar years of enrolling in the Ph.D. program.

  • Have a Thesis Committee appointment form on file in the Graduate Office
  • Have passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam demonstrating adequate preparation for, and satisfactory ability to conduct doctoral research.

Ph.D. Thesis Defense


At the conclusion of the student’s Ph.D. program, the student will be required to make a formal presentation and defense of her/his thesis research. A student must "pass" this defense to earn a Ph.D. degree.

Electrical Engineering Courses


Required Core: Antennas and Wireless Communications

All students must take three of the following five core courses:

EENG-525 ANTENNAS 3.0
EENG-527 WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS 3.0
EENG-530 PASSIVE RF & MICROWAVE DEVICES 3.0

Courses to be approved by Graduate Council:
Advanced Engineering Electromagnetics
Computational Electromagnetics

Required Core: Energy Systems and Power Electronics Track

All students must take three of the following four core courses:

EENG-570 ADVANCED HIGH POWER ELECTRONICS 3.0
EENG-580 POWER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING 3.0
EENG-581 POWER SYSTEM OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT 3.0
EENG-583 ADVANCED ELECTRICAL MACHINE DYNAMICS 3.0

Under special circumstances, substitutions can be made with the approval of the student's advisor

Required Core: Information and Systems Sciences

All students must take

EENG-515 MATHEMATICAL METHODS FOR SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS 3.0

and choose at least 3 of the following:

EENG-509 SPARSE SIGNAL PROCESSING 3.0
EENG-511 CONVEX OPTIMIZATION AND ITS ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS 3.0
EENG-517 THEORY AND DESIGN OF ADVANCED CONTROL SYSTEMS 3.0
EENG-519 ESTIMATION THEORY AND KALMAN FILTERING 3.0
EENG-527 WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS 3.0
EENG-589 DESIGN AND CONTROL OF WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS 3.0
MEGN-544 ROBOT MECHANICS: KINEMATICS, DYNAMICS, AND CONTROL 3.0

Course descriptions of both graduate level courses and senior level courses are available for you to review.


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