The Ph.D. is a research degree. The minimum requirements for a Ph.D. degree in the College of Engineering stated below are the same for all departments. Each department may include additional degree requirements for students pursuing specialization in that department.
Students Admitted with a Master's Degree
A minimum of 48 credits of course work and doctoral research and dissertation as follows:
A minimum of eighteen (18) credit hours of course work beyond the master's degree, acceptable to the student's advisory committee. Additional six (6) credit hours of either graduate level course work or research experience as per the policy of the student's major department. No 5000-level courses are to be used to meet the minimum requirements of course work.
A minimum of twenty four (24) credit hours of doctoral research and dissertation built upon the student's course of study and making a significant contribution to the state of knowledge or to the art of the engineering profession, is required; not more than nine (9) credit hours may be earned in a particular semester.
Residence of four (4) semesters beyond the master's degree, with at least two (2) semesters in continuous residence, is required. All requirements, including the dissertation, must be completed within a period of eight (8) consecutive years.
Maintenance of a minimum quality point average of 3.0 and adherence to the general regulations of the College of Graduate Studies are expected.
All students in the program must follow a plan of study and research developed in conjunction with an advisory committee, satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination, achieve candidacy, and satisfactorily defend their dissertation.
Students Admitted Directly from the Bachelor's Degree into the Ph.D. Degree Program
A student admitted with a bachelor's degree on exceptional basis must successfully complete a qualifying examination based mostly on undergraduate materials before the end of the second semester of enrollment. Students with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from ABET-accredited programs are exempted from this examination. Other students without such a degree, or M.S. students without an ABET-accredited B.S. degree, switching to direct Ph.D. will have to take a qualifying exam through a formal process established by the department. The process should include at a minimum an examination of the student's fundamental knowledge managed by the Graduate Committee of the department.
Based on the student's performance on the qualifying examination, the student may be (i) permitted to continue in the doctoral program, or (ii) advised to transfer to an M.S. degree program in an appropriate discipline in the college, or (iii) recommended for termination from the graduate program of the college.
If permitted to continue in the doctoral program, the student, as described elsewhere in the catalog, will select a research advisor, form an advisory committee, and submit a program of study satisfying the following requirements.
The program of study should have a minimum total of seventy two (72) credit hours of academic work, consisting of course work and dissertation work, beyond baccalaureate work, subject to the following:
The program of study should include a minimum of forty two (42) credit hours of appropriate graduate level course work consisting of a maximum of nine (9) credit hours at the 5000-level, acceptable to the student's advisory committee.
It should also include an additional six (6) credit hours of either graduate level course work or research experience as per the policy of the student's major department.
A minimum of 24 credit hours of doctoral research and dissertation, built upon the student's course of study and making significant contribution to the state of knowledge and the art of the engineering profession, is required; no more than nine (9) credit hours may be earned in a particular semester.
Students Admitted Directly from the Bachelor's Degree into the Ph.D. Program Earning a Non-thesis M.S. en route
All conditions stated above for the students admitted directly into the Ph.D. program apply. In addition:
Nine (9) credit hours will count toward the non-thesis M.S. degree and toward the Ph.D. degree. If the departmental non-thesis M.S. requires a three (3) credit hour non-thesis project course, those three (3) credit hours can be counted as three (3) credit hours of dissertation research toward the Ph.D. degree. Six (6) credit hours of M.S. coursework can be counted toward the Ph.D. coursework. If no project course is required for the non-thesis M.S., then nine (9) credit hours of M.S. coursework can be counted toward the Ph.D.
Limitation on Graduate Assistantships
It is expected that a full-time, post master's Ph.D. Engineering student should be able to achieve candidacy within the first three (3) calendar years after enrollment, and a direct admit Ph.D. Engineering student after four (4) calendar years. If candidacy is not achieved within the aforementioned periods, a student must request and receive approval for an extension of assistantship following the College of Engineering's established procedure. An extension may be granted by the Associate Dean of Engineering for Research and Innovation. This limitation is regardless of student funding or the source of support for the student.