Electrical and Computer Engineering
Minimum Degree Hours: 42
Admission is based on an evaluation of both an applicant’s academic profile and research potential. The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering accepts applications for fall and spring semester. However spring admissions is for domestic applicants only.
All application materials must be received by the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department by January 15th for the following fall semester or October 1st for the following spring semester. Applicants for graduate study in the ECE Department must complete an online application accessed through the department website to be received by the January deadline.
All applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), general test only.
International students are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS before they can be accepted for graduate study. After beginning their studies, they are required to take the SPEAK test. Students who score below 50 on the SPEAK test are directed to take English courses.
Coursework listed on the program of study must consist of:
- A minimum of 42 hours of graduate courses (5000 level or above) beyond the B.S. degree, in engineering and allied fields. Students with a prior M.S. degree will get credit for 30 hours of coursework.
- 4 semesters of Graduate Seminar (ECE 6900, ECE 6910, ECE 7900, and ECE 7910) or 2 semesters of Graduate Seminar (ECE 7900, ECE 7910) for students with a prior M.S. degree.
- At least 36 semester hours of thesis research (ECE 7970).
By the beginning of the second semester of study, students must file a Request for Supervisory Committee form with the department office. Generally, the committee consists of five members.
Program of Study
By the beginning of the second semester of study, students must submit to the department office, on the appropriate form, a program of study approved by the student’s supervisory committee. The form may be obtained from the department website.
Modifications to the program are made by filing an Amendment to Planned Program of Study form with the supervisory committee and obtaining required approval. The amendment must be approved before the new course is taken.
All students seeking graduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering must demonstrate proficiency in three basic areas: circuits, electronics, and either electromagnetic fields or systems.
Proficiency must be demonstrated within one year after enrollment in the program either by:
- Holding a BSEE or BSCE degree from an accredited school or by any combination of the following:
- Completing, with a grade of B or better, an undergraduate course in each area. The classes which currently satisfy each area are: circuits-ECE 2270; electronics-ECE 2280 or 3110; electromagnetic fields-ECE 3300; and systems-ECE 3500 or 3510.
- Taking all of the regular exams (including the final) in one of the undergraduate courses listed and completing the exams with an average grade of B or better.
- Completing an advanced course in the area and receiving a grade of B or better. Advanced courses that qualify in each area are: circuits - ECE 5710 or 5720; electronics - ECE 5201, 5202, 5710 or 5720; electromagnetic fields - ECE 5320, 5324 or 6310; and systems - ECE 5510, 5520, or 5530.
Ph.D. Qualifying Examination
All Ph.D.-degree aspirants must pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination in accordance with Graduate School and departmental regulations. This examination consists of a written part and an oral part and must be taken during the second semester of study. Upon successfully passing the examination, the student is recommended to the Graduate School for admission to candidacy.
Research Comprehensive Exam
Candidates seeking research degrees must pass a Research Comprehensive Examination administered by their supervisory committee at a time determined by that committee but no later than the fifth semester of study for Ph.D. students. The Research Comprehensive Examination will ordinarily include the defense of a written formal research thesis proposal. The comprehensive examination and thesis defense may not be taken during the same semester.
Thesis Final Examination
The thesis final examination (oral thesis defense) is conducted by the supervisory committee. Ph.D. students must defend at least two semesters after their comprehensive exam.
Up to nine hours of nonmatriculated coursework may be included on a student’s program of study if approved by the supervisory committee and the Department Graduate Committee. For graduation, the cumulative GPA on the courses listed on the program of study must be at least 3.0 with no grade lower than C-. For more detailed information, see the Graduate Information section of this catalog.
Check the department Ph.D. handbook online for further requirements.