PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Requirements

The student must be qualified to be a PhD candidate. Students admitted with an MS degree must prove competency in the PhD Qualifying  Process. Students admitted directly from a BS degree program must complete the 24 hours of graded coursework requirements of the MS degree during the first two years of their program. This will prepare them for the PhD Qualifying Process, and will allow them to obtain an MS degree if a thesis or project report is completed and defended, consistent with MS requirements, or to obtain an ME degree once the course work requirement has been satisfied. A student may petition the faculty for an extension of the two year requirement.

A minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the BS are required by the Graduate School; the student’s doctoral program committee sets the total number of credit hours and specific courses to be completed as part of his/her PhD program. However, the Graduate School requires a minimum of 15 hours of 8000/9000 level classes to be taken at MU exclusive of research, problems, and supervised study.

The candidate must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination.

The student must complete a doctoral dissertation on a topic approved by his or her Doctoral Committee and defend the dissertation in an oral final examination.

The student must attend a minimum of 20 EECS seminars given by the department during the course of their PhD program.

The student must present on a research topic as part of the EECS seminars between the qualifying process being met and the dissertation defense.

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Selection of an Advisor

The student selects an advisor or co-advisors, by mutual consent, from doctoral faculty members in the department. In the event that an advisor retires or leaves MU, he/she may continue to serve as a student’s advisor unless there is written academic program policy prohibiting such an arrangement. If an advisor is unable or unwilling to continue to serve, the academic program, with the leadership of the director of graduate studies, will assist to ensure that a replacement is found.

Doctoral Degree Forms

By the end of the second semester of study at MU, a student should begin submitting degree program forms which will aid the academic program and the Graduate School in tracking the student’s progress toward degree completion. These forms include the following:

  • D1 Qualifying Exam Results & Doctoral Committee Approval
    Submitted after passing qualifying process
  • D2 Plan of Study Form
    Submitted after passing qualifying process
  • D3 Result of the Comprehensive Examination
    Submitted to the Graduate School within one month of exam completion
  • D4 Report of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense
    Submitted by the Graduate School deadline for the semester in which the students plan to graduate.
  • List of publications completed during PhD study
  • Change of Committee
  • Plan of Study Course Substitution Form

More information is available at:
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PhD Qualifying Process

To be eligible to take the PhD Qualifying Process, graduate students must be accepted for advisement in the ECE PhD program. The process must be completed before the end of his or her second year of advisement as a Ph.D. student.

  • Within 2 years in the ECE PhD program, a student must complete at least 3 8000-level ECE regular courses, excluding research, problems, and special topic courses. The GPA of three of these courses with the highest grades must be at least 3.4, and overall GPA of all 8000-level courses must be 3.0 or higher. If the student cannot meet the requirements within the two year time limit, the student can file an appeal to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Appeal Process for the Qualifying Process Result

Students have the right to appeal to the graduate committee if they fail the PhD Qualifying Process. The Graduate Committee will examine the student evidence and produce a report on the outcome of the appeal.

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