Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering

A Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering allows graduates to pursue professional careers in institutions, national research labs, federal and state agencies, and private and public corporations. Students enrolled in the program will develop the ability to conduct independent research to address compelling problems of local, national, and global significance in Electrical Engineering application. Students will have a strong foundation in engineering knowledge, as subject matter experts within a traditional discipline of engineering, to pursue careers in engineering research, development, or education. Students will demonstrate the professional skills necessary to bridge the gap between the deep technical knowledge and scientific discoveries to practical application through careers in academe and industry. The overall goal of the program is to train and develop advanced practitioners, researchers, and teaching scholars in Electrical Engineering.

Learning Objective and Outcomes

Graduates of the Electrical Engineering Ph.D. program will demonstrate:

1. Fundamental understanding of the principles, major research findings and current unresolved problems in their area of emphasis

2. Effective scientific communication skills

3. Proficiency in critical thinking,

4. Appropriate use of the scientific method.

5. Technical writing proficiency

6. Original scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Ph.D. program in Electrical Engineering must have a B.S. degree. Students with backgrounds in fields other than Electrical Engineering are encouraged to apply, but are required to take core Electrical Engineering courses as part of the doctoral program. In addition to the Graduate School minimum requirements, applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 3.20 and submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Course Requirements

The Graduate Studies Committee, in consultation with the faculty advisor and the chair of the department, is responsible for approving each student’s program to meet the course requirements specified below. Each student must complete at least 90 semester hours of graduate course work after the baccalaureate degree. Students with a master’s degree can transfer up to 30 semester hours of graduate course work. The committee will assess all work done at other institutions and will recommend acceptance of transfer credit for any graduate work deemed appropriate, subject to the policies of and approval by the Graduate School. In addition to meeting all of the course requirements below, students must ensure at least one half of their course work is at the 600-level or above, with the exception of dissertation hours.


The Graduate Studies Committee of the department is also responsible for the administration of the candidacy examination. In addition, all students are required to complete the following.

Core Courses (12)

All students are required to take 12 semester hours in Electrical Engineering in one of the focus areas listed below: 

Doctoral Seminar (3)

Students are required to register for three semesters of ELE 791, Doctoral Seminar

Technical Writing (3)

All students must take ENGL 626, Technical Writing.

Elective Course Work (45)

An additional 45 semester hours of graduate course work as electives. Elective courses can be graduate courses in Electrical Engineering and related disciplines outside the department. All elective courses must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee, in consultation with the faculty advisor and the chair of the department. Students in the professional track need to take 3 semester hours of Industry Residency (ELE 701).

Dissertation (27)

A minimum of 27 semester hours in ELE 799, Doctoral Research and Dissertation.

Oral Dissertation Defense

An oral examination on the dissertation will be conducted by the dissertation committee according to the Graduate School regulations.

Dissertation Proposal Examination

An oral examination of a proposal of a dissertation topic is required after the student has completed at least 45 semester hours of courses. This examination will be evaluated by the dissertation committee and must be found satisfactory before the candidate may continue their progress towards completion of the doctoral degree requirements. A student who fails the examination may be granted the opportunity to retake it. Failure on the second attempt will terminate the student from the Ph.D. program in Electrical Engineering.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee for each student will be nominated by the chair of the department and appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. This committee will consist of three to five graduate faculty members and will otherwise meet the specifications of the Graduate School. It will be chaired by the faculty advisor, who is appointed by the chair of the department and the dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology and the dean of the Graduate School.

Candidacy Examination

The candidacy exam is a written examination based on the core courses. The examination is to be taken within one year after completion of the core courses. A student who fails the candidacy examination may be granted the opportunity to retake it. Failure on the second attempt denies the student admission to candidacy.