Requirements for the Degree
Master's Degree Requirements
Requirements for the M.S. degree are ten courses including a written thesis; however, a master's report or a design project may be elected in place of a thesis. There is an oral examination covering the thesis research.
The community/residence requirement
This requirement is fulfilled by attending at least 50% of the weekly departmental seminars in each of four semesters. This is the minimal requirement -- it is hoped that most students will attend a larger percentage of seminars for a longer period of time.
The qualifying examination
- Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Form (Word document)
- Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Guidelines
- Sample Exam (2009)
- Sample Exam (2010)
- Sample Exam (2011)
- Sample Exam (2012)
- Sample Exam (2013)
The dissertation requirement
Within six months of the successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student and a full member of the Electrical Engineering faculty must declare to the director of graduate studies that the student is doing research under the guidance of that professor as advisor. The student will do research under the direction of the advisor, write a dissertation about that work, have the thesis read by a committee of at least four and defend the work in an oral presentation to the committee and all who are interested. The student's adviser will propose a committee to the faculty for approval. The thesis committee, chaired by the adviser, will include at least three EE faculty members and one additional person referred to as the "outside member". This outside member cannot be a member of the EE faculty, should be from outside the university whenever possible, is expected to be a recognized authority on the subject of the dissertation. The outside member is included in the committee in order to provide an objective and disinterested evaluation of the student's work.
Once the committee has been formed, the outside member is expected to participate in giving the student the assistance and feedback necessary to assure that the dissertation meets the appropriate standard. As a general rule, Ph.D. dissertations should be extended studies that go well beyond the scope of individual scholarly articles. They are expected to present a broad review of relevant literature and theory, to study extensively the problem posed and to place the results in a larger intellectual/research context. On occasion, the dissertation may substitute two to four less extended, original studies on closely related problems. Such a dissertation must be presented as a single document, must have a common general introduction and literature review, must have appropriate connecting matter and must have a general conclusion relating the results of the separate studies.
The EE faculty collectively conducts an annual review of all doctoral students/candidates. Students/candidates will be asked to provide their academic advisor/oral examination chairperson/thesis director (whichever is most appropriate) with a summary of their progress, achievements and difficulties in the preceding calendar year to be used in the review. The advisor will report to the student, in writing, the suggestions resulting from the annual review.