PhD Qualifying Process and Achieving Candidacy

The ECE PhD Qualifying Process is primarily designed to provide admitted PhD students (1) opportunities to demonstrate their technical and research abilities to ECE faculty and (2) diagnostic feedback on improving upon their preparation for taking on PhD research. Failure to satisfy the requirements of the ECE PhD Qualifying Process
results in removal of the student from the PhD program.

The ECE PhD Qualifying Process requires the admitted PhD student to satisfy a Technical Preparation Criterion (TPC) and a Research Preparation Criterion (RPC).

Technical Preparation Criterion (TPC)

Post-bachelor’s PhD Students

Required to obtain a GPA of at least 3.7 in 4 ECE graduate courses, 3 of which must be from a single MS/MEng specialization, and one of them should have a significant component involving formulation, analysis, and solution of mathematical models.

TPC must be satisfied within the first 3 full academic semesters in order to achieve PhD candidacy.

Post-master’s PhD Students

Required to obtain a GPA of at least 3.7 in 2 ECE graduate courses, 1 of which is from a single MS/MEng specialization, and one of them should have a significant component involving formulation, analysis, and solution of mathematical models.

TPC must be satisfied within the first 2 full academic semesters in order to achieve PhD candidacy.

Research Preparation Criterion (RPC)

All PhD Students

Required to pass a 1.5-hour oral examination, which is scheduled by the department in the early part of their first summer in the PhD program. The assessment is carried out by 3 ECE faculty members who assess the research abilities of the student in the context of a recent research article from the student’s intended field of PhD research. Students who do not pass the RPC on their first attempt are allowed a second attempt later that same summer.

RPC must be satisfied by the end of that summer in order to achieve PhD candidacy.

Achieving Candidacy

PhD candidacy is achieved upon satisfying both the TPC and the RPC.