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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

PH.D. Programs

To view the degree requirements for the doctorate degree programs you are enrolled in select the associated discipline below from the list below.

Computer Science

Degree Requirements

Requirements for EECS doctoral degree program in Computer Science

  • First semester select a major advisor and a doctoral committee
  • Submit plan of study to be approved by committee
  • Qualifying examination
  • Annual Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR)
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation
  • Final oral examination

(Doctoral Committee: Students must select a major advisor and a doctoral committee within their first semester in the program. Doctoral committees must consist of a minimum of five Graduate Faculty members and is chaired by the major advisor. The advisor and at least two other members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track EECS Graduate Faculty. One committee member must be a KU faculty member from outside of EECS not directly involved with the student's research nor can they have a courtesy appointment with the department. The committee guides the plan of study, participates in the comprehensive and final examinations, and helps select a topic for research.)


Course Requirements

Students admitted to the program with their M.S. degree in Computer Science must complete:

  • EECS Colloquium (EECS 802), recommend taking it your first semester
  • Minimum of 18 credit hours of approved course work
  • Minimum of 15 credit hours of course work must be EECS numbered 700 or higher, excluding Directed Graduate Reading (EECS 801), Master's Thesis (EECS 899), and Post-Master's Research (EECS 998).
  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of doctoral dissertation (EECS 999)
  • EECS 999 hours can only be counted toward degree after passing the Comprehensive Examination
Explore: Fast Track

Advising

During their first semester, students will form a graduate committee. The student’s committee consists of a minimum of 5 Graduate Faculty members and is chaired by the major adviser. The adviser and at least 2 other members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track members of the Graduate Faculty, and 1 committee member must be a regular KU Graduate Faculty member outside of the EECS department. They should select faculty members who are most closely aligned with their research interests.

  • Meet with professors in area of interest
  • Choose an adviser
  • Meet regularly with adviser to refine plan of study to meet academic and research goals

Advising holds will be released after the plan of study is approved and a signed enrollment planning form is submitted to the EECS Graduate Office.

Students should plan their schedules with the understanding that some EECS graduate courses are offered on a two-year rotation. Some classes are offered every semester, others once per year, and some advanced courses are offered once every four semesters. Check with the University Registrar for a complete listing of courses.


Plan of Study

Every PhD student is required to have a goal for their PhD program that matches the sought after degree. The plan of study must be consistent with the identified degree and goals.

The a href="https://gradplan.engr.ku.edu/instructions.html">plan of study outlines all course work, establishes dates for PhD milestones* and identifies the committee members.

  • Work with adviser to form a committee, decide the classes that best meet your academic goals and determine a timeline to meet the PhD dates*.
  • Submit plan of study before second semester of graduate study.
  • Update plan of study when modifications are made and resubmit plan for approval.

PhD plans of study incudes:

  • EECS Colloquium and Seminar on Professional Issues (EECS 802), recommend taking it your first semester.
  • Minimum of 18 credit hours of approved course work
  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of EECS 999 Doctoral Dissertation (EECS 999 hours can only be counted toward degree after passing the Comprehensive Examination)
  • Minimum of 5 committee members (4 EECS Graduate Faculty and 1 KU Graduate Faculty outside the department)

*PhD Dates:

  • Residency is met after full time enrollment two consecutive semesters
  • Research Skills are met with the passing of the qualifying exam
  • Responsible Scholarship is met with the passing of EECS 802

Qualifying Examination

Students will demonstrate knowledge of Computer Science fundamentals and a potential for research through the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (Qual), which is a one-day written exam. They will receive a set of technical papers eight days before the Qual. One paper serves as a relatively broad technical overview, which could be found in IEEE Proceedings, ACM Computing Surveys, or other such publications. The other papers will be narrower and deeper in scope. No technical materials will be allowed. If needed, computers will be provided by the Department.

  • Offered once each year in the spring
  • Must be taken first semester offered after completing 24 graduate course credit hours
  • Based on technical papers in chosen focus area
  • Demonstrates ability to understand and apply fundamental concepts
  • Evaluates potential to pursue doctoral research
  • Completes the Ph.D. Research Skills Requirement

Students who fail the exam are allowed to retake it one more time at the first opportunity. If they fail it a second time, they will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program.

Explore: Qualifying Exam Topics

Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR)

Students are required to submit an annual Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR), which is used to assess academic progress.

A student who receives a second unsatisfactory evaluation will be placed on academic probation. Academic probation will be removed upon substantial progress as documented in the student's next PHAR; without substantial progress toward the degree, the student's Ph.D. status will be terminated.


Comprehensive Examination

After completing at least two-thirds of the course work requirements, students must pass the comprehensive examination. Before the exam, they will submit a detailed proposal for a possible dissertation. The doctoral committee will conduct an oral examination that evaluates a candidate’s proposal and overall knowledge of Computer Science.

If the student passes the comprehensive examination and later chooses a substantially different dissertation topic, a new proposal must be presented for the approval of the doctoral committee.

At least three weeks before the intended Ph.D. comprehensive exam, a student must do the following:

  • Verify your plan of study is complete, correct, and on file in the EECS Graduate Office
  • Schedule a time and location for defense with committee members and coordinate with staff to reserve the room
  • Submit completed Ph.D. comprehensive exam notice form to the EECS Graduate Office
  • Distribute a written Ph.D. dissertation proposal to your committee
  • Prepare and practice comprehensive presentation

Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

At least three weeks prior to your doctoral defense:

  • Check with faculty advisor, the EECS Graduate Office, and the Engineering Dean's office to ensure all degree requirements have been completed and your dissertation meets University specifications
  • Verify your plan of study is complete, correct, and on file in the EECS Graduate Office
  • Schedule a time and location for defense with committee members and coordinate with staff to reserve the room
  • Submit completed Ph.D. dissertation defense notice form to the EECS Graduate Office
  • Distribute a written Ph.D. dissertation proposal to your committee
  • Prepare and practice dissertation presentation

After your doctoral defense, you must do the following:

  • Make final corrections to your dissertation as directed by your committee
  • Get the title page and acceptance pages signed by all committee members
  • Deliver the signed pages to the Engineering Dean's office
  • Submit Dissertation Online
  • Deliver bound copies to committee members (if requested).

Electrical Engineering

Degree Requirements

Requirements for EECS doctoral degree program in Electrical Engineering

  • First semester select a major advisor and a doctoral committee
  • Submit plan of study to be approved by committee
  • Qualifying examination
  • Annual Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR)
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation
  • Final oral examination

(Doctoral Committee: Students must select a major advisor and a doctoral committee within their first semester in the program. Doctoral committees must consist of a minimum of five Graduate Faculty members and is chaired by the major advisor. The advisor and at least two other members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track EECS Graduate Faculty. One committee member must be a KU faculty member from outside of EECS. The committee guides the plan of study, participates in the comprehensive and final examinations, and helps select a topic for research.)


Course Requirements

Students admitted to the program with their M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering must complete:

  • EECS Colloquium (EECS 802), recommend taking it your first semester
  • Minimum of 18 credit hours of approved course work
  • Minimum of 15 credit hours of course work must be EECS numbered 700 or higher, excluding Directed Graduate Reading (EECS 801), Master's Thesis (EECS 899), and Post-Master's Research (EECS 998).
  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of doctoral dissertation (EECS 999)
  • EECS 999 hours can only be counted toward degree after passing the Comprehensive Examination
Explore: Fast Track

Advising

During their first semester, students will form a graduate committee. The student’s committee consists of a minimum of 5 Graduate Faculty members and is chaired by the major adviser. The adviser and at least 2 other members of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track members of the Graduate Faculty, and 1 committee member must be a regular KU Graduate Faculty member outside of the EECS department. They should select faculty members who are most closely aligned with their research interests.

  • Meet with professors in area of interest
  • Choose an adviser
  • Meet regularly with adviser to refine plan of study to meet academic and research goals

Advising holds will be released after the plan of study is approved and a signed enrollment planning form is submitted to the EECS Graduate Office.

Students should plan their schedules with the understanding that some EECS graduate courses are offered on a two-year rotation. Some classes are offered every semester, others once per year, and some advanced courses are offered once every four semesters. Check with the University Registrar for a complete listing of courses.


Plan of Study

Every PhD student is required to have a goal for their PhD program that matches the sought after degree. The plan of study must be consistent with the identified degree and goals.

The plan of study outlines all course work, establishes dates for PhD milestones* and identifies the committee members.

  • Work with adviser to form a committee, decide the classes that best meet your academic goals and determine a timeline to meet the PhD dates*.
  • Submit plan of study before second semester of graduate study.
  • Update plan of study when modifications are made and resubmit plan for approval.

PhD plans of study incudes:

  • EECS Colloquium and Seminar on Professional Issues (EECS 802), recommend taking it your first semester.
  • Minimum of 18 credit hours of approved course work
  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of EECS 999 Doctoral Dissertation (EECS 999 hours can only be counted toward degree after passing the Comprehensive Examination)
  • Minimum of 5 committee members (4 EECS Graduate Faculty and 1 KU Graduate Faculty outside the department)

*PhD Dates:

  • Residency is met after full time enrollment two consecutive semesters
  • Research Skills are met with the passing of the qualifying exam
  • Responsible Scholarship is met with the passing of EECS 802

Qualifying Examination

Students will demonstrate knowledge of Electrical Engineering fundamentals and a potential for research through the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (Qual), which is a one-day written exam. They will receive a set of technical papers eight days before the Qual. One paper serves as a relatively broad technical overview, which could be found in IEEE Proceedings, ACM Computing Surveys, or other such publications. The other papers will be narrower and deeper in scope. No technical materials will be allowed. If needed, computers will be provided by the Department.

  • Offered once each year in the spring
  • Must be taken first semester offered after completing 24 graduate course credit hours
  • Based on technical papers in chosen focus area
  • Demonstrates ability to understand and apply fundamental concepts
  • Evaluates potential to pursue doctoral research
  • Completes the Ph.D. Research Skills Requirement

Students who fail the exam are allowed to retake it one more time at the first opportunity. If they fail it a second time, they will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program.

Explore: Qualifying Exam Topics

Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR)

Students are required to submit an annual Ph.D. Activity Report (PHAR), which is used to assess academic progress.

A student who receives a second unsatisfactory evaluation will be placed on academic probation. Academic probation will be removed upon substantial progress as documented in the student's next PHAR; without substantial progress toward the degree, the student's Ph.D. status will be terminated.


Comprehensive Examination

After completing at least two-thirds of the course work requirements, students must pass the comprehensive examination. Before the exam, they will submit a detailed proposal for a possible dissertation. The doctoral committee will conduct an oral examination that evaluates a candidate’s proposal and overall knowledge of Electrical Engineering.

If the student passes the comprehensive examination and later chooses a substantially different dissertation topic, a new proposal must be presented for the approval of the doctoral committee.

At least three weeks before the intended Ph.D. comprehensive exam, a student must do the following:

  • Verify your plan of study is complete, correct, and on file in the EECS Graduate Office
  • Schedule a time and location for defense with committee members and coordinate with staff to reserve the room
  • Submit completed Ph.D. comprehensive exam notice form to the EECS Graduate Office
  • Distribute a written Ph.D. dissertation proposal to your committee
  • Prepare and practice comprehensive presentation

Doctoral Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

At least three weeks prior to your doctoral defense:

  • Check with faculty advisor, the EECS Graduate Office, and the Engineering Dean's office to ensure all degree requirements have been completed and your dissertation meets University specifications
  • Verify your plan of study is complete, correct, and on file in the EECS Graduate Office
  • Schedule a time and location for defense with committee members and coordinate with staff to reserve the room
  • Submit completed Ph.D. dissertation defense notice form to the EECS Graduate Office
  • Distribute a written Ph.D. dissertation proposal to your committee
  • Prepare and practice dissertation presentation

After your doctoral defense, you must do the following:

  • Make final corrections to your dissertation as directed by your committee
  • Get the title page and acceptance pages signed by all committee members
  • Deliver the signed pages to the Engineering Dean's office
  • Submit Dissertation Online
  • Deliver bound copies to committee members (if requested).