Ph.D. Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree (or Philosophical Doctorate) is the highest degree awarded by any university. The degree does involve coursework beyond the M.S./M.Eng. level. But the Ph.D. is primarily a research/thesis driven degree. As such, it is critical for incoming students to begin their research as soon as possible by choosing a Ph.D. thesis advisor and a thesis topic. The Ph.D. work culminates in a published thesis and a public thesis defense. Typically, students also write several archival journal publications from the thesis work.

Degree requirements for the Ph.D. degree include (but are not limited to):

  • 72 graduate credit hour in addition to 2 satisfactory completion of 2 CSE seminars. Up to 30 credit hours could be transferred from a Maser's Degree.
  • Up to 24 credit hour of dissertation research can be included in the plan of study.
  • Students must create a thesis proposal. This proposal is defended by the student to the Ph.D. thesis committee. Once the proposal and the qualifying exam are approved, the student becomes a candidate.
  • Students must take and pass the Ph.D. Qualifying exam, administered by the student's dissertation committee.
  • Finally, a candidate must write the doctoral thesis and defend the thesis publically (and in the presence of the thesis committee). The committee assesses the suitability of the research and recommends the candidate for the Ph.D. degree. The actual degree is conferred by the board of trustees, upon the recommendation

For specific details on courses, please visit the graduate catalog.