The Ph.D. Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree is the highest degree awarded by any university. The Ph.D. is primarily a research/dissertation 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. Coursework for the Ph.D. degree should generally by selected to support a student’s research, with advice from the dissertation mentor(s). The Ph.D. work culminates in a published dissertation and a public dissertation defense. Typically, students also write several archival journal publications from the dissertation work.

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

  • 15 course credits beyond the Masters degree\
  • 15 dissertation research credits (ME 700).
  • Successful completion of the M.E. Ph.D. Qualifying exam (upon passing the Qualifying Exam and completing all coursework and dissertation research credit requirements, a student enters doctoral candidacy).
  • Submission and approval (by the student’s dissertation committee) of a dissertation research proposal.
  • Successful defense of the doctoral dissertation.