PhD in Engineering - EE: Procedures & Requirements for Graduation

The course requirements are outlined on the following page: Program Info

Provisional Admission

Students admitted on a provisional basis are often required to take remedial courses (these are specified in the letter of acceptance). Registration for such remedial courses must commence with the first semester of a student's program with at least three credits completed per semester until all remedial requirements are satisfied.

Action Checklist and Typical Timeline

Once accepted the student must:

  • Select an academic advisor and complete a Plan Of Study (POS). The POS must be approved by his or her academic advisor and by the ECE Graduate Program Director. This should be done by the end of the second semester of residence in the Ph.D. program.
  • Successfully complete the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination.
  • Complete the coursework specified in his or her POS. He or she must achieve a GPA of 3.33 or above in the first twelve semester-hour credits attempted at UCCS in the Ph.D. program.
  • Form a Ph.D. Advisory Committee.
  • Successfully defend thesis research proposal.
  • Complete the required research and write a Dissertation.

 

Final semester timeline:

  • Notify the ECE department of plans to graduate at the beginning of the semester
  • Complete diploma card online and the Application for Admission to Candidacy for an Advanced Degree at the beginning of the semester. Use this website: http://www.uccs.edu/graduateschool/current-students/graduating-this-semester.html
  • Arrange a time for the Thesis defense with Advisory Committee members.
  • Notify the ECE department of the thesis defense date a minimum of one month prior to thesis defense.
  • Submit a final draft form of dissertation to Ph.D. Advisory Committee a minimum of two weeks prior to the thesis defense.
  • Successfully defend the thesis in an oral defense.
  • Obtain approval from the Advisory Committee Chairman that the dissertation meets all format requirements.
  • Obtain approval (and signatures) from all Advisory Committee members that the dissertation has acceptable content.
  • Forward one bound copy of dissertation to the ECE department, and one unbound copies to the Library by the semester deadline (see note below).
  • Commencement ceremony is held in May. Students become a graduate the semester they complete all requirements.

 

Note: All deadlines are given in the Schedule of Deadlines for Graduate Degree Candidates published annually by the UCCS Graduate School http://www.uccs.edu/graduateschool/current-students/graduating-this-semester.html#Deadlines

Duration of Program

The completion of the Ph.D. degree should be accomplished in seven years commencing with the beginning of course work. An extension to this time limit will be considered if requested. A student becomes "inactive" by petition or if he or she fails to register for three consecutive semesters. An inactive student must reapply to the program in order to continue studies. An application fee will be charged only if one or more of the following apply:

  • Semester of most recent registration was more than six years prior to date of reapplication
  • One or more courses have been taken at another institution subsequent to most recent registration at UCCS
  • Coursework completed more than six years prior to date of reapplication will be applied to the degree

 Advisor and Plan of Study

The student should choose an academic advisor and complete a Plan Of Study (POS), with input from the student's advisor, by the end of the second semester of residence in the Ph.D. program.

The academic advisor must be Graduate Faculty of the UCCS Graduate School, but need not be a member of the ECE faculty if approval has been obtained from the ECE Graduate Program Director.

Degree Requirements

The PhD degree is awarded to students who have satisfied the requirements of duration of program, who have submitted an acceptable dissertation, and who have passed all prescribed examinations.

Requirements for students entering with a master's degree:

  • Complete 12 semester hours of course work
  • At least 6 semester hours must be ECE courses
  • At most 6 semester hours may be independent study courses
  • All 24 semester hours must be numbered 5000 and above if ECE, or 500 and above if non-ECE

 Requirements for students entering without a master's degree:

Must complete 36 semester hours of course work - at least 24 semester hours must be ECE courses. At most 12 semester hours may be independent study courses. All 48 semester hours must be numbered 5000 and above if ECE, or 500 and above if non-ECE In all cases: Cross-listed courses which are offered at the 500(0)/600(0) levels must be taken at the 600(0) level.

Requirements for all students:

Complete 30 semester hours of dissertation research in addition to course work

Have an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate

Have a grade of B- or better in all courses applied toward the PhD degree

Pass the Preliminary Examination, the Comprehensive Examination, and the final Defense of Dissertation

No foreign language is required.

Preliminary Examination

Two requirements must be met after entering the Ph.D. program and before attempting the comprehensive examination. The first requirement is that the student passes the preliminary examination, and the second requirement is that the student demonstrates excellence in coursework. These are explained below:

  • The Ph.D. preliminary examination is scheduled each January about the second week. It is closed book and three hours in duration. Old examinations are available in the ECE Department office. For students admitted before June 1, the Ph.D. exam must be taken on the next offering (normally the following January). For students admitted June 1 or after, the Ph.D. exam must be taken no later than its second offering after admission. Should a student be in "inactive" status when the Ph.D. exam is offered, the student does not need to take the exam at that time. However, upon re-entering active status, the Graduate Program Director may require the student to take the Ph.D. exam at the next offering, whether or not the student remains in active status. A missed exam counts as a failure. The Ph.D. examination may be attempted twice. If failed twice, the student is no longer in the program. The exam has ten questions, of which the student must satisfactorily complete five. The student should contact the ECE office for the current listing of textbooks which may be used by the student to guide the student's studying for the exam.
  • Before attempting the comprehensive exam, the student must also demonstrate excellence in his or her specialty field. In order to do so, the student must achieve a grade point average of B+ (3.33) or better in the first twelve semester-hour credits attempted in the Ph.D. program.

 

Advisory Committee

The student's Ph.D. Advisory Committee consists of at least five persons, with the following stipulations:

  • All members of the Advisory Committee must be Graduate Faculty or Associate Graduate Faculty of the UCCS Graduate School. The chair of the Advisory Committee must be Graduate Faculty of the UCCS Graduate School. There may be at most one Associate Graduate Faculty of the UCCS Graduate School on the Advisory Committee. Individuals who are not either Graduate Faculty or Associate Graduate Faculty of the UCCS Graduate School may not be voting members of an examination committee.
  • The chair of the Advisory Committee must be in the faculty of the ECE department, although the chair need not be the student's academic advisor. (This provision allows a student who is studying in a closely-related field to EE such as some areas of physics, mathematics or mechanical and aerospace engineering to achieve a Ph.D. in EE while having an academic advisor from his or her own specialty field. Such a student must still be admitted to the EE Ph.D. program in the normal way and meet all other requirements for the degree.).
  • At least two other members of the Advisory Committee must be ECE faculty, and at least one person on the committee must be faculty from a non-ECE department at UCCS.

 

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is a presentation of the student?s chosen research area with a supporting literature search and tentative avenues of approach. The student's Advisory Committee conducts the comprehensive examination. This can be taken only after all coursework requirements are completed or in the last semester of course work if three or fewer credits remain. No more than ten hours of dissertation credit (ECE 8000) may be completed and counted toward the degree requirements before the student passes the comprehensive exam (Dissertation credit-hours in progress the semester in which the student passes the comprehensive exam are not counted in this limit). Once the comprehensive examination is passed, the student is a candidate.

Two semesters must elapse between the time of the comprehensive examination and the graduation date for the student. The semester that the comprehensive examination is taken in, counts toward this requirement.

Dissertation

The dissertation is a written, polished document reporting the results of the student's investigation into an original area of research. A minimum of 30 semester hours of dissertation credit (ECE 8000) must be taken in conjunction with completion of this requirement. No more than ten dissertation credit hours may be registered for in any one semester.

All Ph.D. dissertations must be written according to a departmentally approved format. A bound archive copy of the Ph.D. dissertation will be presented to the department and the library is to receive its one unbound copy of the work.

Final Oral Defense of the Dissertation

The final oral defense of the dissertation is taken at the completion of the work on the dissertation after the first and second readers have approved its contents. This examination is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Advisory Committee. In case of failure, the examination may be attempted once more after a period of time determined by the committee.

Submission of Dissertation

  • All dissertations will be submitted by the student directly to the CU, COLORADO SPRINGS Library after departmental approval is received. Students will be responsible for compliance with all instructions in the UCCS Thesis & Dissertation Manual. Questions concerning matters not discussed in the UCCS Thesis & Dissertation Manual must be directed to the ECE Department.
  • Copies submitted to the Advisory Committee members prior to the final defense should be prepared in final draft format. The committee chairperson will sign a statement of "Approval of Format" (i.e., style of referencing, quality of figures and other text materials) and acknowledge that the final copy is consistent with "acceptable presentation standards of scholarly work in the discipline". The signature must be original. This statement will not be bound into the thesis. The student must get this signed statement from the ECE office prior to submitting the final dissertation to the Library. The usual "approval page" (pg. 2 of the preliminary pages of the thesis) will be required and will be bound into the thesis.
  • Final copies will be judged acceptable or not based on the requirements stated in the UCCS Thesis & Dissertation Manual and the style designated by the department. If a thesis is not acceptable, corrections must be returned to the Library no later than 5:00 p.m. on the date indicated on the Schedule of Deadlines. If the deadline is missed, the student will be awarded their degree the following semester.
  • If previously approved by the Advisory Committee, an out-of-state student may mail final copies for final review and completion of the necessary approval statement for the dissertation.

ECE Faculty with Research Interests

Dr. Carlos Araujo, Professor, Microelectronics

Dr. Willie Harrison, Asst. Professor, Physical-Layer Security Coding, Communications, Signal Processing.

Dr. Ts Kalkur, Professor, Microelectronics, VLSI, Circuit Design

Dr. Darshika G. Perera, Asst. Professor, Embedded Systems, Reconfigurable Computing, Digital Systems.

Dr. Gregory Plett, Professor, Signal Processing and Controls

Dr. Heather Song, Assoc. Professor, Electromagnetics, RF Microwave

Dr. Scott Trimboli, Asst. Professor, System Modeling and Control

Dr. Charlie Wang, Professor, Computer Engineering

Dr. Mark Wickert, Professor, Communications Signal Processing