DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

CREDIT-HOUR REQUIREMENTS AFTER MS DEGREE:

                The Ph.D. program in Electrical Engineering is based on the Dissertation Option. This program requires 24 credit hours of coursework past the MS degree. At least 12 credit hours must be at the 800 level. 600 level courses are not counted in the coursework requirement except for courses related to student’s Qualifying Examination. A minimum of 18 credit hours of doctoral dissertation ELEN997, 3 hours of ELEN992, 3 hours of 991 and 3 hours of 995 are required. The remaining 3 credit hours must be decided by the student’s advisor. No more than six (6) credit hours at the graduate level in an area outside of electrical engineering may be accepted to satisfy a graduate area concentration. Therefore, a total of 54 credit hours are required for the doctoral degree. The student is encouraged to take all courses related to the subjects selected for his/her Qualifying Examination.

CREDIT-HOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR DIRECT-PhD DEGREE:

                A minimum of 42 hours of graded coursework past the BS degree is required.  However, six (6) credit hours must be taken outside of the department. At least 12 credit hours must be at the 800 level. A minimum of 18 credit hours of doctoral dissertation ELEN997, 3 hours of ELEN992, 3 hours of ELEN991 and 3 hours of ELEN995 are required. The remaining 3 credit hours must be decided by the student’s advisor. Therefore, a total of 72 credit hours are required for the Direct-PhD degree. The student is encouraged to take all courses related to the subjects selected for his/her Qualifying Examination.

DISSERTATION RESEARCH:

                There is no limit to the maximum number of dissertation credits for Ph.D. students. However, no more than 18 dissertation credits are counted toward the credit hours requirement described above. Student can not register the dissertation credits before passing Qualifying Examination.

SELECTION OF ADVISOR:

                At the beginning of the first semester, each student meets with the Graduate Coordinator to obtain information about the Graduate Program. The Graduate Coordinator assists the student with registration and course selection until the student selects a permanent advisor by mutual consent. The student must select his/her permanent advisor by the completion of nine (9) credit hours or by the end of the first semester.

DOCTORAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

                The advisor and the student must form the Advisory Committee for the student’s dissertation by the completion of nine (9) credit hours or by the end of the first semester. The Advisory Committee for the Ph.D. program consists of an advisor in the student’s major subject and four other members. The adviser serves as a chairperson of the Advisory Committee. The chair must be selected from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering based on the area of emphasis chosen by the student. More than half of the members must be selected from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Advisory Committee may consist of co-advisor. A co-advisor from outside of the department must apply in writing and be approved by the Graduate Curriculum Development (GCD) Committee in the department.

THE PLAN OF GRADUATE STUDY FOR DOCTORAL PROGRAM:

                By the completion of nine (9) credit hours or by the end of the first semester, the student and his/her advisor establish the Plan of Graduate Study for the student’s doctoral program and submit the original document with signatures of all members of the Advisory Committee to the Graduate Coordinator. Copies of the Plan of Graduate Study must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and all committee members.  Also, a copy of the Plan of Graduate Study must be filed in the department. The Plan of Graduate Study shows the committee chairperson, other committee members, and a chronological list of courses approved by the student’s advisor. A committee member’s signature on the Plan of Graduate Study denotes their approval of the plan for the student’s doctoral program.  After approval by the Graduate Coordinator in the department, the Plan of Graduate Study becomes the student’s official guideline for the completion of his/her Ph.D. degree program.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS:

                Each Ph.D. student must secure at least two residence credits through registration in continuous semesters at North Carolina A&T State University. Residence credit is determined from the number of semester hours completed during a regular semester according to the following table. Summer registration is not required. However, residence credit for a six-week summer session equals one-half that of a regular semester. For example, completing a three-credit course during a six-week summer session will earn 1/6 of a regular semester residence credit.

CHANGE OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND STUDY PLAN:

                A student may change his/her advisor at any time through a mutual consent. When a student changes his/her advisor, the student must submit a revised Plan of Graduate Study including signatures by the new advisor and all committee members and the consent of the previous advisor. After the submission of a Plan of Graduate Study, a student must resubmit a revised Plan of Graduate Study to the Graduate Coordinator indicating  that the plan has been “REVISED” and including  the signatures of his/her advisor and all committee members.

Ph.D. QUALIFYING EXAMINATION:

                The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to identify students who are qualified to work toward the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering by requiring these students to demonstrate basic competence in a broad range of relevant subjects. Students are not expected to engage in research until they have passed their Qualifying Examination.

                The full-time and part-time students with an MS degree must take this examination within two and four years of the admission to the Ph.D. program respectively. The Direct-PhD student must take the examination within the first five academic semesters of the admission to Ph.D. program. A Direct-PhD student who enters the Direct-PhD program from MS program without an MS degree must take the Qualifying Examination in one and a half year after entering Ph.D. program.

                Only the student with unconditional status can apply for the Qualifying Examination. Any student in provisional status cannot sit for the Qualifying Examination. A student must be enrolled with a 3.0 GPA or better at the time of the examination. A student must also have the approved Plan of Graduate Study for his/her doctoral program submitted to the School of Graduate Studies prior to scheduling the exam. The Qualifying Examination is given each regular (Fall and Spring) semester on two successive days during the week before the final exam period. A registration notice will be posted outside the Department Office in the middle of each academic semester. The student must apply for the Qualifying Examination by the posted deadline.

                The examination consists of a three-hour written examination for each subject and covers two subjects per day in two consecutive days. At the time of registration, the student declares the track in which he or she will be taking the examination. Each student must select only two subjects in his/her concentration area and two subjects from other areas from the department list.

Questions on the Qualifying Examination are developed based on the contents of the above courses. Therefore, each student is encouraged to take all courses related to the subjects selected for his/her Qualifying Examination.

                Students must obtain an overall score of at least 80% to pass the examination. A student who has failed the Qualifying Examination one time is given a second chance to retake the Qualifying Examination within a year. A student whose overall score is below 80% must retake the examination. The student who needs to retake the examination can not change any subjects selected in the first attempt. The Graduate Coordinator will notify each examinee of his or her results by letter within three weeks from the date of examination.

                A student who wants to retake the Qualifying Examination must apply to retake the Qualifying Examination by the posted deadline. No student is permitted to take the Qualifying Examination more than twice. A student not recommended for re-examination, or who fails the exam on a second attempt is afforded the opportunity to withdraw from the university. A student who chooses not to withdraw will have his or her graduate program terminated upon completing the semester in which the denial or second failure occurs. Additionally, a student who fails to take the examination or re-examination at the prescribed time is considered failing the examination or re-examination.

FAILURE IN QUALIFYING EXAMINATION FOR DIRECT-PhD:

                A student who failed the qualifying exams twice is required to withdraw from the graduate program upon completing the semester. Also, a student who fails to take the examination or re-examination at the prescribed time is considered failing the examination or re-examination. However, a Direct-PhD student who failed the examination in good standing may elect to be approved to transfer to the M.S. program for a terminal M.S. degree if they have completed less than six semesters at North Carolina A&T State University.

Ph.D. PRELIMINARY ORAL EXAMINATION:

                After passing the Qualifying Examination, each Ph.D. student must complete a preliminary oral examination conducted by the student's Advisory. This is an Oral Examination and defense of the student’s dissertation proposal. Passing this exam allows the School of Graduate Studies to enter the student into "Ph.D. Candidacy".

                Unanimous approval by the Advisory Committee is required to pass the examination. Approval may be conditioned on satisfactory completion of additional work. In this situation, a student passes the examination when these conditions are met. A student is admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree only upon passing the preliminary examination. Failure of the examination terminates the student's graduate study unless the student's Advisory Committee unanimously recommends re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted and at least one full semester must elapse before the re-examination.

                The examination may be held no earlier than the end (final exam week) of the second year of graduate study and no later than one semester (or four months) prior to the Ph.D. final oral examination. The Preliminary Oral Examination is scheduled at the request of the student and only upon the approval of the student’s Advisory Committee. A student cannot submit a request to schedule an oral examination unless the student's Plan of Graduate Study has been approved by the Graduate Coordinator. The student must be in good academic standing when the request is submitted and when the examination is held.

                The student must submit the Application for Oral Examination with the signatures of all members of the Advisory Committee to the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the date of the Preliminary Examination. The application form must include the date, time and place of the preliminary examination. The student requesting his/her oral examination must distribute a copy of the written report to all members of his/her committee two weeks prior to the date of the Preliminary Oral Examination. The copy of the application form for the preliminary examination (approved by the Graduate Coordinator) is sent to the student and the members of the committee to confirm the approval, date and place of the examination. If any committee member can not attend a scheduled preliminary examination, it must be rescheduled.

Ph.D. FINAL ORAL EXAMINATION:

                Each Ph.D. student must pass a Final Oral Examination conducted by the student's Advisory. This examination is the final dissertation defense presentation that is scheduled after a dissertation is completed. It consists of the defense of the methodology used and the conclusions reached in the research in the dissertation. Unanimous approval by the Advisory Committee is required for passing the oral examination. Such approval may be conditioned on satisfactory completion of additional work. Failure of the examination terminates the student's graduate study unless the student's Advisory Committee unanimously recommends re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted.

                The examination may be held no earlier than one semester (or four months) after admission to candidacy. The examination must be held on or before the deadline for final oral examinations (see the academic calendar in the Graduate Catalog) if the degree is to be awarded at the end of that semester. Otherwise, the degree is awarded at the end of the following semester. The examination is scheduled only upon the request of the student and the approval of his or her Advisory Committee. The student must submit the Application for Oral Examination with the signatures of all members of the Advisory Committee to the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the date of the Final Oral Examination. The application form must include the date, time and place of the Final Oral Examination. The dissertation must be completed and copies of it must be distributed to all members of his/her Advisory Committee two weeks prior to the date of the Final Oral Examination. The copy of the application form for the Final Oral Examination (approved by the Graduate Coordinator) is sent to the student and the members of the committee to confirm the approval, date and place of the defense. If any committee member can not attend a scheduled Final Oral Examination, it must be rescheduled. 

SUBMISSION OF DISSERTATION:

                Upon passing the Ph.D. Final Oral Examination, each Ph.D. student must have the dissertation approved by each member of the student's Advisory Committee. The dissertation must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline given in the academic calendar, and must conform to the Guide for Preparation of Thesis and Dissertations.

SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES FOR THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM:

  1. Apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies

a)       The application and all supporting documentation are sent to School of Graduate Studies.

b)       The application material includes the following:

- The signed application form, application processing fee, letters of recommendation, N.C. residency form (if applicable), acknowledgement card, letter of intent, official transcripts, and other supporting documents

  1. Student receives admission decision from the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Student reports his or her enrollment intentions to the School of Graduate Studies.
  3. Student meets with the Graduate Coordinator to obtain information about graduate programs.
  4. Student prepares the course schedule and registers for first semester classes under the supervision of the Graduate Coordinator.
  5. Graduate Coordinator may be a temporary advisor until a permanent advisor is found.
  6. Student selects a permanent advisor by the completion of nine (9) credit hours or by the end of the first semester.
  7. Student completes the Plan of Graduate Study for the doctoral program in consultation with his/her advisor during the second semester and includes the following activities in this process:

-          Selection of the advisory committee members. The advisory committee consists of a chairperson in the student’s major subject, and four other members.

-          Selection of course list according to coursework requirements. The coursework may include courses in preparation for the Qualifying Examination.

-          Obtaining signatures of all members of the advisory committee

  1. Student submits the original Plan of Graduate Study to the Graduate Coordinator. Copies will be sent to the School of Graduate Studies and all committee members by the completion of nine (9) credit hours or by the end of the first semester.
  2. This Plan of Graduate Study becomes the student’s official guideline for the student’s Ph.D. degree program.
  3. If a student decides to change his/her Plan of Graduate Study, the student must restart from Step 7 above.
  4. The revised Plan of Study must include the word “REVISED”.
  5. Student takes Qualifying Examination within two years plus one semester of student’s admission to the Ph.D. program.
  6. Whenever the direction of the student’s dissertation topic has been determined in consultation with his/her advisor, the student submits the dissertation title and the outline of the proposed research to the student's Advisory Committee.
  7. Student completes all coursework.
  8. After passing the Qualifying Examination, and when the proposed research is in a mature stage and is likely to succeed in experimentation, the student schedules the Preliminary Oral Exam in consultation with his/her advisor and forwards the exam schedule to the Graduate Coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies. After their approval, the student and his/her advisor post the time and place of the examination and submit a written report to all committee members for their review at least two weeks prior to the examination date.
  9. The examination result is sent to the Graduate Coordinator, and then it will be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in 48 hours. If the examination has been passed without conditions, the student is admitted as a "Ph.D. Candidate".
  10. At least one semester (or four months) into the "Ph.D. Candidacy", the student schedules the Final Oral Examination in consultation with his/her advisor. The student must submit the Application for Oral Examination with the signatures of all members of the Advisory Committee to the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the date of the Final Oral Examination. Upon approval of this request, the student and his/her advisor must post the time and place of the exam and submit a copy of the draft of his/her dissertation to all committee members for their review by two weeks prior to the suggested date.
  11. The examination result is sent to the Graduate Coordinator with signatures of all advisory committee members, and then it will be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in 48 hours.
  12. Student submits Application for Graduation to the Graduate Coordinator, and then the Graduate Coordinator submits Final Graduate Clearance Checklist to the School of Graduate Studies.
  13. Student submits all required documentation to the School of Graduate Studies and the Department Office.
  14. The student graduates.