Doctoral Program in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering

The Ph.D. program requires the completion of a total of 54 credits beyond the masters’ degree, passing of a Qualifying Examination, a thesis proposal defense, and the final thesis defense.

Credit requirements:

For students with a Masters’ degree a minimum of 18 course credits and 18 research credits must be completed, together with a 3 credit Stevens signature course: PRV961. The remaining 15 credits could be either courses or research credits. For students admitted into the Ph.D. program directly from the Bachelor Degree a minimum of 30 course credits, and 30 research credits must be completed, together with a 3 credit Stevens signature course: PRV961. The remaining 21 credits could be either course or research credits. As an Institute requirement, students are not allowed to take more than 9 research credits before passing the Qualifying Examination. The Department recommends that the students take a maximum of 3 research credits in the first semester and a maximum of 6 research credits in the second semester. Students may take special topics courses (3 credit per semester) as part of their course requirements up to two times, to investigate topics that are not related to their thesis research.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Exam must be passed within a year of entering the Ph.D. program, for students with a masters’ degree and one year and a half for the students entering the program directly from a bachelor degree. The Qualifying Exam consists of two written exams testing fundamental knowledge. The student, advised by his/her Thesis Advisor, selects the two areas that are relevant for its Ph.D. research. The Qualifying Exam is typically offered twice a semester: once in early Fall semester and once in Spring. The Qualifying Exam can be taken a maximum of two times. Qualifying Exam date is announced a couple of weeks in advance by the Department. A student can enroll for a maximum of 9 credits of research before passing the Qualifying Exam, if he/she is working under the supervision of a Thesis Advisor.

Proposal defense

After passing the Qualifying Examination, the student becomes a Ph.D. candidate. Together with his Thesis Advisor, he/she selects a Ph.D. topic and a Ph.D. thesis committee and starts the research work and the preparation for the proposal defense. It is recommended that the proposal defense is scheduled within 1 year of passing the Qualifying Exam.

Thesis defense

At the completion of his/her research work, the student defends his research in front of the Ph.D. thesis committee. The defense is publicly announced at least 10 business days in advance and it is open to the public. The student must submit to his/her thesis committee members a draft of his thesis one month prior to the defense.

Study Plan

A Ph.D. student completes a study plan selecting the courses that are relevant for his future research work and also will help prepare for the Qualifying Exam. The selection of courses should be done following the advice of the Thesis Advisor.