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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Requirements


Minimum semester hours required: 108 beyond the baccalaureate.

Students admitted with prior master's degree in EE, CE, or a related field:

  • Must complete a minimum of 28 hours of credit in graduate course work, 16 hours of which must be ECE course work at the 500 level excluding ECE 595, 596, 597, 598, 599. Non-ECE graduate course work must be completed with prior department approval.
  • A Computer Engineering (CE) student may substitute up to 4 hours of 500-level ECE course work with a 400-level ECE course if the student completes the same number of hours with a 500-level CS course (excluding CS 595, 596, 597, 598, 599). This course counts against the limit of non-ECE course work allowed.
    Examples:
    1. Student #1: (EE or CE). 4 ECE 500 level courses (16 hours) + 3 other courses.
    2. Student #2: (CE). 3 ECE 500 level courses + 1 CS 500 level course + 1 ECE 400 level course + 2 other courses.
  • Any course that is nearly equivalent to one taken in master's program earlier will not earn PhD credit.
  • Credit earned in ECE 596 (Individual Study) may not be applied toward the PhD degree.
  • Candidates must earn ECE 599 credits of at least 48 hours beyond master's degree.
  • A student admitted to the Graduate College with a prior master's degree will automatically receive 32 hours of credit toward their PhD course work requirement.
  • All students must enroll in ECE 595 in at least two semesters.
  • No graduation credit will be given for credit/no credit courses.
Student admitted directly after bachelor's degree in EE, CE, or related field:

  • Must complete a minimum of 52 hours of graduate course work, 36 hours of which must be ECE course work with at least 24 hours at the 500 level excluding ECE 595, 596, 597, 598, 599. Non-ECE graduate course work must be completed with prior department approval.
  • A CE student may substitute up to 8 hours out of the 24 hours required ECE 500 level course work with 400 level ECE course work if the student completes the same number of hours with 500-level CS course work (excluding CS 595, 596, 597, 598, 599). These courses count against the limit of non-ECE course work allowed.
    Examples:
    1. Student #1: (EE or CE). 6 ECE 500 level courses (24 hours) + 3 ECE 400 level courses + 4 other courses.
    2. Student #2: (CE). 5 ECE 500 level courses + 1 CS 500 level course + 4 ECE 400 level courses + 3 other courses.
  • A student may apply to receive an MS degree upon passing the preliminary examination provided that the coursework required for MS degree under course only option is completed.
  • If any one of the PhD degree requirements of passing the qualifying examination or passing the preliminary exam is not successfully completed, student may apply for transfer to the MS program for an opportunity to complete the MS degree requirements under the thesis option.
  • Credit earned in ECE 596 (Individual Study) may not be applied toward the PhD degree.
  • Candidates must earn ECE 599 credits of at least 56 hours beyond bachelor's degree.
  • All students must enroll in ECE 595 in at least two semesters.
  • No graduation credit will be given for credit/no credit courses.
All doctoral students must:

Perhaps it is sufficient to say that the student must pass within 5 semesters, and that the exams are given every April.

  • Pass two areas of the PhD qualifying exam within the first five semesters of enrollment of full-time study. The first attempt must be made in the first April after your first semester of enrollment. If a second attempt is needed, it must be made at the next consecutive exam date. Time spent on an approved leave of absence does not forestall the first attempt.
  • Pass an oral preliminary examination on the proposed dissertation research topic. This examination is administered by a faculty committee approved by the Graduate College and chaired by the student's advisor. Students must pass the preliminary examination one year prior to their final dissertation defense.
  • Demonstrate a capacity for independent research on an original dissertation research topic within the major field of study. Research is performed under the supervision of an advisor and orally defended before a five member faculty committee approved by the Graduate College. The faculty committee must contain at least two ECE tenure-track faculty members.

PhD Qualifying Exam

A student admitted to the PhD program must pass two areas of a written qualifying examination within the first five semesters of enrollment in order to become a doctoral candidate. The first attempt must be made in the first April after your first semester of enrollment to allow for a second consecutive sitting. Qualifying exams are only offered during the Spring semester (first Friday in April).

Master's students in ECE may petition to appear in the qualifying examination if they have completed at least one calendar year of residence and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Students registered for the qualifying examination can obtain copies of the past two exams in Room 1020 SEO. Solutions are not provided.

Qualifying Examination Dates:

Sign up by the second Friday of March.
Examination on the first Friday of April.

Qualifying Examination Dates Qualifying Examination Areas:

  1. Signal Processing
  2. Communications
  3. Controls
  4. Electromagnetics
  5. Solid State Electronics
  6. Computer Architecture
  7. Digital Systems & VLSI Design
  8. Algorithms & Data Structures
  9. Power Electronics and Electric Circuits


Click here for more information about the PhD qualifying exam.

Preliminary Examination

A Committee Recommendation Form listing the committee members and their affiliations, must be submitted to the Graduate College three weeks prior to the exam date. If human subjects are involved, Institutional Review Board approval is required. If animals are involved, Animal Care Panel approval is required.

The committee consists of at least five members, of whom at least three must be UIC graduate faculty with full membership and two of whom must be tenured. The chair of the committee is the advisor and is also the primary reader of the dissertation. The advisor must be a full member of the UIC graduate faculty. An outside member is recommended but not required. The outside member of the committee may be from outside the department, academic unit, or outside the University, in which case the member must demonstrate equivalent academic standards and his/her curriculum vitae must accompany the Committee Recommendation form.

Graduate programs should strive for diversity in the composition of the preliminary examination committee. The appointment of one or two members from outside the degree-granting program or university is encouraged. The timing, content, and nature (written, oral, or both) of the preliminary examination is left to the discretion of the preliminary examination committee. The committee reports its recommendations (either pass or fail) in writing to the Dean of the Graduate College. A candidate may not be passed if more than one vote of fail is reported.

The committee may require that specified conditions be met before the passing recommendation becomes effective. The Dean, on the recommendation of the committee, may permit a second examination. A third examination is not permitted. Failure to complete the degree requirements within five years of passing the preliminary examination requires a new examination.

The Graduate College requires the preliminary examination be given after at least one calendar year of residence and one calendar year prior to the final dissertation defense.


Registration

Doctoral candidates must be registered for credit the term when they take the preliminary exam. Students must also register each semester (excluding summer) after passing the preliminary examination and until the final defense is made and the dissertation is submitted in compliance with the department and Graduate College rules. Students must register for the summer term if taking the preliminary exam or defending the dissertation during that term.

Students who hold a fellowship, assistantship, or tuition and fee waiver must register each semester for the number of hours required by their award, even if they have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation.

Students approved for 0 hour registration (via Graduate College petition) are eligible to have student loan payment deferred. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for information.

Students who do not hold a fellowship, assistantship, or tuition and fee waiver, and who have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation, and who do not wish to register for additional coursework, must either:

(A) Register for zero hours credit of ECE 599 thesis research every semester (excluding summer) through successful defense of dissertation (excluding summer unless defending dissertation). Range IV tuition, including the tuition differential, and fees are assessed; or

(B) Register for zero hours credit of ECE 599 thesis research each semester through successful defense of dissertation (excluding summer unless defending dissertation). Must petition for each renewal and specify Option B and term(s) on petition. Only the range IV tuition is charged, including the tuition differential. No other fees are assessed. Students may elect from one to two terms with each petition. Students who elect this option are ineligible for student health insurance (may be purchased seperately from CampusCare for one term) and access to certain on-campus facilities.

Permission to use either Option A or B will be considered by the Graduate College upon petition supported by the graduate program. For option B, student must certify that no use of University facilities will be made. Students should register for ECE 599 thesis research for zero hours each term, and may register while approval of the petition is pending. Students must re-file a petition for Option B by the 10th day of the term (5th for summer) so that the student bill is correctly calculated.

All students must complete and defend the dissertation by the degree deadline, regardless of which option is chosen.

The Graduate College will allow a doctoral defense without student registration during late registration period for the term. This is assuming the student was registered the previous term, or the previous Spring term in the case of Fall defense (which they should be by Graduate College rules). The late registration period is the official first 10 days of any Fall or Spring term and the first 5 days of the Summer term. A student who defends after the 10th day (5th day in summer) must be registered.


Time Limitation

Students admitted to the Graduate College with a master's degree or who continue in the Graduate College after completing the master's degree at UIC must complete the PhD degree requirements within seven consecutive calendar years after initial registration as a doctoral student. Students admitted to the Graduate College without a master's degree who proceed directly to the doctorate must complete degree requirements within nine consecutive calendar years of initial registration as a doctoral student. Students who fail to graduate within this time frame will be dismissed from the Graduate College for failure to progress.


Credit Hours Required by the University of Illinois at Chicago

At least 54 semester hours beyond the master's level or its equivalent must be taken at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Transfer Credit

After admission to the PhD program, students may petition to transfer a maximum of 9 semester hours earned outside the university. Transfer credit courses must be relevant to the program of study. A transcript showing the courses and grades must accompany the petition. A detailed outline of the courses, including information about the textbook and material covered, should be included. Students must also provide an official letter from the university stating the courses were not used to satisfy any prior degree requirements.

Students may only petition to transfer graduate credit that was not used to fulfill course work requirements of their prior Master's degree(s).


Academic Probation

A student's curriculum should be planned in cooperation with his/her advisor. All graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0/4.0 grade point average (GPA). The GPA calculation does not include seminar, independent study, and research courses (ECE 596-599).

Graduate course work must be satisfied by a C grade or higher. If a student's GPA falls below 3.0, the Graduate College will issue a letter of warning and impose academic probation for a specified period of time. Failure to comply with the terms will likely result in expulsion from the Graduate College.

A student on probation is ineligible for department awarded financial aid, recommendation letters for F-1 practical training, or graduation.


Doctor of Philosophy Additional Regulations

Prior Publication of Research Findings

Students engaged in research are encouraged to publish certain findings that are later incorporated into the final dissertation. In such cases, appropriate acknowledgment of the earlier publication should be included in the final dissertation. The Graduate College encourages such publication, but the dissertation may not be published in its entirety before all degree requirements, including the defense of the dissertation, have been completed.

Format Guidelines

Thesis and dissertation format guidelines are described in detail in a Thesis Manual published by and available from the Graduate College. The defended and approved dissertation must be submitted to the department for a format check prior to the deadline set by the Graduate College.

Final Dissertation Defense

Upon completion of the dissertation, the candidate must orally defend the work before a committee. A new Committee Recommendation Form listing the the dissertation title, committee members and their affiliations, must be submitted to the Graduate College three weeks prior to the exam date. If human subjects are involved, Institutional Review Board approval is required. If animals are involved, Animal Care Panel approval is required. The committee vote is Pass or Fail. A candidate may not be passed if more than one vote of Fail is reported.

Dissertation Committee Composition

The committee consists of at least five members, of whom at least two must be UIC graduate faculty with full membership and two of whom must be tenured. The chair of the committee is the advisor and is also the primary reader of the dissertation. The advisor must be a full member of the UIC graduate faculty. An outside member is required. The outside member of the committee may be from outside the department, academic unit, or outside the University, in which case the member must demonstrate equivalent academic standards and his/her curriculum vitae must accompany the Committee Recommendation form.


Click here for a summary guide to the ECE PhD graduation procedure and requirements.
Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions.
Topic revision: r8 - 2016-06-01 - 19:11:10 - Main.aalvar4
 
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