PhD Degree Requirements

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Program Educational Objectives for the Doctorate Program in Electrical Engineering are

  1. That graduates successfully apply advanced research skills and techniques in their field of specialization.
  2. That graduates obtain relevant, productive employment performing research in academia, government, or industry, and/or are teaching at institutions of higher education.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

A doctoral candidate in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is expected to demonstrate high accomplishments in scholarship and original research, and has to complete both coursework requirements and common program requirements as follows:

COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS:

Option 1 – Ph.D. with completed MS degree

  1. Complete undergraduate deficiency coursework, if the student admitted has both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in fields other than electrical engineering. Complete the Klipsch graduate Core classes if the student does not have a MSEE degree from NMSU.
  2. Complete a minimum of 18 credits beyond the master’s of graduate course work with the following restrictions:
    1. EE courses must be numbered 500 or higher. Non-EE courses must be 450 or higher.
    2. At least half of the 18 credits must be taken in the Klipsch School (EE).
    3. At most 6 credits may be research, for example, EE600, Doctoral Research, and EE590 courses that are not listed as regular courses in the schedule.
    4. Exclude credits of EE 700 Doctoral Dissertation.
    5. If the MS degree is not EE, exclude credits from graduate deficiency coursework.
    6. Exclude credits from BCIS 450 to 499, CS 450/452/457/ 470 to 476/479/481 to 486/491, COMM 485, EE 490/598/ 599, SPCD 470/ 490.

 

Option 2 – Direct Ph.D. with BSEE or equivalent, but no MS degree (this option is only available for students with no undergraduate deficiencies)

  1. Complete three graduate core courses, listed in the Klipsch graduate Core of classes for PhD students.
  2. Complete a minimum of 42 credits of graduate coursework, including the three graduate core courses with the following restrictions:
    1. At least half of the 42 credits must be numbered 500 or higher.
    2. At least half of the 42 credits must be taken in the Klipsch School (EE).
    3. At most 9 credits may be research, for example, EE600, Doctoral Research, and EE590 courses that are not listed as regular courses in the schedule.
    4. Exclude credits of EE 700 Doctoral Dissertation.
    5. Exclude credits from BCIS 450 to 499, CS 450/452/457/ 470 to 476/479/481 to 486/491, COMM 485, EE 490/598/ 599, SPCD 470/ 490.
    6. At least half of the credits must be taken with other than a single professor.

 

COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Take and pass the Ph.D. qualifying exam. Passing the Qualifying Examination is the gateway to being admitted to the doctoral program.
  2. Run a STAR audit and bring the printout along with completed PhD EE Record Check and the Program of Study and Committee for Doctoral Students to the advisor for review. After obtaining the advisor’s signature, bring the paperwork to the front office. The Graduate School requests that the Program of Study be filed after the student has completed 12 credits of coursework. Please note that the program of study requires a total of 30 graduate credits, excluding EE 700, Doctoral Dissertation. Eighteen of those credits are from item 2 in the coursework requirements. The balance (12) may come from the master’s degree at NMSU or elsewhere, graduate deficiency courses from item 1 in the coursework requirements, or other graduate coursework.
  3. Pass a comprehensive examination. More information about the format of the comprehensive exam is given below under the section – PhD Comprehensive Exam. Prior to taking the comprehensive exam, run a STAR audit and bring the printout along with a completed PhD EE Record Check and the Doctorate of Philosophy Doctorate of Philosophy Examination Form to the advisor for review. After obtaining the advisor’s signature, bring the paperwork to the front office. The graduate school requires that the form must reach the office of Graduate Student Services at least 10 working days before the date of the exam.
  4. Complete a minimum of 18 credits of EE 700 Doctoral Dissertation. A student may not enroll in EE 700 prior to passing the Qualifying Examination. At least 9 of the 18 credits of EE 700 must be taken after completing the Comprehensive Examination.
  5. Complete a doctoral dissertation within five years of taking the Comprehensive Examination.
  6. Complete the research publication requirement as given below under the section – Doctoral Dissertation.
  7. Early in the last semester of your program, make sure to review the Graduate School’s Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines for required paperwork and the Graduate School Academic Calendar for applicable deadlines. See the Office of the Registrar website for more information on applying for your degree.
  8. Pass a final oral exam which defends the dissertation. The dissertation defense is open to the public and must be held in a lecture hall, such as Thomas and Brown Room 104. Prior to holding the dissertation defense, run a STAR audit and bring the printout along with completed PhD EE Record Check and the Doctorate of Philosophy Examination Form to the advisor for review. After obtaining the advisor’s signature, bring the paperwork to the front office. The graduate school requires that the form must reach the office of Graduate Student Services at least 10 working days before the date of the exam. In addition, students must submit to the Department Head a 1-page abstract which includes (a) the advisor’s name, and (b) the date, time, and place of the final oral exam. PDF format for the abstract is preferred. The candidate also must ensure that each of the examining committee members receives a copy of the dissertation at least seven working days before the day of the dissertation defense.

 

GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS

The NMSU Graduate School has general requirements for graduation and time tables for submitting required paperwork during your program of study and prior to graduation. Consult the Graduate School Catalog for more detailed information. In particular, review the Graduate School’s Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines for required paperwork and the Graduate School Academic Calendar for applicable deadlines. Many of the necessary forms can be downloaded from Graduate Students Forms.

Doctoral Dissertation

The Doctor of Philosophy program in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering builds to the required doctoral dissertation. A dissertation project in the Klipsch School can be an experimental and/or an analytical investigation. The doctoral research must establish a perspective on how the results fit into the existing body of knowledge and must recognize the state-of-the-art in the area. The dissertation must demonstrate evidence of independent research leading to some original results, conclusions, or applications. This requires that the dissertation results in one or more published papers in peer reviewed journals with the candidate as the main author. The department recommends that the candidate publishes preferably three or more refereed articles that include at least one journal article. Students may and generally do receive considerable help in selecting the direction of the dissertation project. However, each student must demonstrate the ability to perform and communicate independent research, leading to new results. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student is expected to be capable of formulating and conducting a research program in industry, federal laboratories, or academia.

PhD Comprehensive Examination

The candidate must pass a comprehensive examination after the completion of adequate coursework and demonstration of satisfactory progress toward the doctoral dissertation. The examination must be part written and part oral. The specific format of the exam is at the discretion of the examination committee. The written part must include a proposal for the dissertation research, and if the committee requires, it may also include a separate written exam. The written report on the proposal for the dissertation research must include the candidate’s current research, planned research directions, and a reasonable timeline for completing the candidate’s proposed research. The oral part may also include questions on completed coursework.

Graduate Forms

PhD Qualifying Examination

For more information on the PhD qualifying examination, please click here.