Ph.D. in Engineering requirements

Degree requirements

  • The total credit requirement for the Ph.D. in Engineering is 96 credits beyond the B.S. degree and 78 credits beyond the M.S. degree.
  • A minimum of 36 course credits are required for the degree, 50% of which may be transferred from the M.S. degree.
  • Transfer credits are to be evaluated by the individual student’s Advisory Committee in conjunction with the formulation of a Plan of Study and must be consistent with the Graduate School guidelines.


The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to determine whether you have sufficient engineering background to pursue a Ph.D. in the chosen discipline. You cannot register for Doctoral dissertation credits until you have passed your Qualifying Examination.

  • The Qualifying Examination must be taken before you have completed 18 credits of coursework or during the third semester.
  • You must have special permission of the department, research advisor and the Dean’s designee in order to enroll in coursework past completion of 18 credits without having completed your Qualifying Examination.
  • The Qualifying Examination shall consist of a minimum of a written and/or oral section(s) that the department may require.
  • You must be responsible for all basic undergraduate material and such graduate courses as may be completed to that point.
  • Be aware that understanding and reasoning are paramount and that no great premium is attached to memorization.
  • If you do not pass the Qualifying Exam, you must retake the examination within one year.
  • A second failure of the Qualifying Exam will result in dismissal from the program.

The Qualifying Examination takes place each year on the dates determined by the exam coordinator, usually at the end of September.

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