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  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering


 

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
102A Science and Engineering Building  (map)
(248) 370-2177 • Fax (248) 370-4633
www.oakland.edu/ece/

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Coordinator
Lorenzo M. Smith
248 Dodge Hall
(248) 370-2233
l8smith@oakland.edu

 

Program description

The Doctor of Philosophy in electrical and computer engineering degree is for students who plan careers in industrial or governmental research and development laboratories or problem-oriented agencies, as well as in the academic fields related to electrical and computer engineering.

The field of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is very broad, including areas as diverse as applied electromagnetics, autonomous navigation, bioengineering, communications, computer architecture and hardware design, control systems, digital signal processing, digital image processing, electronic materials and devices, micro- and nano-electronics, pattern recognition, power systems and robotics. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is concentrating its efforts in these and other related areas at the Ph.D. level.

Program delivery

Students can begin doctoral study on a part-time basis, availing themselves of late afternoon or evening courses while working full time in local industry. However, later phases of study and research will require full-time devotion to the program. Students must also fulfill a residency requirement.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • July 15 for fall semester
  • November 15 for winter semester
  • March 15 for summer semester
Readmission and program transfer

Requests for readmission and program transfers must be completed and approved prior to the beginning of a semester.

International application deadlines

International applications are reviewed for fall and winter admission only. To ensure adequate time for review, international applications must be completed at least six months before the desired date of intended enrollment in the University. All international application materials must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission and by September 1 for winter admission. International applicants are not eligible for Special Graduate classification.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all of the following university and program application documents by the published application deadlines.

University graduate application requirements
  • Application for Admission to Graduate Study     
  • Official transcripts providing evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution, OR a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned a degree (beginning with the first baccalaureate) and for all enrollment in graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. International university transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service.
    • As part of the admission requirements, graduate programs may require official transcripts from post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned an associate’s degree and all enrollment in coursework both pre- and post-bachelor’s degree.
  • Two official and original Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms.
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • International supplemental application and supporting documentation must be submitted before international applicants can be issued the Certification of Eligibility (I-20). This certificate is required to apply for a student visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Program application requirements
  • A total of three recommendations from faculty members of their most recent study program who can evaluate their scholarly achievement and potential
  • Statement of research objectives and goals
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) if the student graduated from an institution not accredited by a regional-accrediting agency of the USA
  • Normally a master’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission; however, students with outstanding undergraduate records may apply directly for admission to the doctoral program.
  • The Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering degree program is primarily designed for students with academic backgrounds in either electrical engineering or computer engineering. Students with backgrounds in other engineering disciplines, computer science, mathematics or the physical sciences may also be admitted to the program, but they will be required to augment their basic electrical and computer engineering knowledge through relevant coursework.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Normally a master’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission; however, students with outstanding undergraduate records may apply directly for admission to the doctoral program.

The Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering degree program is primarily designed for students with academic backgrounds in either electrical engineering or computer engineering. Students with backgrounds in other engineering disciplines, computer science, mathematics or the physical sciences may also be admitted to the program, but they will be required to augment their basic electrical and computer engineering knowledge through relevant coursework. 

Degree requirements


The Doctor of Philosophy in electrical and computer engineering degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 80 credits in an approved program of study. In addition to 56 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree, students must also complete a minimum of 24 credits of dissertation research.

At least 56 credits must be earned for coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree (exclusive of dissertation). The normal full-time load is 8 to 12 credits per semester.

Students who have previously earned a master’s degree from Oakland University or another regionally-accredited institution may reduce the 56 credits of coursework required for the doctoral degree by up to 32 credits. To be considered for a reduction in required doctoral credits, students must submit a Petition of Credit from Earned Master’s Degree. The advisory committee will evaluate the student’s prior master’s degree work and may reduce the required Ph.D. credits based on the master’s coursework. The decision of the advisory committee is final, but the approved petition and approved Plan of Study must be on file in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the end of the first year of doctoral study. All candidates must complete at least 24 credits of additional coursework exclusively at Oakland University.

Course requirements (56 credits)


a. Mathematics courses (minimum of 8 credits)


At least 8 credits must be earned in mathematics courses. Of these 8 credits, at least 4 must be taken from the following course group. With approval of the student’s advisory committee, the other 4 credits can also be taken from graduate level mathematics courses not listed in the following group:

b. Electives (16 credits)


  • Electives (16 credits)

The remaining coursework related to a student’s research area or other areas of interest should be completed according to the Plan of Study, approved by the student’s Advisory Committee.

c. Previous master’s coursework (up to 32 credits)


  • Previous master’s coursework (up to 32 credits)

d. Dissertation (minimum of 24 credits)


Satisfactory academic progress


Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing


All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:  In the Ph.D. program, credit will not be awarded for courses in which a grade less than 3.0 is earned. All numerical grades earned are used in computing a student’s grade-point average.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information


Initial advising

After admission to the Ph.D. program, a student should consult with the Program Coordinator for any advice until formulation of an Advisory Committee.

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework.

Advisory committee

As soon as possible after admission, but prior to earning 16 credits of coursework, students must form an advisory committee, which will direct and guide the progress of their program. Such a committee is composed of four faculty members, specified as follows:

  • Three faculty members nominated by the student (one designated as chair and one selected from an Oakland University department outside the School of Engineering and Computer Science).
  • One SECS faculty member, not from the same department as the advisory committee chair, appointed by the Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Upon recommendation of the advisory committee, following successful completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive examination, one member from within or outside the university community may either be added to the committee or replace a member for the dissertation proposal and review.

The composition of the entire advisory committee must be approved by the Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Comprehensive examination

Each student is required to take a comprehensive examination after the student has completed all of his/her coursework, but before completing no more than 8 credits of dissertation research. The examination is designed to assess the student’s analytical reasoning, theoretical understanding and preparedness to do independent research. The examination is composed of a written component and an oral component. The written examination includes at least two discipline-specific areas relevant to the student’s coursework and research interest. The student’s advisory committee, based on the student’s preparation, selects the areas for the examination. The oral examination follows within a month of the written examination. The written examination is commonly split into no more than three parts to be taken over a reasonable period of time (usually not to exceed one month). A student may repeat the comprehensive examination once. Upon recommendation of the advisory committee, following successful completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive examination, one member from within or outside the university community may either be added to the committee or replace a member for the dissertation proposal and review. All comprehensive exams must be monitored in person by  doctoral advisory committee member or a representative of the committee and exams are to be taken on campus.

Dissertation proposal

As soon as a candidate and the advisory committee chair agree on a specific research topic, the candidate must write a dissertation proposal. This document contains a formulation of the problem, the background work leading to the formulation and a plan for the subsequent research. Candidates must orally present the proposal to their advisory committees and any other interested faculty, at which time the committee may question the preparedness of the student to carry out the research.

Research credits

Students who have advisory committee approval of their dissertation proposals and are conducting research should register for ECE 790. At least 24 research credits are required of all doctoral candidates. However, merely amassing credits does not indicate satisfactory progress toward or completion of the dissertation. These judgments are made by the advisory committee. The dissertation is judged completed upon successful completion of the final examination and acceptance of the dissertation by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Dissertation

Each candidate will submit a dissertation to the advisory committee. The dissertation must be the candidate’s own work and must constitute a contribution to knowledge in his/her field of endeavor. The completed dissertation must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).

Residence

Writing a doctoral dissertation requires a full commitment to research. Such research cannot be effectively pursued in an environment which places research in a secondary role. Doctoral students are required to be full-time students for at least one year of their active dissertation research. The doctoral student should arrange such a period of residency by 1) registering for at least 8 credits of doctoral dissertation research for two consecutive semesters and 2) making a commitment, in a statement addressed to his/her advisory committee, to a program of full-time research (at least 20 hours per week).

The above represents the normal residency requirement. However, if the present occupation of the candidate (e.g., industrial research or teaching) is conducive to the intended research, there is an alternative method to fulfill the residency requirement. To arrange for the alternative residency, the candidate must apply in writing to his/her advisory committee at the time of the dissertation proposal review. The committee must be furnished with a written statement by the candidate’s employer confirming that the dissertation research constitutes a major portion of the job assignment. If the advisory committee grants permission to pursue this option, the student must enroll in doctoral dissertation research (8 credits maximum) for at least two consecutive semesters.

Final examination

Each Ph.D. candidate must satisfactorily defend the dissertation in a final oral examination administered by the advisory committee. The examination is taken after the advisory committee certifies that the dissertation is ready for final review. At the committee’s option, one reexamination may be permitted if a candidate fails to pass the final examination.

Continuous enrollment

The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

Time limits

The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than ten years from the time of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.

The Time Limit for Completing a Ph.D. Degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense).

If a student is deemed inactive, he or she may be dropped out of the program despite the petition for extension.