Doctoral degree

Dr. Reisslein with members of his lab

The doctoral program is intended for students with excellent ability in mathematics and physical science that are interested in gaining an in-depth knowledge of the foundational principles of engineering and pursuing a career in academia, research or highly technical entrepreneurial innovation. The doctoral program provides a broader and more in-depth preparation than the master’s. program in anticipation of a demonstrated ability to independently pursue more creative and substantive innovation with higher impact. Students are required to complete 84 credit hours—18 hours must be in one of two concentrations—and a dissertation. With approval of the student’s supervisory committee, up to 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master’s degree may be counted towards the degree requirements.

Mandatory Concentration Area

This program will require that you select a concentration in Electrical Engineering or Computer Systems Engineering area at the time of application as it has a direct correlation to the curriculum you will follow.

General Curriculum Requirements: 84 hours

Core courses: 6 credit hours

The combination of CEN 501 and CEN 502 serves to integrate the required knowledge of electrical engineering and computer science to ensure that all students have the necessary background to pursue advanced study in the areas of computer engineering. CEN 501 focuses on circuit and logic design, topics that span the electrical engineering to computer engineering interface. CEN 502 begins with computer architecture and focuses on operating systems, compilers and networking topics that cover the computer science to computer engineering interface. Together this pair of courses provides a common and necessary background for all students in the program to pursue graduate study in the six areas of the program. As such, these courses must be taken early in the student’s course of graduate study:

  • CEN 591/501 Computer Systems I: Circuits to Architecture (3)
  • CEN 591/502 Computer Systems II: Fundamentals of Algorithms and Optimization Techniques (3)

Elective courses: 42 credit hours

The elective courses in the graduate Computer Engineering program are partitioned into 6 areas of study. These courses are referred to as the Computer Engineering Area (CE-Area) courses. The following lists the 6 areas of study:

  1. VLSI and Architecture
  2. Embedded Control Systems
  3. Communication and Networks
  4. Distributed, Dependable and Secure Systems
  5. Multimedia and Signal Processing
  6. Systems Optimization

Choose elective courses that meet the following requirements:

  • Select at least 24 credit hours of CE-Area courses needed to provide a breadth of knowledge in CE to support an extensive research and dissertation experience. Selection of CE-Area courses must satisfy the following constraints:
    • Select at most 6 credit hours from courses noted with M* in the CE-Area courses list.
    • Select at least 12 credit hours of courses noted with M* or D* from the CE-Area courses list.
    • Remaining credit hours can be other graduate courses in Science, Engineering, or Mathematics chosen in consultation with your graduate advisor.
  • Select at least 18 credit hours of Science, Engineering, or Mathematics courses, in consultation with your advisor, that are intended to provide a level of breadth and depth in basic science and analytical methods well beyond that required for the master’s level.

When planning your elective courses it is important that you base your selections to also reflect the minimum number of CSE and EEE hours required by your selected concentration.

400-level courses: No more than 6 credit hours of 400-level coursework can be included on a graduate student’s program of study.

Research and/or other elective courses per student’s research area

  • At most 6 credit hours of CEN 790: Reading and Conference
  • At least 12 and at most 18 credit hours of CEN 792: Research

Dissertation: 12 credit hours

  • 12 credit hours of CEN 799: Dissertation, and,
  • a successful oral dissertation defense.