Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy
General: Graduate students who exhibit high scholastic proficiency and demonstrate an ability to conduct independent research may extend their goals toward the doctorate. The PhD is awarded to students who complete the studies and research program (described below) and prepare and defend a dissertation. The dissertation must represent an original, significant contribution, qualified for publication in a recognized scientific or engineering journal.
Admission to Programs: Entrance into the doctoral study and research program is contingent on a candidate’s passing the departmental qualifying examination and forming a guidance committee (both described below). Students entering the doctoral program at the baccalaureate level must meet the entrance requirement detailed above for the master’s program. Students entering at the master’s level for the PhD in Electrical Engineering are expected to have a master’s in electrical engineering. Students holding a NYU-Poly master’s degree in computer or systems engineering, electrophysics or telecommunications networks also can enter the program. Applicants with BS or MS in other disciplines may be admitted depending on academic background and record.
Qualifying Examinations: PhD qualifying examinations are offered twice a year. These examinations are divided into two sections: (1) a written examination requiring preparation through first-year graduate level courses in several areas related to the student’s principal interest and (2) an oral examination concentrating mainly on this principal area. Principal concentration areas are communications, signal processing, systems and control, electromagnetics, networks, computer and network architecture, and power electronics and systems.
Details on allowed subject areas, recommended background courses, sample examination questions and the precise format for the coming year are available in the department’s Graduate Office.
Guidance Committee: Upon passing the qualifying examination, PhD students must find a faculty member in their major interest area to serve as dissertation adviser. Students work with their dissertation advisers to find an adviser for a minor area outside of electrical engineering and a guidance committee of at least three faculty members. The dissertation adviser usually acts as chairman. At least one other guidance committee member must be in the student’s major research interest area; this member may be from outside of NYU-Poly.
The minor adviser may be a member of the guidance committee. Students must submit names of these guidance committee members to the Office of Graduate Programs for approval. The dissertation adviser approves the study program in the student’s major and the minor adviser approves the program of courses in the minor.
When the requirements for minor or major are completed, students should have the relevant adviser certify the completion in writing to the Office of Graduate Affairs, with copies to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Graduate Office.
The guidance committee conducts the area examination and dissertation defense and approves the final dissertation.
Course and Thesis Requirements: A minimum of 75 credits of academic work beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum of 21 credits of NYU-Poly dissertation research, is required. A minimum of 42 credits in formal courses (as distinct from independent study credits such as reading, project or thesis) are required. A student entering with a MS from a reputable graduate program may transfer 30 credits. PhD students are required to take a minimum of 9 credits of courses in a minor area outside of electrical engineering. The minor must be taken in an area that is both distinct from and yet consonant with the student’s major study area. Students work with thesis advisers to develop their major study program. The major program should constitute a coherent, in-depth study of the most advanced knowledge in the student’s area of concentration.
Average GPA among all courses must be 3.5 or above.
Seminar Attendance: PhD students are required to register for a 0-credit Research Seminars course (EL9900) for at least 4 semesters. Satisfactory grade is given only if the student attends more than 2/3 of the seminars offered in a semester.
Area Examination: In the area examination, the student reviews the prior research in the chosen dissertation topic and presents preliminary research results and additional research plan. The guidance committee evaluates the student’s performance and determines whether the student demonstrates the depth of knowledge and understanding necessary to carry out research in the chosen area. The examination should be taken early in the PhD program and may be in the form of an open seminar attended by other interested faculty and students.
Submission of the Dissertation and Final Examination: After completing the doctoral dissertation, candidates undergo oral-thesis defense. The guidance committee conducts the examination, but the defense is open to all faculty members and to invited persons. Dissertation copies should be made available to prospective examiners at a reasonable advance time. Students are advised to consult the Office of Research and PhD Programs regarding how to submit, reproduce and bind the final manuscript.
Publication Requirement: To be granted the PhD degree, a PhD candidate must have at least one accepted or submitted journal paper on the thesis-research subject.