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Requirements for Admission

General requirements for admission are described in the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog.  Specific admission requirements for the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering are described below.

  1. Undergraduate or graduate degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering or a related field from an ABET* accredited institution in the United States, or proof of equivalent education from an international institution.
  2. Demonstration of academic achievement and potential as indicated by the results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and upper-level undergraduate and graduate coursework (normally 3.5/4.0 GPA in both).
  3. Three letters of recommendation and any other evidence of background, knowledge, research, or work experience in Electrical and Computer Engineering that may be available.
  4. A written statement of intent, describing his/her career goals and describing his/her vision of the path to those goals (including a summary of previous preparation and of his/her expectations from the grad program).

Students with GPAs above 3.5/4.0 may enter the Ph.D. program immediately upon completion of the bachelor's degree. More typically students enter the program after the completion of a master's degree. Conditional acceptance may be offered to students who do not meet all of the specific criteria for admission but who show promise of success in graduate study.

The Graduate Committee of the Department will recommend to the Graduate School acceptance, conditional acceptance, or rejection of the application after all required documents have been received and reviewed by the Graduate School.

General Requirements for Degree 

The specific coursework required of each student will be determined by his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee. However, each student must complete at least 72 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree or at least 42 hours beyond the master's degree. At the discretion of the Dissertation Advisor, a student may be asked to enroll in ENGL 5316 Graduate Writing Workshop, or its equivalent, EE 6195 Graduate Seminar, and EE 5392 Research Methods.  These courses would be counted towards the required 18 hours of graduate research.  Upon approval of the dissertation proposal the student must enroll in EE 6398/EE 6399 and write and defend a dissertation, reporting the results of his/her research studies.

Students entering the doctoral program directly after the baccalaureate must complete 72 semester credit hours approved by the Graduate Advisor, which include 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 33 credit hours of graduate coursework; 32 credit hours of EE 6X94 (EE 6194, EE 6294, EE 6394, EE 6494) Graduate Research or EE 6392 or EE 5392 Research Methods; EE 6398 and EE 6399 Dissertation. EE 6399 Dissertation must be repeated until the dissertation is defended and the document submitted to the Graduate School for approval. 

A student in the program, independent of the track, may enroll in ENGL 5316 Graduate Writing Workshop, or similar courses if approved by the graduate advisor. These courses would be counted towards the required hours of graduate research. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal the student must enroll in EE 6398 Dissertation. 

Biomedical Engineering Track 

The Biomedical Engineering (BME) track has a set of interdisciplinary biomedical engineering related graduate courses and allows ECE doctoral students to specialize in biomedical related research. The track is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills of living systems (from nano- to macro-scales), as well as state-of-the-art knowledge and experience in design, implementation and evaluation of bioinstrumentation, medical devices, and prostheses, and implants. Students will apply their understanding of advanced technologies and integration of knowledge from diverse fields to develop biomedical engineering approaches for complex problem-solving in the medical, biological, and healthcare arenas.Students in the BME track are required to take 21 hours of specialization and clinical research as well as completing a device practicum.  A minimum of 78 credit hours are required of which a minimum of 43 must be research related.  Students entering into the track with a MS degree must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of which a minimum of 25 credits must be research related.  Students entering with a MS in BME are required to take 11 hours of specialization.  Nine (9) credits of those courses can be free electives.  The remainder of the credit hours will be research of which at least one (1) credit has to be clinical research, a minimum of three (3) credits research symposia and a minimum of six (6) credits dissertation.  The instrumentation and modeling short courses are optional for BME track students.

Students in the BME track must complete 72 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, or 42 hours beyond the master's degree. Students entering the doctoral program BME track directly after the baccalaureate must complete 72 semester credit hours approved by the Graduate Advisor, which include 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 21 credit hours of core courses in BME and clinical research as well as completing a device practicum; 12 credit hours of approved elective graduate coursework; 32 credit hours of EE 6X94 Graduate Research or EE 6392 Research Methods or BME 5303 Research & Lab Methods; EE 6398 and EE 6399 Dissertation. EE 6399 Dissertation must be repeated until the dissertation is defended and the document submitted to the Graduate School for approval.

Requirements for students entering the doctoral program with a master degree depend on the student background. Students entering with a MS in BME must complete 42 semester credit hours approved by the Graduate Advisor, which include: 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 9 credit hours of core courses in BME and clinical research as well as completing a device practicum; 9 credit hours of approved elective graduate coursework; 17 credit hours of EE 6X94 (EE 6194, EE 6294, EE 6394, EE 6494) Graduate Research or EE 6392 Research Methods or BME 5303 Research & Lab Methods; and 6 credit hours of EE 6398/EE 6399 Dissertation. Students entering with a MS in Electrical Engineering must complete 42 semester credit hours including: 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 18 credit hours of core courses in BME and clinical research as well as completing a device practicum; 17 credit hours of EE 6X94 (EE 6194, EE 6294, EE 6394, EE 6494) Graduate Research or EE 6392 Research Methods or BME 5303 Research & Lab Methods; EE 6398 and EE 6399 Dissertation. EE 6399 Dissertation must be repeated until the dissertation is defended and the document submitted to the Graduate School for approval.

Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) Specialization Track

The Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) requires nine (9) credit hours of Industrial, Manufacturing or Systems Engineering graduate courses and allows ECE doctoral students to specialize in ISE-related research. The track is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills of modern industrial and systems engineering, as well as state-of-the-art knowledge and experience in design, implementation, and evaluation of processes.

Students will apply their understanding of advanced technologies and integration of knowledge from diverse fields to develop ISE engineering approaches for complex problem-solving in industry, academia and government. Please see the Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering (IMSE) Department section for course descriptions.

Each student must complete 72 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, or 42 hours beyond the master's degree. Students entering the doctoral program directly after the baccalaureate must complete 72 semester credit hours approved by the Graduate Advisor, which include 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 18 credit hours of approved ELCE graduate concentration coursework; 18 credit hours of approved ELCE graduate concentration coursework; 9 credit hours of approved ISE graduate concentration coursework; 6 credit hours of approved ELCE graduate coursework not in the concentration area; 32 credit hours of EE 6X94 (EE 6194, EE 6294, EE 6394, EE 6494) Graduate Research or EE 6392 or EE 5392 Research Methods; and 6 credit hours of EE 6398/EE 6399 Dissertation. Students entering the doctoral program with a master degree must complete 1 credit hour of graduate seminar EE 6195; 18 credit hours of approved graduate coursework; 17 credit hours of EE 6X94 (EE 6194, EE 6294, EE 6394, EE 6494) Graduate Research or EE 6392 or EE 5392 Research Methods; EE 6398 and EE 6399 Dissertation. EE 6399 Dissertation must be repeated until the dissertation is defended and the document submitted to the Graduate School for approval.

Committees

Admission into the program is determined by the Graduate School upon recommendation from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. Admissions Committee.  The committee is composed of the ECE Graduate Programs Director, as chair, and other faculty members at large from department.

For each Ph.D. student, a Doctoral Advisory Committee will be formed consisting of a Dissertation Advisor and at least two additional faculty members with expertise in areas related to the student's program of study and research.  At least one committee member must be from a department other than Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The majority of the members of the committee must be from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The dissertation advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The Doctoral Advisory Committee will be appointed in consultation with the candidate after completion of nine (9) to twelve (12) hours of coursework applicable to the doctoral degree. The appointment must be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs of the Department of Electrical and Computer and the Graduate School. The Doctoral Advisory Committee will provide mentorship to the student during dissertation research and administer the candidate's Dissertation Research Proposal presentation and the Dissertation Defense. 

Examinations

Upon entering the Ph.D. program each student will be required to take a Qualifying Examination.  To pass this examination, a student must demonstrate both competency in the fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the ability to conduct research in the selected discipline of study.  The Qualifying Examination will consist of two sections: (1) Electrical and Computer Engineering Fundamentals, administered by the Director of Graduate Program, and (2) Research Competency, conducted by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee.  A passing grade in the Qualifying Examination indicates that the student is allowed to continue with his/her studies in the Ph.D. program, while a failing grade will result in dismissal from the program.  Unauthorized failure to take a given examination at the scheduled time will result in forfeiting the attempt.

The objective of Section 1, ECE Fundamentals, of the Qualifying Examination is to have the student demonstrate mastery of the fundamental areas in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  To successfully complete this section of the examination, a student must be able to pass tests related to at least five of the areas representing "ECE Fundamental Knowledge." Ordinarily, each student will be required to take this examination before the second semester of enrollment.  If the student does not pass the initial examination, he/she will be allowed to retake it once.  Failure on this second attempt will result either in a one-semester suspension from the program, or in participation in a remedial plan jointly developed between the Admissions Committee and the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee.  Under exceptional circumstance, if the student does not pass a particular test area after any of the first two attempts, the Admissions Committee may allow the student to replace such test area with another test area from the list below.  After the suspension or remediation plan is completed, the student will be allowed to retake the examination one more time, and if it fails the student will be dismissed from the program.  Once dismissed, a student cannot re-apply to the Ph.D. program in Electrical and Computer Engineering for admission.

To successfully complete the Fundamentals Sections, a student must correctly answer test questions related to at least five of the ten areas of ECE Fundamental Knowledge, namely:

ECE Fundamental Knowledge:

  1. Digital Design (EE 2369 Digital Systems Design I)
  2. Electric Circuits (EE 2350 Electric Circuits I)
  3. Electronics (EE 3338 Electronics I)
  4. Electronic Devices (EE 3329 Fund. of Semiconductor Dev)
  5. Electromagnetics (EE 3321 Electromagnetic Field Theory)
  6. Microprocessor Systems (EE 3376 Microprocessor Systems I)
  7. Probability Theory (EE 3384 Probabilistic Methods-Engr/Sci)
  8. Signals and Systems (EE 2353 Cont. Time Signals & Systems)
  9. Software Design (EE 2372 Software Design I)
  10. Systems Engineering* (EE 5341/SE 5341 Systems Engr Fundamentals).  Available only for the ISE/ECE Ph.D. Track students.

The objective of Section 2, (Research Competency), of the Qualifying Examination is to have the student demonstrate skills required in research, which includes: reading for content, formulating an analysis, critical thinking, organization, and ability to make an oral presentation.  Each student will be required to successfully complete the Research Competency Section by the third semester of enrollment.  At the discretion of the Student's Doctoral Advisory Committee the examination will consist of one of the following options:

  1. Submitting a written paper (in IEEE** Transactions format), together with a thirty-minute oral presentation to the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee on a topic selected by the Chair.  The presentation will be closed to the public.
  2. Submitting a research proposal (in NSF*** Project format: Summary, Description, Qualifications of Investigator, Resources... etc.), together with a thirty-minute oral presentation of the proposal to the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee.  The presentation is closed to the public.
  3. Enrolling in Research Methods and passing, or having passed it, with A.

Upon passing the Qualifying Examination and completing all required graduate coursework, each student will present a Dissertation Proposal to his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee.  When the Dissertation Proposal is approved, the student must request admission into Doctoral Candidacy from the Graduate School.  After completion of the proposed dissertation research, the student will be examined with regard to his/her research outcome in the Dissertation Defense.

Dissertation

The dissertation must demonstrate both the ability to do independent research and competence in scholarly exposition. It should present original investigations at an advanced level of a significant problem in Electrical and Computer Engineering and should provide the basis for a publishable contribution to the research literature in the field.

The student must submit the draft dissertation, with the approval of the dissertation advisor, to the Doctoral Advisory Committee and to the Graduate School six days before the Dissertation Defense.

After the Dissertation Defense, the candidate is required to submit a copy of the approved dissertation to the graduate school in PDF format on a CD in a case by the deadline as published in the Class Schedule of the intended semester of graduation.  A hard copy of the signatures pages with original signatures of the members of the dissertation committee must also be submitted to the Graduate School.  The signature page must be included in the PDF file, but it should not be signed.  The Graduate School-approved dissertation must also be submitted at the University Microfilms International Web site for on-line publication (http://dissertations.umi.com/utep).  Dissertations are regarded as publications and will be made public once they are approved and submitted to the Graduate School.

Time Limits and Catalog Changes

All requirements for the degree must be completed within the eight-years period preceding the awarding of the doctoral degree. Work more than eight years old is lost and can be reinstated only by special permission of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Departmental Admissions Committee. Further, all requirements for the doctorate must be completed within five years of the approval of the Dissertation Proposal.

General and specific requirements for degrees in the Graduate School can be altered in successive catalogs. Provided the requisite course continues to be offered, the student is bound only by the course requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of admission or readmission within an eight-year limit, unless, with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, the student elects to be bound by the course requirements of a subsequent catalog. This regulation applies to course requirements only.

*ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology): ABET, Inc. the recognized accrediting organization for college and university programs in applied science, engineering, and technology, http://www.abet.org

**IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, http://www.ieee.org/index.html.

***NSF: National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/

Degree Plan

Ph.D. in Electrical & Comp Engineering

Required Credits: 72

PhD in Electrical/Computer Engineering (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Research:
Select thirty three credit hours of the following:33
Clinical Rotations-Engineers
Doctoral Clinical Research
Graduate Research
Doctoral Seminar
Medical Device Practicum
Graduate Research
Semiconductor Device Physics
Modern Semiconductor Devices
BME for Global Health
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Physiological Sys & Meas
Medical Diag & Therap Devices
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Dissertation:
EE 6398Dissertation3
EE 6399Dissertation3
Course Work:
Select 33 credit hours of approved ELCE graduate coursework. The specific coursework required of each student will be determined by his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee33
Graduate Seminar
Laboratory for EE 5318
Individual Studies
Clinical Rotations-Engineers
Graduate Research
Graduate Seminar
Medical Device Practicum
Individual Studies
Graduate Research
Probability & Random Processes
Computational Methods for EE
Linear Systems Analysis
Antenna Theory
Semiconductor Device Physics
Advanced Optoelectronic Device
Modern Semiconductor Devices
Electronic Material Processing
Nanoelectronics
BME for Global Health
Adv Digital Communications
Statistical Detection/Estimate
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Data Communications
Coding and Error Correction
Data Compression
Adv Fiber Optic Communications
Systems Engineering Fundamtls
Systems Engineering Mgmt
Requirements Engineering
Integratn, Verifictn, Validatn
Sp Proj Practicum in Sys Eng
Physiological Systms Measurmts
Med Diag & Theraptc Instrmtn
Biomed Signal & Image Process
Tomographic Imaging
Contmp Topics in Bioelectmgntm
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Computer Vision
Fuzzy Logic & Engineering
CMOS Digital Circuit Design
Operating Systems
Digital Signal Processing
Image Processing
Advanced Digital Syst Design I
ASIC Design and Test
Computer Architecture I
Computer Architecture II
Advanced VLSI Design
Network Protocols
Energy Sustainability
Smart Grid Fundamentals
Control of Electric Power
High Frequency Power Converter
Power System Operations
Radar Signal Processing
Special Topics Electrical Engr
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Clinical Rotations-Engineers
Doctoral Clinical Research
Graduate Research
Doctoral Seminar
Medical Device Practicum
Graduate Research
Semiconductor Device Physics
Modern Semiconductor Devices
BME for Global Health
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Physiological Sys & Meas
Medical Diag & Therap Devices
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Total Hours72

Ph.D. in Electrical & Comp Engineering - Biomedical Engineering Track

Required Credits: 84

PhD in ECE (Biomedical Track) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
DRSC 5495Anatomy for Health Sciences4
EE 6192Clinical Rotations-Engineers1
EE 6193Doctoral Clinical Research1
EE 6195Doctoral Seminar1
EE 6197Medical Device Practicum1
EE 6321BME for Global Health3
EE 6326BME Dev Design & Regulation3
EE 6356Telemedicine & Img Informatics3
EE 6394Graduate Research3
MGMT 5314Corporate Entrepreneurship3
Track Course Option:
BIOL 6304Physiological Regulatory Mech3
or EE 5351 Physiological Systms Measurmts
Electives:
Select eighteen hours of the following:18
Ultrastructure
Biostatistics
Structure/Funct Macromolecules
Advanced Organic Chemistry I
Advanced Organic Chemistry II
Contem Topics Organic Chemistr
Contemp Topics in Biochemistry
Anal./Model of Bio Structures
Seminar - Communication Theory
Artificial Intelligence I
Human-Computer Interaction
Topics/Intelligent Computing
Data Communications
Systems Engineering Fundamtls
Systems Engineering Mgmt
Requirements Engineering
Integratn, Verifictn, Validatn
Med Diag & Theraptc Instrmtn
Biomed Signal & Image Process
Tomographic Imaging
Contmp Topics in Bioelectmgntm
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Image Processing
Special Topics Electrical Engr
Advanced Work Design
Adv Concepts in Safety Eng
Adv Ergonomics/Process Design
Advanced Failure Analysis
Advanced Materials/Composites
Interfacial Phenomena-Mat Syst
Graduate Clinical Research
Phase Transformations & Micros
Mechanical Behavior of Matrls
Biomaterials
Biofabrication
Research:
Select twenty-eight hours of dissertation research:28
Doctoral Clinical Research
Graduate Research
Dissertation:
EE 6398
EE 6399
Dissertation
and Dissertation
6
Total Hours78

Ph.D. in Electrical & Comp Engineering - Industrial & Systems Engineering

Required Credits: 84

PhD in ECE (Industrial & Systems Track) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
EE 6195Doctoral Seminar1
ECE Courses:
Select six courses of the following:18
Probability & Random Processes
Linear Systems Analysis
Coding and Error Correction
Data Compression
Adv Fiber Optic Communications
Digital Signal Processing
Image Processing
ASIC Design and Test
Graduate Research
ISE Track Courses:
Select three courses of the following:9
Systems Engineering Fundamtls
Systems Engineering Mgmt
Requirements Engineering
Integratn, Verifictn, Validatn
Linear and Combin Optimiz Meth
Design/Analysis Indust Exprmnt
Computer Simulation Appli
Advanced Quality Control
Special Topics Industrial Engr
Design for Manufacturability
Strategic Design-Mfg Processes
Modeling/Analysis-Mfg Process
Reliability & Maintainability
Computer-Aided Manufacturing
Systems Engr Fundamentals
Systems Engr Management
Systems Requirements Analysis
Sys Intgrtn, Verfctn, & Valdtn
Sys Engr Project Practicum
Systems Architecture & Design
Systems Engr Processes
Systems Modeling & Simulation
Systems Engr Special Topics
EE Electives:
Select five hours of the following:15
Graduate Seminar
Laboratory for EE 5318
Individual Studies
Clinical Rotations-Engineers
Graduate Research
Graduate Seminar
Medical Device Practicum
Individual Studies
Graduate Research
Probability & Random Processes
Computational Methods for EE
Linear Systems Analysis
Antenna Theory
Semiconductor Device Physics
Advanced Optoelectronic Device
Modern Semiconductor Devices
Electronic Material Processing
Nanoelectronics
BME for Global Health
Adv Digital Communications
Statistical Detection/Estimate
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Data Communications
Coding and Error Correction
Data Compression
Adv Fiber Optic Communications
Systems Engineering Fundamtls
Systems Engineering Mgmt
Requirements Engineering
Integratn, Verifictn, Validatn
Sp Proj Practicum in Sys Eng
Physiological Systms Measurmts
Med Diag & Theraptc Instrmtn
Biomed Signal & Image Process
Tomographic Imaging
Contmp Topics in Bioelectmgntm
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Computer Vision
Fuzzy Logic & Engineering
CMOS Digital Circuit Design
Operating Systems
Digital Signal Processing
Image Processing
Advanced Digital Syst Design I
ASIC Design and Test
Computer Architecture I
Computer Architecture II
Advanced VLSI Design
Network Protocols
Energy Sustainability
Smart Grid Fundamentals
Control of Electric Power
High Frequency Power Converter
Power System Operations
Radar Signal Processing
Special Topics Electrical Engr
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Thesis
Thesis
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Clinical Rotations-Engineers
Doctoral Clinical Research
Graduate Research
Medical Device Practicum
Graduate Research
Semiconductor Device Physics
Modern Semiconductor Devices
BME for Global Health
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Physiological Sys & Meas
Medical Diag & Therap Devices
Telemedicine & Img Informatics
Biomechatronics
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Dissertation Research:
EE 6394Graduate Research (Complete eleven semesters)33
Thesis:
EE 6398
EE 6399
Dissertation
and Dissertation
6
Total Hours82