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Timeline for PhD students

To graduate with a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering, students must:

  • Pass a qualifying examination to be formally accepted into the PhD program.
  • Select a major adviser.
  • Formulate a research project with the help of the adviser.
  • Select a doctoral program committee.
  • Define a program of study with the help of the adviser and committee.
  • Complete the program of study approved by the doctoral committee.
  • Take a comprehensive exam after satisfying all coursework requirements.
  • Complete a doctoral dissertation on a topic approved by the doctoral committee and defend the dissertation in an oral final examination.
  • Seminar Requirement (effective for students first enrolled in Spring 2014 or later): The ECE department will sponsor at least eight seminars per semester. Doctoral students are required to participate in at least four seminars per semester in at least three semesters prior to their comprehensive exam.

Credit hours

  • A minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the BS are required by the Graduate School.
    • The student’s doctoral program committee sets the total number of credit hours and specific courses to be completed as part of his/her PhD program.
    • The Graduate School requires a minimum of 15 hours of 8000/9000 level classes to be taken at MU exclusive of research, problems and supervised study.

Grade point average (GPA)

  • To remain in good standing and to graduate, graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Grade point average in the Graduate School is based on the student’s entire graduate record of courses taken at MU.

Time limit / Rate of Progress

  • Graduate students are required to report their progress annually through the Graduate Student Progress System.
  • Students who do not satisfy rate-of-progress policies can request an extension.
  • If a student is dismissed due to a violation of academic program policies, the student can appeal the dismissal.

Completing the PhD

Students must fulfill certain Graduate School and ECE departmental requirements after their successful dissertation defense and before they can receive their degree.

ECE Departmental Requirements

  • All departmental keys and equipment are to be returned.

  • A forwarding address must be left with the Graduate Program administrative assistant.

Graduate School Requirements

  • The Report of the Dissertation Defense form must be signed by all approved members of the Doctoral Program Committee, the Major Adviser, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and submitted to the Graduate School.

  • The approval page, signed by the Doctoral Program Committee members, must be submitted to the Graduate School along with a copy of the file on CD-ROM as a PDF with the required supplemental materials


Questions about ECE graduate programs? Email