Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D.

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ph.D. degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENGR-701
Inter-disciplinary Research Methods
This course emphasizes collaboration in modern research environment and consists of five modules. Students will introduced to the concepts of inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research conducted from both a scientific and an engineering perspective. Students will learn how to write a dissertation proposal, statement of work, timeline for their program of study and the elements of an effective literature review. Students will develop skills related to reviewing and annotating technical papers, conducting a literature search and proper citation. Students will demonstrate an understanding of (a) ethics as it relates to the responsible conduct of research, (b) ethical responsibility in the context of the engineering professions, (c) ethics as it relates to authorship and plagiarism, (d) basic criteria for ethical decision making and (e) identify professional standards and code of ethics relevant to their discipline. Students demonstrate an ability to identify and explain the potential benefits of their research discoveries to a range of stakeholders, including policy makers and the general public. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
ENGR-702
Translating Discovery into Practice
This course provides graduate students with the professional skills needed by PhD graduates within their major research focus area to move the results of their research from the lab into practice. Students will demonstrate a strong contextual understanding for their research efforts. Students will learn professional skills related to Teamwork; Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization; Research Management; Policy and Societal Context; and Technical Writing. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
ENGR-795
Doctoral Seminar
This seminar course presents topics of contemporary interest to graduate students enrolled in the program. Presentations include off campus speakers, and assistance with progressing on your research. Selected students and faculty may make presentations on current research under way in the department. All doctoral engineering students enrolled full time are required to attend each semester they are on campus. (Graduate standing in a technical discipline) (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar 1 (Fall, Spring).
2
ENGR-892
Graduate Research
Doctoral-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. Students may count a maximum of 9 credits of ENGR-892 towards degree requirements. If the student enrolls cumulatively in more than 9 credits of ENGR-892, the additional credits above 9 will not be counted towards the degree. Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
Engineering Foundation 1, 2*
6
 
Discipline Concentration 1, 2†
6
Second Year
ENGR-795
Doctoral Seminar
This seminar course presents topics of contemporary interest to graduate students enrolled in the program. Presentations include off campus speakers, and assistance with progressing on your research. Selected students and faculty may make presentations on current research under way in the department. All doctoral engineering students enrolled full time are required to attend each semester they are on campus. (Graduate standing in a technical discipline) (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Seminar 1 (Fall, Spring).
1
ENGR-892
Graduate Research
Doctoral-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. Students may count a maximum of 9 credits of ENGR-892 towards degree requirements. If the student enrolls cumulatively in more than 9 credits of ENGR-892, the additional credits above 9 will not be counted towards the degree. Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
6
 
Discipline Concentration 3†
3
 
Focus Area Elective 1, 2, 3, 4‡
12
Third Year
ENGR-890
Dissertation and Research
Doctoral-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. Students must successfully pass the PhD Candidacy examination prior to enrolling in this course Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
21
Total Semester Credit Hours
66

 

*Engineering Foundation Electives:

EEEE-707/ENGR-707
Engineering Analysis
The course trains students to utilize mathematical techniques from an engineering perspective, and provides essential background for success in graduate level studies. The course begins with a pertinent review of matrices, transformations, partitions, determinants and various techniques to solve linear equations. It then transitions to linear vector spaces, basis definitions, normed and inner vector spaces, orthogonality, eigenvalues/eigenvectors, diagonalization, state space solutions and optimization. Applications of linear algebra to engineering problems are examined throughout the course. Topics include: Matrix algebra and elementary matrix operations, special matrices, determinants, matrix inversion, null and column spaces, linear vector spaces and subspaces, span, basis/change of basis, normed and inner vector spaces, projections, Gram-Schmidt/QR factorizations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, matrix diagonalization, Jordan canonical forms, singular value decomposition, functions of matrices, matrix polynomials and Cayley-Hamilton theorem, state-space modeling, optimization techniques, least squares technique, total least squares, and numerical techniques. Electrical engineering applications will be discussed throughout the course. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to graduate students in the EEEE-MS, EEEE-BS/MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
EEEE-709/ENGR-709
Advanced Engineering Mathematics
The course begins with a pertinent review of linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations and Laplace transforms and their applications to solving engineering problems. It then continues with an in-depth study of vector calculus, complex analysis/integration, and partial differential equations; and their applications in analyzing and solving a variety of engineering problems especially in the areas of control, circuit analysis, communication, and signal/image processing. Topics include: ordinary and partial differential equations, Laplace transforms, vector calculus, complex functions/analysis, complex integration, and numerical techniques. Electrical engineering applications will be discussed throughout the course. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CMPE-610
Analytical Topics in Computer Engineering
This course begins by reviewing signal and system analysis techniques for analyzing linear systems. It includes Fourier techniques and moves on to present fundamental computational techniques appropriate for a number of applications areas of computer engineering. Other topics include symbolic logic and optimization techniques. (Prerequisites: CMPE-480 and (MATH-251 or 1016-345) or graduate standing in the CMPE-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).

 

† Discipline Concentration: Any graduate level course offered by the departments of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering of Computer Engineering, exclusive of capstones.

‡ Focus Area Elective: Any graduate level course offered by the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, exclusive of capstones.


Info graphic showing the process for earning a Ph.D., as described in the curriculum table above.

The curriculum for the Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering provides the knowledge and skills to form successful independent researchers by providing disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, research mentorship, and seminars. Courses are organized into three categories: core, discipline concentration elective, and focus area elective courses. In addition, the plan of study includes three major research-based milestones: the doctoral qualifying exam, the doctoral candidacy exam, and the doctoral dissertation defense.

Core Courses
Core courses are usually completed during the first two semesters of the program since they serve as foundational preparation for other elective courses. Core courses develop core competency skills for research, introducing the research landscape in electrical and computer engineering, and helping to prepare students for the qualifying exam.

Discipline Concentration Elective Courses
The discipline concentration elective courses provide rigorous education in a student’s specific field of research in electrical and computer engineering. Students choose courses in consultation with the dissertation and research advisor. Graduate courses offered by the department of electrical and microelectronic engineering (courses code EEEE-6/7/8xx) or the department of computer engineering (courses code CMPE-6/7/8xx).

Focus Area Elective Courses
Focus area elective courses provide the curriculum flexibility for students to engage in trans-disciplinary learning. In consultation with the dissertation and research advisor, students choose graduate courses offered by any department in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. In addition, and subject to the approval of the Ph.D. program director, students may choose graduate courses offered by any of RIT’s colleges.

Qualifying Exam
Students complete a qualifying exam at the end of their first year of study. The exam evaluates the student's aptitude, potential, and competency in conducting Ph.D.-level research.

Dissertation Proposal and Candidacy Exam
Students must present a dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee no sooner than six months after the qualifying exam and at least twelve months prior to the dissertation defense exam. The proposal provides the opportunity for students to elaborate on their research plans and to obtain feedback on the direction and approach to their research from their dissertation committee.

Dissertation Presentation and Defense
Each doctoral candidate prepares an original, technically rigorous, and well-written dissertation that describes the candidate’s research body of work and novel contributions to the discipline of electrical and computer engineering that have resulted from the doctoral studies. In this culminating milestone, each doctoral candidate presents and defends their dissertation and its accompanying research to their dissertation committee.