Oct 22, 2020  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 
    
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Electrical Engineering Ph.D.


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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNLV offers a program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Engineering in the field of Electrical Engineering. Specific major areas of study currently available include:Communications, Computer Engineering, Control System Theory, Electromagnetics and Optics, Power Systems, Signal Processing, and Solid State Materials and Devices.

Admission Requirement

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. One may be admitted to the Ph.D. program by one of two mechanisms. The Conventional Ph.D. Option requires the student to complete an M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Direct Ph.D. Option allows those undergraduates with outstanding undergraduate backgrounds to enter the Ph.D. program without having to complete an M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. All requirements leading to a Ph.D. are still required beyond the B.S. degree in Electrical and computer Engineering excluding the completion of a master’s thesis.

Conventional Ph.D. Option

Applications are considered on an individual basis. Candidates can be admitted on a regular or provisional status. Qualified applicants who are not admitted can take a few graduate courses as a non degree student not completing all of the Ph.D. requirements. Only 15 credits taken as a graduate non admitted student can count toward the degree.

To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program, an applicant must:

  1. Have a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in electrical engineering or computer engineering;
  2. Have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 20 (A=4.00) for their master’s degree;
  3. Submit GRE scores to the department and have obtained the following minimum scores:
  Section % Below
  Quantitative 75
  1. Submit a completed application form and official transcripts of all college-level work to the Graduate College. In addition, submit a one page written statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s research interests, motivations and objectives, three dated letters of recommendation concerning the applicant’s potential for succeeding in the graduate program and an additional set of transcripts of all college-level work directly to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Direct Ph.D. Option

Applications are considered on an individual basis. To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. Program, an applicant must:

  1. Have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 (A=4.00) for their bachelor’s degree;
  2. Submit GRE scores to the department and have obtained the following minimum scores:
  Section
% Below
  Quantitative 75
  1. Submit a completed application form, a written statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s interests and objectives, three letters of recommendation concerning their potential for succeeding in the Ph.D. program, and official transcripts of all college-level work to the Graduate College.
  2. Submit a completed application form and official transcripts of all college-level work to the Graduate College. In addition, submit a one page written statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s research interests, motivations and objectives, three dated letters of recommendation concerning the applicant’s potential for succeeding in the graduate program and an additional set of transcripts of all college-level work directly to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

International Applicants

Before international applicants can be considered for admission, the Graduate College requires that all international applicants take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and obtain a minimum score of 550. Student’s whose first language is not English may be required to take the English as a Second language Placement Test upon arrival at UNLV. If necessary, they will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at UNLV. These courses will not count toward their graduate degree.

Ph.D Degree Requirements


All Ph.D. candidates must maintain a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 and a minimum GPA of 3.20 each semester. Ph.D. candidates who do not maintain an overall GPA of 3.20 and a GPA of 3.20 each semester will either be placed on probation or expelled from the program. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee and/or the Graduate College will determine the terms of the student’s probation in accordance with the rules of the Graduate College.

All regular status graduate students must file an approved program before the completion of their first semester. This program must be approved by the student’s advisor and the graduate coordinator. All regular and provisional status graduate students must show satisfactory progress towards completion of their degree by completing at least six credits of their approved program per calendar year. If their progress towards their degree program is not satisfactory, students will either be put on probation or expelled from the program.

Consecutive order of specific requirements for both the Direct and the Conventional Ph.D. options are:

  1. Satisfy the Ph.D. degree program admission requirements and be admitted to the Ph.D. program on a regular status.
  2. Pass the Qualifying Exam within two semesters of being admitted to the Ph.D. program on a regular status. The Qualifying Exam is offered once every Fall semester and once every Spring semester. This exam cannot be taken more than twice. The Qualifying Exam is described in Section 4.3 of the Graduate Program Document.
  3. During the first semester, a Ph.D. student must select a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor does not have to be the one to whom the student was assigned upon entering the Ph.D. program. In coordination with the faculty advisor, the student must also form a doctoral advisory committee. A doctoral advisory committee is composed of at least five members of the UNLV Graduate Faculty. Three of these faculty members must be from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the fourth from a relevant supporting field, and the fifth is appointed by the Graduate College.
  4. Beyond the M.S. degree, a Ph.D. student must complete a minimum of 27 credits of graduate-level courses with an overall minimum GPA of 3.20 and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (B-) in each class applied towards the 27 credits. Candidates in the Direct Ph.D. program must complete a minimum of 51 (24 M.S. + 27 Ph.D.) required credits. Grades below B- are not counted towards the Ph.D. degree and must be repeated or replaced.

Direct Ph.D. Option


Continued enrollment of a student who earns more than one grade below B- is contingent upon the approval of the graduate committee. Of the 51 required credits, a minimum of 33 credits must be in 700-level courses, and no more than six credits may be from ECG 791 (Graduate Independent Study). The student’s doctoral advisory committee may add more requirements in accordance with the individual’s background and field of study.

  1. Beyond the bachelor’s degree, a Ph.D. student must complete a minimum of 15 credits in an approved major field, nine credits in each of the two approved minor fields. A minimum GPA of 3.33 (B+=3.30) must be obtained in each of the minor fields. Approved major and minor fields are described in detail in Section 4.8 of the Graduate Program Document.
  2. After passing the Qualifying Exam, successfully completing all courses for a major field, and successfully completing all courses for the minor fields, students are eligible to take the Comprehensive Exam. All students must have passed the Comprehensive Exam within two semesters after successfully completing all required course work except for the 18 credits of ECG 799 (Dissertation). NOTE: Up to six credits of:
    ECG 799 - Dissertation  taken prior to the successful completion of the Preliminary Exam may count toward the degree program. The Comprehensive Exam cannot be taken more than once per semester and cannot be taken more than twice. If the student’s GPA during his/her Ph.D. study is 3.8 or higher, comprehensive exam can be waived upon the approval of the Graduate Program Committee (GPC). If the student’s GPA is below 3.8, he/she will need to write this exam. The Comprehensive Exam is described in detail in Section 4.4 of the Graduate Program Document.
  3. After successfully completing all required course work and passing the Comprehensive Exam, the students must pass the Preliminary Exam. The Preliminary Exam cannot be taken more than once per semester but may be repeated until passed. The Preliminary Exam is described in detail in Section 4.5 of the Graduate Program Document.
  4. Complete a minimum of 18 credits of;
    ECG 799 - Dissertation  and complete a dissertation containing original research. Upon completion, the student must pass the Final Exam in which the student defends his/her dissertation The Final Exam is described in detail in Section 4.6 of the Graduate Program Document.

Conventional Ph.D. Option


Continued enrollment of a student who earns more than one grade below B- is contingent upon the approval of the graduate committee. Of the 27 required credits, a minimum of 18 credits must be in 700-level courses, and no more than three credits may be from ECG 791 (Graduate Independent Study). The student’s doctoral advisory committee may add more requirements in accordance with the individual’s background and field of study.

Ph.D. Major and Minor Fields


Beyond the bachelor’s degree, a Ph.D. student must complete a minimum of 15 credits in a major field, nine credits in a minor field of a single area in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and another nine credits in a second minor field. Currently, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNLV offers Communications, Computer Engineering, Control System Theory, Electromagnetics and Optics, Electronics, Power Systems, Signal Processing, and Solid State Materials and Devices as major fields. Specific courses that can be applied to specific fields are listed in detail later in this section of the manual.

Each student must complete two minor fields. To complete a minor field, a student must complete a minimum of nine credits in an approved minor field and have an overall minimum GPA of 3.33 (B+=3.30) for the nine minor field credits. Of the nine required credits in each minor field, a minimum of six credits must be in 700-level courses.

Specific courses that can be applied to specific minor fields are listed in detail in this section of the manual. Some courses may be listed under two different fields. Such a course can be applied to only one field. With the written approval of the major advisor and the student’s advisory committee, a mixed minor field may be formed with courses inside and/or outside of the Electrical Engineering department’s approved fields (e.g., a mixed minor in mathematics and physics, a mixed minor in computer engineering and computer science, a physics minor, a mechanical engineering minor, sold state and electromagnetics mixed minor, etc.). A mixed minor may not be composed of courses in the Electrical Engineering Department that satisfy course work in the major and other minor field. The only exception is when a course may be used in more than one field. In this case, the course may not be counted twice but may be used for either minor area. However, the student must complete at least one minor field in Electrical Engineering in a single area. Refer to the department’s Graduate Program Handout regarding specific courses than can be applied to specific minor fields.

International Applicants


For international applicants to be considered for admission, the Graduate College requires they take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and obtain a minimum score of 550 or 85 on the Michigan Test. Student’s whose first language is not English may be required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test upon arrival at UNLV. If necessary, they will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at UNLV. These courses will not count toward their graduate degree.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has a limited number of Teaching Assistantships that are awarded to superior students. To be considered for a teaching assistantship, a student must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prospective students should contact the department’s Graduate Coordinator for additional information and refer to the Graduate Catalog for submission deadlines.

Teaching Assistants perform an average of 20 hours per week of teaching related service and are required to complete a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Teaching Assistants who are also working toward the M.S.E.E. degree must take the Thesis Option. Teaching Assistants who do not adhere to these requirements, do not perform their teaching duties satisfactorily, or do not maintain the minimum GPA requirements specified by their degree programs can lose their assistantships and/or will be placed on probation. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee will determine the terms of the student’s probation. International Teaching Assistants are required to receive a passing score (50 out of 60 points) on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) prior to assuming any type of instructional duties.

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