Systems Engineering Ph.D.

The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences offers a program of study leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy in engineering in one of the following disciplines: chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering, and systems design.

Systems Design

Barry Fussell (Director)

The systems design option is an interdepartmental program that addresses contemporary engineering and scientific problems that can be solved only through the cooperation of a variety of disciplines. Students in systems design can elect one of two professional directions. The first develops professionals with the technical expertise of a Ph.D. and with the ability to work with and direct groups of people working on large-scale technical projects. The second direction develops engineers with capabilities in the theory and analysis of large-scale complex systems. Concentration in an area of specific individual interest is combined with participation in a larger interdisciplinary project.

Admission Requirements

Qualified students with bachelor's or master's degrees in engineering, mathematics, or the physical sciences are eligible for admission to the program. To be admitted, students must present evidence that they have sufficient background in the area of which they propose to specialize. They must also find a CEPS faculty member to serve as their adviser.

Ph.D. Option Requirements

Following entrance into the program, a guidance committee is appointed for the student by the dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the student's area coordinator. This committee assists students in outlining their program and may specify individual coursework requirements in addition to those required by the area of specialization. The committee also conducts an annual in-depth review of each student's progress and, following substantial completion of a student's coursework, administers the qualifying examination. This committee is also responsible for administering the language examination and/or research-tool proficiency requirements. Coursework and language requirements should normally be completed by the end of the second year of fulltime graduate study and must be completed before the student can be advanced to candidacy.

Upon the successful completion of the qualifying examination and other proficiency requirements, the student is advanced to candidacy and, upon the recommendation of the student's area coordinator, a doctoral committee is appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. The doctoral committee conducts an annual review of the student's progress, supervises and approves the doctoral dissertation, and administers the final dissertation defense.

To obtain a Ph.D. degree in engineering, a student must meet all of the general requirements as stated under academic regulations and degree requirements of the Graduate School. Students are normally expected to take coursework equivalent to two full-time academic years beyond the baccalaureate and to complete a dissertation on original research that will require at least one additional year of full-time study. A student should consult specific course offerings and descriptions of each department and should consult the area coordinator for additional information.