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Mitchell School of Engineering

Doctor of Engineering (D. Eng.)

Program Description

The purpose of the Doctor of Engineering program is to prepare students beyond the application of advanced engineering principles to the ability to perform independent research, problem definition and problem solving. The goal of this program is to produce engineering professionals who are leaders in their fields of stated and demonstrated expertise. 

The program leading to the degree of Doctor of Engineering is formally affiliated with the department where activities are most closely related to an applicant’s advanced study goals. However, the range of inquiry may (and is encouraged to) cross traditional departmental and school lines such that research and practical experience opportunities are extremely broad, and, that highly individualized programs can be pursued.

Program Objectives

The Doctor of Engineering program is designed to provide advanced engineering education and experience that is professionally oriented and which will afford graduate degree engineers the opportunity to develop into strong engineering professionals, applied researchers, managers of technology, technologically trained educators, and technological advocates. The Doctor of Engineering program is characterized, in large part, by the special nature of the dissertation. As part of the dissertation development process, the student may be required to work with industry, a governmental agency, or a consulting engineering firm to develop a dissertation topic that is tailored individually to the student. The planning of content for this experience is done in conjunction with the faculty as well as corporate and/or government advisor(s). All parties (student, faculty advisor, corporate advisor) will work together to meet the needs of the student, the academic and professional standards of the university, and the competitive posture of the involved corporation and/or government agency, respectively.

General Requirements

  • All candidates for the Doctor of Engineering degree must complete the required program of coursework, seminars, and research described in this catalog. 
  • After the coursework has been completed, all candidates must pass an Admission to Candidacy examination. In addition, when required by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee, the student must take, and pass, a Preliminary examination. 
  • All candidates must submit a doctoral dissertation. When the dissertation has been completed to the satisfaction of the committee chairperson, a dissertation defense will be scheduled at which time the student must orally defend his or her work before the entire Doctoral Advisory Committee. 
  • All requirements for the doctoral degree in Engineering must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years from the date of admission. 
  • All candidates are expected to participate in experiences in academia, industry, or government agency, as required by the candidate’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. 
    • All candidates must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 throughout the program. 
    • All candidates must satisfy a minimum of 18 credit hours of residency requirements in one of the following ways: 
  • Full-time candidates for the Doctor of Engineering degree must satisfy residency requirements by enrolling in nine (9) credit hours per semester, for two (2) consecutive semesters. 
  • Part-time candidates for the Doctor of Engineering degree must satisfy residency requirements by enrolling in six (6) credit hours per semester, for three (3) consecutive semesters. 
  • Upon completion of course requirements and all required examinations, the candidate must continue to register for “Dissertation Guidance” (XEGR 997) each semester until the dissertation is successfully completed. 
  • In order to be considered in good academic standing, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 and not obtain C or lower grades in more than twenty (20) percent of the total credit requirement for the degree.


To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Engineering Program in the School of Engineering, an applicant must have the following qualifications: 

  • Preference for admission to the Doctor of Engineering program is given to those persons who hold a Master’s Degree from an accredited graduate engineering degree program. Applicants holding master’s degrees in computer science, physics, and other science- and mathematics-related fields and who are currently pursuing careers closely aligned with engineering will be considered for admission to the Doctoral Program on a case by case basis.
  • Possess an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 or better to be considered for regular admission. Students who possess a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of between a 2.5 and less than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.  Post-bachelor’s undergraduate credits will not be used to enhance G.P.A. requirements for admission to graduate study.  
  • Submit an application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.  All required documents must be submitted as directed by the School of Graduate Studies prior to program review and admission decision.  
  • Use the application system to arrange for three letters of recommendation to be placed with the application.  These letters must be from officials or faculty members of institutions previously attended who are acquainted with the applicant’s ability for graduate study or from employment supervisors where applicable. 
  • Submit a typed exposition regarding the candidate’s personal, academic, and professional plans as well as the reasons for selecting Morgan State University. 

Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements and submitting all the required documents does not guarantee that an offer of admission will be made to the applicant.  The decision of the Program Admissions Committee involves a review and analysis of all the elements of the application as well as the availability of positions in the program.  The committee then recommends to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies that an offer admission should be made based on that review.


Once a student achieves candidacy, enrollment in any course other than XEGR 997 is generally prohibited.  Students seeking additional skills, knowledge, or a certificate must seek approval through the program up to the School of Graduate Studies.  The request must be accompanied with a revised Plan of Study.

Dissertation Completion

The student must choose a Research Advisor within the Department of study who will approve the student’s program of study and guide the student’s research activities.  The student will form a Doctoral Advisory Committee as described below. This committee will finally review and certify that the work conducted and submitted in the dissertation meets the standard of original research material in the specific area of their Engineering discipline.

Additional Requirements

Academic dishonesty is a very serious offense in the School of Engineering. Under no circumstance(s) shall a student use the original words or ideas of others without appropriately citing the source. Any student found culpable of academic dishonesty will be asked to withdraw from the Program and be referred to the appropriate School of Engineering and University authorities for additional disciplinary actions which may result in expulsion from the University. The student has the right to appeal the action taken by submitting in writing to the School of Engineering Judicial Committee to request for a hearing on the academic fraud allegation(s) within the same semester by emailing

Program Course Requirements

The Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng) candidate, who holds a Master’s degree will be required to complete 36 credits, as approved by the Advisor. Students admitted to the Doctor of Engineering (DE) program after receiving a Bachelor’s degree must complete a total of 60 credits within the curriculum.

Program of Study

The program of study for a doctoral student is prescribed on an individual basis. The student’s undergraduate degree concentration, master’s degree concentration, professional engineering related experience, and future goals are taken into consideration in creating a program of study.  

The program of study is directed toward building doctoral level capability in an interdisciplinary, but comprehensive body of knowledge.  For example, the following civil engineering-related sub-disciplines are available: applied mechanics, environmental engineering, geo-mechanics, geotechnical engineering, groundwater hydrology, hydrology, infrastructure planning and engineering, structural engineering, structural mechanics, and transportation engineering. For Electrical Engineering there are sub-disciplines in the areas of embedded systems, wireless systems and communications, cybersecurity and computer engineering. For Industrial Engineering, the sub-disciplines are in the areas of Manufacturing and Production Systems, Reliability and Quality Engineering, Systems and Information Engineering, Energy Systems and Industrial Technology, Ergonomics and Human Engineering Systems, and Interdisciplinary Studies such as Engineering Education. For Transportation, there are sub-disciplines of transportation planning, traffic engineering, and transportation management.

Notice of Intention

Students who have completed at least 12 semester hours, and have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2, may file notice with the appropriate engineering department of intention to become a candidate for the Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng). If a student already enrolled for the Master’s degree, wishes to file notice to become a candidate for the D.Eng, the student must re-apply. The notice of intention must include a plan of study with a major and a minor specialty identified and approved by the Preliminary Advisory Committee.

Option 1: For students having earned a Master’s degree (36 Credits)

The minimum requirement for a Doctoral Degree is thirty six (36) credit hours beyond a Master’s Degree. This does include three (3) credits for the dissertation, and may include up to 6 credit hours of Independent Research Project (XEGR 790), which is repeatable if approved by the Research Advisor. The graduate credit hours must be at the 500-600 level and above, with a maximum of 9 credits allowed at the 500 level. Dissertation Research is 3 credits, which is awarded on completion of the Candidate’s Dissertation. After Advancement to Candidacy, the candidate will continue to enroll in the Dissertation Guidance (XEGR 997) every semester until completion of the dissertation requirements. Graduate credits at the 500-600 equivalent level or higher may be accepted for transfer from a regionally accredited institution for doctoral students. The maximum number of credits will be determined by the program in which the student is enrolled.

Elective Courses (27 credits)

Research Courses (6 credits)

Dissertation Course (3 credits)

Option 2: For students starting with a Baccalaureate degree (60 credits)

The minimum requirement for the Doctoral Degree is 60 credit hours beyond a Bachelor’s Degree. This does not include credit for the dissertation. This requirement may, however, be increased at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee.  

Of the 60 credits, a maximum of 39 credits can be at the 500 level; and the remaining 21 credits must be at the 600 level and above. Dissertation Research is 3 credits, which is awarded on completion of the Candidate’s Dissertation. After Advancement to Candidacy, the candidate will continue to enroll in the Dissertation Guidance (XEGR 997) every semester until completion of the dissertation requirements. Graduate credits at the 500-600 equivalent level or higher may be accepted for transfer from a regionally accredited institution for doctoral students. The maximum number of credits will be determined by the program in which the student is enrolled.

Core Courses (9 Credits)

A core requirement of three interdisciplinary courses (9 credit hours) is required of all students entering at the bachelor’s level. These courses are carefully designed and coordinated to stress the interdisciplinary nature of the subject matter. The content serves as the philosophical foundation on which all other materials tailored for a specific student are based. The courses are as follows:

Elective Courses (48 Credits)

Elective credits are directed toward building strength in a sub-discipline. There are 48 credits remaining of elective courses which exclude the three (3) credits of Dissertation Seminar (XEGR 998). Elective courses may be selected from any other Engineering department, or by using courses from other Schools on campus (i.e. Schools of Business, Science, Liberal Arts, or Education). The Department encourages students to take courses from other departments that complement the degree program. However, for any course taken outside of the Department, it is necessary to get signed approval from the student’s advisor to use a course for credit toward the degree. Note that courses indicated as XEGR, also include TRSP courses which are found within the School of Engineering.

Dissertation: 3 Credits

  • XEGR (or TRSP) 997/998 Dissertation Guidance / Dissertation Defense 3/9* 

* Note: Upon achieving Doctoral Candidacy, the student will continuously register in Fall and Spring terms for XEGR (or TRSP) 997 (Dissertation Guidance) until the Dissertation is completed and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for review.  The course is used only when the curriculum has been completed, candidacy has been achieved, and the student is completing the research and writing of the Dissertation. The XEGR (or TRSP) 997 course registration maintains the student status as a matriculated, full-time student (student is registered for 3 credit hours and the system reports a full-time 9 credit hour load).  

After the Intent to Defend the Dissertation form has been received by the School of Graduate Studies, this course registration will be changed to XEGR (or TRSP) 998 (Dissertation Defense) for the given semester and count for 3 credit hours of curricular coursework (XEGR or TRSP 998 will also count for 9 credit hours of load).  XEGR (or TRSP) 997 will not count towards curricular coursework. Other courses cannot be substituted for XEGR (or TRSP) 997 (Dissertation Guidance). The only eligible grade for XEGR (or TRSP) 997 (Dissertation Guidance) is the grade of “S” and the only acceptable grade for XEGR (or TRSP) 998 (Dissertation Defense) is “P/F” (Pass/Fail). 

Plan of Study

The contents of an approved plan of study will be determined by the student and his or her Doctoral Advisory Committee. The committee will consider the student’s interests and suggestions in arriving at an approved preliminary plan and subsequent revisions as may be required. Normally, the student will take all of the courses offered in, at least, the sequence of specialized graduate work embracing the major specialty of interest in which he or she proposes to conduct research. 

Preliminary Advisory Committee

Upon admission to the Doctoral Program, each student will be assigned a preliminary Advisory Committee. This committee will consist of a chair from the appropriate engineering department and a minimum of two other full time faculty members. One faculty member can be from another department in which the student contemplates taking courses. A student may change faculty members prior to the formation of his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Doctoral Advisory Committee

The Doctoral student has the right to assemble his/her own Doctoral Advisory Committee as well as selecting the major advisor. The committee and the student constitute an independent working unit. This committee, along with the major advisor who serves as the Chair of the committee, guides the student, determines his/her doctoral course work, and sets specific requirements to be followed in order for the student to obtain his/her degree. Students are recommended for a degree when the Committee members agree that an appropriate level of scholarly achievement has been reached in the area of study and that the Doctoral requirements have been satisfied. This committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) members. The committee members will consist of the Major Advisor, other department faculty and may also include an Industry/Government Professional. All committee members must be members of the full time faculty and have doctoral degrees, with the exception of the external Industry/Government Professional. Committee appointments are subject to approval of the chair. This committee must be formed before the student can take the A examination. No member on the Advisory committee can be changed by the student once the A examination has been completed.


The Doctoral student is required to take two (2) examinations: (A) the Admission to Candidacy examination; and, (B) the Dissertation Defense examination. In addition, when required by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee, a Preliminary Examination must be passed. At the discretion of the Advisory Committee, the Admission to Candidacy examination can be written, oral, or both written and oral. The Dissertation Defense is oral. The examinations are to be taken in the following manner: 

Admission to Candidacy: (A) Examination 

An admission to candidacy examination will be conducted to judge the candidate’s comprehension of graduate course work and the candidate’s ability to propose, to present and to defend the results of independent research. At the time of this examination, the student must make a presentation of his/her proposed research, which presents the underlying engineering technologies and outlines the plan of research. This examination is to be conducted by the full Doctoral Advisory Committee. Should the student fail this Candidacy Examination, the Doctoral Advisory Committee determines the conditions to be met before a second examination is to be administered. A third examination is prohibited. 


Dissertation Defense (B) Examination: 

All doctoral candidates are to conduct a major research project, the result of which culminates in a dissertation. This dissertation must be a well-reasoned application of advanced knowledge of technology and must show evidence of scholarly attainment in the student’s major specialty. The Doctoral Advisory Committee will conduct the dissertation defense examination. This examination will determine the candidate’s ability to apply advanced engineering disciplines to problems of substance in a creative and scholarly manner. Prior to the time of the (B) examination, if the Doctoral Advisory Committee deems it a requirement, the student must have submitted a paper of his/her research to a conference or professional journal. Any deficiencies that may have been uncovered in previous examinations must have been rectified before a candidate can be permitted to take his dissertation

Other Miscellaneous Considerations

If a Doctoral candidate goes to industry or government while completing his/her research, an Understanding of Agreement must be drawn up between the company, advisor, and advisee. This agreement outlines the goals and expectations concerning the overview and completion of the research dissertation before the advisee leaves. All work will continue to be conducted under the guidance and approval of the Major Advisor in absentia.

The typical plan of study requires enrollment in a minimum of nine (9) credit hours per term to remain full-time.  Not every course is offered every term, and the following plan of study is an illustration. At the initial conference with an advisor, a preliminary plan of study will be established, and this will be reported to the School of Graduate Studies (using the SGS Plan of Study Form) for placement in the student’s official file.  At this time, any anticipated exceptions or anticipated transfer credits will be noted. An estimated time for completion of the Dissertation must be included. Changes to the plan of study will be reported to the School of Graduate Studies. The student and the advisor will sign the form submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. 

The Plan of study below shows courses as XEGR, but these courses will be specified as TRSP instead if the student is enrolled in the Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies. See below for example programs of study for each program option.