Doctor of Engineering


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 academic and applied engineering. 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.


The Doctor of Engineering program is organized/designed to provide advanced engineering education and experience that are professionally oriented and which will afford graduate degree engineers the opportunity to develop into strong engineering professionals, applied researchers, managers of technology, technically 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, governmental agency, or 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 and corporate (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 (government agency) respectively.


Admission to the doctoral program will be considered for those persons who possess the following qualifications:Preference for admission to the Doctor of Engineering program is given to those persons who hold a Masters Degree from an accredited graduate engineering degree program. Applicants holding masters 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 to the Doctoral Program on a case by case basis.

  • Exceptional students, upon the recommendation of a faculty committee, who are graduates with a Baccalaureate Degree from ABET accredited Engineering programs/schools, may apply and be considered for admission to the Doctoral Program. Students, with Baccalaureate Degrees, who have completed 18 credit hours of Master Degree work with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or greater, may apply to the Doctoral program.
  • Applicants for the Doctor of Engineering Program must have a minimum, cumulative 3.0 GPA o on a overall on a 4.0 scale, at the graduate level.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required prior to acceptance into the program, however it must be taken within two years after matriculation in the program.
  • Three letters of recommendations from practicing engineering or other professionals and/or academicians.
  • A letter/essay expressing interest in the doctoral program and describing career objective plans and reasons for desiring admission to the Doctoral Program.
  • In addition: All applicants must satisfy the application requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

General Requirements for the Doctor of Engineering Degree

  • All candidates for the Doctor of Engineering degree must complete the required program of coursework, seminars, and research described below.
  • All candidates must pass an Admission to Candidacy examination. In addition, when required by the student's Advisory/Doctoral 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 a government agency, or as required by the candidate's Advisory or Doctoral Committee.
  • All candidates must satisfy residency requirements.
  • All candidates must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 throughout the program.

There are no foreign language requirements for this program.

Residency Requirements

All candidates must satisfy 18 credit hours of residency requirements in one of the following ways:Full-time candidates for the Doctor of Engineering degree will 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 will 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" each semester until the dissertation is successfully completed.

Program of Study

The program of study for the candidate will be prescribed on an individual basis. The candidate'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.

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.Engr.). If a student already enrolled as a candidate for the Master's degree wishes to file notice to become a candidate for the D.Engr., 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.

Two Options Are Available Within the Doctoral Program

Option 1: The BS to D.Engr. The minimum requirement for a Doctoral Degree is 60 credit hours beyond a Bachelor's Degree. This does not include credit for dissertation. This requirement may, however, be increased at the discretion of the student's advisory committee. Of the 60 credits a minimum of 21 credits must be at the 600 level and above; a maximum of 9 credits may be at the 400 level; and the remaining must be at the 500 level and above. Up to 9 graduate credits from an ABET regionally accredited institution at the 500-600 equivalent level may be transferred with approval. Dissertation Research credit requirement is determined by the student's major professor and Advisory committee. A minimum of 12 credit hours is required.

Under option 1 the candidate will have the option of terminating at the Master degree provided the candidate has completed the requirements for that program.

Option 2: M.S./M.E. to D.Engr. The minimum requirement for a Doctoral Degree is 30 graduate course credit hours at the 500-600 level and above, of which a minimum of 18 credits are at the 600 level and above. This does not include credit for dissertation. This requirement may, however, be increased at the discretion of the student's advisory committee. Dissertation Research credit is determined by the student's major professor and advisory committee (a minimum of 12 credit hours is required). Up to 6 graduate credits at the 500-600 equivalent level may be transferred with approval from an accredited institution.* Courses at the 400 level are not allowed

Plan of Study

The contents of an approved plan of study will be determined by the student and his or her 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.

Minor Specialty

A minor specialty will normally be from within the student's engineering department/specialties. A sufficient concentration of subjects offered by one of the other departments of the School of Graduate Studies may be accepted as a minor. A faculty member of that department must then be represented on the student's Advisory Committee.

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, Minor Advisor (this advisor can be from another specialty/school), other department faculty and may 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 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: the Admission to Candidacy (A) examination, and the Dissertation Defense (B) examination. In addition, when required by the student's 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 present and 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. Any deficiencies that may be uncovered must have been rectified before a candidate can be permitted to take this examination. This exam 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 pervious examinations must have been rectified before a candidate can be permitted to take his dissertation examination.

At least 45 days prior to the intended date of the (B) examination, a notification of the intent to schedule this Examination must be submitted to the appropriate engineering department. This notification will include a complete preliminary copy of the dissertation written to satisfy the graduate schools requirements for content and format, and approved by the Major Advisor. A request for Dissertation Defense Examination signed by the candidate and the Major Advisor must be submitted along with Dissertation approval sheet no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled final examination. A final draft copy of the dissertation, written to satisfy the graduate school's requirements for content and format, will be delivered to each member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee at least 10 business working days prior to the examination.

The Dissertation Defense will include a publicly announced presentation of the dissertation where faculty and students will be free to question the research. A separate closed session with the full Doctoral Advisory Committee will follow which may include any additional queries on the research or related engineering principles.

If a candidate does not pass the (B) examination unconditionally, upon consensus of the Doctoral Advisory Committee members, the chairperson of the committee will give the Doctoral candidate written recommendations for completion, of dissertation requirements.

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 research dissertation before the advisee leaves. All work will continue be conducted under the guidance and approval of the Major Advisor in absentia.