Information for Ph.D. Students

Coursework Prelim Reqs Qual Exam Teaching Reqs Dissertation/Tech Report Exit/Graduation

The following may be used as a guideline for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in EECS. For complete details on requirements and procedures, see the EECS Graduate Handbook. The PhD Flowchart provides an overview of the necessary steps you will need to take before getting your Ph.D. Please contact the Staff Graduate Advisors (EE: Shirley Salanio, shirley@eecs, 217 Cory Hall / CS: Xuan Quach, xuquach@eecs, 367 Soda Hall) to obtain any forms not linked from below or if you have any questions.

Click on the colored sections below for more information on that topic. phddegreeflowchart coursework prelims qualexams advcandidacy teaching talk dissertation

When you have found a Research Advisor and no longer have a temporary one, you must notify the Staff Graduate Advisor to update the database. No forms or paperwork required.

( I ) Coursework

( II ) Preliminary Examination Requirements

The EECS Preliminary Requirement consists of two components: the oral examination and breadth courses. You will have fulfilled the Prelim Requirement only after you pass the oral exam and meet the breadth course requirement.


Oral Exam

Breadth Requirement

  • This requirement is satisfied when you have completed, with a grade of A- or better, a graduate or advanced undergraduate course of at least 3 units in two different areas in the EECS Department outside of the area of the oral exam.
  • See the EECS Graduate Handbook for a current list of courses you MAY NOT USE to fulfill your breadth requirements. Courses vary depending on your oral exam area.

Preliminary Breadth Courses Students must complete courses from 3 of the following areas, passing each with at least a B+:
  • Theory: 270, 271, 273, 274, 276, 278
  • AI: 280, 281A, 281B, 287, 288, 289
  • Graphics/HCI: 260B, 283

  • Programming: 263, 264, 265, 267; EE219C
  • Systems: 261, 261N, 262A, 262B, 268, 286B
  • Architecture/VLSI: 250, 252, 258

The courses must include at least one from the group of three above the line and one from the group of three below the line. CS260B, CS263, and EE219C cannot be used for this constraint, though they can be used as providing 1 of the 3 areas. (For students who took the old CS260 course, that is equivalent to the current CS260B.)

Students must complete the requirement by the end of their 6th semester.

CS breadth courses can count towards a major or minor, but classes in different areas cannot be used together for the major or in the same minor.

Blue Card

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( III ) Qualifying (Qual) Examination


Applications for the Qualifying Exam

White Card

Advancement to Candidacy

Thesis Proposal Defense and Application

Any student not presenting a satisfactory thesis proposal defense at the Qual Exam must write up and present to the dissertation committee a thesis proposal which should include a summary of research to date and plans for future work.

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( IV ) Teaching Requirement

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( V ) Dissertation Talk and Filing

You must refer to Graduate Division's guidelines on Submitting a Doctoral Dissertation (any deviated version will not be accepted).


Filing Fee

To submit your dissertation, you must either be registered or on Filing Fee. Most students are registered.

Dissertation Talk

Give a talk on the principal results of your research (this is a departmental graduation requirement). Advertise your talk at least one week in advance on the EECS Department Calendar (click the left-column link called Submit or edit an event). All students must also complete and submit the Thesis Seminar Form. Please note that the dissertation talk must be given in either the spring or fall semesters. Dissertation talks during the summer sessions are not allowed.


Technical Report

Effective Spring 2006, every Ph.D. dissertation must be submitted to the EECS Technical Memorandum Series. Please fill out the online submission form. Your manuscript will need to be in pdf format. Please do not include a copy of the signed signature page with the faculty committee members' signatures.
Once submitted, the report will be assigned a number, given an HTML coversheet, assigned a URL, and added the EECS Technical Reports database. You will be sent its number and URL via email. If you need to delay the submission of your Tech Report, there is an option via your My EECS Info page that will allow you to specify a "delayed publication date".

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( VI ) Exit Surveys & Graduation


Graduate Division Surveys

All doctoral candidates must submit the following:


If you wish to participate in the spring commencement ceremony, you must fill out the College of Engineering's Commencement Participation Form. Throughout the spring, details about the ceremony will be updated on the commencement website. If you have any other questions about commencement, please call the COE Student Affairs Office, 642-7594.

Diploma and Transcript

Approximately four months after your degree is conferred, you may pick up your diploma in person at the Office of the Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall, or request to have it sent to you. For more information, please see Transcripts and Diplomas.

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Updated by SAS, July 2014.

EECS Graduate Student Affairs