Overview

To obtain the Ph.D. in Engineering degree, you must complete an approved Program of Study that contains at least 90 semester graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree in engineering or an equivalent degree, or 60 graduate semester credit hours beyond a Master's degree in engineering.

To meet the 90 semester graduate credit hours required for the Ph.D. in Engineering degree, a student must:

  • Complete at least three interdisciplinary core courses and earn a minimum grade of "B" in each course. The core courses are
    • EGR-7010, Applied Linear Techniques
    • EGR-7020, Systems Engineering and Analysis
    • EGR-7030, Computation Engineering Analysis
    • EGR-7040, Design Optimization
    • EGR-7050, Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments
  • Complete 18 semester credit hours of major courses (7000-level and above) in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, human factors engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, or in a focus area
  • Complete at least 9 semester credit hours of research focus area courses, i.e., graduate courses (6000-level and above). This may include core courses and courses used to satisfy graduate course requirements
  • Complete at least 6 semester credit hours of breadth courses, i.e., graduate courses (6000-level and above) outside the research focus area
  • Complete at least 6 semester credit hours of graduate (6000-level and above) courses in mathematics (MTH) or statistics (STT).
  • Complete 3 semester credit hours of EGR 8910, Ph.D. Seminar
  • Take no more than 3 semester credit hours of independent study (Course number 7900)
  • Complete between 30-40 semester credit hours of dissertation research
  • Complete the requirements of the Program Qualification
  • Complete the Candidacy Examination satisfactorily
  • Complete the Research Proposal Defense satisfactorily
  • Present a 50-minute dissertation seminar during an EGR 8910 course meeting
  • Submit at least one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Complete the Dissertation Defense satisfactorily
  • Complete the final dissertation satisfactorily, as judged by the student's Dissertation Committee and the Graduate School

Note: Students having non-engineering backgrounds are required to successfully complete the equivalent of the relevant math and science sequences required for an undergraduate engineering degree appropriate for their focus area. These courses cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Candidacy Examination

Purpose

The purpose of the Candidacy Examination is to evaluate the student's capability to synthesize and integrate material as applied to the research focus area. It is expected that the student demonstrates a certain breadth of knowledge and is able to apply this knowledge to a problem at hand.

Eligibility

The student must have:

  1. filed a formal Program of Study, and
  2. completed the courses recommended by the focus area

before registering for the exam. Usually, the student will resgister for the Candidacy Examination before the end of the second year of study.

Required Action

The candidate must complete and submit a Request for Candidacy Exam to the Program Coordinator no later than 30 days before the scheduled examination. The dissertation advisor and Program Director must sign this form. Since the form is Focus Area specific, choose the form from your specific focus area from the Program Forms page.

Examination Format

The exam contains a written part followed by an oral part, usually taken within a three-week period of each other. Each focus areas has its own specific format on how to administer the two parts of the Candidacy Examination and who is responsible for these parts.

Examination Outcomes

The following are possible outcomes:

  1. pass
  2. repeat exam or part thereof after strengthening specific areas of weakness
  3. fail

The deliberations and vote concerning the outcome of the exam take place immediately following the oral exam. The examination outcome requires a 2/3rd majority of all members of the examination committee for pass and fail. Any other vote results in a repeat of the exam or part thereof.

When the Candidacy Examination is completed, a Record of Candidacy Examination Form is signed by all members of the examination committee and forwarded to the Program Coordinator.

Repeat of Candidacy Examination

If the outcome of the first Candidacy Examination was "repeat exam or part thereof after strengthening specific areas of weakness," the student may submit another request for a Candidacy Examination. This request is to be submitted no ealier than three months and usually no later than six months after completion of the first attempt. Only one repeat of the Candidacy Examination is permitted.

Collaboration Requirements

A DAGSI course is a course that is taken at a DAGSI-partner institution other than Wright State University (WSU), specifically, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) or the University of Dayton (UD). Students in the Program are required to take at least 10% of their course work outside of Wright State whether or not they have a DAGSI scholarship.

At times, students may find themselves in situations in which they have exhausted all of the 700-level courses for their research focus area or want to take a course similar to a Wright State course that is not offered during the semester in which they want to take it. These situations are addressed in the following subsections.

Graduate Level Course Equivalents

Students taking courses at AFIT are expected to register at 600- or 700-level for the DAGSI requirement. Similarly, UD graduate-level courses start with 500-level numbering for DAGSI credit. For more information on courses offered, please see the appropriate website:

Similar Courses

Students are permitted to take courses at DAGSI-partner schools that are similar to WSU courses, but only if the WSU course is not available during the quarter the student wishes to take it. Otherwise, students will not receive credit for the course.

Students are not permitted to take a course at a DAGSI-partner institution that is very similar to a course they have already taken at WSU. For example, UD's MTH 547 is similar to EGR 705 and will not be accepted for credit if the student has already taken EGR 705.

Core Degree Requirements

The purpose of the core course requirement is to assure that you have a strong knowledge of engineering fundamentals. To satisfy this requirement, you must pass three of five interdisciplinary core courses. The core courses are as follows:

Core courses taken beyond the required three may be used to satisfy major or breadth requirements.

Dissertation

Your dissertation must meet all of the requirements of the Graduate School. Your research must be a significant, unique contribution to the field of engineering, and should provide an important creative experience for you. The subject matter of your dissertation should lead to a refereed journal publication.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation must meet all of the requirements of the Graduate School. The research must be a significant, unique contribution to the field of engineering, and should provide an important creative experience for the student.

The Dissertation Defense is the final examination for the Ph.D. degree. It is a public, oral examination that is administered by the candidate's Dissertation Committee.

The dissertation advisor and the focus area's home department are responsible for preparing and distributing the Dissertation Defense announcement. Announcements, including the abstract, must be posted in engineering departments and e-mailed to College faculty and students at least one week prior to the defense. Announcements may be produced in the form of a flyer. The defense should also be announced on Russ Center TV.

Purpose

The purpose of the Dissertation Defense is to examine the candidate's depth of engineering knowledge, mastery of research techniques, and the application of both in conducting the research.

Eligibility

After successfully finishing the Research Proposal, the candidate must devote at least six months to research before being eligible for the final examination; the Dissertation Defense cannot take place until six months after the Research Proposal.

Required Actions

The candidate is required to do the following:

  1. The candidate must complete and submit a Request for Dissertation Defense Form to the Program Coordinator no later than 30 days before the scheduled defense. The dissertation advisor and Program Director must sign this form.
  2. At least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date, the candidate must submit the dissertation to all members of the Dissertation Committee.

Examination Format

On the day of the defense, the examination begins with a public presentation by the candidate, followed by a question period by the Dissertation Committee. At the conclusion of the examination, the dissertation advisor announces one of four decisions:

  1. The candidate passed the final examination and the dissertation is accepted as submitted. All members of the committee sign the Dissertation Certificate of Approval.
  2. The candidate passed the final examination but the dissertation will not be accepted and signed by the committee unless various specified corrections and revisions have been made.
  3. The examination is temporarily adjourned. The candidate must revise the dissertation, complete any additional independent study or research required by the Dissertation Committee, and be examined again. The second examination must take place within six months of the first.
  4. The candidate failed and will not be readmitted to another examination.

At the conclusion of the defense, members of the Dissertation Committee must sign a Record of Dissertation Defense Form.

Dissertation Submission and Binding

Students are responsible for the formatting and submission of their final dissertations to the Graduate School. Refer to the Graduate School's Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual for complete information.

The focus area's home department is responsible for ordering the advisor's copy of the dissertation as well as a copy for the Ph.D. in Engineering Program.

Dissertation Defense Assessment and Exit Interviews

The University requires a yearly assessment of the Ph.D. in Engineering Program, focusing primarily on coursework, dissertation research, and student learning. After a Dissertation Defense, the committee members are requested to complete Doctoral Dissertation Assessment Form to assess the quality of the research that was performed by the student. In addition, prior to when the student is ready to submit his or her dissertation to the Graduate School, the Program Director will conduct an exit interview with the student to gain information about the student's learning outcomes and complete an Exit Interview Form.

Dissertation Seminar

As part of the Ph.D. requirements, each student must present a one-hour seminar on his/her research results. This seminar is given as part of the EGR 8901 class. The seminar must be given in any semester prior to the Dissertation Defense period. At the beginning of the planned semester, the student needs to confirm the seminar schedule with the responsible department faculty member. During summer semester, EGR 8910 is not offered, so advance planning is recommended.

The department with teaching responsibility is responsible for preparing the seminar announcement. Announcements, including the abstract, may be produced in the form of a flyer and be posted in engineering departments and e-mailed to College faculty and students at least one week prior to the seminar. The seminar may also be announced on Russ Center TV.

Grade Standards

Grade standards in the Ph.D. in Engineering Program are identical to those of the Graduate School. Students in the Program must maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average in all graduate courses in which a letter grade is assigned. Students who do not meet these requirements are subject to probation or dismissal.

Journal Publication Submission

The results of your dissertation must be sufficiently significant to warrant submission of at least one article to a peer-reviewed journal. A copy of the manuscript and transmittal letter must be submitted to the Program Coordinator.

Program Qualification

After completion of the core-course requirements, usually no later than one year or 24 semester hours (whichever comes later) after entering the Program, the student's academic record is checked for satisfactory performance in basic engineering principles as well as in the Ph.D. core courses. The student has to demonstrate satisfactory performance in basic engineering principles as well as in the Ph.D. core courses.

Basic Engineering Principles

There are four possibilities for the student to demonstrate satisfactory performance in basic engineering principles:

  • passing of the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination
  • graduation from an ABET accredited engineering program within the past seven years
  • Master's degree in engineering from an engineering school or department
  • passing of the Basic Engineering Exam

The Basic Engineering Exam is of broad scope and tests fundamental skills in engineering. It is based upon the general part of the FE exam, for which practice exams and study materials are widely available. 

The format of the Basic Engineering Exam is similar to that of the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination. The duration of the exam is 4 hours with 120 multiple-choice questions. Students are not allowed to bring any supporting materials; the Fundaments of Engineering Supplied-Reference Handbook will be handed out at the beginning of the exam.

The Basic Engineering Exam will be given in December and June.

The exam questions will be selected and the exams will be graded by a subcommittee established by the Student Affairs Committee. The Student Affairs Committee will review the results and make the final decision on pass or fail.

Core-Course Evaluation

The following is a list of core courses:

  • EGR 7010-4 Applied Linear Techniques
  • EGR 7020-4 Systems Engineering and Analysis
  • EGR 7030-4 Computational Engineering Analysis
  • EGR 7040-4 Design Optimization
  • EGR 7050-4 Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments

The students in the program must take at least three core courses and are considered to show satisfactory performance if they receive an A or B in each of these courses. Students receiving less than an A or B in a specific course may elect to repeat the course once.

Required Action

Each student must complete and submit a Request for Program Qualification Form to the program office as soon as all requirements for basic engineering principles and core courses are met. The same form is to be used to request a Basic Engineering Exam.

Outcome

Students whose performance is judged to be unsatisfactory are given a maximum of two semesters to remedy their deficiencies. If they are not successful, they are dismissed from the program.

Research Proposal Defense

The research proposal defense is an oral examination administered by the candidate's Dissertation Committee.

Purpose

The purpose of the Research Proposal Defense is to test the validity of the dissertation proposal and the candidate's fitness to carry out the research work proposed.

Eligibility

The examination may be taken no earlier than the semester in which the candidate completes the nine credits of course work as required by the focus area. The candidate must have finished the Program Qualification and candidacy examination requirements.

Required Actions

The candidate is required to do the following:

  1. The candidate must complete and submit a Request for Research Proposal Examination Form to the Program Coordinator no later than 30 days before the scheduled defense. The dissertation advisor and Program Director must sign this form.
  2. The format of the proposal must conform to the regulations outlined by the Graduate School in the Graduate Policy and Procedures Manual. The substance of this proposal forms a major part of the oral portion of the exam. As such, it must be a complete document with a thoughtful, in-depth treatment of the dissertation topic. It should be substantial enough to form the basis of a meaningful oral examination, establishing a worthy research problem and developing an effective research plan. It should only be written after the student has done enough work on the problem to speak meaningfully about it, including discussion of the preliminary investigations. Above all, it should be a technically sound and scholarly document.
  3. At least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense, the Research Proposal must be submitted to the candidate's Dissertation Committee.

Examination Format

On the day of the defense, the examination begins with a short presentation by the candidate outlining the problem chosen, the procedures and methods to be used, the work already completed, and the additional work proposed to be completed for the Ph.D. degree. The Dissertation Committee then questions the candidate. The committee may also ask questions of a more general nature in order to test the adequacy of the candidate's preparation for the proposed research. At the conclusion of the examination, the dissertation advisor announces one of four decisions:

  1. The candidate passed the Research Proposal Defense and may proceed to independent study and research for the doctoral degree.
  2. The examination is temporarily adjourned. The candidate must revise the Research Proposal and be examined again within the next six months.
  3. The candidate failed, but may submit a new Research Proposal and submit to another Research Proposal Defense after completing additional course work, independent study, or research.
  4. The candidate failed and will not be readmitted to another examination.

Members of the Dissertation Committee must sign a Record of Research Proposal Defense Form. A copy of the signed form will be given to the student and dissertation advisor.

Timely Completion

The total elapsed time of a Ph.D. program from admission to passing the final defense shall be no more than 10 calendar years. If you have not completed all requirements for the degree by the end of the semester occurring five calendar years from the time of passing the candidacy examination, you must be re-admitted to candidacy by retaking and passing another candidacy examination.