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Ph. D. Program Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements: A minimum of 45 units, which includes 9 units of core courses, is required in all focus areas. All doctoral candidates also participate in departmental seminars, a multidisciplinary project and an internship. The internship (required) is done outside the University at either an industry or another research institution. The internship provides valuable work experience and better prepares the student for future careers in interdisciplinary research/development teams and academia. Students are encouraged to complete coursework in the early part of their graduate program so that the latter part can be spent on full time research.

Dissertation Committee: The committee is formed after a student has joined a research group. The advisor assists the student in designing a plan of study, and the committee provides the student with guidance in his/her thesis research, and monitors the student's research progress. The student will ultimately present his/her dissertation to the committee. The dissertation must provide a genuine novel contribution to knowledge in the student's focus area. The committee will also conduct the dissertation defense. The defense is the final comprehensive oral examination based for the most part on the dissertation, but also covering the entire field of study.

Qualifying Examinations: To be eligible for qualifying exams, the student must complete all core courses and required courses for dissertation research that the student has elected to pursue. Exams should be taken within an appropriate amount of time, preferably at the end of the second year. The content and requirements of the qualifying exam are defined by the research focus area and consist of comprehensive written and oral examinations.