PhD Program in ECE

PhD Program in ECE

Ph.D. Program in ECE

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has a young and growing Ph.D. program. Rowan’s Ph.D. program is a terminal degree program that is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of researchers, scholars, and scientists in academia, industry, and the government. The primary goal of this program is, therefore, to prepare students for careers in research and/or academics by providing an environment that closely reflects the realities and expectations encountered by today’s academicians, professional scientists, and research engineers. The program is designed to offer a highly flexible inter and multi-disciplinary curricular structure, allowing specialization in any (or multiple) of the traditional or emerging engineering disciplines. The primary strength of the program is involving students in activities that they are most likely to encounter in real-world academic or industrial settings.

The new Ph.D. program consists of the following components and degree requirements:


Course Requirements:
Minimum of 72 credits of graduate level work beyond a bachelor degree or 42 credits of graduate level work beyond a Master’s degree in a related field is required. Of these 72 total credits, 42 must come from coursework including at least one approved graduate level Math class. Certain math-intensive engineering courses may be used to satisfy this requirement (3 credits).

At least 18-course credits must be obtained from graduate only classes (500, 600, or 700-level classes, with no corresponding 400-level equivalent offered at the same time). A minimum of 21 credits must come from “Research.” Up to 9 Research credits may come from ENGR 599 (MS level research). Students who complete their Master’s degree outside of Rowan University will be considered to have taken 9 credits of ENGR 599. All remaining Research credits must come from ENGR 799, the last 3 of should ideally be taken during the semester in which the Ph.D. Candidate plans to take his/her Ph.D. Dissertation Defense. 

All additional courses to be taken will be determined jointly by the student and his/her Ph.D. advisor (the Advisor) based on the specific area of interest, research and career goals. Courses offered by one department (under any of the Specializations) will, in general, be available to students in any Specialization, as long as they fit the aforementioned goals.

  • Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Research training (including human/animal subject training when applicable):
    All Ph.D. students are required to complete all research compliance training required by the University for any research active employee. To complete the required training, please visit Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) page and follow the instructions for completing the CITI training. Make sure to complete the RCR for Engineers module. If you are doing any work that involves human subjects (including working on data obtained from human subjects, even if the data were collected elsewhere), you also need to complete the Human Subjects Research Protections module.
  • Graduate Seminar:
    Regular attendance and participation in (0-credit) graduate seminars (ENGR 01.600 ToughTalk: Graduate Seminar) will be required for students for each Fall and Spring semesters they are in the program. This course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.



Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE)                                                                                     back to top

One of the hallmarks of this new Ph.D. in Engineering program is the Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE), specifically designed to provide the students with a real-world environment that closely recreates the most important elements of their future career path, regardless whether that path leads to an academic, industrial or government setting. CPRE consists of four components, each allowing the student to acquire important skills and experience pertinent to typical careers pursued by Ph.D. in engineering degree holders. These components need to be completed before taking the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense:

  • Effective Teaching: The candidate will be provided with an opportunity to learn effective teaching. The student will be assigned to a professor to follow in and out of class to learn about the art of teaching, and allow him/her to learn different teaching/learning styles, teaching pedagogy, as well as conflict resolution and responding to a variety of situations that may arise in the course of teaching in a college or corporate setting. During this period, the student may teach the recitation/lab portion of the class, but will not be responsible for preparing lecture material. Once a PhD student is involved in teaching such a lab class, s/he may request primary teaching assignments, appropriate to his/her interests and skills. Each student should ideally teach at least two classes - one at lower and one at the upper level, under the College of Engineering’s Teaching Fellow program. Students interested in an academic career may request additional teaching appointments.
  • Grant Writing: The students will be guided by their advisors to learn the art and science of grant proposal writing and application, as well as writing journal and conference papers. The students will then materially participate in their advisor's grant applications, giving them invaluable experience in this exceptionally useful skill.
  • Publishing: At least four published conference papers, one published journal paper (beyond MS) and at least one additional journal paper submitted (under review or published) will generally be expected. Depending on the nature of the research or publication venue, this requirement can be modified by the student’s Advising Committee.
  • Service: Ph.D. students will be expected to be actively involved in a relevant professional society, and serve on an appropriate department or college level committee. Service involvement will allow the student to broaden his/her understanding and appreciation of different professional expectations, the importance of professional service as well as the role of professional societies in their chosen area of interest.



Thesis & Dissertation Requirements                                                                                                                back to top

Please visit the Thesis & Dissertation Requirements page at the Global Learning and Partnerships of Rowan University (GLP) for information on thesis format requirements. Electronic templates are available at the above link, as well as a thesis manual.