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The Doctoral Degree in ECE

Plan of Study

Completing a Plan of Study form allows you to plan your courses to make sure you meet all the degree requirements. As you complete the form, please refer to the following information:

  • All degree requirements must be letter graded (A-E) courses except for the “total credits” and “optional” degree requirements.
  • Technical courses are engineering, math, statistics, and science courses.
  • Entrepreneurship courses and AERO 585 are not technical courses.
  • The following course may not be counted for any degree requirements:
    • Math 404, 417, 425, 448 450 or their cross-listed classes
    • CPT credit (Rack 998)
    • ELI courses
    • Courses with number 990, 995 or other course with “doctoral,” “dissertation,” or “preliminary” in the title

Qualifying Exam Information

You must apply prior to the examination date.

Deadline for application for ECE:

  • August 23, 2019 for September 2019 Qualifying Exam 
  • November 27, 2019 for January 2020 Qualifying Exam 
  • April 13, 2020  for May 2020 Qualifying Exam

Application instructions will be emailed to you from the ECE Graduate Coordinators approximately 1 month before each deadline. 

Exam Dates

September 2019 Quals:
September 9 – September 23

January 2020 Quals:
January 13 – January 27

May 2020 Quals:
May 1 – May 22


Step 1: Complete coursework

  • Refer to the graduate manual for course requirements.

Step 2: Take and pass Qualification Exam

  • Qualifying Exam Dates
  • Qualifying Exam Guidelines

Step 3: Advance to Candidacy

Step 4: Complete Thesis Proposal

Step 5: Complete Dissertation

The complete doctoral requirements can be found in the program guide. See the Rackham Doctoral Degree Policies for more info.

Continuous Enrollment

In order to encourage timely completion of the degree, University policy requires doctoral students to register every Fall and Winter term until their degree is completed, with very few exceptions. That is, doctoral students cannot take time off from their studies, or pursue the later stages of their degree without registering, except in special circumstances.