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 (ENGR 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 10, 2023 for September 2023 Qualifying Exam 
  • November 22, 2023 for January 2024 Qualifying Exam 
  • April 6, 2024 for May 2024 Qualifying Exam

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

Exam Dates

September 2023 Quals:
September 5 – September 18

January 2024 Quals:
January 11 – January 29

May 2024 Quals:
May 6 – May 24


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.