May 20, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical Engineering Major, PhD

The PhD is offered with a major in electrical engineering. Exceptional students holding the bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the doctoral program without first obtaining a master’s degree. Candidates holding the MS must satisfy requirements 2 through 7 below while candidates holding only the BS must satisfy requirements 1 through 7. Applicants are required to submit scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past three years and to have these scores sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. A TOEFL score of 550 on the written exam or 80 on the Internet-based Test is required for non-native speakers of English, including those who have earned degrees at U.S. institutions. The score must be no more than two years old from the requested date of entry. Applicants who have received a degree from an accredited U.S. institution within  the past two years are exempt from the TOEFL requirement. Specific departmental requirements for the PhD include the following.

  1. For doctoral program, a minimum of 72 hours, including both course and research credit hours, is required. For students holding only a BS degree, a minimum of 39 graduate course credit hours is required. Graduate course work excludes research and dissertation credit as well as seminar courses. The student’s major professor, with the concurrence of the dissertation committee, will prepare a curriculum plan outlining precisely what courses will be taken. The course credit hours should satisfy the following conditions:
    1. Six semester hours of mathematics at the 400-level* or above, approved by the graduate committee; or 6 semester hours of courses in the department at the 500-level or above; or 6 hours of courses outside the department approved by the student’s dissertation committee and the graduate committee.
    2. An additional 18 semester hours must be taken in courses numbered at or above the 500 level. In addition, the student must satisfy requirements 2 through 7 below.
  2. For students holding an MS degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science from the University of Tennessee will be required to take a minimum of 15 hours of graduate course credit, excluding research and dissertation credit or seminar courses. Other students will be required to take a minimum of 24 hours of graduate course credit. These course credit hours must include the following:
    1. A minimum of 9 hours in the department of 600-level course work. At least 3 hours of this work must be in an area other than the student’s major area.
    2. A minimum of 6 semester course credit hours of mathematics (offered by the Mathematics department) at the 500-level or above, as approved by the graduate committee.
  3. Satisfactory performance on a qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is prepared by the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty and consists of a written examination covering courses required in the undergraduate curriculum. Information concerning the qualifying examination is available in the departmental office. A student needs to pass the qualifying examination before the end of their first year to remain in the program (the first year begins the first day of classes at UT).
  4. Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s committee. The exam results are reported to the graduate committee for approval and the exam is filed in the department. The comprehensive exam is given when the student is ready to apply for admission to candidacy. The comprehensive examination consists of both written and oral parts. The written part consists of a complete review of the literature in the student’s dissertation topic and a review of the major tools to be used in the dissertation work. The student’s committee may require additional written sections. The student must demonstrate a mastery of the dissertation area, ability to think analytically and creatively, skill in using academic resources, and ability to complete the dissertation satisfactorily. The oral part of the comprehensive examination consists primarily of a professional presentation of a proposal for dissertation work and its defense. The committee may cover additional topics in the oral part.
  5. Participation in departmental seminars.
  6. A minimum of 24 hours of doctoral dissertation.
  7. Successful public defense of the dissertation by the student. A minimum of 6 months must separate the comprehensive examination and the dissertation defense.

NOTE: *At least two thirds of the minimum required hours must be taken in courses numbered at or above the 500 level.

Energy Science and Engineering Concentration

This concentration is offered in collaboration with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE). The CIRE is a joint effort between the College of Engineering, other University of Tennessee colleges, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The students who wish to pursue this concentration will normally have completed 6 Core credit hours, 3 credit hours of Knowledge Breadth, and 6 credit hours of Knowledge Specialization coursework (minimum 15 hours) specified under the Energy Science and Engineering major , (PhD) program section of this catalog.