Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EECS Department Policies

EECS Department Qualifying Exam Policies

Doctoral students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department are required to take the qualifying exam. The detailed information and requirements are listed below:

The EECS doctoral qualifying exam is to be taken on three topics of a student’s choice, including two topics from the student’s chosen major area, and one topic from the student’s chosen minor area. The areas and topics are as follows:

  • Control Systems Area
    • Topic 1: Classical Control
    • Topic 2: Linear Systems
  • Communications Area
    • Topic 1: Probability and Stochastic Processes
    • Topic 2: Digital Communications
  • Computer Area
    • Topic 1: Computer Architecture
    • Topic 2: Computer Networks
  • Power Area
    • Topic 1: Power Electronics
    • Topic 2: Power Systems
  • Software Area
    • Topic 1: Software Engineering
    • Topic 2: Databases
  • Nanobiotechnology Area
    • Topic 1: Nanotechnology
    • Topic 2: Biosensors, Bioelectronics and BioMEMS
  • Computer Science Area
    • Topic 1: Algorithms
    • Topic 2: Operating Systems

In addition to the above areas, student may take the math test as a minor. The test for each topic is an open-book, open-notes proctored written exam of two hours in duration. Students are allowed to use only department-supplied standard calculators as electronic aids.

The doctoral qualifying exam is given on the Friday prior to the start of each fall and spring semester. The exams are given from 9:30-11:30, 12:30-2:30, and 3:00-5:00. Lunch is provided by the EECS Department.

Students must register for the exam with the EECS Graduate Program Committee at least four weeks before the date of the exam.

A student must pass all three topics to qualify for doctoral study. Conditional pass decisions may be made in borderline cases. Students who pass conditionally are subject to additional course work and/or re-examination (only one re-examination is permitted). Requirements for students who change topics for their second attempt at the qualifying exam will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The doctoral qualifying exam must be taken before the student completes 24 credit hours in the graduate program. Students who do not take the exam before completing 24 credit hours may be dismissed from the program.

The qualifying exam may be taken up to two times. In case the student fails the exam on the first attempt, the student must take the exam again during the next semester. Tests on topics already passed do not need to be retaken.

Completed exams will not be returned to students.