PhD in Engineering

New Student Information

First Semester Registration

photo of students sitting in the russ lobby

You are required to meet with your assigned advisor prior to beginning your first semester in the program to plan your course registration. First semester registration should consist of necessary prerequisite and core courses along with courses leading to advance study in your chosen focus area.

Dissertation Advisor

You are encouraged to choose a dissertation advisor, with mutual consent, by the last day of classes during your first semester of enrollment. To facilitate the selection of an advisor, you should discuss your educational objectives with several dissertation-qualified faculty members in your focus area within the first six weeks of the semester.

The dissertation advisor you choose will serve as the chair of your dissertation committee and will direct the research study.

  • The dissertation advisor must be a dissertation-qualified faculty member of the PhD in Engineering Program. The dissertation advisor is responsible for the overall direction of the research, the regualar advising of the student, and the continuing progress of the student in completing his or her Program of Study in a timely manner.
  • It is permissible to have two committee members co-advise a dissertation if at least one member has dissertation-qualified faculty status.

Program of Study

You are required to file a program of study with the Graduate School. Complete the Program of Study Form under the supervision of your dissertation advisor and in coordination with your dissertation committee. Once you have completed the Program of Study, and obtained your advisor's signature, submit it to the PhD in Engineering Program Office (211 Russ Center) for the director's signature and submission to the Graduate School.


The purpose of the program of study is to design an appropriate program to meet your specific needs in your chosen focus area as determined by the dissertation committee.


Ideally, a tentative plan should be formulated by the end of the second semester of study. Failure to comply with this requirement may jeopardize further registration in the PhD program.

Program Changes

Minor changes in the Program of Study can be made easily in case of course offering deletions or schedule conflicts. These changes must also be approved by the program director and filed one week prior to the start of the final session for graduate study. The course work must be selected to form a unified program of study. Course work from a previous MS degree is included in the formal program of study.