The PhD in Electrical Engineering provides students with the education to be researchers and leaders in their fields of specialization. The program provides both breadth and depth through a flexible structure of formal course work, independent study, and research.
The PhD program is an individualized program of study with a focus on preparing you for PhD dissertation research. The dissertation is an original scholarly contribution to the research literature of the field and is the culmination of your academic career.
The PhD program has two options, depending on the student’s previous educational background:
- Electrical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
A minimum of 18 credits beyond the MS requirement or 48 credits beyond the BS is expected (exclusive of dissertation research).
Although it is not necessary to obtain the MS degree before proceeding in the PhD program, the Graduate Academic and Research Skills components of the PhD Qualifier can be met over the course of completing an MS at UMass Dartmouth. If a student enters with a BS or an MS from another institution, he or she must explicitly meet the PhD Qualifying requirements.
PhD students should complete and pass the PhD qualifying requirements appropriate to their option (Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering):
- if they enter the program with an MS: by the end of their first year of study
- if they enter the program with a BS: at the completion of 30 credits
Our faculty are experts in an impressive variety of fields and are engaged notable research ventures supported by public and private funding. Key research areas within the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE):
A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.
International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.
Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements
In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements
Students possessing a bachelor's or master's degree and a strong academic background in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or similar disciplines are encouraged to apply for admission to the PhD program.
Admission to the program is competitive. In general, students must exceed minimum requirements to gain admission. However, students who do not meet minimum requirements—but who otherwise show evidence of strong academic, professional, or research ability—may be accepted upon approval of the ECE Graduate Committee.
Applicants to the PhD program must have demonstrated superior scholastic achievement.
Apply and submit all required application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.
- Statement of purpose: 300 - 600 words. Indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist in assistantship decisions.
- Official transcripts: from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless if a credential is earned or not). Transcripts should show class rank if available.
- Official GRE score: sent directly from ETS; copies/scans not accepted. GRE scores for the general test are required except by those who are or are about to be graduates of the UMassD College of Engineering or who are or are about to receive an ECE graduate certificate.
- 3 letters of recommendation: from persons in the field of your academic major at the institution most recently attended or from supervisors familiar with your recent job performance. BS/MS applicants are encouraged to include a recommendation from a department faculty member willing to advise their graduate research.
International students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent directly from ETS or testing agency; copies/scans not accepted. Required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country. Scores on the TOEFL should be 80 IBT minimum for admission and 100 IBT minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. Scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) should be 6.5 minimum for admission and 7.0 minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.