Ph.D in ECE: Course & Breadth Requirements

Jump to: Course requirement · Breadth requirement · Managing the course and breadth requirements

In an effort to provide students with the flexibility to broaden their knowledge base in a manner that is appropriate to their general research area, the department has both a Ph.D. course requirement and a Ph.D. breadth requirement.

Course requirement

Students in the Ph.D. program without a M.S. degree and students in the Ph.D. program who have an ECE M.S. degree from Carnegie Mellon must take a total of 8 ECE or related courses (96 units) at Carnegie Mellon. At least 6 of these 8 courses must be graduate courses. Courses taken at Carnegie Mellon to satisfy the M.S. degree course requirements may count toward the Ph.D. course requirements.

Students in the Ph.D. program who have earned a M.S. degree elsewhere (outside of CMU's ECE Department) must take a total of 4 ECE or related courses (48 units) at Carnegie Mellon. At least 3 of these 4 courses must be graduate courses.

For students who do not yet have an ECE M.S. degree, courses taken at Carnegie Mellon to satisfy the ECE Ph.D. degree course requirements may count toward the ECE M.S. course requirements.

Graduate courses include any of the courses listed in the ECE-approved graduate course list and courses listed on the Ph.D. Breadth Area website. To count towards the Ph.D. requires, a course cannot be project, seminar or independent study courses. A student can only take up to 2 undergraduate courses to fulfill the course requirement and these 2 courses must be in the ECE Department at a 300 level or higher or i the Computer Science Department at a 300 level or higher. Students must receive a "B-" grade or better in both the graduate and undergraduate courses."

Students wishing to count a graduate course at Carnegie Mellon not listed in the approved graduate course list or on the breadth website, or an undergraduate course offered by a department outside of ECE or CSD at Carnegie Mellon, must formally petition the Graduate Studies Committee.

Breadth requirement

The ECE Department has defined 8 technical areas as Breadth Areas for the Ph.D. degree. Each Ph.D. candidate must take at least 1 graduate class from 3 of these areas to fulfill the breadth requirement. Students must receive a "B-" grade or better in these courses. Students can count 1 course that they have taken outside Carnegie Mellon toward the breadth course requirement, but must submit a formal petition for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee. If the petition is accepted, only two more breadth areas must be satisfied. Four courses must still be taken, in addition to the course accepted by the GSC to satisfy one breadth area for a total of 5 courses.

Managing the Course and Breadth Requirements

To ensure that each student is on track to meet these requirements, the Ph.D. Course and Breadth Requirement Form (included in the Graduate Progress Review Statement) should be filled out each semester, and academic progress should be discussed with the student's advisor.

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