General Information

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Program/Degree
Electrical & Computer Engineering (PHD)  
Program Description

The department offers programs leading to the Master of Science, Master of Engineering and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a major in electrical and computer engineering. These programs prepare students for careers in research and development in such areas as biomedical engineering; circuit design, VLSI, & CAD; communication systems; computer networks, distributed computing, & computer architecture; computer vision & robotic systems, control systems; digital signal & image processing; electromagnetics, microwave, & antennas; microelectronic devices & processing; microelectronic packaging & interconnects; optics; remote sensing & telemetering; and software, simulation & information systems.

 
Department/Academic Unit(s)

Electrical & Computer Engr -

ECE Grad School at UA

Degree Programs

ECE offers master's and PhD programs in electrical and computer engineering. PhD degrees are research-based and master's are project-based.

Top University

The University of Arizona ranks among the top 20 public research institutions in the country.

Cross-Disciplinary Training

The UA's Interdisciplinary Programs unite researchers and students from diverse disciplines and provide a number of cross-disciplinary research and training opportunities for ECE grad students.

Career Placement

ECE maintains longstanding partnerships with companies throughout industry, such as Raytheon, Intel, IBM, Qualcomm, Motorola, Microsoft, Honeywell, Texas Instruments, GM, Agilent, NASA, Boeing and Pixar.

The Region

From earth's environment to medical advancements to space exploration, Tucson is a technology and bioscience hotspot.

 
College
College of Engineering  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Contacts
Admissions Contact
Tami J Whelan
520-621-6195
Graduate Program Coordinator
Tami J Whelan
520-621-6195
Director of Graduate Studies
Kathleen L Melde
520-626-2538
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi Renee Davenport
520-626-1930
 
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
Ph.D. Minimum Admission Requirements
There are two options in the Ph.D. program: the post-M.S. option and the direct option.
 
The minimum admission requirements for the Ph.D. program are as follows:
• Admission to the Post-M.S. Option requires a master’s degree in Engineering, Math, Physics, Computer Science, or Optics.
• Admission to the Direct Option requires a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Math, Physics, Computer Science, or Optics. An exceptional record is required for admission into the Ph.D. Direct Option. This option is not available to students who have already completed at least one semester under the UA ECE master’s program. This option is not available to students who have already completed a master’s degree in Engineering, Math, Physics, Computer Science, or Optics.
• Grade-point average must be competitive.
• GRE scores must be competitive (incl. Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing).
• Students who do not have a degree equivalent to the UA Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering may be admitted into the graduate ECE program, but may be required to complete some undergraduate deficiency courses prior to enrolling in graduate courses. See the chapter regarding students with a non-ECE bachelor’s degree for further details.
• Applicants whose native language is not English are required by the Graduate College to submit a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (213 CBT). See the UA Graduate Catalog for a discussion of exemptions.
 
Standardized Tests

GRE scores must be competitive (incl. Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing).

 
Financial Aid

Research assistantships
Teaching assistantships
Fellowships and scholarships

 
Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: Applications may be submitted at any time. However, please allow at least six weeks of processing time after all required documents have been submitted before an admission decision is made. Most applications for Fall admission are received in December, admission decisions usually begin near the end of January,
    and offers of financial support usually begin near the end of February. After that time, the availability of funding diminishes. Therefore, the recommended deadline for receipt of the application is as follows:  Recommended Deadline for Applicants Seeking Financial Support: Spring-July 15:  Fall-December 15.
  • Spring: July 15

International Applicants:

  • Fall: Applications may be submitted at any time. However, please allow at least six weeks of processing time after all required documents have been submitted before an admission decision is made. Most applications for Fall admission are received in December, admission decisions usually begin near the end of January,
    and offers of financial support usually begin near the end of February. After that time, the availability of funding diminishes. Therefore, the recommended deadline for receipt of the application is as follows:  Recommended Deadline for Applicants Seeking Financial Support: Spring-July 15:  Fall-December 15.
  • Spring: July 15
 
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Post-M.S. Option

Major Coursework
Must submit the Draft Plan of Study by the end of first semester.
36 units of graduate coursework (5xx or 6xx)* subject to the following limitations:

  • At least 12 units completed at the UA after an ECE master’s degree.
  • At least 9 units for a regular grade completed at the UA after an ECE master’s degree.
  • A maximum of 3 units of ECE independent study after the master’s degree. Non-ECE independent study does not apply toward the coursework requirement.
  • A maximum of 3 units of non-ECE coursework after the master’s degree. All non-ECE coursework must be pre-approved by the Graduate Studies Committee prior to registration.
  • A maximum of 3 units of ECE 900 Research after the master’s degree can be counted.
  • Dissertation - 18 units of dissertation (ECE 920).

Qualifying Exam: Consists of oral questions related to coursework. Must take this exam before the end of the
3rd semester. Warning: Cannot take the ECE Written Comprehensive Exam until 12 months after passing the Qualifying Exam.

Minor Written Comprehensive Exam: Must take this exam before taking the Oral Comprehensive Exam, which must be taken before the end of the 5th semester. The ECE Minor Written Comprehensive Exam is waived for ECE students.

ECE Written Comprehensive Exam: This is a written research proposal. Must be submitted to the Comprehensive Exam committee at least two weeks before the Oral Comprehensive Exam, which must be taken before the end of the 5th semester. Warning: Cannot take the ECE Written Comprehensive Exam until 12 months after passing the Qualifying Exam.

Oral Comprehensive Exam: This includes an oral presentation of the research proposal, questioning about the research proposal, and comprehensive technical questioning in the broader field related to the proposed research. Must be taken before the end of the 5th semester. Warning: Cannot take the Final Defense until 9 months after passing the Oral Comprehensive Exam.

Paper Requirement: Must submit at least two papers to a refereed journal (not counting papers submitted in the
master’s program), with an ECE faculty member as a co-author.

Final Defense: Must pass an oral defense of the dissertation. Warning: Cannot take the Final Defense until 9 months after passing the Oral Comprehensive Exam.
 

Direct Option

Major Coursework

Must submit the Draft Plan of Study by the end of 1st semester.
36 units of graduate coursework (5xx or 6xx)* subject to the following limitations:

  • At least 24 units must be completed at the UA.
  • A maximum of 3 units of ECE independent study.
  • Non-ECE independent study does not apply toward the coursework requirement.
  • A maximum of 9 units of non-ECE graduate coursework. All non-ECE coursework must be pre-approved by the Graduate Studies Committee prior to registration.
  • A maximum of 6 units of ECE 900 Research can be counted. If receiving the M.S. nonthesis degree along the way, then only 3 units of ECE 900 may be counted.
  • Dissertation 18 units of dissertation (ECE 920).

Qualifying Exam: Consists of oral questions related to coursework. Must take this exam before the end of the 5th semester. Warning: Cannot take the ECE Written Comprehensive Exam until 12 months after passing the Qualifying Exam.

Minor Written Comprehensive Exam: Must take this exam before taking the Oral Comprehensive Exam, which must be taken before the end of the 7th semester. The ECE Minor Written Comprehensive Exam is waived for ECE students.

ECE Written Comprehensive Exam: This exam is a written research proposal. Must be submitted to the Comprehensive Exam committee at least two weeks before the Oral Comprehensive Exam, which must be taken before the end of the 7th semester. Warning: Cannot take the ECE Written Comprehensive Exam until 12 months after passing the Qualifying Exam. Mid-Degree Paper Prior to scheduling the Oral Comprehensive Exam, must submit a paper to a refereed journal or conference. Note: To receive an M.S. degree along the way, complete all M.S. (thesis option) degree requirements including passing an oral defense of the thesis.

Oral Comprehensive Exam: This includes an oral presentation of the research proposal, questioning about the research proposal, and comprehensive technical questioning in the broader field related to the proposed research. Must be taken before the end of the 7th semester. Warning: Cannot take the Final Defense until 9 months after passing the Oral Comprehensive Exam.

Paper Requirement: Must submit a total of three technical papers with an ECE faculty member as a co-author: at least two papers to a refereed journal, and one additional paper to a refereed journal or refereed conference. This three-paper requirement includes the Mid-Degree Paper.

Final Defense: Must pass an oral defense of the dissertation. Warning: Cannot take the Final Defense until 9 months after passing the Oral Comprehensive Exam.


* A cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 or higher must be maintained on all coursework taken for graduate credit. A grade of C or higher is required for a course to be used to satisfy the degree requirements (A or B for transfer credits).

 
Minor Requirements

Minor Coursework for Post-M.S. Option and the Direct Option
At least 9 units of graduate coursework (5xx or 6xx)*. subject to the following limitations:

  • Minors may be in Engineering, Math, Physics, Computer Science, Optical Sciences, or other areas approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • All non-ECE coursework must be pre-approved by the Graduate Studies Committee prior to registration.
  • ECE 501B, ECE 502, and ECE 503 may not be included in the minor.
  • Independent study is not allowed in the minor.
  • Warning: Check with the minor department for possible additional restrictions.
 
Student Handbook
https://ece.engineering.arizona.edu/sites/ece.engineering.arizona.edu/files/ecegradhandbook2015.pdf  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 62%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 5.00
 
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 84%
Enrollment Percent Female 16%
Enrollment Percent International 33%
Enrollment Percent URM 18%

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Last revised 08 Nov 2018