The Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering offers Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Computer Science and Information Science, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering. The doctor of philosophy program should be considered by those with superior academic achievement and who desire to pursue a career of research or teaching. While each of these degrees requires unique skills and accomplishments, the department employs a well established structure that all students must follow in pursuit of these advanced degrees.
Areas of Concentration
The Lane Department of CSEE is organized into the following five Areas of Concentration. All three Ph.D. degree programs use these Areas to provide organizational structure to the educational process as delineated under specific Ph.D. Requirements. The significance of these Areas will be of particular importance in creating the student's Plan of Study and in preparation for the Qualifying Exam
- Electronics and Photonics
- Systems and Signals
- Computer Systems
- Software and Knowledge Engineering
- Theory of Computing
Each Area has several courses associated with it. Some of the courses are designated as "core" courses, while the rest are designated as "elective".
In addition to the general requirements for the awarding of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as stipulated by West Virginia University and by the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has the following requirements. Successful completion of each step of this process will be a determination of the faculty of the department or a designated subcommittee.
- Completion of Master of Science in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or an equivalent degree. In the absence of a MS degree, an equivalent number of hours of graduate study preparatory for the Ph.D. study as determined by the Advisory Examination Committee.
- Additional coursework of 18 hours serving as appropriate preparation for the Ph.D. study. For all majors, PhD course work must include at least 6 credit hours of 600 or higher level courses (not independent or directed studies.)
- Successful completion of the Qualifying Exam Process. The Qualifying Exam Process certifies that the study has the necessary skills and qualification to undertake this advanced degree, and is a somewhat complicated process. Please study the linked document which spells this out in detail.
- Successful completion of the Candidacy Examination. During this examination, the student must demonstrate: (a) a grasp of the important phases and problems of the field of study and an appreciation of their relation to other fields of human knowledge and accomplishments, and (b) the ability to employ the instruments of research developed in the student's area of interest. At this time, the student will formally present and defend the plan for research. When an applicant has passed the comprehensive examination, the student will be formally admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. A student will have only one opportunity for reexamination.
- Successful completion of the Oral Defense. The student will present and defend the results of the research as proposed at the Candidacy Examination.
The following major steps in the process are required.
- Preliminary Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Form. This form formally announces the student's matriculation into the Ph.D. program. This must be filled out and submitted to the departmental Graduate Administrative Assistant within four weeks of student matriculation.
- The Plan of Study must be filled out and signed by the members of the student's Advisory Examination Committee. It is the responsibility of the student to acquire all necessary signatures. The Plan of Study formalizes the student's Advisory Examination Committee and the agreement with the committee regarding the student's intentions. This form must be completed by the student, signed, and submitted to the departmental Graduate Administrative Assistant no later than the end of the student's first semester. Absent this form on record, there can be no assurances that any work done by the student will result in acceptable credit for graduation.
- Once the student feels prepared to undertake the formal Qualifying Exam, the Request for Ph.D. Qualifying Examination must be filled out and submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant. To emphasize, the Qualifying Exam process is complex and it is the responsibility of the student to complete all preparation correctly. PhD students must make the first attempt to pass the qualifying exam within 14 months of their enrollment if they already have a MS degree from the Lane Department of CSEE or within 26 months otherwise.
- The application for Qualifying Exam will be reviewed by the Qualifying Approval Committee (QAC). If approved, the QAC will appoint a Qualifying Examination Committee (QEC) who will conduct the examination. Once the student is notified of approval and of the members of the QEC, the student must fill out the Qualifying Examination "Results" document. This document formalizes a time and place for the examination. It is the responsibility of the student to personally contact every member of the QEC and to establish a time and place for the examination and to obtain the signatures of all examiners. This document must be submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant, and it will also be used to document the results of the examination.
- The student will undergo the oral Qualifying Examination at the established time.
- At an appropriate time under the recommendations of the student's advisor, the student will undergo a Candidacy Examination with the members of the student's Advisory Examination Committee. This examination is stipulated by the College of Engineering. In order to apply for a Candidacy Examination, the candidate must fill out the Candidacy Examination Application form and submit it to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.
- The final step in the process is the Oral Defense of the student's research. The timing of this will be determined in conjunction with the student's advisor. There must be a minimum of four and one half months between Candidacy Examination and Oral Defense.