Doctor of Philosophy – Details

Please click the program title below for more information from the USC Catalogue to learn more:

The PhD program requires a minimum of 60 units of graduate level coursework beyond the BS degree. The coursework is developed by the student with the committee chairman and must have the approval of the committee and the Electrical Engineering Department Chairman. The following are guidelines in developing the PhD program:

  • Two-thirds of the course work is to be at the 500 level or above and must be in academic area approved by faculty advisors excluding EE 794.
  • Sufficient work must be done in one area of Electrical Engineering (established by the committee chairman) to permit passing of the screening exam in that area. Although not a department requirement, the guidance committee chairman may require a student to take a minor within EE.
  • An outside minor consisting of at least three courses, two of which must be upper division graduate courses (500 level). To be acceptable for the minor, a course must:
    • Be outside the EE Department
    • Be approved by the student’s guidance committee chairman. This requirement is optional for the PhD in EE-Electrophysics and CENG.

Additional Ph.D. Requirements

Guidance Committee formation and procedures for the Screening Examination and the Qualifying Examination can be found at the links below, or consult the University Catalogue.

PhD Screening Exam – Taken after the first year of the program, the Ph.D. Screening Exam tests a student’s preparedness and must be passed to move forward with the program.

PhD Qualifying Exam – The PhD Qualifying Exam must be taken after a student completes 24 units of graduate course work – typically in years 3 or 4 of the program.

PhD Oral Defense – To complete a Ph.D., students must write a thesis and orally defend their dissertation.


Apply for Ph.D. Admission.

For more information on how to apply to the Ph.D. Program CLICK HERE.