Why pursue a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering?
The Doctor of/Doctorate in Philosophy program leads to the highest degree offered by the Faculty and is designed to provide students an opportunity to obtain the greatest possible expertise in their chosen field through intensive research. Advancement of analytical and/or experimental knowledge through a combination of specialized courses and a research thesis under the supervision of an experienced researcher forms the main component of the doctoral program. Where possible, research of interest to industry is encouraged.
The objective of the PhD program is to educate highly qualified researchers required for the expansion of fundamental knowledge and technological innovation through research and development, as well as the needs of institutions of higher learning.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. A candidate admitted beyond the bachelor’s level is required to complete a minimum of 106 credits. Candidates admitted with a master’s degree in a cognate discipline, or if they need additional knowledge in an area pertinent to their research, will, in general, be required to complete more than the minimum number of credits. Students may not credit any undergraduate equivalent course towards the requirements of a 90-credit or 106-credit PhD program without the permission of their supervisor and of the Graduate Program Director.
Residence. For candidates admitted with a master’s degree, the minimum period of residence is two years of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study. Part-time students may be required by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee, upon the recommendation of the supervisory committee, to carry out a portion of their research on a full-time basis. Where a candidate has been admitted with a bachelor’s degree, the minimum period of residence is 36 months of full-time study after completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Transfer Credits. Students may be granted transfer credit for courses taken in approved graduate studies prior to their entry into their program. A course submitted for transfer credit must be appropriate to the student’s program of study at Concordia University. An application for such credit will be considered only at the time of admission.
Courses. Students admitted on the basis of a master’s degree will normally be required to complete a minimum of 12 credits in course work. A student admitted on the basis of a bachelor’s degree will normally be required to complete a minimum of 28 credits in course work. Students must also successfully complete the PhD seminar ENCS 8011 (2 credits). Each student’s program must be approved by a supervisory committee consisting of three members of faculty, including the student’s research supervisor. This supervisory committee will also arrange for the student’s comprehensive examination, the presentation of the doctoral research proposal, and thesis evaluation.
Comprehensive Examination. Students must take a comprehensive examination, ENCS 8501, which may be both written and oral. Normally the comprehensive examination is taken when course work has been completed and within 12 (24) months after the first registration as a full-time (part-time) student in a PhD program. Students will be assessed on the basis of written and oral examinations of fundamentals related to their field of research. The comprehensive examination will normally be administered by a committee (the Comprehensive Examination Committee) consisting of the supervisory committee, at least one member external to the candidate’s program and other members appointed at the discretion of the supervisory committee. Students who fail this examination are permitted to take it a second time in the following term. Students failing a second time are withdrawn from the program. Students should consult the program regarding specific examination procedures and requirements.
Doctoral Research Proposal. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, students must pass the doctoral research proposal ENCS 8511 (6 credits), within 18 (36) months after the first registration as a full-time (part-time) student in a PhD program, before they are admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. Students will be assessed on the basis of written and oral presentations that must include: (i) a critical review of previous work relevant to the subject of the thesis, and (ii) a detailed research plan of action and expected milestones. Students are required to defend their doctoral research proposal before a committee that will normally be comprised of the same members as the Comprehensive Examination Committee. Students must demonstrate the viability of their project and their capacity to undertake doctoral thesis research. The proposal may be accepted, returned for modifications, or rejected. The rejection of a proposal will result in the student’s withdrawal from the program. A student whose proposal is accepted will be admitted to candidacy for the PhD.
Thesis. Students are required to plan and carry out a suitable research, development, or design project, which leads to an advance in knowledge. The student must submit a thesis based upon this work and defend it in an oral examination. For purposes of registration, this work will be designated ENGR 8911 or COMP 8901: Doctoral Research and Thesis (70 credits) or SOEN 8901: Doctoral Research and Thesis (70 credits). Theses will be examined by a committee consisting of the student’s supervisory committee, an external examiner, and other examiners as approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Cross-Registration. A student in the program wishing to take courses under the cross-registration scheme must first obtain approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. (See Inter-University Agreement in Graduate Registration section).
Time Limit. All work for a doctoral degree must be completed within 18 terms (6 years) of full-time study or 24 terms (8 years) of part-time study from the time of original registration in the program.
Admission Requirements. To be considered for admission on a full-time basis, applicants normally must hold a master’s degree or equivalent with high standing in engineering or computer science, or in a cognate discipline. Holders of a bachelor’s degree will, in general, be considered for admission to a master’s program only. After completion of a minimum of two terms of full-time study, they may, upon application, be considered by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee for admission to a PhD program.
To be considered for admission on a part-time basis, applicants must hold a master’s degree with high standing in engineering, computer science or a cognate discipline. Applicants should understand that admission is contingent not only upon a superior academic record, but also on the availability of a research supervisor, of relevant programs of study and research, as well as adequate laboratory and library facilities. Where applicable, an ability to write programs in a standard computer language will be assumed. Students lacking this skill will be required to register for appropriate courses.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
Teaching Assistant (TA) assignments are awarded to qualified graduate students (PhD, MASc, MEng). The basic requirements are technical knowledge and good communication skills as demonstrated by past experience and academic record.