9: School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science

General Information | Degree Programs | Program Descriptions | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Admission Requirements | Financial Assistance | Special Fellowships | General Requirements
Right to Petition | Transfer Credit | Air Force and Army ROTC | Graduate Degree Credit for Undergraduates
Joint Degree Program | Master of Science | Master of Engineering | Part-time Graduate Students
Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program | Doctor of Philosophy
Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities (VCES)

Doctor of Philosophy

The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the following fields: Applied Mathematics, Applied Mechanics (pending), Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Systems Engineering.

An advisory committee for each doctoral student is appointed by the Office of the Dean upon recommendation of the chairperson of the student's department or curriculum. At least one member of the advisory committee shall be from outside the student's department and major curriculum study area. The committee will meet with the student as soon as possible to assist in planning a detailed program of studies and research. The committee will recommend a program of formal courses, discuss research objectives and research plans with the student, and advise the student on the areas in which he/she must take qualifying examinations. The committee will meet with the student as needed to review progress and if necessary assist the student in revising the program of studies. A preliminary examination may be required as part of this planning.

Degree Requirements   A candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must fulfill the following general requirements.

  1. Completion of at least three sessions or equivalent of graduate study after the baccalaureate degree, or two sessions or equivalent after the master's degree. At least one session beyond the master's degree must be in full residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. For the purpose of satisfying these requirements, two regular semesters will be considered as one session.
  2. Satisfactory completion of an approved program of study. Each program of study is tailored to the individual student, and the emphasis on course work varies among departments. A typical program includes 24 credits or more of graduate courses beyond the master's degree, with 12 credits taken at the 700 level or above. At least six credits of study devoted to graduate mathematics are expected. If the student has bypassed the master's degree, a typical program would include 48 credits or more beyond the Bachelor's degree. Additional cross disciplinary courses are highly recommended. Transfer of course credit from other schools of recognized standing may be included in the program of study. The program of study shall be submitted by the student for approval first to the department faculty and then to the Office of the Dean no later than the end of the second semester of doctoral study.
  3. Satisfactory performance in the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination, both written and oral, is a general subject examination given to determine whether the student has assimilated and is able to integrate a body of advanced knowledge. This examination shall consist of both written and oral forms, the student shall be examined in a broad spectrum of subject areas, and the examination must be passed as a whole. The examination generally must be completed within a 30-day period.
  4. Submission of a dissertation based upon independent original research which makes a contribution to knowledge. In preparation for conducting research and writing the dissertation, a student shall prepare a written dissertation outline. This outline shall describe the current state of the art with bibliography, shall outline the proposed method of investigation, and shall discuss the anticipated results. The student shall then make an oral presentation of the outline to the advisory committee in a public presentation. All members of the faculty shall be invited to attend and participate in this presentation. After the oral presentation, the written dissertation outline shall be submitted by the student for approval to the department faculty or its designated committee and the Office of the Dean.
  5. Admission to candidacy for the degree: A student must have satisfactorily completed the comprehensive examination and received approval for the dissertation outline before being admitted to candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be completed at least one semester before the degree is awarded.
  6. Satisfactory performance in a final examination conducted orally by a committee appointed by the Office of the Dean; this committee to include the candidate's advisory committee. The examination will be held after the candidate has submitted the dissertation and will be designed to test the student's knowledge of a field of research. Candidates who are accepted by the examining committee and approved by the faculty will be presented for degrees at the first scheduled graduation exercises of the University following completion of the requirements.
  7. An applicant must apply for a degree on the standard form by the date specified in the academic calendar.
  8. Three copies of the approved final dissertation must be submitted to the Office of the Dean by the date specified in the academic calendar.


Continue to: Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities
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