Doctor of Philosophy - Electrical Engineering

Spotlight on Our Graduate Electrical Engineering Faculty


Marcelo Simões

Associate Professor

Joined CSM in 2000

Research Interests:

Power electronics, energy conversion systems for renewable energy apps, intelligent control.

The Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering requires 72 credit hours of course work and research credits. A minimum of 36 credit hours of course work and a minimum of 24 credit hours of research is required. The remaining 12 credit hours required can be earned through research or coursework and students should consult with their Advisor and/or Thesis Committee. There are three tracks in Electrical Engineering: (1) Antennas and Wireless Communications (AWC), (2) Energy Systems and Power Electronics (ESPE), and (3) Information and Systems Sciences (ISS). Students are encouraged to decide between tracks before pursuing an advanced degree. Students are also encouraged to speak to their Advisor and/or a member of the EE faculty before registering for classes and to select a permanent Advisor as soon as possible. The following set of courses is required of all students.

Core classes

EE CORE: EE Core Courses (AWC track) 12.0
EE CORE: EE Core Courses (ESPE track)  6.0
EE CORE: EE Core Courses (ISS track) 12.0

EE Technical Electives (must be approved by thesis committee)

EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (AWC track) 24.0
EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (ESPE track) 30.0
EE TECH: EE Technical Electives (ISS track) 24.0

Lists of courses within these categories can be found below.

Research Credit


Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Students wishing to enroll in the Electrical Engineering Ph.D. program will be required to pass a Qualifying Exam. Normally, full-time Ph.D. candidates will take the Qualifying Exam in their first year, but it must be taken within four semesters of entering the program. Part-time candidates will normally be expected to take the Qualifying Exam within no more than six semesters of entering the program.

The purpose of the Qualifying Exam is to assess some of the attributes expected of a successful Ph.D. student, including:

  • To determine the student's ability to review, synthesize and apply fundamental concepts.
  • To determine the creative and technical potential of the student to solve open-ended and challenging problems.
  • To determine the student's technical communication skills.

The Qualifying Examination includes both written and oral sections. The written section is based on material from the EECS Department’s undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree. The oral part of the exam covers one or more papers from the literature chosen by the student and the student's Advisor. The student's Advisor and two additional Electrical Engineering faculty members (typically from the student's Thesis Committee representing their track) administer the oral exam.

Ph.D. Qualifying exams will be held each spring semester. In the event of a student failing the Qualifying exam, she/he will be given one further opportunity to pass the exam in the following spring semester. If a second failure occurs, the student has unsatisfactory academic performance that results in an immediate, mandatory dismissal of the graduate student from the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. Thesis Proposal

After passing the Qualifying Examination, the Ph.D. student is allowed up to 18 months to prepare a written Thesis Proposal and present it formally to the student's Thesis Committee and other interested faculty.

Admission to Candidacy

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, full-time Ph.D. students must complete the following requirements within two calendar years of enrolling in the Ph.D. program.

  • Have a Thesis Committee appointment form on file in the Graduate Office
  • Have passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam demonstrating adequate preparation for, and satisfactory ability to conduct doctoral research.

Ph.D. Thesis Defense

At the conclusion of the student’s Ph.D. program, the student will be required to make a formal presentation and defense of her/his thesis research. A student must "pass" this defense to earn a Ph.D. degree.

Electrical Engineering Courses

Required Core: Antennas and Wireless Communications

All students must take the 3 following courses (scheduled to be approved by Graduate Council for the 2014-15 or 2015-16 academic year):

EENG-5X1Advanced Engineering Electromagnetics
EENG-5X2Computational Electromagnetics

and choose at least one of the following:

EENG-515Mathematical Methods for Signals and Systems
EENG-527Wireless Communication Systems
EENG-535RF & Microwave Engineering
EENG-5X4Radar Systems

Required Core: Energy Systems and Power Electronics Track

Choose at least 2 of the following:

EENG-570Advanced High Power Electronics
EENG-580Power Distribution Systems Engineering
EENG-581Power System Operations and Management

Required Core: Information and Systems Sciences

All students must take

EENG-515Mathematical Methods for Signals and Systems

and choose at least 3 of the following:

EENG-509Sparse Signal Processing
EENG-517Theory and Design of Advanced Control Systems
EENG-519Estimation Theory and Kalman Filtering
MATH-534Mathematical Statistics I
MEGN-544Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dymamics and Control

Other EE Courses:

EENG-527Wireless Communication Systems
EENG-535RF & Microwave Engineering
EENG-589Design and Control of Wind Energy System
EENG-617Intelligent Control Systems
EENG-618Nonlinear and Adaptive Control
EENG-683Computer Methods in Electric Power Systems
MEGN-545Advanced Robot Control

Course descriptions of both graduate level courses and senior level courses are available for you to review.

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