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Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering

electrical engineer working on a electrical connecting cable

Program Information

The Rowan Experience
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The Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering is a terminal degree program that is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of researchers, scholars, and scientists in academia, industry, and the government. The primary goal of this program is therefore to prepare students for careers in research and/or academics by providing an environment that closely reflects the realities and expectations encountered by today’s academicians, professional scientists, and research engineers. The program offers a highly flexible inter and multidisciplinary curricular structure, allowing specialization in any (or multiple) of the traditional or emerging areas of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Graduates emerge with a strong foundation in research methodologies, technical expertise, and the ability to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, making them valuable assets to academic institutions, industry organizations, and government agencies.

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The Rowan University Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program requires the completion of coursework, Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE), Qualifier Exam, research requirements, dissertation, and dissertation defense.

If you possess a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate-level work will be required.

If you possess a master’s degree in a related field, a minimum of 42 semester hours (credits) of graduate-level work beyond your master’s degree will be required. Up to 30 of the credits earned in pursuit of your master’s degree may be transferable. Typically 21 course credits and 9 research hours credits. The student’s Advisory Committee (or the advisor) will decide which credits will be transferred into the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program.

The following courses make up the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program. 

  • 72 Semester Hours
    • Required Courses: 6 Semester Hours
    • Graduate Elective Courses: 36 Semester Hours
      • 3 Semester Hours should be a graduate-level Math class
    • Research Courses: 30 Semester Hours
  • Foundation Courses: No
  • Graduation / Exit / Thesis Requirements: Yes


Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Research training (including human/animal subject training when applicable). All Ph.D. students will be required to complete all research compliance training required by the University for any research-active employee.

Graduate seminar: Regular attendance and participation in (0-credit) graduate seminars (ENGR 01700 Graduate Seminar: What is Next in Engineering) will be required for students for each Fall and Spring semester they are in the program. This course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Ph.D. Qualifier Examination: All students in the program will be required to pass the Ph.D. Qualifier Examination. This exam should be taken within the first four regular semesters (not counting summer) of study in the program. Students transferring into Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program from another recognized Ph.D. program where they have already passed a comparable qualifier examination may be exempt from the Qualifier Examination based on the recommendation of the student’s Advisor and subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Department Head.

Ph.D. Candidacy (proposal) Examination: Ph.D. Students will be required to pass a Candi-dacy Exam, within 18 months of completing their Qualifier Examination. The Candidacy Examination is where the students propose their Ph.D. Dissertation topic. The Candidacy Exam will be an oral examination, designed to assess the originality, importance, technical, scientific and intellectual merits of the student’s dissertation topic, adequacy of student’s preliminary work as well as his/her ability to undertake the proposed work. The Candidacy Examination will be conducted and evaluated by the student’s full Ph.D. Advisory Committee. Students who pass their Candidacy Examination will be given the title “Ph.D. Candidate.”

Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE): CPRE requirements are designed to prepare for the real-world environment they are likely to face upon graduation, and consist of teaching, grant writing, publishing and service. Students will be required to complete all CPRE components, the details of which are given below.

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense: The Ph.D. in Engineering program will culminate in the Candidate’s oral defense of their dissertation topic. This exam will be conducted and evaluated by the student’s full Ph.D. Advisory Committee, who will assess the work for its completeness, technical and scientific accuracy, intellectual merits and broader impacts. The student will be expected to have completed the CPRE requirements before taking the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense. The portion of the exam that includes the Candidate's presentation shall be open to the public (unless there are intellectual property considerations previously discussed with the Office of Research).


Course Number Title S.H. (Credits)
Required Courses: 6 S.H.
ENGR 01601 Effective Teaching in Academic & Corporate Environments 3
ENGR 01702 Strategic Technical Writing & Winning Grant Proposals 3
Graduate Elective Courses: 36 S.H.
MATH 06515 Engineering Applications of Analysis 3
ME 10561 Engineering Optimization 3
ECE 09509 Virtual Reality Systems 3
ECE 09510 Advanced Alternate Energy Systems 3
ECE 09523 Advanced Radar Systems 3
ECE 09525 Advanced Command and Control 3
ECE 09531 Advanced Optical Fiber Communications 3
ECE 09551 Digital Signal Processing 3
ECE 09555 Advanced Topics in Pattern Recognition / Machine Learning 3
ECE 09556 Advanced Embedded Software Design 3
ECE 09569 System-on-Chip Verification 3
ECE 09585 Advanced Engineering Cyber Security 3
Required Thesis Courses: 30 S.H.
ENGR 01799 Doctoral Research and Dissertation*  3/6/9
  *Students must register for this course multiple times at 3 S.H., 6 S.H., or 9 S.H. until the total 30 S.H. are completed. After that, the 1-credit ENGR-01798 Doctoral Dissertation Continuation course should be taken, until the thesis defense is successfully conducted. Total number of Doctoral Research and Dissertation semester hours may vary.  


Transfer Credit Evaluation Policy

If a student admitted to the program already has a Master’s degree, up to 30 credits from relevant and appropriate courses taken during the Master’s degree studies may be transferred, typically 21 course credits and 9 research credits. The student’s Advisory Committee (or the Advisor) will decide which credits will be transferred into the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program.

Admission Requirements
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The following is a list of items required to begin the application process for the program. There may be additional action or materials required for admission to the program. Upon receipt of the materials below, a representative from the Rowan Global Admissions Processing Office will contact you with confirmation or will indicate any missing items.


  • Completed Rowan Global Application Form
  • $65 (U.S.) non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor's degree in Engineering or related field from an accredited institution of higher learning. 
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (regardless of number of credits earned)
  • Current professional resume. Applicants should include a statement on the professional resume that verifies evidence of applied skills including research proficiency.
  • Typewritten statement of professional objectives and research interest
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). 
    • Those who possess a B.S. in Engineering degree from Rowan University with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; or who have complete the M.S. in Engineering Track 1 (research option with thesis) with a GPA of 3.3 or higher will automatically qualify for this program
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • While the official Recommendation Form is required, an actual letter from the recommender is additionally preferred.
    • Applicants with Master’s degrees completed within the past 5 years should include as one of their recommenders an instructor from their Master’s program.
  • Interview (Applicants will be contacted directly by the Faculty Admission Committee regarding this interview. The interview can be in person or via telephone/)
  • TOEFL Language test (International)
  • WES evaluation (International)
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Rowan University hosts a series of on campus and virtual events throughout the year to help you get to know us. From general information sessions, to program specific meetings with advisors, to webinars on timely and thought-provoking topics, these gatherings provide an excellent opportunity to ask questions, network with academics and future students, and learn from some of the most innovative and informed faculty in higher education today.


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