Electrical & Computer Engineering (Ph.D.)


The Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering at University of Detroit Mercy focuses on you, the student. You'll get personal attention in small classes and research seminars from faculty who place teaching first. Our relevant and practical research and close connections with industry help create an exciting learning environment that will guarantee your success. In addition, many of our full-time graduate students obtain paid internships in local industry during their graduate program.

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    Program Learning Outcomes

    Graduates of this program will have the ability to:

    1. apply knowledge of advanced mathematics, science, and engineering principles to electrical engineering
    2. identify, formulate, and solve complex electrical engineering problems
    3. use and integrate advanced techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for electrical engineering practice

    Admission Requirements

    Students may apply to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering program upon completion of either a baccalaureate or a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering or a closely related field. Typical minimum requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a graduate GPA of 3.5 (if relevant). Students who have taken relevant graduate level courses elsewhere (possibly as part of earning a master’s degree) may transfer up to 30 credit hours from their master’s program. Although the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required, a strong score on the GRE will strengthen the application. In addition, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if applicable, while not required as part of the application, is encouraged because its results can be useful in facilitating the admission process.  Students who obtained their degree(s) outside the U.S. must also submit official ECE or WES evaluation reports for each institution attended.

    Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering Degree Requirements (81 credit hours)

    The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering are divided into three parts: Coursework, Dissertation, and Examination. All doctoral programs of study must be approved by the faculty advisor/committee and the department chairperson.


    Coursework consists of 51 post-baccalaureate course credits at the graduate level. Up to 30 graduate credit hours may be transferred, but at least 21 additional graduate credits must be earned at Detroit Mercy. Coursework is divided into:

    • Doctoral Core (9 credits)
    • ELEE Discipline Specific (9 credits)
    • Electives/Focus Area (33 credits)

    Three Doctoral Core courses (or equivalent) are required: ENGR 5020 Design of Experiments, ENGR 5300 Advanced Engineering Mathematics, and ELEE 5620 Random Variables and Random Processes.

    Discipline Specific courses (at least nine credits) are the electrical and computer engineering courses (ELEE) that pertain most closely to the student’s dissertation topic. These courses must be agreed upon by the student’s advisor and the Department. At least three of these nine Discipline Specific credits must be from classes that are 5000-level graduate-only (not cross-listed) courses. A partial list of these graduate-only classes is provided below:

    Electives/Focus Area courses are selected (with written approval of the student's advisor) from ELEE, ENGR, MENG, CSSE, CIVE, AEV, and/or ENT courses. Courses from additional departments may be permissible with written approval of the advisor, however, co-op related credits may not be used toward the requirements.


    Dissertation credits consist of research credits under the guidance of a doctoral dissertation committee headed by a faculty member who acts as the supervisor. Although doctoral research is independent, novel, and advances the state-of-the art, the committee members can provide guidance, advice and technical expertise. A minimum 30 dissertation credits is required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.  Dissertation credits may only be taken after passing the Qualifying Examinations.


    Examinations comprise three stages: Qualifying, Dissertation Topic and Final.

    The Qualifying Examination consists of two parts: Mathematics and Discipline-Specific (in this case, electrical and computer engineering topics relevant to the individual examinee). The Mathematics Qualifying Exam should be taken in the first year of the program and must be taken when the student has completed the Doctoral Core Courses. The Discipline-Specific Qualifying Exam is administered by the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science (ECECS) Department. This exam is comprised of a major area exam and a minor area exam. Major and minor areas are selected by the student in cooperation with his/her doctoral advisor. These exams are typically taken after the area-specific coursework has been completed. Students passing the Qualifying Examinations are allowed to advance in the doctoral program. Students can repeat each qualifying exam once. Students failing the second time are dismissed from the doctoral program.

    The Dissertation Topic Examination consists of the formal presentation of the dissertation topic to the advisory committee. The committee provides feedback to the student regarding scope, depth, and relevancy of the topic. With approval of the committee, the student can proceed with the research and subsequent accrual of dissertation credits.

    The Final Examination consists of the formal and public presentation of the dissertation results. The written dissertation must also be approved and accepted by the supervisory committee and the dean of the College. The Final Examination, in concert with submission of the approved version of the written dissertation, constitutes the last step in completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

    Information about the Mathematics Qualifying Examination can be found here.

    Master's and doctoral thesis guidelines can be found on the Engineering & Science website.

Program Contact Information

Department Chairperson: Mark Paulik, Ph.D.
Office: Engineering 330/331
Telephone: 313-993-3365
Email: ece_chair@udmercy.edu or paulikmj@udmercy.edu

Department website