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Electrical and Computer Engineering
 
 

ECE Graduate Handbook


Timelines and Procedures, Candidacy and Defense



M.S./Ph.D. Timelines and Procedures

• First semester - a minimum of 9 hours of core coursework is required.
• Second semester - ELEC 599 (6 hours) and at least 3 hours of core coursework are required.
• Third semester and beyond - additional coursework and ELEC 800 (1-15 hours) - totaling at least 30 hours for the M.S. and 90 hours for the Ph.D. (Students entering with *approved previous M.S. degrees will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate Committee, but minimal requirements are 18 hours of course credit in addition to ELEC 800.)

*See footnotes of the Ph.D. Course Plan form for more detail. 

• Early in the third semester (by October 15), students must develop a Ph.D. course plan* approved by their advisor and co-signed by a member of the ECE Graduate Committee. It is then submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator for student’s file. Course plans may be revised, reapproved and resubmitted at any time over the course of the M.S./Ph.D. program.

Time to degree - Barring a written exemption from the Graduate Committee, the M.S. must be completed within
3 years of entering the M.S./Ph.D. program, the Ph.D from B.S. within 6 years, and the Ph.D. from previous M.S. within 4 years.

Petitioning for Candidacy

M.S. Candidacy - When a student has completed the requisite hours (30 from within the Ph.D. course plan),
has established a committee, has performed research, has written a thesis, and is ready to defend, the Petition for Approval of M.S. Candidacy form is submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator along with a current transcript and a copy of his/her course plan by no later than the end of the 4th semester (second year). The form requires the Department Chair’s signature and approval by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS).

The student then receives an initialed Approval of Candidacy form, which is signed by members of the student’s committee upon passing the M.S. defense. This form is copied to the student’s file and submitted to the Office of GPS. The student has six months to submit his/her signed thesis to the Office of GPS, at which time the student becomes a Master’s Degree Candidate.

Additionally, if a student plans to defend and submit a thesis for the next degree conferral, students must file their applications for approval of Ph.D. and M.A./M.S. candidacy in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before November 1 for mid-year conferral and before March 1 for May conferral.

One week prior to defending, the student must submit the following information to the Office of GPS, the Rice Events Calendar, and The ECE Department listservs: defense date, time, location, title and abstract, as well as the names, titles and departments of committee members. http://graduate.rice.edu/thesis/

Ph.D. Candidacy - In order to petition for Ph.D. degree candidacy, a student must have (a) completed
45 semester hours of advanced studies as approved by the Department and achieved at least a 3.0(B) in each of these courses, (b) successfully completed ELEC 599, and (c) earned a Master of Science degree from Rice University, or have an equivalent Master of Science degree, as decided by the ECE Graduate Committee and successful completion of ELEC 599.  The Petition for Approval of Ph.D. Candidacy form is then submitted to the ECE Graduate Program Administrator along with a current transcript and a copy of his/her course plan before the start of the 9th semester (fifth year). The Department Chair’s signature is required on the petition, which is then submitted along with the transcript and course plan to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) for approval.

The student then receives an initialed Approval of Candidacy form that is signed by the student’s committee members upon passing the Ph.D. defense. This form is copied to the student’s file and submitted to the Office of GPS. The student has 6 months to submit a signed thesis to the Office of GPS, at which time the student becomes a Doctoral Degree Candidate.

Additionally, if a student plans to defend and submit a thesis for the next degree conferral, students must file their applications for approval of Ph.D. and M.A./M.S. candidacy in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before November 1 for mid-year conferral and before March 1 for May conferral.

Two weeks prior to defending, the student must submit the following information to the Office of GPS, the Rice Events Calendar, and The ECE Department listservs: defense date, time, location, title and abstract, as well as the names, titles and departments of committee members. http://graduate.rice.edu/thesis/

PhD Thesis Proposal - After a student petitions for candidacy, but before defending his/her thesis, the student must present a thesis proposal. This is done after a research direction has been decided on and after preliminary results are achieved, but with enough time remaining to include any redirections recommended by committee members. This usually occurs over 1 year before the PhD Defense. The ECE Graduate Program Administrator will generate a form letter for the student’s committee members to approve of the thesis proposal following the presentation. The student may only defend his/her thesis after successfully presenting the thesis proposal and upon approval of the committee members.

One week prior to defending, the student must submit the following information to the ECE Graduate Program Administrator and ECE Department listservs: proposal date, time, location, title and abstract, as well as the names, titles and departments of committee members



Degree Candidate Status - means the student has completed all requirements for the degree and all that remains is degree conferral in January or May.

 

Very Important Deadlines

Fall 2013:

Friday, September 6, 2013 - Last day to complete late registration.

Friday, November 1, 2013- Last day to file the following in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for December 2013 degree conferral.
• thesis master’s candidacy petitions
• certification of non-thesis master’s
• Ph.D. candidacy petitions

Noon, Friday, December 6, 2013 - Deadline for submitting theses to Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a mid year conferral of Degree.

Spring 2014:

Friday, January 24, 2014 - Last day to complete late registration.

Friday, February 28, 2014 - Last day to file the following in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a May 2014 degree conferral.
• thesis master’s candidacy petitions
• certification of non-thesis master’s
• Ph.D. candidacy petitions

Noon, Friday, April 25, 2014 - Deadline for submitting theses to Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a May conferral of Degree.

M.E.E. Timelines and Procedures

M.E.E. students are required to take 10 courses and 30 semester hours of coursework. Since M.E.E. students enrolled for both full or part time, timelines are established by the student in consultation with the advisor based on career objectives.

A course plan is determined during the first few weeks of classes and submitted to Graduate Program Administrator (no later than Oct. 15). Course plans may be revised, reapproved and resubmitted at any time over the course of the M.E.E. program.

When a student nears the end of M.E.E. studies, a Petition for Certification of Non-Thesis Master’s Degree is completed, approved by department chair and submitted to GPS along with current transcript. See form.