Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
 Year 1
The first academic year concentrates on foundation coursework followed by focus on a research area. The year consists of a minimum of 18 hours of coursework, which includes 6 hours of ELEC 599 - a research presentation, developed under the guidance of a faculty advisor and committee that qualifies the student for continuation in the Ph.D. program. A minimum of 9 hours of core coursework is required in semester 1. Any variance to this plan requires a written petition to and approval from the ECE Graduate Committee.

ELEC 599 is taken in the second semester of the first year, along with 3 hours of core coursework. A spring midterm progress evaluation will be conducted with the advisor to ensure the student’s project is on track. 

Year 2 and Thesis Defense
Early in the third semester, the student must develop a Ph.D. course plan (see Section V – Degree 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 the student’s file. Course plans may be revised, reapproved and resubmitted at any time over the course of the degree program.

M.S. degrees are expected to be obtained by the end of the 4th semester (second year, and no later than the end of the 8th semester). Once the student has completed the requisite hours, established a committee, performed research, written a thesis and is ready to defend, the student must submit the Petition for Approval of M.S. Candidacy to the Graduate Program Administrator. The student will schedule their oral presentations with their committees.

Years 3-8
In Year 3 and beyond, the student will perform his/her additional coursework and ELEC 800 totaling at least 30 hours for the M.S. and 90 for the Ph.D. All Rice graduate students must petition for Ph.D. candidacy before the start of the 9th semester (fifth year). Ph.D. degrees are expected to be obtained by the end of the 10th semester (fifth year) and no later than the end of the 16th semester (eighth year). Click here for time boundaries.