The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering stimulates excellence in scholarship and research through close contact with the faculty and programs tailored to fit students' individual needs.
Students select an advisor and, with the advisor, plan an individual program bounded only by the broad guidelines of the Graduate College and the program. The department maintains close interdisciplinary ties with other University of Iowa departments, especially with the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Computer Science (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); the Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, and the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering (College of Engineering); and the Carver College of Medicine. Principal areas of graduate study include medical image analysis, signal and image processing, control systems and systems theory, wireless communications, waves and materials, computer systems, and computational genomics. View principal areas of study under Research and Study Areas in the Electrical and Computer Engineering section of the Catalog.
The Doctor of Philosophy program in electrical and computer engineering requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. At least 45 s.h. must be earned in formal coursework (not in thesis work or other independent study), including 30 s.h. from an approved list of electrical and computer engineering courses. For the list of approved courses, see the Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Manual. Each Ph.D. student's study plan must be approved by the student's advisor and by the graduate committee. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.25 or higher in all graduate coursework.
Acceptance to the Ph.D. program requires successful completion of the Ph.D. qualifying process. The qualifying process consists of two parts—an examination and a course breadth requirement. The half-day written exam is given once a year, late in the spring semester. It covers two subjects chosen by a student from a list of nine. Students normally are expected to take the qualifying examination within the first 30 s.h. of their graduate studies. A cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25 is required for admittance to the exam. Students who fail the examination may retake it only once the next time it is offered.
To complete the breadth requirement, students must take two courses associated with the same list of nine subjects that the examination is drawn from and complete the courses with grades of at least A-minus. The breadth courses must not duplicate the subjects chosen for the examination and must be completed within the fourth semester of graduate study.
Ph.D. students take a qualifying examination and a comprehensive examination. Then they must successfully complete a research program that includes a minimum of 18 s.h. of Ph.D. research and culminates in the preparation of a thesis. Finally, the candidate must present a successful oral defense of the thesis.
Following successful completion of the qualifying examination and invitation to the Ph.D. program, a student must complete the two-part comprehensive examination. The first part is a written research proposal that includes a thorough literature survey providing the motivation and background for the proposal. The second part is an oral examination.
Students must pass the qualifying examination before they may take the comprehensive exam, and they must complete the comprehensive exam no later than three calendar years after passing the qualifying exam. Students who fail to meet this deadline must retake the qualifying exam. The qualifying exam and the comprehensive exam may not be taken in the same semester.
The final requirement for completion of the Ph.D. program is the preparation and successful defense of the thesis. This must be completed no sooner than six months but no longer than three years after completion of the comprehensive examination.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website.
Applicants must have a g.p.a. of at least 3.25 on all electrical and computer engineering, mathematics, and physics coursework.
Each application is reviewed individually. Extenuating circumstances may permit deviations from the usual standards.
A number of fellowships, traineeships, assistantships, scholarships, and industrial grants are available to graduate students who qualify. These are awarded on a competitive basis.
Engineering is a well-respected profession that is used as a foundation for a variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, government, and consulting. Graduates consistently rank among the most sought after and highest-paid technology professionals.
Engineering Career Services develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair and other career-development programming each semester.
Engineering Career Services also offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.