Electrical & Computer Engineering PHD

Program Purpose

The mission of the Electrical and Computer Engineeringgraduate program is to develop and train engineers who contribute to science and engineering through scholarly research, improve society through the creative practice of engineering, serve in positions of technical leadership, and demonstrate faith, character, lifelong learning, and high professional ethics. Through instruction in advanced Electrical and Computer Engineering topics, students will learn analytical thinking, language, and skills associated with the discipline. By participating in research with faculty mentors, students will learn how to conduct scholarly research and contribute new ideas and engineering concepts to society.

Curricular Structure

Graduate Catalog


Electrical Engineering PhD

The engineering PhD student collaborates with a faculty advisor on a topic that may have a lasting influence on theoretical understanding or on professional practice. Although courses on advanced topics in one of the four areas of emphasis are taken, the PhD is primarily a research experience that requires an ability to identify, investigate, formulate, and solve new problems of interest. The results of this exercise are reported in a dissertation and in the research literature. Careers for PhD graduates are characterized by the expectation to act with considerable independence and to assume major responsibilities. The PhD graduate is prepared for a wide range of career choices in industry, government agencies, and academia.

PhD Degree Objectives

The PhD degree program is guided by a set of degree objectives that define desired accomplishments of students who complete the PhD degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering in the years following graduation. The degree objectives for PhD student graduates are listed below.

  1. Apply knowledge in service to community and family and engage in lifelong learning through personal study and education.
  2. Obtain employment that utilizes PhD level training, including positions such as academic faculty appointment, post-doctoral research, researcher within industrial or government laboratories, and other principal positions of technical creativity, leadership, and management.
  3. Play a leading role in making significant contributions to engineering and technology.
  4. Be examples of faith, character, and high professional ethics.

Learning Outcomes

The PhD degree program is guided by a set of Learning Outcomes that define the skills, attributes, and knowledge that students should possessat the time of graduation in order to attain the PhD degree objectives described above. The learning outcomes for student PhD graduates are:

Oral and Written Communication

Communicate difficult technical concepts both orally and in writing.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively
Mastery of Fundamental Concepts

Mastery of fundamental concepts in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence
Conduct Independent Research

Conduct independent research.

Courses that Contribute: EC EN 799R
Linked to BYU Aims: Lifelong learning
Dissemination of Research Results

Disseminate research results through peer-review and publication.

Courses that Contribute: EC EN 799R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively
Teaching and Mentoring

Teach or mentor other students in classroom or directed research activities.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Lifelong service

Evidence of Learning

A variety of assessment tools are available for measuring student learning. A variety of direct and indirect assessment tools are used for evaluating the success of each of the PhD learning outcomes listed above. The assessment tools to demonstrate evidence of learning for each degree program are listed below.

  1. Bi-annual graduate student ratings reports produced by advisor
  2. Research advisory committee's evaluation of student's performance with respect to the learning outcomes at the time of the dissertation defense.
  3. Faculty evaluation of student performance on competency exam.
  4. Research advisory committee's evaluation of student performance on qualifying exam.
  5. Publication of student writing in peer-reviewed publication.
  6. Student grades in courses listed in program of study.
  7. Program evaluation by students (completed at the time of graduation).
  8. Online Course and Faculty Evaluations by students.

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

The department continually monitors the achievement of the degree objectives and learning outcomes for each of the graduate programs. The graduate committee meets regularly to discuss graduate program issues, propose changes, and improve student learning. The following formal mechanisms are currently in place for evaluating and improving student learning at the graduate level:

  1. Institutional reviews of graduate program.
  2. Yearly faculty stewardship interviews with department chair.
  3. Student feedback from course evaluations.
  4. Department advisory board recommendations and feedback.
  5. Yearly department retreat.