The research-based Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering and Applied Science prepares students for positions in academia, industry, or consulting in a specific engineering or applied science discipline with coursework and research tailored to the student’s particular interests and professional goals.
Students identify a field of research at the time of admission that aligns with their career goals, previous educational experience, and existing faculty expertise. Disciplines represented include biomedical engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, cybersecurity, data science, electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering. Specific specializations will necessarily depend on faculty research interests which, based upon current active research groups, may include such fields as biomaterials for medical devices, tissue engineering, rapid detection of microbes, cybersecurity and forensics, artificial intelligence, data science, nondestructive evaluation, radar signal processing, renewable energy systems, wireless communication and advanced antennas, structural engineering, sustainability in engineering, and environmental remediation.
Coursework is likewise tailored to a student’s research interest and prior academic background.
Students entering directly into the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree will take at minimum 36 credits of coursework (12 courses: 3 Common, 9 Technical Core), of which 27 credits must be completed before taking the qualifying exam (3 semesters full-time). Students wanting a master’s degree en passat must take an additional 15 credits of coursework (5 courses).
Students entering with an appropriately preparatory master’s degree may satisfy up to 18 credits of Technical Core courses. In this case students will require 18 credits of coursework taken at the University of New Haven (6 courses: 3 Common, 3 Technical Core), of which 9 credits must be completed prior to the qualifying exam (1 semester full-time). Students wanting a second master’s degree must fully complete all requirements for that degree separate from the Ph.D. requirements.
All Ph.D. students shall be required to take three 3-credit, 7000-level Common Courses covering research methods and ethics, grant writing and management, and focused technical knowledge at a post-master’s level. Students will also take nine 3-credit graduate-level Technical Core courses following an individualized program of study which is developed prior to admission and generally follows existing master’s degree worksheets of various programs within the College of Engineering.
Students will take the qualifying exam after their first (students entering with master’s degrees) or third (students entering with bachelor’s degrees) semester. These exams will be offered twice a year, before the start of the fall and spring semesters. The format of this exam will be decided by the Engineering and Applied Science Ph.D. Program Oversight Committee (containing members from each program represented in the Ph.D. program appointed by the Dean and chaired by the Ph.D. program coordinator) with input from the students’ programs. Students will have at most two attempts. Students not passing the qualifying exam are dismissed from the Ph.D. program but should have completed the requirements for a master’s degree.
Students successfully passing the qualifying exam become Ph.D. candidates and are enrolled in Dissertation Research (3 credits each semester, counts as full-time enrollment). Students must complete a minimum of 15 credits of Dissertation Research (5 semesters).
The final required component for graduation is the successful oral defense of a written dissertation of the student’s original research. This will be adjudicated by a committee containing no fewer than four members, all of whom, including the major advisor, must hold a doctoral degree. The dissertation committee will include the primary research advisor (acting as chair), at least two University faculty members who have expertise in the field, and at least one additional member who is either external to the University or external to the College of Engineering.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the Engineering and Applied Science Ph.D. program, students will have individualized programs of study for the required coursework. Each applicant is required to find a primary advisor prior to admission. This advisor is the primary academic contact for the student and is responsible for creating an individualized plan of study. In general, this will be the primary research advisor for the student as well, although the student may change advisor under special circumstances. This advisor is expected to evaluate each student’s progress in the program at least once per academic year, with written evaluations shared with the student.
Admissions decisions are made by the Engineering and Applied Science Ph.D. Program Oversight Committee with the addition of the student’s primary advisor. Students wishing to change advisors after matriculation will be required to meet with the current advisor, proposed advisor, and Ph.D. program coordinator, who will together make a decision in the best interests of the student.
Standards for admission are as follows:
• Successful completion of an MS degree in a related STEM area with a GPA of at least 3.5; or successful completion of a BS degree in a related STEM area with a GPA of at least 3.5
• A strong statement of research aligned with the research expertise of one or more STEM-focused faculty at the University
• Willingness of a STEM-focused faculty member in the University to supervise the candidate upon successful completion of the qualifying examination
Goals of the Engineering and Applied Science Ph.D. Program include:
1. Preparing exceptional students for careers at academic institutions and industry
2. Offering students the knowledge and experiences required to respond to 21st century challenges across a broad field of specialties
3. Training students to conduct research and disseminate results in an ethical and professional manner
4. Providing a curriculum that develops critical and analytical thinking skills through an integrative approach of instruction, research, and evidence-based practices
Upon completion of the Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science program, graduates will be able to:
1. Apply critical thinking skills in foundational areas of engineering and applied science.
2. Detail the current state of knowledge in an engineering or applied science specialty and apply it to solve modern problems.
3. Integrate knowledge and skills to design, conduct, analyze, and publish original research findings.
4. Illustrate effective skills in technical written and oral communication.