Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EE:S Program - How to Transition from EE:S MS to EE:S PhD

This is the process for EE:S students interested in changing to PhD program prior to completion of the MS degree:

  1. Following the rules and timetable for the PhD qualification exam; take 4 courses approved for the Qual 1 exam during the first and second terms of enrollment.
  2. Initiate a research relationship with an EECS faculty member.
  3. Submit a Qual 1 application for the May, September, or January exam which is signed by the faculty member with whom research has either begun or is about to begin. This application must be signed by the EECS faculty member who is advising the student and offering financial support.
  4. Take and pass the Qual 1 exam.
  5. Complete the Rackham application for the PhD (Note: letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, etc. are not required since they are on record from the MS application).

As indicated above, financial support in the form of a research assistantship from a faculty member is necessary (but not sufficient) for transitioning from MS to PhD. Attaining such financial endorsement is not guaranteed and hard to predict. In the past several years since our new PhD funding model was implemented, a relatively small number of students (less than 5 each year) in the MS program have transitioned to the PhD.