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Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ph.D. Programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering

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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell offers graduate programs leading the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. 
There are several active research areas in the ECE Department, including Communications, Computer Architecture, Control Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Distributed Networking, Embedded Systems, Metamaterials, Optoelectronic Devices, Power Distribution, Alternative Energy Sources, and Nanotechnology. Details of the various research groups within the department can be viewed on the research page. Specific information concerning each faculty member can be viewed on the individual faculty pages.

Coordinator Contact Information

Alkim Akyurtlu
E-mail: alkim_akyurtlu@uml.edu
Telephone: 978-934-3336

A total of 63 credit hours of graduate level courses are required for the Ph.D. degrees. These credits are composed of the following components:

  1. The Ph.D. degree must involve a traditional research-based dissertation, plus:
    • A minimum of 30 approved credit hours of graduate-level electrical and computer engineering courses. 9 of these credits must come from the Core courses listed in on the Electrical & Computer Engineering Doctoral Programs webpage in the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog.
    • A minimum of 21 credit hours of doctoral dissertation.
    • The balance of the remaining 12 credits can be a mix of graduate-level engineering including associated science and math course and dissertation credits at the discretion of the department, faculty advisor and dissertation committee.
  2. In addition to the 63 credit hours of approved graduate courses and dissertation:
    • The student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 to graduate.
  3. Residency is no longer required for Ph.D. students
  4. The ECE graduate seminar course is no longer a requirement.
All applicants for the Ph.D. programs in Electrical Engineering must take the GRE general examination. Official transcripts and three letters of recommendation must be submitted along with the graduate application. Foreign students without a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution are required to take the TOEFL examination. After the minimum requirements are met, the EE Graduate Committee evaluates each case on an individual basis.

Although, there are no deadlines for applications, in order to be considered for a Department Teaching Assistantship (TA), the applications for the Fall semester must be complete by February 15. Formal and complete graduate application procedures for UMass Lowell as well as the application packets may be found through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Applicants must have a BS or MS degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering or their equivalent from a recognized college or university with an acceptable quality of prior academic work. Applicants must submit official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate courses. Each applicant must submit an official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores. The TOEFL exam is required for students from abroad whose native language is not English.

Financial assistance is an important issue during graduate school. Currently, both Full Research and Teaching Assistantships provide tuition waiver and a stipend. However, admission to the graduate program in ECE Department does not guarantee financial assistance. Admitted students without firm offers of financial support must be prepared to cover the full cost of tuition, supplies, room and board, etc., from personal sources.
  • Financial Information
  • Teaching Assistantships: A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available for matriculated, full-time (minimum of 9 credits/semester) graduate students. Assistantships are assigned by the student's department and are subject to the agreement between UMass Lowell and UAW/Graduate Employees Organization. Duties typically include teaching of undergraduate laboratories, grading, or other tasks related to undergraduate instruction. No teaching duties are required during the Summer session but the student is expected to progress significantly on his or her research during the summer. All interested in TA support, should complete the TA Application form (pdf). The form should be sent directly to the ECE Doctoral Coordinator by March 1 for students beginning in the Fall semester. More details on Assistantships can be found on this financial information page.
  • Research Assistantships: Research assistantships (RA) are administered by individual faculty members, and thus selection for these requires a close match between the needs of the faculty member and the applicant's qualifications. In exceptional cases, RAs may be awarded to incoming students who have outstanding credentials. You are encouraged to contact faculty members via email to explore opportunities for RA funding. Details of each faculty members research can be viewed on the individual faculty home pages.
The June 2020 Qualifier Exam was cancelled. The exam, for those who entered Fall 2019 and later has been modified. Please read the Qualifier Exam Policy in the academic catalog. If you have any questions, please email the ECE Ph.D. Coordinator (Alkim_Akyurtlu@uml.edu).