PhD Plan of Study

Preparing the PhD Plan of Study

As soon as they arrive on campus, students see the Department Head or the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee for referral to a tentative advisor.  Before the student registers to take the DQE, he/she must file a Plan of Study.  The plan is reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee and forwarded to the Department Head, before being transmitted to the Graduate College by the Student Academic Specialist.  Forms for this purpose are available on-line, from the Student Academic Specialist, or at the Graduate College.  If the Plan of Study is approved at the department level, the Student Academic Specialist sends it to the Graduate College Degree Check unit before the required Graduate College deadlines.  If it is not approved at the college level, the form is returned to the student for changes and re-submission.

The Plan of Study is the student's contract with the university concerning specific course requirements that the student must satisfy before becoming eligible for the PhD degree.  This includes a minimum of 54 units of course work, at least 36 of which must be SIE-type courses approved by the faculty advisor and the Graduate Studies Committee, plus at least 18 units of dissertation research.  In addition, at least 21 units of the course work must be taken from the SIE Department.  At most 3 units of independent investigation may also be included, provided the study covers a topic not available through normal courses, a tangible course project is submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee, and prior approval is obtained from the Graduate Studies Committee.  SIE 900 Research units may not be counted toward a PhD Degree.  Students must take at least two and no more than three units of SIE 695a.  This class will be graded Pass/Fail.  To fulfill this requirement, the student must attend the department seminars during each semester enrolled.  Prior to completing the seminar requirement, the student must also give a research presentation to the class.

Subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee, a maximum of 24 units of course work applied toward a Master's degree may be applied toward the PhD as well.  Research credit that was applied toward a Master's degree cannot be applied toward the PhD degree.  Up to 24 units may be transferred from an MS program at another institution.

Minor Area and Foreign Language Requirement

All PhD students must choose at least one minor subject area.  The purpose of choosing a minor is to add breadth to their training.  Minors are normally taken outside the department, but students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for minor courses within the department.  A split minor between two departments is also possible.  All selections are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.  The minor requires 12 units, split minors require 6 units from each area.

The SIE Department does not have a formal foreign language requirement.

University of Arizona College of Engineering