Admission Requirements



Admission Requirements for Students Holding a Master's Degree

Applicants to the PhD program must hold a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering or a related discipline from AUB or another recognized institution of higher education, with a minimum cumulative average of 85 over 100 or its equivalent. Admission is determined by evaluating the following:

  • Academic transcripts from the institution(s) of higher education attended by the applicant
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores
  • A written statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A portfolio that includes a resume and samples of work
  • An interview conducted with the ECE Graduate Committee (EGC) in person, by phone or over the Internet
  • Satisfaction of the university requirements for admission to PhD programs

Program Requirements for Students Holding a Master's Degree

Completion of at least 48 credits of graduate study consisting of combined course work and research beyond the master's degree is required for the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. A minimum of 18 credits of course work and a minimum of 24 credits of research and thesis work are required.

The basic program of study for the PhD degree is built around one major area and at least one minor area. Students take courses to satisfy the major and minor area requirements and acquire the knowledge needed for the written and oral examinations.

  • The major area has to be in one of the ECE areas.
  • Students must take at least 4 graduate courses, including courses prior to admission to the PhD program, in their PhD major area.
  • Students must also take at least 2 graduate courses in their PhD minor area, including courses taken prior to admission to the PhD program.
  • The minor courses have to be from one of the ECE areas.

Students must maintain a cumulative average of 85 over 100 in order to remain in good standing. The cumulative average is calculated for courses taken beyond the master's degree. Students will be placed on probation if they fail a course (below 70) or have a cumulative average that falls below 85. In such cases, students have one semester to raise their cumulative average to a minimum grade of 85 and have to repeat failed courses as soon as the concerned courses are offered. Failure to do so will result in academic dismissal. Students cannot earn a PhD with a cumulative average below 85.

PhD Qualifying Exam for Students Holding a Master's Degree

Refer to the General University Academic Information section.

Qualifying Exam Part I: Comprehensive Exam for Students Holding a Master's Degree

After taking at least 15 credits of coursework and mastering the knowledge delineated in the PhD major area, students take the Qualifying Exam Part I: Comprehensive Exam. The exam is given twice a year at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students are informed beforehand of the subjects that will be covered in the examination. Students who do not pass may repeat the exam only once during the following semester. If students do not pass the exam after their second attempt, they will be asked to discontinue their PhD studies.

Students sit for two exams that together constitute the comprehensive examination with one in the major area and one in the minor area. These two exams are taken separately at different times during the same examination period. The major area exam consists of eight questions, out of which five questions should be answered in four hours. The minor area exam consists of six questions, out of which three questions should be answered in two and a half hours. The area exams are prepared by the corresponding area faculty committee and are designed to evaluate the student's understanding of the fundamentals in the area. Passing the comprehensive exam requires an average of no less than 80 over 100, with no less than 80 over 100 in the major area and no less than 70 over 100 in the minor area. Refer to the General University Academic Information section.

Admission to Candidacy for Students Holding a Master's Degree

Students must be admitted to candidacy at least two semesters before obtaining the PhD degree. For admission to candidacy, students are expected to have:

  • Submitted a program approved by the thesis committee, ECE Graduate Committee (EGC), MSFEA Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) and Graduate Council (GC),
  • Passed the Qualifying Exam Part I and II,
  • Completed at least 12 credits of graduate courses beyond the master's degree,
  • Attained a cumulative average of at least 85 in all courses taken beyond the master's degree,
  • And maintained good academic standing.

Residence Requirements for Students Holding a Master's Degree

A student must register for at least four semesters beyond the completion of the master's degree. Requirements for the PhD degree must be completed within a period of five years after starting graduate work beyond the master's degree. Extension beyond the five-year limit requires the approval of the EGC, MSFEA GSC and GC.

Admission Requirements for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree (Accelerated PhD Track)

  • A bachelor degree with a minimum major and cumulative average of 85 over 100 or its equivalent,
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores,
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from the FYP supervisor),
  • An applicant's written statement of purpose that shows the research potential in the proposed area of study
  • A two-three page research proposal
  • Performance of the candidate in the EECE 499 research-based course if taken
  • An interview conducted with the ECE Graduate Committee (EGC) in person, by phone or over the Internet

Course Requirements for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree

The completion of at least 78 credits of graduate study consisting of combined coursework and research beyond the bachelor's degree is required for the accelerated PhD track in Electrical and Computer Engineering. A minimum of 36 credit hours must be in approved graduate level course work and a minimum of 30 credit hours in thesis work. In addition, normally a maximum of 6 credit hours out of the 36 credits of coursework may be in tutorial courses.

The basic program of study for the accelerated PhD track is built around one major area and a minimum of one minor area. Students take courses to satisfy the major and minor area requirements and to acquire the knowledge needed for the Qualifying Exam Part I and II.

  • The major area has to be in one of the ECE areas.
  • Students must take at least six graduate level courses in their PhD major area.
  • Students must take at least three graduate level courses in their PhD minor area.
  • The minor courses have to be from one of the ECE areas.

PhD Qualifying Exam for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree

Refer to the General University Academic Information section.

Qualifying Exam Part I: Comprehensive Exam for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree

Comprehensive examinations are written exams taken after completing a minimum of 30 credits of course requirements for the accelerated track. Timing of the examination is set by the department/ program no later than the sixth regular semester of the PhD student's enrollment. Refer to the General University Academic Information section.

Residence Requirements for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree

The student must register for at least eight semesters beyond the completion of the bachelor's degree. Requirements for the PhD degree in the accelerated track must be completed within a period of six years after starting graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree. Extension beyond the six-year limit requires the approval of the EGC, MSFEA GSC and GC.

Students deemed by the department, within one to two years after admission into the accelerated track, as not qualified to complete a PhD degree may be granted a master's degree in the area after completing the equivalence of a non-thesis master's. Every effort will be made to screen students carefully to assure their potential and aptitude as researchers prior to acceptance. This may be accomplished by having selected students participate in ongoing research projects while they are registered undergraduates.

Admission to Candidacy for Students Holding a Bachelor's Degree

Students must be admitted to candidacy at least two semesters before obtaining the PhD degree. For admission to candidacy, students are expected to have:

  • Submitted a program approved by the thesis committee, EGC, MSFEA GSC and GC,
  • Passed the oral qualifying examination,
  • Completed at least 30 credits of graduate level courses beyond the bachelor's degree,
  • Attained a cumulative average of at least 85 in all courses taken beyond the bachelor's degree, and maintained good academic standing.

PhD Thesis Committee

In accordance to the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education, the thesis committee should be composed of at least five faculty members:

  • Chair of the committee, advisor and at least one member from the student's department/program
  • Two members must be from outside the university
  • At least four committee members must be from the student's major area
  • All members must hold doctoral degrees
  • The advisor and at least three of the members must be of professorial rank
  • The chair of the thesis committee must be a full professor and cannot be the advisor

Members of the committee are recommended by the student's thesis advisor and approved by the Graduate Committee of the ECE department, MSFEA Graduate Studies Committee and Graduate Council.

The committee approves the thesis topic and research plan, administers the oral Qualifying Exam (Part II) and conducts the thesis defense. The thesis proposal and selection of the committee should be approved at least two semesters before the thesis defense.

Any changes in the committee, including the thesis advisor, must receive the approval of the EGC, MSFEA GSC and GC.

PhD Thesis Proposal

Refer to PhD Thesis Proposal under General University Academic Information section.

Qualifying Exam Part II: Defense of Thesis Proposal

Within two semesters of passing the comprehensive examination, the student must take an oral qualifying examination, administered by her/his thesis committee. The defense of the PhD thesis proposal is considered part of the oral qualifying examination. In addition to reviewing the prospectus of the thesis, the nature and content of the examination are related to the student's field of research. Refer to Qualifying Exam Part II: Defense of Thesis Proposal under General University Academic Information section.

PhD Thesis

The student must submit a thesis based on the results of original and independent research. The PhD thesis is expected to make a significant contribution to the field of electrical and computer engineering. Upon its completion and after its approval by the thesis advisor, the thesis must be defended orally. Refer to PhD Thesis Format under General University Academic Information section.

PhD Thesis Defense

Refer to PhD Thesis Defense under General University Academic Information section.

Seminar Requirement

The student must register for the EECE 797 Seminar as long as s/he is enrolled in the program.

Program Completion Requirements

To earn the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the student must complete the following requirements:

  • Have at least one journal article, based on the PhD thesis, accepted in a leading international journal in the field of specialty subjected to at least two reviews. Additionally, at least two refereed conference papers based on the thesis must have appeared in conference proceedings,
  • Have a cumulative average, beyond the master's degree, of 85 or above and be in good academic standing,
  • Satisfy the course and research credit requirements,
  • Pass the comprehensive and oral qualifying examinations,
  • Complete and successfully defend a PhD thesis, and
  • Satisfy the residence requirement and all other pertinent AUB regulations.

PhD Major or Minor Areas

The PhD major or minor areas of study with their corresponding courses are the same as those listed for the master's degree. ​​