The ISE Department is offering an application fee waiver to all prospective international applicants to our PhD program for Fall 2024. Please email if you have any questions and/or to request this waiver.

PHD Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 90 credits is required for the Ph.D. degree. The breakdown of credits is as follows:

  • Graduate Coursework (5000 level and above)– 30 credits 
  • Qualifying Examination Courses – 9 credits
  • Breadth Requirement – 9 credits
  • Advanced Electives/Research – 27 credits
  • Dissertation Research – 15 credits

*Ph.D. students are to complete two semesters of the Graduate Seminar Course, EIN 6918 (01 credit) within their first two years of study. These 02 credit hours can be applied towards the minimum 90 credit requirement for completing the Ph.D. program.

Qualifying Exam

Successful completion of the Qualifying Exam is the first step in the Doctoral Program. Please visit our Qualifying Exam page to learn more about the Exam.

Supervisory Committee & Plan of Study

After passing the QE, students should form a Ph.D. Supervisory Committee. The committee must consist of at least four members, including your faculty advisor, at least one additional faculty member from the ISE department, and at least one external faculty member. Once you have formed your supervisory committee, students should then prepare a plan of study that reflects their specialization area, and submit the plan to the Supervisory Committee for approval.

Dissertation Proposal

The defined purpose of the dissertation proposal (DP) is to evaluate student knowledge of the context and methods of their identified research area. At this stage, the student is evaluated by the supervisory committee for expertise in a specific area. This evaluation is to ensure that a student meets a standard of research expertise in a specific area, such as applied operations research, operations research, human-systems, etc. The DP serves as a quality control process for the supervisory committee.

Ph.D. students are expected to complete the DP defense after the end of their second year of study. Students are responsible for scheduling the date, time and location with their Supervisory Committee. Students need to see the Graduate Advisor once they have selected a date and time for their DP defense in order to ensure proposal documents are prepared ahead of time.

Students need to prepare a DP of approximately 6-10 pages (12 point font, inch margins, single-spacing) that describes their proposed dissertation research. This DP is intended to demonstrate knowledge of the context of students’ current research. The following structure should be used:

  • Introduction
  • Motivation and Significance
  • Background and Prior Research
  • Preliminary Research Results
  • Proposed Research
  • Timeline

At least two weeks prior to the DP defense, students must submit their proposal to their Supervisory Committee for review. The DP defense should start with a 20-25 minute presentation of the proposal, followed by questions of the Supervisory Committee. The length of the exam is expected to be 1-2 hours.

After a satisfactory presentation and defense of your DP and submission of a final approved DP, you will be admitted to PhD candidacy.

Guidelines for theses and dissertations

Every dissertation is bound and made a part of the library of the University of Florida. The highest standards of composition, typography, and format must be used. (A booklet on Procedures for Binding and Submission of Theses and Dissertations is available from the Graduate School.) Hardbound copies are required for the Dean of Engineering and the Department, in addition to the Graduate School Requirements.

Oral Defense

Thesis students must defend their defense at an oral examination with the Supervisory Committee. The defense may include questions of a general nature on topics of the program of study. Students must be registered during the semester in which the oral examination is taken, and also at the time the degree is actually conferred.

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