FAQ for Prospective PhD Students
What is the availability of financial aid?
The department offers a limited number of research and teaching assistantships. All students who receive research and/or teaching assistantships are supported throughout the term of their degree program. Requests for research assistantships can be made directly to faculty members.
How are admission decisions made?
Admissions decisions are made by the Ph.D. Admission Committee based on a number of factors, including past academic performance, transcripts, research experience, letters of recommendation, the student’s statement of purpose, and their performance on an English proficiency test.
What are my chances of being admitted?
This depends on the individual qualities of the applicant (as measured by the above-described factors), but also the quality of the pool of applicants. For this reason, the Ph.D. Admission Committee does not provide preliminary assessments of your qualifications/odds for admission. Click here for more information.
How do I obtain application materials?
Please see our doctoral application page.
How long does the admissions process take?
The admissions process can take several months, depending on various factors. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all appropriate materials are forwarded to the graduate school and the department. The earlier the graduate school and department receive all application materials, the quicker the process will proceed. Students should apply by the deadlines to ensure full consideration; please read this page for more information
Is it better to apply for fall or spring admission to the doctoral program?
Students interested in joining our doctoral program are strongly encouraged to apply for fall admission. Spring admissions to the doctoral program are very rare, as they conflict with the natural sequence of classes that first-year students must take, Students interested in spring admission should apply by the deadline to ensure full consideration for spring admissions; read this page for more information. We do not admit doctoral students beginning in the summer semesters.
How do I check my admission status?
Click here to check the status of your application with the Office of Admissions. If you are unable to check your status through the admissions system, you may contact the ISE Academic Advising representative at email@example.com. Please allow sufficient time for a response, due to the large volume of inquiries and applications that are received.
FAQ for Current PhD Students
Can I take undergraduate courses and apply them towards my Ph.D. degree?
The graduate school allows graduate students to apply up to 6 credits of undergraduate work towards a graduate degree, provided that these credits are at the 3000 level or above, and are taken outside the major department (you cannot count ISE undergraduate courses).
Is there a limit on the number of ESI 6912 and EIN 6905 credits I can take?
Yes, you are limited to no more than 8 credits of ESI 6912 and no more than 9 credits of EIN 6905.
When should I name an adviser and create a committee?
You should officially name an adviser and create a committee by the end of the first year. The committee must have at least four members, and one member must be from an outside department. You should work with your chosen adviser on creating the committee.
In my first semester I was assigned to a particular professor as a research assistant. Do I have to name this person as my adviser?
Students that come in on research assistantships must be assigned to a supervisor for their assistantship in their first semester. There is no assumption that this person will be the thesis adviser. The student is free to choose any faculty member as an adviser, provided there is mutual agreement with the adviser.
When am I officially admitted to Ph.D. candidacy?
After successfully defending the Dissertation Proposal, the student will be admitted to candidacy.
I would like to earn a Master’s degree on my way to the Ph.D.; can this be done?
This can be done, but the student must fulfill all of the requirements for the Master’s degree. Please see our Master’s program description and the FAQ section for current Master’s degree students for the requirements for this degree. This must be done before the Dissertation Proposal Defense and is highly recommended that students complete this before the end of the second year.
When should I take the Qualifying Exam?
The Qualifying Exam for Ph.D. students with a Master’s degree must be taken by the end of the first year of graduate study unless prior permission is received by appeal to the graduate committee. The Qualifying Exam for Ph.D. students with a Bachelor’s degree can be taken by the end of the second year of graduate study with the approval of the graduate committee.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Send us an email and we will try to answer any questions you may have!