Time and Load Guidelines

The program will admit both full and part-time students. For all students, the program must be completed within a maximum of seven calendar years. If a student requires more than seven years, he/she must file a letter of appeal requesting a time extension to the Dean of the SOE and the Ph.D. program coordinator. A Ph.D. student (part-time or full-time) is expected to devote the necessary time to courses and research in order to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. Satisfactory progress includes active personal participation in the research and teaching environment of the School of Engineering. The student advisor and dissertation committee should advise the student as to his/her progress in the program. Full time students are required to register for at least nine credit hours each semester while part-time students are required to register for at least six credit hours per academic year (spring and fall semesters).

Course Work and Credit Hours

A Ph.D. candidate must complete at least 30 credit hours of course work, not including the dissertation, beyond the Masters degree. Upper level undergraduate remedial courses cannot be used to fulfill the coursework requirement. The Ph.D. dissertation will require a minimum of 15 credit hours to complete.

Course Grade Point Average

A Ph.D. student is expected to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 (or B) or more. If the cumulative G.P.A. falls below 3.0 in a semester, the student is automatically placed on probation. (Note: the grades in any transferred courses from another university are not used in G.P.A. calculation). If the cumulative G.P.A falls below a 3.0 in the second semester and the student achieves a cumulative G.P.A below a 3.0 in two successive semester, the student is separated from the university. A student may submit an appeal with respect to the separation process. No grade less than C (GPA of 2.0 out of 4.0) is acceptable towards course work requirements.

Ph.D. Program Coordinator

The coordinator supervises the implementation of the Ph.D. program. S/he is responsible for coordinating administrative functions related to the Ph.D. program including admission, marketing, appointment of advisors, and formation of dissertation committees, for each doctoral student. In addition, the coordinator is charged with preparing and administering the preliminary and the comprehensive examinations. The coordinator is also responsible for recommending courses for students who may not have the proper prerequisites for certain courses.


Each Ph.D. candidate, in her/his first semester, will be assigned a program advisor by the Ph.D. program coordinator. The advisor will develop a program of study for the student and monitor his/her progress until a dissertation committee is formed for the student. A dissertation advisor will be appointed for each student after he/she passes the comprehensive exams and perform all subsequent advising. The program advisor and dissertation advisor may be the same person or two different people. A student is required to form a dissertation committee in conjunction with the Ph.D. program coordinator after finishing the core Ph.D. courses (and passing the comprehensive written examination), so that a better understanding of the various topics and research interests in the department will, by then, have been achieved.

Comprehensive Examination

One of the major checkpoints in the Ph.D. program that assesses the breadth and depth of the student’s academic accomplishment and progress is the written comprehensive exam (Examination of Area 1 and 2 mastery) and oral dissertation proposal defense examination. The comprehensive examination will test the breadth and depth of knowledge in all aspects of Technology Management related to Areas 1 and 2. The comprehensive exam should be taken at the completion of all course work.

The Ph.D. Program Coordinator will organize this comprehensive examination, which will be developed and graded by faculty. The outcome of this examination will be a fail, pass, or conditional pass. Any requirements for the conditional pass should be cleared within one regular semester. In case the conditional pass requirements are not cleared within one semester, the conditional pass automatically changes to fail. A student can sit for this examination twice. A student who does not pass the comprehensive examination in two attempts will be dismissed from the program. A student may submit an appeal regarding the potential dismissal from the program.

Dissertation Committee and Oral Defense of Proposed Dissertation Topic in a Public Seminar

After passing the written comprehensive examination and selecting a dissertation advisor (or having an advisor appointed), a student is required to define a problem of merit, carry out a literature search and prepare a course of action to solve the selected problem. The candidate is expected to produce a dissertation proposal, which must be orally defended in a public seminar. The seminar of his/her research topic for the dissertation serves as the oral (proposal defense) part of the comprehensive exam. The Ph.D. coordinator awards a Pass/Fail grade after consultation with the student’s dissertation advisor and committee.
The Ph.D. Program Coordinator, in consultation with the dissertation advisor, recommends a dissertation committee for the student. The dissertation committee contains at least three members in addition to the dissertation advisor. At least four members of the dissertation committee must be from a professorial rank within the School of Engineering and/or School of Business. Additionally, an external examiner is appointed as well. The external examiner is one who is distinguished in the field of Technology Management. The Ph.D. Program Director and the Dean of the School of Engineering must approve the dissertation committee.

Admission to Candidacy

When a student passes the comprehensive examination satisfactorily, defends the Ph.D. dissertation proposal and fulfills all other requirements, s/he will be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy. This serves as another important milestone in the progress towards the Ph.D. degree.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The student is expected to work on the accepted topic and come up with original results. S/he has to report the results in the form of a Ph.D. dissertation. The student is encouraged to document the intermediate results in the form of technology management reports. S/he is also encouraged to publish these results as they are discovered, in refereed conference proceedings and journals. Intermediate results can also be discussed in departmental seminars. The completed dissertation must be distributed to the dissertation committee members at least two weeks before the dissertation defense. The committee will read it and certify that the dissertation is a work of substantial merit and that it can be defended. It is the responsibility of the student that the final draft of the dissertation addresses all legitimate concerns of the committee members.

Dissertation Defense Examination

After securing approval from the dissertation committee members regarding the worthiness of the dissertation, a student will proceed with a request for the dissertation defense examination. The chairman of the dissertation committee will chair the examination. The student will schedule a convenient time for a public defense. It is the responsibility of the student to find a time that is suitable to all the members of the dissertation committee, at least two weeks prior to the defense. At the end of the defense, the decision of the dissertation committee will be pass or fail. It is the responsibility of the dissertation advisor to see that the comments and the criticism of the audience are addressed adequately in the final version of the dissertation. Based on the recommendation of the dissertation committee, the Ph.D. Coordinator, the Director of Technology Management and the Dean of the School of Engineering will recommend the Ph.D. degree, subject to the satisfaction of all other formal requirements.

M.S. in Technology Management

The Department of Technology Management offers both a M.S. and Ph.D. in Technology Management. For more information on the master’s degree program go to Technology Management (M.S.) information.