Electrical Engineering Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

Master's

Plan 1: Thesis

Courses Units

Departmental courses (at least three at 400- or 500-level)

At least 6 of these courses must be taught by faculty with a primary appointment in EE.

9 - 10
EECS 590 Research 2-3
Total required units: 12

Plan 2: Project

Courses Units

Departmental courses (at least three at 400- or 500-level)

At least 6 of these courses must be taught by faculty with a primary appointment in EE.

10
EECS 590 Research (students doing Projects will not receive any credit for more than two EECS 590’s) 2
Total required units: 12

Plan 3: Course-only

Courses Units
Departmental courses (at least three at 400- or 500-level) 12
EECS 590 Research (students doing Course-only will not receive any credit for any EECS 590’s) 0
Total required units: 12

Other Degree Requirements

  • Oral Examinations:
    • Plan 1: oral defense of Master's thesis, in a manner specified by the thesis committee
    • Plan 2: evaluation of final project, in a manner specified by the project committee
  • Other:
    • Students seeking an exception to the requirement of 6 EE courses can appeal to the EECS graduate committee with approval of their advisor.
    • The only P/N course acceptable for the master's degree program is EECS 590 Research.
    • EECS 590 is not allowed for Plan 3.

PHD

Course Requirements

Courses Units
Total number of courses completed (maximum of 3 EECS 590 credits) 15
Total required units: 15

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Coursework:
    • courses taken for a grade include EECS 499, EECS 510, and EECS 545, but not EECS 590
    • at most 2 units of EECS 499 can be counted
    • at least 9 of the courses taken for a grade must be Northwestern graduate level courses
    • The only exception is that up to 6 of the 9 graduate level courses taken for a grade may be courses taken for graduate credit at other schools, subject to approval by the student's advisor and director of graduate studies.
    • non-departmental courses must be approved by the student's advisor

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Research: independent research leading to dissertation; research is begun by third quarter of first year or sooner, continuing through summer into second year
  • Teaching: at least two experiences as instructor, teaching assistant, or teaching trainee
  • Examinations: the examinations described below (Prospectus, Oral Thesis Defense, and Written Dissertation) vary by research group but must follow the timelines set by the Graduate School
  • Prospectus:  
    • Proposal of dissertation research topic to be reviewed in a format specified by the thesis committee (either orally, in writing, or both)
  • Oral Thesis Defense:
    • Oral defense of dissertation
  • Written Dissertation: 
    • PhD Dissertation, based on independent research in a standardized format specified by the Graduate School