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PhDEE Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering

The PhD program requires a minimum of 60 units of graduate level course work beyond the BS degree. The course work is developed by the student with the committee chairman and must have the approval of the committee and the Electrical Engineering Department Chairman. The following are guidelines in developing the PhD program:
  • Two-thirds of the course work is to be at the 500 level or above and must be in academic area approved by faculty advisors.
  • Sufficient work must be done in one area of Electrical Engineering (established by the committee chairman) to permit passing of the screening exam in that area. Although not a department requirement, the guidance committee chairman may require a student to take a minor within EE.
  • An outside minor consisting of at least three courses, two of which must be upper division graduate courses (500 level). To be acceptable for the minor, a course must:
    • Be outside the EE Department
    • Not be cross-listed with the EE Department
    • Be approved by the student's guidance committee chairman. This requirement is optional for the PhD in EE-Electrophysics.

Click here to apply for admission.

Residence Requirement

The equivalent of at least one year of full-time graduate study (12 units not including dissertation) must be done in residence at USC. It is not necessary that the 12 units be accomplished in a single academic year; however, the residency requirement may not be interrupted by study elsewhere.
Screening Exam


  • A student may take the Screening Exam only if they have already been accepted into the PhD program.
  • Students must take the Screening Exam in his chosen field by the end of the second year of attendance in the PhD program. This includes students admitted from the BS as well as the MS.
  • If a student fails the exam on the first attempt, a meeting with the exam coordinator of that exam will help to determine which areas need improvement. A student may take the exam a second time. Usually, the exam is retaken the following semester, but in any case must be taken within the two year period. If a second attempts is failed student may not continue in the PhD program in EE Systems.
  • The EE-Systems exam often has both an oral and written component and is given twice a year around the 12th week of the semester. The format however, can change from semester to semester. Each area in EE-Systems administers a separate exam. Students can download a form the Ph.D. Screen Exam page by October 1 for Fall, and February 1 for Spring.

Please refer to the booklet entitled "EE-Electrophysics PhD Examination Procedures" available from the Electrophysics departmental office.

For additional information about Guidance Committee formation and procedures for the Screening Examination and the Qualifying Examination, please consult the University Catalogue.

Click here to go to PHD Screening page