Ph.D. Program | College of Engineering | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Ph.D. Program


Apply online to SIUC at and mail original application materials to: Engineering Science, College of Engineering, SIUC, Carbondale, IL 62901.  There is a $65 application fee. 

Admission to the program requires a Master of Science degree in Engineering or a related field with a GPA of 3.25/4.0 or higher. Applications for admission must include the following: M.S. thesis abstract, a statement of interest, Bachelor and Master degree transcripts, GRE scores, and three reference letters.  International applicants should also include a photocopy of the page(s) of your passport showing your name, date of birth, and country of citizenship and TOEFL or IELTS score. Admission to the program is made by the Engineering Science Ph.D. Committee.

For accelerated entry into the Ph.D. program, a student must complete at least two semesters in residence in an engineering M.S. program and complete a minimum of 18 hours of approved coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.75. Such entry is permitted only to superior students who have exhibited evidence that they are prepared to begin the research activities of doctoral-level study. In addition, the student must have GRE scores that are at or above the 50th percentile for both verbal component and analytical essay component and 80th percentile for the quantitative component or a combined total percentile score of 180 or higher. In case of a domestic student, an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher is also a requirement. For an international student, a TOEFL score of 550 (paper score) or an IBT score of 80 or an IELTS score of 6.5 is an additional requirement. In exceptional cases, to substitute for the abovementioned GRE and TOEFL score requirements, the student’s current faculty advisor, with the approval of the department chair, may submit a letter of recommendation for his/her student’s accelerated entry into the PhD program.  The student, having an accelerated entry into the Ph.D. program may not write a M.S. Thesis. In addition, 6 credit hours of course work of 500 level completed prior to his/her entry into the Ph.D. program may be counted toward the PhD course requirement. In the rare event that the student getting an accelerated entry into the Ph.D. Program fails to pass the Ph.D. qualifying exam in two attempts, he/she will be allowed to complete a MS degree in his/her respective discipline.  Admission to the program is made by the Engineering Science Ph.D. Committee.

Admission to the doctoral program also requires the identification of an initial graduate adviser for each student. This advisor will be responsible with the student for planning the student’s course work.


A minimum of 26 semester hours of course work, including 2 hours of seminar, and 24 semester hours of dissertation research is required. The course work must be completed in 2 areas: area of concentration and program core. A student must complete a minimum of 15 hours of course work relevant to an area of concentration. The course work in the area of concentration is intended to provide depth in the student’s area of research. The program core consists of 11 hours of course work. A dissertation must be completed in the student’s area of research interest with the approval of the dissertation committee.

Program Core

The program core consists of 11 hours of course work: 6 hours in math, 3 hours in engineering or science and 2 hours of seminar. The math courses to choose from are: all 400 and 500, except MATH 400, 411, 412, 458, 480, 483, 511, 512, 513, and 516. The engineering courses to choose from are: ENGR 530—Engineering Data Acquisition: Theory and Practice, ENGR 540— Design of Engineering Experiments, ENGR 545—Advanced Numerical Methods in Engineering, ENGR 521—Probability and Stochastic Processes for Engineers. The science course could be any 400 or 500 level course in Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry or Geology, as approved by the student’s advisor. The seminar course, ENGR 580, must be taken in two separate semesters, each time as one-hour course. It is recommended that the seminar classes be taken after the initiation of doctoral research or after candidacy is granted.

Qualifying Examinations

Upon completion of the concentration and core courses, the student may take the qualifying examination which has two components: written exam and oral exam. The examination in the area of concentration is organized and administered by at least three Engineering faculty members (examining committee) including the student’s advisor. The oral exam, conducted by the examining committee, is held within two weeks of the written exam. If not successful, the committee may allow the student to repeat the whole or part of the examination one more time. The qualifying examination, in whole or in part, cannot be taken more than two times.


Admission to candidacy requires: (a) successful completion of the qualifying examination (which satisfies the research tool requirement of the Graduate School) and (b) successful completion of twenty-four hours of credit (which satisfies the residency requirement of the Graduate School).


A dissertation must be written under the direction or co-direction of an engineering faculty member and approved by a dissertation committee consisting of at least five members (one outside the College of Engineering).  The dissertation adviser must be chosen by the end of the student’s first academic year. The dissertation committee should be formed after successful completion of the candidacy examination. The members of this committee need not be the same as the members of the candidacy examination committee. A dissertation research proposal must be approved by the dissertation committee. Candidates will be required to present an acceptable dissertation describing original research performed with minimal supervision.  Dissertation approval is based on a successful oral defense of the dissertation research and approval of the dissertation. This requires approval of at least 80 percent of the dissertation committee.

Following the admission to candidacy and upon completion of all the coursework, the candidate will prepare and submit a formal written dissertation proposal, defining the proposed research and the proposed line of inquiry. The candidate subsequently must make an oral presentation of the dissertation proposal to the members of the dissertation committee in an open forum. A public announcement of this event must be made at least five days in advance.

In the framework of the oral presentation of the dissertation proposal, the candidate is expected to address and respond to any question (by the members of the committee) related to material covered by all the courses taken during his doctoral studies or to the background necessary for the specific area of the proposed research. In addition, the candidate is expected to defend the research methodology and the proposed line of inquiry.

The Dissertation must be prepared in accordance to the "Guidelines for Dissertations, Theses and Research Papers" of the SIUC Graduate School. Dissertation approval is based on successful defense of the research performed in terms of originality, relevance and presentation (written and oral). This requires approval by at least 80% of the members of the dissertation committee.

Upon completion of the dissertation, which must demonstrate the ability of the candidate to conduct independent research, the committee will administer the final oral examination. The objective of the final oral examination, conducted in an open forum, will be the defense of the dissertation. Upon satisfactory completion of the dissertation and the final oral examination the committee will recommend the candidate for the doctoral degree.