Degree Requirements for the PhD

The School of Engineering Education offers a program leading to the PhD. Students enrolled in this program will be expected to meet the highest standards of academic achievement in both their coursework.

PhD Registration Requirements

  • Total Credit Hours: At least 90 hours of academic credit beyond the bachelor’s degree or 60 hours beyond the master’s degree. Academic credit includes all course credit hours that appear on the Plan of Study: Prerequisite and Specialization graduate course credit hours with grades of “B” or better that appear on the Purdue transcript and research credit hours (ENE 699) with grades of “S” that appear on the Purdue transcript. Your cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale.

  • Transferring Credits From Prior Master’s: A master's degree or professional doctoral degree from any accredited institution may be considered to contribute up to 30 credit hours toward satisfying this requirement at the discretion of the student’s Graduate Advisory CommitteePlease note that there are significant restrictions for transferring credits that are more than five years old.

  • Residency Requirements: At least one-third of the total credit hours used to satisfy the PhD degree requirements must be earned while you are registered for doctoral study at Purdue University. Course credits obtained via televised instruction are considered to have been obtained in residence on the campus from which the course was broadcast.

  • Maximum Credit Hours per Term: The Graduate School allows a maximum of 18 credit hours in fall and spring semesters and 9 credit hours for the summer session.

PhD Course Requirements

ENE PhD Course Requirements (download a pdf)

The ENE PhD course requirements consist of a minimum of 41 course credits (32 in Research Preparation and 9 in a Specialization area), with any remaining credit hours bringing the total up to 90 credit hours (e.g., a combination of additional course credit hours, up to 30 master’s credit hours, and graduate research credit hours).

Students who are not academically prepared to take any of the required coursework in the program may need to undertake additional preparatory or prerequisite coursework. This decision will be made with the aid of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. For example, students who do not have a BS or MS in engineering can be admitted to the PhD program but will be expected to take preparatory courses in the engineering sciences, engineering design, mathematics, and other prerequisite areas, without receiving graduate credit, in order to successfully complete the program. An alternative path for these students would be to earn a master’s degree in an area of engineering before matriculating in the ENE PhD program.

The course requirements listed below represent the minimum course credits required for graduation. A student’s Graduate Advisory Committee may require additional coursework to fill gaps in a student’s background, broaden a student’s perspective, or provide more depth in a particular domain. Course equivalents may be substituted; the student may petition the ENE Graduate Committee for such consideration.

Prerequisites for Starting Dissertation Research: (minimum of 32 credit hours)

It is highly recommended that a student complete these courses prior to the Readiness Assessment. However, timing of enrollment in these courses is ultimately at the discretion of the student's Graduate Advisory Committee.

Engineering Education Foundations:
15 credit hours minimum

The purpose of the Foundation requirements is to provide a bridge into this interdisciplinary program by integrating engineering and education concepts, providing breadth and depth of knowledge, and complementing a student's area of specialization. The selection of Foundation courses was guided by the five research areas defined by the Engineering Education Research Colloquies (EERC); viz. Engineering Epistemology, Engineering Learning Mechanisms, Engineering Learning Systems, Engineering Diversity and Inclusiveness, Engineering Assessment Methodologies. See the PDF of ENE PhD Course Requirements for a list of the Foundation courses currently offered.

Secondary Engineering Expertise:
9 credit hours minimum

The purpose of this requirement is to provide depth of understanding of engineering concepts and complement a student's area of specialization (in particular, engineering concepts that may be the focus of ENE research activities). Students are required to complete a coherent sequence of graduate courses (500- or 600-level) in an engineering field other than engineering education.

Research Preparation:
9 credit hours minimum

The purpose of Research Preparation requirements is to provide depth and breadth of approaches to engineering education research and guide students in the development of their research theses and related areas of specialization.

ENE 50300 Engineering Education Inquiry (3 cr; Fall)
Research Methods Elective I (3 cr) In consultation with their major professor/Advisory Committee, the student selects an appropriate course(s) offered in the College of Education or elsewhere. EDPS 533 cannot be used to fulfill research methods elective requirements.
Social science statistical methods (3 cr) In consultation with their major professor/Advisory Committee, the student selects an appropriate course(s).

Specialization (minimum of 9 credit hours)

The purpose of the Specialization requirement is to develop depth of knowledge in one area of engineering education (6 credit hours minimum) plus advanced research methods (3 credit hours minimum) appropriate to the student's research area.

Specialization (min. 6 cr) A specialization might be in one of the five EERC areas (see list under Engineering Education Foundations), must consist of 500- or 600-level courses, and not restricted to ENE course offerings (i.e., students may take courses in other programs).
Research Methods Elective II (min. 3 cr) A selection of courses is available, many of which may be offered in the College of Education. EDPS 533 cannot be used to fulfill research methods elective requirements.

PhD Research Requirements

Students must take an appropriate number of research credit hours (ENE 69900) to complement their graduate program and comply with the requirements of the Graduate School.

Exam and Portfolio Requirements

Students must pass three major exams during the course of the PhD program:

Meeting these three program milestones requires drafting and approving a Plan of Study, forming a Graduate Advisory Committee, and iterative development of a professional competency portfolio.

Last Updated: May 3, 2022