Last Updated 2009-06-01
Computer Engineering PhD
Together, the Graduate Student Handbook
and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.
The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:
The Computer Engineering PhD degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Of these 72 hours, a minimum of 36 credit hours must be formal course work, exclusive of independent study course work and a minimum of 15 credit hours up to a maximum of 24 credit hours of dissertation hours can be credited toward the degree. No more than 12 credit hours of Independent Study are allowed as a part of the 72 credit hour rule. The remaining hours can be a combination of formal course work and/or pre-candidacy doctoral research.
At least 72 semester hours of credits must be at the 5000–7000 level, beyond the BS degree. At least one half of these must be 6000–7000 level and none can be undergraduate credit.
CurriculumThe Computer Engineering
PhD degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Of these 72 hours, a minimum of 36 credit hours must be formal coursework,
exclusive of independent study coursework. A minimum of 15 credit hours with up
to a maximum of 24 credit hours of dissertation hours can be credited toward the
degree. No more than 12 credit hours of Independent Study are allowed. The
remaining hours can be a combination of formal coursework and/or pre-candidacy
doctoral research. Details about this program can be found in the Computer Engineering PhD
coursework required is 36 credit hours, exclusive of independent study and
research. A minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation are required. All other
credit hours will be determined with a faculty adviser. Students admitted with
an earned master's degree may request to have up to 30 of those credit hours
counted toward their doctoral program. The student’s doctoral adviser in
conjunction with the graduate office will determine the precise number of hours
to be counted subject to Graduate Studies regulations.
The Program of
Study (POS) form must be approved by an adviser in the selected specialization
area no later than the end of the second semester after admission. The program
of study must meet all the university requirements specified in the graduate
Undergraduate articulation courses
are required to be completed prior to admission for students who do not hold a
Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. In particular, the
articulation courses specified below, plus all of the prerequisite string which
any of them require, must be completed prior to admission. Grades of "B" or
higher must be obtained in each articulation course specified below.
Articulation courses are not eligible for inclusion on a graduate Program of
- EEE 3342C Digital Systems
- EEL 3801
- COP 3502 Computer Science I
- COP 3503
Computer Science II
In addition, choose one of the following:
- COP 4331 Processes for Object-Oriented Development
- EEL 4768C
- EEL 4781 Computer Communications Networks
Required Courses—36 Credit Hours
- Suggested courses listed below.
- May include formal coursework, directed research
hours, doctoral research hours, dissertation research, and no more than 12
credit hours of Independent Study.
- Suggested courses listed below.
Suggested Courses for Doctoral Program
Engineering Program supports a number of specialization areas. These
specialization areas are (in alphabetical order): Computer Networks and Computer
Security (CNCS), Computer Systems and Reconfigurable Hardware (CS/RH),
Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning (ISML), and Software Systems and
Algorithms (SSA). Please contact your graduate program assistant at 407-823-0378
for a list of faculty within each specialization area.
For each one of
these areas there is a suggested list of courses stated below. Students are also
allowed to take courses from other specialization areas, but the majority of
their courses should be chosen from courses in their specialization area.
Computer Networks and Computer Security (CNCS)
- CDA 5106 Advanced Computer Architecture (3 credit hours)
- CDA 5110 Parallel
Processing (3 credit hours)
- CDA 6530 Performance Models of Computers
and Networks (3 credit hours)
- CDA 6938 ST: Research in Computer and
Network Security (3 credit hours)
- CGS 5131 Computer Forensics I:
Seizure and Examination of Computer Systems (3 credit hours)
- CNT 5008 Computer Communication Network Architecture (3 credit hours)
- CNT 6418 Computer Forensics II: Network Security, Intrusion Detection, and Forensics
Analysis (3 credit hours)
- CNT 6519 Wireless Security and Forensics (3
- CNT 6707 Computer Network Design and Distributed
Processing (3 credit hours)
- COP 5537 Network Optimization (3 credit
- COP 5611 Operating Systems (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6133 Advanced Topics in Computer Security and Forensics (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6135 Malware and Software Vulnerability Analysis (3 credit hours)
- COP 6525 Distributive Processing of Digital Evidence (3 credit hours)
- COT 5405 Theory and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credit hours)
- EEE 5542 Random
Processes I (3 credit hours)
- EEL 5780 Wireless Networks (3 credit
- EEL 5881 Software Engineering I (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6762 Performance Analysis of Computer and Communication Systems (3 credit
- EEL 6785 Computer Network Design (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6788 Advanced Topics in Wireless Networks (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6883 Software Engineering II (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6897 Software Development
for Real-Time Engineering Systems (3 credit hours)
Systems and Reconfigurable Hardware (CS/RH)
- CDA 5106 Advanced
Computer Architecture I (3 credit hours)
- CDA 5110 Parallel Architecture
and Algorithms (3 credit hours)
- CDA 6107 Parallel Computer Architecture
(3 credit hours)
- CDA 6938 Multi-Core Architecture and Programming (3
- COP 5537 Network Optimization (3 credit hours)
- COT 6415 Complexity of Parallel Computation (3 credit hours)
- EEE 5390 Full Custom-VLSI Design (3 credit hours)
- EEE 6327 Design of Video
Coding Systems (3 credit hours)
- EEL 5704 Computer Aided Logical Design
(3 credit hours)
- EEL 5722C Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Design
(3 credit hours)
- EEL 6762 Performance Analysis of Computer and
Communication Systems (3 credit hours)
- ECM 6308 Current Topics in
Parallel Processing (3 credit hours)
Intelligent Systems and
Machine Learning (ISML)
- CAP 5055 AI for Game
Programming (3 credit hours)
- CAP 5512 Evolutionary Computation (3
- CAP 5610 Machine Learning (3 credit hours)
- CAP 5636 Advanced Artificial Intelligence (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6545 Machine
Learning Methods for Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6616 Neuro-Evolution and Generative Developmental Systems (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6640 Computer Understanding of Natural Language (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6671 Intelligent Systems: Robots, Agents and Humans (3 credit
- CAP 6675 Complex Adaptive Systems (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6676 Knowledge Representation (3 credit hours)
- EEL 5825 Pattern
Recognition (3 credit hours)
- EEL 5874 Expert Systems and Knowledge
Engineering (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6769 Parallel Knowledge Processing
Systems (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6812 Introduction to Neural Networks (3
- EEL 6875 Autonomous Agents (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6876 Current Topics in Artificial Intelligence (3 credit hours)
- EEL 6878 Modeling and Artificial Intelligence (3 credit hours)
Software Systems and Algorithms (SSA)
- CAP 6515
Algorithms in Computational Biology (3 credit hours)
- CGS 5131 Computer
Forensics I: Seizure and Examination of Computer Systems (3 credit hours)
- CNT 6418 Computer Forensics II: Network Security, Intrusion Detection, and
Forensics Analysis (3 credit hours)
- CAP 5510 Bioinformatics (3 credit
- CAP 6133 Advanced Topics in Computer Security and Computer
Forensics (3 credit hours)
- CAP 6545 Machine Learning Methods for
Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
- CEN 5016 Software Engineering (3 credit
- CEN 6075 Formal Specification of Software Systems (3 credit
- COP 5021 Program Analysis (3 credit hours)
- COP 5711
Parallel and Distributed Database Systems (3 credit hours)
- COP 6730
Transaction Processing (3 credit hours)
- COP 6731 Advanced Database
Systems (3 credit hours)
- COT 5310 Formal Languages and Automata (3
- COT 5405 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credit
- COT 6410 Computational Complexity (3 credits)
- COT 6417 Algorithms on Strings and Sequences (3 credit hours)
- COT 6600 Quantum Computing (3 credit hours)
- COT 6602 Introduction to Quantum Information
Theory (3 credit hours)
- EEL 5881 Software Engineering I (3 credit
- EEL 6883 Software Engineering II (3 credit hours)
Dissertation—15-24 Credit Hours
- XXX 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours
- The program will only allow students to
complete up to 24 hours of dissertation coursework in XXX 7980.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all
dissertation defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and
posted on the college's website
at least two weeks before the defense date.
The Qualifying Review relies on annual appraisals of
the student’s progress conducted by the student’s research/academic adviser and
advisory committee, once formed. The student’s appraisal template that the
adviser completes will assess the student’s academic performance (course
performance) and research performance. On an annual basis, and
based on the completed PhD Student Annual Review template, as well as additional
student documentation attached with approval of the adviser, the EECS Graduate
Committee will rate the student’s performance as “Above Expectation,” “At
Expectation,” or “Below Expectation” toward the completion of the PhD
Students must pass the Qualifying Review no later
than the deadline, which is the semester in which they complete 24 credit hours
after admission or within two calendar years after admission, whichever occurs
later. If a student has passed the Qualifying Review, then the
student is eligible to continue PhD studies. However, a student who
does not pass the Qualifying Review by the deadline will be dismissed from the
degree program and will be given the opportunity to complete a master’s degree
PhD dissertation committees for this degree program must have all of
the below characteristics:
- consist of at least five committee members including the
committee chair must be either a Regular Appointment faculty member in EECS or a
Secondary-Joint Appointment faculty member in EECS
- at least 50% of committee members
(when tabulated including the chair) must be EECS regular faculty
- the majority of committee members
must vote in favor of passing for the student to Pass
- in addition to the above, all
college and university requirements (such as one member outside of EECS) must be
Joint faculty members may serve as committee
chairs, but graduate faculty scholars may not serve as committee
passing the Qualifying Review, students are required to successfully complete
the candidacy examination in order to demonstrate readiness for preliminary
research in a chosen field of study. This exam is administered by the student’s
dissertation advisory committee. Preparedness for taking the
candidacy examination requires the acceptance of a professional paper by a
peer-reviewed conference or journal that is deemed acceptable by the student’s
advisory committee. Candidacy is normally attempted at the completion of
required coursework and must be passed before registering for doctoral
dissertation hours (EEL 7980). Continuous enrollment in at least 3 hours of
doctoral dissertation hours is required once a student starts taking
Admission to Candidacy
The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in
- Completion of all
required formal coursework, except for dissertation hours.
- Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
- The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved
graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
of an approved program of study.
well-formed Doctoral Committee Candidacy Status form and associated paperwork
must be submitted to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Office for
processing on or before the last day to defend Dissertation during the
semester prior to enrolling in dissertation credits.
Dissertation Proposal Exam
After passing the
candidacy examination, the student will write a dissertation proposal and
present it to the dissertation advisory committee for approval. The proposal
must include a description of the research performed to date and the research
planned to be completed for the dissertation. The presentation of a written
dissertation proposal must be deemed as passing requirements by the majority of
the dissertation committee.
Students in the Computer Engineering PhD program pay a $28 equipment fee each
semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $14 per semester.
Timeline for Completion
Students must follow a prescribed, yet flexible path, achieving milestones along the way. If a student is hard working and diligent, and is a full-time graduate student, he or she should be able to complete the PhD program within 4–5 years (or typically 2 to 3 years beyond the MS).
Formal course work required is 36 hours, exclusive of independent study and research and a minimum of 15 hours of dissertation are required. All other hours will be determined with a faculty adviser. Students admitted with an earned master's degree from a regionally accredited institution or recognized foreign institution may be eligible to have up to 30 credit hours in their doctoral program waived without a course-by-course review of completed course work if in the same or closely related discipline. In this 30 credit hours from the master's program, only six hours of Independent Study will be allowed and credited against the 12 credit hours of Independent Study allowed in the doctoral program. The student’s doctoral adviser in conjunction with the doctoral program director will determine the number of hours to be waived.
The plan of study must be developed in consultation with an adviser within the first 9 credit hours of course work, and this requirement is strictly enforced by the program. The plan of study must meet all the university requirements specified in the graduate catalog and must also meet departmental approval.
Once all 72 hours are completed and all other program requirements are met the student can defend their Dissertation, and graduate upon the dissertation committee’s approval.
Course ScheduleSee Timeline for Completion of Degree Program. For specific course selection, please consult with program advisor to develop a Plan of Study.
The Qualifying Review relies on annual appraisals of the student’s progress conducted by the student’s research/academic adviser and advisory committee, once formed. The student’s appraisal template that the adviser completes will assess the student’s academic performance (course performance) and research performance (student’s performance at the research adviser’s lab and co-authorship of peer-reviewed publications).
On an annual basis, and based on the completed student’s appraisal template, as well as additional student documentation (up to the discretion of the EECS Graduate Committee), the EECS Graduate Committee will rank the student’s performance as “Above Expectation,” “At Expectation,” or “Below Expectation” toward the completion of the PhD degree. The evaluation by the EECS Graduate Committee will have detailed justification for the student’s ranking, and the ranking and its associated justification will be provided to the student and the student’s adviser.
Students will be notified (no earlier than the end of the first year of their studies and no later than the end of the second year of their PhD studies) whether they have passed the Qualifying Review or not, that is, whether they are eligible to continue in their PhD studies. A student who passes the Qualifying Review will continue with the completion of the rest of the PhD program’s milestones (i.e., Candidacy Examination, Dissertation Proposal Examination, and Dissertation Defense). A student who fails the Qualifying Review will be dismissed from the program and will be given the opportunity to finish their Master’s degree (if applicable).
A student who in the EECS Graduate Committee’s opinion fails the Qualifying Review will be given the opportunity to request a reevaluation of his or her case by the committee. The decision of the EECS Graduate Committee, as a result of this reevaluation, is final.
Annual appraisals will end after the student has passed the Qualifying Review.
After passing qualifiers, students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination in order to demonstrate readiness for preliminary research in a chosen field of study. This exam is administered by the student’s dissertation advisory committee and is comprised of written and oral portions. Preparedness for taking the candidacy examination requires the acceptance of a professional paper by a peer-reviewed conference or journal that is deemed acceptable by the student’s advisory committee. The student must fulfill candidacy requirements within the first 24 months of graduate work. Candidacy is normally taken at the completion of required course work and must be passed before registering for doctoral dissertation hours (XXX 7980). Continuous enrollment in at least 3 hours of doctoral dissertation hours is required once a student starts taking 7980-level credits.
After passing the candidacy examination, the student will write a dissertation proposal and present it to the dissertation advisory committee for approval. The proposal must include a description of the research performed to date and the research planned to be completed for the dissertation.
All transfer of credits, grade changes, and incomplete grades must be resolved prior to entering candidacy status.
Upon entering candidacy status, students must be registered continuously (including summer) as full-time students until graduation. Students in candidacy status are considered "full-time" when enrolled in 3 credits of XXX 7980, Dissertation.
Note: In addition to passing the exam and obtaining committee approval, students must have the candidacy and dissertation advisory committee documentation received and processed by the College of Graduate Studies prior to the first day of classes for the term in order to enroll in dissertation hours (XXX 7980) for that term.
The following can be found in the UCF Graduate Catalog Dissertation Requirements section and is worthy of repeating here.
"The dissertation consists of an original and substantial research study designed, conducted, and reported by the student with the guidance of the Dissertation Committee. The written dissertation must include a common theme with an introduction and literature review, details of the study, and results and conclusions prepared in accordance with program and university requirements. The dissertation is expected to represent a significant contribution to the discipline. Since this work is original, it is very important that care is taken in properly citing ideas and quotations of others. Failure to do so is academic dishonesty and subject to termination from the program without receiving the degree. An oral defense of the dissertation is required."
University Dissertation Requirements
The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.
All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.
The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:
- Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
- Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
- Defend by the defense deadline
- Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
- Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
- Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline
Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.
The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.
The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at email@example.com.
Doctoral students must have a Dissertation Advisory Committee prior to the Candidacy Examination. The Committee will consist of a minimum of four members. At least three members must be qualified regular faculty members from the department, one of whom must serve as the chair of the committee. One member must be from either outside the School of EECS or outside the university.
The committee chair must be a member of the department graduate faculty approved to direct dissertations. Joint faculty members serve as department-faculty committee members. Adjunct faculty and off-campus experts may serve as the external person in the committee as long as they are approved graduate faculty scholars. Program areas may further specify additional committee membership. The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review appointments to advisory committees, place a representative on any advisory committee or appoint a co-adviser.
Joint faculty members may serve as committee chairs, but graduate faculty scholars may not serve as committee chairs. All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal and final dissertation must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee.
All PhD students must write a dissertation. This must be preceded by an oral presentation of a written dissertation proposal, which, in turn, can not occur until a term after admission into candidacy status. The purpose of the written proposal, given to members of the research committee at least two weeks prior to the presentation, is to show the student has sufficiently explored the literature of a significant research problem in electrical engineering to be able to embark upon solving that problem. The written proposal should also detail a proposed methodology and plan for undertaking the research work, and its completion. Rules governing the proposal announcements, scheduling and committee attendance can be found in the UCF Graduate Catalog.
The oral presentation of the proposal is open to the public and must be announced at least two weeks prior to it's occurrence. The presentation should last approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and it should show the student is aware of the background, has a good idea of the problem being addressed, and has a reasonable plan for carrying out the research. The committee’s role is to assess the significance of the proposed problem, the feasibility of the proposed solution, and to offer advice.
The proposal is not to be interpreted as "cast in stone." It is a proposal. The research may change direction as new information is uncovered. That is perfectly acceptable and expected. Of course, if the direction of the research becomes too "off target" a new proposal should be considered. This is at the discretion of your advisor, committee, and the graduate coordinator.
The dissertation defense is an oral presentation and defense of the written dissertation describing the student’s research. The advisory committee will evaluate and judge the dissertation defense. Successful students must demonstrate that they are able to conduct and report original independent research that contributes substantially to the discipline in which they study. The defense is a formal academic requirement and should be accorded respect and dignity, and thus, no refreshments or other distractions should be served during the defense.
Dissertations will be approved by a majority vote of the dissertation advisory committee. Further approval is required from the Dean or Dean designee and the UCF College of Graduate Studies before final acceptance of the dissertation in fulfilling degree requirements.
UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.
Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.
UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/ > Policies > General Graduate Policies.
Research conducted in the Department of EECS solves REAL-WORLD problems, and research faculty have an outstanding record of getting technology from the laboratory to the global marketplace. The research conducted in the Department of EECS by UCF faculty and students is deeply rooted in technologies and applications that are cutting-edge and have marketable applications.
EECS research areas include those targeted by the University of Central Florida and other organizations as top priority for new development. Our existing strength in these high-tech areas has earned the School international prominence and exposure in many areas, including:
- Energy and Renewable Sources
- Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging
- Gaming and Virtual Reality
- Computer Vision and Graphics
- Simulation and Modeling
- Digital Media
- Entertainment and Film Engineering
- Computer Networks
- Advanced Wireless Communications
- Artificial Intelligence
- Software Engineering
- Power Electronics Controls
- Computer Systems and VLSI
- Computer Architecture
For additional information on EECS research labs, grants, projects and seminars, please visit the EECS research website.
Financial support is a major concern for graduate students, especially since many rely on financial support from the university to pursue graduate study. In combination, the college, the university, and the school provide financial assistance to graduate students in several ways:
- Fellowships and Scholarships are available to academically outstanding students
- Graduate Teaching Assistantships – GTAs (for grading, recitation instruction, or laboratory teaching) are available for most newly arriving PhD students
- Graduate Research Assistantships – GRAs (for participating in sponsored faculty-directed research) are available depending on the current funding levels of the faculty.
The department generally commits to some form of funding for at least the first two years of a PhD student’s academic career. Rapid progress by the student, especially in completing the qualifying review and publishing research results, aids in further commitment from the student’s faculty mentor. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (earning good course grades, registering and completing a full course load and passing qualifiers), and do acceptable research or grading or teaching work to maintain their financial support.
- All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their Plan of Study, as well as over all courses taken since entering the program. They must not receive more than two grades below B (3.0), and those must be balanced to maintain the 3.0 overall. Students on an assistantship agreement are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks (whether it be grading, teaching, or research), while they are maintaining satisfactory progress in completing their academic courses. Note that satisfactory progress for a supported student is not the same as maintaining the minimum grades, or of just barely performing at research. Support is a privilege, not a right.
- All GTAs who have any contact with undergraduate students must take all training required by the College of Graduate Studies. This training includes
1. GTA Training: UCF GTA Associate, Assistant, and/or Grader Training, depending on the student's assistantship assignment.
2. SPEAK Exam: UCF SPEAK Exam (required for international students who have a GTA Associate or Assistant assignment).
- Students must meet their obligations to continue to receive their financial support. Students on assistantship agreements must maintain satisfactory work as defined by their supervisor. Also, being on an assistantship agreement requires that the students register for the proper number of hours of classes in time to process tuition remission and so forth.
- The duration of financial support may vary from one semester at a time to up to a 4-year renewable fellowship.
- International students are expected to be here as full-time students and may not work off campus except under very strict conditions. For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: www.intl.ucf.edu Students > Employment.
- Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see UCF Financial Information in the Graduate Catalog, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The UCF Student Financial Assistance section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Key points about financial support:
- If you’re interested in financial assistance, you’re strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions." However, no explicit application is needed for consideration for Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships or Fellowships. That is, all applicants accepted to the CpE PhD program are automatically considered for such forms of financial assistance. The primary source of support for the MS students are research assistantships.
- You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.
- If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
- UCF College of Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. All admitted graduate students are automatically considered in this nomination process. To be eligible for a fellowship, a student must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
- Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see funding.graduate.ucf.edu/.
Graduate Student Associations
EECS Student Organizations
Women in EECS at UCF
Women in EECS are undergraduate, graduate, and faculty women in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science affiliated with IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE). For more information on how to get involved visit the Women in EECS webpage.
IEEE UCF Student Branch
The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of technical achievement, scholarly pursuit, and civic involvement. Currently, IEEE has over 350,000 members in 150 different countries. For more information on how to get involved visit the IEEE UCF chapter website.
UCF Programming Team
The UCF Programming Team competes in the Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest. As a student organization within UCF's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, we compete regionally each fall and usually internationally each spring. For more information on how to get involved visit the UCF Programming Team website.
Association for Computing Machinery at UCF
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology. With a world-wide membership, ACM is a leading resource for computing professionals and students working in various fields of Information Technology and for interpreting the impact of information technology on society.
The local student chapter is open to all interested students, please visit the ACM at UCF website. Weekly meetings include guest lecturers from the industry, UCF, and other universities.
The Graduate Student Association
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.
In this section, we identify university resources available to students for professional development. A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing course work, passing exams, conducting research for a thesis or dissertation, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.
- UCF has an active professional development program for graduate students, including the GTA Certificate Program, sponsored by FCTL, the Pathways to Success program, the Graduate Research forum, sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, and special award recognitions such as the Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, the Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis, the Award for the Outstanding Dissertation, and the Award for Innovative Thesis or Dissertation.
- The university has active student chapters of the ACM and the IEEE. The cost for student membership in the national organizations is subsidized by professional memberships. This is a “bargain” that no student should pass up.
- EECS sponsors regular colloquia talks by leading researchers in the discipline. All students are strongly encouraged to attend as many as feasible within the constraints of their courses and other academic obligations. In fact EECS sets a minimum number of attendances for PhD students supported by the School or its faculty members – all PhD students will be apprised of how to sign up for colloquia (a zero-credit course) and how to report attendance.
- Various research groups hold their own seminars in which students present their research in front of other members of their research group.
- Doctoral students have the opportunity to develop grant-proposal writing skills by working closely with faculty mentors.
- Students are expected to publish the results of their research. In fact, the EECS PhD requires publication to enter candidacy.
- Graduate students in EECS are encouraged to present papers at conferences. Often their faculty mentor will be able to fund one or more such opportunities. The School of EECS and the Student Government Association are other sources of such support.
- Graduate students in EECS are also encouraged to participate in summer research internships when this is compatible with their research agendas – see your research advisor for more information and guidelines.
Instructional Strategies and Resources
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning provides classes and programs designed to assist graduate students with the educational issues they face in the classroom as teaching assistant or as instructors. These resources include assistance in course design and syllabi development, learning theories, and the use of different technologies in the classroom or on the internet. Further information on these resources is available at www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources.
Pathways to Success Workshops
Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/ .
Graduate Research Forum
The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.
The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.
The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Excellence Awards
Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:
Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)
Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.
Award for the OutstandingDissertation – It recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.
For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.
For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org/> Awards.
For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.cah.ucf.edu/find-resources/.
UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.
For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please visit the Career Services webpage on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science website
- College of Graduate Studies Forms
This web link provides a listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
- Graduate Petition Form
When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student.Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
- Traveling Scholar Form
If a student would like to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections, this form must be completed and approved.