Nanoelectronics and Photonics

The NEP Preliminary Exam will follow the requirements stated in the ECE graduate handbook for PhD students, with additional constraints added to ensure high quality within the Nanoelectronics & Photonics area. The spirit of this approach is to ensure good practices in technical assessment, analysis, and problem solving relevant to the nature of modern interdisciplinary electrical engineering. This process will also serve as a valuable tool for improving writing skills for documents that the student will face as he/she completes the PhD program and enters into a successful engineering career.

Exam Administration

Note the following mandatory regulations for the exam:

  • Students must complete the exam after passing the Qualifying Review.
  • Students must take the exam no earlier than the end (final examination week) of the second semester of graduate study, and no later than one semester (four calendar months) before the PhD final oral examination. Normally, this means that students entering with a BS degree take the exam during the fourth to sixth semester of study, and that those entering with an MS degree take the exam during the third or fourth semester.
  • Re-examination (if necessary) cannot occur sooner than one semester, and the Graduate Advisory Committee will determine all requirements.
  • Students must complete the scheduling form required by the Graduate School, no later than two weeks before the Exam date. If this two-week milestone is not met, the Graduate School will force a delay in the exam date.
Exam Committee

The exam will be conducted by the student's Graduate Advisory Committee (as determined by the Plan of Work).

Written Review

The written component of the Prelim Exam should include four Sections:

  1. a significant literature review of the research topic,
  2. a summary of the primary experimental and/or theoretical techniques employed by the student,
  3. a summary of preliminary research results, and
  4. a clear proposed plan for the final research that will serve as a guideline for the final thesis work.

This written document must be given to the members of the Committee no later than two weeks before the date of the oral component. Unless otherwise directed by the Committee, the written document should be approximately 25 pages in length (double-spaced, 1 inch margins). Portions of this work (especially Sections 3 and 4 above) should contain elements of original contributions, suitable for submission to a journal publication (or already been published).

Oral Review

The oral component of the Prelim Exam will consist of a technical presentation to the Graduate Advisory Committee, and is to include a summary of the contents of the written component, with a strong emphasis on the preliminary research results and final research plan. Unless otherwise directed by the Committee, the candidate should prepare a 45-60 minute presentation.