In addition to the five steps below, process details and other requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree may be found in the SMU Lyle School of Engineering Graduate Catalog.
- Basic Coursework: Upon
entry into the Ph.D. program, a student is assigned an academic
advisor. The advisor will examine the student's prior background and
current state of knowledge, and recommend courses to be taken in
preparation for Step 2.
- Preliminary Counseling Exam and Program of Study: To be eligible for advanced study, a student must demonstrate competence in operations research fundamentals by passing the
Preliminary Counseling Examination (PCE). This exam is oral and is administered by three faculty members. Particular emphasis will be given to the material covered in the following courses: EMIS 7362, 7370, 8360, and 8361.
- Appointment of Supervisory Committee and Advanced Coursework:
Upon completion of the PCE a proposed Program of Study is developed
that meets the degree requirements in Section II and includes the
planned advanced coursework. Based upon the proposed Program of Study
a Supervisory Committee is formed. The Supervisory Committee will make
any needed adjustments to the Program of Study. Changes in the Program
of Study are subject to approval by the Supervisory Committee. Step 3
requires completion of the forms Recommendation and Certification
of Appointment of Supervisory Committee and Doctoral Degree Plan.
- Qualifying Examination:
At or near the completion of the coursework, the Supervisory Committee
will conduct the Qualifying Examination. This exam ordinarily involves
a series of take-home exams, but is left to the discretion of the
Supervisory Committee. The exam is concluded by an oral exam at which
time the student is expected to present a proposal for the
dissertation. A written proposal must be given to the Supervisory
Committee prior to the oral exam. Upon passing this exam, the student
is admitted to Doctorial Candidacy. Step 4 requires completion of the
form Admission to Candidacy.
- Dissertation Defense: The
most distinguishing characteristic of a program leading to the Ph.D.
degree is the requirement that the candidate write a dissertation
embodying the results of a significant and original investigation. The
dissertation must make a real contribution to the operations research
discipline, and it is expected to be a mature and competent piece of
writing. The defense, which is conducted orally, must enable the
Supervisory Committee to satisfy itself that the dissertation is an
original piece of research work, that it has been carried out in
keeping with the highest standards of investigation and reporting, and
that it makes a contribution to knowledge that is of value to the
scientific community. Satisfactory performance on this defense
constitutes the last academic requirement to be met for the Ph.D.
degree. Step 5 requires completion of the form Report on Thesis or Dissertation and/or Final Examination.