The Roadmap to the Doctor of Engineering (D.E.) Degree for Electrical Engineering

The Doctor of Engineering degree is designed to prepare engineers to study engineering problems of complex nature and to develop solutions that address the most pressing engineering issues of the future. This document describes the procedure and timeline to earn the D.E. degree at Lamar University.

Degree Requirement at a Glance

Type Courses* Dissertation Seminar Total
Students admitted with a B.S. degree from a four-year engineering college 45 30 4 79
Students admitted with a M.S. degree in Engineering 27 30 4 61

* All courses must be approved by the student’s supervising professor and the department graduate coordinator.

Degree Requirements

  1. The student admitted with a Master’s degree shall complete a residency of at least one year; the student admitted with a B.S. degree shall complete a residency of at least two years
  2. Completion of a minimum of 27 semester hours of D.E. dissertation preparatory courses for students with a Master’s degree at time of admission, or completion of a minimum of 45 semester hours of D.E. dissertation preparatory courses for students with a B.S. degree in engineering at time of admission. The preparation includes completion of one semester of ENGR 6320, Justification of Engineering Project
  3. Completion of a minimum of 4 semester hours of Professional Seminar (ENGR 6110)
  4. Completion of candidacy qualifying examination designed by the student’s dissertation committee
  5. After the student is admitted to candidacy, a research proposal must be presented to the doctoral dissertation committee within 6 months after passing the qualifying examination. Upon committee approval of the proposed engineering research through an oral defense, the research work is initiated
  6. Completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of D.E. dissertation courses and satisfactory defense of D.E. dissertation
  7. The D.E. degree must be completed within 10 consecutive years of study

D.E. Qualifying Examination

The D.E. qualifying examination should be administered, preferably in the first semester of the second year, and must be completed no later than the end of the second year of D.E. study.

The examination must be conducted in the semester when the student takes ENGR 6320 (Justification of Engineering Project). The test examines the technical literacy of a D.E. student in an oral examination conducted by the student’s dissertation committee as part of ENGR 6320 coursework.

One week before the examination, the student’s committee assigns one or more peer-reviewed articles in the student’s research area for his/her review. During the examination, the student is required to make a short presentation of the reviewed literature with cross-referencing materials and answer the questions from the committee.

Students who pass the qualifying examination are admitted to candidacy. Students who fail to pass the qualifying exam can schedule a second and final re-examination within 6 weeks after the first attempt. Failing to pass the qualifying exam for the second time will remove the student from the D.E. program.

D.E. Dissertation (ENGR 6603 Dissertation I, ENGR 6604 Dissertation II)

Upon admitted to D.E. candidacy, the student performs D.E. research by taking D.E. dissertation courses (ENGR 6603 and ENGR 6604) offered by his/her supervising professor. The first dissertation course (ENGR 6603) should be taken only once for the development of a D.E. research proposal, which is a concise technical document outlining the proposed research agreed upon by both the student and his/her supervising professor.

The student must successfully defend for the proposal while taking the first dissertation course. Once the proposal is approved by the dissertation committee, the student continues to work on the D.E. research while taking the second dissertation course (ENGR 6604 ) at least 3 semesters until graduation. In the graduating semester, the student must successfully defend for the D.E. dissertation.


Unless under special circumstances, the following timeline is recommended by the College of Engineering.
For students admitted with a M.S. engineering degree*

Year # Courses*
  1. Complete part of the course requirement; the courses can be special topic courses designed by the student’s supervising professor.
  2. Complete the diagnostic exam on course work. (Form D1A and D1B)
  3. Explore research opportunities with the supervising professor.
  1. Consult with the supervising professor to form a permanent D.E. dissertation committee consisting of no less than four (4) faculty members. At least one committee member must be outside of the department that student is in. The committee chair is the supervising professor of the student.
  2. Complete the elective course requirement including ENGR 6320 (Justification of Engineering Project). The purpose of ENGR 6320 is to prepare the D.E. student in reviewing literature for the D.E. research. The D.E. student must take the D.E. qualifying examination while taking ENGR 6320.
  3. Pass the D.E. qualifying examination and enter D.E. candidacy. (Form D4A and D4B)
  4. Start working on D.E. dissertation proposal with the supervising professor.
  1. Start taking ENGR 6110 (professional seminar) each long (fall and spring) semester after entering candidacy. The course rotates each D.E. candidate to make technical presentations to all other peer candidates.
  2. Take one ENGR 6603 (the first D.E. dissertation course). Upon conclusion of this course, the D.E. candidate’s proposal must be defended.
  3. Successfully defend for the dissertation proposal. (Form D5)
  4. Take ENGR 6604 (the second D.E. dissertation course) continuously. This course signifies that you have completed the proposal defense and actively work on the proposed D.E. research.
4 and on
  1. Continue to take ENGR 6110
  2. Continue to take ENGR 6604 until graduation
  3. Complete the proposed research.
  4. Draft the D.E. dissertation and schedule for D.E. defense at least two weeks before the final defense date. (Form D6A)
  5. Successfully defend for the D.E. dissertation. (Form D6B)
  6. File for graduation following the timelines specified for the semester of graduation.

* The procedures for students admitted with a B.S. degree from four-year engineering college are similar, except that the Year 1 & 2 activities may stretch to three years because 18 more semester hours of course are required for students admitted to the program with a B.S. degree.

Graduate Coordinator

ruhai wang graduate advisor
Dr. Ruhai Wang
Graduate Advisor
(409) 880-1829