NMSU: Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
New Mexico State University
Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree Programs

PhD Degree Program

Dates and Times of the PH.D. Qualifying Exam

The Ph.D. Qualifying Exam is typically offered on the Monday just prior to the beginning of the semester. The format is one half-day written exam. For the Spring semester, the exam is offered every January. For the Fall semester, the exam is offered in August provided there are a sufficient number of students who sign up for the exam.


Examination of readiness for research at the graduate level

* Students will answer a total of six questions with two coming from each of the three areas of specialization. The areas of specialization are selected by the student when registering for the exam. Although the number of questions may vary between specializations, there will be a minimum of three questions per area from which the student is allowed to select.
* Exam questions are based upon the graduate courses and topics listed below. Their difficulty is commensurate with typical homework, quiz, and/or examination problems given in the associated class.

Additional Information

  • The examination will be closed-book, closed-notes, except for a hand-held calculator and a CRC Handbook (Standard Mathematical Tables). The allowed calculators are those on the list approved by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying which is available at http://www.ncees.org/exams/calculators/index.php#approved.
  • Students must sign up and declare three areas of graduate specialization at the same time.
  • Signing up is a commitment to take the examination if offered. No deletions or changes are allowed. For students who sign up but neglect to take the examination it will be considered a failed attempt.
  • Students who have failed the Klipsch School PhD Qualifying Examination twice must petition the Graduate Studies Committee to be eligible for an additional attempt. The petition must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student's advisor.

Old Qualifying Exam Questions

Three recent Ph.D. Qualifying Exams are posted. Please note that only questions are available, not solutions.

Courses That Form the Basis of the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam

The list of graduate courses corresponds to the Klipsch graduate core courses required for the MSEE.
Microelectronics/VLSI EE 480 Introduction to VLSI EE 523 Analog VLSI Circuit Design
Communications EE 496/497 Intro to Communications Systems I and II EE 571 Random Signal Analysis


Computer Engineering EE 363 Computer Systems Architecture I
EE 469 Digital Communications Networks
EE 563 Computer Performance Analysis I, OR
EE 564 Advanced Computer Architecture I
Control Systems EE 475/525 Control Systems II
EE 476/526 Computer Control Systems
EE 551 Control Systems Synthesis I
Digital Signal Processing EE 395 Introduction to Digital Signal Processing EE 545 Digital Signal Processing
Electric Energy Systems EE 431 Power Systems II EE 543 Power Systems III
Electromagnetics EE 351 Applied Electromagnetics EE 515 Electromagnetic Theory I
Electro-optics PHYS 216 (Optics) EE 528 Optical Sources, Detectors, & Radiometry, OR
EE 529 Lasers and Applications