Graduate Program in Energy and Mineral Engineering

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Energy and Mineral Engineering graduate students are encouraged to design a course of study that suits their individual backgrounds, interests, and needs in consultation with their advisors. Therefore, the EME graduate program keeps the core program and option courses requirements to a minimum, leaving students with an array of elective courses to choose from, in consultation with their advisor and thesis committee, to meet the total credit requirements.

A visual representation of the process for obtaining M.S. and Ph.D. degrees can be viewed in the EME Graduate Program Flow Chart.

The required minimum number of total credits beyond the M.S. degree for the EME Ph.D. degree is 24, including 12 credits of research beyond the M.S. Of the remaining 12 credits, four core program credits are required. If an option is desired and was not declared for the M.S. degree, then 12 option course credits are required. At least 18 of the required course credits for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees must be at the 500 level. Students who choose not to select an option only need to meet the total credit and core program course requirements. Because each thesis research problem is unique, the need for taking additional courses varies from student to student, and the student's thesis advisor and committee will make the final decision whether or not the additional courses should be part of a student's official course of study.

Required Core Program Course for Ph.D. Degree

  • EME 581 - Research and Geostatistics Methods (3 credits)

Required Specialty Option Courses for Ph.D. Degree

For a listing of the specialty option course requirements, please use the left-hand menu to visit the individual program option pages.

Candidacy Examination

A Candidacy Examination is required for formal admission into the Ph.D. program. All Ph.D. students in the program should take the Candidacy Exam before completing the first year of studies.

English Competency Examination

All Ph.D. students, domestic and international, will undergo an assessment of English competency during their first year. The assessment will include the student's ability to read and comprehend technical literature, the ability to write well, the ability to make formal presentations and the ability to participate in scientific and technical discussions. The assessment will be conducted during the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination. Students must demonstrate English competency before scheduling the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination. If the expected level of competency is not demonstrated, students will be required to take certain English courses to improve their skills.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination

A Comprehensive Examination is required of all doctoral candidates by the Graduate School. The examination in EME is primarily an oral examination, administered by the candidate's Ph.D. committee. The committee will consist of at least three faculty members in the EME Program and at least one faculty member in a related field (outside the department). The committee chair will ordinarily be the candidate's thesis advisor.

The examination takes place in two phases. First, the student will give an oral presentation on some aspect of his/her research topic, including objectives, methods, and current progress. The second phase will consist of questions by the committee to determine the candidate's ability to synthesize his/her knowledge, especially in his/her area of specialization, and apply the tools learned to the solution of relevant problems.

Ph.D. Thesis Defense

The final step to obtaining a doctoral degree is the Ph.D. Thesis Defense. This process consists of a written thesis and an oral defense administered by the Ph.D. committee. Upon successful completion of the defense, the student will submit the final version of the thesis to the Graduate School after obtaining the required signatures from the advisor, the Ph.D. committee and the EME graduate program officer.