Computer Engineering: Doctoral Degree

If you are passionate about computer engineering and want to explore a career in research or academia, a doctoral degree may be your best option. This article gives you an idea of what to expect when pursuing a computer engineering Ph.D., including coursework and requirements. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Computer Engineering Doctoral Degree?

Computer engineering doctoral degree programs are generally designed to prepare students for careers in advanced research and academia. The curriculum may teach you to detect and investigate problems in computer hardware, architecture and software; research and analyze data; and assimilate new technology into older computer models. You may also receive instruction in pedagogy to prepare you to teach computer engineering at the college level.

Credit requirements for a computer engineering doctoral program may vary, but most programs are composed of about 48 credits of coursework, many of which are related to research studies. A number of these credit hours are devoted to the doctoral dissertation, a major research project to be published in an industry-acknowledged academic journal.

Degree LevelDoctoral
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, GRE scores, Master's degree for some programs
Areas of StudyNetworking, computer security, software design, forensics
Other RequirementsDissertation and defense
Median Salary (2018)*$118,370 (for computer and information research scientists)
Job Outlook (2016-26)*19% (for all computer and information research scientists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do to Prepare for Admission?

To be considered for admission, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a related technical field, such as computer science. Some schools may require that you have undergraduate credits in network communications and system architecture, and others may require that you hold a master's degree. You'll also need to submit professional and academic references and score at or above admission standards on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Doctoral degree programs are highly competitive, so you should have a high undergraduate GPA and a focused statement of purpose essay that sets you apart from the competition.

What Could I Study?

Your curriculum may involve a blend of didactic and independent components. You might take courses in computer networking, security systems, forensics, software engineering and theoretical foundations of architecture and software. You may also supplement your studies with electives in topics that interest you or select a concentration in an area such as computer security, intelligent systems and software systems. Conferral of the doctoral degree is contingent upon the quality of your doctoral dissertation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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