PhD in Telecommunications: Online and Campus-Based Programs

A doctoral program in telecommunications examines communications equipment and processes and researches ways to improve their functionality. Find out about requirements to earn this degree, common courses, doctoral study components and career options once you've graduated. Schools offering Electronics & Communications Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Ph.D. in Telecommunications?

To pursue doctorate-level studies in telecommunications, you can earn a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Telecommunications or a Ph.D. in another field, such as technology management, with a specialization in telecommunications. One of the main prerequisites for the Ph.D. is a master's degree, though in rare cases you may be accepted if you have a technical bachelor's degree.

Your GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are also required, as are undergraduate courses in probability, statistics, computer programming and calculus. Your projected ability to succeed in the doctorate program will also affect your acceptance and is assessed by assessing your work ethic and your research goals. These programs are generally only available on campus.

Prerequisites A master's, or just a technical bachelor's degree in rare cases, GRE scores and completion of probability, statistics, computer programming and calculus courses
Common Courses Applying technology in business, product development, uses for communicative technology, marketing communication products
Doctoral Study Often includes writing original dissertation, attending seminars, course completion, exam and defending your dissertation
Career Options Research, teaching or working as a computer software engineer, network systems administrator, telecommunications engineer or business operations specialist
Median Salary (2018) $82,050 (for network and computer systems administrators)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth (for network and computer systems administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Your courses cover topics related to computer networks and systems. You'll also learn about telecommunications law, information technology and telecommunications security. Some courses focus on staying on top of Internet trends pertaining to bandwidth, data compression and digital transmission systems. Other topics of study could include:

  • Applying technology in business
  • Product development
  • Uses for communicative technology
  • Marketing communication products
  • Probability and decision theories
  • Analyzing economic policies

What Are the Program Requirements?

To graduate with a Ph.D. in Telecommunications, you must complete several research projects and attend research seminars in addition to completing your courses. You must also write an original dissertation; past doctorate students have written on such topics as network design, the quality of speech with different communication tools and organizational learning. After your dissertation proposal is approved, some schools require that you take a comprehensive exam which has both written and oral components. Following the completion of your dissertation, you'll have to defend it.

How Can I Use this Degree?

With a Ph.D. in Telecommunications, you can develop ways to improve communication technology through research. You can also teach at the university level. Other career options include becoming a computer software engineer, which involves developing, testing and repairing computer software programs and networks. You could become a network systems administrator, a telecommunications engineer or a business operations specialist, as well.

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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