PhD Qualifying Exam

Students in the PhD program wishing to advance to candidacy must first pass the Electrical Engineering Qualifying Examination, which takes place once each year during the winter quarter.

The examination consists of 10 separate 10-minute oral exams given individually in one day by the professors on the student's examination committee. For more information about the Quals Exam, please visit the EE Graduate Handbook.

Qualifying Examination Schedule (2017-18 dates to be announced)

December (exact 2017-18 date TBD)Deadline for submitting question area preferences
January (exact 2017-18 date TBD)Revisions to question area preferences form due (exact 2017-18 date TBD)
January (exact 2017-18 date TBD)Exam schedules are sent to all candidates
January 29 - February 2, 2018Qualifying examinations held
February (exact 2017-18 date TBD)Examination results announced

Question Areas and Courses for Qualifying Examination

  • Computer Systems Software
    • CS 106X Programming Abstractions (Accelerated)
    • CS 140 Operating Systems and Systems Programming
    • CS 161 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
    • EE 284 Introduction to Computer Networks or CS 144 Introduction to Computer Networking
  • Digital Systems: Design and Architecture
    • EE 108 Digital System Design
    • EE 180 Digital Systems Architecture
    • EE 271 Introduction to VLSI Systems
    • EE 282 Computer Systems Architecture
    Electromagnetics and Optics
    • EE 42 Introductory Engineering Electromagnetics
    • EE 142 Engineering Electromagnetics
    • EE 236A Modern Optics
  • Electronic Circuits
    • EE 101A Circuits I
    • EE 101B Circuits II
    • EE 114/214A Fundamentals of Analog Integrated Circuit Design
    • EE 213 Digital MOS Integrated Circuits
  • Electronic Devices
    • EE 65 Modern Physics for Engineers
    • EE 116 Semiconductor Device Physics
    • EE 216 Principles and Models of Semiconductor Devices
  • Linear Systems
    • EE 102A Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
    • EE 102B Signal Processing and Linear Systems II
    • EE 103 Introduction to Matrix Methods
    • EE 263 Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems
    Modern and Quantum Physics
    • EE 65 Modern Physics for Engineers
    • EE 142 Engineering Electromagnetics
    • EE 222 Applied Quantum Mechanics I
  • Probabilistic Systems
    • EE 102A Signal Processing and Linear Systems I
    • EE 178 Probabilistic Systems Analysis
    • EE 278 Introduction to Statistical Signal Processing

More information about the above courses is listed in

Students needing to retake the quals exam will move on to the Committee Format Exam.