Direct PhD option recently added to ECE ILLINOIS graduate curriculum
Thanks to a recent change in the graduate curriculum, ECE ILLINOIS will soon be accepting students who do not currently have a master's degree into the PhD program. Under the current curriculum, students without an approved MS degree must first be admitted into the thesis-based MS degree program in ECE ILLINOIS and then petition into the PhD program.
However, this has hindered the department from recruiting top talent into its graduate program because many students applying for PhD programs want to be directly admitted into the PhD program without the requirement of first completing an MS degree. According to ECE ILLINOIS Professor and Associate Head for Graduate Affairs Michael L Oelze, "Almost all our peer ECE doctoral programs have an option to directly admit students to the PhD program without requiring an MS degree. With the new Direct PhD program, students with a BS degree in an appropriate engineering field can skip the MS entirely and be entered directly into the PhD program."
The Direct PhD program will allow students to be awarded the PhD degree in a shorter time period and give them the flexibility to immerse themselves in their PhD research earlier as they will not have to initially produce an MS thesis.