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Graduate Calendar
Fall 2019

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PhD program requirements are common for the following Engineering programs: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Materials, Mechanical Engineering. For PhD program requirements for the Industrial and Manufacturing SystemsEngineering program click here.

Areas of Specialization

The areas of specialization are listed by Department.

Admission Requirements

An applicant for admission to a course of graduate studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering must normally be a graduate of a recognized university with a Master's degree in Engineering or Applied Science. Applicants with degrees in related fields will be considered but will normally require strengthening of their background in engineering. At the discretion of the Program Graduate Committee, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) may be required.

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to satisfy the English proficiency requirement as described in the application procedures listed in this calendar.

Possession of the minimum requirements does not automatically ensure acceptance to the degree program.

Candidacy: Admission to graduate study does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree. The candidacy of a student normally will be determined within the second year after initial registration in the doctoral program.

Candidacy will be granted to students who meet all of the following requirements:
(a) satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination;
(b)demonstration to the doctoral committee of ability to conduct independent research;
(c)acceptance by the doctoral committee of the research proposal.

The doctoral committee will assess the student's competence to continue research on the basis of (a), (b) and (c), and inform the Chair of the Program Graduate Committee.

Program Requirements

The specific minimum program requirements for the Ph.D. include the successful completion of:

1) Course Requirements: Satisfactory completion of at least four courses, comprising a minimum of eight term hours, beyond the courses required for the Master's degree.

2) A comprehensive examination.

3) Satisfactory progress in research within each review period. The doctoral committee will establish by periodic review, which will include at least one formal seminar a year, that adequate progress in research has been accomplished by the candidate. The doctoral committee will also grant permission to write the dissertation when it decides the candidate has achieved sufficient competence in carrying out research, and when the candidate has done substantial research.

4) A dissertation on the research. Each candidate will be required to make an oral presentation of the dissertation research and will be examined orally on the subject of the dissertation and related fields.

Residence and Time Limits: Every student will undertake a full program of study for a minimum of three years beyond the Baccalaureate of Engineering or its equivalent. Credit for one of these years may be given for the time spent in proceeding to a Master's degree. Credit for one of these years may also be given for work done at another institution. However, in no case shall the student spend fewer than two of the three required years of residence in full-time attendance at the University of Windsor.

A student admitted to a Ph.D. program requiring the student's attendance for a minimum of three years must complete all requirements within seven years. Students admitted to a program requiring a minimum of two years' residence must complete all requirements within six years.

Committees: Research undertaken as part of a doctoral program is normally directed and supervised by a doctoral committee. Whereas the student's advisor provides day-to-day guidance and direction, the committee is ultimately responsible for the overall supervision to ensure that adequate progress is being maintained. The doctoral committee will consist of at least four members, with the student's advisor as chairperson. The advisor must be a member of graduate faculty. At least one member shall be from a program area within the University of Windsor other than the one in which the student is majoring.

The student's advisor will propose the names of members for the doctoral committee, and these will be subject to the approval of the Program Graduate Committee and the Executive Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Within one month after initial registration, each student will be assigned to a doctoral committee.

The final appraisal of the dissertation and the conduct of the final oral examination of the dissertation will be carried out by an examining committee. The examining committee will consist of the doctoral committee, the Dean of Graduate Studies or designate as chairperson (non-voting), and an external examiner.

Examinations: At the discretion of the doctoral committee a qualifying examination may be required. A qualifying examination is one in which the student is asked to demonstrate a reasonable mastery of the fundamentals in the major subject; it is designed to test the student's preparation for advanced graduate work. If such an examination is required, it must be administered and passed before the student registers for the second year of Ph.D. work.

In addition to the usual examinations on course work, all students must meet the following requirements:

1) Review of Progress on Research: Within the first year, the student will present in the form of a seminar an outline of his or her proposed thesis research. This will be presented to the doctoral committee who must approve, with or without modifications, or reject the proposal. Thereafter, at least once a year the student will report his or her progress in the form of a seminar.

2) Comprehensive Examination: Students who have previously obtained a Master's degree must attempt this examination within twelve months of registering for the Ph.D. program. Other students must take it within twenty-four months of registration for the Ph.D. program. This set of examinations requires the students to demonstrate an adequate background in the general discipline of engineering, and an advanced knowledge in their fields of specialization. The comprehensive examination will be conducted by a program comprehensive committee in one or two sections at the discretion of the Program Graduate Committee:

(a) a scheduled, supervised written portion, of at least three hours' duration, designed to test the student's general knowledge on core subjects in the field of study, with questions set and answers evaluated by the program comprehensive committee;

(b)an oral examination to be evaluated by the program comprehensive committee. The objective of this part of the examination is to test the student's ability to integrate general knowledge from different areas of the field of study in order to solve problems the student has not previously encountered.

The student's overall success in the comprehensive examination will be determined by the program comprehensive committee. If the student is unsuccessful, the committee may require:

(a) that the student repeat all or part of the comprehensive examination at a specified time,

(b)that the student take and pass remedial coursework before repeating all or part of the examination, or

(c)after consultation with and approval by the doctoral committee, that the student withdraw from the program.

3) Final Examination: The passing of the final oral examination of the dissertation requires both an adequate dissertation and a satisfactory defence of the dissertation. This examination will be conducted by the examining committee. Following the acceptance and provisional approval of the dissertation by the doctoral committee, and a satisfactory preliminary report from the external examiner, a date for the oral examination can be set. Except under very unusual circumstances, the external examiner must be present at the oral examination. If the examining committee cannot arrive at a unanimous decision to award a passing grade, the majority decision will be accepted provided that there is no more than one dissenting vote. However, if the dissenting vote is that of the external examiner, a new external examiner may be appointed and another oral examination will be required. If the new examiner also gives a dissenting vote, the dissertation will not be accepted.


Research for the Ph.D. or M.A.Sc. degree, in part or in whole, may be carried out in an outside institution (e.g., industrial, governmental, or academic university). A student who does research at an outside institution must fulfil the same requirements as a student doing on-campus research. The only exception is that the time spent doing the off-campus research relevant to the thesis or dissertation will be credited toward the residence requirement. In addition to the general requirements, a student applying for permission to do research at an outside institution must provide:

1) A detailed statement of the research proposal, including arrangements for supervision, and of the circumstances under which the research is to be carried out;

2) Evidence that the institution has adequate facilities for the research; and that the applicant will be able to pursue independent research;

3) A proposed time schedule;

4) A letter of support from a responsible person in the outside institution giving approval of the proposal and accepting these regulations.