SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE
Dean D.S. Dolling
Associate Deans B. Narahari, C.E. Korman, R. Riffat
The School of Engineering and Applied Science was organized in 1884 as the Corcoran Scientific School of Columbian University, named in honor of William W. Corcoran, president of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1869 to 1888. The school was among the first to accept women for degree candidacy in engineering. While the organization and offerings of the school have evolved over the years, through most of its history its programs have been characterized by an emphasis on the principles guiding the advancement of technology.
Through its five departments—Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering—the School of Engineering and Applied Science offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy and to the two professional degrees of Engineer and Applied Scientist. Programs are individually planned according to the student’s preparation and needs. The School also offers many graduate-level certificate programs through its departments.
Research centers and institutes offer opportunities for student and faculty research, strengthening ties with counterparts in government and industry, and contributing to the development and harnessing of emerging technology. These include Biomedical Engineering, Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering, Computer Graphics, Intelligent Systems Research, Massively Parallel Applications and Computer Technologies, National Crash Analysis, Cyber Security Policy and Research, MEMS and VLSI Technologies, Magnetics Research, Materials Science, Knowledge and Innovation, and Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management.
Fields of graduate study offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science include civil and environmental engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering management, mechanical and aerospace engineering, systems engineering, and (at the M.S. level only) biomedical engineering, cybersecurity in computer science, and telecommunications engineering. Degree requirements and representative areas of focus within each field are listed in subsequent pages. Within some fields, students may choose to focus their course work in other specialties as well. For information on professional and doctoral degree study in a given field, contact the department administering the field.
Entrance requirements are outlined under individual degree programs, below. The following information pertains to all SEAS graduate programs.
Transfer of Credit
With the approval of the student’s advisor and department chair, graduate credit may be transferred, when applicable, to meet degree requirements of the School. For a master’s or professional degree candidate, or a doctoral candidate whose highest earned degree is a master’s, up to 6 credit hours may be transferred. For a doctoral candidate whose highest earned degree is a bachelor’s degree, up to 24 credit hours may be transferred from another doctoral program. The credit must have been completed with grades of A or B at another accredited and recognized institution, at a level of study equivalent to that being pursued at GW. The professional and doctoral degree programs require that the credit be earned no more than five years prior to admission to the GW program, and some departments require that it be earned more recently. Credit applied toward a previous degree may not be transferred. Transfer of credit regulations apply to courses taken as a nondegree student through GW’s Office of Non-Degree Students; that is, up to 6 credit hours may be taken in non-degree status before applying for admission to degree status. For purposes of transfer of credit, SEAS graduate certificate programs are not considered prior degrees; at the discretion of the department concerned, the credit hours earned in a SEAS certificate program may be applied to a subsequent master’s degree program.
English Language Requirements for International Students
Applicants who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English–Academic (PTE). (Specified possible exemptions from this policy can be found at graduate.admissions.gwu.edu/english-language-requirements.) The University looks for a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL, or an overall band score of 6.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 5.0, or a score of 53 on the PTE in considering candidates for admission. The Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering requires a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based), or an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 6.0, or a score of 68 on the PTE.
Students with the following English language test scores are exempt from taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: IELTS, overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; TOEFL, 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based; PTE, 68. In their first semester at GW, all non-exempted international students are required to register for an EAP course. The EAP course that is required is indicated in the student’s letter of admission. In the first EAP class meeting, the EAP Diagnostic Test is given to confirm the correct EAP placement. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree program.
Information on grades and computing the grade-point average is found under University Regulations.
At the option of the instructor, the notation of I (Incomplete) may be recorded if a student, for reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to complete the work of the course and if the instructor is informed of and approves such reasons before the date when grades must be reported. The I may be used only if the student’s prior performance and class attendance in the course have been satisfactory. Any failure to complete the work of a course that is not satisfactorily explained to the instructor before the date when grades must be turned in will be graded F. If acceptable reasons are later presented, the instructor may initiate an appropriate grade change. Although the I may remain on the record for a maximum of one year, the instructor should normally set a much briefer period within which the uncompleted work must be made up. The I cannot be removed by the student’s reregistering for the course here or taking its equivalent elsewhere. An incomplete that is not removed within one calendar year or at the time of graduation of the student, whichever occurs first, is automatically changed to an IF. When the I is changed to a letter grade, the I followed by the letter grade (e.g., IB) will appear on the student’s record. EMSE students with two or more outstanding Incompletes are barred from further course enrollment; see Incompletes under University Regulations regarding continuous enrollment.
Credit/No Credit Grading System—SEAS students may take SEAS courses under the credit/no credit grading system, but credit for such courses cannot be applied toward any degree program in SEAS.
Program of Study
In consultation with the academic advisor, each student develops a program of study and enters it on a form that governs the student’s degree requirements and that must be approved by the advisor and department chair. The form should be established soon after matriculation and must be completed before the end of the student’s first semester.
Residence and Continuous Enrollment
All work for the degree must be done in residence unless an exception is granted by the department chair. A student in a degree program is expected to be continuously enrolled in the School until the degree is conferred. To maintain continuous enrollment, a student may register in one of the following categories.
Leave of Absence—This status is available to students who are attending classes at another institution (special approval is required); who are temporarily transferred out of the area (e.g., for military TDY); or who are having temporary medical problems. A leave of absence is usually limited to two semesters.
Continuing Research—Students who have completed their research credits, but are not yet ready to defend a thesis or dissertation, must register for 1 credit of Continuing Research each semester as appropriate.
Examination Preparation—Students who are studying for a comprehensive or qualifying exam for the current or following semester, and are not taking any courses, must register for 1 credit of Examination Preparation as appropriate.
A student who breaks his or her registration must apply for readmission to the degree program under whatever conditions and regulations are in force at that time.
Master of Science Degree Program
Admission to the Master of Science degree program requires an appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution and evidence of a strong academic background and capacity for productive work in the field selected. All applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination general test, except applicants from SEAS undergraduate programs and those applying to special cohort and contract programs. In general, a grade average of B (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work is required, and most successful applicants score higher than the 90th percentile on the quantitative section of the GRE. Department-specific requirements are indicated below and at www.gwu.edu/gradapply.
Courses specified in a student’s program of study must be completed with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 for award of a master’s degree. Courses specified upon admission as deficiency or prerequisite courses do not form part of the program of study. A student who receives two grades of F or three grades below B− is barred from further enrollment in graduate courses and, ordinarily, will not be readmitted as a degree candidate. A student may not repeat for credit a course in which he or she has received a grade of C− or above, unless required to do so by the department chair. A written statement requiring the student to repeat such a course for credit must be submitted to the registrar by the department chair.
A full-time student in the master’s program is allowed a maximum of three calendar years (excluding any time spent taking only English for Academic Purposes courses) to complete all degree requirements, from the date of first registration as a degree candidate in prerequisite or graduate courses. A part-time student in the master’s program is allowed a maximum of five calendar years. The time limit does not include any period of registration as an unclassified student before admission to degree candidate status or any period spent on approved leave of absence. Students on F1 or J1 visas and students with external funding may have different time limits. Students who do not complete degree requirements within the allowed time will have their degree candidate status terminated. They may be readmitted to degree candidate status under conditions specified by the department chair and approved by the dean.
The master’s thesis must demonstrate the student’s ability to make independent use of the knowledge and discipline of thought acquired through graduate study, to undertake constructive work in a given field, and to communicate the results of the work in writing. Suitable work for which the student has professional responsibility may be considered, whether done on or off campus, provided no significant amount of work is completed without faculty supervision. An accepted thesis is the property of the University.
To register for the thesis course sequence, the candidate must submit the thesis area to the appropriate department chair, on the form obtained from the department office and approved by the faculty advisor. At the beginning of the semester of expected graduation, the candidate must submit the thesis title to the dean, on the form available in the department office. While registered in the thesis course sequence, the student is entitled to the advice of the faculty member under whom the thesis is to be written. Students may consult with their advisors, but they have primary responsibility for the thesis. Students orally defend their thesis before a committee of School faculty.
The thesis in final form must be submitted by the stated deadline. In the event a thesis is unfinished on the date specified, the student must register for continuing research. The overall time limit for earning the degree (see Time Limits, above) may not be exceeded. All theses must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth on line at www.gwu.edu/~etds.
Fields of Study
Master of Science programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are available in ten fields of study, indicated under the offering department, below. Each field in turn encompasses several areas of focus. The course of study responds to the unique interests of the student, who designs an individual program in close consultation with the assigned advisor. In most areas, students follow a prescribed core and elect approved courses from within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and from other schools of the University. Because engineering expertise includes a broad foundation in technology, engineering study may profitably be combined with study in other areas to sharpen the engineer’s focus in practice. Students must satisfy, through undergraduate studies or otherwise, either the prerequisites specified for the desired field or approved equivalents.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering administers the field of civil and environmental engineering. In addition to the entrance requirements stated above, the applicant is expected to have an undergraduate degree in engineering, the physical sciences, or applied mathematics. Minimum requirements for the degree are 33 credits of course work or 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of thesis. To be considered for departmental financial support, GRE scores are required.
Representative Areas of Focus Leading to the Master of Science
Engineering Mechanics—Required: ApSc 6213; CE 6206, 6210.
Environmental Engineering—Required: CE 6503, 6601, 6609.
Geotechnical Engineering—Required: CE 6210, 6402, 6605.
Structural Engineering—Required: CE 6201, 6202, 6210.
Transportation Safety Engineering—Required: CE 6210, 6701, and 6102 or 6722.
Water Resources Engineering—Required: CE 6503, 6601, 6609.
Department of Computer Science
The Department of Computer Science administers the fields of computer science and of cybersecurity in computer science. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. In addition to the entrance requirements stated above, students are expected to be adequately prepared in the basic physical sciences and in mathematics (one year each of university laboratory science and of math beyond precalculus), and to have taken a course in computer programming using a structured language and CSci 1112, 1311, and 2461 or their equivalents.
Graduate students are required to attend several department colloquia each semester. These are intended to broaden the student’s professional outlook and to encourage interaction with the faculty. Schedules are posted.
Computer Science—The program of study in computer science requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, of which at least 24 credits must be at the 6000 level. CSci 6212, 6221, and 6461 are required, and the remaining courses are elective. No area of concentration is required; rather, students can tailor their choice of electives to best meet their goals, subject to departmental approval. Normally, no more than two courses may be taken outside of those offered by the department.
Cybersecurity in Computer Science—The program of study in cybersecurity in computer science requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, of which at least 24 credits must be at the 6000 level. CSci 6212, 6221, 6461, and EMSE 6540 are required. Four electives must be chosen from designated cybersecurity-related courses, including at least two from the Computer Science Department, of which at least one course is indicated as applied cryptography. Normally, no more than three courses may be taken outside of those offered by the department.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering administers the fields of biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and telecommunications engineering. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. In addition to the entrance requirements for the degree listed above, students are required to have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, biomedical engineering, or computer science and be adequately prepared in the basic physical sciences and in mathematics. Students with a bachelor’s degree in another field and a basic knowledge of (a) mathematics and (b) electrical engineering, computer engineering, biomedical engineering, or computer science may be admitted, with a set of deficiency courses to be determined by the student’s advisor.
The student in biomedical, computer, or electrical engineering is required to take three courses chosen from ECE 6005, 6010, 6015, 6020, 6025, 6030, 6035, and 6060. The student chooses additional courses (five courses in the thesis option, or seven courses in the non-thesis option) based on the chosen area of focus, subject to the approval of the student’s faculty advisor. Normally, no more than two courses may be taken outside of those offered by the department. A maximum of three ECE courses at the 3000 and 4000 level may be counted toward the requirements for the degree, provided that an indication of “May be taken for graduate credit” is in the course description found in the Undergraduate Programs Bulletin. Every ECE graduate degree student must register for the 0-credit colloquium course ECE 6065. Students satisfy the requirements for this course by attending five colloquium seminars, workshops, or symposia sponsored by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Biomedical Engineering—Areas of focus leading to the Master of Science degree include medical imaging and medical instrumentation.
Computer Engineering—Areas of focus leading to the Master of Science degree include computer architecture and high-performance computing, and microelectronics and VLSI systems.
Electrical Engineering—Areas of focus leading to the Master of Science degree include biomedical engineering; communications and networks; electromagnetics, radiation systems, and microwave engineering; microelectronics and VLSI systems; signal and image processing, systems, and controls; and electrical power and energy.
Telecommunications Engineering—The student in telecommunications engineering is required to take ECE 6035, 6545, 6550, 6555, 6565, and 6580. Additionally, two courses are selected from a list of designated electives and two are selected based on individual interests, subject to approval of the student’s faculty advisor.
Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
The Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering administers the field of engineering management and the field of systems engineering.
The Department requires that the applicant have a suitable bachelor’s degree in an area such as engineering, a physical science, or mathematics from a recognized university with a B or better average for the last two years of undergraduate study. A grade of B− or better in Math 1232 and ApSc 3115, or their equivalents, is prerequisite to admission to all graduate degree programs offered by the Department. An applicant who does not meet these requirements may be considered for conditional admission; if the requirements have not been satisfied within the first two semesters of enrollment, the student may be barred from further enrollment within the Department. The Department recognizes significant experience in work situations relevant to the engineering management and systems engineering fields of study. For applicants with a different bachelor’s degree than those mentioned above, admission may be considered predicated on significant work experience in the representative areas of focus below.
A minimum of 36 credit hours is required, including EMSE 6001, 6020, 6410, and 6801 as the core courses in the Department. Each area of focus has specified course requirements, with electives as part of the program.
Engineering Management—Representative areas of focus leading to the Master of Science degree include crisis, emergency, and risk management; economics, finance, and cost engineering; engineering and technology management; environmental and energy management; knowledge and information management.
Systems Engineering—Representative areas of focus leading to the Master of Science degree include operations research and management science; systems engineering and integration; enterprise information assurance.
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering administers the field of mechanical and aerospace engineering. In addition to the entrance requirements stated above, the applicant is expected to have a background that includes an undergraduate degree in engineering, the physical sciences, or applied mathematics. The minimum program consists of 33 credit hours of course work or 24 credit hours of course work plus a master’s thesis (6 credits).
Representative Areas of Focus Leading to the Master of Science
Aerospace Engineering—Required: ApSc 6212 or 6213 and MAE 6286; one course chosen from MAE 6207, 6221, or 6276. Students may focus their course work on aeroacoustics, aeronautics, astronautics, propulsion, or space systems.
Design of Mechanical Engineering Systems—Required: MAE 6243, 6251, 6286. Students may focus their course work on computer-aided design, computer-integrated design and manufacturing, mechanical engineering design, and robotics.
Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Sciences, and Energy—Required: ApSc 6213; MAE 6221, 6286.
Industrial Engineering—Prerequisite: Math 2233, ApSc 3115; CSci 1041, 1121, or 1131. Required: EMSE 6755, 6770; MAE 6201, 6252; two approved three-course sequences, one in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the other in a cooperating department in SEAS.
Solid Mechanics and Materials Science—Required: ApSc 6213; two courses from MAE 6210, 6238, 6239.
Structures and Dynamics—Required: ApSc 6213; MAE 6207, 6286.
Robotics, Mechatronics, and Controls—Required: MAE 6245 and 6246; one course chosen from MAE 6240, 6242, 6243.
Professional Degree Program
The School of Engineering and Applied Science has established the professional degree program for those students who wish to pursue course work beyond the master’s degree with emphasis on applied subject material rather than on basic research. Successful completion of the professional degree program leads to the degree of Engineer or of Applied Scientist.
Admission to study toward the professional degree requires an appropriate master’s degree from a recognized institution and evidence of capacity for productive work in the field selected as indicated by prior scholarship and, where appropriate, professional experience. The Departments of Computer Science and of Electrical and Computer Engineering require applicants for the professional degree to have had two years of professional experience after receiving the master’s degree.
To study toward the degree of Engineer, an applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an area of engineering.
To study toward the degree of Applied Scientist, an applicant must possess a master’s degree in engineering, computer science, natural science, or mathematics. Applicants who have an equivalent quantitative background may be considered as special cases by the respective departments.
Normally, a B average in graduate work is required, although the departments often set higher admission standards. Some programs have specified prerequisites. An applicant who has significant deficiencies in preparation may be required to take prescribed prerequisite courses, which do not count toward any part of the requirements for the professional degree.
The minimum program consists of 30 credit hours of approved graduate courses beyond a master’s degree. Students whose prior study does not include course prerequisites may be required to take additional course work.
Programs are determined by established prerequisites and the requirements of the department in which the student wishes to study. The program of each professional degree candidate must be approved by the student’s advisor and the department chair.
Each department may require its degree candidates to undertake and defend the results of a technical design project or a development problem or to prepare a comprehensive technical report to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to make independent use of the knowledge and discipline of thought acquired through graduate study. When applicable, the student will be informed of this requirement by the faculty advisor at the time the student’s program is being formulated. The project may not be more than 6 credit hours out of the minimum 30.
If a student studying for the professional degree receives two grades of F or three grades below B−, study is terminated and further enrollment prohibited. A student must have a final grade-point average of at least 3.0 to receive the degree. The Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering requires a final grade-point average of at least 3.4.
A full-time student in the professional degree program is allowed a maximum of three calendar years to complete all degree requirements, from the date of first registration as a degree candidate in prerequisite or graduate courses. A part-time student in this program is allowed a maximum of five calendar years. The time limit does not include any period of registration as an unclassified student before admission to degree candidate status or any period spent on approved leave of absence. Students who do not complete degree requirements within the allowed time will have their degree candidate status terminated. They may be readmitted to degree candidate status under conditions specified by the department chair.
Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree or professional degree who are in good academic standing may, with the approval of the faculty advisor and department chair, transfer from one degree program to the other within their department if they meet the qualifications and requirements specified by the department. In the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, only one such transfer is permitted.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
The doctoral program is designed to prepare the student for a career of creative scholarship by providing a broad but balanced background of knowledge and guidance in the performance of research. The program is divided into two stages. The first comprises a study of related fields of learning that support the general area of research concentration and culminates in the qualifying examination. The second, composed of original research and the presentation of findings in a written dissertation, culminates in the final examination.
Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program requires an appropriate earned bachelor’s or master’s degree from a recognized institution, evidence of a strong academic or relevant professional background, course work designated by the department as pertinent to the field to be studied, and capacity for research. All applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination general test, except applicants from SEAS M.S. programs. Most successful applicants score higher than the 90th percentile on the quantitative section of the GRE. Students whose highest earned degree is a bachelor’s degree must present a grade-point average of at least 3.3 on a scale of 4.0 in undergraduate work. For students whose highest earned degree is a master’s degree, departmental requirements for the grade-point average in course work leading to that degree are as follows (on a scale of 4.0): Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 3.4; Computer Science, and Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, 3.5. Consult the department concerned for field-specific admission requirements.
Upon admission to the first stage of the program (that is, study of related fields culminating in the qualifying examination), the student is assigned a faculty advisor who directs his or her studies. In some departments a faculty committee may be appointed instead of a single advisor. Programs of study are structured to include a major field and two minor or supporting fields. Check with the department concerned for requirements.
A minimum of 30 credit hours in a formal program of study at the graduate level beyond master’s study or, for students without a master’s degree, a minimum of 54 credit hours in a formal program of study at the graduate level beyond the baccalaureate is required. These credit hours include both course credit and Dissertation Research credit. Individual requirements may vary by department; check with the department concerned. In many cases, particularly when the student undertakes a doctoral program in a field other than that in which the earlier degree was earned, the program of study exceeds the minimum number of credit hours. Departments may establish a tool requirement, such as an examination in a computer language. Consult the department concerned for specific curriculum requirements.
If a doctoral student receives two grades of F or three grades below B−, graduate study is terminated and further enrollment prohibited. Courses in which the student earns grades below B− are not included in the total credit-hour requirement for the degree. Students who receive any grade below B− are required to review their programs of study with their advisors.
In general, one year of full-time study is the minimum amount of time to be spent in preparation for the qualifying examination, although the student may apply for the examination whenever he or she feels properly prepared. The qualifying examination must be completed within five years of the date of admission, and the entire degree program must be completed within seven years unless an extension is granted by the department. Approval of an extension is conditional on satisfactory progress. The time period for completion of the degree may be adjusted by the department for an approved leave of absence. A minimum of two years of full-time study and research should be expected in meeting the requirements for the degree. All time periods indicated here are increased by two years for a student entering the doctoral program without a master’s degree.
Full-time doctoral students must register for a minimum of 9 credits per semester until the minimum credit hours are completed, and 1 credit of Continuing Research each semester thereafter until satisfactory completion of the final examination. Part-time doctoral students must normally register for a minimum of 6 credits per semester until the minimum credit hours are completed and 1 credit of Continuing Research each semester thereafter until satisfactory completion of the final examination. No minimum load is required during the summer sessions.
Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations
The Department of Computer Science requires a preliminary examination that must be passed within four semesters of starting the program. It comprises material from the areas of algorithms and theory, and software and systems.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering requires a preliminary examination that must be taken before completing 18 credits after initial registration. The examination is guided by but not limited to the core material of the master’s program. Specific details regarding the structure of the exam are available in the department.
To be admitted to the qualifying examination that is required of all doctoral students, the student must have at least a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Computer Science, and of 3.4 in the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The qualifying examination is the principal means of determining whether a student will qualify as a candidate for the doctoral degree and progress to the second stage of the program. Its purpose is to ascertain that the student’s background and intellectual development are adequate to support doctoral research in the central field. (Some departments may administer a prequalifying examination prior to completion of the study program.)
Qualifying/preliminary examinations may be written or oral or both. They are conducted on dates established by the departments and are administered by a faculty committee. Upon favorable report of the examiners following the qualifying examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the degree; the student then begins specialized study and research under the supervision of a designated member of the full-time faculty.
At the discretion of the committee that prepared the examination, a student who fails any part of the qualifying examination may be given a second opportunity to qualify for candidacy. Usually, the entire examination must be retaken.
Students who fail to qualify for candidacy in a doctoral program of the School will be considered to have failed on a school-wide basis and will not be admitted to further doctoral study within the School.
The Dissertation and Final Examination
The student admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy chooses the faculty member under whom he or she wishes to conduct research; the faculty member may accept or reject the request to serve as the student’s director of research. The research area is approved by the director, and throughout the remainder of the doctoral program the candidate conducts dissertation research under the director. However, the student may consult other members of the faculty on an informal basis. In the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, students are required to present a written dissertation proposal to a committee of three full-time faculty members and to successfully defend the proposal in an oral defense prior to performing the bulk of their dissertation research. Work on the dissertation encompasses a minimum of 12 to 24 credit hours, depending upon the department concerned.
The dissertation should embody the results of an extended original study and include material deemed worthy of publication in recognized scientific and engineering journals. The student is expected to attempt to have the results of the research published as soon as possible after he or she receives the degree and to submit copies of the published material to the dean. The Department of Computer Science requires that at least one article be accepted for publication by a refereed conference or journal prior to completion of degree requirements. The Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering requires that an article be accepted for review by a refereed journal prior to completion of degree requirements. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering requires the submission of a paper to a refereed journal and its acceptance for publication prior to the completion of degree requirements. Credit must be given in the publication to the fact that the material is abstracted, summarized, or developed from a dissertation submitted to The George Washington University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
All dissertations must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth online at www.gwu.edu/~etds. Regulations regarding the form of the dissertation and preparation of the abstract are available in department offices. The dissertation, with accompanying files, becomes the property of the University.
Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the research committee, the candidate is presented for the final examination. The final examination is oral and is open to the public. The candidate must demonstrate a mastery of the special field of study and of the materials and techniques used in the research. The committee of examiners may include qualified experts brought to the University especially to participate in the examination. The director of research usually serves as advocate for the candidate. Students should consult department regulations concerning the formation of the committee and scheduling of the examination. When the examining committee is convinced of the quality and originality of the candidate’s contribution to knowledge as well as his or her mastery of the scholarship and research techniques of the field, the committee recommends the candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Students completing their degree program should refer to the section on Graduation Requirements, Participation in the Commencement Ceremony, under University Regulations.
Graduate Certificate Programs
The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers graduate certificate programs in several fields. At the discretion of the respective departments, credit earned in the certificate program can be applied to a subsequent master’s degree program. Scholarship requirements are the same as those for the master’s degree program. Details are available in the Office of the Dean. Certificate programs include the following:
Computer-Integrated Design in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (12 credits)
Computer Security and Information Assurance (12 credits)
Emergency Management and Public Health (18 credits)
Energy Engineering and Management (12 credits)
Engineering and Technology Management (18 credits)
Enterprise Information Assurance (18 credits)
Environmental Engineering (12 credits)
Geoenvironmental Engineering (12 credits)
High-Performance Computing (15 credits)
Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness and Response (18 credits)
Knowledge and Information Management (18 credits)
Structural Engineering (12 credits)
Systems Engineering (18 credits)
Transportation Engineering (15 credits)