Rensselaer awards the doctor's degree in recognition of high
achievement in scholarship and independent investigation. The
Doctor of Philosophy degree, under the auspices of the Graduate
School, is awarded when the dissertation is directed toward
making an original contribution to fundamental knowledge in a
particular field or in an interdisciplinary field. A
dissertation that is scholarly, creative, original, and
publishable may deal also with the relation of a discipline to
educational problems and objectives within the field. The
Doctor of Engineering degree, under the auspices of the
Professional School of the School of Engineering, is awarded
when the student proposes an engineering problem of substance
and develops a solution to it in a creative and distinguished
A candidate for the doctor's degree must:
- Complete a Plan of Study with satisfactory grades
containing 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree
including any appropriate work completed toward a master's
degree. In satisfying this requirement, at least two-thirds
of the total credit hours, excluding thesis, must contain the
suffix numbers 6000-7999, with the further limitation that no
more than 21 credit hours of 4000-4990 courses are to be
- Satisfy residence requirements.
- Form an approved doctoral committee.
- Pass a candidacy examination.
- Present an independently written (single author)
- Pass a final examination.
- Pursue a Plan of Study that will lead to the completion
of all requirements, including those of his or her
department, within seven years.
- Satisfy the binding fee requirement.
- File a degree application with the Registrar's Office by
the date specified in the academic calendar for the semester
in which he or she plans to be graduated. If a degree
application was filed for a previous semester but the
requirements were not fulfilled, a new degree application
must be filed for the semester in which the student actually
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
To be eligible to graduate, degree candidates must have
either: maintained continuous full-time registration;
maintained continuous full-time registration following a change
of status from part-time to full-time; or been, at all times, a
part-time student. Under no circumstances will a full-time
student be allowed to transfer to part-time status and maintain
eligibility for graduation.
Full-time degree candidates must be registered full-time
during the semester in which they intend to graduate.