Mason Offers Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Posted: May 3, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
By Emily Yaghmour
On March 21, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approved the university’s proposal to create a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students may apply for the program beginning this fall. The program, which has been under development for several years, is administered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition to the new Ph.D., the department offers a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Engineering and a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering.
Producing doctoral graduates in the field of electrical and computer engineering is very important, says Andre Manitius, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “In many IT engineering projects, it is the Ph.D.-level professionals who are called upon to lead.” When George Mason students graduate with Ph.D.s in Electrical and Computer Engineering, they will be well prepared not only to work in such fields as wireless communications, computer networking, and semiconductor design and manufacturing, but to be leaders in these fields as well.
For the past several years, George Mason students who wanted a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering enrolled in the Ph.D. in Information Technology and then specialized in electrical and computer engineering. While the degree was equivalent to a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the title of the degree was Ph.D. in Information Technology. “Both these students and their potential employers found this confusing,” says Manitius. Now, because George Mason students may acquire a degree that is designated as a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason is better positioned to attract both students and faculty members who are interested in this field, he says. He expects to enroll at least 22 students in the program this fall.
The department’s advisory committee, which is composed of industry representatives, strongly endorsed the creation of the program, says Manitius. “Some of them expect that their employees will be able to advance to a Ph.D. degree while working on research problems at their institutions.”