First-Year Ph.D. Students

First-Year Program Plan

During the first year of the Ph.D. program, students prepare for formal candidacy by taking courses and participating in faculty-directed research projects.

Each student works with a faculty advisor and 2 additional Thayer faculty members. This group helps each student develop a first-year program of study, which the student submits to the Graduate Programs Office during the first week of the term. A typical first-year program of study includes:

Go to Banner Student to complete the Ph.D. Program Plan (First Year Scheduling).

Full Ph.D. Program Plan

During the first term, the faculty help the student develop a full program plan to fulfill the Ph.D. requirements, which the student submits to the Graduate Program Office before the beginning of the second term. The Ph.D. program plan includes the remaining engineering courses required plus participation in the following seminars and workshops:

Ph.D. Course Planning Sheet (PDF) - for planning purposes only. You will need to go to Banner Student to complete the Ph.D Program Plan.

Annual PhD-Advisor Meeting Report

At the end of each year, students undergo a meeting review of their grades, goals, achievements and future plans in research, formal coursework, and extracurricular activities. Following the first-year meeting, before the fall of second year, the advisor provides the Registrar a written report describing a student’s annual performance. Following a positive outcome of this first annual meeting, the student is expected to complete the oral qualifier examination before the end of the fall term. The second annual meeting should also occur at the end of the student’s second year, and a successful outcome of this would allow the student to progress to the PhD thesis proposal presentation before the end of the third year. Every year that a student remains registered in the PhD program, an annual review meeting and report must be completed. Students who are not progressing in the normal manner are transferred to the MS program with the understanding that they may later request to be reconsidered as PhD candidates.