Questions about Engineering PhD

<p>I have some questions about getting an (electrical probably) engineering phd.</p>

<p>1) Is it possible to jump from undergraduate to a PhD program?</p>

<p>2) How important is undergraduate prestige when applying (would going to UMich be an advantage over Ohio State) ?</p>

<p>3) How long does obtaining a PhD take on the average?</p>

<p>4) How important is PhD prestige when applying for top jobs in industry or academia?</p>

<p>1) Yes, but extensive research as an undergrad is imperative to getting accepted to a MS/PhD or PhD only program. </p>

<p>2) Prestige in and of itself matters little. I met people from every school imaginable from St.Francis College to MIT and Harvard during my travel visits .
What matters is the research you have done as an undergrad. At Ohio State and Michigan, you'll find yourself among faculty who are excellent researchers and well connected.</p>

<p>3) Depends on the field, your advisor's guidance, and your abilities. On average for engineering, roughly 5-7 years.</p>

<p>4) PhD Prestige is very important for academia. I have friends going through the hiring process now and its overtly apparent that interviewees for faculty positions at most schools are all coming from top schools. It seems less important for industry however.</p>

<p>O and one more question.</p>

<p>5) How competitive is it to get accepted to a top program?</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply Blah.</p>

<p>Very competitive. At the top programs, we're talking about 1-20% that get accepted to the PhD program. At Cornell when I interviewed for the PhD program, they accepted 10 people out of 250 who applied that year with the intent to fund 5. Remember, this means you are getting fully funded with a stipend so it necessarily has to be competitive. Realize this may fluctuate from program to program. Stanford for instance accepts alot more PhD students but doesn't fund all of them.</p>

<p>Just don't do it. Believe me don't. Sounds like you are pretty young right now and already considering a PhD. The electrical engineering field is particular competitive due to the need to the speed of technology these days. Stay with a BS and earn an MBA later on if you're interested in monetary compensation. Unless research is your life's goal, just drop the PhD pursuit. It is for your own good. But here's some answers to your questions.</p>

<li><p>Yes, very common.</p></li>
<li><p>Minor but yes.</p></li>
<li><p>4-8 years</p></li>
<li><p>Yes school prestige matters a lot if you want a job in academia. Prestige is much less of a factor if you want a job in industry.</p></li>
<li><p>Shoot for 3.6 minimum GPA. Basically perfect math scores on GRE, decent on the rest. In addition find good research experience at the undergrad level preferably 2 years and maybe 1 or 2 publications.</p></li>

<p>Well i have no interest in earning a lot of money. All i need is enough to live and pay off college debts</p>

Basically perfect math scores on GRE, decent on the rest.


Do you have to take any subject tests for the GRE, or only the basic test?</p>

<p>For engineering, just the basic. And honestly, a perfect score on the GRE quantitative shouldn't be that difficult to get... It's all about accuracy. There's no calculus on it whatsoever, so it's not that much more difficult than the SAT math section, which, as a senior in college who's done math for four years solid, you should be able to do without too much trouble.</p>

<p>Also, some things that some folks are interested in require a PhD. As a close-to-home example, my brother's embarking on his EE PhD run starting next year because he wants to do microprocessor architecture (and he's got a pretty good side-gig as an expert witness with a hotshot IP lawyer in Los Angeles, so he's half-considering a PhD/JD, which can get you some amazing consultancy money). Either ultimate gig would require the doctorate.</p>

<p>Do these answers also apply to Chemical Engineering majors.</p>

<p>Chemical is maybe slightly less competitive than Electrical. Jmilton's response to #5 of OP is a good guide for being a competitive applicant. Only thing I would disagree with is the number of publications. Research experience is a must, but it isn't necessary to have publications. Publications are seen as the cherry on top of your application sundae.</p>

<p>What about MechE majors?</p>