Power and Energy General Exams

Contact Dr. Ali Bazzi for more information

The PhD General Exam will be conducted over a period of 3 days while the MS Comprehensive Exam will be conducted over a period of 2 days. Coordination of the Power and Energy General Exam is done through the Systems Group.

  1. The exams are OPEN book. No internet access is allowed.
  2.  All exams for a day will be distributed at the beginning. Each subject will have a 1.5 hr duration. The recommendation for the students is (a) to dedicate 1 hr/subject and go through all of them, then (b) go back and reread/finish each of them. All exams will be collected back together at the end of total time.
  3. Passing grade policy:
    1. Failure in a subject: < 5;
    2. Minimum overall passing average: 6.5 and no failure in any subject.
  4. Retake policy: 
    1. If a student fails in one subject, retake only that exam next time if the average is at least 6.5. Otherwise take all the exams again next time.
    2. Failure in two or more subjects: full retake regardless of average.
  5. Oral exam policy: The oral exam has to be taken within 3 months after passing the written exam unless waived by the student’s advisory committee. 
    1. General Oral Exam: Each student has to take the oral exam with their committee. Other instructors can join if they wish. Any questions can be asked related to the courses taken by the candidate.
    2. Subject Oral Exam: A student has to take the oral exam(s) with the instructor(s) in whose subject(s) the grade was < 6.5. This exam could be combined with the General Oral Exam if agreed by the committee and the subject instructor(s) and based on their common availability.
  6. Number of attempts: A student has a maximum of three attempts to pass the PhD General or MS Comprehensive exam. If anyone is unable to pass in three attempts, then he/she will be automatically removed from the corresponding program.
  7.  The problems for any subject will be different for MS Comprehensive and PhD General Exam.

The general exams for the power and energy track will be administered over a 3 day period at 4-hour blocks.  All Ph.D. students must pass 7 exams among listed courses.  They must take at least 3 exams or can take up to 4 exams from day one and two courses.  After that, they need to take either 3 or 4 exams to fulfill 7 exams from day three courses.  M.S. plan B students must pass 4 exams (2 exams in day one/two and 2 exams in day three).  An entire block of exams should be taken together.  The exam courses are listed below:

Day One and Two: M.S. & Ph.D. Exams on Core Courses

  1. ECE 5101: Introduction to Systems Theory
  2. ECE 6111: Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes
  3. ECE 6122: Digital Signal Processing
  4. ECE 6439: Estimation and Filtering Theory

Day Three: Ph.D. Exams on Power and Energy Courses

  1. ECE 5510: Power System Analysis
  2. ECE 5520: Advanced Power Electronics
  3. ECE 5530: Modeling and Control of Electric Drives
  4. ECE 5540: Electrical System Protection and Switchgear
  5. ECE 5550: Microgrids
  6. ECE 6226: Power Network Dynamics and Simulation
  7. ECE 6437: Computational Methods for Optimization
  8. ECE 6095: Any Special Topics Course Provided by a Power and Energy Group Professor (Profs. A. Bazzi, Y. Cao, H. Nguyen, S.Y. Park, Z. Wang and J. Zhao).

Note: The “Power and Energy Track” general exam requirements will be revised by the end of April of each year.  Courses and requirements are subject to change.