Information Science with a focus in Telecommunications, PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Information Science with a focus in Telecommunications prepares students for independently engaging in advanced work in high-quality research and teaching. It provides research-oriented graduate study and professional specialization in telecommunications and emphasizes both scholarly and applied research. To earn a PhD degree, a student must demonstrate breadth of knowledge, give evidence of superior scholarship and mastery of a specialized field, and must demonstrate their ability to do significant and relevant research. In addition, the student must conceive, write, and defend a PhD dissertation representing a significant and original contribution to current academic research as demonstrated by a public dissertation defense and publication in established peer-reviewed academic conferences and/or journals. Major milestones en-route to the PhD degree are the preliminary examination, the comprehensive examination, the dissertation proposal, and the dissertation defense.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the PhD should have broad knowledge of the field of telecommunications as well as a specialization in the area of major interest. Every candidate should have, in addition, a strong background in research methodologies.

The Telecommunications PhD program requires a minimum of 48 credits beyond a master’s degree. Exceptional students with a technical bachelor’s degree may be admitted on occasion, and in such cases, a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree is required. The 72 credits must include the required courses (or their equivalent) for the MST degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

All PhD candidates must complete: 

  • 12 credits of required courses
  • 12 credits of doctoral seminars
  • 6 credits of minor courses
  • At least 18 credits of dissertation research and writing (no more than 18 credits applied toward graduation)
  • 48 of the 72 credits must be advanced coursework beyond the MST degree (or its equivalent)

A plan of study should be designed by the advisor and student as early as possible after admission. A copy of the plan of study must be on file in the student’s folder and should be consulted during each registration period.

While these are minimum credit requirements, every PhD student may be required to take more credits of coursework to obtain the breadth and depth of knowledge required to successfully complete their dissertations. Graduation depends upon meeting the minimum credit requirements and all other requirements.

For more degree requirement details, visit the Information Science with a focus in Telecommunications course catalog.

Admissions Requirements