The doctoral degree requires a total of 72 credits beyond the bachelor's degree. Of these, a minimum of 36 must be graduate courses and a minimum of 30 must be doctoral thesis research units. To be admitted to candidacy, students must have completed at least 18 credits at Washington University, have an overall GPA equal to or greater than 3.25, and pass the qualifying examination. All students are required to enroll in the department seminar every semester to receive passing grades. The first-year students must complete the core curriculum, perform two research rotations, and find a permanent research adviser. Then, within 18 months after the qualifying exam (generally in their third year), students should defend their thesis proposal.

After the successful proposal defense, students should provide the research updates through annual meetings or reports with their thesis committee until their graduation. While conducting doctoral research, students should perform professionally in a research lab including compliance with safety and regulatory requirements for their research projects. During the doctoral program, students must satisfy their fundamental and advanced teaching requirements by participating in mentored teaching experiences in the department for two or three semesters, by attending professional development workshops from the Teaching Center, and by presenting at least two formal presentations at the local level or at a national or international conference. Upon completion of the thesis, students must present the thesis in a public forum and successfully defend the thesis before their thesis committee.

For more detailed guidelines, please refer to the EECE doctoral studies handbook available on the EECE Graduate Degree Programs webpage.