About the Preliminary Exam

When the student has completed 9 semester hours of coursework in the doctoral program, he or she will be required to take a preliminary examination. The preliminary examination will be taken at the beginning of the second semester of the student’s doctoral program. The preliminary examination will be a written test of knowledge in at least three areas of electrical engineering. The student will choose from the following areas: Microelectronics, Computer Networks, Power Engineering, Control Systems, Communications, Digital Systems, Engineering Mathematics, and Signal Processing. The preliminary examination will be prepared and administered by the Graduate Program Administrator and graduate faculty. Students failing any portion of the preliminary examinations must consult with the Graduate Program Administrator to determine the steps to be taken. Two consecutive failures on the examination will result in the student’s dismissal from the Ph.D. program.


I. Microelectronics

Crystal structure: atomic bonding: phase relationships and kinetics. Band theory; Fermi-Dirac Statistics: conduction and introduction to semiconductor device physics: operational amplifiers. Diodes and nonlinear circuits. field effect transistors: analysis and design linear amplifiers. Biasing: small and large signal behaviors. Operation of bipolar junction transistors. Design and analysis of single and multistage transistor amplifiers. difference amplifiers, frequency response of amplifiers. Feedback concepts.

II. Digital Systems

Numbers. systems, and codes. Boolean algebra and logic minimization methods. Combinational and sequential design and using logic gates and flip flops.  Memory and programmable logic, register transfer and computer operations, control logic design. Computer  instructions and addressing modes, and design of a CPU input-output communication memory management

111. Power Engineering

Study of average and RMS power: polyphase circuits. complex frequency, frequency response, and magnetic circuits. Electric and magnetic devices. force and torque measurements, iron core transformers. single phase and polyphase power circuit analysis.  Introduction to per unit system.

IV. Control Systems

Basic discrete and continuous time signals, properties systems. linear time invariant systems. Fourier analysis. z-transformers. Laplace Transforms. Model of physical systems, system responses, system characteristics, stability design, frequency response analysis and design, and discrete time systems.

V. Communications and Signal Processing

Basic discrete continuous rime signals. properties of systems. linear time invariant systems, Fourier analysis, z-transformers, Fourier transformers. signal spectra, correlation, convolution, and sampling.  Transmission and processing of signals, system  representation,  filter, signal distortion, linear, angle and pulse modulation. Effect of noise interference on communications.

VI. Computer Networks

Data network architectures and protocols including X.25LANs and Internet; Performance Modeling and analysis to compute throughput bit errors: ( i ) Link Layer (ii) Network Layer (iii)TCP: DTF-DCL interface: Understanding of virtual circuit, data gram concepts and their behavior; Communication channels: modulation /demodulation, line coding techniques. scrambling: Concept of dB. dBm, dBw, SNR. Channel capacity, Multi-service requirements.

VII. Engineering Mathematics

Ordinary differential equations: Random Variables, expectations. means. variance. binomial and normal distributions,  hypothesis,  testing. sums of independent random variables. central limit theorem;  Matrices and determinants; vector spaces, systems or linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors: power series. Laplace transforms, Fourier Series and orthogonal functions.

Practice Exams

Register to take the Preliminary Exam