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Policy

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Ph.D

Department of Communication Engineering
Requirements for Doctoral Program
 
 
The demand for advanced R&D talent in communication engineering has been in a state of growth in recent years due to the international global telecommunication industry boom. Furthermore, telecommunications has become the principal industry promoted by the government of Taiwan; hence, the government has introduced several major telecommunication projects with the intent to improve domestic R&D capability, to promote technological development, and to enhance the global competitiveness of Taiwan's telecommunications technology.
 
NCTU's Department of Communication Engineering (DCE) has emerged as the leading academic institution for the cultivation of advanced communication engineering R&D talent in Taiwan. DCE recruited doctoral students in cooperation with the Institute of Electronics from 1986 to 2001. Since 2001, DCE has been recruiting doctoral students independently. The program is divided into two groups: Group A, Group B. Students may apply for admission to the program through either (1) status upgrade or (2) entrance examination. The number of students accepted by either admission process will be determined by the Postgraduate Student Enrollment Committee of DCE in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education and the actual R&D needs of DCE. Postgraduate students are required to fulfill the requirements as stated in this document before the conferment of a doctoral degree. Matters not provided herein shall be subject to relevant rules and regulations of NCTU.
 
 
 1. Requirements for admission through the upgrade process
 1.1.        Vacancies: The maximum number of vacancies shall be a third of the annual total number of full-time students approved by the Ministry of Education, rounded up to the nearest whole number.
 1.2.        Qualifications of applicants: Applicants satisfying the following criteria may apply for an upgrade to the doctoral program:
(1) By the close of the current semester, the applicant will have completed 18 credits recognized by DCE as major courses.
(2) The applicant has a GPA within the top third of his or her class (GPA rating is calculated for each group) or other achievements, such as publication of papers and awarded patents.
(3) The applicant has been recommended by two or more DCE professors.
 1.3.        Evaluation: DCE Postgraduate Student Recruitment Committee will evaluate the data of applicants and submit information of successful applicants to the Dean’s Office. After being approved by the president of NCTU, the applications will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for reference. Successful applicants may begin attendance in the program in the following semester.
 1.4.        For further information, see Instructions for Application for Upgrade to DCE Doctoral Program (Appendix A).
 
 2. Requirements for admission through the entrance examination process
 2.1.        The entrance examination is divided into three groups of applicants:
(1) Group A
(2) Group B
 2.2.        Requirements
 2.2.1        Full-time students: Candidates must hold a master’s degree obtained from a domestic public or registered private university or independent college or an overseas college or university accredited by the Ministry of Education, or equivalent qualifications.
 2.2.2        Part-time students: Candidates must satisfy the requirements of full-time students, and must also be currently employed by a government agency, a school, or private industry, for no less than two consecutive years. All part-time students must submit an agreement on continuing education issued by the employer.
 2.3.        Contents of examination: Interview and qualifications review
 2.4.        Vacancies: Vacancies and exact selection criteria are to be determined by the enrollment brochure published in the current year.
 
 3. Academic and graduation requirements
 3.1.        Number of required credits for graduation:
 3.1.1        Admission through entrance examination: 18 credits, including exemption of credits, not including thesis seminar.
 3.1.2        Admission through upgrade: 36 credits, not including thesis seminar. Since academic year 1995, the total number of credits for courses of first and second majors completed in year 1 of the master’s program and doctoral program should be no less than 30.
 3.1.3        Only credits obtained from courses of postgraduate programs of the departments of mechanical engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics will be considered.
 3.2.        Required courses:
 3.2.1        Common required courses: Thesis Seminar should be taken for four semesters for all groups, and upgrade students may cancel the credits with that obtained in the master's program.
 3.2.2        Courses for first major: no less than three professional courses (9 credits) for each group.
 3.2.3        Courses for second major: no less than two courses (6 credits) outside the group they select. Students may take courses from other departments, but only courses of postgraduate programs offered by the departments of mechanical engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics will be considered. The subject matter of courses of the first and second majors should not be similar to each other.
 3.3.        Exemption of credits:
 3.3.1        Credits earned by upgrade students from courses completed in their master's program will be considered for credit towards their doctoral program requirements after their advisor's consent and completion of the Application for Repeated Study (see Appendix C). However, upgrade students may apply to the Institute for Student Affairs and Admissions Committee for credit exemption within one week from admission (see Credit Exemption Application Form in Appendix D). Students may apply for exemption of credits of courses with a score of 70 or higher taken within the past five years. Students must submit the Permission for Credit Exemption of Courses Taken from Other Departments/Schools form, the name and description of courses they have taken from other departments or schools, and a transcript (Permission for Credit Exemption of Courses Taken from Other Department/Schools in Appendix E, Evidence for Course Credit in Appendix F). The maximum number of credits to be exempted should not be more than 9 credits.
 3.3.2        According to the letter Tai (79) Kao-Tzu 28790 of the Ministry of Education dated 21 June 2000, students who register for the doctoral program after a second examination or application, or who have taken courses before enrolling in the program, may apply for credit exemption. The number of credits to be exempted should not be more than half of the required credits for graduation (9 credits, not including thesis seminar).
 3.4.        Taking courses offered by DCE from other departments: Students who take courses offered by DCE from other departments for special reasons (e.g. conflicts in schedule) must submit evidence demonstrating the need to do so and must apply for permission from the course instructor and their own advisor; otherwise, no credit obtained from such courses will be accepted (see application form in Appendix G).
 3.5.        Taking courses offered by DCE from other schools: Students may take courses from other schools, except for summer/winter programs. Students must apply for permission from their advisor, from the course teachers for DCE courses, and from the director of institute before doing so; otherwise, no credit obtained from such courses will be accepted.
 3.6.        No credit obtained from other academic programs (e.g. summer/winter schools or Ministry of Education approved credit programs) will be accepted.
 
 
 4. Requirements of changing advisor or group
 4.1.        Students must select, from the same group as the student is in, a DCE associate professor, assistant professor or professor as their thesis advisor within one year after registering for the doctoral program (see Advisor Agreement in Appendix H). If a student desires to invite other experts outside DCE as joint advisors (Joint Advisor Agreement as shown in Appendix I), such experts must be either an active full-time associate professor, assistant professor or professor of other colleges and universities or an active part-time NCTU associate professor, assistant professor or professor. If the expert is not a teacher, the application for a joint advisor must be made by the advisor and evaluated by the DCE Academic and Teacher Evaluation Committee. DCE does not encourage students to select a joint advisor from other departments when teachers of DCE still have vacancies for students.
 4.2.        Students must submit a research proposal approved by their advisor before the closing of course selection in every semester. A research proposal may be approved by the DCE chairperson when a student has not yet selected an advisor.
 4.3.        Students are generally not allowed to change their group. If a student needs to change their group for special reasons, s/he must make an application totheInstituteforStudentAffairsandAdmissionsCommitteeforapprovalanddeterminationof other requirements.
 4.4.        If a student needs to change an advisor, s/he must obtain written consent from both the original advisor and the new advisor. Or the qualification of the new advisor can beevaluated bytheInstituteforStudentAffairsandAdmissionsCommittee.(application form as shown in Appendix J).
 4.5.        For special situation, the advisor can terminate the work to guide the student after the application submitted by theadvisorisacceptedbytheInstituteforStudentAffairsandAdmissions Committee.
 
 5. Requirements of qualification exams
 5.1.        DCE schedules doctoral qualification exams for the January and July of every year. Students must pass the qualification exams of their group before being promoted to year three, except in the case of special circumstances, such as suspension of study (see Article 12 of NCTU Study Rules in the Postgraduate Student Handbook - a suspension should not be longer than two years). Students may be ordered to drop out if they fail to take the qualification exam.
 5.2.        Qualification criterion: Candidate must be an active doctoral student.
 5.3.        Subject matter covered by qualification exams:
 5.3.1        Group A: A student may select any two of the following seven subjects

(1) Random Processes

(2) Digital Communication

(3) Queuing Theory

(4) Computer Network

(5) Digital Signal Processing

(6) Algorithms

(7) Detection and Estimation

 
 5.3.2 Group B: A student may select any two of the following six subjects

                   (1) Advanced Electromagnetics

                 (2) Physics Mathematics

                 (3) Antenna Theory

                 (4) Passive Microwave Component and Circuit

                 (5) Numerical Semiconductor Device Modeling

                  (6) Computer - Aided Circuit Design and Analysis
 5.4.         Manner of questions: Over 70% of questions are conceptual.
 5.5.        Syllabus: To be announced six months before the examination date.
 5.6.        Students may apply for exemption of qualification exams subject to the following group specific regulations:
 5.6.1        Courses which may be exempted:

(1)Group A: Students may apply for exemption from any of the seven qualification exams.

·   Random Processes

·   Digital Communication

·    Queuing Theory

·   Computer Network

·   Digital Signal Processing

·   Algorithms

·   Detection and Estimation

 

(2)Group B: Students may apply for exemption from any of the following nine qualification exams:

·     Advanced Electromagnetics (corresponds to the course Advanced Electromagnetics I)

·     Physics Mathematics

·     Antenna Theory

·   Passive Microwave Components and Circuits (corresponds to the course  Microwave Engineering I)

·     Numerical Semiconductor Device Modeling

·     Computer - Aided Circuit Design and Analysis

 5.6.2        Criteria of exemption: A student may be exempted from a qualification exam if s/he has completed the corresponding course in the top 30% of the class (rounded to the nearest whole number), and the number of students taking the course was no less than 10. For example, if there are 35 students in the class, the top 30% of class means round(30x0.3)=round(10.5)=11, meaning a student must be one of the top eleven students in the class. See Appendix K for details.
 5.6.3        Applicants must apply for exemption of courses completed within the past two years from the application. For example, if a student completed a course in the first semester of 2000, s/he must apply for exemption of such course by the first semester of 2002.
 5.7.        Passing a qualification exam
 5.7.1        Students must pass and/or be exempted from two qualification exams.
 5.7.2        The passing grade of each exam is 70%. Instructors setting the questions of the exam will determine if students having a score between 50% and 69% pass the exam. Students with a score below 50% will be automatically failed. Students may take the exam course by course, and determination of a pass in application for exemption will be subject to Article 5.6.
 5.7.3        A student will be failed if s/he has failed in the qualification exam of a subject for three times and his/her academic results do not reach the exemption criteria. Students may change the selected qualification exam subjects for not more than three times before and after the exam. Nonetheless, applications for change of exam subjects must be approved by the student's advisor or the DCE chairperson for students who have not yet selected an advisor.
 5.8.        Students who fail in the qualification exam
 5.8.1        If a student has passed one exam and the score of the second one is between 50 and 69 marks, then s/he may apply for permission to the Postgraduate Student Enrollment Committee to continue study and research. In such a case, the student should also submit material supporting his/her application to continue.
 5.8.2        If a student has passed one exams, but has failed a second one three times, with each of those failing scores falling below 50 marks, then that student will be ordered to drop out of the doctoral program.
 5.8.3        The InstituteforStudentAffairsandAdmissionsCommittee may decide on whether or not to grant a conditional pass to a student by voting in accordance with the material submitted by the student and comment of his/her advisor. A conditional pass will be granted to the student if there are a majority of votes in favor of the conditional pass. Otherwise, the student will be ordered to drop out. The conditions will be established by the committee.
 5.9.        Master students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in DCE may take the qualification exam of the doctoral program while still enrolled in the master's program. However, such a student must pay a bond amounting to NT$2,000 for each subject. They may apply for a refund of the bond upon passing the qualification exam and retain the results for a period to two years. DCE will neither refund the bond nor keep the results if a student fails the exam. If a master student applies for admission to the doctoral program while the results are still valid, then these results will become the official record of their qualification exam in the doctoral program.
 
 6. Dissertation and point calculation
 6.1.        Students must write a dissertation in conformance with the standard NCTU format.
 6.2.        Research findings of a student's dissertation must be published in professional academic publications. Students must apply to the Academic and Teacher Evaluation Committee for approval of papers that they wish to publish as part of the dissertation requirements. Points will only be credited for papers that represent part of the student's dissertation.
 6.3.        Rules for point calculation
 6.3.1        Points will be calculated as shown below when the student is the first author of papers, except for advisor or joint advisor:
(1) 3 points for full papers and 2 points for short papers published in type 1 journals or periodicals (see Appendix L for details)
(2) 2 points for full papers and 1 point for short papers published in type 2 journals or periodicals (see Appendix L for details)
(3) 1 point for full papers and 0.5 points for short papers published in international journals or academic periodicals that are neither type 1 nor type 2. The contents of these papers should be clearly distinguishable from both type 1 and type 2 full papers.
(4) 1 point for papers presented at a Class A international symposium (see Appendix L for details). The total number of points earned from this category shall not exceed 2 points.
(5) 0.5 points for full and short papers presented at an international academic symposium or published in an international journal or academic periodical of a non-academic organization.
(6) The DCE Academic Committee shall review any dispute over whether a paper is classified as a full or short paper.
(7) Points will be calculated for patents of inventions related to research findings in the dissertation and for key Intellectual Properties of international standards. One point will be awarded for every patent registered in the USA, Europe or Japan, and 0.5 points for every patent registered in Taiwan. Only the highest point will be credited in the case of the same patent being registered in multiple locations. Two points will be awarded for every key intellectual property item adopted by an international standard. Contents of patents and intellectual property of full or short papers must be clearly identified.
 6.3.2        If the student is not the first author of a collaborative work, points credited to the student will be calculated in accordance with the following rules, where n is the number of authors not including the student's advisor and joint advisor:
(1) 0.75/(n-1) points for full papers and 0.5/(n-1) for short papers published in type 1 journals or periodicals
(2) 0.5/(n-1) points for full papers and 0.25/(n-1) for short papers published in type 2 journals or periodicals
(3) 0.25/(n-1) points published in international journals or academic periodicals that are neither type 1 nor type 2
(4) 0.125/(n-1) points for full and short papers presented at international academic symposiums or published in international journals or academic periodicals by non-academic organizations
(5) 0.25/(n-1) points for every patent registered in the USA, Europe, or Japan; 0.125/(n-1) points for every patent registered in Taiwan.
 6.4.        A dissertation must be credited with 4 or more points, with no less than one full paper of type 1 or type 2. The total point value of papers as in 6.3.1 (5) should not exceed one point. The total number of points due to patents should not exceed 2 points. These are the basic requirements of a dissertation, and do not include the individual requirements imposed by the student's advisor and graduation requirements.
 
 7. Requirements of oral defense
 7.1.        A PhD candidate must fulfill the academic and graduation requirements as stated in 3, pass the qualification exams, and fulfill the required dissertation point value.
 7.2.        A PhD candidate must collect the oral defense instructions from the DCE office one month prior to the oral defense and submit the following documents to the director of institute for review in advance.
(1) Two copies of his/her academic transcripts for all years of study in the doctoral program.
(2) Two publication lists and two copies of each publication (published copy or original copy and the letter of acceptance).
(3) Two letters of recommendation from his/her advisor.
(4) Two copies of the personal data sheets, including date of birth, education and the title of dissertation.
(5) Copies of the dissertation draft. The number of copies should be the number of members of the oral defense committee plus one extra copy. The drafts should be bound with paperback binding. A personal datasheet and publication list should be attached to the back of each draft.
(6) A list of the members of the oral defense committee. (See Appendix M)
 7.3.        A candidate will be recommended to take oral defense and apply for the issue of letter of employment to members of the oral defense committee when s/he fulfills the requirements as set forth in 7.1 and 7.2 and after obtaining approval from the chairperson of the director of institute and the DCE chairperson.
 7.4.        An oral defense committee approved by the president of NCTU will consist of five to nine members selected by DCE from among experts in the area of research of the candidate from inside and outside NCTU. The number of NCTU staff shall be no less than one third of the total number of members. These experts must fulfill at least one of the following requirements.
(1) A member must have been a professor.
(2) A member must be a research fellow of or have been a researcher of the Academia Sinica.
(3) A member must have been an assistant or associate professor or assistant or associate researcher of the Academia Sinica with outstanding academic achievements.
(4) A member must hold a doctoral degree with outstanding academic achievements.
(5) A member must be an expert in a specific field with outstanding academic or professional achievements.
 7.5.        An oral defense for master candidates shall be conducted according to the following regulations. A written defense may also be required, if applicable.
(1) An oral defense shall be opened to the public. The schedule, place and dissertation title shall be announced prior to the defense.
(2) All committee members shall participate in the defense in person. No representative shall be accepted. An oral defense shall only be conducted in the presence of at least five committee members.
(3) The President of NCTU shall appoint a committee chairperson from among eligible NCTU teachers, not including advisors of the candidate.
(4) The passing score of the oral defense is 70 marks and 100 the full marks. Evaluation shall be made once. The score awarded a candidate shall be the average of the scores given by all committee members participating in the defense. Nevertheless, if the score given by a third or more of the committee members participating in the defense is below the passing grade, then that candidate will be failed and no average will be calculated.
(5) If a candidate is found guilty of plagiarism by the committee, that candidate will be failed.
 7.6.        Students should write a dissertation in English in conformance to the NCTU Dissertation Format. The dissertation should include an abstract written in English and a translation of the abstract written in Chinese. Students must post the abstract of their dissertation on the website in accordance with the National Library Requirements and submit four copies of their dissertation within one month of passing the oral defense to the following parties:
(1) one to DCE
(2) one to the NCTU Library
(3) two to the collection units as instructed by the Ministry of Education
 8.   Conferment of degree: For a degree to be conferred on the candidate, the following criteria must first be satisfied:
 8.1.        A PhD candidate must pass the oral defense.
 8.2.        A PhD candidate must pass the PhD candidate English proficiency test of the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science or the English training program (applicable to students registering for the doctoral program since 1997, see Appendix N for details).
 8.3.        A student must complete the program within 2 to 7 years, part-time student may apply for extension for a term of one year. The period of study of upgrade students will be started from the year they register for the doctoral program.
 8.4.        Upgrade students who drop out the doctoral program or fail to pass the PhD candidate qualification exams may return to the master's program after the evaluation of the Student Affairs and Admissions Committee and the approval of the NCTU president. DCE will confer a master's degree upon upgrade students who have completed the required courses of the master's program, submitted a thesis and passed the oral defense. However, the study of the doctoral program will not be considered as part of the study period of the mater's program.
 8.5.        DCE will confer a master's degree upon upgrade students who fail in the oral defense of the doctoral program but have met the criteria of the master's degree, after the evaluation of the PhD Oral Defense Committee.
 8.6.        Students who fail to pass the oral defense or fail to complete all of the required courses within the period of study will be ordered to drop out.
 8.7.        If a student is found guilty of plagiarism by the Oral Defense Committee after the doctoral degree has been conferred upon him, NCTU shall withdraw the degree and take back the certificate that has been issued to that student.
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