PhD Degree Procedures

  • Plan a course of study to prepare for the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam.
    Qualifying Exam requirements

  • Complete 3 credits of IE Graduate Seminar:  IND E 591, 592, 593 (1 credit each) 

1. Take the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam.
The Qualifying Exam is offered once per year, in Winter quarter. Students planning on taking the Qualifying Exam must register with the ISE Advising Office in mid-November. The Qualifying Exam is administered as a take-home test over several days, followed by an oral presentation. The Qualifying Exam must be taken no later than the second time it is offered while in residence.
2. Establish a Supervisory Committee.
After passing the Qualifying Exam, establish a Ph.D. Supervisory Committee. The committee must consist of a minimum of four members. At least three members must be chosen by the student. A minimum of two members must be from Industrial Engineering, including the Chair. The UW Graduate School will appoint a Graduate School Representative (GSR) to serve as the fourth member. If desired, and upon approval from the committee Chairperson, more than the minimum four members may serve on the committee. To form your Supervisory Committee, submit the "Request to Establish a Ph.D. Supervisory Committee" form, with all required signatures, to the IE Advising Office.
3. Successfully complete the Ph.D. General Examination.
Prior to scheduling the General Examination, completion of 60 credits must be completed, with at least 18 credit hours of 500-level courses. A master's degree from the UW or another institution may be used as a substitute for 30 of these 60 credits. When the student is ready to complete the General Examination a "Request for General Examination" (available from the IE Advising Office) must be filled out with the appropriate signatures, and turned in to the Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to the proposed examination date. Industrial Engineering requires a written proposal of the dissertation research (given to the Committee members 2 weeks in advance), followed by an oral examination. Candidacy is awarded upon completion. Registration and completion of credits as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.
4. Complete necessary Dissertation Credits.
The Candidate must register and complete a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation (IND E 800) over a period of at least three quarters. At least 2 quarters must come after the student passes the General Examination. With the exception of summer, students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation.
5. Establish the Ph.D. Reading Committee.
To meet basic Graduate School requirements, a doctoral Reading Committee must consist of a Chair and two additional members, all being voting members from the student's Supervisory Committee. The committee must be established before a "Request for Final Examination" is submitted to the Graduate School. To establish the Reading Committee, inform the IE Advising Office which committee members have agreed to serve. The IE Advising Office will then send a memo to the Graduate School to officially establish the Reading Committee.
6. Successfully complete the Ph.D. Final Examination.
The Ph.D. Final Examination serves as the defense of the students dissertation. To schedule the Final Examination, complete a "Request for Final Examination" (available from the IE Advising Office) and return it with the appropriate signatures to the Graduate School at least 3 weeks prior to the proposed examination date. Ensure that the Reading Committee has read an entire draft of your dissertation. Full or part-time registration is required the quarter the Final Examination is taken and the degree is awarded.
7. Submit the signed Final Examination warrant and Dissertation to the Graduate School.
If the Final Examination is satisfactory, the Supervisory Committee members who participate at the examination sign the warrant, a copy is provided to the IE Advising Office, and it is returned to the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter.. After the Final Examination, the candidate has 60 days in which to submit a dissertation to the Graduate School. Registration as a graduate student is required the quarter that a Final Examination is taken AND the quarter the dissertation is submitted and the degree is conferred, even if the 60 day time period has not yet expired. If the 60 day time period expires, another Final Examination may be required. Two copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School (applicable binding fees must be paid), and one additional copy should be submitted to the IE Advising Office to be kept by the department. An appointment with the Graduate School is required to submit their two copies (the only exception is during finals week, when walk-ins will be accepted). To schedule an appointment with the Graduate School, call 206-543-5900 or email In addition, an Exit Interview form must be completed (see IE Advising Office) and comments discussed with the IE Graduate Faculty Advisor.