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How do I Earn a Distance Engineering PhD?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2018
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In order to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in engineering through a distance learning program you should complete a four-year degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, in a related field of either engineering or physical sciences. You will then need to apply to distance learning programs that offer a PhD in engineering, and you should ensure you meet any qualifications and requirements for such programs. Once you are accepted into a distance learning program, you can work on your distance engineering PhD, which will likely require a decent amount of coursework as well as the completion, presentation, and defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Distance learning programs allow students to complete coursework and receive degrees, even advanced degrees like a distance engineering PhD, without the student being physically present at the university. This often includes the use of computers and other similar technology to allow students to participate in online class discussions, receive and review lecture materials, send assignments through email, and even take tests and exams at their computer. You will likely need access to a computer that can handle whatever software and programs will be necessary as you work on a distance engineering PhD.

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Most graduate programs, including distance learning graduate programs, typically require a four-year degree such as a bachelor’s degree in a related field for admittance. You may also have to take tests such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and receive a sufficiently high score before being admitted into the program. Many programs also require letters of recommendation from several people who know you. You should also look at whether the programs you are interested in require a master’s degree before admitting students, or if a master’s degree will be awarded to you as you work on your PhD.

There are several different types of distance engineering PhD programs, and though they will offer you the chance to earn your degree from a distance, they may have different requirements regarding your direct participation. Some programs will allow you to attend classes from anywhere, through your computer and rarely if ever actually meet with professors and other students. Other types of distance engineering PhD programs, however, will simply allow you to take classes at one of several different universities in order to earn your degree. This allows you to choose a participating university near you that may not otherwise offer such a degree, and use the facilities and equipment in that location to work toward your degree. In either case, you will likely have to complete the necessary coursework and prepare and present a doctoral thesis before finally receiving your PhD.

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