Academics > Masters & Ph.D. > Qualifying Exam Syllabi

Electromagnetics (EM)

In the Fall quarter 2013, the EM Group will offer the qualifying exam in the following two formats. A student taking the quals has the option to take either format. It should be noted that Format I will not be offered after this year.

Format I: (Current format)

Three EM faculty will be examining students.  The EM syllabi are listed on the EE web site.

Electromagnetics (EM)

  1. Basic EM theory such as Maxwell's equations, boundary conditions, reciprocity theorem, image theorem, duality principle, and vector and scalar potentials.
  2. Plane waves in free space, topics to include phase velocity, characteristic impedance, polarization, poynting flux, wavelength, frequency relations.
  3. Greens functions (scalar). Ishimaru sections 5-1, 5-2, 5-4, 5-5, 5-6 (or Balanis Chapter 14). Be able to describe the application of greens function, as well as the steps used to create them. In particular, be able to demonstrate their literal construction for 1D problems. Solutions for both bounded and unbounded cases.
  4. Basic ideas of Moment Method. Ishimaru 18-1, 18-2, and many other references. Be able to describe the formulation of a Moment Method problem, describing the steps by which one approximates the solution of an integral equation by converting it to an equivalent matrix equation.
  5. Waves in layered structures and inhomogeneous media. Ishimaru 3-7, 3-13, 3-14
  6. Waveguides and cavities in both rectangular and circular geometry. TEM, TE and TM waves, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, dispersion, velocities, and losses.
  7. Time- and frequency-domain analysis of transmission line phenomena. characteristic impedance; reflection coefficient; open, short and complex loads; standing waves; impedance transformation; quarter-wave and half-wave circuits; Smith Charts; loss on TL; applications of TL models and solutions.


Format II: (New format.  Similar to the revised SIP group format )

Format II is the new EM group qualifying exam format being offered fall quarter 2013 and will be the only format offered into the future. The exam is given only to students in the UWEE Ph.D. program. The following list indicates what is required to pass this exam and several contingencies.

1. The student does a research project under the guidance of an advisor.  Enough evidence such as the publication of journal and conference papers with his/her advisor is required.

2. The student writes up, entirely on their own without direct text contributions of the advisor, the results of the research project as a paper of between 10-25 pages. The research paper should be given to the faculty evaluation panel at least 2 weeks prior to the actual exam.

3. The student schedules and presents the results via an oral exam to an evaluation panel consisting of three faculty members approved by the EM curriculum group, which does not include the student’s advisor. The faculty evaluation panel members can be either EE faculty, EE adjunct, EE affiliate, or non-EE faculty members from the student’s research area and/or the EM group.

4. The oral exam should consist of a 45-50 minute presentation, and leave time for questions. It is recommended that the student schedule a total of 1.5 hours for this exam.

5. The examiners may also invite others to the oral part of the exam and may allow for questions from the non-examiners, but the questions by the examiners should be in private.

The committee will evaluate the student's work, the written report, and the oral presentation. The chair of the faculty evaluation panel shall provide a written report of the depth examination and the evaluation recommendation of the depth requirement to the Graduate Program Coordinator. The report must address:
- A grade of "pass," "pass with contingencies," "not yet qualified," or "fail."
- The student's record of coursework.
- The quality and independence of the research
- The quality of the written report (note that student may be allowed to improve it if that's the only problem)
- The quality of the oral presentation
- Judgment of the student's ability to go on to pursue dissertation research based on this sample and other work so far
- A statement by the advisor on whether or not he/she wants to keep working with the student and the reasons why. If the student is moving to another advisor, this should be noted.

If the student fails the exam, then the student may take the exam one additional time. If the student fails the exam twice, then the student will be asked to leave the UWEE Ph.D. program. For the purposes of this time of transition from Format I to Format II, if a student previously failed the exam in Format I and then decides to take the second exam in Format II, then they only have one chance to pass the exam in Format II.

EE logo