Post-Graduate Admission Quick Links
NPU offers two programs of study at the doctorate degree level:
Doctoral Degree Programs
- DBA (Doctor of Business Administration)
- DCE (Doctor of Computer Engineering)
- Doctorate Program Guide
The mission of the doctorate degree programs is to provide an opportunity for the students to attain professional and practical competence which qualifies the students for opportunities and additional responsibilities beyond the master's degree level. The doctorate programs are offered with the emphasis on practical and real-world applications in both the course work and the doctoral thesis requirements.
The doctorate degree programs emphasize both mastery of subject matter as well as an understanding of related research and research methodology for professional-oriented projects/dissertations. The programs aim to develop the student’s ability to integrate knowledge and apply practical research to address problems and issues in the workplace. Each program is designed for the student to accomplish specified goals and objectives and contribute to competence in the subject area or profession at an advanced level.
3. Doctoral Program Committees
Each doctorate degree program is governed by its Doctoral Program Committee. The committee is responsible for developing, modifying, and maintaining the doctorate degree program. Committee members include qualified NPU faculty and administrators as well as other qualified professionals or practitioners. Each committee is knowledgeable in methods of research and in the subject matter, co-chaired by credentialed individuals with expertise in the program area. The doctoral students work with the committee members to pursue their doctoral studies. Each doctorate degree program also receives advice and guidance from an Advisory Committee comprised of members from similar accredited doctoral programs and past or future employers of the graduates.
4. Applicant Qualifications
a. An earned bachelor's degree; a college degree in a related field* with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above from an accredited or government recognized institution,
- b. Strong interest in advanced study in the chosen subject area,
- c. Independent research ability,
- d. English proficiency,
- e. Previous work experience related to student’s field of study is preferred. Students with no or little experience in the work environment they wish to enter will be required to conduct a curricular practicum before graduation.
* A DBA applicant without a previous degree in a related field may be accepted based on the level of degree earned and years of work experience. Acceptable degree qualifications are:
- A combination of a doctorate degree and at least two years of work experience, or
- A combination of a master's degree and at least three years of work experience.
DCE applicant: A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or related field is required. A further master's degree in electrical, electronics, or computer engineering is preferred.
- 5. Admission Policies
NPU admits qualified students to pursue their studies in the doctorate degree programs with the following policies:
- a. NPU admits all qualified individuals into the University without regard to race, religion, sex, ethnic origin, or physical handicap.
- b. NPU makes education available to all individuals who meet the qualifications for entrance into NPU.
6. Application Material
- A completed application form for the doctorate degree program (online application is available),
- Application fee,
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and certified degree document(s). All official transcripts must be received before the admission evaluation. Applicants enrolled in courses at another institution at the time of application will have 60 days after the completion of the courses to provide the updated transcript. Any other transcripts submitted after the admission evaluation will not be accepted. Failure to observe this requirement will result in placement of the student in a non-degree status.
- English Requirement:
a. International students (holding F1 status) should have English skills to effectively communicate with faculty, staff, and other students. An IELTS score of 6.5 or A TOEFL score of 550 on paperbased test, or 213 on computer-based test, or 79 on Internet-based test is required to enter a doctorate degree program.
b. Non-international students (with non-F1 status) whose native language is English or who used English as the official language in their undergraduate studies are considered meeting the entrance English requirement. Others follow the same requirements as that for international students described in (a).
- Entrance exam: Applicants to the Doctor of Business Administration degree program are required to take the GMAT or the on-campus equivalent test before or on the New Student Orientation Day. For taking the GMAT administered by the ETS, NPU's Institution code for reporting the GMAT scores is 5485. Applicants to the Doctor of Computer Engineering degree program are required to take the GRE or the on-campus equivalent test before or on the New Student Orientation Day. For taking the GRE administered by the ETS, NPU's Institution code for reporting the GRE scores is 5485. The score is primarily used for reference and analysis purposes.
- A professional work history or a professional vita. Applicants with prior work experience in his/her study field must also submit an employment certification letter issued by the previous employer to certify the following for the applicant: Company name and address, supervisor’s name and contact information, applicant’s previous job title, and a brief job description.
- Each applicant to the DCE program is required to submit a Statement Of Purpose (SOP). The SOP must describe the applicant’s background preparation, motivation, and reason why he/she considers him/herself having the qualifications to purse the DCE degree; it must also describe the applicant’s research interest. Applicants to the DBA program are encouraged to also submit their SOP.
- An international applicant is also required to submit the following additional documents: a financial support document - either the applicant's bank statement or a certified affidavit of support (form I-134 or equivalent) from a financial sponsor indicating a minimum amount of $25,000 available for the applicant to pursue his/her study in the first academic year at NPU; A transfer student is required to submit a (a) photocopy of his/her previous I-20 form and request the previous international student advisor to complete the International Student Transfer Record form for NPU and conduct the required SEVIS transfer process, and (b) photocopies of the student's passport, visa, and I-94 (admission & departure) document upon arrival at NPU.
7. Notification of Admission
Normally, prospective students may expect to receive notification of admission status within two weeks after filing complete application materials with the Admissions Office.
8. Cancellation of Admission
If an applicant is accepted into a doctorate degree program for a given semester and does not begin classes in that semester, admission will automatically be canceled. The prospective student's application records (transcripts from previous colleges, financial support documents for international students, and standardized test scores) are kept on file for a period of six months from the semester start date. If the applicant then wishes to be considered for readmission in a later semester, he/she will be required to resubmit an Application Form and pay a re-application fee. A reevaluation of admission will be made for the applicant.
9. Transfer of Credit
Students who wish to transfer graduate credit from another recognized institution are allowed to transfer a maximum of eighteen (18) graduate semester units towards a doctorate degree at NPU. The minimum required grade is B- or better.
Life/Work Experience: No credit will be awarded for life or work experience.
10. Admission Evaluation
The Admission Committee for each doctoral degree program will conduct an admission evaluation for each applicant based on the official records received from the applicant. An evaluation report will be generated for the applicant; it includes an academic background evaluation and credit transfer information. A layout of the program requirements is also given in the report.
The background requirements for each doctoral degree program are specified in the section of "Undergraduate Preparation" near the beginning of the program description.
Tuition for courses taken to fulfill the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Business Administration program is $420/unit. Tuition for courses taken to fulfill the graduation requirements for the Doctor of Computer Engineering program is $450/unit.
Refer to the sections on "Tuition and Fees" and "Refund Policy" in this catalog for other fees and refund information.
12. Academic Information
Refer to the section on "Academic Information" in the NPU catalog for the academic policies and regulations observed by all students.
13. Graduation Requirements
- A minimum of 96 semester units beyond the bachelor's degree are required to complete the study of a doctoral degree program, including 84 units of course work plus a minimum of 12 units of doctoral dissertation or a comprehensive capstone project.
- Length of Study: The length of study in a doctorate degree program is at a minimum three (3) years or nine (9) semesters and a maximum of seven (7) years. The normal length of study for a student with a bachelor’s degree is 4-5 years. The normal length of study for a student with a master’s degree is 3-4 years. A request for an extension of the study period beyond 7 years due to special reasons requires approvals by both the Doctoral Advisory Committee and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
- Each doctoral program curriculum is presented in a sequence of course categories in the order of the level of study involved ending with the doctoral dissertation courses. Courses numbered in the 500’s and above are graduate courses. A number of courses numbered in the 400’s with a “G” suffix are scheduled among the required foundation courses and the students may earn graduate credit by taking these courses at NPU. The doctoral student is advised to take the required courses following the specified sequence unless the student receives permission from a registration advisor. The goal of the dissertation research is to apply technologies, knowledge, or concepts in a new way to a workplace problem. DCE program: Near the beginning of a DCE student’s study in the program, the student is required to select a concentration area.
- All courses require appropriate usage of research and learning resources.
a. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA): Upon completing 54 units towards the graduation requirements, including the foundation requirements, the Research Methodology courses as well as part of the core courses, the student is required to submit a Preliminary Proposal and give an oral presentation to a committee organized by the program administrator or the Doctoral Committee. The proposal requirements are specified in the DBA Student Handbook. The student’s proposal and presentation will be evaluated by the appointed committee. Students unable to make a satisfactory proposal presentation will be given a second and last chance to repeat the process. Failure the second time will prohibit the student from continuing his/her study in the DBA program.
b. Doctor of Computer Engineering (DCE):When the DCE student completes the Foundation Requirements and the Concentration Area Requirements (chosen by the student), the DCE program administrator will conduct a review of the student’s academic records. If the student has made satisfactory progress by maintaining at least a 3.0 CGPA, he/she will be notified to take three (3) written Qualifying Examinations (QE). The QEs consist of three (3) subject areas: Two subjects are among the Foundation Requirements subjects and the third subject is in the area of the student’s chosen concentration area.
A DCE student failing the QEs the first time may be given a second and last chance to take the exams after six (6) months. Failing the QEs the second time will disqualify the student from further pursuit of the DCE degree.
- Each doctoral student’s dissertation or comprehensive capstone project must be reviewed, evaluated, and assessed by a Dissertation Committee (DC) approved by designated members of the Doctoral Committee of the respective doctorate degree program; the DC must include at least one individual who is either from another appropriately accredited institution within the subject area or a professional who has earned a terminal degree. A dissertation advisor closely monitors the student’s dissertation work. The student receives either an “S” or letter grade for satisfactory performance and earns the credits or an “NP” grade for unsatisfactory performance without earning credit in each semester the doctoral dissertation/project course is taken by the student.
- The doctoral student is required to maintain a minimum of 3.0 CGPA every semester during the entire tenure of study. In addition, a grade of “B- “ or better is required in all courses. A doctoral student on academic probation status is given one semester to regain the required CGPA. Failure to do so will result in a dismissal of the student from the doctorate degree program.
- Students enrolled in the doctoral dissertation or project courses must follow the requirements specified in the Doctoral Student Handbook for the program that the students are pursuing. A student unable to complete the dissertation or project after earning 12 units in the dissertation/project course is required to continue to enroll in the 6-unit doctoral dissertation course part-II as a continuing student and pay at the regular unit tuition rate until completion of the dissertation/project. Extra credits earned for repeatedly taking the dissertation/project cannot substitute other course requirements.
- Students with no or limited experience in the work environment they are prepared to enter are required to engage in curricular practicum before graduation. A student may earn a maximum of 6 credit units through practicum.
- An approved petition for graduation must be on file.
- The student must maintain good standing with the University.
- Student Discipline, Student life, and Facilities:
Refer to the sections on "Student Discipline", "Student Life", "Facilities", and other information in the NPU catalog unless otherwise stated in this section on "Doctoral Degree Programs".
All faculty members serving as doctoral project/thesis or academic advisors possess graduate and terminal degrees, have demonstrated proper academic preparation and experience, and hold the same educational philosophy consistent with the University to encourage the best efforts of each learner. Faculty members are encouraged to engage in practical or scholarly research and to publish in professional journals. Faculty members are to inspire, motivate, and direct student usage of the library resources.
16. Library & Instructional Resources:
Library and instructional resources are vital to the faculty as well as the doctoral students in their learning and research activities. The school is equipped with its on-campus Learning Resource Center as well as the on-line learning resource environment to meet such needs. In the NPU catalog, detailed information is described in the sections on "Teaching and Research Facilities" and "The University Library and Digital Campus". In addition, the university learning resource facilities provide a specific research tool to support the doctoral students in their coursework and research activities.
The doctoral degree programs at NPU are some of the best that I've seen. Students can count on a very comprehensive education in the skill sets that will help them land a job upon graduation.
Dr. Jahan Ghofraniha, Dean, School of Engineering