Collaborative PhD FAQs


What is the NJIT Collaborative Doctorate?

This is really an opportunity to pursue the PhD on a part-time basis rather than a program. It is intended to provide a path to complete a doctorate while remaining employed full-time.


Are the admission requirements the same as if I pursued the PhD full-time?
Yes, one applies for admission to the PhD program of choice in the same manner as you would for full-time study. The application can be done by mail or through the NJIT website. Click on graduate Admissions.


Are GRE scores required for admission?
Yes, all the regular admission standards are maintained including submittal of GRE (or GMAT for some programs), submittal of transcripts, and reference letters. The application is reviewed by the Graduate Admissions office and by the program admission committee.


Are the program requirements the same?
Yes, the program requirements for this option are the same except that they take advantage of the interests of the employer once the student has progressed far enough into the program to begin active dissertation research. At that time, a research investigation of mutual interest to the employer, the student, and NJIT faculty, can be selected as the dissertation topic. A member of the employer staff, if qualified, is encouraged to serve on the student's dissertation committee.


What is required of students before they start their dissertation research activity?
Doctoral programs at NJIT have the following general requirements:
  • completion of a specified number and level of coursework (typically 24 credits beyond the Master's degree inclusive of 12 credits at the 700 or doctoral level);
  • passage of qualifying examinations; preparation and approval of a research proposal;
  • selection of a dissertation advisor and committee; 36 credits of dissertation research;
  • completion and oral defense of the dissertation. Each program may have their own specific requirements.

What about residency and seminar requirements?
The research may be done at the employer's site and take advantage of facilities there rather than on the NJIT campus. Professional activity may serve in place of the weekly seminars for doctoral students at NJIT. It is expected that the employer's interest in the research will allow the employer to grant the student one year to concentrate on the research activity even if done on-site.


Can coursework be done by distance learning?
Almost all graduate courses at NJIT are offered in the evening. We also have a number of off-campus sites, some at company locations. We allow transfer of up to 9 credits from other universities. Some of the NJIT doctoral programs are already well set up for distance learning by electronic means. Others are not as well set since the program was not intended initially to be a complete distance learning program. This changes each semester so it would be best to contact the graduate advisor for the doctoral program of choice.


How do I locate the doctoral advisor?
The NJIT website provides much information that can lead you to the right person. The Academic Departments menu is often very helpful with specific faculty having detailed information abut research and programs they direct. Try that first to get phone numbers and e-mail address. If you are unable to identify the person, try the Graduate Admissions Office , 973-596-3300 or the Associate Provost of Graduate Studies, 973-596-3462.


How long will it take to complete the PhD?
Considering the requirements for the PhD, length depends greatly on the effort and energy of the student. Realistically, two courses per semester is typical for part-time students, so the 8 courses beyond the MS can be completed, if summer sessions are used, easily within two years. Coursework need not be finished before a student can take the qualifying exams. Four years beyond the MS is a realistic goal in the Engineering and Science programs at NJIT. The time it takes to complete the research and the dissertation is the controlling factor.


How much does it cost?
Tuition and fee payments are handled in exactly the same manner forstudents using this option as for any other student at NJIT.


What about proprietary issues?
Since the dissertation is a published item, NJIT and the employer would ave to work out arrangements in advance if proprietary information is used for the research. We do have experience with corporate-based research and with patents and copyrights. We have occasionally had to sequester a dissertation for a brief period of time to allow filing of a patent.


Is there any difference in the degree or notation on the transcript?
No, the degree is exactly the same as if it had been done on a full-time basis.


What fields are available?
Almost every field that NJIT offers doctorates has this option. This includes all engineering and computer-related programs. Some of the programs done collaboratively or jointly with Rutgers-Newark prefer full-time students. It is best to check with the program director about your program of interest.


Can an International Student participate in this program?
Students in F-1 or J-1 status cannot participate because of constraints on part-time study by the regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. International Students interested in doing the PhD should consider full-time study at NJIT.