Doctor of Computer Engineering (D.C.E.)

While the Doctor of Computer Engineering is approved through ACICS, the U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation only recognizes ACICS’ scope of accreditation through the Master’s degree level. Therefore, the U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) do not recognize this doctoral program.


The DCE degree program is intended to develop the student’s ability in advanced academic study, practical research, and professional expertise in computer engineering. The learning shall not only lead to an understanding of complex modern computer engineering technology and systems but also develop the ability of innovative thinking and technology integration. Current research emphases are in the fields of IC design, SOC design and nano-domain system integration, intelligent and ubiquitous embedded systems development and applications, and the newly emerging green technology such as cloud computing, virtualization, and mobile technology and applications.

Background Preparation:

Students admitted into the DCE degree program are required to have proper computer engineering background preparation for taking the graduate level coursework. The DCE Admissions Committee is responsible for making an evaluation of each applicant’s academic background to determine whether there are any deficiencies the applicant is required to clear.

D.C.E. Curriculum

A minimum of 96 semester units of graduate study beyond a bachelor’s degree are required for the DCE program. Among them, 84 units are required to be graduate coursework and a minimum of 12 units are in doctoral dissertation or comprehensive research project work. Courses at the 4xxG level in the program curriculum must be taken at NPU in order to earn graduate credits. The student must meet prerequisite requirements when taking any of the following courses.

The Foundation Requirements are the first group of courses that the student is required to take.

I. Foundation Requirements (12 units - First semester of study)

(Fundamentals of embedded engineering, software design, network engineering fundamentals, and signal processing and simulation techniques)

CE450G Fundamentals of Embedded Engineering (3)
CS464G Software Design and Implementations (3)
CS470G Network Engineering and Management (3)
EE450G Systems Analysis and Simulations (3)

II. Core Requirements (18 units - First-second year of study)

The student is required to take at least 18 units of coursework (6 courses) from the following list of courses. The student is advised to consider his/her dissertation research area of interest when selecting courses to meet the requirements in sections II and IV.

CS480G Java and Internet Applications (3)
EE461G Digital Design and HDL (3)
EE467G Introduction to Nanoengineering (3)
EE488G Computer Architecture (3)
CE521 Real-time Systems and Programming (3)
CE530 Embedded Software Design in Linux (3)
CS501 Advanced Structured Programming and Algorithms (3)
CS510 Advanced Unix/Linux Programming (3)
CS515 Unix/Linux Network Programming (3)
CS535 Network Security Fundamentals (3)
EE509 Mobile and Wireless Communication (3)
EE520 Advanced FPGA Design and Implementations (3)

Upon completing the core requirements, the student is required to take three qualifying examinations.

Qualifying Examinations (QE): The QE consist of three (3) subject areas. The student has a chance to select three exam subjects from a list provided by the Doctoral Program Committee.

After the student has passed the Qualifying Examinations (QE), he/she is allowed to continue in the DCE program and begins to take courses listed in section III. The student is now a DCE candidate.

III. Post-Candidacy Requirements (6 units - Second year of study)

(Research methodology)

DCE601 Research Methodology - I (3)
DCE602 Research Methodology - II (3)

IV. Advanced Studies (24 units - Third year of study)

The doctoral candidate is required to take at least 24 units of advanced graduate courses to strengthen his/her background in preparation for his/her dissertation endeavor as well as to broaden his/her crossdisciplinary technical capabilities. The following are suggested course clusters provided to the DCE candidate for an in-depth study in his/her chosen research area; each cluster of courses corresponds to a major research area.

Area 1. VLSI and Nanoengineering

EE505 Advanced Digital IC Design (3)
EE511 Advanced Analog IC Design (3)
EE553 System on Chip (SOC) Design (3)
EE584 Quantum Concepts and Applications in Nanoengineering (3)

Area 2. Embedded Systems Design

CE522 Embedded Design in Networking Environment (3)
CE523 Embedded Design in Device Driver Environment (3)
CS551 Mobile Computing for Android Mobile Devices (3)

Area 3. Internet Technology and Mobile Computing

CS501 Advanced Structured Programming and Algorithms (3)
CS526 Advanced Web Programming (3)
CS550 Data Mining and Business Intelligence (3)
CS551 Mobile Computing for Android Mobile Devices (3)
CS570 Big Data Processing – MapReduce Programming (3)
CS571 Cloud Management – Hadoop Administration (3)

Area 4. Network Engineering

CS565 Advanced Network Management (3)
CS571 Cloud Management – Hadoop Administration (3)
CS575 Network Analysis and Testing (3)

The doctoral candidate has the option to take courses in or outside the above cluster courses to meet the Advanced Studies requirement in section IV. Courses must be numbered at the 500 level or above in computer engineering areas (courses with EE, CE, CS designations).

V. Electives (24 units - Fourth-fifth year of study)

The student is required to take at least 24 units of graduate courses, which need not be limited to engineering, numbered at the 500 level or above to meet the electives requirement. The student is reminded that a cross disciplinary study of subjects can be desirable as the fast changing electronics and computer industries have become more demanding on engineers to have multidisciplinary skillsets.

Curricular Practicum: Students without prior practical experience in related fields are required to engage in curricular practicum to work on company projects that are directly related to the student’s dissertation research or course of study. Others have the option to conduct curricular practicum when applicable. No more than 6 units earned from curricular practicum courses are counted for elective credit. The student must observe the rules required for taking the practicum courses.

VI. Doctoral Dissertation (12 units - Fifth year of study)

A Dissertation Committee (DC) must be formed by the doctoral candidate and approved by the DCE Program Committee before the student starts his/her doctoral research work. The doctoral candidate is required to earn a minimum of 12 units in dissertation coursework to meet the graduation requirement. Dissertation proposal presentation and dissertation defense requirements are described in the DCE Student Handbook.

DCE698 Dissertation – I (6)
DCE699 Dissertation - II (6)