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Shortening A Path To Ph D … Impact On Quality Of Engineering Education

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



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Page Numbers

3.491.1 - 3.491.12

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Krzysztof Malinowski

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Jerzy Woznicki

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Andrzej Krasniewski

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2260

Shortening a Path to PhD – Impact on Quality of Engineering Education

Andrzej Krasniewski, Krzysztof Malinowski, Jerzy Woznicki Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology Warsaw University of Technology


1.1. Engineering education in Poland In Poland, a university is an art and science oriented institution and has no engineering college or engineering departments. Programs of study in engineering are offered by other academic institutions: technical universities (also referred to as universities of technology or polytechnic institutes), technical academies, and engineering colleges. A higher education institution that offers engineering programs is usually organized into a number of fairly autonomous faculties, such as the faculty of mechanical engineering, faculty of electrical engineering, etc. A vast majority of students admitted to technical universities pursue a five-year (10-semester) program leading to the MS degree in the selected field of engineering. Shorter, 8- or 7-semester programs leading to the degree of BS or BEng are offered mainly by engineering colleges. Engineering curricula have been traditionally based on a rigid core of compulsory courses, with a certain number of slots to be filled with restricted or free elective courses. Student's work load is quite heavy - frequently the student has to take 10 or more courses per semester, with over 30 hours of regularly scheduled lectures, recitations, and laboratory sessions per week. Each graduating MS student has to submit and defend a thesis. A recipient of a Master's degree can follow one of two basic paths leading to a PhD degree. One way, typical for the 70's and 80's, but still frequently adopted, is to take a position of a teaching assistant or research assistant at a higher education institution or research institute and pursue - in parallel with routine teaching, research and administrative duties - research work in the selected area, under supervision of a senior member of academic or research staff. An alternative is to pursue a program of study leading to a PhD degree. Such programs are currently offered by most technical universities. The students are required to take some number of advanced courses and conduct research work under supervision of a senior member of academic staff, but their other duties (in particular, teaching duties) are quite limited. In either case, to obtain the PhD degree, the candidate must pass a qualification examination in the selected field of study, and additional examinations in foreign language and humanities, and then submit and defend his/her dissertation. As mentioned earlier, regardless of the path taken, the process leading to the PhD degree is quite long - most of the candidates receive it at the age of 29-31.

Malinowski, K., & Woznicki, J., & Krasniewski, A. (1998, June), Shortening A Path To Ph D … Impact On Quality Of Engineering Education Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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