MSU/SJSU Engineering Ph.D. Gateway Program

Screening Guidelines & Requirements


The MSU/SJSU Engineering Ph.D. Gateway program is an articulation agreement between Mississippi State University (MSU) and San Jose State University (SJSU). It creates the opportunity for current M.S. students at SJSU who are very close to completing their M.S. degree, and recent (within the last five years) M.S. graduates of SJSU, to fulfill their desire to advance their education, by pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering from MSU, without leaving their jobs and family in Silicon Valley.

Interested candidates are advised that the program of study, including research, involved in obtaining a Ph.D. degree requires serious commitment of time and resources over a period of approximately three to five years. Once accepted into the program it is expected that this commitment will be taken seriously and that the candidate will progress in an organized and timely manner towards successful completion of the Ph.D. degree.


SJSU Acceptance Requirements

Individuals with excellent academic records and capable of carrying out Ph.D. level research are invited to apply for acceptance to this Program.

  1. The ideal candidate will have completed his/her M.S. in an Engineering field, at SJSU, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  2. A minimum score of 1250 in the Verbal and Quantitative portions and 4.5 or higher in the Analytical portion of the GRE General Test is required.
  3. The candidate’s M.S. Thesis research should be of a caliber that demonstrates the potential for engaging in Ph.D. level research. Individuals who did not complete a thesis for their M.S. degree must provide evidence of their capability to undertake and complete Ph.D. level research and publish their results in peer reviewed journals.
  4. Candidates are required to contact the appropriate engineering department in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at SJSU and work with the Department Chair to identify an engineering faculty member who will “sponsor” their application. This faculty member, who should be tenured or tenure-track, commits to serve as the candidate’s Ph.D. Director of Dissertation in conjunction with a James W. Bagley College of Engineering faculty member who serves as the Major Professor and possibly as co-Director of Dissertation.
  5. At this time this program is open only to domestic students, i.e., students who are citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S.A.

Individuals interested in the Engineering Ph.D. Gateway Program who have not earned a M.S. degree in an engineering discipline are required to enroll in an appropriate graduate program at SJSU College of Engineering and complete their M.S. degree with the thesis option first, and apply to this Program as they are nearing completion of their M.S. degree.

Interested individuals are requested to fill out the attached MSU/SJSU Engineering Ph.D. Gateway Program application form, with the supporting documentation, and submit it to:

Associate Dean for Research
Davidson College of Engineering
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0080

Application Deadlines:

Candidates must submit their application at least seven weeks prior to the appropriate MSU deadline. Please check the MSU website ( to determine the MSU deadline.

Original transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended, GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, and a Statement of Purpose must be included. The application form and associated documents will be used to determine eligibility for acceptance into this Program, and for recommendation to MSU for admission into an appropriate Program at MSU.

In order for the candidate to be accepted into this Program the candidate must have a tenured or tenure-track SJSU College of Engineering faculty member who commits to direct and supervise the candidate as the Director of Dissertation.

Together with the SJSU Director of Dissertation, an appropriate faculty member in the College of Engineering at MSU, who will be the Major Professor, possible co-Director of Dissertation, and the dissertation committee chair, must be identified and this individual’s concurrence obtained. The candidate is also required to develop a brief research proposal of no more than two pages for submission to the SJSU College of Engineering Research Committee, via the Chair of the sponsoring faculty member’s department. The contents of the proposal to be submitted are described later in this document.

The SJSU College of Engineering Research Committee will submit its recommendation regarding acceptance to the Dean, whose decision will be final.

This document sets out the guidelines and serves as a Candidate Screening Form. Applicants meeting the requirements described here will be recommended to MSU for admission to their Ph.D. programs. Candidates are advised that acceptance by SJSU College of Engineering does not constitute admission to MSU Ph.D. program. This is not an application to MSU’s Ph.D. program. SJSU College of Engineering is not offering financial assistance for candidates admitted into this MSU/SJSU Engineering Ph.D. Gateway Program. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure availability of sufficient funds for completion of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree which is awarded by MSU.

Upon acceptance into the MSU/SJSU Engineering Ph.D. Gateway Program by SJSU, the candidate is required to apply for admission to the appropriate Ph.D. Program at MSU College of Engineering. There may be further requirements by MSU. It is the candidate’s responsibility to verify additional requirements and provide MSU with any further documentation.

Together with the candidate’s SJSU Director of Dissertation and MSU Major Professor, the candidate must develop a Program of Study that meets MSU program requirements, including a detailed list of courses to be taken at SJSU and MSU.

In order to obtain the Ph.D. degree the candidate must satisfy all of MSU requirements, from entry through graduation.

Download application form, including applicant checklist and applicant research proposal