The graduate school is organised within the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Director of Graduate Studies: Jonas Fredriksson
(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on 20 December 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/1363)
(revised 14 August 2007)
(revised 11 October 2013)
Subject Matter and Goals
The aim of the Graduate Research School in Signals and Systems is
to give the student a fundamental understanding of the applications,
theories, models and systematic treatment of signals and systems in a
broad sense. A thorough understanding of current research issues and
practical applications, with in-depth insight into specific fields,
together with skills in research methodology, aim to make the finished
researcher a valuable resource for industry and academia.
The licentiate program aims to make the student capable of independent participation in research and development work.
The PhD program aims to make the student capable of critically and
independently planning, directing, carrying out, and presenting work in
research and development.
1 Prerequisite Qualifications and Knowledge
Qualification for admission to the Graduate Research School in
Signals and Systems is a Master of Science degree in Electrical
Engineering or in a related subject ("civilingenjörsexamen" or "fil
kand" in Sweden). Equivalent knowledge acquired by other means may also
count as qualification.
Students with an exam from the faculty of mathematics and natural
sciences or equivalent can be admitted to the Graduate Research School
in Signals and Systems. Such applicants may be tested for the
2 Organization and Structure
The Graduate Research School in Signals and Systems graduates
students in two steps, the Licentiate and the PhD degrees. The extent of
the graduate work is measured according to a credit system, where 1,5
credits correspond to one week full-time work. The Licentiate degree
comprises 120 higher education credits in total, and the PhD degree 240
higher education credits. This corresponds to 2 years and 4 years
respectively of full time studies. The PhD degree can be achieved
without a preceding Licentiate degree. The Vice Dean of the Graduate
Research School in Signals and Systems grants this exception.
Both degrees involve:
- preparatory courses (if necessary);
- obligatory courses;
- general courses;
- individual studies;
- participation in seminars and guest lectures;
- research or development leading to a scientific dissertation.
Teaching is by supervision, lectures, and seminars. The student
participates in scientific activities through attendance at seminars and
guest lectures even if these are not directly related to any part of
the formal course requirements. Each Graduate Research School student
must present the results of his or her research at least once a year at a
seminar. In addition, participation in S2's annual workshop is
The subject of the Graduate Education is Signals and Systems, possibly with one of the following specializations.
- Automatic Control
- Biomedical Engineering
- Communication Systems
The graduate student selects, in consultation with the Examiner and
the Main Supervisor, an appropriate combination of courses. Both depth
and breadth of the education should be considered.
4.1 Preparatory Courses
Students coming from disciplines not directly related to the topic
of Graduate Research may need preparatory courses. Typically these
courses are higher year master courses. The Examiner and the Main
Supervisor decide, together with the student, on these courses.
4.2 Mandatory Courses for all Chalmers Graduate Students
Doctoral students admitted after September 1, 2012, are required to
take 15 higher education credits from the area of Generic and
Transferable Skills during their graduate studies. Of these, 9 credits
are mandatory for the licentiate degree, and another 6 credits for the
In addition to the courses within Generic and Transferable
Skills, the student is also required to participate in the introduction
day for doctoral students (before the licentiate examination, at
latest). Further requirements are an oral popular science presentation
to be performed prior to the PhD thesis defence and a written popular
science presentation to be published on the back of the PhD thesis.
The higher education credits count as part of the total course
credits, as defined below. Exemption is granted by Chalmers’ Pro-Rector.
For students that are also part of another graduate research school,
that school's obligatory courses count as part of the graduate research
students’ total course credits.
4.3 General Courses
The Department of Signals and Systems regularly gives a number of
general courses according to a schedule available at the department’s
4.4 Individual Studies
The student, in discussion with the Supervisor Group (see Section
7), determines individual study courses. Graduate courses offered by
other departments (at Chalmers and other Universities) may be included
provided that they cover topics relevant to the students research
profile. Undergraduate courses can also be included, even courses taken
before admission to the research school, and these can be counted as
part of the total course credits provided that at least grade 4 have
4.5 Course Requirements
A Licentiate degree requires minimum 30 higher education credits
obtained through courses. A PhD degree requires minimum 60 higher
education credits obtained through courses. These requirements include
the obligatory courses. The requirements can be raised by the Supervisor
Group. The Vice Dean of the Graduate Research School grants exemption
in special cases.
For graduation it is required that the student authors an
independent treatise. This can be either a monograph or a collection of
papers; the latter is recommended. Both types of treatise should be
based on one or more scientific papers, of which the lions share have
been presented at international conferences and/or published in
international scientific journals.
5.1 Licentiate Thesis
For the Licentiate degree, the student must carry out independent
work, write a thesis describing this work, and present the thesis at a
public and publicly announced seminar. The thesis is graded by the
students's Examiner as Passed or Not Passed. Chalmers "Handbook for
Graduate Students" describe the rules and procedures for the Licentiate
5.2 Doctoral Dissertation
For the PhD degree the student must write a scientific (doctoral)
dissertation, and defend it at a public and publicly announced
disputation. The dissertation is by the Graduation Committee graded
Passed or Not Passed. The grade takes into account the content as well
as the defense of the dissertation. Chalmers "Handbook for Graduate
Students" describe the rules and procedures for the PhD disputation.
6 Requirements for the Degree
The requirements for the respective degrees are divided into a course part and a part for the treatise work.
6.1 Licentiate Degree
The requirements for the licentiate degree comprise 120 higher
education credits, of which minimum 30 higher education credits are
acquired in courses and maximum 90 higher education credits in the
6.2 Doctoral Degree
The requirements for the doctoral degree comprise 140 higher
education credits, of which minimum 60 higher education credits are
acquired in courses and maximum 180 higher education credits in the
Each Graduate Research School student is entitled to supervision;
full time students to four years of supervision for the doctoral degree,
and two years for the licentiate degree. Part time students obtain the
same amount distributed over a proportionally longer time period.
When admitted the student is assigned Supervisor Group, consisting
of an Examiner, a Main Supervisor, an Assisting Supervisor and suitably
an additional person external to the research group, preferably external
to Chalmers. The Examiner and the Main Supervisor may be the same
person. A student can under special circumstances be granted change of
The Examiner, the supervisors and the student, together determine
the individual study courses and develop an individual study plan for
the student's path of education. This plan is signed and presented to
the Vice Dean of the Graduate Research School. The supervisors and the
student meet regularly to follow up the research work and the course
The Supervisor Group together with the Vice Dean of the Graduate
Research School meet at least once per year to discuss progress towards
the degree. After each such meeting, an the individual study plan is
updated, signed and presented to the Vice Dean of the Graduate Research
Courses are examined in suitable forms, usually written and/or oral
examinations, or seminar presentations. The number of course credits is
formally decided by the students Examiner on suggestion from the course
examiner. The Licentiate thesis is graded by the Examiner. A PhD thesis
is graded by the Graduation Committee, especially appointed for the
thesis defence. The grades Passed and Not Passed are used.
9 Further Directives
The student must present his or her study results and future plans
regularly. The Vice Dean of the Graduate Research School regularly
follows up on the individual study plans.