Exploration Systems Design (Sensor Networks), PhD


Combine your interests in exploration systems design and sensor networks with the strengths of science and engineering to prepare for professional and academic careers. Study computer networks, Earth-systems engineering, multidimensional signal processing, and information and random signal theory with faculty who specialize in the natural sciences and instrumentation design.


Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Exploration Systems Design (Sensor Networks)

The exploration systems design PhD program offers an advanced systems approach for developing scientific exploration technologies in a range of demanding environments on Earth and in space. This transdisciplinary degree program provides a unique platform to train systems engineers targeting technological development for exploration science. This collaborative program between the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering allows students to specialize in topics related to planetary exploration, astronomical instrumentation, robotics, sensors and sensor networks.

The curriculum integrates the School of Earth and Space Exploration's science, instrumentation and systems engineering core courses with related coursework from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Students must select a concentration in instrumentation, system engineering or sensor networks. The sensor networks concentration prepares students in the development of networked software and hardware systems related to earth and space exploration, including robotics, data science and high-performance computing.




At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No




Degree Requirements

Required Core (1 credit hour)
SES 502 Exploring SESE Research (1)

Electives or Research (61 credit hours)

Other Requirements (1 credit hour)
SES 501 SESE Colloquium

Concentration (9 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
SES 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree in a related field to be used for this degree. Related fields include, but are not limited to, engineering, computer science, geological sciences or physics.

As part of the electives or research, students will take two science courses selected from the SESE graduate catalog (GLG, SES, or AST prefixes). Substitutions may be made per academic unit approval.

Substitutions for Other Requirements may be made per department approval.




Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admissions application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

Sensor networks concentration: An undergraduate degree in electrical engineering or computer science is preferred.



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