Electrical Engineering (PhD)

Program Description

A century ago, the radio offered mass entertainment; 50 years later, television replaced it. Today we watch movies on handheld devices. Each evolutionary step was made possible by advances in electrical engineering. The Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering program is filled with students and faculty keenly aware of this cycle of progress. They prize the School of Engineering's emphasis on invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship — what we call i2e — and they maintain that emphasis through top-flight laboratories and a fierce dedication to advanced research.

Your studies with us will prepare you for a research career in electrical engineering after graduation. But you’ll also be capable of sharing these lessons with your own students, should you choose to teach at the university level.


Graduate students who have exhibited a high degree of scholastic proficiency and have given evidence of ability for conducting independent research may consider extending their goals toward the doctorate. The Ph.D. degree is awarded after completing the program of study and research described below, and upon preparation and defense of a dissertation representing an original and significant contribution deemed worthy of publication in a recognized scientific or engineering journal.

Thesis Advisor and Academic Advisor

Many factors enter into a student’s choice of an advisor for his/her research. In addition to the scientific, intellectual and personality factors which influence the pairing of student and professor, financial aspects must also be considered. For most full-time students, the ideal situation is to find an advisor who has a research topic of mutual interest, as well as funds available from research grants and contracts which can support the student as a Research Assistant (RA). A prospective student is encouraged to contact faculty members in his/her research area regarding the possibility of advising before applying to the Ph.D. program. A student who joins the Ph.D. program without securing a thesis advisor will be assigned an academic advisor, who will guide the student in terms of course selection and research activities before the qualifying exam. A Ph.D. student candidate must obtain the commitment of a faculty member in the student’s chosen area of major research interest to be the student’s thesis advisor before taking the qualifying exam.

Usually, the thesis advisor is a full-time faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and as such is considered chair of the student’s Guidance Committee. If a student wishes to have someone outside the ECE department to serve as his/her advisor, the student should submit the CV of the person and a letter of commitment from the person to serve as the advisor to the Ph.D. EE Program Director for approval. The thesis advisor must have a Ph.D. degree in the student’s proposed area of research.

Graduate Manual

For further information, please refer to the graduate manual, which can be found on the student resources page: https://engineering.nyu.edu/academics/departments/electrical-and-computer-engineering/student-resources


Admission to graduate programs in the Tandon School of Engineering requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

The NYU Tandon Graduate Admissions website has additional information on school-wide admission.

Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See the program's How to Apply for department-specific admission requirements and instructions.

Entrance Requirement

Students entering the doctoral program with a Bachelor’s degree must meet the entrance requirements for the Master’s program in the appropriate area of concentration. Students entering at the Master’s level for the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering program are normally expected to have a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. Generally, admission to these Ph.D. programs is conditional on a student achieving a 3.5 grade point average in prior B.S. and M.S. programs. GRE is required for all applicants.