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Electrical & Computer Engineering (Engineering, Ph.D.)

Degree Level: Graduate
College: Engineering & Technology
Major : Engineering
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Degree Earned: Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD degree is awarded to candidates who have displayed an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and demonstrated the ability to make an original contribution to knowledge in their chosen field of specialty. For the PhD degree students must take eight courses beyond their Master degree, five of which must be at the doctoral 800 level. PhD students must also pass diagnostic and candidacy exams, work on advanced research under direct advising of an ECE faculty member, and write and defend an original dissertation.

Related Experiences

  • The PhD program in ECE offers opportunities for advanced course work as well as challenging research projects to prepare students for leadership roles in engineering careers with industry, government, research organizations, or educational institutions.
  • ECE graduate programs stress both theoretical and practical aspects of Electrical and Computer Engineering by combining the teaching and research expertise of the ECE faculty with additional research resources in the Hampton Roads area through department labs and university centers/institutes.
    • The ECE department has research laboratories focusing on Advanced Signal Processing in Engineering and Neuroscience; Applied Plasma Technology; Computer Vision; Cybersecurity, Communications and Networking; Medical Imaging, Diagnosis, and Analysis; and Systems research.
    • University centers with which ECE faculty work include the Applied Research Center, the Frank Reidy Center of Bioelectrics, the Laser and Plasma Engineering Institute, the Virginia Institute for Photovoltaics, and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center.
    • Additional research facilities in the Hampton Roads area with which ECE faculty collaborate include NASA Langley Research Center and Jefferson Lab.
  • ECE faculty are very active in conducting cutting-edge research projects which provide both research experiences and financial support for qualified graduate students. Graduate teaching and research assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis and include a stipend along with full or partial tuition waiver.


After graduation, our MS, ME and PhD graduates are employed as electrical and computer engineers supporting industries like automotive, manufacturing, systems integration, shipbuilding, aerospace, defense, telecommunications, etc. They are also employed as researchers by private research and development labs or by federally funded organizations (Jefferson Lab, NASA, or the Naval Research Laboratories). Some of our former doctoral students have also gone into academic careers doing postdoctoral fellowships or are working in universities as faculty members.

Next Steps & Admission

  • Doctoral candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their master's degree program for regular admission.
  • Official transcripts of previous degree(s) awarded.
  • GRE scores.
  • Three letters of recommendation from former professors.
  • A resume.
  • A statement of goals.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required for all international students when English is not their first language

Students with credentials not meeting the regular admission requirements may be considered for provisional admission.

Application Dates

Fall Spring Summer Financial Assistantship
Deadlines June 1 November 1 March 1
International April 15 October 1 February 1

Application Requirements

Tests GRE
Recommendations 3
Essay Yes and resume
Transcripts From all prior instituitons
Additional Instructions

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