Electrical and Computer Engineering

Academic Year 2022 – 2023

General Information

Address
Engineering Quadrangle
Phone

Program Offerings:

  • Ph.D.
  • M.Eng.

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:

Overview

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering doctoral program draws students from all over the world. Most candidates enter the program directly after completing an undergraduate degree in disciplines such as electrical engineering, computer science, or physics. Although our doctoral program is one of the largest at Princeton, its scale still allows students to receive personal attention and extensive faculty interaction.

Research in the Department is collaborative and interdisciplinary. The current main themes of research span areas from applied physics, devices, advanced circuits, and high-performance computing to security, data and information science, and artificial intelligence. Details on those research themes and related application domains can be found on the Department’s website under the Research link and faculty and research group websites. There are also a variety of interdisciplinary research centers at Princeton that enhance and broaden educational and research opportunities. 

New graduate students spend the first semester on coursework and typically select a thesis research advisor at the start of the spring semester, based on a match of research interests. The program combines a balance of preliminary and advanced coursework (400/500 numbered courses) and innovative research leading to a doctoral dissertation and award of the Ph.D. degree. Candidates earn a Masters of Arts degree en route to the Ph.D. degree. The nominal length of the program is five years. Students maintaining good progress will be provided with full financial support during the duration of the program. This support covers university tuition and fees and provides a stipend for living expenses. It is awarded through a combination of university fellowships and research/teaching assistantship positions. Housing is available for all first-year graduate students, and most students are accommodated in university housing for the duration of their regular enrollment. Many additional details about the program can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Apply

Application deadline
December 15, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (This deadline is for applications for enrollment beginning in fall 2023)
Program length
Ph.D. 5 years, M.Eng 1 year
Fee
$75
GRE
General Test optional/not required

Additional departmental requirements

Ph.D. applicants are required to select a research area of interest when applying.

The M.Eng. program in Electrical and Computer Engineering for academic year 2022-23 is intended for all Princeton seniors in the Class of 2022. If you submit an application to the M.Eng. program, please list 8 courses that you are interested in taking in your statement of purpose.

Optional: Applicants may submit a statement with their application, briefly describing how their academic interests, background, or life experiences would advance Princeton’s commitment to diversity within the Graduate School and to training individuals in an increasingly diverse society. Please submit a succinct statement of no more than 500 words.

Program Offerings

Program description

The doctoral program combines coursework and participation in original research. Most students enter the program with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, computer science, physics, or a related discipline. Some have a master’s degree, but that is not necessary for success in the program. Every admitted Ph.D. student is given financial support in the form of a first-year fellowship. Students in academic good standing are supported by a teaching assistant or research assistant after the first year. Students who remain on campus working with their adviser during the summer will receive summer salary. In addition, all admitted Ph.D. students are automatically considered for the prestigious Wu and Upton Fellowships.

Courses

In the first year of the program, the main emphasis is on coursework. Students take courses both for proficiency within their specialty as well as for breadth. The program has no specific required courses, but there is a required minimum course count and a required minimum GPA. Students must complete a minimum of six courses in their area(s) of interest in preparation for research and the general examination during the first year. Each student is assigned a first-year academic adviser who assists the student in determining the appropriate courses. Students must complete a minor area of study. This can be completed by achieving a GPA of at least 3.3 in two or more coherent courses approved by the adviser. The courses must be in an area distinct from the student's research.

Additional pre-generals requirements

Research Adviser
Each incoming student to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is assigned an academic adviser to help with course selection and other student concerns. Midway through the fall semester, each student gives a rank-ordered list of preferred research advisers. This information is combined with the faculty’s preference ranking of students and available funding to arrive at the faculty-student pairing. This is usually done by the end of the fall semester in the student’s first year. Students should consult with their academic adviser and the faculty coordinator for guidance during the adviser selection process. Once the adviser and the student have agreed upon the advisee-adviser pairing, the chosen adviser takes over academic and research advising.

Choosing a research adviser is one of the most important steps in the Ph.D. program; it should be done with care. Students should prepare for adviser selection by reviewing research materials for all faculty members in their area of interest and speaking with potential advisers to determine intellectual fit and capability.

General exam

Students are expected to successfully complete the general during the fourth term of their Ph.D. studies. Students are not normally readmitted to a third-year (fifth term) of graduate study unless they have successfully completed the general examination. The general examination consists of a research seminar and an oral exam. The seminar is a 45-minute presentation of research accomplished at Princeton. It is intended to indicate that a student is capable of independent research and has started a research topic that has the potential to lead to a doctoral dissertation. The examination committee administers the oral exam. It is held not more than one month after the research seminar and within the periods set by the Graduate School for the general exam. The research adviser selects the examination committee in consultation with the student.

Qualifying for the M.A.

The Master of Arts can be earned by Ph.D. students en route to their Ph.D., after the student has: (a) presented a research seminar approved by the student’s general examination committee and (b) passed the oral general examination. It may also be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that these requirements have been met.

Please note, students admitted to the Ph.D. program who do not wish to complete the program may be considered for an M.S.E. degree with approval from the department and the Graduate School. Ph.D. students who have already been awarded the incidental M.A. are not eligible to earn an M.S.E.

Teaching

Teaching experience is considered to be a significant part of graduate education. Prior to completion of the program, doctoral students must complete at least one assignment as a teaching assistant (TA). To be a teaching assistant, a student must first demonstrate proficiency in English by passing or being exempted from, the Princeton Oral Proficiency Test (POPT). Students are encouraged to satisfy the POPT requirement as early as possible.

Post-Generals requirements

At least six months before the FPO (or with the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies for another time), students must schedule and hold a preliminary FPO with the FPO committee present. At the pre-FPO presentation, students are required to present research progress, results to date and present plans, and a timeline to complete their dissertation work. The pre-PFO is meant to give the student valuable feedback from the committee and is not graded.

Dissertation and FPO

The final public oral examination is taken after the candidate’s dissertation has been examined for technical mastery by a committee and approved by the Graduate School; it is primarily a defense of the dissertation.

The Ph.D. is awarded after the candidate’s doctoral dissertation has been accepted and the final public oral examination sustained.

Program description

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is designed to enable students to develop a stronger foundation in a technical area for professional practice or preparation for a higher degree.  The degree requires the successful completion of eight courses. A thesis is not required for the M.Eng. degree. However, research project courses are available.

The M.Eng. program in Electrical and Computer Engineering for academic year 2023-24 is intended for all Princeton seniors in the Class of 2023. If applying to the M.Eng. program, please list 8 courses that you are interested in taking in your statement of purpose.

We discourage applications from others, who will not be admitted.

Courses

Master’s students must successfully complete eight graded technical courses at the 400 and/or 500 levels, including at least four courses at the 500-level.  These courses must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. All eight courses must be taken for a grade, and students must have an overall G.P.A. of  "B" (3.0)  or better at the time they complete the program requirements in order to receive the degree. 

Faculty

  • Chair

    • H. Vincent Poor (acting) (fall)
    • James C. Sturm
  • Associate Chair

    • Claire F. Gmachl
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Niraj K. Jha
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Prateek Mittal
  • Executive Committee

    • Claire F. Gmachl, Electrical & Comp Engineering
    • Andrew A. Houck, Electrical & Comp Engineering
    • Sharad Malik, Electrical & Comp Engineering
    • Peter J. Ramadge, Electrical & Comp Engineering
    • James C. Sturm, Electrical & Comp Engineering
    • Naveen Verma, Electrical & Comp Engineering
  • Professor

    • Ravindra N. Bhatt
    • Stephen Y. Chou
    • Jason W. Fleischer
    • Claire F. Gmachl
    • Andrea J. Goldsmith
    • Andrew A. Houck
    • Niraj K. Jha
    • Antoine Kahn
    • Sanjeev R. Kulkarni
    • Sun-Yuan Kung
    • Stephen A. Lyon
    • Sharad Malik
    • Prateek Mittal
    • H. Vincent Poor
    • Paul R. Prucnal
    • Peter J. Ramadge
    • Mansour Shayegan
    • James C. Sturm
    • Naveen Verma
    • Pramod Viswanath
  • Associate Professor

    • Jason D. Lee
    • Barry P. Rand
    • Alejandro W. Rodriguez
    • Kaushik Sengupta
    • Jeffrey D. Thompson
    • Hakan E. Türeci
    • Mengdi Wang
    • David Wentzlaff
    • Gerard Wysocki
    • Nathalie P. de Leon
  • Assistant Professor

    • Maria Apostolaki
    • Minjie Chen
    • Jaime Fernandez Fisac
    • Tian-Ming Fu
    • Yasaman Ghasempour
    • Sarang Gopalakrishnan
    • Chi Jin
    • Saien Xie
  • Associated Faculty

    • Amir Ali Ahmadi, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Craig B. Arnold, Mechanical & Aerospace Eng
    • David I. August, Computer Science
    • Jianqing Fan, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Kyle A. Jamieson, Computer Science
    • Gillat Kol, Computer Science
    • Kai Li, Computer Science
    • Lynn Loo, Chemical and Biological Eng
    • Margaret R. Martonosi, Computer Science
    • Jason Petta, Physics
    • Jennifer L. Rexford, Computer Science
  • Lecturer

    • Hossein Valavi
  • Visiting Associate Professor

    • Tirza S. Routtenberg
  • Visiting Lecturer

    • Jonathan Hodges
    • Ali Javadi-Abhari
    • Hamed Rahmani

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.