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The Department of Electrical Engineering's graduate program emphasizes forward-looking graduate education and original, cutting-edge research. While addressing fundamental issues and applications, our research focuses on current high-growth fields like security, photonics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biomedical applications, networks and communications, and multicore computer architecture.
The department offers two degree programs. The doctoral (Ph.D.) program prepares students for a variety of careers in research, teaching, and advanced development. This is the largest doctoral program at Princeton University, yet it remains intimate enough that students receive personal attention and extensive faculty contact. The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is a one-year program designed for students interested in careers in engineering practices or technical management. Many distinguished alumni of our graduate programs occupy leadership positions in industry, academia, business, finance, and government.
Our graduate education and research missions are supported by vibrant collaborations with the other departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and with the math and science departments. Graduate research opportunities are also enhanced by several interdisciplinary research centers at Princeton, including: the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM), Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM), and the Center for Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE). The department also has excellent relationships with neighboring companies and industrial laboratories where students can be engaged on joint research projects.
Ph.D. applicants are required to select a research area of interest when applying.
Please note, the Department of Electrical Engineering is not currently accepting applications for the M.Eng. program.
The doctoral program combines course work 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. In addition, all admitted Ph.D. students are automatically considered for the prestigious Wu and Upton Fellowships.
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. During the first year, students must complete a minimum of six courses in their area(s) of interest in preparation for research and the general examination. 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 his or her adviser. The courses must be in an area distinct from the student's research.
Each incoming student to the Department of Electrical Engineering is assigned an academic adviser to help with course selection and other concerns the student may have. Mid-way 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. The student should consult with his or her academic adviser and the faculty coordinator for guidance during the adviser selection process. Once the advisee-adviser pairing has been agreed upon by the adviser and the student, 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 speak with potential advisers to determine intellectual fit and capability.
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 oral exam is administered by the examination committee and 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 examination committee is selected by the research adviser in consultation with the student.
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.
Teaching experience is considered to be a significant part of the 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.
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.
Please note, students admitted to the Ph.D. program who do not wish to complete the program, may be considered for a M.S.E. degree with approval from the department and the Graduate School.
The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is designed to meet the need for rigorous and advanced training in the applied aspects of modern technology. It focuses on engineering technology and management. The degree requires the successful completion of eight courses, six of which must be technical courses at the graduate level. A thesis is not required for the M.Eng. degree. However, research project courses are available. For adequately prepared students, the program can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
Master’s students must successfully complete eight courses, including six at the graduate level. Design projects count toward the course requirements.
Claire F. Gmachl
Andrew A. Houck
Peter J. Ramadge
Ravindra N. Bhatt
Stephen Y. Chou
Claire F. Gmachl
Niraj K. Jha
Sanjeev R. Kulkarni
Ruby B. Lee
Stephen A. Lyon
H. Vincent Poor
Paul R. Prucnal
Peter J. Ramadge
James C. Sturm
Jason W. Fleischer
Emmanuel A. Abbe, also Program in Applied Computational Mathematics
Minjie Chen, also Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Paul W. Cuff
Nathalie P. de Leon
Barry P. Rand, also Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Alejandro W. Rodriguez
Hakan E. Tureci
Craig B. Arnold, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
David I. August, Computer Science
Kai Li, Computer Science
Lynn Loo, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Margaret R. Martonosi, Computer Science
Jason R. Petta, Physics
Warren B. Powell, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Jennifer Rexford, Computer Science
Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.