PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Develop Your Expertise in a Rapidly Evolving Field

Look toward industry-directing influence with a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson University. To reach the top of your field or to become a well-rounded academic, expand your understanding of communications and signal processing, power systems, biometrics, metamaterials and more subdisciplines. Devote your studies to developing innovative technologies and conducting groundbreaking, impactful research.

Why Earn a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering From Clarkson University?

You already have the real-world experience and a lengthy list of accomplishments to your name. Apply what you've acquired and continue growing your skills to contribute to new technologies and innovative advancements in electrical and computer engineering.

Your motivation, plus personal attention from our nationally recognized faculty, prepares you to surge ahead. Thrive in a team-based, collaborative and interdisciplinary environment where you'll engage in important, world-class research. Let your ideas flourish while deepening your expertise and tackling complex challenges to become a scholar in your own right.

Our cutting-edge curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities supply the tools. Understand how we make discoveries in our Biomedical Signal Analysis Laboratory, the Clarkson Center for Complex Systems Science and the Smart Power Systems and Controls Lab. We count government agencies and top private organizations as partners, and some of our most groundbreaking projects receive funding from the National Science Foundation.

Tap into our connections to industry leaders and our strong alumni network for professional development. Our award-winning Parker Career Center can also help you chart the next steps toward your future. 

What You'll Learn

Start to establish yourself through 90 credit hours, a comprehensive exam and a completed dissertation. The credit hours will be divided into a major field of your choosing, a minor, coursework in other departments and a seminar.

You can specialize in one of the following tracks:

  • Communication and Signal processing
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Control Engineering
  • Electronics and Materials
  • Power Engineering

For major and minor areas, explore the following subjects:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation
  • Biometrics
  • Complex Systems, Data-Driven Science and Engineering
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Hardware, FPGA and Digital Circuits & Systems
  • Computing: High Performance, Heterogeneous, Edge and IoT
  • Controls and Robotics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Embedded Systems
  • High Voltage Engineering
  • Metamaterials, Electromagnetic Materials and Structures & Photonics
  • Micro and Nanoelectronics: Devices, Circuits & Systems
  • Power Systems and Renewable Energy
  • Programming Languages, Compilers and Software Engineering
  • Signal Processing and Communication

Required coursework includes:

  • Minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the BS.
  • Minimum of 39 credit hours of coursework.
  • Minimum of 15 credit hours in the major field.
  • Minimum of nine credit hours in the minor field.
  • Minimum of six credit hours from a department other than the one in which the student's program is housed.
  • Minimum of six credit hours of seminar.
  • Two years of full‑time study in residence at Clarkson.
  • A master’s degree may be accepted in lieu of a maximum of 30 credit hours.

The comprehensive examination for admission to candidacy must be taken within one year after admission to the PhD program or after the completion of 30 graduate credits — whichever comes later. A student will be dropped from the program if the exam is failed twice.

A dissertation must be submitted and defended orally before an examining committee. The examining committee will consist of a minimum of five members. At least three members must hold primary appointments at the rank of assistant professor or higher in the ECE Department. At least one of the faculty members must be from a department other than the advisor’s department.


Engage in research related to micro/nano electronics, including for the following electronics:

  • Modeling of nanoelectronics devices.
  • Simulation of electromagnetics structures, quantum devices and spin transistors.
  • Thermal and electrothermal simulations of solid-state devices and integrated circuits.

We also conduct research in the following software areas:

  • Applied machine learning
  • Building energy modeling
  • Formal methods in computing, especially automated verification
  • Keystroke dynamics
  • Parallel, distributed and concurrent computing
  • Persuasive technologies and data analytics for smart housing
  • Programming languages
  • Smart microgrid
  • Software development environments and tools
  • Software engineering
  • Software reuse, software evolution and formal methods

A completed application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form
  • Résumé.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
  • GRE test scores.
    • Waived: The GRE requirement will be waived for Fall 2023 applicants.
  • For international applicants, an English proficiency test is required.
    • Minimum test score requirements: TOEFL (80) and TOEFL Essentials (8.5), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) or Duolingo English Test (115).
    • The English language-testing requirement is not waived based on language of instruction, nor do we accept university certificates. English testing is waived if an applicant has a degree from a country where English is the Native Language. Click here to see the list of these countries.

A limited number of one-year and/or partial-year tuition scholarships are available for qualified full-time students. A limited number of stipends are also available. Most scholarships and/or stipends are associated with department assistantships or completion of a master’s thesis as part of the qualified applicant’s plan of study to complete his/her degree program.

Career Possibilities

Direct the pace and advancements of some of the fastest-growing industries. Uncover opportunities to lead and spur innovation for corporations or in government or higher education. Clarkson ECE graduates had a 100 percent placement rate in 2023, and median wages tend to be above $100,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering graduates start positions in:

  • Academia
  • Academic or industry research
  • Leadership
  • Product design and development
  • Technology

Recent Employers

Graduates of the PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering have embarked on careers with:

  • Acuant
  • CACI
  • Creare
  • Materials Design Inc.
  • Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC
  • Thales Digital Identity and Security

| STEM OPT Eligible

Contact Us

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 518-631-9831

Pursue and understand how you can drive technologies, capabilities and applications in the field of electrical and computer engineering. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions today with your questions.

Find out more about the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in the Coulter School of Engineering.

100% Graduate Placement Rate - Program Specific


The Biomedical Signal Analysis Laboratory at Clarkson University serves as a site for the National Science Foundation’s Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), a multi-university center working with government and industry to strengthen identification technology and credibility assessment. Learn more about this exciting initiative.

Learn More About CITeR

Deepen Your Expertise

Increase your earning potential and qualify for a wide range of academic and industry opportunities with a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson.