Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Program Description

The Ph.D. program is intended to train students for leadership positions in teaching and research. Entering students are admitted directly to the Ph.D. program; a Master’s Degree is not a requirement for admission. Before doctoral degree candidates begin the second year of study, they must take a Qualifying Examination, consisting of Subject Area Examinations that are administered by the ECE Faculty.

Research and study opportunities

Ongoing research activities in electrical engineering involve both theory and experiment, and range from the atomic scale at which solid-state devices are studied to the global dimensions of geophysical plasmas. Projects currently underway concern the properties of materials, the fabrication of devices from these materials, the interconnection of devices to form systems, and the properties of systems, including control systems, computer systems, systems for transmitting power and information, and systems for processing signals and data.

Signals, systems, learning and control

Communications, networks, cyber-physical systems, energy conversion and power systems, biological and medical systems; coding and information theory, machine learning and statistical inference, adaptive control, image and video processing and compression.

Computer engineering and robotics

Computer architecture, computer systems, parallel and distributed processing, cloud computing, embedded systems, and computer networks; VLSI design, hardware verification, CAD, and simulation; robotics, embodied computation, hardware/software co-design, and micro robotics.

Plasma physics, space science and engineering, and electromagnetics

Upper atmosphere, ionospheric and magnetospheric science, radar, satellites, and sounding rockets; fusion, solar system, and fundamental plasmas; pulsed power, electron and ion beams, and plasma radiation; plasma fabrication; electromagnetics.

Solid-state electronics and optoelectronics

Electronic, magnetic and optoelectronic materials and devices; devices, circuits, and system integration; beyond-CMOS devices and circuits; power electronics; photonics; microwave and millimeter-wave devices and systems; sensors and actuators, micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems. 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.ece.cornell.edu
Email: ece-phd@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-2792

223 Phillips Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • computer engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • electrical systems
  • electrophysics


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec.15,  no Spring admission

Requirements Summary:

Learning Outcomes

The first important goal of the ECE Ph.D. education is to ensure that our graduates can define and solve an important ECE problem. This requires that they apply fundamental ECE knowledge to a novel concept, synthesize useful techniques from relevant areas, and make discovery that impacts society. The graduate Ph.D. should be prepared broadly, not just in the specific area of the dissertation topic, but also for a career on the forefront of knowledge making contributions to engineering applications.  

Effective teamwork and dissemination of research results demand that an ECE Ph.D. master and demonstrate effective communication skills in writing, speaking and public presentations. The Ph.D candidates are expected to acquire these skills as part of their course work and research projects, and should be involved in generating journal publications and conference presentations for both active learning and knowledge distribution. These communication skills are essential for practicing engineers. Practicing engineers also need to be ethically responsible and understand the social impacts of their work. ECE Ph.D. students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct in their research and abide by the IEEE Code Ethics.