PhD Admissions

Students working in power lab

Doctoral graduates from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at PSU are flourishing in careers as academics, researchers, and as entrepreneurs.



Admission is possible every term, provided your application is complete by the deadline. Our PhD application deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall (September start) - March 1
  • Winter (January start) - September 1 (prior year)
  • Spring (March start) - December 1 (prior year)
  • Summer (June start) - February 1


Applicants to the Ph.D. program in electrical and computer engineering will normally have completed a master's degree in electrical engineering or a related field. However, admission directly to the Ph.D. program from a bachelor's degree program is possible if desired.

The following application items are required for the ECE Department:

  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE score
  • 3 references
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Writing sample

The writing sample can be an MS thesis, a conference paper for which you were the first author, or any technical report or document that you wrote. There is no prescribed length but your submission should show that you have good command of the English Language and that you can clearly explain technical material.

Please visit the PSU graduate admissions page for more information on how to apply.

Students are normally only admitted to our program if a faculty member has agreed to serve as the adviser. Before applying to our PhD program, you should contact faculty working in an area of research that is of interest to you. Your adviser will stay the same throughout your time in the doctoral program. You can find a list of our faculty here. The department has many ongoing research programs and supporting research laboratories which are listed here. 

Transfer Credits

Credits from other institutions can apply to the degree, pending advisory committee approval. All dissertation credit must be performed in residence at PSU.

Graduate Assistantships

Doctoral students are sometimes, but not always, offered a teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA) appointment shortly after admission. Please discuss the possibility of a research assistantship with your doctoral faculty adviser. If accepted for the priority PhD program (see below) you will be funding through at least your first two years of the program, and likely for its entirety.


Apply to the ECE PhD Program

Start or continue your application here.

Priority PhD Admission

Beginning Fall 2020 the ECE department will begin a highly competitive cohort program for exceptional full time PhD students that is in addition to our normal PhD admission. Students who are interested in going directly from their bachelors degree into this program are highly encouraged to apply. Students with a masters in electrical engineering are also welcome to apply. This program guarantees funding for at least the first two years of the program.