Electrical Engineering PhD

The Electrical Engineering PhD program studies systems that sense, analyze, and interact with the world. You will learn how this practice is based on fundamental science and mathematics, creating opportunities for both theoretical and experimental research. Electrical engineers invent devices for sensing and actuation, designing physical substrates for computation, creating algorithms for analysis and control, and expanding the theory of information processing. You will get to choose from a wide range of research areas such as circuits and VLSI, computer engineering and architecture, robotics and control, and signal processing.

Electrical engineers at SEAS are pursuing work on integrated circuits for cellular biotechnology, millimeter-scale robots, and the optimization of smart power groups. Examples of projects current and past students have worked on include developing methods to trace methane emissions and improving models for hurricane predictions.



PhD in Electrical Engineering Degree

Harvard School of Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Engineering Sciences: Electrical Engineering, conferred through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). Prospective students apply through the Harvard Griffin GSAS. In the online application, select  “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and select "PhD Engineering Sciences: Electrical Engineering​."

The Electrical Engineering program does not offer an independent Masters Degree.

Electrical Engineering PhD Career Paths

Graduates of the program have gone on to a range of careers in industry in companies such as Tesla, Microsoft HoloLens, and IBM. Others have positions in academia at the University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and University of Colorado.

Admissions & Academic Requirements

Prospective students apply through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). In the online application, select  “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and select "PhD Engineering Sciences: Electrical Engineering​." Please review the admissions requirements and other information before applying. Our website also provides admissions guidance,  program-specific requirements, and a PhD program academic timeline.

Academic Background

Applicants typically have bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. In the application for admission, select “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your degree program choice and your degree and area of interest from the “Area of Study“ drop-down. PhD applicants must complete the Supplemental SEAS Application Form as part of the online application process.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Not Accepted

Electrical Engineering Faculty & Research Areas

View a list of our electrical engineering faculty and electrical engineering affiliated research areas, Please note that faculty members listed as “Affiliates" or "Lecturers" cannot serve as the primary research advisor.  

Electrical Engineering Centers & Initiatives

View a list of the research centers & initiatives at SEAS and the electrical engineering faculty engagement with these entities.

Graduate Student Clubs

Graduate student clubs and organizations bring students together to share topics of mutual interest. These clubs often serve as an important adjunct to course work by sponsoring social events and lectures. Graduate student clubs are supported by the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin School of Arts and Sciences. Explore the list of active clubs and organizations.

Funding and Scholarship

Learn more about financial support for PhD students.

How to Apply

Learn more about how to apply or review frequently asked questions for prospective graduate students.