The doctoral program in computer engineering is designed to involve students in cutting-edge research in the areas of computer architecture and high-performance computing, or microelectronics and VLSI systems. The research interests of the faculty in the computer architecture and high-performance computing area span computer architecture, parallel processing, cloud computing, and high-performance and grid computing. In the microelectronics and VLSI design area, the faculty's interests include the design and modeling of electronic and nanoelectronic devices and systems, microfluidic devices integrated with electronic devices, the design of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) for sensors and for RF-MEMS devices, micro and nanoelectronic circuits with applications to sensors and biosensors, and techniques to develop CMOS Integrated sensors and their interface circuits using analog and digital circuits.
Offered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Ph.D. in Computer Engineering prepares students to learn and apply sophisticated computer architecture and integrated circuit design techniques using industry-standard computer-aided design tools. Faculty and students work together to explore solutions for photonic computing; create state-of-the-art advances in high-performance computing, and improve the reliability of cloud computing.
The program offers up-to-date knowledge and skills in the advances of computer systems architecture and networking, as well as the rapidly-growing use of superscalar microprocessors, real-time embedded systems, VLSI and ASIC design modules, digital signal processors, and networked computing platforms. The program offers a flexible schedule that includes courses in the late afternoon and evening, as well as the ability to choose a thesis or non-thesis degree option.
Students choose from two areas of focus:
- Computer architecture and high-performance computing
- MEMS, electronics, and photonics (microelectronics and VLSI systems)
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering (Ph.D.)
- Credit hours (for those with a master's degree): 30
- Credit hours (for those without a master's degree): 54
- Duration: 4-6 years
- Other requirements:
- Scholarship requirement: Doctoral students in the Computer Engineering program must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 at the time of graduation. Students must have a B or higher in all courses to count toward the degree.
- Seminar requirement: All doctoral students must present one departmental seminar, excluding the dissertation defense, prior to graduation.
- Colloquium requirement: All doctoral students must attend five seminars, workshops, or symposia sponsored by the department in order to fulfill this zero-credit requirement.
Areas of focus
Computer Architecture and High-Performance Computing
Faculty in this area are involved in research on topics such as computer architecture, parallel processing, cloud computing, and high-performance and grid computing.
MEMS, Electronics, and Photonics
Faculty in this area are involved in research on topics such as the design and modeling of electronic and nanoelectronic devices and systems, microfluidic devices integrated with electronic devices, the design of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) for sensors and for RF-MEMS devices, micro and nanoelectronic circuits with applications to sensors and biosensors, and techniques to develop CMOS Integrated sensors and their interface circuits using analog and digital circuits.
Ph.D. Admissions Requirements
Applicants must submit the following materials in order to be considered for admission into a master's program at SEAS. All materials except test scores must be uploaded to the online application form:
- Scanned copies of unofficial transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned; the program was not completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.
- Please ensure that all transcripts are properly scanned and attached to the online application form. Otherwise, applicants will receive notifications requesting legible transcripts, which may delay review of their application.
- Please do not mail official transcripts unless you are instructed to do so by a SEAS admissions officer. Admissions decisions are based on unofficial transcripts.
- For international applicants, please see additional requirements for attaching foreign transcripts to the online application.
- The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants, except for those applying for a Combined Five-Year Program.
- GRE scores must be sent to institution code 5246 through the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
- There is no minimum score required on the GRE for admission. However, applicants are encouraged to score within the 90th percentile of the Quantitative section of the exam in order to be considered competitive. To see average GRE scores from the most recent incoming class, visit the Graduate Student Profile.
English proficiency exam scores (international applicants)
- International applicants who did not receive a degree from an institution situated in the United States or English-speaking country must also submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic exams.
- Please view the International Admissions section for information on English language exam score requirements and sending scores to GW.
Letters of Recommendation
- A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation is required to be submitted with the online application form.
- At least one recommendation should be from an advisor and/or faculty member(s) at the institution from which you earned your highest degree.
Statement of Purpose
- Applicants must include an essay of 400-600 words that clearly states their purpose in undertaking graduate study at the George Washington University; explains their academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and discusses related qualifications including collegiate, professional, and community activities, as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned.
- It is strongly encouraged that essays stay within the 600-word limit. While applicants are not penalized for submitting longer essays, concise essays are more effective in demonstrating an applicant's motivation.
- The Statement of Purpose must be written by the applicant. Any essay found to have been written by anyone other than the applicant, or plagiarized from other published materials, will be withdrawn from consideration.
- A current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) should be uploaded to the online application form.
- If you have published articles in peer-reviewed publications, please include them as a hyperlink.
Ph.D. applicants must also demonstrate the following requirements in order to be considered for admission:
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant area from an accredited institution
- If the applicant has obtained a master’s, a minimum grade point average of 3.4 (on a scale of 4.0) is required.
- If the applicant has only obtained a bachelor’s degree, the minimum grade point average must be a 3.3 (on a scale of 4.0).
- Identified one to three SEAS faculty members whose research interests most closely match their own and note this on the application form.
- A strong academic or relevant professional background pertinent to the field of study
- Demonstrated capacity for original research