Program Overview

Students in the doctoral program in electrical engineering conduct research in a variety of areas with the department's world-class faculty. Students can choose from the following six areas of focus: communications and networks; electrical power and energy; electromagnetics, radiation systems, and microwave engineering; microelectronics and VLSI systems; and signal and image processing, systems and controls.

Offered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Electrical Engineering are designed to help students understand and apply the principles of electrical engineering to communications, power and energy, and micro- and nano-electronics. Faculty and students research in areas such as wireless/mobile communications, micro-electro-mechanical systems, magnetics, and remote sensing.

Students choose from five areas of focus:

  • Applied electromagnetics
  • Communications and networks
  • Electrical power and energy
  • Electronics, photonics, and MEMS (VLSI systems and microelectronics)
  • Signal and image processing, systems and controls

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical 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:
    • Seminar requirement: Students must present one departmental seminar, excluding the dissertation defense, prior to graduation.
    • Colloquium requirement: Students must register for the zero-credit colloquium course and satisfy the requirement by attending five department-sponsored seminars, workshops, or symposia.


Areas of focus

Communications and Networks

Faculty in this area are involved in research on topics such as wireless communications and networking, data-center networks, network optimization, and optical networking. Please click on a faculty member' s name to learn more about their specific research interests.

Electrical Power and Energy

Faculty in this area are involved in research on topics such as reliability of renewable energy sources for power generation, the stability of micro-grids integrated into large utility power systems and cybersecurity of the electrical power grid with internet interconnections.

Electromagnetics, Radiation Systems, and Microwave Engineering

Faculty in this area are involved in antenna arrays, microwave remote sensing, wave propagation and channel modeling, computational electromagnetics, magnetics, and nano-optics.

Electronics, Photonics, and MEMS

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.

Signal and Image Processing, Systems, and Controls

Faculty in this area are involved in research on topics such as signal processing for communications and acoustics, computer vision and multimedia processing, medical image processing and pattern recognition, complex system analysis, and design, and system identification and control.

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:

Online Application


  • 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.

GRE scores

  • 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 state 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 an appropriate area from an accredited institution
    • If an applicant has obtained a master’s, a minimum grade point average of 3.4 (on a scale of 4.0) is required.
    • If an applicant has only obtained a bachelor’s, 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.
Program taught in:
  • English
The George Washington University - School of Engineering & Applied Science

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Last updated November 13, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
Feb 2020
4 - 6 years
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