Graduate programs

About our programs

Opportunities for study beyond the bachelor’s degree exist in several areas, including computer engineering, control systems, electromagnetics, antennas and microwave circuits, electronic and mixed-signal circuit design, electric power and energy systems, signal processing and communications, physical electronics and photonics and arts, media and engineering. Studies may lead to the degrees of master of science (MS) or the master of science in engineering (MSE).

Students are involved in a variety of research activities and have access to state-of-the-art facilities, such as the electromagnetic anechoic chamber, the wireless communications lab and the integrated circuit fabrication clean room.

You will find the admission requirements in the links above, and resources for students below.

As of the fall 2023 semester, the GRE is no longer required for the EE MSE and EE (AME) MS application. While the GRE is not required, it may significantly increase the applicant’s chances of admission in certain circumstances. The GRE is still required for the EE PHD and EE (AME) PHD programs. Details can be found in the program handbook.

Graduate admissions information

Specific admission information for each degree program can be found in the catalog (links above) or in the degree’s handbook. Please note that computer engineering, robotics and autonomous systems and data science, analytics and engineering have different handbooks than the electrical engineering programs. Those handbooks can be found on the programs’ respective websites.

Application deadlines

Fall semester:

Preference is given to complete School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering graduate applications received by December 31. Admission results should be available by March 1. Applications received after this preferred deadline will be considered.

Spring semester:

Preference is given to complete School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering graduate applications received by July 31. Admission results should be available by October 1. Applications received after this preferred deadline will be considered.

Joint graduate programs

Some of the graduate programs offered through the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering are in partnership with other academic units at ASU. These programs have their own websites that list information pertinent to them, including program handbooks, what to expect academically and more. Check out each program’s website below.

Computer engineering (electrical engineering)

Robotics and autonomous systems (electrical engineering)

Data science, analytics and engineering (Bayesian machine learning)

Data science, analytics and engineering (computational models and data)

Data science, analytics and engineering (electrical egineering)

Additional graduate program resources

Finding a PhD faculty advisor

Adapted from “Selecting the right PhD advisor: a guide,“ by Associate Professor Zachary Holman.

What’s at stake?

Choosing a PhD advisor is a big decision. A good advisor will provide you with steady funding, teach you new skills, bring out your best and coach you toward your future career. Both you and your advisor usually only have one chance to pick correctly, and switching can be a big setback for you. This short guide, which discusses five aspects to consider when picking an advisor, is intended to help you make the right choice.

Funding and field of interest

Look for an advisor who has a funded project in need of a student. Once you narrow down the faculty that could be a good match, consult their websites to see the topics they are focusing on at the moment.

You will spend the next four to six years studying the minutia of the research topic that you and your advisor establish — make sure that it interests you. Ask your advisor to sell you on his or her research.

Professional relationship and managing expectations

Make sure that you can communicate effectively with your future advisor, and that you are comfortable being vulnerable in his or her presence (e.g., when asking a “stupid” question).

You and your advisor should share similar expectations for your PhD tenure. Find out how many papers you are expected to publish, if you must obtain a master’s degree before earning your PhD, whether you will present at weekly meetings and if you must perform other services (e.g., maintaining equipment or advising undergraduates).

Future prospects

While few doctoral students end up working on the exact topic of their dissertation post-graduation, they often find success in a related field. If you intend to enter industry, aim to gain skills during your PhD that you can use afterward.

The first time you meet with your potential advisor, ask for copies of his or her recent publications, meet with current students, and attend a group meeting if possible.

Teaching and research assistantships and fellowships

Various forms of financial support are available to new and continuing graduate students, including teaching and research assistantships and fellowships. These opportunities may be accessed through each academic unit as well as individual faculty members. Learn about additional financial aid options for students in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

Teaching assistantships

Students receiving teaching assistantships may be assigned appointments which are half-time (20 hours per week) or quarter-time (10 hours per week).

Assignments may include sole responsibility for teaching undergraduate students in a lab, assistance in the teaching of undergraduate lab recitations and assistance in grading undergraduate homework. Students may also be asked to prepare lectures for undergraduate courses and administer examinations.

Teaching responsibilities are in addition to the time spent on research for a graduate degree. Teaching assistantships generally include an out-of-state tuition waiver and a stipend. However, full tuition waivers are only given to students who hold half-time teaching assistantships. Quarter-time assistantship holders receive a waiver for only half of their tuition. In addition to the stipend and full tuition waiver, half-time teaching assistants receive health insurance benefits.

All teaching assistants whose native language is not English must achieve a Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of 50 or better before they are allowed primary teaching responsibilities. Students unable to take the TSE exam in their home countries can instead take the SPEAK Test. Offered on campus at ASU, the SPEAK Test is the local version of the TSE.

Students taking the SPEAK Test at ASU must achieve a minimum score of 50 (for limited teaching capacity) or 55 (for full teaching capacity). Results are sent to the academic department within five working days after the test date. You must register in advance for the ASU SPEAK Test online via ASU Global Launch.

Research assistantships

Research assistantship, or RA, appointments pay the student a stipend for involvement in a particular faculty research project. This project usually also serves as the student’s dissertation research topic.

A first-year doctoral student receiving a half-time teaching or research assistantship generally receives a generous starting stipend for 12 months, in addition to the full tuition waiver and health insurance benefits. In addition to a stipend, students receiving a research assistantship are generally given an out-of-state tuition waiver.

The amount of the tuition waiver, however, depends upon whether the student is appointed as a half-time (20 hours per week) RA or a quarter-time (10 hours per week) RA. Students given half-time RA appointments also receive health insurance benefits.

Students receiving stipends for research activity, which also constitutes their dissertation research, spend considerably more time each week working on the project than is otherwise expected by the assistantship.

Dean’s Fellowship

The ASU electrical engineering program offers the Dean’s Fellowship to outstanding new doctoral students. Total awards exceeding $30,000 per year for four years are available. In addition to the cash award, the fellowship covers tuition, insurance and a position as an RA in a research program of interest.

Eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Apply and be admitted to ASU’s doctoral program in electrical engineering.
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Have a bachelor of science degree with a 3.6 GPA or better from an accredited electrical engineering program.
  • Attend the recruiting event.
  • Women and minority applicants are encouraged.

Visit the fellowship application portal to apply.

Policies related to financial support of graduate students

A limited number of students receive written offers of financial aid prior to entering the program. Students who elect to enter the program without a written commitment of financial aid are responsible for providing their own financial support.

Although it is the desire of the faculty to assist students by aggressively pursuing research grants, the faculty are not responsible for providing funding when a student enrolls in the program. All supported students are expected to complete their work assignments in a satisfactory manner as judged by the faculty.

Supported students are also required to register for at least 12 credit hours of coursework during each semester of residence, including research hours. Any suspension from the graduate program results in the loss of financial support.

Policy dictates that supported students in the doctoral program are paid a stipend consistent with that of a research or teaching assistant until they pass the qualifying examination, then receive a stipend consistent with that of a research or teaching associate.

Ready to apply?

Click the link below to submit your application on the graduate admissions website.

The School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering’s programs are highly recognized for their exceptional quality. Online delivery of our master’s program is ranked #2 by U.S. News and World Report. Our commitment is to provide qualified students access to electrical engineering graduate programs valued by industry. 

Stephen M. Phillips

Professor and school director