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Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University offers 60-credit hour PhD in Electrical Engineering or PhD in Computer Engineering. Our PhD degrees allow students to work with their advisor and committee to select coursework and a plan of study tailored to their research interests. Applicants are encouraged to review departmental research specializations prior to applying in order to identify alignments with research interests and potential faculty advisors.

Students may elect to complete their coursework and research based on our main campus, or at the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center in Charleston, SC. Many courses are offered in hybrid or online formats, offering graduate students flexibility and the opportunity to continue coursework while engaged in research off-campus. The GRE is required for admission to the both the PhD in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Computer Engineering programs and costs can be obtained by visiting the Tuition and Fees section of the Clemson Graduate School website. To start your application, click here.

Financial Support for PhD Students

Admitted PhD students will receive an offer for departmental funding and/or assistantships when admitted. The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has received federal grants from the US Department of Education through the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship Program. This program supports exceptional doctoral students in electrical and computer engineering who demonstrate financial need, click here for more information. Highly qualified students may be eligible for additional internal fellowships and scholarships awarded by CECAS. We also provide support to student and their advisors to identify and secure external funding to support PhD research. 

PhD Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Requirements

For applicants who hold a MS degree, the PhD in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Computer Engineering requires a final examination, defense of dissertation, and a minimum of 42 credit hours of graduate-level coursework at the 6000-level, 8000-level, or 9000-level, including the following:

  • Exactly 18 credit hours of ECE 9910 (Ph.D. Dissertation Research)
  • A minimum of 24 credit hours of letter-graded coursework.
    • No credit for course work at the 7000-level can be applied towards the degree requirements.
    • No credit for MATH 6000 can be applied towards the degree requirements.

 Direct entry to our Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering PhD programs is available for specially qualified candidates with a BS degree. Before applying for direct entry, contact us to determine your eligibility. The Ph.D. degree, without a prior M.S. degree, must include a minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate-level coursework at the 6000-level, 8000-level, or 9000-level, including the following:

  • Exactly 18 credit hours of ECE 9910 (Ph.D. Dissertation Research)
  • A minimum of 42 credit hours of letter-graded coursework.
    • At least nine (9) credit hours of the letter-graded coursework must be for non-ECE courses.
    • No more than nine (9) credit hours of the letter-graded coursework can be at the 6000-level.
      • No credit for coursework at the 7000-level can be applied towards the degree requirements.
      • No credit for MATH 6000 can be applied towards the degree requirements.

PhD Electrical Engineering Research Opportunities

PhD students in Electrical Engineering can conduct research in Clemson University’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center (EIC), which is among the world’s most advanced energy systems testing and research facilities. The Wind Turbine Drive Train Test Facility at the EIC is capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. The EIC also houses the Duke Energy eGRID, a 15-megawatt grid simulator that allows an electrical device to perform as it would under actual conditions anywhere in the world. A wide range of additional research opportunities may also be available through the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

How to Apply

Admission is based on the applicant’s record of academic performance, standardized test scores, and letters of reference. Each applicant should highlight relevant work experience and detail academic goals and research interests in a written statement of purpose. Information on required undergraduate prerequisite courses can be found on the UG Course Requirements page.

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Deadlines

Students who seek admission for the fall semester are encouraged to apply no later than the preceding January 15; students who seek admission for the spring semester are encouraged to apply no later than the preceding September 1; students who seek admission for the first summer session are encouraged to apply no later than the preceding December 1. The department will review applications after these recommended dates, but failure to meet these dates may significantly reduce applicants' opportunities for financial assistance.
Please note: International applicants must submit a completed application (with all the required application material) no later than the dates shown below to be considered for admission in the corresponding term.

  • Spring Term: September 15
  • Summer Term: February 15
  • Fall Term: April 15

Test Scores and Requirements

You can view the median test scores of admitted students by program offered at Clemson University. While we do not have a minimum GRE, TOEFL or GPA, we typically seek out applicants with scores in this general range of test scores. Our application review committee looks at all parts of the application to determine if you have the educational background to be successful in our program.  Please note that our program has very high expectations of our applicants. 

The following supporting materials are required for our graduate application package:

  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (unofficial at time of application, official transcript will be required if accepted)
  • GRE - Only official scores will be reviewed, Clemson Institution code = 5111
  • TOEFL - International Students only, Only official scores will be reviewed, Clemson Institution Code = 5111

For more information, please see our FAQ section and our Graduate Student Handbook or contact our department at ecegrad@clemson.edu.

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