Electrical and Computer Engineering (Ph.D.)

Electrical and Computer Engineering (Ph.D.)
ECE Laboratory

Why get a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering?

Our electrical engineering Ph.D. program prepares students for a career in academia, industry and national laboratories. The training offered in our program increases the breadth and depth of students’ electrical and computer engineering knowledge and helps them develop the specialized skills in areas including, but not limited to,biomedical engineering, human-computer interaction, wireless communication, integrated circuit design, cybersecurity, control system and robotics, sensor design, wearable electronics, image processing, Internet-of-Things, computer architecture, and medical instrumentation.

Why study electrical and computer engineering at UNH?

Our graduate programs are flexible,allowing the student to choose a wide variety of courses and research projects.Our students work with award-winning faculty to investigate cutting-edge research topics and pursue their career goals. During the academic year and summer, a large number of our graduate students receive financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and scholarships. The ECE Industrial Advisory Board(IAB) is comprised of representatives in a wide range of companies, who actively offer internships and full-time positions to our students. Upon completion of their programs, many of our graduates move on to work in various positions including industry, academia and postdoc research fellowships at other institutions.During academic years, a large number of students work in the UNH Interoperability Laboratory and study computer communication.

Potential career areas

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Automotive and Manufacturing industries
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Embedded computer systems
  • Integrated circuits and systems design industries
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Medical IoT
  • Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Telecommunications Industries

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  • Photo of Nabil Al Nahin Ch
    Ph.D. Student Researches Automatic and Manual Driving
    Nabil Al Nahin Ch is an electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student who uses a driving simulator for his research, fully equiped with a wheel, gas pedal, break, and more. His focus is in automatic and manual driving. 
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  • Prashant Purohit Ph.D. Student
    Ph.D. Student Developing a Device to Reduce Infant Mortality Rate
    Prashant Purohit is a current doctorate student studying electrical and computer engineering, specializing in biomedical instrumentation. He received a bachelor’s in electronics and communication from JECRC University in Jaipur, and his…
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  • Headshot of Sandeep
    Sandeep Sunkavilli is a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering. His research includes cybersecurity and countermeasure design taught in the NH CyberSEE Lab. 
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Curriculum & Requirements

Our graduate programs are flexible allowing the student a wide choice of courses as well as research topics. We will prepare students for professional skills such as working collaboratively, scholarly writing, and technical presentation and publications. Our programs will provide the students the training needed to pursue a career both in industry and academia. The programs will increase the breadth and depth of the students’ electrical and computer engineering knowledge and help them develop the specialized skills in areas including but not limited to biomedical engineering, human-computer interaction, wireless communication, integrated circuit design, cybersecurity, control system and robotics, sensor design, wearable electronics, image processing, Internet-of-Things, computer architecture, and medical instrumentation. Students have internship opportunities such as UNH Interoperability Laboratory (IOL), Center of Coastal Mapping (CCOM), Institute for the study of Earth, Ocean, and Space (EOS), etc.  

Degree Requirements

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is conferred on qualified candidates who have passed the qualifying examination and candidacy examination in their field of study, who have completed an original investigation in this field and have embodied the results in an acceptable dissertation, and who have passed an oral examination in defense of the dissertation. The degree of Ph.D. is a research degree, and it is not given merely for the completion of course credits.

Students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree must successfully complete the following minimum program requirements: 

  • 4 credits of ECE 900 Research and Development From Concept to Communication 
  • 1 credit of  ECE 910 Graduate Seminar
  • At least 9 credits of 900 level ECE coursework determined through consultation with advisor and dissertation committee, excluding ECE 900: Research and Development from Concept to Communication, graduate seminar and independent study.
  • Qualifying Examination 
  • Dissertation Research 

Students with master's degrees in ECE or related fields may petition for full or partial waiver of the ECE coursework requirement. Students with M.S. degrees in ECE from UNH may also petition to waive the ECE 900 requirement. Dissertation research requirements include the nomination of the dissertation committee to supervise the student’s dissertation research, successful defense of the dissertation proposal, and successful completion of the dissertation defense.

Detailed information about the Ph.D. program guidelines, and rules governing the qualifying examination and dissertation requirements, can be found on the ECE departmental website.

  • Students will master the theoretical concepts or/and practical implementation in advanced aspects of biomedical engineering, human-computer interaction, wireless communication, integrated circuit design, cybersecurity, control system and robotics, sensor design, wearable electronics, image processing, Internet-of-Things, computer architecture, and medical instrumentation.
  • Students will have an advanced understanding of the mathematical methods, both analytical and computational, required to solve complex problems in the general field of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Students will be proficient in collecting and analyzing data using contemporary laboratory equipment.
  • As a result of our two-semester ECE900 courses, students will develop and demonstrate proficiency in the use of library searches along with interpreting and presenting technical information found in those searches.
  • Students will have a specialized knowledge of their chosen field of advanced research relating to electrical and computer engineering.
  • Students will be able to present advanced scientific ideas effectively in both written and oral form.
  • Students will be well prepared for postgraduate study in electrical and computer engineering and related disciplines, as well as advanced careers in a multitude of fields ranging from scientific and technical to financial.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1, Nov. 1 for international students
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE General test scores are normally required, but UNH ECE alumni with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may request a waiver using our waiver process. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

Accelerated Master's applicants are not required to submit GRE test scores and will be waived after the application has been submitted by the Graduate School.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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