Electrical and Computer Engineering

Graduate Program

PhD Program

The PhD degree requires 90 credit hours of graduate study, 60 of these being beyond a master’s degree.

All PhD students must take and pass at least two graduate-level courses from their concentration area and at least one graduate-level course from each of the other two concentration areas. These four courses must be taken during the first year of study.

Students may petition to extend the time for completing these requirements. Part-time students and those with a non-ECE background may need additional time.

If a PhD student wishes to pursue a MS in electrical engineering, two additional courses will need to be taken for a total of 24 course credits.

The comprehensive examination, taken during the first year of study, is required for continuation in the PhD program.

For more information about program requirements see the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Bulletin or talk to an advisor. For information about financial aid and applying to the PhD program, visit the apply to Rochester page.

Comprehensive Exam Requirements

All doctoral students must pass a PhD qualifying examination and submit a written PhD thesis proposal in their third to fourth year of full-time graduate study.

Students who pass the PhD qualifying examination will get thesis research assistance from the Faculty Thesis Advisory Committee. The student's research advisor serves as chair. The committee meets with the student at least once each year.

Areas of Concentration and Research 

PhD concentrations and research areas are broken up into three overarching topics:

Students will take two graduate-level classes in their chosen concentration area and at least one graduate-level course from each of the other two concentration areas. The specific courses will be selected by each individual student and their research advisor.

A. Signal Processing and Communications

Biomedical Ultrasound and Biomedical Engineering

High-frequency sound (ultrasound) is used in many areas of medicine to obtain images of soft organs in the body. High-intensity ultrasound is used to destroy kidney and gallstones without surgery (lithotripsy).

Students in this program will conduct scientific investigations that focus on the interactions of ultrasonic energy with biological materials ranging from heart and liver tissues, to bones and gallstones. Students may also conduct research on the applications of ultrasonic contrast-producing agents similar to radiological contrast and tracer techniques.

The results from these efforts are used to improve or extend clinical applications of ultrasonic techniques, both in diagnosing diseases of the heart and liver, and in therapeutic users such as lithotripsy. This work is also used to set standards for exposure of patients during examination and to improve the application of high-intensity sound for therapy.

Signal and Image Processing and Communications

Students in this program can participate in a wide range of research including:

B. Integrated Electronics and Computer Engineering

VLS/IC Microelectronics and Computer Design

Students in this program work in a variety of VLS/IC microelectronics and computer design research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

C. Physical Electronics, Electron Magnetism, and Acoustics

Superconductivity and Solid-State Electronics

Students in this program work in a variety of superconductivity and solid-state electronics research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

Optoelectronics

Information processing with optical pulses allows for high data rates than electronic signals. Optoelectronics research is focused on obtaining a detailed understanding of ultrafast phenomena and ultrafast nonlinearities in semiconductors and high-temperature superconductors, and at using silicon quantum dots and nanometer-size objects in optoelectronics and biosensing.

Students in this program work in a variety of optoelectronic research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

Microelectromechanics and Electrostatics

Students in this program work in a variety of microelectromechanics and electrostatic research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

Acoustics

Students in this program work in a variety of acoustic research areas. Some of the current research topics here at Rochester include: