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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Pratt School of Engineering Duke University

  • Durham, NC
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 24%76%
    student ratio
  • 162
    total students
  • $40,720 | $40,720
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • December 8
    fall application deadline
  • 30%
    acceptance rate
  • 3 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


Cutting-edge Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Is Being Performed at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering

Faculty members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University are conducting cutting-edge research, and they are looking for the very best graduate students worldwide to collaborate with them in their research.

Duke has strength and depth in selected areas of research, and its relatively small size enables it to provide students with the opportunity to receive individualized faculty mentoring throughout their graduate studies. ECE offers stimulating, challenging, and extremely rewarding graduate programs in a highly multidisciplinary environment in which its graduate students and faculty members collaborate in cutting-edge research.

Duke is optimally positioned to lead this research through its strong interdisciplinary collaboration, not only within the department and between engineering disciplines, but also with Duke's other highly-rated science departments, the School of Medicine, and the School of the Environment. Every year, many of Duke's graduate students are recognized for their research excellence through best-paper awards at conferences, competitive fellowships, and collaboration opportunities at research laboratories in high-tech industry.

Although the focus of a student's graduate education will be on academics, the value of opportunities beyond his or her topic of study should not be overlooked. Duke's graduate students regularly participate in athletic, social, religious, and community service activities sponsored by organizations within and outside the university. In short, the Triangle region of North Carolina is a great place to live, work, and play.

Seven Main Areas of Research Are the Focus in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

The ECE Department at Duke University has seven main areas of research:

- Architecture and Networking: Research in computer architecture and networking focuses on architecting next-generation computer systems that will be high-performance, reliable, self-healing, and even self-assembled. Furthermore, ECE is networking these computers over the wired and wireless media to realize a future in which information will be available anytime, anywhere. Some active research topics in ECE labs include fault-tolerance and dependability in computer architectures; reliability, modeling, and performance analysis; DNA guided self-assembly; real-time and embedded systems; wireless networking protocol design and implementation; and mobile computing and applications.

- Biological Applications: Engineers are often poised to make advances that will have significant impact on many aspects of human life. Faculty in this research subgroup collaborate with other ECE faculty, and with faculty in other departments and the medical school, to address a wide variety of applications of electrical and computer engineering to biological problems. Active research topics include automatic disease diagnosis using exhaled breath; biological assays; brain computer interfaces; breast cancer imaging; cochlear implants; medical imaging; mobile phone based wireless clinics; RFID for human-computer interaction; tissue spectroscopy; and ultrasound image reconstruction.

- Circuits and Systems: This research focuses on the behavior, integration, and testing of components in both digital and analog circuits and systems. ECE leverages the properties of emerging technologies to deliver new capabilities in mixed-signal, RF, and digital applications and, in many cases, seeks to exploit new phenomena at the nanoscale. Some active research topics in the ECE labs include VLSI circuit design and testing; RFID; integrated optoelectronic platforms; and nanoscale circuit and system design and modeling.

- Nanosystems, Devices and Materials: This research focuses on devices and systems that exploit the properties of materials at the nanoscale. An important aspect of this work is to study the broad, vertical implications of the behavior of materials on integrated systems in new application domains. Some active research topics in ECE labs include droplet-based microfluidics; semiconductor materials and devices; nanophotonic devices; carrier gate tunneling in deep-submicron CMOS; and heterojunction device physics and simulation.

- Quantum Computing and Photonics: Adequate utilization of light promises unparalleled performance in a wide range of applications in imaging, sensing, energy sciences, and advanced information processing. The quantum computing and photonics research activities at Duke explore novel approaches to building unique optical devices and systems leveraging advances in new material systems, nano- and micro-fabrication technologies, integrated microsystems concepts, and computational techniques. The research groups engage in highly multidisciplinary interaction through Duke's Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics and provide an excellent environment to experience interdisciplinary research in action. Research themes include reference structure tomography; multimodal and raman spectroscopy; interferometric imaging; LCOS microdisplays; tunable optical filters; spatial light modulators; quantum information science; micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS); and integrated optical systems.

- Sensing and Signals: The sensing and signals group focuses on fundamental theoretical and methodological aspects of information processing with a wide variety of important and exciting applications. Recording and analyziong signals, images, and electromagnetic waves is a key component of Duke's interdisciplinary research in ECE. The researchers in this area tackle challenging problems ranging from the measurement of lightning to improving hearing with cochlear implants and from homeland security to the next generation of digital cameras. Research in this area focuses on the following themes: statistical signal processing for remote sensing; surveillance radars and microwave remote sensing; active and passive sonar; ocean acoustics and medical imaging; auditory prostheses and pattern recognition; and sensor networking.

- Waves and Metamaterials: The next generation of materials will be engineered with desirable properties, depending on the need of an application. When an object needs to be invisible, it can be developed from a material with negative refractive index. Revolutionary research from the waves and metamaterials labs makes Duke an exciting place to be. Research in this area focuses on the following themes: short-pulse scattering; subsurface sensing and space physics; geophysics; wave-based signal processing; electromagnetic field, wave interactions, and modeling; metamaterials synthesis towards negative refractive index; and sub-wavelength focusing.

Financial Aid Comprises Fellowships and Research Assistantships for Most Students

Financial support is available for the majority of PhD students and occasionally for a select number of highly qualified MS students. PhD student fellowships for the first two semesters of study cover full stipend, tuition, and health and recreation fees. Beyond this initial period, most PhD students receive research assistantships funded by faculty research grants which, together with departmental support, cover full tuition and fees and provide a stipend that is typically renewable until the completion of the degree.

Almost 200 Students Are Enrolled in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

In the 2012-13 academic year, a total of 200 students are enrolled in the ECE graduate program. Of these, 135 are doctoral students and 65 are master's degree students.

Location & Contact

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Pratt School of Engineering
Duke University

Box 90291
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Krishnendu Chakrabarty

Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 919-660-5245
Fax: 919-660-5293

Elizabeth Hutton

Associate Dean for Enrollment Services

Phone: 919-684-3913
Fax: 919-684-2277

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Electrical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Science (JD/MS)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 25
    • Doctoral Degrees 16
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


30% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 554
    • Accepted 167
    • Acceptance Rate 30
    • Enrolled 41
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 8th December 8th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline November 1st Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required, IELTS paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$40,720
    • Out-of-state tuition *$40,720
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$3,107.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsDecember 8
    • Types of financial support availableFederal Work-Study

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students162
    • Female Percentage24%
    • Male Percentage76%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students162
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American7%
    • White / Caucasian76%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian11%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown2%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchArchitecture and networking; biological applications circuits and systems; nanosystems, devices and materials; quantum computing and photonics; sensing and signals visualization; waves and metamaterials
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported


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