Department of Electrical Engineering Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Columbia University

Department of Electrical Engineering Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Columbia University

New York, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
December 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
4 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Columbia University Electrical Engineering Department

The Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia University prepares students to specialize in a wide range of disciplines that affect nearly every aspect of society, ranging from telecommunications and information processing to computer-aided design, systems biology, electromagnetics, plasmas, and photonics.

Graduate students take part in research and groundbreaking innovations under the guidance of some of the world's leaders in their respective fields. Columbia University in fact holds the number 1 position in the world for the number of Nobel awards its faculty has received.

Research projects address the ever-increasing demand for faster and more sophisticated methods for information handling, and endeavors deal with everything from new materials and devices to systems and networks.

New York City is Home to Columbia University's Campus

In addition to its world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the university boasts an international student body and a prime location in New York City, prompting Columbia president Lee Bollinger to dub the school "the quintessential great urban university."

The university's Electrical Engineering department is part of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished schools of engineering.

Distinguished Faculty Enjoys Worldwide Recognition

The Electrical Engineering department faculty members at Columbia University have received high honors and won major awards from international engineering organizations around the world, and their research has resulted in many professional best paper awards from the most prestigious national and international conferences.

Two faculty members, Cyril Harris and Mischa Schwartz, are members of the National Academy of Engineering, several others have earned Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and the faculty has received designation for high technical achievement at major industrial research institutions including Bell Laboratories and IBM.

Columbia's Electrical Engineering Department Offers Degree Programs with a Wide Range of Concentrations

The Electrical Engineering department at Columbia offers Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, in addition to Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor in Engineering Science (Eng.Sc.D.) degrees.

In the Electrical Engineering M.S. program, students can choose an area of concentration for a specific field or even design their own M.S. program in consultation with an adviser.

Some suggested areas of concentration include multimedia networking, telecommunications engineering, media engineering, lightwave (photonics) engineering, wireless and mobile communications, microelectric circuits, or systems biology.

Research Opportunities Abound

The Electrical Engineering department is highly research-intensive, with research efforts focusing on 5 key areas: signal and information processing; networking and communications; integrated circuits and systems; systems biology; and micro devices, electromagnetics, plasma physics, and photonics.

The research activities take place in 14 research groups, including the Columbia Laboratory for Unconventional Electronic (CLUE), Columbia Integrated Systems Laboratory (CISL), the Bioelectronic Systems Laboratory, the Distributed Network Analysis Research Group, and the Columbia Microelectronics Sciences Laboratories.

Signal and Information Processing

Signal and information processing research focuses on the processing and communication of signals in forms including audio, image, video, biological data, and signals from other sensory sources.

Key research labs in the field include the ADVENT Lab, a research consortium promoting industrial collaborations with Columbia research teams in the media technology area; the Digital Video Multimedia Lab; and the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio (LabROSA).

Networking and Communications

Columbia University's networking research groups are regarded as being among the best in the world. Most activity takes place at 3 labs -- the Comet Group, focused on improving understanding of the software architectures of modern day telecommunications networks; the Center for Resilient Networks; and the Columbia Networking Research Center (CNRC), an umbrella organization for the other labs.

Integrated Circuits and Systems

Research in integrated circuits and systems focuses on the design, analysis, and simulation of analog, RF, digital and mixed signal VLSI circuits, and systems involving semiconductor chips.

Students working in this area are also involved in semiconductor device modeling and signal processing projects.

Systems Biology

Research efforts in systems biology focus on improving the understanding of the structure and dynamics of biological networks within cells and cell complexes that produce emergent properties.

Projects take on issues such as the analysis and simulation of genetic and biochemical networks, gene regulatory and signaling pathways, reverse engineering of networks from microarrays and time encoding, and information representation by sensory systems.

Micro Devices and Physical Principles

Much of the research work in micro devices and physical principles is hands-on, involving cutting-edge instruments and computers and the fundamental principles of new electronic, sensing, and optical devices.

Projects may run the gamut from the exploration of new electronic materials and new electromagnetic design algorithms for photonic circuits to ultrafast laser technologies and plasma processing.


Applicants to the Electrical Engineering M.S. or Ph.D. programs at Columbia Universityare required to submit 3 letters of recommendation, along with official GRE scores and a personal statement.

Applicants' undergraduate record should show the promise of productive graduate level work, and the applicant should typically have majored in a field in which graduate study is intended, however there are some exceptions.

Financial Aid

A wide variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships are available to engineering graduate students.

Doctoral students in the EHS department at Columbia University are awarded graduate assistantships and full tuition scholarships on a competitive basis. Students working toward Ph.D. degrees may also apply for a Diversity Teaching and Fellowship award, which was created to support a culturally, socially, and educationally diverse graduate student body.

Location & Contact

Department of Electrical Engineering

Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Columbia University

116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Dr. Keren Bergman

Professor and Chair

Phone: 212-854-1744
Fax: 212-932-9421

Dr. Zoran Kostic

Associate Professor of Professional Practice/Director of the MS in Electrical Engineering Program

Phone: 212-851-0269
Fax: 212-932-9421

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Electrical Engineering Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Computer Engineering Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 195
    • Doctoral Degrees 17
    • 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? Yes
    • 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


37% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 1,559
    • Accepted 583
    • Acceptance Rate 37
    • Enrolled 230
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $85
    • Application Fee - International $85
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st October 1st Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesGRE General Test
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, IELTS required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsDecember 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Career or Field-Related Internships, Health Care Benefits, Traineeships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students550
    • Female Percentage22%
    • Male Percentage78%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students550
    • Part-time Percentage38%
    • Full-time Percentage62%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian41%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian39%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races5%
    • Unknown7%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty68
    • Full-time Percentage41%
    • Part-time Percentage59%
    • Female Percentage4%
    • Male Percentage96%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchMedia informatics and signal processing, integrated circuits and cyberphysical systems, communications systems and networking, nanoscale electronics and photonics, systems biology and neuroengineering
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported