PhD Program
Computer Engineering

Northeastern’s PhD program in Computer Engineering offers the opportunity to pursue cutting-edge research in the following areas: computer architecture, parallel computing, fault tolerance, performance analysis and modeling, security, embedded systems, VLSI, algorithms, data mining, testing, machine learning, machine vision and software engineering.

In The News

Northeastern offers a PhD in Computer Engineering (PhDCE) that is completely research based with minimal and flexible course requirements which can be pursued as full-time or part-time. As a computer engineering student at Northeastern you will study computer architecture, software engineering, computer-aided design (VLSI), microprocessor-based design, and applied algorithms.

In addition to a broad background in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, this curriculum gives you solid foundation in both hardware and software design. RISC microprocessors, object-oriented Java and cellular networks are just three of the technologies you will encounter in the program.

In the past ten years the internet has revolutionized all aspects of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we do business. Wireless communication, online commerce, medicine, and multimedia are examples of new applications that have transformed our world. Computer engineers developed the fundamental technologies that made the web possible, including high performance microprocessors, gigabit networks and object-oriented computer languages. Demand for computer engineers has increased dramatically in recent years. Students with a strong background in computer engineering are aggressively recruited by cutting edge computer companies nationwide.

  • Can be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate
  • Northeastern ECE is the host or major partner in nine state-of-the-art research centers
  • Financial support available
  • Internationally-recognized Internships & Co-op opportunities
  • Professional Development Workshop Series to complement the research and classroom experiences
  • Northeastern ECE is a research powerhouse in the Boston area and beyond


Integrated experiential learning is available to all ECE PhD students.  The co-op program is designed to provide a student with actual work placements in their field of study, and need not be as research oriented. A co-op work experience must match the Northeastern academic calendar, and as such will be over the summer or during a semester, or a combination thereof. Here are typical co-ops for a Computer engineering PhD student:

Barrett Technology: assembled, tested, and diagnosed problems on robotic hands using Visual C++. Bose Corporation: Performed in-car temperature sensitivity of Bose digital amplifiers. Cadence Design Systems: Created physical circuit layouts for a random access memory chip, performed design verification using Verilog. EMC Corporation: developed programming interfaces and bring-up tests for prototype storage adapter boards. Harvard Medical School: Investigated an ultrasound hyperthermia therapy for treating cancerous tumors. Mitre Corporation: Designed and constructed a crisis management website to be used by U.S. Army National Guard first responders during crisis situations. Sun Microsystems: Supported the board design team by breadboarding the Power Distribution Board circuitry to determine functionality and reliability. Sybase Inc: Developed a plug-in for Ardent Datastage product using ODBC and Sybase Open Client/Open Server.

Our graduates pursue careers within academia and beyond.

  • Ditto Labs
  • Lousiana Tech University
  • Google
  • Draper Laboratories
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Intel
  • Bose Corp.
  • The Mathworks

Application Materials

  • Completed online application form
  • $75 application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS for international applicants


Deadline for Assistantship Consideration for Domestic and International Applicants: January 15

Deadline for International Applicants: April 15

Deadline for Domestic Applicants: August 1

Spring Semester Entry:

Deadline for International Applicants: September 15

Deadline for Domestic Applicants: November 15

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