Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Graduate Admissions

At this time we only accept applications for the Ph.D. program. Here are the key dates and links regarding submitting an application:

  • The application process is open for approximately three months each fall, from mid-September until the application deadline.
  • The next application deadline is December 15, 2019.
  • All applications are submitted online through the Graduate School.
  • When you are ready to apply, fill out and submit your application.

The department often interviews short-listed applicants prior to making a final decision.

Admission decisions will be emailed to applicants by mid-February following the application deadline.

Graduate Student Profile

Prashanth Venkataram

My name is Prashanth Venkataram and I am an Undergraduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I graduated from MIT in 2014.
Despite my presence in an electrical engineering department, my undergraduate background, as per my degree and research experiences, has been in physics, specifically in computational nanophotonics. When applying for graduate programs, I looked for departments with professors doing research in such areas, and I found many here working in quantum physics and electrodynamics, which suited me just fine. When I attended the visit days after being offered admission, I was struck not just by the quality of research being done at the department, but also by the myriad opportunities for internal and external collaborations, how the professors really seemed to care about their students' academic and personal well-being, the supportive and caring nature of the graduate students in the department, and the healthy sense of a work-life balance for graduate students. These all sealed the deal for me to join the graduate program in ELE at Princeton, and I've only found these factors to be more true as I have continued my studies here.
Since joining, I've worked on the theory and computation of fluctuational electrodynamic phenomena, which considers electromagnetic interactions among various objects arising from atoms that are constantly jiggling around due to quantum and thermal effects. Specifically, I have primarily focused on more accurately describing van der Waals interactions in molecular and larger systems; these are forces that atoms and larger bodies exert on each other due purely to quantum effects, even at zero temperature, and is responsible for the stability of DNA, the potential for nanoscale devices to stick to each other, and geckos' ability to stick to anything without any sort of glue. I also hope to look into other types of fluctuational electrodynamic energy transfer, including heat transfer and fluorescence. I'm not sure of exactly what I want to do after graduating from Princeton, but I would probably like to continue theoretical or computational applied physics research in an academic, industrial, or government setting.
Outside of research, I enjoy reading, swimming, watching TV, blogging, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends