I am a Physics undergraduate and my institution requires that we do undergraduate research and a senior thesis on that research. However, due to some personal circumstances I would like to do research with an electrical engineering group at my university due to their research topic. However, I would still like to apply to a Physics PhD program.

My question is this: How would doing research in an electrical engineering group or co-authoring an EE paper affect my application for Physics PhD programs in general? I am specifically curious about the opportunity cost of not doing research with a physics group and the attitudes of graduate school admission committees on me doing research with an EE group.

If it is important, the EE group does research in Silicon Photonics and has connections with a national lab working on a Quantum Key Distribution project, which is what draws me to them. I would like to do research in Quantum Information or Computing in graduate school.


1 Answer 1


This sort of undergraduate research project looks very good on a PhD application. There is overlap between EE research and physics research. Silicon photonics is within the area of overlap.

  • 1
    I would agree, but would expand even more - doing some kind of research in a STEM area is the kind of thing grad schools will look at. Having undergrad research align directly with your grad school desired topic is not required.
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 22, 2019 at 13:23

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