I think I need some advise on where to go next academically. I have a peculiar background (as mentioned by my previous supervisor). I have a B.A in Cognitive Science & an M.S in Computer Science.

I've realized during my last year in my master's that my interests/strengths lean towards the embedded systems/VLSI Design & the realm of robotics. I'm actually very interested in the impact of human-robotic interaction. I have done some research in reinforcement learning. I took online courses (outside of my degree) in Circuit design, Electronics and intro to computer engineering.

I am wondering if it's a wise idea to apply for a PhD in electrical & computer engineering (I believe if i take this route, i would need to take pre-requisites before being accepted into the program) or continue on with Computer Science? Any advise or insight will be valuable.

  • Which country? every country has a different system. For example, some universities may not accept you as a PhD student if you don't have an EE background. You also need to find a suitable supervisor who has a research area suitable for you. He/she may require a certain background. Dec 16, 2022 at 1:45
  • @Prof.SantaClaus thank you for your reply! I'm in the U.S. I see, so the research interests should align with the supervisor.
    – Lyn
    Dec 16, 2022 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


From a UK perspective, the individual programme will set the requirements, so check with the graduate schools and prospective supervisors who are advertising PhD places that you are interested in.

It's in everybody's interest that you are equipped to complete the project that you take on, so having a frank discussion about what your knowledge and skills are and how that will fit before you apply will be important.

You might find (as I did) that the school suggests a short taught programme before starting a PhD, or perhaps they can alter the project to fit your own interests if you are a good candidate and the new direction is one they are interested in.

  • Thank you @George Savva for your thoughtful reply. I'm realizing how complex the process is with both finding the right supervisor/ and seeing what skills will benefit the research project if I were selected in a lab that is intertwined with my interests.
    – Lyn
    Dec 16, 2022 at 22:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .