Purpose - This paper aims to present harmonic response of magneto-electro-elastic cylinder by quasi-static and fully dynamic electromagnetic theories. The quasi-static assumption uses magnetic scalar potential whereas magnetic vector potential is employed in a fully dynamic model. Design/methodology/approach - The electric field induced by time varying magnetic field is non-conservative and can be described by electric scalar potential and magnetic vector potentials. Findings - The magnitude of vector potential is dominant in axial and circumferential direction whereas the magnetic flux density is significant in radial direction. Magnetic scalar potential approach evaluates only the radial component of magnetic flux density and electric field intensity is reasonably the same as that of the magnetic vector potential approach. Originality/value - Semi-analytical finite element method is used in this paper and the vector potential is formulated in cylindrical coordinates. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.