The observation of THz regime transmission resonances in an InGaAs/InP high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) can be attributed to excitation of plasmons in its two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). Properties of grating-based, gate-voltage tunable resonances are shown to be adequately modeled using commercial finite element method (FEM) software when the HEMT layer structure, gate geometry and sheet charge concentration are taken into account. The FEM results are shown to produce results consistent with standard analytical theories in the 10-100 cm-1 wavenumber range. An original analytic formula presented here describes how the plasmonic resonance may change in the presence of a virtual gate, or region of relatively high free charge carriers that lies in the HEMT between the physical grating gate and the 2DEG. The virtual gate and corresponding analytic formulation are able to account for the red-shifting experimentally observed in plasmonic resonances. The calculation methods demonstrated here have the potential to greatly aid in the design of future detection devices that require specifically tuned plasmonic modes in the 2DEG of a HEMT, as well as giving new insights to aid in the development of more complete analytic theories.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.