Master of Science

The degree of Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering comprises an appropriate academic core and a cohesive set of advanced courses, culminating in a thesis, or comprehensive examination.

Degree Specializations

An MS in EE will lead to a specialization in one of the following:

Admissions Requirements

In addition to holding a bachelor's degree in engineering or any of the mathematical, physical, behavioral, or health sciences, each entering student is expected to be skilled in a number of specific areas.

Proficiency is required in:

  • Mathematics through multivariate calculus
  • Probability and design and analysis of experiments considered from a calculus point of view
  • Computer programming

Generally, these requirements must be satisfied prior to the commencement of graduate studies.

A Master's student admitted on a provisional basis must demonstrate his/her ability to perform satisfactorily at the graduate level before being admitted to degree candidacy. The department will specify the conditions of the provisional admission in a letter sent to the student.

Culminating Experience

The MS program may be completed in one of two ways:

  1. By a formal research thesis representing 3 or 6 credits, satisfactory performance in an oral defense of thesis examination, and completion of 24 or 27 credits of non-thesis course work.
  2. By passing a written comprehensive examination (C-exam) based on a degree program consisting of at least 30 hours of course work.

MS Thesis

If you wish to fulfill the MS degree requirements by means of a thesis, you must first find a faculty member who shares your interest in a topic and is willing to supervise your efforts. This person will constitute the committee that must ultimately read and approve your work. Each thesis must be successfully defended in an oral examination.

A limit is imposed by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) on the number of thesis credits which are applicable toward graduate degree requirements. For the MS degree with a thesis, a maximum of six credit hours for thesis (plus at least 24 credit hours of course work) may be applied. A minimum of 3 credit hours of thesis work is required. You should register for EE 599 while you are working on an MS thesis.

Instructions governing the preparation of theses appear in several university publications, including one entitled Instructions for Preparing Theses and Dissertations. Consult these guidelines before preparing your final manuscript.

The typing of a thesis is the responsibility of the student. There are editors and typesetting programs available on the university computer system which can be used for manuscript preparation.

Comprehensive Exam

The content of the Comprehensive Exam is based on the most recent offerings of each of the courses. It is incumbent upon the candidate to check that the material they prepare before the exam corresponds to that covered in the most recent offerings of each course.

The Comprehensive Exam is offered twice a year, once in the fall semester and again in the spring semester. It is an integrative experience in the form of a written examination. Questions will be of an integrative nature, largely focusing on the core subjects of the major. That is, the minimal answer to pass will be drawn from the core courses. The emphasis will be on the integration of the tools/methods that were covered in the core courses. Students are not allowed to bring in any course material (formulae, books, etc.) to the exam. Any such material, if needed, will be provided at the exam.

Number of Attempts

Students are allowed two attempts to pass the MS Comprehensive Exam as the culminating experience for graduation. Failing the Comprehensive Exam twice constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program. These attempts will occur at the times specified below.

The exam occurs in the student's final semester of study. For example, the typical full-time student would register for core courses in the fall and spring semesters of his/her first year of study, and attempt the exam in the following fall semester.

NOTE: A student must give two weeks notice if she/he decides not to take the exam. Failure to do so, will be considered a FAILING attempt.

Notice of the Exam

An information session will be conducted by the Graduate Academic Coordinator each semester. Students will be contacted in their third semester to register.

Time Limit for Degree

The time limit for finishing all MS degree requirements is two years from the first registration date in the graduate program, excluding approved leaves of absence. A petition for an extension of time limit requires departmental approval. The student must be currently making active progress toward the degree. The SEAS Divisional Committee will consider each petition and, in certain cases, it may set a deadline for completion of the program. The extension of time limit is normally granted for a period of one year or less.

Non-Applicable Credits

Credits in the following courses are not applicable toward the minimum requirements for the Master's degree programs: Supervised Teaching, Supervised Research, and Departmental Seminar.