Electrical Engineering

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Electrical Engineering with two possible areas of concentration: Electronics, Photonics and Biophotonics or Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems. The ECE faculty research spans these areas including projects on control and communications, radar, data fusion, signal and image processing, robotics, sustainable energy systems, semiconductor devices, nanotechnology, and computer engineering.

M.S. in Electrical Engineering

The M.S. degree program satisfies a number of different needs. Many students enter the M.S. degree program to round out their educational objectives, prior to seeking employment in a specialized field of study within Electrical Engineering. In this case, the M.S. degree represents a terminal point in their formal studies. Other students plan to continue their studies at the Ph.D. level. In this case the M.S. degree represents a preparatory period designed to give the student the tools and background needed to carry out the more individualized and self-directed research involved in Ph.D. studies.

Either approach is designed to provide comprehensive knowledge of the theoretical and applied aspects of the student’s chosen area of concentration. The graduate program is predicated on students having developed a strong technical background in basic Electrical and Computer Engineering through work in undergraduate courses. The objective of the graduate program is to enhance this background by providing more advanced course work, along with insight into state-of-the-art problems and new research areas.

The Master’s degree may be earned under either of two plans as determined by the student and the advisory committee: Plan A, emphasizing research, and Plan B, emphasizing graduate course work.

M.S. Plan A Requirements. Students must take a minimum of 30 credits in the program. Typically, this consists of 9-12 credits each semester.

The requirements consist of: At least 21 credits of graduate course work. Some students may need more than seven courses to complete Plan A of study. Final determination is made by the student and the student’s advisory committee; students in the Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems area may include no more than three credits of ECE 6099 courses; students in the Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics area may include no more than six credits of ECE 6099; at least 9 credits of GRAD 5950; satisfactory completion of a Master’s thesis, with oral presentation; one credit of ECE 6094; have one conference proceedings (CP) (full) paper accepted by the time of graduation. A journal paper may be substituted for the CP.

The courses required of M.S. Plan A candidates depend on their area of concentration: Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems or Electronics, Photonics and Biophotonics.

A nanotechnology track is also available.

M.S. Plan B Requirements. Students must take a minimum of 30 credits in the program. Typically, this consists of 9-12 credits each semester. The requirements consist of: At least 30 credits (10 courses) of graduate work, with no more than six credits of ECE 6099; one credit of ECE 6094 for full-time on-campus students; passing a comprehensive M.S. examination, which is based on the core course work. The courses required of M.S. candidates (both Plan A and plan B M.S.) depend on their area of concentration as follows.

Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems Requirements: The following courses are required of all M.S. degree candidates (Plan A) in the Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems area: ECE 5101, 6111, 6122, 6151, and 6439. It is not necessary that the remaining courses taken be in the Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems, although generally they tend to be.

Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics Requirements: The following course requirements apply to all M.S. degree candidates in the Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics area, except those pursuing the Nanotechnology track (see below).

At least one course from each of the three areas (EM/Photonics, Semiconductor/Optoelectronic Devices and Applications) is required of all M.S. degree candidates in the Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics area, except those pursuing the Nanotechnology track (see below).

Area One: EM/Photonics: choose at least one course from ECE 5201 or 5231.

Area Two: Semiconductor/Optoelectronic devices: choose at least one course from Group 2.A (intended primarily for electronics/photonics students) ECE 5211, 5212, 5225, 5232, 6222 or Group 2.B (intended primarily for Bio-Photonics students) BME 5210, BME/ECE 6143, ECE 5101, 6111, 6121, 6122, 6125, 6439.

Area Three: Applications: choose at least one course from BME 6420, BME/ECE 6126, ECE 5223, 6095 (with topic Memory Devices and Technology, Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, or Metamaterials), 6211, 6212, 6242, 6243, 6421.

It is not necessary that the remaining courses taken be in the Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics area, although they generally tend to be.

Nanotechnology track: Select three or four from this group: ECE 5201/6212, 5211/6222, 5212/5231/5232, 5234 (or Independent Study ECE 6099 on Nanophotonics), 6421, or 6242.

Select three or four from this Specialization: ECE 6099 Independent Study in Nanotechnology (up to 6 credits), 6126, 6243, or 6244.

Ph.D. Requirements

Two conference proceedings, full length papers accepted with first authorship (Journal Papers may be substituted for conference proceedings) by the time of the prospectus.

Three journal papers with first authorship by the time of the defense, two accepted and one submitted (With the approval of the advisory committee, up to two journal papers may be replaced by full proceedings papers with first authorship presented at leading international conferences with a documented acceptance rate of under 30% based on data from the previous year), in either scenario, at least one journal paper should have been accepted by the time of the defense.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above; pass a two-part general examination near the end of the formal course work; and complete a dissertation which represents a significant contribution to the field.

Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics Requirements

For the graduate program in Electronics, Photonics, and Biophotonics, the Ph.D. course requirements are the same as those listed in the graduate catalog with the following addition: two credits of ECE 6094.

Computer Engineering Track Ph.D. Requirements

For Student Holders of M.S. Degree

Students must take at least 15 credits of appropriate graduate course work. Of these a maximum of three credits may be ECE 6099. Any further ECE 6099 credits will be shown on the Plan of Study, but are additional to the 15 required.

The foreign language/related area can be satisfied in two ways: either by six credits of additional graduate work in any single technical area (such as Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, another Engineering field); or by any foreign language.

The Plan of Study requires a minimum of five ECE or CSE graduate courses (15 credits); plus two related-area graduate courses (six credits) or a foreign language.

The seminar ECE 6094 has to be taken for credit at least twice by giving a talk, e.g., on a conference paper to be presented by the student.

A minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950.

The Ph.D. General Examination consists of four exams on Computer Architecture, VLSI Design, Systems, and Algorithms. After the Plan of Study is approved, a Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus should be submitted.

For Student Holders of B.S. Degree

Students must take at least 33 credits of appropriate graduate course work. Of these a maximum of three credits may be ECE 6099. Any further ECE 6099 credits will be shown on the Plan of Study, but are additional to the 33 required.

The foreign language/related area can be satisfied in two ways: either by six credits of additional graduate work in any single technical area (such as Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, another Engineering field) or by any foreign language.

The Plan of Study requires a minimum of 11 ECE or CSE graduate courses (33 credits); plus two related-area graduate courses (six credits) or a foreign language.

The seminar ECE 6094 has to be taken for credit at least twice by giving a talk, e.g., on a conference paper to be presented by the student.

A minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950.

The Ph.D. General Exam consists of four exams on Computer Architecture, VLSI Design, Systems, and Algorithms. After the Plan of Study is approved, a Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus should be submitted.

Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems Ph.D Requirements

For Student Holders of M.S. Degree

Students must take at least 18 credits of appropriate graduate course work. Of these a maximum of three credits may be ECE 6099. Any further ECE 6099 credits or credits of the three basic courses (listed below) will be shown on the Plan of Study, but are additional to the 18 required. With the approval of the student’s Advisory Committee, a maximum of six credits of GRAD 6950 can count towards these 18 credits.

The foreign language/related area can be satisfied in two ways: either by six credits of graduate work in any single technical area (such as Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, another Engineering field, or non-Systems ECE) or by any foreign language. If the latter is chosen, then rather than 18 credits of course work as stated above, the student must take 24 credits, with six credits as the related area.

ECE 5101, 6111, and 6122 are introductory basic graduate courses and should not normally count toward the 18-24 required credits for the Ph.D. In special circumstances, a Systems Group Ph.D. student’s M.S. background may be considered to have little in common with the Systems Group M.S., but nonetheless to be a significant contribution to the students Ph.D. research. In such cases the student’s Advisory Committee may decide that some or all of these courses may be counted toward Ph.D. totals. Such cases are assumed to be unusual.

ECE 6094 has to be taken for credit at least twice by giving a talk, e.g., on a conference paper to be presented by the student. Attendance of this seminar is required every semester for full-time students.

A minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950, including the possible six credits of GRAD 6950 that are mentioned above.

The student’s Plan of Study should be completed according to the above requirements and approved before the Ph.D. General Examination. The student’s Advisory Committee has the final word on all Plan of Study matters.

The Ph.D. General Examination for Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems students consists of required courses: ECE 5101, 6111, 6122, 6439 and one of the following ECE 6099, 6121, 6123, 6151, 6437; Elective courses: two additional courses, in agreement with the Advisory Committee.

The Ph.D. General Examination for students in Bio Systems track consists of required courses: ECE 5101, 6111, 6122, 6123; Elective courses: three additional (Bio) courses, in agreement with the Advisory Committee.

The Ph.D. General Examination for students in Power Systems track consists of seven courses as follows: required courses: three or four out of the ICD track required courses; Elective courses: three or four out of ECE 6437, 6095 (Renewable energy power conversion), 6095 (Transients in power systems), 6095 (Photovoltaic power conversion), 6095 (Power electronics), or 6095 (Modern power systems), in agreement with the Advisory Committee.

The Ph.D. examination has a written part on the above courses and an oral part at the discretion of the instructors who provided the written part problems for these courses. Passing the Ph.D. examination requires an average of 6/10 with no grade below 5/10 in any of the written parts and the signatures of the advising committee and of each instructor who provided problems for the written part.

A Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus should be submitted at least six months before the defense. Each student must satisfy the following minimum research publications requirements: by the time of the prospectus: two CP (Conference Proceedings) full papers accepted; by the time of the Ph.D. defense: 2 RJ (Research Journal) papers accepted, and all with primary authorship by the student.

For Students Holders of B.S. Degree

Students must take at least 36 credits of appropriate graduate course work. Of these a maximum of three credits may be ECE 6099. Any further ECE 6099 credits will be shown on the Plan of Study, but are additional to the 36 required. With the approval of the student’s Advisory Committee, a maximum of six credits of GRAD 6950 can count towards these 36 credits.

The foreign language/related area can be satisfied in two ways: either by six credits of graduate work in any single technical area (such as Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, another Engineering field, or non-Systems ECE), or by any foreign language. If the latter is chosen, then rather than 36 credits of course work, the student must take 42 credits, with six credits as specified above.

The Plan of Study will therefore show a minimum of 36 credits, plus two related area graduate courses for six credits, with the option of a foreign language.

The seminar ECE 6094 has to be taken for credit at least two times by giving a talk, e.g., on a conference paper to be presented by the student. Attendance of this seminar is required every semester for full-time students.

A minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950, including the possible six credits of GRAD 6950 that are mentioned above.

The Plan of Study should be completed according to the above requirements and approved before the Ph.D. General Examination. The student’s Advisory Committee has the final word on all Plan of Study matters.

The Ph.D. General Examination consists of the same as in the Ph.D. requirements for students starting with an M.S. degree.

After the Plan of Study is approved, a Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus should be submitted at least six months before the defense.

Minimum research publications requirements:

By the time of the prospectus: two conference proceedings full papers accepted (journal papers may be substituted for conference proceedings). By the time of the Ph.D. defense: three research journal papers (two accepted and one submitted). With the approval of the advisory committee, up to two journal papers may be replaced by full conference proceedings papers with a documented acceptance rate of under thirty percent based on data from the previous year. In either scenario, at least one journal paper should have been accepted by the time of the defense. All with primary authorship by the student.

The programs are offered by the School of Engineering.