MST Admissions Requirements
The Department of Informatics and Networked Systems seeks students with diverse interests and abilities. The admission requirements for the Master of Science in Telecommunications degree (MST) reflect the interdisciplinary nature of our program and roughly correspond to an undergraduate degree in a technical discipline (e.g., math, physics, computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, information science, etc.)
- must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better
- Computer programming skill in at least one scientific programming language
- A 3-credit college level course in probability
- A 3-credit college level course in calculus
Note, other courses, such as an introduction to telecommunications class may be a pre-requisite for many courses in the program. It is not a requirement for admission but the equivalent Pitt course (TELCOM 2000) will not count toward the MST degree.
MST Degree Requirements
Completion of the Master of Science in Telecommunications degree requires a minimum of 37 credits. Three credits may be in practicum (a structured supervised employment situation) or a thesis. Students should know that a thesis is not a requirement of the MST degree but for research-oriented students, the faculty strongly recommends a 3-credit thesis in lieu of course work.
The 37-credit minimum of course work should include the following:
- 19 credits of required courses, including the one-credit telecommunications seminar course.
- 3 credits selected from the management/policy group.
- 15 credits of elective course work.
Specific course requirements for the degree are outlined on the student’s Academic Advisement Report (AAR).
Course substitutions and requirement exceptions must be obtained PRIOR to enrollment in the course in question, must have approval of the advisor, and must be documented through the Records Office. Substitutions and exceptions will be noted on the student’s AAR. Information regarding documenting exceptions is available on the School’s Current Students webpage.
Students may choose to take more than the 37 credits required for the MST degree. However, the School is not able to extend any financial aid beyond the required number of courses; any visa issues pursuant to extended study would have to be resolved by the student.
General Track Requirements
The general course of study allows you to sample courses from all the specializations in preparation for dealing with the constant changes in telecommunications technology. Since change is the only constant in the telecommunications industry, your versatility as a generalist will enable you to handle challenges as they arise in the industry. Employers such as carriers, manufacturers, consultants, and other organizations (especially smaller ones) are seeking those graduates with a broad set of skills for careers as system engineers, network designers or managers, and telecommunications managers.
A generalist can take courses from any of the areas of specialization in consultation with the faculty advisor.
Students may elect a specialization on their application for admission. The student then follows a more stringent distribution of credits depending on their specialization. As well, some specializations have additional pre-requisites for admission and therefore students may need to complete courses above and beyond the standard 37 credit requirement.
The following sections describe the specializations; the specific distribution of credits for the individual specializations are outlined on the plans of study. Plan of study worksheets are available of the school’s Intranet. Students who elected a specialization are expected to review and follow the requirements of that area.
Students select their specialization on the application for admission and may change it until the end of the term in which they are to complete 18 credits. A form and instructions for changing specializations is available on the School’s Current Students Web site.
Students who do not meet their chosen specialization’s requirements for graduation will automatically be changed to the general MST track.
Specializations for the MST are not noted on a student’s final transcripts or other official documents.
Computer networking enables efficient communication and information sharing to take place among widely dispersed participants. The global Internet-and the availability of ever cheaper, more powerful computation and communication devices-is paving the way for a new generation of ubiquitous and pervasive networks.
In this specialization, you will explore a variety of problems encountered in designing computer networks and learn common techniques to solve these problems. Courses are designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the field of data communication and networking. The focus is on network models and architectures, protocol design and implementation, resource management, quality of service support, and security. You will acquire a solid conceptual and practical understanding of how computer network technologies operate and the ability to analyze the benefits and limitations of current and future networking technologies. You will also gain valuable insights into the design, management, and security of computer networks, and have an opportunity to take additional electives from the Department of Computer Science, depending on your interests.
Wireless systems have become a vital infrastructure in today’s society, and significant professional opportunities exist in this growing field. In this area, you will investigate the physical technology and enabling processes; the systems that provide cellular telephony, wireless LANs, and sensor networks; and mobile applications. You may select additional electives from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Graduates of this track have been hired by wireless carriers, manufacturers, and other organizations as system engineers and wireless network designers.
Just as we safeguard data within computers, we must also ensure that the information flowing over networks is protected. In this specialization, you will investigate firewalls, encryption, fault tolerant network design, and other procedures for information assurance. Additional electives may be taken from both the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics. If you follow this track, you will be prepared for a career as a network security specialist with carriers, manufacturers, consulting firms, the government, financial institutions, and other enterprises.
Internet of Things
Information regarding this new specialization is forthcoming.