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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Apr 14, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Electrical & Computer Engineering, MS ECE

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In Fall 2019, the Electrical Engineering, MSEE was renamed to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students currently enrolled will be moved over to the updated program name.

As a general rule, the admission requirements for the Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering are a minimum QPA of 3.0, two letters of recommendation, GRE General Test scores, and TOEFL for international applicants.

Applicants to the following terms: Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 should consider the GRE an optional submission. If an applicant has already taken the GRE and believes their score demonstrates outstanding academic ability, beneficial to portraying you as a wholistic student and applicant, you may submit — but it is optional. The GRE scores will not be considered as part of our admissions criteria for these application cycles. For students applying to terms after those listed above, please check back in the future for updates, as the Swanson School is still evaluating whether waiving the GRE will be permanent.

The degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering can be obtained by following either a research or a professional option.  The research option includes a thesis while the professional option is 30 credits of course work.  Students who intend to continue for a PhD degree are highly encouraged to take the research option. 

Course selection for either the research or the professional degree options is to be done in consultation with the student's advisor according to the following requirements:

  1. the course selection must include at least 15 graduate credits in ECE, and
  2. courses outside ECE must come from the list of recommended courses (see section 6.2).

Courses that are required of students admitted on a provisional status are to be considered additional to these requirements.  If the student chooses the research option, only 6 credits of ECE 2999 will count towards the degree requirement.  Notice that credits in ECE 2997, research for the MS, and in ECE 3893, the graduate seminar, will not be considered towards the degree requirements.

Professional Option.  A minimum of 30 credits of course work conforming to the requirements in section 3.1 is required.  Although not required, a three credit graduate project course (ECE 2998) is highly recommended for students who might later choose to enter the PhD program.  No comprehensive exam is required for students following the professional option. 

Research Option.  A minimum of 24 credits of course work is required.  In addition, a thesis (with a minimum of six credits of ECE 2999, MS Thesis) must be completed and presented at an oral defense.

It should be emphasized that the above credit requirements for both options are the minimum acceptable and may not necessarily satisfy the degree requirements.  In some instances it might be necessary for a student to take undergraduate courses to be accepted into full graduate status.  Thus, depending upon the student's background and program, it may be necessary to take more than the minimum number of credits required.

Thesis Requirement.  MS students taking the research option must prepare a thesis showing marked attainment in their area of investigation (see section 2.9).  A graduate student begins thesis work after the fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • Completing at least 12 credits,
  • Being on full graduate status, and
  • Achieving a cumulative QPA of 3.00 or higher.

Students in the research option must defend their theses orally.  A committee consisting of three Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate faculty members and chaired by the student's major advisor is formed to evaluate the thesis and defense.  Faculty members with a secondary appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering may also chair such a committee.  The student must provide this committee with copies of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the day of the oral exam.  The names of the faculty on the committee, the time, the title and the abstract of the thesis should be submitted to the Graduate Program Administrator at least two weeks before the desired exam date in order to publish an announcement.  The oral exam is open to the public.  If the student is interested in pursuing a PhD, this exam may be combined with the PhD Preliminary Exam and the Program Conference.


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