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Graduate Program

Master's Program

Program Requirements 

The MS degree requires at least 30 credit hours of graduate courses which must be 400-level or higher courses and with 16 of these credit hours being in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) course work. Twelve of these 16 credits should be within the selected Area of Concentration. Research and reading courses cannot be counted towards the required 16 ECE credit hours.

This program requires a strong background in mathematics. If you think that you need more mathematics work, please consult with an ECE faculty member before applying.

For information about financial aid and applying to the MS program, visit the apply to Rochester page.

Each MS candidate may choose complete 6 to 12 credit hours of research and write a research thesis (Plan A) or take an MS exam (Plan B) which allows for 0-6 credit hours of research.

Transfer Credit Policy

Plan A, Thesis Option

All thesis students must successfully defend a thesis. The defense must be conducted by a committee of no less than two ECE faculty members and one outside faculty member. The thesis defense must be completed by mid-December for fall graduation or by mid-April for spring graduation. Check the graduate calendar for this year’s deadlines.

Plan B, Exam Option

All part-time and non-thesis option students must pass a MS exam, which can be a term project, an essay or an oral exam. The exam must be conducted by a committee of no less than two ECE faculty members. The MS exam must be completed by mid-December for fall graduation or by mid-April for spring graduation. Check the graduate calendar for this year’s deadlines.

Concentrations

Each MS candidate, including students who plan to pursue a PhD, must also declare a concentration of study. The areas of concentration are:

For more information about program requirements see the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Bulletin or talk to an advisor.

Areas of Concentration and Research

The department's graduate research is broken up into categories, many of which overlap depending on the type of research that the student undertakes.

Musical Acoustics and Signal Processing

In this program, students can earn their master’s with a concentration in musical acoustics and signal processing in one calendar year. Program instructors include faculty from both the ECE department and the Eastman School of Music.

The majority of our Music Acoustics and Signal Processing Master’s students have an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Physics, which are all well suited to starting an EE MS program.

Non-EE majors would need the following courses which can be found at a Community College:

  • Calculus including linear algebra and multi-variable calculus.
  • Calculus based Physics including Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism
  • Circuits and Systems (typical sophomore EE course)
  • A course in Signals
  • A programming course in C/C++ or other formal

Students enrolled in this program are encouraged to participate in one of the many ongoing research projects in the Music Research Laboratory, including projects on:

  • Internet-enabled music telepresence and immersive audio environments
  • Musical source separation and automated music transcription
  • Physical modeling musical sound synthesis
  • Music representations
  • Audio watermarking
  • Quantitative studies of musical timbre
  • Audio embedded music metadata

Students can also participate in research in music perception and cognition, and music and language being done in other allied laboratories.

Musical Acoustics and Signal Processing Concentration Requirements

ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing (required)
ECE 429: Audio Electronics
ECE 432: Acoustics
ECE 433: Musical Acoustics
ECE 472: Audio Signal Processing for Analysis and Synthesis of Music
ECE 475: Audio Software Design I
ECE 476: Audio Software Design II
ECE 477: Computer Audition
ECE 479: Theory and Practice in Audio Recording and Processing

Signal and Image Processing and Communications

Students in this program can participate in a wide range of research including:

  • Signal research on:
    • Wide-band radar and sonar systems design
    • Digital image and video processing
    • Very low bitrate video compression
    • Medical image processing
  • Communications research on:
    • Frequency hopping codes for multiple-access-spread-spectrum communications, designed to minimize interference in radar and sonar systems
  • Digital image processing research on:
    • Image enhancement and restoration
    • Image segmentation/recognition
    • Processing of magnetic resonance images
  • Digital video processing research on:
    • 2-D and 3-D motion estimation techniques
    • Deformable motion analysis
    • Stereoscopic image analysis
    • Standards conversion and high-resolution image reconstruction
    • Object-based methods for very low bitrate video compression
  • Biomedical signal processing research on:
    • Spectral analysis in one-, two-, and three-dimensional spaces
    • Analysis and algorithms for computed tomography
    • Inverse scattering techniques for imaging tissue characterization

Signal and Image Processing Concentration Requirements

ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing
Two of the following courses:

  • ECE 440: Random Processes
  • ECE 441: Detection and Estimation Theory
  • ECE 447: Digital Image Processing
  • ECE 450: Information Theory
  • ECE 457: Digital Video Processing
  • ECE 477: Computer Audition
  • CSC 449: Machine Vision

Communications Concentration Requirements

ECE 444: Digital Communications or ECE 445: Wireless Communications
One of the following courses:

  • ECE 440: Random Processes
  • ECE 441: Detection and Estimation Theory
  • ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing
  • ECE 448: Wireless Sensor Networks
  • ECE 450: Information Theory
  • CSC 457: Computer Networks

Biomedical Ultrasound and Biomedical Engineering

High-frequency sound (ultrasound) is used in many areas of medicine to obtain images of soft organs in the body. High-intensity ultrasound is used to destroy kidney and gallstones without surgery (lithotripsy).

Students in this program will conduct scientific investigations that focus on the interactions of ultrasonic energy with biological materials ranging from heart and liver tissues, to bones and gallstones. Students may also conduct research on the applications of ultrasonic contrast-producing agents similar to radiological contrast and tracer techniques.

The results from these efforts are used to improve or extend clinical applications of ultrasonic techniques, both in diagnosing diseases of the heart and liver, and in therapeutic users such as lithotripsy. This work is also used to set standards for exposure of patients during examination and to improve the application of high-intensity sound for therapy.

Biomedical Ultrasound and Biomedical Engineering Concentration Requirements

Three of the following courses:

  • ECE 432: Fundamentals of Acoustical Waves
  • ECE 452: Medical Imaging
  • ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing
  • ECE 447: Digital Image Processing
  • BME 451: Biomedical Ultrasound
  • ECE 453/BME 453: Ultrasound Imaging

Circuits and Computer Systems

VLSI/IC Microelectronics and Computer Design

Students in this program work in a variety of VLSI/IC microelectronics and computer design research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

  • Research in VLSI and CAE to address topics in integrated circuit design methodologies and automation.
  • Specific system-oriented research including an analytical model for multi-access protocols with prioritized messages and distributed control architecture.
  • Testability studies that explore operational parallelism in any testing process to determine the set of automated test procedures which minimizes the silicon area consumed by the built-in self-test structures.
  • Applying VLSI design and analysis techniques to develop ultrafast superconducting digital integrated circuits.
  • Designing and analyzing high performance VLSI-based digital and analog integrated circuits and their systems. Specifically, speed, area, and power dissipation tradeoffs are investigated in terms of application-specific constraints and their fundamental circuit level limitations.

VLSI/IC Microelectronics Design Concentration Requirements

Three of the following courses:

  • ECE 429: Audio Electronics
  • ECE 461: Digital Integrated Circuit Design
  • ECE 462: VLSI Design Project
  • ECE 463: VLSI Error Control Systems
  • ECE 466: RF and Microwave Integrated Circuits
  • ECE 467: Advanced Analog Integrated Circuit Design
  • ECE 468: Advanced Analog CMOS Circuits and Systems
  • ECE 469: High Speed Integrated Electronics

Computer Design and Computer Engineering Concentration Requirements

ECE 401: Advanced Computer Architecture
Two of the following courses:

  • ECE 400: Computer Organization
  • ECE 404: Microprocessor Architecture
  • ECE 405: Advanced Digital Design Using FPGA
  • ECE 406: Introduction to Parallel Computing Using GPU's
  • CSC 455: Software Analysis and Improvement
  • CSC 456: Operating Systems
  • CSC 458: Parallel and Distributed Systems

Physical Electronics and Nanotechnology

Superconductivity and Solid-State Electronics

Students in this program work in a variety of superconductivity and solid-state electronics research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

  • Designing, fabricating, and testing ultrafast superconducting digital integrated circuits.
  • Developing integrated circuits that can carry out digital signal processing and analog-to-digital conversion at unprecedented rates, using the new "single-flux quantum logic."
  • Using picosecond electrical and optical pulses to probe the transient response of semiconducting and superconducting devices, such as Metal-Semiconductor-Metal (MSM) photodiodes and tunnel junctions.
  • Implementing quantum computation, in which Josephson-junction based circuits may manipulate quantum superposition states to efficiently perform specialized computational tasks.
  • Using concentrated high-temperature superconductivity to develop thin-film devices based on Y-Ba-Cu-O for applications including high-speed electronic interconnects, passive microwave circuits, high-frequency Josephson junctions, and optoelectronic hybrid and monolithic devices.

Superconductivity and Solid-State Electronics Concentration Requirements

ECE 423: Semiconductor Devices
Two of the following courses:

  • ECE 435: Introduction to Optoelectronics
  • ECE 466: RF and Microwave Integrated Circuits

Optoelectronics

Information processing with optical pulses allows for higher data rates than electronic signals. Optoelectronics research is focused on obtaining a detailed understanding of ultrafast phenomena and ultrafast nonlinearities in semiconductors and high-temperature superconductors, and at using silicon quantum dots and nanometer-size objects in optoelectronics and biosensing.

Students in this program work in a variety of optoelectronic research areas. Some of the current research being conducted here at Rochester includes:

  • Using laser technology, solid-state physics, materials science, and device physics and engineering to design novel optoelectronic devices.
  • Studying electron and hole thermalization and recombination in semiconductors and semiconductor quantum wells, and the optoelectronic properties of porous silicon, which unlike crystalline silicon emits light efficiently at room temperature.
  • Determining response times using laser processing of Y-Ba-Cu-O epitaxial thin films into oxygen-rich (superconducting) and oxygen-poor (semiconducting) regions, together with pump-probe femtosecond reflectivity measurements.

Optoelectronics Concentration Requirements

ECE 435: Introduction to Optoelectronics
Two of the following courses:

  • ECE 423: Semiconductor Devices
  • OPT 421/ECE 421: Optical Properties of Materials
  • OPT 468/ECE 426: Waveguides and Optoelectronic Devices