Electrical and Computer Engineering

Graduate Program

Master's Program

Program Requirements 

The MS degree requires at least 30 credit hours of graduate courses, 20 of which must be 400-level or higher courses and with 16 of these in electrical and computer engineering (ECE). 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 must either complete 6 to 12 credit hours of research and write a research thesis (Plan A) or take an MS exam (Plan B).

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 the end of November for fall graduation or by the end of 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 the end of November for fall graduation or by the end of April for spring graduation. Check the graduate calendar for this year’s deadlines.

MS students should view the ECE Exam Flowchart for exam requirements.

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.

Students entering the program typically have completed an undergraduate degree in electrical or computer engineering. To prepare for this program, students with degrees in:

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

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

Check out the Musical Acoustics and Signal Processing brochure (PDF) for more information about this program.

Musical Acoustics and Signal Processing Concentration Requirements

ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing (required)
ECE 433: Musical Acoustics (required)
ECE 472: Audio Signal Processing for Analysis and Synthesis of Music (required)
ECE 477: Computer Audition
ECE 479: Theory and Practice in Audio Recording and Processing
ECE 429: Audio Electronics
ECE 495: MS Thesis (Plan A) or elective courses to make up the balance of 30 credit hours (Plan B)

Signal and Image Processing and Communications

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

Signal and Image Processing Concentration Requirements

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

Communications Concentration Requirements

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

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:

VLS/IC Microelectronics and Computer Design

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

VLSI/IC Microelectronics Design Concentration Requirements

Three of the following courses:

Computer Design and Computer Engineering Concentration Requirements

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

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:

Superconductivity and Solid-State Electronics Concentration Requirements

ECE 423: Semiconductor Devices
Two of the following courses:

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:

Optoelectronics Concentration Requirements

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

Power/Smart Grid

The objective of the Power/Smart Grid concentration is to prepare graduate students to make technical contributions in the monitoring, management, and conservation of electric power and the most effective use of our power distribution system.

Since extraction and delivery costs of fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas continue to rise, it is becoming even more important to efficiently use electricity generated from these resources. New technologies can help manufacturing firms achieve production goals using less electric energy, off-peak power, or alternatives sources.

Likewise, electric power quality, quantified by such measures as voltage regulation and harmonic content, is rapidly gaining consumer attention.

One theoretical method of using electricity efficiently and effectively would be to create and employ a Smart Grid, an electric power delivery system with a digital network that links generator units, transmission and distribution systems, and customers.

Research into the development of Smart Grids shows that wireless sensors networks, along with robust, two-way communications, are key to creating an implementable system.

Power/Smart Grid Concentration Requirements

ECE 427: Electric Power
ECE 440: Random Processes or ECE 446: Digital Signal Processing
Two courses from the following areas:

*All courses taken off-site must be approved in advance. Students whose off-site course is a three-credit hours must take ECE 495, a one-credit class on campus, during that semester.