The graduate program in electrical and computer engineering has facilities for education and research in the following areas: computer engineering, control systems, digital signal processing, communications, and solid-state electronics. Computer engineering involves the architecture and design of computing machines, information processing, and software engineering. Control systems is concerned with the design, analysis, simulation, and mathematical modeling of systems to ensure that an automatic process (e.g., robot or spacecraft) meets and maintains certain criteria. Digital-signal processing deals with discrete-time information processing, digital-filter design, spectral analysis, and special-purpose signal processors. Electrical communications systems analysis and design involves the study of source and channel encoding, analog and digital modulation methods, information theory, and telecommunication networks. Wireless communications and wireless information networks focus on analysis, measurement, and simulations. Solid-state electronics encompasses microwave switching devices, semiconductor lasers, electro-optical modulation, solar cells, integrated circuits, and the characterization of semiconductor materials and devices. This broad base of research areas provides students with the flexibility to create individualized programs of study.
Students with a B.S. degree from an accredited electrical engineering school may apply for direct admission to the graduate program. Students with backgrounds in other concentrations, such as physics, mathematics, and computer science, or in engineering programs other than electrical engineering, are required to pass certain prerequisite undergraduate courses in electrical engineering. Students from electrical technology programs may be required to take several undergraduate courses in addition to the graduate program requirements. The Graduate Record Examination general test is required for admission to the program.
Masters of science degree candidates may elect either a thesis or nonthesis option. The thesis option consists of 24 credits of course work, 6 credits of research in a specialized area, and a final thesis presentation. In the nonthesis option, a candidate must complete 30 credits of course work, pass a written comprehensive examination, and submit a satisfactory tutorial paper. The M.S. comprehensive examination is given twice a year.
Requirements for the M.S. degree may be satisfied for all options in a part-time evening program designed specifically for students employed in industry and other students whose obligations preclude full-time study. Admission and academic standards for part-time students are the same as for full-time students. This arrangement makes it possible for students to combine day and evening schedules simultaneously or at different periods in their academic careers. Students completing the requirements for the M.S. degree or the Ph.D. degree also are eligible for the Certificate in Wireless Communications (see the Wireless Communications subject heading for further information and requirements for this certificate).
Admission into the Ph.D. program requires an M.S. degree in electrical engineering. Applicants having an M.S. degree in a closely related discipline may be admitted into the doctoral program provided their preparation has no significant deficiencies. Students are considered to be Ph.D. candidates after satisfactory completion of the qualifying examination and presentation of their dissertation topic. The Ph.D. qualifying examination normally consists of four preliminary oral exams, a major oral exam, and presentation of a thesis proposal. The oral qualifying examination is generally given twice a year. A Ph.D. candidate, in conjunction with an adviser, is required to select a dissertation committee, submit a plan of study, and present orally a dissertation proposal.
Minimum requirements for the Ph.D. degree include 48 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree in courses approved by the dissertation adviser. These 48 credits are in addition to 24 credits of dissertation research beyond the M.S. degree. A public defense serves as the final Ph.D. dissertation examination. There is no foreign language requirement. The residence requirement depends upon the area of specialization. The master of philosophy degree is available to doctoral candidates.