M.S. in ECE - Requirements

Students may reference the 2016-2017 MS program catalog-handbook for details regarding program policies and protocals.

The Professional M.S. is available to qualified students who have earned an undergraduate degree. Select undergraduate students in ECE at Carnegie Mellon may be admitted into the IMB Program. Typically, three semesters are needed to complete the M.S. degree. However, it is possible to complete an M.S. in ECE in one year. IMB students typically complete these requirements within 5 years of starting their undergraduate degree.

Course requirements

A. ECE Core Graduate Coursework: 60 units

The ECE program requires 60 units of core coursework that may not be waived or substituted. These courses should be in the ECE Department (18) at the 600-level or above (exceptions include 18-601, 18-603, 18-605, 18-606, 18-700, 18-701, 18-702, 18-703). Additionally, courses in the Computer Science Department at the 700 level or above (exceptions include 15-749, 15-862, 15-894) can be counted.

  • 02-710, 02-712
  • 08-735, 08-766, 08-781, 08-769
  • 10-701, 10-702, 10-703, 10-704, 10-707, 10-807, 10-715, 10-725
  • 11-752, 11-777
  • 14-735
  • 16-711, 16-720, 16-722, 16-725, 16-741, 16-745, 16-811,16-822, 16-824, 16-843, 16-850
  • 19-714
  • 21-801
  • 24-751
  • 33-755, 33-758, 33-761, 33-762
  • 36-752, 36-783
  • 42-744

B. Restricted Electives: 24 units

Any ECE course (18) at the 500-level or above will satisfy this requirement.

  List of approved non-ECE (18) restricted elective courses

Any course at the 600-level or higher from one of the following colleges or programs (with restrictions noted below)

  • Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) (39)
    • Biomedical Engineering (42)
    • Chemical Engineering (06)
    • Civil & Environmental Engineering (12)
    • Engineering & Public Policy (19) (restrictions include 19-602, 19-655)
    • Information Network Institute (14)
    • Integrated Innovation Institute (49) (restrictions include 49-750, 49-751, 49-761, 49-762, 49-763, 49-764, 49-765, 49-766, 49-767, 49-770, 49-771, 49-772, 49-773, 49-774, 49-775, 49-780, 49-781, 49-782, 49-788, 49-790, 49-791, 49-792, 49-793)
    • Materials Science & Engineering (27)
    • Mechanical Engineering (24) (restrictions include 24-792)
    • CMU Africa (04) (restrictions include 04-601, 04-602, 04-605, 04-900, 04-980)
  • Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Statistics (36)
    • Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (86)
  • Heinz School of Information Systems (95)
  • Heinz College-Wide Courses (94)
  • Mellon College of Science (MCS)
    • Biological Sciences (03)
    • Chemistry (09)
    • Mathematical Sciences (21)
    • Physics (33)
  • School of Computer Science (SCS)
    • Computational Biology (02) (restrictions include 02-713)
    • Computer Science (15) (restrictions include 15-602, 15-603, 15-604, 15-649,15-669,15-689, 15-697, 15-698, 15-749)
    • Entertainment Technology Center (53)
    • Institute for Software Research (08)
    • Robotics Institute (16) (restrictions include 16-861, 16-865)
    • Human-Computer Interaction Institute (05)
    • Language Technologies Institute (11)
    • Machine Learning (10)
    • Software Engineering (17) (restrictions include 17-643)
  • Tepper School of Business (45)

Courses outside these departments that are approved to be counted towards the 24 units of Restricted Electives include: 46-926, 46-929, 47-830, 47-834, 51-882, 84-688, 90-756, 93-711.

C. Less-Restricted Elective: 12 units

The remaining 12 units must be 300 level or greater from the same colleges, departments and programs listed above. Courses numbered as xx-299 or lower will not be counted toward the MS degree.

Three units of internship (18-994 Internship for Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Students) or professional development (39-699 CIT Professional Development Course) coursework may count towards the Less-Restricted Elective.

Courses where more than 50% of the course grade is based on a group project or more than 20% is based on attendance cannot be used towards the required 96 units. Mini courses worth 12 units cannot be used towards the required 96 units.  Students are responsible for checking the syllabi for classes to ensure their courses meet these requirements.

D. Restrictions

Of the 96 required units, you may not count:

  • More than 15 units of graduate project units
  • More than 12 units of undergraduate courses (at least 300 level or greater)
  • Any units of physical education, ROTC, seminar courses, or courses taken as pass/fail or audit

Transfer credit from previous universities or colleges

Only one graduate-level course, or the equivalent of 12 units, can be transferred from another university as credit toward the M.S. degree. As a guideline, three-credit courses from other universities equate to 9-unit CMU courses; a four-credit course equates to a 12-unit CMU course. The course being transferred can not have been counted towards another degree and a letter grade of "B" or better must have been received. To transfer credit from another university, a formal petition must be submitted to and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. No credit will be considered or granted prior to admission to the M.S. degree program.

Course credit for continuing IMB Students

CMU students who received their B.S. degree from ECE may use courses that were not used towards satisfying the B.S. degree to satisfy the M.S. degree course requirement.

Quality Point Average (QPA) requirement

In order to graduate, each student must have a Quality Point Average (QPA) of at least 3.0 in the courses being used towards the required 96 units. Coursework or graduate project units with a grade lower than ‘C’ will not be considered toward graduate degree requirements; however, they will be calculated into the student’s cumulative QPA. 

Applying to the Ph.D. program

Students in the Professional M.S. and IMB programs

Students in the Professional M.S. and IMB Programs may apply to the Ph.D. program. These students must be enrolled for two academic semesters in the Professional M.S. or IMB programs before they can matriculate into the Ph.D. Program. Students must apply by the dates listed on the deadlines page.

Carnegie Mellon students from outside of ECE and Carnegie Mellon staff

Carnegie Mellon students from outside ECE and Carnegie Mellon staff may take graduate courses in ECE, including those that can be counted toward an M.S. degree in ECE, subject to the same rules and requirements as currently exist and subject also to the availability of space in those courses.

  • Courses to be counted toward an M.S. degree cannot be more than 6 academic years old at the time the degree is awarded.
  • To obtain the M.S. degree, Carnegie Mellon students from outside ECE and Carnegie Mellon staff must be admitted into the ECE M.S. Program and meet all of the admission requirements that are standard practice in the department and described in ECE documentation.
  • Admission to the M.S. Program must take place no later than the semester before all of the M.S. degree requirements are to expected to be met, although earlier admission is preferable.

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