Carnegie Mellon University


Four concentrations are available for M.S. students to choose from, allowing for focused study in a specific area of electrical and computer engineering. Students completing one or more of these concentrations should refer to their degree as a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in <name of concentration>. Students satisfying the requirements for more than one concentration may acknowledge all for which they fulfill the requirements.

All concentrations require a minimum of four ECE courses, distributed across categories as described below. M.S. ECE students are not required to complete a concentration in order to graduate.

Points of contact: Raj Rajkumar, Pei Zhang

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are physical and engineered systems whose operations are monitored, controlled, coordinated and integrated by the cyber components of computing and communication. Domains of CPS applications include, but are not limited to, aerospace, healthcare, manufacturing, intelligent transportation systems, self-driving vehicles, smart grids, smart buildings and defense systems. Broad CPS deployment is transforming how we interact with the physical world as profoundly as the world-wide web transformed how we interact with one another, and further harnessing their capabilities holds the possibility of enormous societal and economic impact. This MS Concentration will enable students to learn about the foundations and principles of cyber-physical systems, including theory, tools, applications, systems, test-beds and field deployments.

Students my choose four courses, distributed across the following categories: 

Design and construction
of cyber-physical systems
(at least one course):
Principles of cyber-
physical systems
(at least one course):
Cyber-physical systems
breadth courses
(at most one course):
18-644 18-771 18-637
18-642 18-776 18-638
18-648 18-792 18-730
18-651 18-793 18-756
18-667 18-794 18-743
18-745 18-781
18-748 18-797

Points of contact: Lujo Bauer, Vyas Sekar

The Computer Security concentration will provide students the opportunity for in-depth specialization in the areas of computer security and privacy. Students will take a broad introductory course that covers computer security fundamentals and will gain additional depth in a core topic area such as software, systems and networking, privacy, and cryptography. In addition, students will also have the opportunity to apply the security skills to specific problem domains such as web, wireless, or mobile systems. Students will gain exposure to both foundational security and privacy principles as well as hands-on tools and best practices for building secure and privacy preserving infrastructures.

Student may choose four courses, distributed across the following categories:

Introductory computer security
(one course):
Computer security core
(two courses):
Computer security electives
(one course):
18-631 18-731 18-635
18-730 18-732 18-636
18-733 18-637
18-734 18-638
18-632 18-765

Points of contact: Radu Marculescu, Aswin Sankaranarayanan

The Data & Network Science concentration will provide students the opportunity for in-depth specialization in data and networks science, and their applications to various natural and technological systems. Students will take introductory courses that cover data network foundations and information processing and then will have ample opportunities to specialize in one of several more focused topic areas such as wireless and sensors networks, energy systems and networks, social sensing, and advanced image and neural processing. In addition, students will also have the opportunity to apply the data and network science skills to specific problem domains such as personalized healthcare, smart grid, computational photography, or social networks. Students will gain exposure to both foundational data and network principles, as well as hands-on tools and best practices for smart and interconnected infrastructures.

Students may choose four courses, distributed across the following categories with a minimum of three categories covered:

Data and network science foundations
(at least one course):
Wireless and sensor networks
(at most two courses):
Energy systems and networks
(at most two courses):
Signals and information processing
(at most two courses):
18-660 18-651 18-618 18-698
18-661 18-748 18-663 18-790
18-697 18-759 18-875 18-792
18-751 18-879M 18-793

Points of contact: Bob Iannucci, Peter Steenkiste

The Wireless Systems concentration gives students the opportunity to explore the core wireless technologies and systems-level issues that are at the heart of the Internet of Things, including both traditional broadband and emerging low-power wide area networks as platforms for wide-area cyber-physical systems, survivable and resilient mobile systems, antenna system synthesis, mobile network and device security and privacy, power- and energy-optimized devices, federation of IoT systems, context and situational awareness, and cloud-connected embedded computing. This concentration takes a systems perspective, looking across the traditional layered communications system architecture, giving students experience in thinking through design issues -- such as power -- the solutions for which cannot be found at any one layer.

Students may choose four courses, with at least one from each of the following four categories:

Devices Networks Systems Design Experience
18-743 18-637(SV) 18-741 18-745
18-747(SV) 18-741 18-744(SV)
Connected Embedded
Systems (new course 
available 2018-2019)

Wireless Systems
Design Experience
(new course available 

Wireless Networks
and Mobile Systems


18-741 can be taken to satisfy the Networks or the Systems requirement, but not both.

Device, Networks, and Systems courses are pre-requisites for the Design Experience.

While not required, the following additional courses relate strongly to this concentration and provide students with additional relevant breadth and depth:

  • 18-600 Foundations of Computer Systems
  • 18-652 Foundations of Software Engineering
  • 18-847 Wireless Software Systems Architecture (SV)