Carnegie Mellon University


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 Integrated Master's Bachelor's (IMB) program. The M.S. degree is a full-time program in which students complete three or four full-time (36 units) semesters (including summer if summer is a student’s final semester). IMB students typically complete these requirements within 5 years of starting their undergraduate degree.

Effective Fall 2018, all incoming M.S. ECE students are required to take the one-unit Introduction to Graduate Studies (18-989) course in addition to the specified units already required to complete the degree.

At ECE we are committed to providing the fundamentals of electrical and computer engineering while also giving the opportunity for in-depth specialization that will allow students to be the most successful in their future careers. Because of these values, we have implemented multiple M.S. programs, beginning Fall 2020, that give students the ability to choose which avenue will best fit their future career or educational goals.

M.S. Programs effective Fall 2020

M.S. Program Spring 2020 and prior

*All students who matriculated into the ECE M.S. program up to and including Spring 2020, please see the program requirements here.

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 cannot have been counted towards another degree and you must have received a letter grade of "B" or better. 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 97/133 units. Course work or graduate project units with a grade of 'C-' or lower are not acceptable toward graduate degree requirements; however, they will be calculated into the student’s cumulative QPA. 

Course Restrictions

Students are responsible for checking the syllabi for their classes to ensure that they meet these requirements. Of the required units, you may not count:

  • Courses numbered as xx-299
  • Any units of physical education, ROTC, seminar/practicum/independent study courses, or courses taken as pass/fail or audit
    • Known courses include but are not limited to: 49-790, 49-791, 49-792, 49-793
  • Courses outside of ECE where more than 50% of the course grade is based on a group project
  • Courses where more than 20% of the course grade is based on attendance
  • Mini-courses worth 12 units
    • Known courses may include but are not limited to: 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, 49-780, 49-781, 49-782, 49-788

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. We recommend that students remain enrolled in their master's program for at least two academic semesters (not including summer) prior to enrollment in the Ph.D. program so the PhD Admission Committee can better assess the application with respect to graduate coursework and/or project experience at Carnegie Mellon. Students must apply by the dates listed on the deadlines page.

Carnegie Mellon students from outside 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.