Carnegie Mellon University


The Professional MS 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 MS 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 five years of starting their undergraduate degree.

Effective Fall 2018, all incoming MS in ECE students are required to take the 1-unit Introduction to Graduate Studies (18-989) course in addition to the units already required to complete the degree.

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

MS programs effective Fall 2020

MS program Spring 2020 and prior

*All students who matriculated into the ECE MS 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 MS 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 toward 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 MS degree program.

Course credit for continuing IMB students

CMU students who received their BS in ECE may use courses that were not used toward satisfying the BS degree to satisfy the MS degree course requirements.

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. Coursework 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 their classes' syllabi to ensure they meet these requirements. Of the required units, you may not count the following:

  • 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 PhD program

Students in the professional MS and IMB programs

Students in the Professional MS and IMB programs may apply to the PhD 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 PhD 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 the MS in ECE, subject to the same rules and requirements as currently exist and also to the availability of space in those courses.

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