Carnegie Mellon University

MS in ECE (Master of Science, Standard Program)

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

The M.S. in ECE is a three-semester program that is comprised of 97 units of graduate course work (600 level and above).  The Standard Program has two available options detailed below. The course option is available to students at both the Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley campuses. The project option is only available to students at the Pittsburgh campus at this time.

Course option requirements

  • 60 units of ECE Core Courses
  • 24 units of CIT Elective Courses
  • 12 units of General Technical Elective Courses
  • 1 unit of Introduction to Graduate Studies 

Up to 12 units of undergraduate course work (300-level or higher) can qualify to be substituted toward the 96 units of core or elective requirements. Qualifying coursework must be offered by the same department as either an approved core or elective course.

Project option requirements

  • 36 units of ECE Core Courses
  • 12 units of CIT Elective Courses
  • 12 units of General Technical Elective Courses
  • 36 units of M.S. Graduate Project coursework
  • 1 unit of Introduction to Graduate Studies 

Up to 12 units of undergraduate course work (300-level or higher) can qualify to be substituted toward the 96 units of core or elective requirements. Qualifying coursework must be offered by the same department as either an approved core or elective course.

60 units (for the course option) or 36 units (for the project option) must be graduate coursework (600 level or above) within ECE (18-XXX).

EXCEPTIONS – The following ECE (18) courses may not be counted toward ECE Core Coursework. They may be counted toward CIT Electives or General Technical Electives: 

  • 18-601, 18-603, 18-605, 18-606, 18-700, 18-701, 18-702, 18-703

24 units (for the course option) or 12 units (for the project option) must be graduate coursework (600 level or above) within CIT from the following departments

  • ECE (18)
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) (39)
  • Biomedical Engineering (42)
  • Chemical Engineering (06)
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering (12)
  • Engineering & Public Policy (19)
  • Information Network Institute (14)
  • Integrated Innovation Institute (49)
  • Materials Science & Engineering (27)
  • Mechanical Engineering (24)
  • CMU Africa (04)

*Note that the courses 39-699 and 18-994 can be counted towards this requirement only.

EXCEPTIONS – The following CIT courses may not be counted toward CIT Elective Coursework. They may be counted toward General Technical Elective Coursework.

  • Engineering & Public Policy (19) - 19-602, 19-655
  • Integrated Innovation Institute (49) – 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
  • Mechanical Engineering (24) – 24-792
  • CMU Africa (04) – 04-601, 04-602, 04-605, 04-900, 04-980

12 units of coursework (600 level or above) can be from the following programs (shown under their parent college) or individually approved courses:

College of Engineering

  • ECE (18)
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) (39)
  • Biomedical Engineering (42)
  • Chemical Engineering (06)
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering (12)
  • Engineering & Public Policy (19)
  • Information Network Institute (14)
  • Integrated Innovation Institute (49)
  • Materials Science & Engineering (27)
  • Mechanical Engineering (24)
  • CMU Africa (04)

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)
  • Computer Science (15)
  • Entertainment Technology Center (53)
  • Institute for Software Research (08)
  • Robotics Institute (16)
  • Human-Computer Interaction Institute (05)
  • Language Technologies Institute (11)
  • Machine Learning (10)
  • Software Engineering (17)

Tepper School of Business (TEP)

  • Tepper School of Business (45)

Additional courses outside of these programs that are approved to be counted toward General Technical Elective Coursework:

  • 46-926, 46-929
  • 47-830, 47-834
  • 51-882
  • 57-947, 57948
  • 80-713
  • 84-688
  • 85-705, 85-777
  • 90-756, 90-808
  • 93-711

36 units (for the project option only) of 18-980 (M.S. Graduate Project) must be completed.

For the project option, students will register for 12 units of 18-980 in their second semester in the program. Students will then register for the remaining 24 units of 18-980 in the following semester.

*The M.S. Graduate Project is not required for students in the course option, however these students may take up to 27 project units that can count towards degree requirements. 12 units of research can count towards their core requirements and up to 15 project units can count toward their CIT elective requirements. Only 15 units of M.S. Graduate Project can be taken in any given semester in the course option.

ECE Master’s students in the standard program will take 97 units for their degree, 85 units of which must be from within the College of Engineering (61 from within ECE, 24 from within CIT; see above). This rule applies to all students matriculating fall 2020 or later and to all IMB students who sign their intent form after the start of the Fall 2020 semester. IMB students will be beholden to the program requirements in place when they sign their intent form and officially agree to enter the program.

*Please note: Additional units can be taken beyond the required 97 units described above in order to diversify your course schedule, however, they will not be counted towards the program requirements. Students who wish to take more than the recommended 36 units per semester (after their first semester) should make an appointment with their academic advisor to review your planned schedule.

Students who are pursuing the M.S. Standard degree cannot register for their final semester if they have already completed 120 units of coursework. These units include courses taken for audit, pass/no pass, and withdrawal. Please refer to CIT policy on MS degree units for additional information.