Swanson School of EngineeringDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Interim Department Chair: Mahmoud El Nokali
- Main Office: 1238 Benedum Hall
- Fax: 412-624-8003
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information concerning the Electrical Engineering graduate program may be obtained from Sandy Weisberg, Electrical Engineering Program Administrator while information concerning the Computer Engineering graduate program may be obtained from Dre’ Aliquo-Varela, Computer Engineering Graduate Program Administrator. Both Ms. Weisberg and Ms. Aliquo-Varela are located at 1238 Benedum Hall, 3700 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261. Alternately, you may contact them via phone at 412-642-8001, fax at 412-624-8003, or email email@example.com.
Graduate Degree Programs
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a program
of graduate study and research for master’s and doctoral degree
students whose career choice is oriented toward
basic or applied research in industry, government,
or academic institutions. Degrees awarded are
the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering,
the Master of Science in Computer Engineering,
the Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering,
and the Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering.
The MSCE and PhD in Computer Engineering are
jointly offered with the Department of Computer
Science. The Katz Graduate School of Business (MBA).
Course work and faculty/student research in
the graduate Electrical Engineering program
are concentrated in the following three areas:
- Computer Engineering
Optical and Electronic Devices
Electric Power Systems/Signal Processing and Systems
and include research in computer architecture, computer-aided design (CAD), very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) design, optical interfacing, embedded systems, parallel processing architectures, networking, photonic and electronic devices, micro/nanorobotics and systems, fiber optics, ultrafast laser processing, nanowires and nanoparticles, semiconductor device modeling and characterization, power electronics, pattern recognition, biomedical image processing, speech processing, statistical signal processing, wavelets, intelligent and neutral control, human-centered control, networked control, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and tags, electric power systems analysis, simulation and modeling: transmission, distribution systems and technologies, real-time control of power systems, and renewable energy interconnections, and smart grid.
Applicants for admission must submit transcripts of all college-level work, two letters of recommendation, and scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing assessment-analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit the TOEFL administered by the Educational Testing Service with a minimum score of 80 (internet-based test). For awards consideration, applications must be completed by February 1.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers graduate students support in a variety of ways. Many full-time students are supported by graduate research assistantships or teaching assistantships. There are also several fellowships available for highly qualified graduate students.
The program consists of 64.5 credits for full-time students or 69 credits for part-time students and leads to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). The joint full-time program requires students to take 39 credits minimum of business and 25.5 credits minimum in electrical and computer engineering. The full-time option can be completed in two academic years whereas the part-time option may require a period of four to five years. The program is only for those students seeking a professional MS Engineering degree. Detailed information may be located at http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/ECE/Graduate/Electrical Programs/
Electric Power Engineering Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Certificate
- Via Synchronous, Interactive, Distance-Enabled Delivery
The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering has established an Electric Power Engineering Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Certificate Program that rises to the challenge of meeting the nation’s critical development needs for electrical energy professionals. This is the only distance enabled program in electric power engineering that allows students to attend classroom lectures in real time, and also allows synchronous participation remotely via the Internet. The program is deeply rooted in core electric power engineering principles and focuses on the expansion and enhanced reliability of electric power grid infrastructure through application of power electronics and advanced control technologies, as well as renewable energy integration and smart grids. Program content – combined with innovative distance-enabled delivery and collaborative program components – makes this program an attractive and unique choice in graduate engineering, particularly for individuals in industry/business. For additional information and to apply:
Students must first be admitted to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Once admitted, students may apply internally for admission to the certificate program. The certificate requires the completion of 36 credits of coursework, 21 of which are from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and 15 credits are to be completed from a published list of engineering courses.
More information may be found at:
In addition to the general regulations of the Swanson School of Engineering, the electrical and computer engineering department has the following requirements:
The Master of Science degree has both research and professional tracks. The research track provides the student the opportunity to work on a thesis (applied or basic in nature) under the close supervision of a faculty advisor. The minimum requirements for the research track are 24 credits of graduate course work and preparation and defense of a thesis (6 credits) on a topic in the student's primary area of interest. For the professional option, the minimum requirement is 30 credits of graduate course work.
Course selection for either the research or the professional tracks is developed by the student in consultation with the student's advisor and following guidelines set by the department. The course plan may include courses in and outside of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A list of courses is available to MS students and can be found at
A student showing unusual proficiency in graduate course work and independent research will be recommended for doctoral study. The objective of the PhD program in electrical engineering is to attain a high degree of competence in one major field, as well as some understanding of a minor or cognate field. A minimum of 72 credits beyond the BS degree is required, including 18 credits of dissertation work. In addition to the general regulations, the department has specific requirements as described below:
PhD Preliminary Evaluation
This is an oral and written presentation on a subject mutually agreed upon by the student and the advisor in the field of the student's interest. The examination is to demonstrate the student's initiative and ability to do independent work.
During the first year of registration in the PhD program, the student must meet with a faculty committee and present a program of study for its approval. The committee consists of the student's faculty advisor, who chairs the committee, and two other faculty members from the department.
PhD Comprehensive Examination
To complete the Comprehensive PhD exam, a student must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the four courses assigned by the PhD program conference committee no later than the first two years of enrollment in the PhD program. If the student fails to achieve this requirement, he/she must pass an oral exam that takes place at the same time as the PhD Proposal exam and answer general questions related to his/her research area. If he/she fails this oral exam, the student may take it once more three months later.
PhD Proposal Examination
In this examination, the student presents and defends a proposal for dissertation work to a doctoral committee consisting of at least five members, four of whom must be graduate faculty, with one from outside the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
PhD Final Oral Examination
In this examination, administered by the doctoral committee, the student defends the validity of the dissertation and the contributions that are made in the work. Results from the dissertation must be submitted to a refereed journal for publication.
The Computer Engineering Program graduate degrees are offered jointly with the Department of Computer Science. Students in the program come from both departments. For more infor
mation on the program see http://engineering.pitt.edu/ComputerEngineering/GraduateProgram/.
It is not the intention that students will be admitted to the program as terminal MS students. Instead, this degree is designed as a "milepost" in the program of study for a student pursuing a PhD.
This degree requires at least 30 credits, and includes eight courses or project courses, and six thesis credits. These fall into the following categories:
Four core courses required (12 credits minimum)—Each student must complete at least one course chosen from each of the following three areas, and one additional course from any one of these areas.
CS 2410 Computer Architecture
ECE 2162 Computer Architecture
CS 2210 Compiler Design
CS 2510 Computer Operating Systems
CS 2310 Software Engineering
ECE 2160 Embedded Systems
ECE 2192 Introduction to VLSI Design
ECE 2120 Hardware Design Methodologies
Four courses (12 credits minimum) must be chosen from the list of CoE graduate courses, or from pre-approved CS or ECE courses. One of these four courses may also be a research project course (2998).
Master's Thesis (6 credits): Each student must write and defend a master's thesis. The thesis should be an in-depth investigation of a research topic in computer engineering. This requirement also includes the submission of a paper to a refereed conference or journal.
The PhD degree in computer engineering requires at least 72 credits.
These credits must include the following categories:
Four core courses required (12 credits minimum). Each student must complete at least one course chosen from each of the following three areas, and one additional course from any one of these areas.
CS/EE 2410 Computer Architecture
EE 2162 Computer Architecture
CS/EE 2210 Compiler Design
CS/EE 2510 Computer Operating Systems
CS/EE 2310 Software Engineering
EE/EE 2186 Software Engineering
EE 2160 Embedded Systems
EE 2192 Introduction to VLSI Design
EE 2120 Hardware Design Methodologies
Nine courses (27 credits minimum) must be chosen from the list of CoE graduate courses, or from pre-approved CS or EE courses not cross-listed as CoE courses.
- Seven courses (21 credits minimum) are elective and may be CS, EE, or CoE courses, courses from other disciplines, or research project courses (2998).
- The specific program of study should be approved in advance by the Student's Research Committee (described below).
- Dissertation (12–18 credits)
Examinations: Each student must pass the following examinations:
This is an oral examination conducted by the Student's Research Committee. The Master of Science Thesis Oral Examination will satisfy the Preliminary Examination requirements.
To complete the comprehensive examination, a student must satisfy both the following requirements not later than two years after entering the program:
- Complete a total of five courses with a grade of A- or better. These courses must be taken from either the Core Requirements listed above or the CoE Elective categories and
- Complete the four courses that satisfy the Core Requirements category above with a grade of B or better.
The particular of mix of five courses in part 1 can be any combination of core or elective courses. However, any core course requirement that is not included in the five must be completed with a B or better in order to satisfy part 2.
Within five years, students must present their plan for dissertation research to be approved by the Student's Research Committee. This is after the student has completed all other PhD requirements.
Student must orally defend their dissertation research to be approved by the Student's Research Committee, the time between the dissertation proposal and the defense has to be at least eight months.
Composition and Role of the Student's Research Committee
The Student's Research Committee will consist of a primary advisor and at least three graduate faculty members from the Computer Engineering Graduate Faculty.
The Student's Research Committee has two responsibilities: the approval of the program of study and the oversight of the dissertation research. At least one member of the committee must be from a department other than the advisor or co-advisors if the co-advisors are from the same department. One additional member must be a member of the graduate faculty who is not a member of the CoE Graduate Faculty.