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Master of Science in Computer Engineering

The Master of Science in Computer Engineering (CPE). 

The Master of Science in Computer Engineering (CPE) is offered In the College of Engineering jointly by the departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

All candidates in the M.S. program are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the fundamental areas of computer engineering by taking at least three courses in specific areas. Both thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) options are available in the program leading to the Master of Science degree. A project is required of non-thesis candidates.

Master Degree Requirements


  • Core Courses. MS Students fulfill the breadth requirement by taking at least three courses from the following list and receiving at least a B in all of them.
    • CS570 Operating Systems
    • EE685 Digital Computer Structure
    • CS541 Compiler Design
    • EE580 Embedded Systems


  • Courses. Students can focus their curriculum in a variety of areas, including cybersecurity, VLSI, computer architecture, quantum computing, advanced compiler techniques, and distributed operating systems. Any course in the CS and ECE departments may be used to complete the credit-hour requirements, and courses outside these departments may also apply, subject to DGS approval.


  • Credits. To receive an MS, the student must finish either option A (thesis option) or option B (non-thesis option).
    • Option A: 24 credit hours and 6 credits of thesis (CXE768, graded ''S'')
    • Option B: 30 credit hours and a project (the 30 hours may include CPX610 and up to 6 credits of CPX612). The 30 hours may not include more than 9 credits of ''non-curricular courses'', that is, independent or supervised study courses.
    • For either option, at least half of the credit hours must be in 600-level CXE courses. Courses from other departments require prior DGS approval. All courses must have regular grades (no ''P'', ''S'', or ''I'' grades). Grades must be C or higher.


  • Masters committee. Each MS student should choose an advisor, preferably by the end of the first year. The advisor must be a member of the faculty of record and a full member of the graduate faculty.


  • Schedule the defense. All MS students need to take the MS exam. It is typically a defense of the project or thesis, depending on the student's option.
    • An MS student may only schedule the MS exam if there are no remaining incomplete grades.
    • A written, well-organized report document is required for completion of an MS Degree (whether thesis or project). The document must be of sufficient quality to enable committee members to determine the general nature, scope, and quality of the project, and it must be provided (in hard copy, if requested) to each committee member at least ten (10) calendar days before the scheduled examination date.
    • The student presents a clean draft of the thesis or project document to all the committee members and gets their agreement to hold the exam.
    • The student submits a request to schedule the exam, providing a time and place, using this online form. The form should be submitted at least three weeks in advance.
  • Minimum GPA. Students must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA across all CS and ECE courses, and they must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Time limits. All students are subject to general time limits set by the Graduate School. Students enrolled in a master’s program have 6 years to complete all requirements for the degree, but still have the opportunity to request extensions up to additional four years for a total of ten years.