Graduate Programs

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering with the broad focus areas of Communications and Networking, Signal and Information Processing, Electronic Circuits and Systems, and Computer Engineering.

Introduction

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is the creative application of engineering principles and methods to the design and development of hardware and software systems. Both the M.S. and Ph.D. ECE programs encompass the design, development, testing, and evaluation of hardware and software components, as well as integrated systems and networks. Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering strives to achieve innovative functionality and higher performance in computing systems and components. The research portion of the ECE graduate programs, is focused in four concentration areas: 1) Communications and Networking, 2) Signal and Information Processing, 3) Computer Engineering and 4) Electronic Circuits and Systems. Following is a description of each of these areas:

  • Communications and Networking

    This area includes the study of end-to-end transmission and reception of data, including wireless communications, communication theory, information theory, networking, queueing theory, stochastic processes.

  • Signal and Information Processing

    This area includes the study of controls, signals, and systems, including estimation and detection; signal, image and video processing; pattern recognition, linear and nonlinear systems.

  • Electronic Circuits and Systems

    This area includes the study of analysis, design, synthesis, and implementation of analog, digital, mixed-signal, and radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits and systems for applications in computing, sensing, and communications.

  • Computer Engineering

    This area includes the study of interfacing between computer hardware and software including computer architecture, parallel computing, robotics, embedded and reconfigurable computing for enhanced performance of target applications.

For the M.S. degree, both thesis and non-thesis options are available. The M.S. degree is 30 credit hours and the Ph.D. degree is 75 credit hours.

Faculty in ECE conduct externally-funded research in a broad range of areas. Research and Teaching Assistantships are available for highly qualified students, particularly those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree.

Requirements for Admission

To enter the the program, students are expected to have an appropriate undergraduate degree such as a B.S., B.Tech, B.E., M.S., M.Tech, or M.E. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science or related fields. Typically, students are expected to have a GRE Quantitative score of 155 or better for admission to the M.S. program and 160 or better for the Ph.D. program.

Graduate Courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Here is a link to the description of our ECE graduate courses.

Here is a listing of the technical/concentration area courses.

M.S. ECE Program

Program of Study

The MS program includes both thesis and non-thesis options. The general structure of the course requirements and the total credit hours are the same both with and without the thesis, though the required credit hours in some categories of courses increases with the non-thesis option. The program has a depth requirement that consists of a group of courses in a chosen ECE concentration area. The department will maintain a list of ECE concentration areas and the core courses associated with each area that can be used to fulfill this depth requirement. The thesis and non-thesis options are shown in the tables below.

Thesis Option - 30 Credits

  • Depth – Courses in a selected Concentration Area (12 credits)
  • Breadth – Courses outside the selected Concentration Area (6 credits)
  • Math/Physics (3 credits)
  • Technical Elective (3 credits)
  • Thesis (6 credits minimum)

Non-Thesis Option - 30 Credits

  • Depth – Courses in a selected Concentration Area (12 credits)
  • Breadth – Courses outside the selected Concentration Area (6 credits)
  • Math/Physics (3 credits)
  • Technical Electives (6 credits)
  • Projects Course or Master’s Project (3 credits)

The course categories are:

  • Depth: 12 credit hours (4 courses) selected from a single concentration area. Courses are chosen from the list of concentration areas and their associated core courses that is maintained by the department.

  • Breadth: 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list of concentration areas but chosen from outside the student’s depth concentration area. If a course is listed in the student’s depth concentration area as well as another area, it can only be used to satisfy the depth concentration course requirement.

  • Math/Physics: 3 credit hours (1 course) in mathematics (A MAT) or physics (A PHY).

  • Technical Elective(s): 3 credit hours (thesis option) or 6 credit hours (non-thesis option) of courses within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), mathematics (A MAT) or physics (A PHY). These credit hours can be used to gain additional breadth outside of ECE or for additional ECE courses.

  • Thesis: a minimum of 6 credit hours of thesis (thesis option). In some cases, the thesis can expand to 9 credit hours, replacing the Technical Elective. Advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator approval is required for a thesis in excess of 6 credit hours.

  • Projects Course or Master’s Project: non-thesis option students are required to take one of the designated ECE Projects Courses or do a 3 credit Master’s Project as a culminating experience. In the Projects Courses, students investigate state-of-the-art technologies and topics in an area within ECE through the study of current publications, student class presentations, and a major project.

Note that the program must include 24 credit hours of ICEN and ICSI courses if students wish to count the M.S. degree as one year of experience towards their Professional Engineer License.

Ph.D. ECE Program

Program of Study

The Ph.D. program prepares students for research and/or teaching careers in industry, at universities, or in government agencies. Students work closely with an ECE faculty member, performing research that leads to their doctoral dissertation (thesis). The program develops the student's ability to recognize and formulate research problems, apply theoretical and/or experimental techniques to develop a solution, and to transmit the results to the scientific and engineering community. The research portion of the Ph.D.. ECE program, is focused in four concentration areas: 1) Communications and Networking, 2) Signal and Information Processing, 3) Computer Engineering and 4) Electronic Circuits and Systems.

(75 credits, minimum)

  • Depth – Courses in a selected Concentration Area (15 credits)
  • Breadth – Courses outside the selected Concentration Area (6 credits)
  • Math/Physics (3 credits)
  • Technical Electives (6 credits)
  • Electives (6 credits)
  • Doctoral Research (36 credits minimum)

The course categories are:

  • Depth: 15 credit hours (4 courses) selected from a single concentration area. Courses are chosen from the list of concentration areas and their associated core courses that is maintained by the department.

  • Breadth: 6 credit hours (2 courses) from the list of concentration areas but chosen from outside the student’s depth concentration area. The two courses must be chosen from different concentration areas. If a course is listed in the student’s depth concentration area as well as another area, it can only be used to satisfy the depth concentration course requirement.

  • Math/Physics: 6 credit hours (2 courses) of courses in mathematics (A MAT) or physics (A PHY).

  • Technical Electives: 6 credit hours (2 courses) of courses within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), mathematics (A MAT) or physics (A PHY). These credit hours can be used to gain additional breadth outside of ECE or for additional ECE courses.

  • Electives: 6 credit hours (2 courses) taken in any college. Prior approval by the student’s advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator are required for these courses. These credit hours can be used to gain additional breadth outside of engineering and the sciences or for additional technical courses. It is expected that the courses will be relevant to or complement the student’s area of study.

  • Doctoral Research: 36 credit hours (minimum) of doctoral research.

The course requirements for the Ph.D. degree shown above will be adjusted for those who enter the program with a Master’s degree. For students with a MSECE degree from UAlbany, the courses taken as part of the MS program will be directly applied to the course requirements for the Ph.D. MS thesis credits will not be counted. Note that additional credit hours may be required for students who change concentration area between their Master’s and doctoral programs.

Students must submit an advisor-approved Ph.D. plan of study to the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator by the end of the first semester. The Graduate Program Coordinator must approve the plan of study. If a student deviates from the initial plan of study, a revised plan should be submitted in a timely manner so that the department has an approved up-to-date version. It is expected that one or more revised plans of study may be submitted during a student’s doctoral studies.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Achievement of a satisfactory record in course study;
  2. Satisfactory completion of the candidacy examination;
  3. Completion of the University residency requirements;
  4. Satisfactory completion of the qualifying examination.