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Masters in Electrical Engineering Requirements

Masters in Electrical Engineering Requirements

There are variations of the Master's in Electrical Engineering degree both within schools and among schools. In many universities this degree is considered part of the PhD program, constituting a stepping stone to the doctorate. The PhD in turn is generally looked upon as the path to an academic career, doing research and teaching at the university level. Many schools combine electrical engineering with computer science or computer engineering in an academic department and often times, as a degree choice. The Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering is a common degree in traditional universities.

There are also some schools that differentiate between a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree and a Master of Science (MS) degree. The former is meant for students who want an advanced degree in electrical engineering in order to join the workforce. The MS is generally considered an academic pursuit, requiring a thesis in preparation for the research required at the doctoral level. We have tried to provide snapshots of the requirements for a number of these degree variations, for both private and public schools as well as online and on campus degree programs.

Technology Orientation

California State University at San Jose provides a lot of electrical engineers for the Silicon Valley industries and has designed a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering program that reflects the requirements of that job market. The thirty credit program is offered with two terminal project options: a thesis or a final report on the area of specialization the student has selected. The school requires that at least three courses be taken in the specialization area; additional courses may be added as electives.

Core courses amount to nine units; the specialization consumes an additional nine units and six units are designated as elective courses - two at three units each. The thesis is a six credit requirement; for non-thesis students an additional six credits in electives are added as a requirement. Areas of specialization include digital logic system design, ASIC/VLSI circuits, analog/mixed-signal integrated circuits, communications/ digital signal processing, and networking.

The Professional Career Option

Duke University has two Master of Engineering degree options that have been devised as options for business career oriented professionals. The Master of Science degree is focused on the doctoral program and an academic career. The MEng degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke is a thirty credit course of study that takes eighteen to twenty four months to complete and does not require a thesis. Core courses and cross-disciplinary courses (math, physics) consume twenty one credits, with an additional nine credits devoted to course in the area of concentration. The final report or internship in the field is given no academic credits. Areas of concentration include micro-nano systems, photonics, sensing & waves, communications & signal processing, and computer engineering.

Drexel University has an online and on campus Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree that is in fact a professional degree offered for students who want advanced training prior to venturing into the workforce either in electronics or in the world of public power and public works. Areas of concentration are available for both sectors: they include computer engineering; controls and robotics; electrophysics; image & signal processing; and power engineering & energy. The 45 credit hour program requires a student to select an area of concentration by the end of the first year. There is a thesis option and a six month, six credit internship option available in an industry related to the area of concentration.

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