May 28, 2023  
Graduate Catalog | 2020-2021 
Graduate Catalog | 2020-2021 Previous Edition

Computer Engineering, M.S.

The M.S. in Computer Engineering (MSCPE) program is designed to impart advanced knowledge on current and future generation computer hardware and software technologies.  The program is structured to emphasize the broad areas of Computer Architecture and Hardware Design; Computer Systems and Applications Software; and Distributed and Real-time Computer Systems.  In addition to taking graduate-level courses in one or more areas of concentration within the department, students in the MSCPE program have the opportunity to engage in research and individualized projects.

Active research areas in computer engineering include: embedded systems, robotics, computer architecture, hardware/software co-design, real-time systems, reconfigurable and high performance computing, VLSI design, Big Data, mobile and edge computing, computer networks, Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems, digital signal and image processing, deep learning and machine learning algorithms, computer vision, hardware security, low-power electronics, operation and control of the Smart Grid, and others.  A full range of state-of-the-art laboratories is available, enabling faculty and students to conduct research at the cutting edge of technology.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the established Graduate School admissions criteria, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks the following from applicants to the Master’s program in Computer Engineering (MSCPE):

  • An earned undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering or a closely related field of engineering or sciences
    • Applicants with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than Electrical and Computer Engineering (e.g. physics, mathematics, computer science, etc.) may be considered for admission, if satisfactory evidence on the aptitude to pursue graduate studies in Electrical and Computer Engineering is demonstrated. If additional preparatory courses are required, such courses should be taken before applying for the MSCPE.
  • A proven track record with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Additional academic credentials, such as other attempted post-baccalaureate studies undertaken, if applicable, may also be submitted
  • Satisfactory scores in the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test
  • For international applicants from non-English speaking countries, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (internet-based) must be obtained. Other official English proficiency tests such as MELAB and IELTS may also be acceptable, as stated in the Graduate School’s admissions section.
  • Admission is based on the overall background, motivation, and potential, as determined by the department

GRE Waiver

The GRE requirement will be waived for:

  • Applicants who have an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited U.S. institution and have at least three years post-graduation experience in the related field
  • Recent UNC Charlotte undergraduate graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.25

Degree Requirements

The MSCPE program requires successful completion of 30 graduate credit hours as approved by the student’s graduate advisor.  At least 24 credit hours applied to the MSCPE degree must be from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  This can be done using one of three options:

  1. Thesis option - 9 credit hours of thesis and 21 credit hours of coursework
  2. Project option - 3 credit hours of individual study and projects and 27 credit hours of coursework
  3. Comprehensive Examination option - 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written examination

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

All options require students to complete the following:

MSCPE Options

All students enrolled in MSCPE must meet the Graduate School’s general requirements for a master’s degree at UNC Charlotte. Students must meet with their advisor to formulate a plan of study and get the committee’s approval.  The plan of study must be submitted after completing at least 9 but no more than 18 credit hours.

In addition, students should note the following requirements based on their selected option:

Thesis Option

Students opting for the thesis option must take 9 credit hours of ECGR 6991  and 21 credit hours of coursework. A committee of three graduate faculty members must approve the final written thesis and oral defense.

Non-Thesis Project Option

Students opting for the non-thesis project option must take 3 credit hours of ECGR 6890  and 27 credit hours of coursework.  A committee of three graduate faculty members must approve the final oral defense and a written project report.

Non-Thesis Comprehensive Examination Option

Students who elect the non-thesis comprehensive examination option must complete 30 credit hours of approved coursework and pass the written comprehensive examination that is administered by the department.  Students have two chances to successfully pass the comprehensive examination.

Degree Total = 30 Credit Hours

Grade Requirements

A graduate student must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on the plan of study.  Courses graded as C must be offset by an equal number of graduate level credits graded as A.