Feb 28, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
    
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024

Electrical Engineering, M.S.E.E.


The M.S. in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) program provides students with advanced knowledge on the theory and applications of electrical systems and signal processing.  The program spans across the broad areas of communications, controls, and signal processing; electronic and electromagnetic devices; and power and energy systems.  Sub-specialties include metamaterials, antennas, photonics, wireless communications and networking, robotics and dynamical systems, image processing and computer vision, machine learning, power generation and delivery, renewable energy, and power electronics.

Admission Requirements


In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks the following from applicants to the Master’s programs in Electrical Engineering:

Applicants should have baccalaureate degrees in electrical and/or computer engineering with a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0.  Applicants with baccalaureate degrees in fields closely related to electrical and computer engineering (e.g., electronics, computer science, mathematics, physics, etc.) may also be considered.  However, satisfactory evidence on the aptitude to pursue graduate studies in electrical and computer engineering must be demonstrated.  If additional preparatory courses are required, such courses should be taken before applying for the MSEE.

Applicants must have also satisfactory scores in the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test.  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 undergraduates with a minimum GPA of 3.25
  • Currently enrolled UNC Charlotte undergraduate students eligible for the MSEE Early Entry Program with a minimum GPA of 3.25

Admission is based on the overall background, motivation, and potential, as determined by the department.

Early Entry Program

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may apply for the Early Entry Program and begin work toward the graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for details and requirements.  Also see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of the Graduate Catalog for more information about Early Entry Programs.

Degree Requirements


The MSEE degree requires successful completion of 30 graduate credit hours as approved by the student’s graduate advisor.  This can be done with one of three options:

  1. Thesis option - the student completes 9 credit hours of thesis (ECGR 6991 ) and 21 credit hours of coursework
  2. Project option - the student completes 3 credit hours of individual study and projects (ECGR 6890 ) and 27 credit hours of coursework
  3. Comprehensive Examinations option - the student completes 30 credit hours of coursework and pass a comprehensive written examination

The 30 credit hours must be completed in accordance with the following criteria: a) Technical Area of Focus (at least 9 credit hours) and b) Breadth of Knowledge (at least 6 credit hours). The remaining credit hours can be completed using thesis, project, and/or coursework. 

All students must also meet the Advanced Knowledge criteria that requires at least 12 credit hours to be at the 6000-level or above, with at least 3 credit hours at the 6000-level or above in the chosen Technical Area of Focus.  No more than 6 credit hours may be in Individual Study.  No more than 6 credit hours may be from courses outside the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, unless approved by the student’s graduate advisor.  

Technical Area of Focus (9 credit hours)


Select three courses from a single technical area of focus. Special topic courses (ECGR 6090  or ECGR 8090 ) may also be counted towards this requirement, as approved by the student’s graduate advisor.

Breadth of Knowledge Requirement (6 credit hours)


Select courses from at least two technical areas listed above other than the chosen technical area of focus. Courses in the M.S. in Computer Engineering  can also be taken to fulfill the breadth of knowledge requirement.

Advanced Knowledge Requirement (12 credit hours)


At least 12 credit hours must be taken at the 6000-level or above. At least 3 credit hours at the 6000-level or above should be in the student’s chosen Technical Area of Focus.

Thesis, Project, and Comprehensive Examination Options


Select one of the following options to complete the degree requirements:

Thesis Option


In the Thesis Option, students must complete 9 credit hours of thesis research.  

  1. Plan of Study - 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.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of approved graduate credits in major or related area of study including 9 credit hours of thesis
  3. Admission to Candidacy
  4. Thesis Defense - a copy of the thesis should be distributed to each member of the program committee at least two weeks prior to the defense.  Students should make a public announcement of the defense within the department to allow attendance by interested faculty members and students of electrical and computer engineering.

For the thesis option, students must select a program committee that is composed of at least 3 members of the graduate faculty, the majority of whom must be members of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The graduate program advisor generally serves as the chairman of the committee. 

Non-Thesis/Project Option


In this option, students may complete the requirements of the Master’s degree under the Non-Thesis/Project Option by taking 30 credit hours of coursework only, or by taking 27 credit hours of coursework along with 3 credits of individualized project work.

  1. Plan of Study - 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.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of approved graduate credits.  At least 24 credit hours of courses must be in the ECE department.
  3. A student must take three credits of individualized project (ECGR 6890 ) that will require a written report and an oral presentation.
  4. Admission to Candidacy
  5. Students must pass an oral exam during the presentation of the project that is administered by the program advisory committee.

For the non-thesis/project option, the student’s advisor alone plays the roles of the program committee (i.e., no other members are required).

Comprehensive Examination Option


  1. Plan of Study - 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.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of approved graduate coursework.  At least 21 credit hours of courses must be in the ECE department.
  3. Admission to Candidacy
  4. Students must pass a written comprehensive that is administered by the department.  Students receive two chances to successfully pass the comprehensive examinations.

Optional Concentration in Power and Energy Systems


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an optional Concentration in Power and Energy Systems for the MSEE degree, which requires taking a set of core and elective courses from the Power Systems, the Power Electronics and Machines, and the Controls and Robotics technical areas of focus.  Students who elect to pursue the Concentration in Power and Energy Systems towards their MSEE degree primarily take coursework in modern power and energy systems, devices modeling, analysis, protection and control.  This concentration prepares students for jobs with power utilities, power and energy devices manufacturing companies, national and regional laboratories, or for continued academic training in power and energy fields.  The concentration is reflected in the student’s transcript upon successful completion of the MSEE program.  Students interested in earning their MSEE degree with the concentration must indicate their interest in this option in their Plan of Study that must be submitted within their second semester into the MSEE program.  The MSEE degree can also be earned without specifying a concentration, where the student has greater flexibility in selecting their courses.

In order to earn a MSEE degree with a Concentration in Power and Energy Systems, students must take:

  • Technical Area of Focus - four core courses from one of the following technical areas of focus: (a) Power Systems, or (b) Power Electronics and Machines.
  • Breadth of Knowledge - a minimum of three elective courses from the following technical areas of focus: (a) Power Systems, (b) Power Electronics and Machines, and (c) Controls and Robotics. Two of these elective courses must be from each of the two technical areas other than the primary. The third can be from any of the three technical areas of focus.
  • The remaining credit hours can be thesis, project, and/or additional coursework.
Note:

Students who opt to take the Power Systems Technical Area of Focus of the Concentration in Power and Energy Systems are expected to have taken the following courses or their equivalents before entering the Master’s program: ECGR 4141, ECGR 4143, and ECGR 4144. If a student has not taken these courses or their equivalents, the student must take their graduate equivalents as elective courses for the graduate concentration or obtain permission from their advisor.

Note:

Students who opt to take the Power Electronics and Machines Technical Area of Focus of the Concentration in Power and Energy Systems are required to have taken ECGR 4141 or its equivalent before entering the Master’s program.  If a student has not taken this course or its equivalent, the student must take its graduate equivalent as an elective course for the graduate concentration or obtain permission from their advisor.

Degree Total = 30 Credit Hours


Application for Degree


Students preparing to graduate must submit an online Application for Degree by the filing date specified in the University Academic Calendar.  If a student does not graduate in the semester identified on the Application for Degree, then the student must update their Admission to Candidacy and submit a new Application for Degree for graduation in a subsequent semester.