The Graduate Computer Engineering Program


M.S. Project Requirements

Course Requirements

The M.S. program requires 30 total semester hours of graduate coursework.  The project option consists of coursework along with an independent/special study on a project topic.  A project report must be submitted to the independent/special study advisor. A minimum of 3 hours and maximum of 6 hours of Independent/Special Studies (CS/ECE 6950) are allowed.

There are two required courses:

  • CS/ECE 6810 – Computer Architecture
  • CS/ECE 6710 – Digital VLSI Design

In addition, from the following restricted elective list, three courses must be taken by students doing the project option. Courses selected should be in an area of specialization selected by the student.

  • CS 6110 – Formal Methods in System Design
  • CS 6150 – Advanced Algorithms
  • CS 6235 – Parallel Programming for Many Cores
  • CS 6460 – Operating Systems
  • CS 6470 – Compiler Principles and Techniques
  • CS 6475 – Advanced Compilers
  • CS 6480 – Advanced Computer Networks
  • CS 7460 – Distributed Operating Systems
  • ECE 5325 – Wireless Communication Systems
  • ECE 5520 – Digital Communication Systems
  • ECE 6530 – Digital Signal Processing
  • ECE 6531 – Advanced Digital Signal Processing
  • ECE 6580 – Implementation of Digital Signal Processing Systems
  • CS/ECE 6720 – Analog Integrated Circuit Design
  • CS/ECE 6740 – Computer-Aided Design of Digital Circuits
  • CS/ECE 6745 – Testing and Verification of Digital Circuits
  • CS/ECE 6750 – Synthesis and Verification of Async. VLSI Systems
  • CS/ECE 6770 – Advanced Digital VLSI Systems Design
  • CS/ECE 6780 – Embedded System Design
  • CS/ECE 6785 – Advanced Embedded Software
  • CS/ECE 6830 – VLSI Architecture
  • CS/ECE 7810 – Advanced Architecture
  • CS/ECE 7820 – Parallel Architecture

Additional courses on the program of study must be approved by the student’s committee.

At least 24 hours of the 30 M.S. course and thesis hours must be in resident study at the University of Utah. A full time student working on an M.S. program is expected to complete the degree requirements within two calendar years. The Graduate School limits M.S. programs to four years.

Coursework Criteria
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on coursework listed on the program of study with no grade lower than C- is required for graduation.
  • The coursework to be taken must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee.
  • Courses taken as part of an undergraduate degree program may not be counted towards a graduate degree.
  • A course taken for 5000-level credit cannot be taken again for 6000-level credit.
  • A student that has taken one of the required courses during their BS degree at either the 5000 or 6000-level must take an additional restricted elective in its place.
  • Where a course has both a 5000- and 6000-level number, the 5000-level version is intended for undergraduates and the 6000-level version for honors and graduate students. The two versions of the class will meet together, but extra work will be expected of honors and graduate students.
  • Allied courses offered by the Math, Science or Engineering Departments that are 5000 level or higher may be approved on a program of study.
  • At most 2 credits of seminar hours can appear on a Program of Study (i.e, ECE 6900, 6910, 7900, 7910, CS 6930-6944, CS 7930-7944).
Supervisory Committee

Each CE graduate student must form a supervisory committee whose members approve the student’s program of study and guides the student’s research program for degrees with a thesis. An M.S. committee consists of three members. The majority of the committee must consist of CE faculty from either ECE or SoC. The committee should be formed by the end of the second semester of enrollment in the graduate program, although a committee may be revised later by petition to the CE committee.

Any ECE or SoC regular faculty member may serve as a supervisory committee chair. Auxiliary faculty may chair supervisory committees if accorded that privilege by the regular faculty and the Dean of the Graduate School. Individuals who are not faculty members may serve on supervisory committees if nominated by the regular faculty on the committee, and endorsed by the CE Committee. The Dean of the Graduate School must grant final approval of all supervisory committees.

The supervisory committee is required to monitor the student’s progress. The student is subject to removal from the program if a student’s supervisory committee finds that the student is not making satisfactory progress.

Program of Study

After consulting with the approved supervisory committee chair, the student must complete a Program of Study that satisfies all the course requirements for the degree being pursued. Approval signatures of the supervisory committee members are to be obtained by the student. Completed and signed forms must be submitted to the CE advisor by the end of the second semester of study. After approval of the CE committee, the program of study is submitted to the Graduate School for their approval. The program of study must be filed prior to taking the comprehensive examination (thesis proposal).

Final Exam

For students in the project option, they must present their project orally in a public forum such as ECE’s Technical Open House.

Safety and Wellness

Your safety is our top priority. In an emergency, dial 911 or seek a nearby emergency phone (throughout campus). Report any crimes or suspicious people to 801-585-COPS; this number will get you to a dispatch officer at the University of Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS; If at any time, you would like to be escorted by a security officer to or from areas on campus, DPS will help — just give a call.

The University of Utah seeks to provide a safe and healthy experience for students, employees, and others who make use of campus facilities. In support for this goal, the University has established confidential resources and support services to assist students who may have been affected by harassment, abusive relationships, or sexual misconduct. A detailed listing of University Resources for campus safety can be found at

Your well-being is key to your personal safety. If you are in crisis, call 801-587-3000; help is close.  The university has additional excellent resources to promote emotional and physical wellness, including the following:

You may also call the ECE department at 801-581-6941 if you need help or have questions.