MS Degree Project Option


Students who wish to conduct research are permitted to take up to 6 credits of ECE 6950 - Special Study as part of the MS Project Option degree requirements. This degree option is ideal for students who want to conduct a research project without writing and defending an entire thesis. Students may also choose whether to perform their research on-campus or through an industry project.

On-Campus

This option is ideal for students who want to perform an in-depth research project under the supervision of a University of Utah ECE faculty mentor.  Faculty from Computer Science, Biomedical, and Mechanical Engineering or other applicable allied departments on campus can be a project supervisor, although in that case, the project must also be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee Chair.

Industry

This option is ideal for students who are in industry (work or internship) to use a project from their work as the ECE 6950 project. The project must demonstrate the application of electrical and computer engineering concepts and should be overseen by an engineering mentor from the company and a University of Utah ECE faculty mentor, typically the student’s Supervisory Committee Chair.

Project Requirements

To register for the course, students must:

  1. Find a project supervisor (industry or U of U faculty) and an appropriate project of interest. If the supervisor is not an ECE faculty member, the project must also be approved by the student’s supervisory committee chair.
  2. Fill out the ECE 6950 Special Study Request Form, including a description of the project.
  3. Meet with a Graduate Student Coordinator.

Throughout the semester:

  • Students should expect to spend approximately 3 hours per week for each credit taken, for 15 weeks of the semester.*
  • The student and project supervisor are expected to meet regularly (weekly or biweekly) to discuss the project.

To complete the project:

  • A written report and/or presentation is required as the Final Exam for the project, as defined by the project supervisor**.
  • If the supervisor is not an ECE faculty member, the supervisor should discuss the student’s performance on the project with the student’s supervisory committee chair.
  • When the project is completed, students need to submit the Project Final Exam Form prior to the last day of their final semester.

*Credit hours require approximately 3 clock hours per week, per University Policy.

**Generally, our faculty expects a 10-page report that summarizes the research and project that the student has completed. While a published work is always encouraged, it is not required. An oral presentation can be done in front of a class or a small lab meeting and can be 5-10 minutes so long as it sufficiently shows mastery of the material produced in the project. The project advisor sets the requirements of whether a student must complete a written report and/or oral presentation.