Program Overview

The degree is completed at 30 credits (approx. 10 courses). Classes lasts one semester, and full-time students taking 9 or more credit hours per semester can complete the program in less than 2 years.

As students complete assignments on a weekly basis they will have opportunities to participate in virtual faculty office hours.

The online curriculum includes no requirement to visit the physical campus, though all online graduates are invited to attend in-person commencement exercises as they choose.

Our Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering has two pathsto choose from to match a student’s educational and professional goals


The coursework option is the default and does not contain additional research or writing outside of what is required from their courses. This track is ideal for students who prefer the regular schedule of coursework and are pursuing a Master’s degree for the advantage of enrolling in additional upper-level coursework to broaden their knowledge base.


The project option can be used to fulfill up to 6 of the 30 credits required for the degree through an individualized learning experience.  This track is ideal for students who want to perform an in-depth research project with faculty or apply current industry experience towards their degree.

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Course Types

Building next-generation engineering skills means providing course options that explore innovation in the virtual learning environment. The University of Utah offers online courses that are taught in two different formats.

– Online (Section 090) – A class facilitated online, primarily through Canvas, with greater than 80 percent of the required learning activities taking place digitally when a student chooses. An online class does not have required locations or meeting times; although, regular, substantive instructor-student interactions are an expected part of the teaching and learning process.

– Interactive Video Classes (IVC) – A fully digital class that uses same-time delivery using web video technology. The class has a scheduled meeting time. Canvas serves as the class location and includes learning materials and links to join the class video meetings. Most ECE courses are offered with this option, although which courses have an IVC option and when they are taught is at the discretion of the instructor. Most IVC courses are also recorded via Zoom, which allows students to view the class time asynchronously. Discuss with the professor teaching each course if it is a good option for you and your schedule.

Please be aware that tuition and fees will vary significantly based on the course format.

Program Requirements

This schedule summarizes the requirements and due dates for the MS Degree – Coursework Option. Students who have not completed requirements or submitted required forms to the Graduate Coordinator by the due dates may be dropped from the program. Students should graduate in the semester in which 32 hours of coursework are completed. All students who are on visas must be registered for at least 9 credit hours of coursework in every semester (excluding summer), including their final semester, unless they receive permission from the Department Graduate Committee prior to the beginning of the semester.


Requirement Process Due Date
Supervisory Committee 3 members

The chair of the committee must be a regular ECE faculty member

The chair is chosen by the student; the two remaining members are assigned by the department.

Submit a Request for Supervisory Committee Form.

To amend, resubmit form.

Full time: drop deadline of second semester of study

Part time*: drop deadline of third semester of study

*Please note that international students must be full-time students.

Candidacy (Program of Study) 32 semester hours of coursework beyond B.S. degree in ECE including:

  • 2 hours of Graduate Seminar
  • At least 18 hours of ECE coursework must be at the 6000- or 7000-level classes
Submit a Program of Study Form

In preparation to submit a Program of Study form, it is recommended that students use it is recommended that students use the MS Electrical Engineering checklist and/or meet with the Graduate Coordinator.

Full time: drop deadline of second semester of study

Part time*: drop deadline of third semester of study

Changes must be made before an added class is taken; classes cannot be dropped after they have been completed

Proficiency Requirement Yes, students with a non-EE/ECE B.S. degree must complete additional steps to satisfy the ECE proficiency requirements Submit Fulfillment of Proficiency Requirements Form Full time: drop deadline of third semester of study

Part time*: drop deadline of fourth semester of study

Residency Requirement At least 24 hours must be in resident study
Final Exam The department has an approved list of 6000-7000 level courses that incorporate either an oral presentation or a written report as a required component of the class. The combination of the report and the presentation serves as the final exam. Submit the Final Exam Course Designation Form

Program of Study

A student must complete and submit the Program of Study Form by the end of the second semester of study. After it is approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies it will be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. Modifications to the Program of Study may be made by submitting an Amendment to Program of Study Form for approval prior to registering for added courses with the supervisory committee and obtaining required approval before enrollment in any added courses. Completed courses cannot be removed from the program of study. Credit towards obtaining a degree will not be granted for classes taken prior to approval of the form, unless the student is changing degree status. In preparation to submit a Program of Study form, it is recommended that students meet with the Graduate Coordinator to review the following requirements and criteria:


All coursework is to be completed within 4 consecutive calendar years. The Program of Study must include a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework including:

    • A minimum of 18 hours of ECE courses must be at the 6000 or 7000 level**
    • Up to 12 credit hours of 5000-7000 level allied courses will be accepted (MST, CS, MATH, PHYSICS, or any Engineering)
    • Final Exam Requirement:
      • Coursework Option: B+ grade or higher in a department approved course
      • Project Option: Completion of ECE 6950 project requirements

Additional 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. Courses cannot be removed from the Program of Study after they are taken. If a student receives a grade lower than C- in a course listed on the Program of Study they must repeat that same course and receive a higher grade.
    • Students who receive an “Incomplete” grade in a class must complete the class by the following semester, even if it is the summer semester.
    • Coursework cannot be used for more than one degree on the same level.
    • Cross-listed courses must be registered through the ECE course numbers.
    • A course taken for 5000-level credit cannot be taken again for 6000-level credit.
      • 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.



A student’s supervisory committee will guide the student’s graduate program and must be selected by the beginning of the second semester of study. If a student does not choose a committee, they will be placed with the default supervisory committee. The MS supervisory committee consists of three members – at least two of the committee members must be tenure-line ECE faculty members.

A student must form their committee by the beginning of their second semester of study by completing the Request for Supervisory Committee Form. A committee may be revised, if necessary, by submitting an Amendment to Supervisory Committee Form.

Committee Member Criteria

A student’s MS faculty advisor is the committee chair. The chair* and majority of the committee (2 out of 3 committee members) need to be:

  1. University of Utah Faculty
  2. Electrical and Computer Engineering (as Academic Home Department)
  3. Tenure-Line

A list of faculty and their classifications can be verified on the OBIA Faculty Information page. If a committee member does not meet all three of these requirements, they are considered an Outside Committee Member. A MS Supervisory Committee is permitted to have one Outside Committee Member. If the Outside Committee Member is not University of Utah faculty, the student must request and submit their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Justification Letter for approval by the Graduate Committee. For more information, read Rules for Outside Member Necessities.

Any exceptions to these criteria must be submitted as a petition and are not guaranteed approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

*Tenure-line faculty outside of the ECE Department may supervise a student, but the student must have a tenure-line ECE faculty member serve as co-chair.

Coursework Option

The department has an approved list of 6000-7000 level courses that incorporate either an oral presentation or a written report as a required component of the class. Students will select which course to use to fulfill this requirement with the Final Exam Course Designation Form.  Once completed, the Supervisory Committee and Director of Graduate Studies must approve it to signify that the student has passed the final exam.

Project Option

  • 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.

*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.

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