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Curriculum - Graduate Degree MS

Graduate program chair: Dr. Dhireesha Kudithipudi

Program overview

The Computer Engineering graduate program at RIT offers outstanding and cutting-edge research experience to all our graduate students, which paves a path for several career opportunities. Currently our graduate program boasts a 99.99% placement rate for our alumni and supports diverse co-op opportunities. Our alumni attribute this success to engaging research projects and a curriculum that challenges them to excel. The KGCOE Graduate Student handbook is available to help new students navigate the resources to help them succeed at RIT. 


The master of science degree in computer engineering provides students with a highly specialized knowledge in computer engineering, strengthening their ability to successfully formulate solutions to current technical problems, and offering a significant independent learning experience in preparation for further graduate study or for continuing professional development at the leading edge of the discipline. The program accommodates applicants with undergraduate degrees in computer engineering or related programs such as electrical engineering or computer science. Some additional bridge courses may be required for applicants from undergraduate degrees outside of computer engineering.

The degree requires 30 semester credit hours and includes Analytical Topics (CMPE-610), two flexible core courses, four graduate electives, two semesters of graduate seminar, and options to conduct Thesis Research or Graduate Project. The core courses and graduate electives provide breadth and depth of knowledge to the students. The Computer Engineering Graduate Seminar (CMPE-795) provides students with exposure to a variety of topics presented by researchers from within RIT, industry, and other universities, and guides students to choose the culminating experience in either Thesis Research or Graduate Project.

Thesis Research: Independent investigation of a research problem that contributes to the state of the art.

Students who pursue the Thesis option will take nine semester credit hours of thesis research to answer a fundamental science/engineering question that contributes to new knowledge in the field. Students are expected to formulate the problem under a faculty advisor’s guidance and conduct extensive quantitative or qualitative analyses with sound methodology. The student’s thesis committee must have at least three and no more than four faculty members, including the primary thesis advisor. Two of the committee members must be Computer Engineering faculty. The findings through thesis research should be repeatable and generalizable, with sufficient quality to make them publishable in technical conferences and/or journals.

Semester MS Thesis Checklist

Graduate Project: Scholarly undertaking that addresses a current technical problem with tangible outcomes.

Students who pursue the Project option will take six semester credits of Project Focus Graduate Electives and three semester credits of Graduate Project, to obtain specialized education through additional courses and conduct a professionally executed project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The project generally addresses an immediate and practical problem, a scholarly undertaking that can have tangible outcomes. Typical projects may implement, test and evaluate a software and/or hardware system, conduct a comprehensive literature review with comparative study, etc. The students are expected to give a presentation or demonstration of the final deliverables of the project.

CMPE-610 Analytical Topics is required.  Two courses are chosen from the following flexible graduate core course list with faculty advisor’s guidance.

Semester MS Project Checklist

Flexible Graduate Core:

  • CMPE-630 Digital Integrated Circuit Design
  • CMPE-655 Multiple Processor Systems
  • CMPE-660 Reconfigurable Computing
  • CMPE-670 Data and Communication Networks
  • CMPE-685 Computer Vision

The Graduate electives shall be selected among the available research tracks. Students are encouraged to choose most of their Graduate electives within a single track, by consulting with their advisor. Each student must take a minimum of two electives from the Department of Computer Engineering. For Graduate level Math courses as electives, students may choose from the following:

  • ISEE-601 Systems Modeling and Optimization
  • ISEE-701 Linear Programming
  • ISEE-702 Integer and Nonlinear Programming
  • MATH-603 Optimization Theory
  • MATH-605 Stochastic Processes
  • MATH-611 Numerical Analysis
  • MATH-651 Combinatorics and Graph Theory I



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