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MS Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Graduate Study

Advanced education is the best way to keep up with advanced technology. That's why a master's degree is such a valuable advantage to an engineer's career. It's also why RIT offers a full range of graduate programs in engineering. RIT's Department of Electrical Engineering offers experienced faculty and excellent facilities.

The Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering encourages practicing engineers in the greater Rochester and Buffalo industrial community to pursue the Master of Science degree. Since many of the courses in the graduate programs in engineering are scheduled in the late afternoons or early evenings, the master's program can be pursued without interruption of the student's existing employment commitments.

Students employed full-time in industry can register for two courses or six credits each semester. A student who wishes to register for more than six credits while employed full-time in industry must obtain the permission of his or her advisor and the approval of the department head. It is possible for a student to obtain the MS degree in two academic years (or four academic semesters) by taking courses in late afternoons or early evening only.

Admission Requirements

Admission into the graduate studies leading to an MS degree in electrical engineering requires a BSEE degree from an accredited program. An applicant with a strong undergraduate record and a Bachelor of Science degree in another branch of engineering (mechanical, computer, industrial, etc) will also be considered for admission. In this case the student must complete a certain number of undergraduate courses in order to bridge over to electrical engineering. Additional information in this regard is available from the department.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Science degree in electrical engineering is awarded upon the successful completion of an approved graduate program consisting of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Under certain circumstances a student chooses or is required to complete more than the minimum number of credits.

Focus Areas

Within electrical engineering, a student can specialize in six separate areas for the MS degree. These areas are:

  • Control Systems
  • Communications
  • Digital Systems
  • Integrated Electronics
  • Signal & Image Processing
  • MEMS

The boundaries between some of the areas are not as sharp or pronounced as they were in the past. Therefore, students are urged to discuss the significance of their choices with graduate advisors in the department.

Plan of Study

Every matriculated student must arrange to have a plan of study prepared in consultation with the student's advisor at the beginning of the program.


The following general rules apply to all students:

  1. All students seeking the MSEE degree must satisfactorily complete the core course EEEE-603 Matrix Methods in Electrical Engineering. Students will be expected to take the required core courses immediately after entering the program since these courses are prerequisites for many of the other graduate courses.
  2. Those students who have selected the focus areas in Control Systems, Communications, and Signal & Image Processing must also take EEEE-602 Random Signals and Noise. Students who want to develop a minor in any of the above areas are also encouraged to take Random Signals and Noise.
  3. Each student must take four courses from the EE department in their chosen focus area. The student is expected to perform the research need for graduate paper or thesis in the same area.
  4. Each student must take three courses from a related area within the EE department.
  5. All course selections must be approved by one of the graduate advisers. All courses must be 600-level.
  6. All students must satisfy a research component by one of the following activities:
  7. All the graduate work must be completed within a seven-year period staring from the first course applied towards the MSEE degree. Also, a student who is pursuing thesis/graduate paper options may be required to register for a continuation of thesis credits if he or she is not enrolled for any credits in a given semester. For complete details, please consult the Continuation of Thesis Credit requirements discussed in the beginning section of the RIT Graduate Bulletin.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 6 credit hours can be earned from courses available from other departments within RIT with the prior approval of the faculty/department advisor. For students transferring credits from other universities the total number of credits transferred from outside the Electrical Engineering Department from all sources may not exceed eight.

Graduate Student Advising

All new students will be assigned a graduate adviser. The student generates a plan of study in consultation with his or her faculty adviser. That faculty member will continue to be the student's adviser until a research topic has been chosen. From that time, the thesis/paper adviser assumes the role of academic adviser as well.