Oct 28, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Master of Science in Engineering - Electrical Engineering


Plan Description


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNLV offers a number of program degree options leading to the Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) - Electrical Engineering. Specific areas of study that are currently available include Communications, Computer Engineering, Control System Theory, Electromagnetics and Optics, Electronics, Power Systems, Signal Processing, and Solid State Materials and Devices. The following degree options are available: M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering with thesis option, M.S.E. – Electrical Engineering with course only option, M.S.E. – Electrical Engineering Integrated BS-MS track option, and M.S.E. – Electrical Engineering dual degree option. The M.S.E. – Electrical Engineering thesis option culminates with a thesis which prepares the student for a Ph.D. experience if higher education is desired. The course only option is a final advanced professional degree option culminating with a comprehensive exam that must be passed in the student’s specialty area. The Integrated BS-MS track option is for UNLV graduates who excel in their ECE UNLV undergraduate programs wanting to attain a M.S.E. or Ph.D. degree at UNLV in ECE with the thesis option. The dual degree program allows the student to complete a M.S.E. – Electrical Engineering degree and a Masters of Science in Mathematics degree jointly [Refer to Dual Degree: Master of Science in Engineering – Electrical Engineering and Master of Science – Mathematical Sciences].

For more information about your program including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


 

Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Applications are considered on an individual basis. Candidates can be admitted on a regular (full graduate standing) or provisional status. Qualified applicants who are not admitted on either status can take graduate courses as a non-degree seeking graduate student. Up to 15 UNLV credits taken as a non-degree seeking graduate student at UNLV can be applied towards an M.S.E. degree. Potentially, six graduate credits taken at another regionally accredited university [Graduate College Policy] may be transferred into the M.S.E. degree program at UNLV. At most, only 15 credits of a combination of non-UNLV course credits and ECE UNLV course credits taken as a non-seeking graduate student may be applied to the M.S.E. program. Courses with a grade less than B (3.0) cannot be applied to the M.S.E. program. Further, the courses must not have been or will be applied to different degree program. Note that informal course credits will not be transferred into a M.S.E. degree program. Informal courses such as Graduate Independent Study and seminar taken as a non-degree seeking student cannot be applied towards an M.S.E. degree. Non-degree seeking students can count Electrical & Computer Engineering Graduate Special Topics towards the program degree as long as they adhere to the conditions of the particular program option regarding informal course credits.

To be considered for admission to the M.S.E. program, an applicant must:

  1. Have a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering or a closely related discipline.
    1. Applicants who possess a bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline, such as physics or mathematics, may be admitted on conditional and/or provisional status. These students will be required to complete certain undergraduate and/or graduate courses before they can attain regular status. The graduate committee determines these courses on an individual basis.
    2. Graduates with degrees in engineering technology ordinarily have an inadequate background to be admitted to the graduate program.
  2. Have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (A=4.00) for their bachelor’s degree. Applicants who have an overall GPA below 3.00 must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores {scaled score and percentile score in quantitative, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing} to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. These applicants may be admitted subject to the discretion and possible further requirements of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee. Applicants who want to be considered for an assistantship, or who feel that their GRE scores will enhance their chances for admission, are strongly encouraged to submit GRE scores.
  3. Submit GRE scaled and percentile scores in quantitative, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering if the applicant did not obtain his bachelor’s degree from an ABET accredited institution, if the applicant is interested in a teaching assistantship, or if the applicant received a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering more than five years prior to the first day of the first semester of the degree program applied for. Interpretation of the scores is at the discretion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee. (An applicant possessing a bachelor’s degree from an ABET accredited institution within the past five years is not required to submit GRE scores.)
  4. Submit a completed application prior to the department’s admission deadline.
    1. Completed online application.
    2. Submit official transcripts of all college-level work to the Graduate College.
    3. Submit an additional set of transcripts of all college-level work directly to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
    4. Submit a one page written statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s research interests, motivations, and objectives.
      1. In the statement of purpose, the applicant must explicitly identify his/her areas of interest from the following list of areas offered at UNLV in the ECE Department: Communications, Computer Engineering, Control Systems, Electromagnetics and Optics, Electronics, Power Systems, Signal Processing, and Solid State Materials and Devices (which includes Nanotechnology).
      2. Applicants are required to account for all time beyond the Bachelor degree indicating how they have developed professionally.
      3. Applicants transferring from other graduate programs must justify why they are leaving that program to join our program.
      4. Applicants receiving grades less than B in a graduate course elsewhere may not be admitted to the graduate program without a well-justified explanation. Poor performance in course work in the program that the student is transferring from may be a cause for denial of admission. It will be the graduate committee’s discretion whether to allow or deny admission.
    5. Submit three dated letters of recommendation concerning the applicant’s potential for succeeding in the graduate program. If the applicant has attended a university or is currently enrolled in a program beyond the bachelor degree, then the letters of recommendation should be solicited from that university or program. If the applicant has been out of school for an extended period of time, then letters should be solicited from the professional community that can comment on the applicant’s technical background and/or from the applicant’s most recent academic institution. Letters of recommendation written beyond a six-month period prior to applying for admission to our graduate program will not be accepted. Strong letters of recommendation illustrate technical talent and professional accomplishments beyond the grade point average or course grade. The graduate committee is interested in the applicant’s technical, conceptual, verbal, ethical, and social skills. The graduate committee is interested in the applicant’s ability to perform research with evidence to substantiate claims made. Note that letters from professors that casually know the applicant will not help in the admission process.
    6. Application deadlines are February 1st for admission in the fall of the same year and October 1st for admission in the spring of the subsequent year.
  5. Before international applicants can be considered for admission, the Graduate College requires that all international applicants take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and obtain a minimum score of 550 or 85 on the Michigan Test. Students whose first language is not English may be required to take and pass the English as a Second Language Placement Test upon arrival at UNLV. If necessary, they will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at UNLV.
  6. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements. 

The Integrated BS-MS Track program allows select UNLV undergraduates to pursue the Electrical Engineering M.S.E. degree at UNLV. The program provides an opportunity for those undergraduates who have taken either 9, 6, or 3 graduate-level electrical and computer engineering course credits applied toward their undergraduate electrical/computer engineering degrees, to complete the respectively corresponding M.S. in Engineering with a total of either 21, 24, or 27 as opposed to the 30 credits required for Thesis Track. Students admitted to the Integrated BS-MS Track program are required to write a thesis.

To be considered for admission to the Integrated BS-MS Track, an applicant must:

  1. Have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 (A = 4.00) for their B.S. degree in electrical engineering or computer engineering at UNLV.
  2. Have completed up to a maximum of 9 credits of formal Graduate College curriculum approved 600/700 level courses (which excludes informal courses such as Graduate Independent Study, Graduate Seminar, and Special Topics) which were applied towards the student’s B.S. degree. Each graduate level course must have been completed with a minimum grade of B (3.0).

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Comprehensive Exam Track


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Core Courses – Credits: 9


Complete a minimum of 3 credits in at least three of the following areas:

Additional Core Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700-level additional core courses from the core courses in any of the areas listed above.

Elective Courses – Credits 9


Complete a minimum of 9 credits of 600- or 700-level MAT, PHY, AST, CEE, CEM, ECG, EGG, CS, ME, or other advisor-approved courses.

Degree Requirements


  1. Students must satisfy the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering degree program admission requirements and be admitted to the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering program with regular full graduate standing status, having met all conditions and provisions.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of graduate level courses with an overall minimum GPA of 3.00 (B), a minimum GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (B-) in each class applied towards the 30 credits. Grades below B- are not counted towards the M.S.E. degree and must be repeated or replaced.
  3. Students who do not maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 (B), a GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, or who earn more than one grade below B- will either be placed on probation or expelled from the program. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee and/or the Graduate College will determine the terms of the student’s probation in accordance with the rules of the Graduate College.
  4. At the time of admission or no later than the first semester, the candidate must formally petition BOTH the graduate college and the ECE graduate committee to accept transfer credits and credits taken as a non-degree seeking graduate student to be applied to the M.S.E. program.
  5.  Students must select a faculty advisor in their first semester.
  6. A minimum of 21 credits must be in core electrical engineering 700-level courses excluding informal courses (such as Independent Study, Graduate Seminar, and Special Topics).
  7. No more than 3 credits may be from Independent Study (which cumulatively includes Graduate Seminar) and no more than a total of 6 credits of the combination of Independent Study, Graduate Seminar, and Graduate Special Topics may be applied towards the M.S.E. degree program.
  8. Pass a comprehensive exam on graduate level coursework in the student’s specialty area.
    1. The exam may be taken in the last two semesters of the student’s M.S.E. program.
    2. The student may not take the exam until all course work pertaining to the exam is completed. For clarity, students enrolled in courses pertaining to the comprehensive exam cannot take the comprehensive exam. Within the six year limit, the exam may be repeated until passed but cannot be taken more than once per semester. Prior to the end of the first week of classes in the student’s last two semesters, the student must announce to the ECE Graduate Coordinator his/her intention of taking the exam, the major field to be examined, and at least two courses taken in that field.
  9. The Comprehensive Exam Track is a final advanced professional degree option in that students who complete this track will not be considered for admission into any of the department’s Ph.D. program options.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must pass a final comprehensive exam.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Thesis Track


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Core Courses – Credits: 9


Complete a minimum of 3 credits in at least three of the following areas:

Additional Core Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits of additional core courses from the core courses in any of the areas listed above.

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete a minimum of 6 credits of 600- or 700-level MAT, PHY, AST, CEE, CEM, ECG, EGG, CS, ME, or other advisor-approved courses.

Degree Requirements


  1. Students must satisfy the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering degree program admission requirements and be admitted to the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering program with regular full graduate standing status, having met all conditions and provisions.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of graduate level courses with an overall minimum GPA of 3.00 (B), a minimum GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (B-) in each class applied towards the 30 credits. Grades below B- are not counted towards the M.S.E. degree and must be repeated or replaced.
  3. Students who do not maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 (B), a GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, or who earn more than one grade below B- will either be placed on probation or expelled from the program. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee and/or the Graduate College will determine the terms of the student’s probation in accordance with the rules of the Graduate College.
  4. At the time of admission or no later than the first semester, the MS candidate must formally petition BOTH the graduate college and the ECE graduate committee to accept transfer credits and credits taken as a non-degree seeking graduate student to be applied to the M.S.E. program.
  5. Students must select a faculty advisor in their first semester.
  6. A minimum of 18 credits must be in core (formal) electrical engineering courses, of which 15 credits must be 700-level. This excludes Thesis credits, and informal courses (such as Special Topics, Graduate Seminar, and Independent Study).
  7. No more than 3 credits may be from Independent Study (which cumulatively includes Graduate Seminar) and no more than a total of 6 credits of the combination of Independent Study, Graduate Seminar, and Graduate Special Topics may be applied towards the M.S.E. degree program.
  8. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  9. Students must complete a thesis.
    1. Students must complete at least 6 credits of Thesis which culminates in the successful completion of a thesis oral exam and the submission of an approved thesis. Although Electrical Engineering Thesis can be taken repeatedly, no more than 6 credits can be applied towards the 30 credits required for the M.S.E. degree.
    2. Before beginning a thesis, students must have their thesis topic approved by their advisor, and the necessary paper work must be filed with the Graduate College. The thesis prospectus describes the thesis topic and must include an introductory set of sentences, a well formed hypothesis or hypotheses (specifically italicized in the prospectus) accompanied by a motivation, objectives with major and alternative approaches to the studies, and conjectures of possible outcomes. Students are NOT allowed to take thesis credits until their thesis prospectus is approved. Credits taken before the approval date will NOT count towards the degree program.
    3. The student must complete a thesis containing original research and publically defend it before his/her advisory committee at the Thesis Exam.
    4. Prior to the student’s defense of the thesis before his/her advisory committee, the student must submit a complete copy of the thesis to each member of his/her advisory committee. This submission must occur at least two weeks prior to the date of the oral defense. The student must also notify each member of his/her advisory committee of the date, time and location of the oral defense of the thesis or project at least two weeks in advance.
    5. Students who plan to continue their studies beyond the M.S.E. degree program are strongly encouraged to select this option.
  10. A full graduate standing master’s degree candidate who is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree may be allowed to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam without penalty during his/her period as an M.S.E. student. The exam may be taken as many times as desired but no more than once a semester at the time the exam is typically offered. The M.S.E. candidate must pass four areas of choice in a single sitting to satisfy the Qualifying Exam requirement. If the student successfully completes the Qualifying Exam requirement while pursuing the M.S.E. degree in Electrical Engineering with a thesis option in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UNLV, the student will have automatically fulfilled the Qualifying Exam requirement upon admission to the Ph.D. program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program at UNLV. Once the student receives an M.S. degree in the field of Electrical Engineering, the student must abide by the requirements outlined in the Ph.D. program. This option is not available to non-degree students.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 3 Requirements: Integrated BS-MS Track


Total Credits Required: 21-27

Course Requirements


Core Courses – Credits: 0-9


Complete a minimum of 0-3 credits in at least three of the following areas:

Additional Core Courses – Credits: 0-9


Complete 0-9 credits of additional core courses from the core courses in any of the areas listed above.

Elective Courses – Credits: 0-6


Complete 0-6 credits of 600- or 700-level MAT, PHY, AST, CEE, CEM, ECG, EGG, CS, ME, or other advisor-approved courses.

Degree Requirements


  1. Students must satisfy the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering degree program admission requirements and be admitted to the M.S.E. - Electrical Engineering program with regular full graduate standing status, having met all conditions and provisions.
  2. Total credits required depends on the total number of approved graduate-level course work taken as technical electives (with a grade of B or better) during the senior year.
  3. Complete a minimum of 21, 24, or 27 credits (including thesis credits) in the Integrated BS-MS track program respectively corresponding to 9, 6, or 3 credits of formally approved graduate level courses applied toward the B.S. degree yielding a total of 30 course credits. The final division of major, minor, and elective credits will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.
  4. Students must complete all courses with an overall minimum GPA of 3.00 (B), a minimum GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (B-) in each class applied towards the 30 credits. Grades below B- are not counted towards the M.S.E. degree and must be repeated or replaced.
  5. Students who do not maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 (B), a GPA of 3.00 (B) each semester, or who earn more than one grade below B- will either be placed on probation or expelled from the program. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Committee and/or the Graduate College will determine the terms of the student’s probation in accordance with the rules of the Graduate College.
  6. At the time of admission or no later than the first semester, the MS candidate must formally petition BOTH the graduate college and the ECE graduate committee to accept transfer credits and credits taken as a non-degree seeking graduate student to be applied to the M.S.E. program.
  7. Students must select a faculty advisor in their first semester.
  8. A minimum of 18 credits must be in core (formal) electrical engineering courses, of which 15 credits must be 700-level. This excludes Thesis credits, and informal courses (such as Special Topics, Graduate Seminar, and Independent Study).
  9. No more than 3 credits may be from Independent Study (which cumulatively includes Graduate Seminar) and no more than a total of 6 credits of the combination of Independent Study, Graduate Seminar, and Graduate Special Topics may be applied towards the M.S.E. degree program.
  10. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  11. Students must complete a thesis.
    1. Students must complete at least 6 credits of Thesis which culminates in the successful completion of a thesis oral exam and the submission of an approved thesis. Although Electrical Engineering Thesis can be taken repeatedly, no more than 6 credits can be applied towards the 30 credits required for the M.S.E. degree.
    2. Before beginning a thesis, students must have their thesis topic approved by their advisor, and the necessary paper work must be filed with the Graduate College. The thesis prospectus describes the thesis topic and must include an introductory set of sentences, a well formed hypothesis or hypotheses (specifically italicized in the prospectus) accompanied by a motivation, objectives with major and alternative approaches to the studies, and conjectures of possible outcomes. Students are NOT allowed to take thesis credits until their thesis prospectus is approved. Credits taken before the approval date will NOT count towards the degree program.
    3. The student must complete a thesis containing original research and publically defend it before his/her advisory committee at the Thesis Exam.
    4. Prior to the student’s defense of the thesis before his/her advisory committee, the student must submit a complete copy of the thesis to each member of his/her advisory committee. This submission must occur at least two weeks prior to the date of the oral defense. The student must also notify each member of his/her advisory committee of the date, time and location of the oral defense of the thesis or project at least two weeks in advance.
    5. Students who plan to continue their studies beyond the M.S.E. degree program are strongly encouraged to select this option.
  12. A full graduate standing master’s degree candidate who is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree may be allowed to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam without penalty during his/her period as an M.S.E. student. The exam may be taken as many times as desired but no more than once a semester at the time the exam is typically offered. The M.S.E. candidate must pass four areas of choice in a single sitting to satisfy the Qualifying Exam requirement. If the student successfully completes the Qualifying Exam requirement while pursuing the M.S.E. degree in Electrical Engineering with a thesis option in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UNLV, the student will have automatically fulfilled the Qualifying Exam requirement upon admission to the Ph.D. program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program at UNLV. Once the student receives an M.S. degree in the field of Electrical Engineering, the student must abide by the requirements outlined in the Ph.D. program. This option is not available to non-degree students.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Plan Graduation Requirements


Refer to your subplan for Graduation Requirements.

Subplan 1: Comprehensive Exam Track
Subplan 2: Thesis Track
Subplan 3: Integrated BS-MS Track