Electrical & Computer Engineering

The ECE Department Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Photonics can each be completed in two years on average and provide students with opportunities to tailor their studies to their own professional goals.

Overall, the Master of Science degrees require completion of 30 credit hours of work which may include 6 credits of thesis work for the M.S. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Computer Engineering degrees. There are core curriculum requirements for graduate students in each M.S. degree program. The purpose of these requirements is to guarantee that all students pursuing graduate studies in the department acquire appropriate breadth of knowledge within their discipline. The remaining credit hours can be used flexibly to build breadth or depth in particular areas of interests.

For M.S. students that select the thesis option, theses must be completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

In addition to satisfying the College requirements described in the College Graduate Student Handbook (PDF), the ECE department requirements for the Master’s degrees offered by the department are described in the following chart:

  M.S./M.Eng/Ph.D. in EE M.S./M.ENG/Ph.D. IN CE M.S. in Photonics

Select 3 of the following:

  • ECE 401- Advanced Computer Architecture
  • ECE 402-Advanced Electromagnetics
  • ECE 420-Advanced Circuits & Systems
  • ECE 451-Physics of Semiconductor Devices
  • ECE 441-Fundamentals of Wireless Communications/ OR ECE 414- Machine Learning and Statistical Decision Making    

4 required courses:

  • ECE 319- Digital System Design
  • ECE 401-Advanced Computer Architecture
  • CSE 303- Operating System Design/ OR CSE 403-Advanced Operating Systems 
  • CSE 340-Design and Analysis of Algorithms/ OR CSE 440-Advanced Algorithms/ OR CSE 441-Advanced Algorithms  

5 required courses:

  • PHY352-Modern Optics
  • PHY 355/455-Lasers and Nonlinear Optics
  • ECE 451- Physics of Semiconductor Devices
  • ECE 350/450-Optoelectronic Physics & Lightwave
  • MAT 316/416-Optical Properties of Materials
ADDITIONAL None See below for additional requirements.  A minimum of 3 courses must be chosen from approved list of electives. See the Graduate Student Handbook (PDF) for list.



Computer Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. Requirements

To satisfy the Computer Engineering MS/Ph.D. comprehensives/core listed above, a student must satisfy two requirements:

1. A student must complete, with a grade of B or higher, the 4 courses listed above. 

2. A student must complete 2 courses in the Computer Hardware/Architecture area, 2 courses in a second area, and 1 course in a third area. In each of the three areas at least one course must be at the 400 level. 

Please note that the courses in Requirement 1 can be used to satisfy Requirement 2. While some of the courses below are listed in multiple categories, they can be used in only one. Each category also allows for appropriate CSE and ECE special topics courses not listed below and equivalent courses taken at other schools, with approval of the computer engineering curriculum committee. Courses taken as part of an undergraduate degree may be used to satisfy the core requirements.

Computer Hardware/Architecture:

  • Digital System Design (ECE 319) * 
  • Embedded Systems (ECE 336)
  • Introduction to VLSI Circuits (ECE 361)
  • Principles of Practice of Parallel Computing (CSE 375/475)
  • Advanced Computer Architecture (ECE 401) *
  • VLSI Signal Processing (ECE 416)

Core Computer Software Systems:

  • Compiler Design (CSE 302)
  • Operating System Design (CSE 303) *
  • Computer Graphics (CSE 313)
  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms (CSE 340) *
  • Fundamental of Internetworking (CSE 342)
  • Network System Design (CSE 363)
  • Principles of Practice of Parallel Computing (CSE 375/475)
  • Advanced Operating Systems (CSE 403)
  • Advanced Communication Networks (CSE 424)
  • Object-Oriented Software Engineering (CSE 432)
  • Advanced Algorithms (CSE 441) or CSE 498
  • Network Security (CSE 343/443)
  • Software Security System (CSE 334/434)
  • Advanced Wireless Network (CSE 497)

Signal Processing and Communications:

  • Digital Signal Processing (ECE 343)
  • Communication Theory (ECE 342)
  • Statistical Signal Processing (ECE 344)
  • Fundamentals of DATA Network (ECE 345)
  • Lightwave Technology (ECE 348)
  • Optical Information Processing (ECE 371)
  • Optical Networks (ECE 372)
  • Digital Communication Systems (ECE 410)
  • Information Theory (ECE 411)
  • Signal Detection and Estimation (ECE 414)
  • VLSI Signal Processing (ECE 416)
  • Error-Correcting Codes (ECE 435)
  • Fund. of Wireless Communications (ECE 341/441)

Computer Software Applications:

  • Computer Graphics (CSE 313)
  • Artificial Intelligence Theory and Practice (CSE 327)
  • Multimedia Design and Development (CSE 332)
  • Topics in Intelligent Decisions Support Systems (CSE 335)
  • WWW Search Engines (CSE 345/445)
  • Data Mining (CSE 347/447)
  • Network Security (CSE 343/443)
  • Introduction to Mobile Robotics (CSE 360/460)
  • Introduction to Cryptography and Network Security (ECE 364/464)
  • Principles of Practice of Parallel Computing (CSE 375)
  • Computer Networks (ECE 404)
  • Advanced Programming Techniques (CSE 411)
  • Advanced Communication Networks (CSE 424)
  • Bioinformatics: Issues and Algorithms (CSE 308/408)
  • Semantic Web Topics (CSE 428)
  • Pattern Recognition (CSE 326/426)
  • Stochastic Models and Applications (ISE 429)

Circuits and Systems:

  • Digital Systems Design (ECE 319) *
  • Design of Linear Electronic Circuits (ECE 332)
  • Mixed signal circuits (ECE 355)
  • Embedded Systems (ECE 336)
  • Introduction to VLSI Circuits (ECE 361)
  • Advanced Circuits and Systems (ECE 420)
  • Design of Microwave Solid State Circuits (ECE 463)
  • Advanced Semiconductor Devices for VLSI Circuits (ECE 483)


Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. Requirements

The ECE Department offers the Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Computer Engineering. Students typically take three or more years to complete their doctoral studies.

Doctoral students whose graduate study is carried out entirely at Lehigh University must register for a minimum of 72 credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree. Students who have earned a Master’s degree at another institution must register for a minimum of 48 credits. Besides meeting the college requirements specified in the College Graduate Student Handbook, the ECE Department has the following curriculum requirements:

  • For the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, students must take at least three out of the following five core courses: Advanced Computer Architecture, Advanced Circuits & Systems, Advanced Electromagnetic Theory, Fundamentals of Wireless Communications, Physics of Semiconductor Devices.

In addition to coursework, the steps required to complete the Ph.D. program are the following:

EE Program Requirements

Step 1: Complete Qualifying Exam

During the first year of Ph.D. studies, graduate students must take a qualifier exam. The department offers different qualifying exams for the different areas of study. The student and his or her advisor may select the appropriate qualifying exam.

Step 2: Apply for Candidacy & Form Doctoral Committee

Once a Ph.D. student has passed their Qualifier Exam they may begin preparing to Apply for Candidacy. An information packet on the application process can be picked up in the Department Office. A prospective candidate must submit a written program proposal to their Doctoral Committee (guidelines on the formation and membership of this committee can be found in the College Handbook) that includes a discussion of proposed dissertation research. The student is a Ph.D. candidate once the Committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science approve the proposal.

Once the student has completed their credit hour requirement for the Ph.D. degree (72 or 48) they may apply for Maintenance of Candidacy two times per year from that point on. This means that the student is only required to be registered for one (1) credit Maintenance of Candidacy from that point on until they complete their program.

Step 3: Take General Exam

The next step Ph.D. candidates must complete is passing a General Examination. Guidelines for the General Exam can be found in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)

Step 4: Write Dissertation and Defend Thesis

The dissertation work is regarded as an essential ingredient in this program and is conducted independently by the student under the guidance of a faculty advisor(s) and a doctoral committee. The student must defend the research work in the dissertation in a public presentation before the doctoral committee. Upon approval from the committee, the student must submit the dissertation and necessary paperwork as indicated in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)

Step 5: Graduate with Ph.D.

Ph.D. degrees are awarded in September, January and May of each academic year. For more, see the Graduation section of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)