Graduate Programs in ECE

Graduate Programs in ECE

Graduate Studies in Electrical & Computer Engineering

ECE Graduate Programs Overview
Rowan ECE offers two graduate programs, a new Ph.D. in Engineering with specialization in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which consists of research track (with thesis) and professional track (courses only).

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Why Should You Go to Graduate School?
Among many reasons why students pursue graduate study, here are some of the most common:

  • Opportunity to specialize in your field of interest – graduate study allows you to focus your studies on topics that particularly interest you.
  • Opportunity to expand your skill-set – after the BS in ECE, your graduate degree could be an MBA, an MD, a degree in Law or a Ph.D.
  • Opportunity to earn a higher salary – on average, engineers with a Master’s degree receive a 15% higher starting salary, compared to a BS graduate. Those with a Ph.D. degree can expect even higher earnings. 


Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering                                                                               back to top

The ECE department at Rowan University offers two different tracks, both leading to the MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree. The program details can be found in the MS in ECE Program Guide and Overview [link] and below.
The program of study in both tracks consists of 30-credits, and is available with the following options:
Track 1 - Research Track
This track is designed for those who are interested in developing an expertise within a specific area of focus within Electrical and Computer Engineering. To develop such an expertise, students in Research Track perform a rigorous research, supervised by an advising professor, on a specific topic of interest to solve a previously unsolved problem. The outcome of this research culminates in an MS thesis. Students who would like to excel in one of the areas of electrical and computer engineering, or those who are considering pursuing a Ph.D. one day, typically choose this track. Students who are accepted to this track are often eligible for research assistantships or teaching fellowships that can reduce or eliminate the out-of-pocket cost of the graduate education (see below for more details).
Track 2 - Professional Track
This track is designed for those who are not interested in research or writing a thesis, but rather interested in expanding their breadth and depth of ECE knowledge by taking a larger number of courses in a wide spectrum of electrical and/or computer engineering fields. Students in this track do not work on a thesis and take 30 credits of courses, which his typically 10 graduate level courses. While this is a course-only track, students who wish to obtain some research experience may choose to work on a smaller-scale project that can be counted for 3 credits (or 1 class).
MS in ECE Track 1 –Research (Thesis) Track Curriculum

  • 1 - approved graduate level business course: 3 Credits
  • 1 - approved graduate level math course: 3 Credits
  • 5 – approved ECE Graduate Electives: 15 Credits
    At least one of the electives must include significant use of computing or programming. An approved graduate level computer science class may be used to satisfy this requirement:
  • MTS Thesis Research: 9 Credits
    TOTAL: 30 Credits

MS in ECE Track 2 – Course-only Track Curriculum

  • 1 - approved graduate level business course: 3 Credits
  • 1 - approved graduate level math course: 3 Credits
  • 8 – approved ECE Graduate Electives: 24 Credits At least one of the electives must include significant use of computing or programming. An approved graduate level computer science class may be used to satisfy this requirement. An independent mini research project can be used to replace one of the 8 electives.
    TOTAL: 30 Credits

 Timeline Program of Study
The timeline of a typical program-of-study for the thesis option is as follows:

  • Math Course
  • Business Course
  • Identify advisor, research topic
  • Identify advising committee members
  • ECE graduate level elective
  • ECE graduate level elective
  • ECE graduate level elective
  • MS These (3 credits)
  • Start research
  • ECE graduate level elective
  • ECE graduate level elective
  • MS These (3 credits)
  • Continue research
  • MS These (3 credits)
  • Complete research
  • Write thesis
  • Defend thesis



Certificate of Graduate Studies in Combat Systems Engineering                                                                    back to top

In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Company, the ECE department is now offering a new certificate program, called Certificate of Graduate  Studies (COGS) in Combat Systems Engineering (there is also a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) in Combat Systems Engineering (CSE), described in the ECE Curriculum section of or website). These certificate programs are intended to help develop the growing workforce needs of the area’s prominent defense industry. In fact, all classes are taught in cooperation with Lockheed Martin engineers. Active participation and successful completion of this program can certainly increase your chances of getting one of those highly sought-after and well-paying defense industry positions.

The four courses in COGS are

  • ECE 09.523           Advanced Radar Systems
  • ECE 09.524           Advanced War Gaming and C4ISR
  • ECE 09.525           Advanced Command and Control
  • ECE 09.526           Advanced Weapon Systems

Unlike the corresponding CUGS, there is no restriction regarding how many of these four graduate classes can be counted towards the MS in ECE program, and indeed all four of them can be used to satisfy the graduate degree program requirements, so long as they are approved by your graduate advisor. All thesis/dissertation students MUST, therefore, consult with their thesis advisors before registering for any of these classes to ensure that the classes fit within their program of study.

Ph.D. in Engineering / Electrical & Computer Engineering                                                                              back to top

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is now offering a Ph.D. in Engineering program with a specialization in Electrical and Computer Engineering that consists of a unique and innovative curricular structure. Rowan’s Ph.D. program is a terminal degree program that is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of researchers, scholars, and scientists in academia, industry, and the government. The primary goal of this program is, therefore, to prepare students for careers in research and/or academics by providing an environment that closely reflects the realities and expectations encountered by today’s academicians, professional scientists, and research engineers. The program is designed to offer a highly flexible inter and multi-disciplinary curricular structure, allowing specialization in any (or multiple) of the traditional or emerging engineering disciplines. The primary strength of the program is involving students in activities that they are most likely to encounter in a real-world academic or industrial settings.

The new Ph.D. program consists of the following components and degree requirements:
Course Requirements:
Minimum of 72 credits of graduate level work beyond a bachelor degree or 42 credits of graduate level work beyond a Master’s degree in a related field are required. Of these 72 total credits, 42 must come from course work including:

  1. At least one approved graduate level Math class. Certain math-intensive engineering courses may be used to satisfy this requirement (3 credits).
  2. Effective Teaching in Academic and Corporate Environments (3 credits).
  3. Strategic Technical Writing and Winning Grant Proposals (2 credits).

At least 18-course credits (not including Effective Teaching and Strategic Technical Writing courses) must be obtained from graduate only classes (600-level classes, or 500-level classes with no corresponding 400-level equivalent offered at the same time).
A minimum of 21 credits must come from “Research.” Up to 9 Research credits may come from ENGR 599 (MS level research). Students who complete their Master’s degree elsewhere will be considered to have taken 9 credits of ENGR 599. All remaining Research credits must come from ENGR 699, the last 3 of which must be taken during the semester in which the Ph.D. Candidate plans to take his/her Ph.D. Dissertation Defense.


All additional courses to be taken will be determined jointly by the student and his/her Ph.D. advisor (the Advisor) based on the specific area of interest, research and career goals. Courses offered by one department (under any of the Specializations) will, in general, be available to students in any Specialization, as long as they fit the aforementioned goals.

  • Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Research training (including human/animal subject training when applicable):
    All Ph.D. students will be required to complete all research compliance training required by the University for any research active employee. To complete the required training, please visit Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) page and follow the instructions for completing the CITI training. Make sure to complete the RCR for Engineers module. If you are doing any work that involves human subjects (including working on data obtained from human subjects, even if the data were collected elsewhere), you also need to complete the Human Subjects Research Protections module.
  • Graduate Seminar:
    Regular attendance and participation in (0-credit) graduate seminars (ENGR 01.600 ToughTalk: Graduate Seminar) will be required for students for each Fall and Spring semesters they are in the program. This course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE)                                                                                     back to top

One of the hallmarks of this new Ph.D. in Engineering program is the Career Preparation and Readiness Experience (CPRE), specifically designed to provide the students with a real-world environment that closely recreates the most important elements of their future career path, regardless whether that path leads to an academic, industrial or government setting. CPRE consists of four components, each allowing the student acquire important skills and experience pertinent to typical careers pursued by Ph.D. in engineering degree holders. These components need to be completed before taking the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense:

  • Effective Teaching: The candidate will take a new class called (ENGR 01.601) Effective Teaching in Academic, Corporate, and Government Settings discussing effective ways and best practices in providing technical content at a higher education or corporate / government setting. As part of this course, the student will be assigned to a professor in his / her home department (as an apprentice) to follow in and out of class to learn about the art of teaching, and allow him/her to learn different teaching / learning styles, teaching pedagogy, as well as conflict resolution and responding to a variety of situations that may arise in the course of teaching in a college or corporate setting. During this apprenticeship period, the student may teach the recitation/lab portion of the class, but will not be responsible for preparing lecture material. Once this class is completed, the student will be given primary teaching assignments, appropriate with his/her interests and skills. Each student will be expected to teach at least two classes - one at lower and one at the upper level, under the College of Engineering’s Teaching Fellow program. Students interested in an academic career may request additional teaching appointments.
  • Grant Writing: The students will be expected to learn the art and science of grant proposal writing and application. This will include a course, ENGR 01.602: Strategic Technical Writing and Winning Grant Proposals, whose final deliverable will be a formal conference/journal paper (to be submitted for publication) and an actual small size professional grant application. After completing this class, the student will be expected to write one more proposal, medium or large in scope, in which the student may act as a PI or Co-PI (if the sponsor allows, or participate in advisor's application, otherwise). The proposal may be academic research, industrial research or development depending on the applicant’s future career interests.
  • Publishing: At least four published conference papers, one published journal paper (beyond MS) and at least one additional journal paper submitted (under review or published) will be required to satisfy the publishing requirement of CPRE. Depending on the nature of the research or publication venue, this requirement can be modified by the student’s Advising Committee.
  • Service: Ph.D. students will be expected to be actively involved in a relevant professional society, and serve at least twice on an appropriate department or college level committee. This requirement will allow the student to broaden his/her understanding and appreciation of different professional expectations, the importance of professional service as well as the role of professional societies in their chosen area of interest

Thesis & Dissertation Requirements                                                                                                                back to top

Please visit the Thesis & Dissertation Requirements page at the Global Learning and Partnerships of Rowan University (GLP) for information on thesis format requirements. Electronic templates are available at the above link, as well as a thesis manual.

Paying (or getting paid) for Graduate School: Research and Teaching Fellowships                                   back to top

Rowan ECE program offers two types of financial aid in the form of research or teaching fellowships. Fellowships are only available to Ph.D. students or MS students in Track 1 (Research track) and are only awarded to exceptionally qualified students. All students who apply for Track 1 graduate program in ECE are automatically considered for a fellowship. Selection is competitive. Applicants awarded Fellowships will be notified of such by GLP Admissions via the admission offer packet, which will include the Graduate Fellowship Agreement Form. Fellowship amounts vary but may be available up to the full cost of attendance. In order obtain and maintain status as a Fellow, all students must, at a minimum:

  • Be an admitted, matriculated full-time and active student in good standing in the program.
  • Register for at least 4 consecutive terms (for MS students).
  • Registration each term meets or exceeds the enrollment minimums outlined on the Fellowship Agreement Form. This will typically be full time (9-12 SH) in fall and spring, and part-time (3-9 SH) in summer. (International students must be full-time each term of enrollment unless other formal arrangements are made in writing with the program, GLP, and the International Center.)
  • Maintain a minimum 3.000 cumulative GPA each term and adhere to the Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for their particular academic program, as stated in the GLP Policy Handbook
  • Commit significant hours each week of each term to academic research under the guidance of their Advisor/Program Coordinator/Research Supervisor.
  • Work with faculty members on research projects leading to the Master’s thesis.

In addition to the above, Fellows receiving stipends must:

  • Submit the additional hiring paperwork listed within the Fellowship Agreement.
  • Commit additional hours each week for each term to academic research.

In addition to all of the above, those designated as Teaching Fellows must:

  • Teach two 3-credit courses within their first four terms of enrollment as agreed upon with their academic program/department.

Research fellowships are awarded primarily by individual faculty and are paid from their externally funded research grants. To increase your likelihood of getting a research fellowship, contact the professor with whom you would like work early in the application process. Award amounts vary and may include any combination of the following across different semesters based on the satisfactory research and academic performance and availability of funds.

  • Reduced tuition – Student pays $1000/semester regardless the number of credits + fees
  • Full tuition waiver - Student pays fees and insurance
  • Full tuition and fee waiver
  • Monthly stipend (amount varies based on availability of funds)

Teaching fellowships are awarded by the department, in conjunction with faculty members who express interest in working with that student towards a thesis. Since teaching fellowship also requires research work and completion of a thesis, contact the professor with whom you would like work early in the application process and inform him/her as well department chair about your skills that may uniquely qualify you for a teaching assistantship. Once awarded, the continuation of the fellowship to subsequent semesters requires satisfactory performance in both teaching and research (and availability of funds). A typical teaching fellowship award includes:

  • Full tuition waiver - Student pays fees and insurance; and
  • Monthly stipend (typically $1000/month)

Full details about the student costs, funding provided, and all expectations and responsibilities required of Fellows are included in the official Graduate Fellowship Agreement Form, which can be obtained from the department or from GLP Academic Services. Fellowship Agreements are subject to change due to changes in funding availability. No university or department-sponsored fellowship is available for MS students after students have reached the 30-credit limit.

Applying to Graduate Programs in ECE                                                                                                           back to top

For the latest information, admission requirements and to apply online please visit either the MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering program or the Ph.D. in Engineering: Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Minimum academic requirements for admission to either the MS or the Ph.D. Program include:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in electrical or computer engineering or a related area from accredited institution of higher education.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)or better; or a minimum of 3.2 in-major GPA, or be in the upper 10% of graduating class.
  • Completion of foundation courses: Chemistry I, Physics I, Calculus I, II, and III, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations.
  • Two letters of recommendation (three for the Ph.D. program) describing your ability to undertake rigorous graduate level work.
  • Typewritten statement of professional objectives.
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume - Students applying to the Ph.D. program should also be able to show sufficient demonstration of independent research skills (advanced course projects, papers, presentations, thesis, etc.).
  • For international students:
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores with a level of 6.0. or
    • a minimum TOEFL score of 79 on the internet based test (IBT). Corresponding scores for the paper and computer based tests are: 550 (PBT), 213 (CBT).
    • International students who have received their undergraduate degree from English-speaking countries will be exempt from TOEFL requirement.
  • An admission committee member may also require an interview (in person, over the phone, or over the Internet, as appropriate and feasible).
  • For additional information specifically for international students, please see International Center; and to apply, please visit International Admissions.

A GRE exam is NOT required, but encouraged; however, GRE scores will be used in evaluating the applicant should the applicant choose to provide these scores. Students are particularly encouraged to submit GRE scores if they believe their academic background is stronger than what is implied by their GPA. Applicants for the Ph.D. program are also encouraged to submit GRE scores.

Any Rowan student who completes his / her B.S. degree in Engineering with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; or completes his / her M.S. in Track 1 (research option with thesis) with a GPA of 3.3 or higher will automatically qualify for the Ph.D. program.


List of Available Graduate Level Courses                                                                                                         back to top

ECE 09.504: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer
ECE 09.509: Virtual Reality Systems
ECE 09.521: Fundamentals in Systems Engineering
ECE 09.523: Advanced Radar Systems
ECE 09.524: Advanced War Gaming and C4ISR 
ECE 09.525: Advanced Command and Control
ECE 09.526: Advanced Weapon Systems
ECE 09.551: Digital Signal Processing
ECE 09.552: Digital Image Processing
ECE 09.553: Digital Speech Processing
ECE 09.554: Theory and Engineering Application of Wavelets
ECE 09.555: Advanced Topics in Pattern Recognition / Machine Learning
ECE 09.556: Advanced Embedded Software Design
ECE 09.560: Artificial Neural Networks
ECE 09.566: Advanced Topics in Systems, Devices, and Algorithms in Bioinformatics
ECE 09.568: Discrete Event Systems
ECE 09.569: System-on-Chip Verification
ECE 09.571: Instrumentation
ECE 09.572: Advanced Smart Grid
ECE 09.573: Advanced Smart Sensors
ECE 09.582: Memristors and Nanoelectronic VLSI
ECE 09.585: Advanced Engineering Cyber Security
ECE 09.586: Advanced Portable Platform Development
ECE 09.590: Advanced Emerging Topics in Computer Engineering
ECE 09.595: Advanced Emerging Topics in Comp. Intelligence & Machine Learning
ECE 09.651: Estimation and Detection Theory
ECE 09.655: Advanced Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning
ENGR 01.510: Finite Element Analysis
ENGR 01.511: Engineering Optimization
ENGR 01.598/599: Graduate Research / Master’s Thesis Research
ENGR 01.600: ToughTalk: Graduate Seminar
ENGR 01.601: Effective Teaching in Academic, Corporate, and Government Settings
ENGR 01.602: Strategic Technical Writing and Winning Grant Proposals
ENGR 01.699: Doctoral Research and Dissertation

Coming soon: Optical Communications, Internet of Things

Not all classes are offered every year, whereas additional classes are taught every semester as special and emerging topics under the ECE 09.504 course number. 

◊ ECE 09.504 series constitute the Emerging Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering sequence. These classes can be taken multiple times when approved by the advisor. Multiple sections of this course are offered during each semester with different content on emerging topics. The following courses have recently been taught in this class

  • Computer Networks
  • Electronic Packaging
  • Advanced Visualization
  • Virtual Reality
  • Nanotechnology
  • DSP Architectures
  • RF Design
  • Computational Intelligence
  • Microwave systems
  • Smart satellites
  • Internet of Things


These four courses are also part of the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Combat Systems Engineering (CSE), as well as the MS in Engineering Management with specialization in Combat Systems Engineering. The CSE programs are designed and delivered in cooperation with Lockheed Martin Corporation.


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