Create a High-Tech Future with an Electrical and Computer Engineering Master’s Degree
Meghan Brown posted on September 28, 2020 |
Colorado State University Online’s ECE degrees give students next-gen tech skills.
Colorado State University Online has sponsored this post.

School: Colorado State University

Program:  Master of Engineering with Electrical or Computer Engineering Specialization, or Master of Science in Electrical or Computer Engineering

Description: Colorado State University’s M.E. and M.S. programs in electrical and computer engineering are coursework-only degrees that focus on a wide range of hardware and software applications, with emphasis on computer system design, architecture of mobile and warehouse scale computers, network programming and internet protocols.

Where is it:  Fort Collins, Colorado

Format: Online, or On-campus

Degree you get: Master of Engineering, or Master of Science

Size of the Program: Approximately 180 students

Credit hours: 30 credit hours for Master of Engineering; 32 credit hours of Master of Science

Thesis: N/A

Capstone: N/A

How long will the program take? Can be completed in 2 years.

When to apply: Recommended application deadlines for rolling admissions are January 15 for MS-thesis and Ph.D., February 1 for ME and MS coursework

Tuition: $705 per credit hour.  $21,150 total per degree.

Prerequisites: Four-year Bachelor’s degree in electrical or computer engineering, computer science, or a related field subject to review and approval that the applicant has the necessary background, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Minimum Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts: Yes, minimum 3.0 GPA on most recently earned degree
  • TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable): Yes, minimum score of 80 (or 6.5 overall for IELTS)
  • Essay/Statement of Purpose: Yes
  • Resume: Yes, with required minimum years experience of a four-year Bachelor’s
  • Letters of Reference: Yes, 3 letters are required
  • GRE/GMAT: Yes; Minimum scores Verbal 145, Quantitative 153, Analytical Writing 3

Who should take this course?

  • Working professional engineers who want to improve their career prospects, stay on top of industry trends, and gain specific depth of knowledge in their field of expertise.

Claim to fame:

  • CSU is currently home to the headquarters of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in Extreme Ultraviolet Laser Technology, and a partner in an ERC in Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere. These institutes focus on research of national and global importance. It is also part of national and international collaborations through LaserNet US, a Department of Energy Consortium of ultra-high-power lasers.

Electrical and computer engineers are integral to many of the high-tech and future-trending industries that make up our current economy.  This means not only is electrical and computer engineering one of the newer engineering disciplines, it is also one of the fastest-growing.

Many cutting-edge or next-generation technologies need electrical and computer engineers to develop necessary hardware and software solutions, from microcontrollers and processors, to circuit design and supercomputers. These hardware and software solutions are needed in a wide variety of high-tech fields, such as the development of 5G communications equipment; designing and building systems and satellites for space exploration; creating advanced medical devices; developing and analyzing solar and renewable power generation systems; advanced military and aviation vehicles; high-powered electronics; robotics; and of course the consumer smartphones, computers, wearables and other electronic devices people use every day. 

All of these technologies and devices generate “big data,” and electrical and computer engineers are vital to managing, collecting and parsing this data into meaningful and actionable knowledge.

This presents electrical and computer engineers with a range of careers for every type of interest and specialization. In order to develop the required skills to work in these advanced fields, engineers who want to excel and advance their careers should pursue a graduate degree in electrical and computer engineering.

Colorado State University (CSU) offers a comprehensive online master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering (ECE), as well as a number of graduate certificates covering related topics such as data engineering, for those who want to lead the way into the future of technology.

Expand Your ECE Master’s Degree with a Graduate Certificate in Data Engineering

CSU Online offers two degrees for electrical and computer engineers: either a Master of Engineering with an Electrical or Computer Engineering Specialization, or a Master of Science in Electrical or Computer Engineering.  Regardless of which degree students enroll in, CSU’s program teaches students how to analyze, design, develop and improve on electrical and computer systems using state-of-the-art design tools. It teaches advanced methodologies and theories, ensuring that students are prepared not only to take these skills into their current employment, but to also support their career as they advance in their field.

The ECE degree programs at CSU cover a diverse range of topics, including:

  • Optical properties of nanostructures.
  • High resolution metrology.
  • Engineering concepts of high-power pulsed electronics.
  • Analysis of power and energy systems, including operation of energy devices such as solar-photovoltaic, wind energy, gas, coal and nuclear power plants, as well as natural resources and the environment.
  • Particle beam accelerator technology and engineering.
  • Aerospace, government and military technologies.
  • Healthcare systems, biosciences, biomedical engineering and health sciences.
  • Communication equipment and hardware manufacturing.
  • Computer networks, information systems and cyber security.

CSU also offers a wide range of graduate certificates in engineering, which can be taken concurrently with enrollment in a master’s degree program, or pursued separately.  CSU’s graduate certificates are offered entirely online, and enable students to take credit courses that concentrate on a specific area of interest. 

“The online certificate programs are taught by CSU’s renowned faculty, and help students gain professional skills to advance their career,” said Leland.  Though the certificates can be taken on their own, “if students eventually choose to pursue a degree, then the credit courses successfully completed as part of their certificate will apply toward our degree programs.”  For students already enrolled in one of CSU’s M.S. or M.Eng. programs, these certificates offer students a way to further specialize their education.

Of particular relevance to electrical and computer engineers, CSU offers a graduate certificate in Data Engineering, which focuses on big data and the growing need to manage and draw meaning from the mountains of data constantly being collected—not simply crunching customer data in the ever-popular service of marketing, but examining big data in the context of engineering.

“In a field known for generating enormous amounts of data collected from devices ranging from cell phones to satellites, we saw an opportunity to fill a need in the marketplace,” says Leland.  “Led by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the new online certificate is a cross-disciplinary effort that leverages Colorado State University’s strengths in systems engineering, biomedical engineering and atmospheric science.”

The certificate covers the application of engineering principles in order to yield meaningful data and insights that can be used to make decisions and shape business strategies.  Coursework is geared toward engineering companies, and using data science to inform the design of engineering systems and processes, as well as how to capture, model, manage and extract meaning from large data sets. 

Expert Faculty and Industry Knowledge for an Exciting Education

Many of the faculty at CSU are experts in their field, and bring this expertise into the classroom by incorporating their knowledge into lectures and assignments.  Some top research areas currently involving CSU faculty include chip-level circuit design, high performance computing, computer networking and embedded systems.  And because CSU’s faculty are still closely involved in industry, they know what skills and knowledge these industries need – and can ensure that students graduate with the right capabilities.

With the breadth available in the ECE department at CSU, research runs the gamut from developing satellites designed to improve our understanding of the conditions inside hurricanes and designing resilient hurricane-resistant electrical grids, to microscale nuclear fusion and the development of virtual non-invasive medical biopsies.  This variety in research means that no matter what field students work in—or wish to pursue in their future career—they will learn from faculty at the leading edge of technology and innovation.

CSU is currently host to a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC), which focuses on extreme ultraviolet laser technologies.  The institution is also a partner in another ERC, with a focus on collaborative and adaptive sensing of Earth’s atmosphere. 

Study Computer Engineering Online with Flexibility and Build Your Career

Both the M.S. and M.E. degrees available through CSU Online are coursework-only, and are designed for working professional engineers who are already employed full-time in their field.  The flexibility offered through online education is ideal for engineers who wish to complete an advanced degree while also balancing the needs of their existing job and personal or family life.

“This is a rigorous discipline,” said Andrea Leland, communications manager for the electrical and computer engineering department.  “Combining work with an ECE degree can be a challenge, and effective time management is essential.”  How much coursework a student can complete on top of their job will vary from student to student, so a measured approach to engaging in the degree program is recommended. 

For students working full time, typically taking only one course per semester is the best way to begin.  This ensures students can get a feel for the program, workload and online education environment as they determine the best way to balance their school and work obligations.  Once students determine their capacity and ideal schedule, they can always increase their course load. 

CSU Online’s degree programs are hosted on the Canvas online education platform.  Students can access all course content through Canvas at any time, which allows them to study at the time and place most convenient to them and their schedules. The flexibility of CSU’s program means that students can study asynchronously when it suits them, or attend lectures synchronously with on-campus students and engage in the live lecture and discussion via video conference.

The core of the program’s course materials are made up of recordings of all live on-campus lectures, which are available to online students to download and watch through the Canvas platform.  By offering the same lecture content to both online and on-campus students, CSU ensures that all students enrolled receive the same high-quality education throughout the program. 

Assignments and tests are also accessible through Canvas. Discussion forums and text or video chat functionality through Canvas enables students to communicate easily with their peers and professors to discuss lectures or collaborate on assignments and projects.  Faculty regularly hold office hours, which online students can access through the Canvas chat capabilities and email, or via live phone or video call by arrangement with their professors.

Curriculum and Course Options

Master of Engineering:

CSU students enrolled in the electrical and computer engineering Master of Engineering degree program must complete 30 credits of coursework, and for the online degree there is no thesis or oral exam requirement.  However, students have the flexibility to choose from a list of courses, so that they can tailor their educational focus to suit their personal interests and career goals.  In addition, up to 15 credits of coursework can be selected from outside the electrical or computer engineering disciplines—though this is subject to approval by their academic advisor and the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Master of Science:

Students enrolled in the electrical and computer engineering Master of Science degree program must complete 32 credits of coursework, and for the online degree there is no thesis or oral exam requirement. As with the Master of Engineering degree program, students have the flexibility to choose from a list of courses that align with their personal and career interests. In addition, up to 12 credits of coursework can be selected from outside the electrical or computer engineering disciplines, subject to approval by their academic advisor and the Graduate Admissions Committee.

There is no requirement for a capstone project with either the M.E. or M.S. online degree programs.

Sample Course Curriculum

Master of Engineering (M.E.) – Electrical and Computer Engineering Specialization

Select 30 credits from the following courses.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Select 32 credits from the following courses.

  • ECE 412 – Digital Control and Digital Filters (3 cr.)

  • ECE 421 – Telecommunications (3 cr.)
  • ECE 431 – Biomedical Signal and Image Processing (3 cr.)
  • ECE 452 – Computer Organization and Architecture (3 cr.)
  • ECE 455 – Into Robot Programming/Simulation (3 cr.)
  • ECE 456 – Computer Networks (4 cr.)
  • ECE 480A4 – Digital Logic Synthesis (3 cr.)
  • ECE 481A4 – Real-Time Applied Nonlinear Control Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 505 – Nanostructures: Fundamentals and Applications (3 cr.)
  • ECE 506 – Optical Interferometry and Laser Metrology (3 cr.)
  • ECE 512 – Digital Signal Processing (3 cr.)
  • ECE 514 – Applications of Random Processes (3 cr.)
  • ECE 516 – Information Theory (3 cr.)
  • ECE 520 – Optimization Methods: Control and Communication (3 cr.)
  • ECE 522 – Random Walks (3 cr.)
  • ECE 526/BIOM 526 – Biological Physics (3 cr.)
  • ECE 527 – Biomedical Signal Processing (3 cr.)
  • ECE 544 – Silicon Photonics in Computer Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 545 – Introduction to Radar System Design (3 cr.)
  • ECE 554 – Computer Architecture (3 cr.)
  • ECE 558 – Manycore System Design Using Machine Learning (3 cr.)
  • ECE 561 – Hardware/Software Design of Embedded Systems (4 cr.)
  • ECE 565 – Electrical Power Engineering (3 cr.)
  • ECE 566 – Grid Integration of Wind Energy Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 574 – Optical Properties in Solids (3 cr.)
  • ECE 581B8 – Network Centric Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 611 – Nonlinear Control Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 612 – Robust Control Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 614 – Principles of Digital Communication (3 cr.)
  • ECE 658 – Internet Engineering (4 cr.)
  • ECE 661 – Advanced Topics in Embedded Systems (3 cr.)
  • ECE 673 – Thin Film Growth (3 cr.)


Interested in pursuing a master’s degree in electrical or computer engineering?  Check out our Masters Degree Discovery Tool and discover your program!

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