Electrical Engineering M.S.

Grad student in clean room holding clear disk

The Master of Science in Electrical Engineering requires coursework in the following general areas:

  • Antenna Design
  • RF/microwave Systems
  • Micro/nanoelectronics
  • MEMS
  • Sensors and signal processing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electric Power Systems
  • Digital/embedded Systems

Students with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering are well prepared for the program. Students with bachelor’s degrees in other engineering disciplines, mathematics or the physical sciences may be required to take certain courses. For admission requirements, see the fact sheet.

Lab-on-a-Chip Theme

Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC) is used to refer to a single millimeter size silicon chip that integrates several laboratory functions. The LoCs combine miniaturized sensing and actuating systems, radio-frequency functions, embedded control, and microfluidics with an integrated electric power system. Sample devices include disposable electrophoresis chip to monitor lithium in blood or sodium in urine, nanowire device for early cancer detection, HIV rapid test and other point-of-care devices.

The LoC theme of the program is used as a unifying platform to make connections between the courses. We accomplish this by using the LoC devices as an “application” of some of the topics covered in each course. The theme seamlessly integrates distinct electrical engineering sub-fields such as digital systems, micro/nano electronics, sensors, power systems and applied electromagnetics (RF devices).

Lap On a Chip theme components: applied electromagnetics, digital systems, micro/nano electronics, sensors, power systems

The degree does not solely focus on LoC. Except for the ECE 501 course, all other ECE graduate courses are in-depth and advanced coverage of the specific topics addressed by each course.

Thesis degree requirements

The Master of Science in Electrical Engineering is a thesis-option program and requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. This includes 21 hours of graded coursework beyond the bachelor's plus a minimum of 4 thesis credits. Students present their research results to the faculty at the end of their last semester. The master's degree is awarded after approvals of the research by the student's advisory committee.

The thesis-option program must contain:

  1. A minimum of 21 credit hours of graded coursework of which:
    • At least 15 credit hours must be at the ECE 500-level,
    • ECE 501 or 525 is required (3 credit hours),
    • Six credit hours of additional courses as approved by the student's advisor.
  2. A minimum of four credit hours of ECE 700 (thesis credits).

The Graduate School requires a minimum of 30 total credit hours for an MS degree. The School of ENCS graded course requirements add up to 21 credits and with the required minimum four credits of ECE 700, the program becomes 25 credits. The remaining five credits can be additional ECE 700 thesis credits or 500-level ECE classes.

Non-thesis degree requirements

Students in the M.S. Electrical Engineering Non-thesis Program must complete the following coursework for their program of study:

  • 31 total credits—minimum
    • 27 graded credits—minimum
      • 12 ECE (Vancouver) credits—minimum
      • 6 E_E (Pullman) or CS&ME (Vancouver) credits—maximum
      • 9 credits non-graduate (400-level) credits—maximum
      • 6 transferred credits (graduate-level courses)—maximum
      • 3 Directed Study credits (ECE 595)—maximum
  • 4 ECE 702 credits—minimum
  • Any undergraduate coursework assigned to the student to make up for undergraduate deficiencies at the time of admission may not be used toward the student’s degree.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA at all times and must hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA among courses listed on the program of study in order to graduate.