Electrical & Computer Engineering Graduate Program

Electric Engineering students working on a machine with professor.


Photo of Graduate CoordinatorHave questions about our Department’s graduate program or about applying for admission? E-mail the Department’s Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Saeed Latif, at slatif@southalabama.edu or telephone (251) 460-6998.

Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) program

The ABM program allows full-time undergraduate students within two semesters of BSEE or BSCpE graduation at USA, who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better at USA (with at least 30 credit hours taken at USA), to earn their MSEE degree at an accelerated pace. Students registered for the ABM program may use up to six credit hours of graduate course work towards both the BSEE/BSCpE and MSEE degrees. This means that after earning the BSEE or BSCpE degree the course load for the MSEE degree is reduced by six credit hours. More information is available here.

Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

A Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering is increasingly required for advanced-level employment opportunities with higher-profile national and international employers. Students who want to separate themselves from the pack in the employment race should seriously consider taking a Master’s degree either through the ABM program (see above) or as a stand-alone qualification. The programs of study provide knowledge of modern engineering concepts and practices, and build upon the knowledge and skills expected of a holder of a typical Bachelor’s degree to the point where a Master’s graduate can make high-level contributions to contemporary engineering designs. A Master’s degree is also an ideal preparation for further study towards the doctoral degree if desired.

▼   Additional Information, Master of Science degree (MSEE)

MSEE students can choose one of the three tracks: Electrical Engineering Track, Computer Engineering Track, or Systems Engineering Track. Within each track, three study options are available. The thesis option requires writing a medium-length technical report. This thesis is generally a contribution to original engineering research on a topic of great relevance to current state-of-art in Electrical or Computer Engineering. The alternative project option requires writing a shorter technical project report, usually heavily oriented toward Electrical or Computer Engineering applications. Both these options require a total of 30 credit hours. Finally, the Course option includes no project work but requires 30 credit hours of coursework. More information is available here.

▼   Program Requirements

The required courses for each track are as follows:

Electrical Engineering Track
EE 575 – Stochastic Processes
EE 526 – Introduction to Robotics
EE 566 – Digital Image Processing

Computer Engineering Track
EE 575 – Stochastic Processes
EE 548 – Computer and Network Security
EE 560 – Advanced Computer Architecture

Systems Engineering Track
EE 575 – Stochastic Processes
SE 601 – Systems Engineering Fundamentals
SE 602 – Risk and Failure Analysis

Each study option is structured as follows:

Thesis Option: 30 credit hours

  • Minimum EE course requirements
  • Graduate level: 3 courses
  • Dual listed level: 1 course
  • Other ECE requirements

Project Option: 30 credit hours**

  • Minimum EE course requirements
  • Graduate level: 3 courses
  • Dual listed level: 2 courses
  • Other ECE requirements

Course Option: 30 credit hours

  • Minimum EE course requirements
  • Graduate level: 3 courses
  • Dual listed level: 2 courses
  • Other ECE requirements

Supporting area courses may be taken from courses offered by any of the following departments: Mathematics & Statistics, Computer & Information Sciences, Engineering (any), Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences. These must be at the 500 level.

**The Project Option allows no more than 3 credit hrs. of supporting area courses at the 500 level offered by the College of Business and Management, while the Course Option allows no more than 6 credit hours of supporting area courses at the 500 level offered by the College of Business and Management. These require the express approval of the advisor.

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There are no deadlines for graduate study applications in Engineering, but you are recommended to apply in good time to allow evaluation of your application and to make arrangements to relocate here if admitted.

Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD)

The PhD is the highest degree available in most disciplines. The PhD program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in applied research, to meet the needs of industry and the engineering community for highly-qualified technical experts, and to capitalize on opportunities for interaction between a research university and industry. Graduate faculty members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department are able to advise and supervise students who wish to earn a Doctoral degree (PhD) in Systems Engineering or in Biomedical Engineering (a track of the Basic Medical Sciences PhD offered in conjunction with the USA College of Medicine). 

▼   Additional Information, Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD)
Study for the PhD degree centers upon extended interdisciplinary research in engineering, requiring at least 67 credit hours after the Bachelor’s degree, including at least 19 credit hours of dissertation research over several years. A typical PhD dissertation might cover improving an engineering process, using systems engineering principles in a new engineering application, designing a new device, improving reliability, or other advanced topics at the cutting-edge of current engineering practice.
▼   Further Information, Systems Engineering PhD

The Ph.D. in systems engineering offers the students a holistic approach to the design and understanding of complex systems. NASA defines systems engineering as “a holistic, integrative discipline, wherein the contributions of structural engineers, electrical engineers, mechanism designers, power engineers, human factors engineers, and many more disciplines are evaluated and balanced, one against another, to produce a coherent whole that is not dominated by the perspective of a single discipline.” The main objectives of the Ph.D. program are to 1) provide our graduates with the ability to approach all systems (engineered, environmental, coastal, etc.) with the ability to understand the entire system lifecycle in a manner that meets the needs of industry, and 2) prepare our graduates for leadership positions requiring applied research and critical thinking.

This program is appropriate for students who want to pursue research-based careers in industry, government, or academia. The program requires a combination of systems engineering coursework along with specific, validated systems research resulting in a publicly defended doctoral dissertation. 

More information about Systems Engineering

Admissions Requirements for the Systems Engineering PhD

Systems Engineering PhD program Curriculum

▼   Further Information, Biomedical Engineering PhD

Students may pursue a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences. This program is offered under a collaboration between faculty of the USA College of Engineering and faculty of the USA College of Medicine. The program combines an interdisciplinary core curriculum with advanced coursework and research in biomedical engineering. Students must meet requirements established for the Basic Medical Sciences graduate program in the College of Medicine.

Photo of  Director of Biomedical Engineering Graduate ProgramProspective students should first contact Dr. Silas Leavesley (leavesley@southalabama.edu), Director, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program.

PDF summarizing Biomedical Engineering track of PhD in Basic Medical Sciences

Overview of Biomedical Engineering track of PhD in Basic Medical Sciences

Details of Biomedical Engineering track of PhD in Basic Medical Sciences

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