Masters of Science in Computer Engineering Catalog


Priority Admission Application Deadlines
February 15
October 15
No admit

International applicant deadlines

Minimum Total Hours: 30 thesis; 30 non-thesis
Level: Masters
CIP Code: 11.0701
Dept. Code: ESB
Major/College Codes: ECP EN
Approved: 1960

Also offered as an Accelerated Degree Program
Computer Engineering (BSCP/MSCP)


College: Engineering
Department: Computer Science and Engineering
Contact Information


The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers both a thesis and non-thesis option for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCP). The thesis option requires students to pursue a more concentrated range of topics, while the non-thesis option allows students to explore various areas of computer engineering. There is considerable freedom in the choice of the courses.

The breadth of subjects that comprise computer engineering together with the immense diversity of its applications, make it imperative that students in the Master's major maintain close contact with the Graduate Program Director, or, if choosing the thesis option, with their major professor to achieve a coherent plan of study directed towards a specific goal. In particular, selection of courses should only be made with prior consultation and approval of the major professor or the Graduate Program Director.

Major Research Areas

An excellent selection of courses and laboratories support graduate studies in algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, computer architecture, graphics, networks, computer vision, distributed systems, embedded systems, expert systems, formal verification, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, databases, software engineering, computer security, compilers, programming languages, and VLSI design and CAD.


Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • The GRE is required for all PhD and MS applicants. The median GRE scores of recently admitted students include 770 on the Quantitative portion and a Verbal Total of 450. For GRE tests taken after August 1, we require a minimum of 161 on the Quantitative portion (81 percentile) and a minimum of 150 (44 percentile) on the Verbal. If a candidate is admitted to the MS major and later decides to apply to the PhD major, the GRE requirement must be met by the candidate as part of the application process. The GRE will be waived for MS degree applicants with an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited United States program.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of "B" or equivalent for all coursework completed during the last two (2) years of undergraduate major.
  • Submission of TOEFL scores with an Internet-based score of 79 or higher for applicants from non-English speaking countries. If consideration of an assistantship is desired, the speaking score component of the TOEFL must be 26 or above, or a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • The TOEFL requirements may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
    • Has scored 500 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test (Old Scores) or 153 with the New GRE scoring.
    • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning.
    • Has scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • The applicant must also have mathematical preparation equivalent to that obtained from courses in Calculus through Differential Equations; knowledge of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, including logic design, computer architecture, data structure, operating systems and analysis of algorithms. The majority of students accepted to the major possess an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics; however, students who hold an undergraduate degree in a related field are encouraged to apply.


Total Minimum Hours: 30 hours
Core Requirement Hours: 9 hours
Successful completion of three (3) core graduate-level courses is required.

COP 6611 Operating Systems 3
COT 6405 Introduction to the Theory of Algorithms 3
EEL 6764 Principles of Computer Architecture 3


Thesis option students must select at least 15 hours and non-thesis students must select at least 21 hours from the list of available graduate elective courses below in consultation with the Graduate Program Director of individual advisor. Non-thesis students need to take a minimum of six (6) credits from the list of electives that are hardware related.

CAP 5400 Digital Image Processing 3
CAP 5625 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3
CAP 5771 Data Mining 3
CAP 6415 Computer Vision 3
CAP 6455 Advanced Robotic Systems 3
CAP 6615 Neural Networks 3
CAP 6736 Geometric Modeling 3
CDA 5416 Computer System Verification 3
CNT 6215 Computer Networks 3
COP 6621 Programming Languages and Translation  3
EEL 5771 Introduction to Computer Graphics I 3
EEL 6706 Testing and Fault Tolerance in Digital Systems 3
CIS 6900 Independent Study  1-19
CIS 6930 Special Topics  1-5
CIS 6940 Graduate Instruction Methods 1-4
CIS 6946 Internships/Practicums/Clinical Practice 0-3

With prior permission from the Graduate Program Director, students can take a maximum of three (3) hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of three (3) hours of one-hour seminar courses, and up to one (1) graduate level course (three (3) credit hours) outside the Department.

Thesis Option

CIS 6971 Thesis: Master's 2-19

The thesis option requires completion of 24 credit hours of CSE graduate-level courses (nine (9) credit hours core and 15 hours of electives) and six (6) credit hours of thesis in computer engineering related problems, as determined by the Major Professor and documented in the Plan of Work. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours, with nine (9) credit hours of core courses and 21 hours of graduate level electives. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. At least six (6) hours of electives should be taken from the list of electives that are hardware related in the following topic areas: CMOS VLSI Design, Digital Circuit Synthesis, Formal Verification, Testing and Fault Tolerance, Low-Power VLSI, Robotics, or Computer Networks, as determined by the Graduate Coordinator and documented in the Plan of Work.

Comprehensive Exam

For students taking the thesis option, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of the thesis. For non-thesis option students, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the success completion of comprehensive exam that students will take in the semester prior to the semester in which the student intends to graduate.

Graduation Requirements

For the thesis option, students must defend and pass the thesis and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. Non-Thesis Option students must pass the Comprehensive Exam, obtain a letter "B" or better in the core graduate courses and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. No grade below "C" will be accepted in a graduate major. If a student's average falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation.

See USF Course Inventory