Cullen College of Engineering > Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering > Computer and Systems Engineering, MS
The Computer and Systems Engineering (CSE) degree offered by the University of Houston (UH) is a graduate level interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) that provides specialization in Computer Engineering. Applicants can have a BS. in any one of the following fields: Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science or a degree in any Engineering field or Quantitative Science. Depending on previous background a set of prerequisites might have to be satisfied before the student starts the graduate program in CSE. A student can complete the degree either on a full or part time basis and has the option of doing a thesis or not.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ece.uh.edu/graduate/degree-programs.
- A bachelor’s degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited program, a degree in Computer Science, or a degree in Quantitative Science, with a grade point average of at least 3.0/4.0 on the last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and on any coursework completed since graduation.
- General GRE scores must be submitted. While no minimum GRE scores are used to exclude students, typically students entering the program have GRE scores greater than 150 on the Verbal, greater than 159 on the Quantitative and greater than 4.0 on the Writing Assessment.
- International students submiting an official TOEFL score to satisy the English Langauge Proficiency requirements should have a score of 92 or better
- Requirements are the same as unconditional admission except that the grade point average may be between 2.6 and 3.0 on the last 60 hours with high GRE scores.
- Student must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. NOTE: The conditionally admitted student must earn a GPA of at least 3.0 on the first 12 hours of graduate work after enrolling in the program.
Detailed information on the application process can be obtained from the web at http://www.ee.uh.edu/graduate/prospective-graduate-students.
Credit hours required for this degree: thesis/non-thesis 30.0
Upon admission to the program, each student will meet with the Director of the CSE Program who will review the student’s background and inform the student of the prerequisite courses, if any, that the student must complete before taking any graduate level courses.
A student must have a mathematics background that includes calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and numerical methods. These prerequisites may be satisfied by the following courses at UH or similar courses at another university:
- MATH 1431 Calculus I
- MATH 1432 Calculus II
- MATH 2432 Calculus III
- MATH 3331 Differential Equations
A student must have had courses in high-level and assembly language programming, elementary data structures, and in digital logic design and microcomputers. These prerequisites may be satisfied by the following courses at UH or similar courses at another university:
- ECE 1331 Computer and Problem Solving
- ECE 3441 Digital Logic Design
- ECE 4436 Microprocessor Systems
- COSC 6304 Data Structures
- COSC 6310 Fundamental of Operating Systems
- Circuits and Electronics
A student must have had courses in circuits and electronics. These prerequisites may be satisfied by the following courses at UH or similar courses at another university:
- ECE 2300 and ECE 2100 Circuit Analysis and Circuit Analysis Lab
- ECE 3355 and ECE3155 Electronics and Electronics Lab
- ECE 3457 Digital Electronics
Required Graduate Courses
To receive the degree of Master of Science, the student is required to complete (on a part-time or full-time basis), with a grade point average of at least 3.0, a minimum of 30 semester credit hours for both the non-thesis or thesis options.
Upon admission to the program, the student will meet with the Director of the CSE Program to develop a plan that involves any required prerequisite courses as well as the appropriate courses for the degree plan. If the student follows the thesis option he/she will be advised to find an advisor who will supervise and direct his/her research. The thesis advisor will subsequently advise the student about his/her degree plan.
A student that follows the non-thesis option should complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of coursework (10 courses).
- Four of these courses should be from the list of Required ECE Courses while the remaining can be from the list of Suggested Elective ECE courses.
- A minimum of six courses should be from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.
- A maximum of four courses can be from outside the ECE department. These courses must be from the Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, or College of Business Administration. No courses from the College of Technology can be used on the Degree Plan.
Before graduation, the student’s degree plan will have to be approved by the ECE Academic Advisor and the Director of the Computer and Systems Engineering Program.
A student who follows the thesis option should complete a minimum of 30 semester hours.
- A minimum of 18 semester credit hours of coursework (6 courses)
- Four of these courses should be from the List of Required ECE Courses
- Six hours of thesis (ECE 6399 and ECE 7399) and
- Six hours of research (ECE 6398)
Before graduation the student’s degree plan will have to be approved by the thesis advisor, the ECE Academic Advisor, and the Director of the Computer and Systems Engineering Program.
Required ECE Courses
Choose 4 courses from the following required course list:
Suggested ECE Elective Courses
To satisfy the coursework requirements and form a meaningful coherent program of study, a student may choose the remaining courses from the following list of Suggested ECE Elective Courses:
ECE 5367 - Computer Architecture and Design Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6313 - Neural Networks Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6321 - Principles of Internetworking Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6323 - Optical Fiber Communications Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6325 - State-Space Control Systems Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6328 - Cmos Analog Integrated Circuit Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6331 - Advanced Telecommunications Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6332 - Wireless Telecomm Systems Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6335 - Digital Contrl Systems Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6336 - Intro to Architecture of RTOS and IoT Credit Hours: 3
- ECE 6337 - Stochastic Processes in Signal Processing and Data Science Credit Hours: 3
- ECE 6342 - Digital Signal Process Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6353 - Rf & Microwave Electronics Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6354 - Digital Video Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6356 - Introduction to Machine Learning Credit Hours: 3.00
- ECE 6364 - Digital Imag Processing Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6372 - Advanced Hardware Design Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6376 - Digital Pattrn Recogntn Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6390 - Lin Multivar Contrl Sys Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 6397 - Selected Topics Credit Hours: 3
- ECE 6466 - Integrted Circ Engr Credit Hours: 4.0
- ECE 7349 - Adv Tpcs-Mcroelectrncs Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECE 7366 - Advanced Process Integrat Vlsi Credit Hours: 3.0
The above list is subject to change, and other graduate ECE courses can be taken with the approval of the Director of the CSE Program.
In all cases no credit will be given for courses that are equivalent to courses used in the student’s undergraduate degree.
Restrictions for courses outside the ECE Department:
- All CS courses should be at the 4000 level or higher.
- COSC 6301, 6302, 6303, and 6304, 6305, 6306, 6308, 6309, and 6310 cannot be used on the degree plan.
- All courses from the College of Business Administration should be at the 6000 level or higher.
- Courses from the General Business Administration (GENB) cannot be used on the degree plan.
- All the courses of the College of Engineering should be at the 4000 level or higher.
- Courses that do not receive a letter grade but are graded S, U or W will not be counted towards the degree plan.
- Non-ECE courses with similar content as ECE courses: In case a graduate level (6000 or above) course is offered in another department with similar content to a regularly offered ECE graduate course, graduate ECE students must take the ECE version. If the course in question is not offered regularly, or in the graduating semester, then the students may be allowed to take the non-ECE version by submitting a general petition. Under no circumstances will graduate credit be awarded for both the ECE and the non-ECE on of the course.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must refer to ECE Department Policies and Procedures for any information not covered in this document, including those found at http://www.ee.uh.edu/graduate/procedures-requirements-standards.
- Courses used to satisfy structured course requirements must receive a letter grade (i.e., not S, U, or W).
- Some departments other than ECE offer graduate level courses (6000 or above) with similar content to ECE graduate courses. In those situations, ECE graduate students must take the ECE version of the course. If the ECE course in question is not offered around the time of the graduating semester, then the student may be allowed to take the non-ECE version by general petition. Please see related deadlines on the department calendar.
- Graduate credit will not be awarded for both the ECE and non-ECE versions of a course.
- Courses offered by other institutions, such as Rice University/UT Health, etc., may be taken with prior approval from both the student’s advisor and the director of the graduate program if a similar class is not offered at UH. For permission to take a non-UH course, complete a general petition and an inter-institutional form, which are linked in our forms page.
- Courses taken for personal enrichment will not count towards the degree and must be approved by the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrollment. Enrichment hours cannot be used to satisfy minimum enrollment requirements when an assistantship is being received.
Students who do not have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical or Computer Engineering must show competency in four areas:
- Electronic devices
- Circuit theory
Students may accomplish this through leveling coursework or by passing a core competency exam. The Graduate Admissions Committee will identify leveling requirements with the assistance of the thesis advisor.
Competence in each area can be demonstrated by passing the following course(s) with a grade of B or better, respectively:
- Circuit Analysis (ECE 2201 and ECE 2202) and its Laboratory (ECE 2100)
- Applied EM Waves (ECE 3317)
- Signal & System Analysis (ECE 3337)
- Electronics (ECE 3355)
- Microprocessor Systems (ECE 4436)
The graduate level courses, Microwave engineering and Computer architecture, may be taken in place of Applied EM Waves (ECE3317) and Microprocessor Systems (ECE4436), respectively, with instructor permission.
Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines
The Dissertation document is written as part of the Ph.D. degree program and the Thesis is written as part of the M.S. degree. The dissertation should be at such a level as to be a significant contribution to the field of knowledge in electrical and computer engineering, and worthy of publication in one of the recognized professional journals. This section describes the common elements in these documents and specifies any differences.
Here is a summary of the steps a student takes to complete this requirement.
- Form a Thesis/Dissertation Committee
- Write a Proposal and submit it to the Committee for approval. Ph.D. students must also defend their proposal orally
- Prepare the Thesis/Dissertation document
- Defend the Thesis/Dissertation in a public setting with an announcement filed at least two weeks prior to the defense
More details for each step are provided in the next sections.
The student should form a Thesis/Dissertation Committee with the Advisor as chair as soon as the research topic is selected.
A Thesis Committee must consist of at least three members, with
- the advisor as chair,
- at least one additional faculty members from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and
- at least one University of Houston tenure-track faculty member outside this Department.
A Dissertation Committee must consist of at least five members, with
- the advisor as chair,
- at least two additional faculty members from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and
- at least two University of Houston tenure-track faculty member outside this department.
In either case, the advisor can assist the student in forming an appropriate committee. A committee form must be submitted well before the proposal defense is scheduled since the committee must be approved by the Department and Dean’s Office prior to the defense. A student need not be enrolled while requesting to form a committee but must be enrolled when the defense takes place.
Should changes to the committee membership be necessary, the student simply submits an updated committee form listing all committee members. Only the new member(s) have to sign the form, but please complete this at least two weeks prior to defending the proposal or the Thesis/Dissertation.
Once the Thesis/Dissertation Committee has been formed and approved, the student should prepare and, for Ph.D. students, defend a Thesis/Dissertation Proposal. During the semester where the proposal submission takes place, the student must be enrolled in ECE 6399 (MSEE) or ECE 8399 (Ph.D.). The Thesis/Dissertation Committee will approve the proposal by signing the Proposal Form. This form, together with a copy of the proposal document, has to be submitted to the ECE Department by the deadline specified on the semester calendar. The forms for the Thesis/Dissertation Committee formation and the Thesis/Dissertation Proposal defense can be obtained from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The proposal document should outline the scope of the research, and it should contain, at least, a statement of the objectives, a review of the relevant literature, and a description of the principal methods to be used. Copies of this proposal should be provided to the members of the Committee.
Since the Committee may request substantial changes in the research objectives, the proposal should be prepared during the early stages of the dissertation research. In no case should a proposal and dissertation defense occur in the same semester.
After the successful defense of the Thesis/Dissertation Proposal, students should register for ECE 7399 (MSEE) or continue to enroll in ECE 8399 (Ph.D.). MSEE students should ideally enroll in ECE 7399 during the semester in which the thesis is defended and in which the student plans to graduate. The student should adhere to the thesis submission deadlines posted on the department calendar. In case the student does not complete the thesis while enrolled in ECE 7399 , he/she should enroll in research courses (ECE 6x98) in future semesters until the thesis is completed to the satisfaction of the committee.
When most of the research has been completed, the student should describe the main results to the committee and describe plans for the contents and structure of the thesis/dissertation. A student may request that the members of the committee review and comment on a preliminary version of the dissertation. This procedure is encouraged since it should provide the student with ideas of how to enhance the quality of the dissertation and should facilitate its acceptance.
When preparing the Thesis/Dissertation, it is critical to follow the guidelines defined by the College of Engineering.
A student should provide the members of the committee with the final version of the dissertation no later than two weeks prior to the dissertation presentation and defense. The student should be aware that he/she may be required to make substantial changes in the dissertation in order to satisfy the requirements of the committee.
Each candidate is required to present and defend his/her thesis/dissertation at a public meeting and post an announcement with an abstract with the ECE office at least two weeks before defense date. Please check with the ECE Department for further details. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee will make the final judgment of the acceptance of the defense of the document.
The thesis/dissertation announcement is to let the public know that the student has completed successfully his/her research and that he/she is ready for graduation. The announcement must be distributed to all faculty and students. One additional copy must be submitted to the ECE Department for filing. Refer to the web site given for more information.
Note: The student may request that the members of the Thesis/Dissertation Committee review and comment on a preliminary version of the thesis. This practice is encouraged since it should provide the student with ideas on how to improve the quality of the thesis and should also facilitate its acceptance. The student is required to present the final draft of the thesis to the members of the committee no later than two weeks prior to the date of the thesis defense. The student should be aware that he/she may be required to make substantial changes, before and after the defense, in the thesis in order to satisfy the requirements of the committee.
Upon successful defense of the thesis, and once all signatures of the committee members have been obtained, the student must submit one copy of the thesis to the Director of Graduate Studies for review. A thesis submission form and this copy, together with the correct number of signature pages, must be submitted to the ECE front desk before the deadline stated in the Department calendar.
Obtaining ECE Department’s Chair signature
Once the thesis has been approved by the director of graduate studies, thesis and official signature pages will be submitted to the chairman for his signature. The student will be notified by staff for pick up. Department process for thesis submission is now complete. Students must now submit the Department approved thesis submission form with appropriate documents to the Dean’s office for review.
Official thesis submission for binding
The college web site provides instructions on how to submit the thesis once the dean’s office has given approval for binding. Once the student is at this stage, he/she must submit a copy of the thesis binding agreement received from the Dean’s office to the ECE Department so that appropriate letter grade(s) can be awarded.