Jun 13, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Electrical Engineering, M.S.E.E.

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Colleges  > Cullen College of Engineering  > Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering  > Electrical Engineering, M.S.E.E.



The Master of Science (MSEE) degree is a research-oriented degree and requires the completion of a thesis. A thesis describes the result of contemporary research capable of being published in a scientific or engineering journal and conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor.  Selection of an advisor is critical to completing the degree and therefore should be done as soon as possible.

Although the MSEE program is open to both part-time and full-time students, the MEE program (structured courses only) may be more appropriate for part-time students because of the research element of the MSEE.  Changing to the MEE program from an MSEE program involving financial support requires approval of the advisor.


Admission Requirements    
  1. Unconditional Admission  
  2. Conditional Admission  
General Requirements    
  1.Transfer of Credits 11. Reinstatement
  2. Official Advisor 12. Time limitation
  3. Advising 13. Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons
  4. Enrollment Hours 14. Withdrawal from the Graduate Program
  5. Reduced Course Load 15. Change of degree objective plan within the department
  6. Academic Honesty 16. Change of major
  7. Cumulative Grade Point_Average (GPA) 17. Graduation
  8. Major Grade Point Average (MGPA) 18. Enrollment after Graduation
  9. Four-C rule 19. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  10. Leave of Absence 20. Notes
General Course and Program Requirements    
  1. Course Requirements  
  2. Thesis Information  


Admission Requirements

 1. Unconditional Admission:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, or in a closely related field, from an accredited institution, with a grade point average of at least 3.0/4.0 (or equivalent) for 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 146 on the Verbal, greater than 155 on the Quantitative and greater than 4.0 on the Writing Assessment.
  • International students must submit an official TOEFL score of 92 or better.
  • Three letters of recommendation on official letterhead with mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and email of the recommender.

2. Conditional Admission:

  • Same as above except the grade point average may be between 2.6 and 3.0 with high GRE scores.
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • The conditionally admitted student must earn a grade point average of at least 3.0 on the first 12 semester hours of graduate work after enrolled at the University of Houston. A general petition needs to be submitted to change conditional admission status after 12 hours.




1. Transfer of Credits

A student may transfer up to 6 hours of graduate-level work completed elsewhere or at the University of Houston upon the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. The student will need to file a general petition within one semester after admission to graduate program.

(Courses in Technology programs cannot be transferred.)

2. Official Advisor

The faculty member charged with supervising your dissertation will be your official advisor. The Graduate Director will serve as your default advisor during the first year if no official advisor has been found.

Students must declare an official advisor on a general petition at end of the second semester.

If a student is interested in working with another advisor, the official advisor must initially approve the change to a new advisor via general petition. The general petition must also include the new advisor’s signature prior to submission for the Department to review.


3. Advising

Graduate advising is mandatory upon admission into the graduate program in Electrical and Computer Engineering, both prior to the first registration and in subsequent semesters.  MSEE students are advised by their thesis advisors. The thesis advisor should approve all proposed coursework during registration cycles before each academic semester. All approval of coursework must be done by completing the Graduate Academic Advising Form. Failure to complete this form may result in administrative disenrollment in courses not approved. If the student does not have a thesis advisor upon initial enrollment, the Director of Graduate Studies shall advise the student.

If your advisor has a joint appointment, he/she must have ECE research/dissertation hours set up with the Department prior to the registration cycle each semester.  Research and dissertation course numbers are unique to the professor which will supply the numbers. 


4. Enrollment Hours

Early enrollment is highly recommended for all students. Classes fill up quickly and may not be available during the early semester rush.  Department enrollment deadlines as well as the official calendar are posted on the Department web site. General information on supported enrollment hours can be found at the following college website, http://www.egr.uh.edu/graduate/policies/?e=gradpolicies1.

Be aware that courses taken for personal enrichment will not be counted towards the degree plan and must be approved by the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrollment.  Enrichment hours cannot be used towards the required total number of hours when an assistantship is being received.

  • Non - supported (US/Int’l.) students must maintain enrollment of at least 3 hours (US) or 9 hours (international) during each Fall/Spring semester. Summer enrollment is not necessary (no special permission is required).
  • Supported (US/Int’l.) students must enroll full time in each semester (i.e., Fall, Summer and Spring).

See details at http://www.egr.uh.edu/graduate/policies/?e=gradpolicies1


5. Reduced Course Load

Requests to enroll below the minimum number of hours required may be granted for non-supported students on a one-time basis. Students must have filed an approved degree plan showing that all degree requirements (except thesis) have been met.  For a 3 hour reduced course load a student must defend their thesis no later than the 12th day of class (approximately September 5, February 1, or June 10).  A copy of the research announcement, plus a signed letter from the research advisor confirming the date of the defense must accompany the request.

Students must supply the following supporting documents:

1. A copy of the thesis defense announcement.

2. An approved degree plan for graduation.

3. An approved statement of your time line for defense and graduation.

4. Reduced course load form from ISSSO office.

Reduced course load may be requested for a one time approval. Students are required to enroll full time if additional semesters are needed. Please note that full-time enrollment prior to the start of the semester is required for all students seeking an exception to enrollment requirements. The Department will adjust the enrollment once the petition to enroll below the minimum hours has been approved.


6. Academic Honesty

Students are to maintain and encourage high ethical standard practices among peers and with the general public by observing all accepted principles of academic honesty. However, when case(s) of academic dishonesty occur, the Department will enforce the academic honesty guidelines that are written by the university. Academic honesty policy and procedural information are available in the student’s handbook and on the web site below.


7. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

This average is on all courses attempted at the university during the graduate program. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in order to remain in good academic standing for the graduate program. An academic stop will be placed on the student record when he/she fails to maintain this average. The student will receive an academic letter from the department outlining the reinstatement procedure each semester until the GPA has reached 3.0 or better. At that time, he/she must seek the academic advisor’s assistance on the removal of this stop for future enrollment.

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for supported students
    • The cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better at all times in order to maintain eligibility for assistantships or in-state tuition waivers when applicable.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for scholarship students
    • The cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better at all times in order to receive the in-state tuition waiver.  If you do not meet this requirement, you will lose the scholarship and no longer be eligible for in-state tuition.  If you drop below the 3.0 GPA in the first semester, you may not receive the 2nd installment of the scholarship.


8. Major Grade Point Average (MGPA)

This average is only on courses that are on the student’s degree plan. Students must maintain a MGPA of 3.0 prior to applying for graduation.


9. Four C-rule

The following passage is from the university graduate & professional studies catalog.

Low Grade Policy


10. Leave of Absence

Students must request a leave of absence from the graduate program when enrollment is not possible for a given semester by submitting a general petition to the Graduate Admissions Office to maintain good academic status. Once a decision has been made by the Director of Graduate Studies, an academic stop will be placed on record for future enrollment.

Students who will be absent for more than 13 months must submit a new formal application.


11. Reinstatement

A general petition is needed for reinstatement to the graduate program. In addition to the general petition, students must include a degree plan with all courses taken and an advising form indicating which courses the student intends to enroll in during the semester for which reinstatement is sought. Such requests must be filed according to the graduate admission deadline for new students to avoid delay in preferred enrollment for the returning semester. Students can only enroll when an approved petition has been received.


12. Time limitation

A Master’s degree- seeking student must complete the program within five years of the date of enrollment at the University of Houston. In the event that the student could not complete the program, he/she must submit a general petition requesting an exception to this rule. Student must attach an outline of expired course(s), a date expected for graduation, and a current degree plan along with the general petition to the ECE Department for review. For more information, please refer to the web site:



13. Withdrawal Due to Medical Reasons

Students seeking a medical withdrawal should contact the Department graduate office via email to receive appropriate information for processing.  All relevant documents must be submitted to the Department no later than one week of the email contact.  In case the student cannot submit appropriate information at the time of leave, he/she must submit the required documents within one week upon filing a request to return to the graduate program. 


14. Withdrawal from the Graduate Program

Should circumstances cause a student to be unable to continue with the designated degree program, he/she should submit a general petition requesting the file to be closed. In this circumstance a student requiring readmission will need to reapply by following the procedures for new applicants. This process is not recommended for students who have the intention of returning to the Department at a later time.


15. Change of degree objective/plan within the department

Students seeking a change in degree plan will need to submit a general petition to officially request such a change. The current advisor must initially approve the general petition. The general petition must be submitted way in advance for the plan change and will only be effective in the upcoming semester. A petition will not be processed once a new semester has already begun. Students on visa must notify ISSSO when a change of major has been approved. Change in degree objective request can be submitted one time.


16. Change of major

Students who have an interest in another major must file an approved general petition from the other Department to the ECE Department in order to have files transferred to the new Department . An academic stop will remain on student’s record until this procedure is completed.


17. Graduation

Graduation is not automatic.  The student must be enrolled at the time of filing for a graduation application. The student is required to officially apply on-line at https://my.uh.edu/ and submit the degree plan in addition to official documents to the ECE Department according to the Department deadline stated on the calendar.  If the student discovers that he/she will not be able to graduate during the previously indicated semester, the student must first send an email to the graduate office as soon as possible to disapprove the graduation process.  The student must then reapply for graduation in a future semester.  All updated forms and degree plan will need to be submitted.   


18. Enrollment after Graduation

A new application is required for a former student who has an interest in future enrollment at the university. Please refer to the admission deadline for application posted on the Department website.


19. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

The purpose of curricular practical training (CPT) is to gain insight to the student’s academic program; therefore, it must be considered as “an integral part of an established curriculum.”

The ECE Department will allow up to six (6) hours of CPT (“internships”) in the following situations:

1. MSEE students who need to be employed by an outside agency in order to collect data for their thesis.

2. A general petition is submitted before the start of the semester in which the student intends to participate in an internship. The petition must include a formal job offer on the hiring company’s stationary, a description of the work to be performed, a beginning and ending date, and the salary offered. MSEE candidates must obtain approval from their thesis advisor as well.

3. The work must be related to the practice of electrical and/or computer engineering.

4. Only half-time employment is allowed during Fall and Spring semesters. Full-time employment is allowed during the Summer semester.

5. MSEE students can substitute up to six hours of research courses (ECE 6x98).

6. MSEE students will not be able to apply for graduation in the same semester as requesting CPT.

7. CPT candidates must officially return to campus prior to the beginning of the new semester.

CPT will not be approved under any other circumstances. All procedures must be approved by the ECE department prior to approval by any other offices. CPT COOP is not part of the MSEE degree program.

For more information on the College and University requirements regarding CPT, please review websites indicated below.





20. Notes

The student should refer to the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog for other requirements and regulations such as course load, time limitations, 4-C rule, etc. Nothing in this document is intended to supersede or supplant the regulations set forth by the University of Houston in the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog.


Course Requirements

To receive the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, 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 of graduate studies, at least 21 hours of coursework and 9 hours of thesis and research. Specifically, the following are required:

1. At least 15 hours of coursework in ECE, at or higher than the 6000 level. Out of these, at least 6 hours should be in the area of concentration of the student. At most, 6 hours could be equivalent to 5000-levelcourses.

2. Exactly six hours of thesis (ECE 6399 and ECE 7399) and at least 3 hours of research (ECE 6x98).

3. Out of the minimum of 21 hours of coursework, at most 6 hours could be in a related technical field.

These courses should be deemed appropriate for the professional development of the student (i.e., courses related to the thesis topic), and must be from a department outside ECE at the 4000 level or higher. Both the student’s thesis advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies must approve them. In any case, no credit will be given for courses that are equivalent to courses used in the student’s undergraduate degree.

4.Course(s) 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

In case a graduate level (6000 or above) course exists 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 general petition. Please see deadline on the Department calendar.

Under no circumstances will graduate credit be awarded for both the ECE and non-ECE version of the course. Courses offered at other institutions such as Rice University/UT Health, etc. may be available for enrollment pending prior approval from both advisor and the Graduate Director is required. Students must take coursework, if available at our main campus. Complete a general petition and an inter-institutional form for the process. Refer to the University website below for more information.


Thesis Information



Thesis Committee

The student should form a Thesis Committee with the Thesis Advisor (who must be a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) as chair as soon as the thesis topic is selected. The Committee must consist of

1. thesis advisor as chair;

2. at least one additional faculty member from the Electrical and Computer Engineering


3. at least one University of Houston tenure-track faculty member outside this Department.

The thesis committee form must be submitted well before the proposal defense is scheduled since the latter cannot take place unless the thesis committee has been formally approved by the ECE Department and Engineering Dean’s Office. Student does not need to be enrolled while requesting to form a committee, however, enrollment is required when the proposal defense takes place.

In the event that some members of the previously approved committee have to be replaced, the student must submit an updated committee form listing all committee members. Only the new member(s) have to sign the form.


Thesis proposal

Once the Thesis Committee has been formed and approved, the student should prepare and defend a Thesis Proposal. During this semester, the student must be enrolled in ECE 6399. The Thesis Committee should confirm their approval by signing the Thesis Proposal Form. This form, together with a copy of the approved thesis proposal, has to be submitted to the ECE Department by the deadline specified on the semester calendar. Appropriate forms for the Thesis Committee formation and the Thesis Proposal defense can be obtained from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering web site: http://www.ee.uh.edu/graduate/ms-thesis-student-info


Thesis Defense

The thesis 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.


After the successful defense of the Thesis Proposal, the student may register for


Ideally, the student should 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.

The student may request that the members of the Thesis 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 its defense) in order to satisfy the requirements of the committee.


Preparation and Submission of the Thesis

It is important for students to follow the current guidelines written by the College of Engineering while preparing thesis for submission to avoid delays in approval of thesis. The link below contains official guidelines for students to follow.


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. Refer to web site given for further details.



Obtaining ECE Department’s Chair Signature

Once the thesis has been approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, the thesis and official signature pages should be submitted to the Chairman for his signature. The student will be notified by staff for pick up. The Department process for thesis submission is now complete. Students must now submit to the Department an approved thesis submission form with appropriate documents to the Dean’s office for review.


Official Thesis Submission for Binding

The College web site listed below 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.


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