Computer Engineering


Master of Science | Computer Engineering

Program Format:   
Entrance Exam: GRE

The Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCPE) is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in an engineering discipline who wish to pursue a graduate degree in computer engineering. The strengths of the NC State program include networking, VLSI systems and computer architecture and systems. The 30-credit-hour program does not require a thesis. The GRE is required for all applicants.

This program is administered by Engineering Online at NC State.


Minimum requirements for admissions to the graduate degree program in computer engineering include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in electrical or computer engineering.
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.25/4.0. Persons with a 3.0 GPA may be admitted on a provisional basis.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • The GRE is required for all applicants.


See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

The program consists of 30 credit hours. A full-time graduate student may take 9 credit hours of course work per semester; part-time students typically take 3 or 6 credit hours of course work per semester. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course which appears on the NC State graduate transcript. All students must comply with Graduate School regulations for continuous registration or must request a leave of absence not to exceed one year.

Students who are employed full-time may enroll in only two courses per semester. It is highly recommended that new students enroll in just one course during their first semester.

Students are assigned an academic advisor and work with this advisor to develop an individual Plan of Graduate Work. Some specialty areas have specific course requirements.

Minimum MSEE/MSCPE Degree Requirements

  1. The MS Plan of Work must have at least 31 credit hours.
  2. ECE 600 is a mandatory 1 credit hour course for EE/CPE graduate students. This requirement will be waived for students with a previous degree from NC State.
  3. Complete at least 21 credit hours of ECE courses: 18 credit hours must be graded and 3 credit hours may be taken for credit only (S/U).
  4. For MS non-thesis (Option B) students, a maximum of three credit hours of ECE 633 or 634 (taken for credit only) may be included on the Option B Plan of Work. ECE 695 cannot be included on the Option B Plan of Work.
  5. For MS thesis students, a maximum of nine credit hours may be taken for credit only (S/U) and included on the Plan of Work: three credit hours of ECE 633 or 634 and six credit hours of ECE 695.

II. MSEE/MSCPE Plan of Work Requirements

The department requires the following to be included in the Plan of Work:
  1. Major: Five courses must be in the student’s major (EE or CPE). The courses with an EE/CPE designation can count towards either major.
  2. Depth: One 700-level ECE course (minimum of three credit hours), in the student's major (CPE). This requirement cannot be met with non-ECE 700-level courses.
  3. Breadth: Three ECE courses, each in a different specialty.
Note: One course can meet multiple requirements.

III. Non-ECE Courses

A maximum of 9 credit hours of non-ECE courses may be included in the Plan of Work. Of these nine credit hours, a maximum of three credit hours may be 400 level, while the remaining credit hours must be graduate non-ECE courses (500 or 700 level). The courses should be in a related technical area and follow these guidelines:
  1. Graduate level courses in CSC, MA, STAT, PHYS, CH, or any other engineering department.
  2. MBA and BUS courses that are listed for the CNE program.
Entry Semester Application Deadlines and Details
FallJan 9 (US and Intl)
SpringJuly 1 (US and Intl)

Dr. Paul Franzon

Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

College of Engineering