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Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Students work on senior design projects at the Electrical and Computer Engineering lab (ECE) lab on Centennial Campus. Photo by Marc Hall

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCPE) is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in an engineering disciple 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. It is a 31 credit-hour degree that does not require a thesis, oral exam or on-campus residency.

Admission Requirements

Students need to apply to the Computer Engineering-Distance Track-MS in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The application is entered online through the Graduate School.

It is preferable to seek admission to the MSCPE program as soon as possible to assure integration into the advising process. Non-thesis MS students are advised by the ECE Assistant Director of Graduate Programs. A person does not have to be admitted to a degree program to enroll in an online credit course. Prior to applying to Graduate School, a qualified individual may enroll in Engineering Online courses as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student. The NDS classification is designed for individuals who wish to undertake academic work but who are not currently admitted to a degree program. If the student is admitted to the MSCPE program, a maximum of twelve hours of graduate-level transfer and NDS credits (B or better in each course) may apply toward the 31 credit-hour degree requirement.

The minimum requirements for admissions to the graduate degree program in Computer Engineering are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in electrical or computer engineering.
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.25/4.00. Persons with a 3.0 GPA may be admitted on a provisional basis.
  • Completion of the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for all applicants, unless waived by the Director of Graduate Programs.
  • Statement of Purpose – a statement about your academic career, research, and career goals.
  • Three strong recommendations from persons able to comment on the applicant’s qualification for graduate study.
  • Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in electrical or computer engineering must satisfy the requirements listed in the ECE Graduate handbook or on the ECE graduate website.

The distance education MSCPE degree program is limited to those individuals who work or reside in the United States and to United States military personnel serving overseas. The Graduate School requires that all international applicants take the TOEFL or IELTS examination unless they have completed one year of study at a university in the United States. The exam must have been taken within 24 months of your anticipated date of entry.

Degree Requirements

Successful completion of 31 credit hours in courses as follows:

  • 1 credit hour of ECE 600 in the first semester. This is mandatory.
  • 21 credit hours in graduate-level ECE courses
  • 9 credit hours in graduate-level courses outside ECE (or can be in Electrical Engineering).
  • 6 of the 21 credit hours must be at the 700-level in ECE, one of which must be CPE.
  • 15 of the 21 credit hours must be from the Computer Engineering track (CPE) Please see the ECE Graduate handbook APPENDIX A for courses/track/specialty area
    • Note: Only 3 credit hours of the 21 ECE credit hours can be for S/U
  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 out of 4.0 cumulative GPA.
  • All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course appearing on the NC State graduate transcript.
  • Admitted students must comply with the Graduate School regulations for continuous enrollment or must request a leave of absence not to exceed two semesters.

Find out more about the degree requirements.

Course Registration

Distance-track students register for online courses through Engineering Online. Those who wish to take only a few courses and not pursue a degree, do not need to apply for formal program admission to NC State University. However, students who wish to earn the MSCPE degree must formally apply for admission to the Graduate School. When completing the online application, please be sure to select the “Distance Track” version of the degree.

To register for an Engineering Online course, complete the registration form on the Engineering Online website. Students cannot register through the University MyPack Portal system for Engineering Online courses.

Courses for the Graduate Plan of Work are selected with the concurrence of the student’s advisor. Non-thesis MS students are advised by the ECE Assistant Director of Graduate Programs.

Course Offerings

A list of distance education courses available for each semester can be found on the Engineering Online website. Full-time employed individuals can only enroll in two online courses per semester. It is highly recommended that new students enroll in only one online course during their first semester.

Course Logistics

Online courses are the same as on-campus courses in terms of content, requirements and academic rigor. On-campus class lectures are captured, digitized and placed on the Internet for distance students to access at any time and from any location. Students must, however, follow the on-campus class schedule in terms of submitting homework and taking exams. Course assignments, lecture notes, and handouts are made available to distance students on the course website. All in-class exams must be proctored.

Contact Information