George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Signals and Communication

From birdsongs to foghorns, heartbeats to ricochets, earthquakes to GPS pings, signals are a part of every moment of our lives. The new wave in signals and communication is found in the expertise at the Volgenau School of Engineering, because transmitting, receiving, and processing those complex patterns of information efficiently, securely, and with the best definition relies on an expertly engineered communication system. 

Volgenau faculty, Kathleen Wage stands aboard a research vessel in the Philippine Sea.

Volgenau researcher Kathleen Wage prepares to deploy a sonobuoy from the research vessel Melville during a 2009 Philippine Sea experiment.

Communicating Knowledge

How do animals know to seek higher or more stable ground before an earthquake, and what can it teach us about disaster preparedness? Will we be able to transmit large amounts of information to the first colony on Mars? Can we use advanced sonar to detect mechanical problems in deep water oil wells before they fail? Is it possible to replicate amplify impulses for better control of prosthetic limbs?

Signals and communication engineers examine such questions and challenges in their daily work.

George Mason University boasts global recognition for our 30-year track record of advancement in this specialized engineering field, through such courses as:

Volgenau students will learn the underlying mathematically based theory of communication systems and signals, and experience the hardware aspects of communication systems in the lab. Students can develop in-depth knowledge of signal processing, data and digital communication, optical communication, or random processes as related to communication engineering.

Educational Programs Related to Signals and Communications

Volgenau’s programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering design and build devices and systems for use in transportation, health care, and manufacturing. With more people using digital devices for work and entertainment, efficient and reliable communication relies on the ability of electrical and computer engineers to find innovative and secure ways to send and receive information.

Bachelor's Degrees

Bioengineering, BS
Bioengineering, also referred to as biomedical engineering, is the application of engineering tools and approaches to solve problems in biology and medicine. It's a broad and growing field that draws upon rapid advances in technology and computation, as well as on unprecedented growth in basic biological understanding.

Computer Engineering, BS
Computer engineering is a blend of electrical engineering and computer science. It is an amalgam of the computer hardware orientation of an electrical engineering program and the operating systems and languages of a computer science program. Computer engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a variety of digital systems, from integrated circuits to computer systems and large-scale computer networks.

Electrical Engineering, BS
Electrical engineers design and build the equipment that most of us take for granted—computers, cell phones, televisions, rockets, satellites, communications and computer networks, mobile radios, environmental control systems, robots, weapons, and cars, to name a few. Electrical engineering is the foundation on which computer engineering and computer science rest. Students in this program learn the fundamentals of electrical engineering, then choose a focus in one of the major fields of electronics—communications, networks and signal processing, computer engineering, or controls and robots.

Master's Degrees

Electrical Engineering, MS
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an MS in electrical engineering with specializations in: bioengineering, communications and networking, signal processing, control and robotics, microelectronics/nanoelectronics, and system architectures. Graduate students are offered a progressive environment with ample opportunities for the type of advanced research needed to confront the complex realities of the 21st century.

Computer Engineering, MS
Computer engineering involves knowledge of hardware and software development. Students learn how to design new generations of computers, as well as embedded computing systems, such as those found in smartphones, cars, appliances, computer networks, and smart factories. Students may specialize in digital systems design, microprocessor and embedded systems, digital signal processing, computer networks, and network and system security.

Computer Forensics, MS
Computer forensics is a discipline addressing the collection, processing, and analysis of digital information so the data can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. It is interdisciplinary in its nature, with the inclusion of computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics. Computer forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism matters. The MS in Computer Forensics will prepare graduates for careers in law enforcement, several branches of government, and in the corporate sector by combining academic education with real-world practical techniques.

Telecommunications, MS
The MS in Telecommunications is an interdisciplinary program designed for students who wish to enter the field of telecommunications or are working in the field and want to advance their professional knowledge. It concentrates on practical applications, engineering and IT, in combination with business and policy. This blend benefits students who intend to work in a management or decision-making position within the telecommunications industry, telecommunications-related businesses, or government institutions dealing with telecommunications.

Doctoral Degrees

Bioengineering, PhD

The doctoral program in bioengineering is designed to prepare future leaders in bioengineering. The terms bioengineering and biomedical engineering often have been used synonymously, referring to the application of engineering techniques to solve problems in biology and medicine. Rapid advances in understanding the molecular bases of disease have opened up new opportunities to advance human health through research that integrates knowledge in modern biology, engineering, physics, and computer science.

Electrical and Computer Engineering, PhD
The PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering educates students to do original research on ECE topics and become technical leaders in their fields. Students may choose from such research areas as communications, networking, computer engineering, control and robotics, signal processing, micro/nano-electronics, and bioengineering. With a strong and growing department reputation for excellence, graduates have become professors at other universities and researchers in industrial and government research centers.

Career Opportunities

Studies in signals and communication open the door to a wide range of fields, in such areas as:

Hardware Design Computer and Data Networks
Software Design Project Managment
System Design Patent Law