Electrical Engineering, MS

Contact Info

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Nguyen Engineering Building, 3100
4400 University Drive, MS 1G5
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-1569

Email: ece@gmu.edu

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. The program is committed to high standards of teaching and research excellence in communications, digital systems design, computer networks, microprocessor and embedded systems, distributed computing, signal and image processing, control systems, robotics, intelligent systems, systems integration, and microelectronics. 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.

Find degree requirements in the university catalog.

Program Requirements

Please see the University Catalog for complete information on program requirements and policies. Additional specifications may apply.

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission to the master’s program, applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a closely-related discipline from an accredited program with a reputation for high academic standards, and have earned a GPA of B or better during the last 60 credits. Other requirements are as follows:

  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from academic references or references in industry or government who hold advanced degrees and are familiar with the applicant’s professional accomplishments
  • Detailed statement of career goals and aspirations
  • For students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university, satisfactory performance on the GRE
  • For students whose native language is not English, a minimum TOEFL score of 575 for the paper-based exam or 230 for the computer-based exam. A minimum score of 600 for the paper-based exam or 250 for the computer-based exam is required for applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship.

Degree Requirements (30 credits)

The electrical engineering program offers the following specialization areas: bioengineering, communications and networking, signal processing, control and robotics, microelectronics/nanoelectronics, and system architectures.

Before the end of the second semester, each student submits to the graduate coordinator’s office a plan of study that has been approved by the academic advisor. This plan should be kept up to date by regular consultation with the academic advisor. A final, signed version of the plan must be turned in when the student submits a graduation application.

Core Courses:

Two courses from the following:


Upper-Level Courses 

Students must also complete a coherent set of a minimum of three courses at the 600 level or above (not including ECE 798 or ECE 799). For guidance for selecting a coherent set of courses, students are referred to the courses listed for each of the program’s specialization areas listed on the ECE website.  A maximum of 6 credits of non-ECE courses may be used, subject to prior department approval.

Seminar Requirement

Graduate students are expected to participate actively in the exchange of knowledge and ideas in their discipline. Towards this objective, all degree candidates must attend a minimum of 6 graduate seminars approved for the degree program. Approved seminars are publicized on the departmental webpage.  To demonstrate completion of the seminar requirement, students must register for ECE 795 in their final semester.

Thesis/Scholarly Paper Option

To complete the program, students may select one of the following options:

Thesis Option

Students who select this option must complete ECE 799 - Master's Thesis (six credits) and 24 credits of course work. The thesis is particularly recommended for those students who wish to develop and document their research skills or contemplate subsequent enrollment in a PhD program. The thesis involves a research effort conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In some cases, permission may be granted to complete a portion of the work at the student’s place of employment. The final written thesis and oral defense are approved by the student’s advisory committee.  Students register for at least three credits of thesis for their first thesis semester. Following their first thesis semester, they register for at least one credit of thesis each fall and spring semester until graduation.

Scholarly Paper Option

Students who select to complete their degree program with a scholarly paper must:

  • Complete 30 credits of course work
  • Register for ECE 797 - Scholarly Paper
  • Enroll in a 600-level or above course requiring a research project.
  • Write a Scholarly Paper project report and present findings as part of the course requirements.

An acceptable scholarly paper must be technically sound, adhere to accepted formatting standards for technical reports, and contain a significant literature review evidenced by a comprehensive list of cited references.  A list of courses requiring projects that can be used to satisfy the scholarly paper requirement will be published on the department website.


A master’s degree in electrical engineering builds technical knowledge and specialization for professionals who create electrical transmission and storage systems. The application for this type of skill is relatively boundless, as newer device iterations require novel approaches to capture, store, and efficiently exploit energy. Job growth in the next decade is expected to hold steady at 5 percent. In the U.S., the highest demand for electrical engineers lies in design consulting and expertise for manufacturing. Graduates with a master’s degree are better trained to obtain this type of work. Electrical engineers are required to be licensed. Preparation for the licensure examinations is available through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Volgenau.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at http://catalog.gmu.edu.