Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Graduate Studies in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Rowan ECE offers two graduate programs, a new Ph.D. in Engineering with specialization in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which consists of research track (with thesis) and professional track (courses only). This page provides an overview of these programs, while a more detailed description is available under the Master of Science in ECE and Ph.D. in ECE links on the navigation panel.

On this page:

Why Should You Go to Graduate School?

Among many reasons why students pursue graduate study, here are some of the most common:

  • Opportunity to specialize in your field of interest – graduate study allows you to focus your studies on topics that particularly interest you.
  • Opportunity to expand your skill set – after completing a Bachelor of Science (or Bachelor of Art) degree, your graduate degree could be a Master of Science (MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), a degree in Law or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Job security - everything else being equal, those with advanced degrees are more likely to retain their positions and/or find a replacement position when needed.
  • Opportunity to earn a higher salary – on average, engineers with a Master’s degree receive a 20% higher starting salary, compared to a BS graduate. Those with a Ph.D. degree can expect even higher earnings. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a MS degree in engineering - on average - will earn you $4 - $5 Million over the course of 35 year career.
  • Opportunity to further advance in your career - those with graduate degrees are more likely (and faster) to advance in their career to managerial positions


Graduate Certificate Programs at Rowan ECE

Certificate of Graduate Studies in Machine Learning                             back to top

Machine learning has been one of the fastest growing fields in all sciences and engineering. Not a day goes by that we hear another story that talks about how machine learning has become part of our lives. The number of applications where machine learning systems make automated decisions in place of humans have grown exponentially. There is a significant demand in this area for qualified professionals, and these professionals have some of the highest starting salary of any profession. Students graduating with a graduate degree in a machine learning related field typically receive salary offers that can reach $150,000 or higher.

A unique aspect of this program is the practical project-based experience that it provides: the COGS in Machine Learning features four classes, three of which are lecture based classes (3 credits each), but each with its own major project component. The fourth class is a project or thesis-based class, where students work on real-world unsolved problems. The students will need to focus their project / thesis based course on machine learning.

Hence through this four-class sequence, the Machine Learning COGS will provide breadth and depth in theoretical foundations of machine learning, as well as practical real-world project experience. As a result of this broad fundamental and practical experience we expect our students to be particularly marketable, attracting high paying salaries.

The Machine Learning Certificate program consists of four courses as follows:

Required courses

  • ECE 09.555 Advanced Topics in Pattern Recognition (3 credits). This class should be taken first
  • ECE 09.595 Advanced Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence, Machine
    Learning and Data Mining, or
    ECE 09558 Reinforcement Learning


Choose two courses from the following list

  • ECE 09560 Artificial Neural Networks (3 cr)
  • ECE 09566 Systems, Devices and Algorithms in Bioinformatics (3 cr)
  • One of the following
    • ECE 09595 Advanced Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence, Machine
      Learning and Data Mining*  (3 cr) or
    • ECE 09558 Reinforcement Learning* (3 cr)
  • ECE 09655 Advanced Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning (3 cr)
  • ENGR 01511 Engineering Optimization 3
  • One of the following research experiences (must be strictly machine learning related)
    • ENGR 01599 Master’s Thesis Research  (3 cr) or
    • ENGR 01799 Doctoral Research (3 cr)
* Course can be taken as an elective if not already taken as one of the required courses. Contact the program coordinator for additional details.
** Permission of instructor is required for non-engineering students. Contact the program coordinator for additional details

Certificate of Graduate Studies in Power Systems Engineering               back to top

Power systems engineering is experiencing a significant growth thanks to new, emerging renewable energy sources. This program is designed to provide a breadth and depth to students and professionals who want to specialize in Power Systems engineering and prepare them for a career in power and energy area. A unique aspect of this program is its technical foundation in electric power systems focused on the operation of emerging systems. Through this four-class sequence, you will be able to articulate the core concepts of conventional system analysis, different renewable system analysis, electricity market and different smart grid enabling techniques. The completion of this program will provide you with the necessary skill sets to start or leap jump a career in power and energy industry or pursue more advanced education in power system engineering.

The Power Systems Engineering Certificate program consists of four courses as follows:

Required courses

  • ECE 09.504 ST ECE: Power System Engineering (3 credit hours) - This course must be taken first.
  • ECE 09.510 Advanced Alternate Energy Systems (3 credit hours)


Choose either two courses (strongly recommended) from Knowledge Area 1 OR choose one from Knowledge Area 1 and one from Knowledge Area 2

Knowledge Area 1 (Courses with immediate relevance to Power Systems)

  • ECE 09.572 Advanced Smart Grid (3 credit hour)
  • ECE 09.573 Advanced Smart Sensors (3 credit hour)
  • ECE 09.515 Emerging Electricity Market (3 credit hour)

Knowledge Area 2 (supportive courses of relevance) – If only one course is taken from Knowledge Area 1, choose any one of the following. If you take two courses from Knowledge Area 1 (recommended), then the following is not required

  • ECE 09.585 Advanced Engineering Cyber Security (3 credit hour)
  • ECE 09.655 Advanced Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning (3 credit hour)
  • ECE 09.521 Fundamentals in Systems Engineering (3 credit hour)
  • ENGR 01.501 Engineering Economics (3 credit hour)
  • ENGR 01.511 Engineering Optimization (3 credit hour)
  • ENGR 01.598 Engineering Graduate Research (3 credit hour)
One of the following can be used if the research is strictly related to Power Systems
  • ENGR 01.599 Master’s Research (3 credit hour)
  • ENGR 01.699 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (3 credit hour)
  • ENGR 01.799 Doctoral Research / Dissertation (3 credit hour)


Certificate of Graduate Studies in Combat Systems Engineering              back to top

In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Company, the ECE department is now offering a new certificate program, called Certificate of Graduate  Studies (COGS) in Combat Systems Engineering (there is also a Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUGS) in Combat Systems Engineering (CSE), described in the ECE Curriculum section of our website). These certificate programs are intended to help develop the growing workforce needs of the area’s prominent defense industry. In fact, all classes are taught in cooperation with Lockheed Martin engineers. 

Active participation and successful completion of this program give students skills in analysis, design, evaluation, and validation of combat systems that are essential for all systems engineering jobs in the defense industry, and hence can dramatically increase your chances of getting one of those highly sought-after and well-paying defense industry positions.

The four courses in COGS are

  • ECE 09.523           Advanced Radar Systems
  • ECE 09.524           Advanced War Gaming and C4ISR
  • ECE 09.525           Advanced Command and Control
  • ECE 09.526           Advanced Weapon Systems

Unlike the corresponding CUGS, there is no restriction regarding how many of these four graduate classes can be counted towards the MS in ECE program, and indeed all four of them can be used to satisfy the graduate degree program requirements, so long as they are approved by your graduate advisor. All thesis/dissertation students MUST, therefore, consult with their thesis advisors before registering for any of these classes to ensure that the classes fit into their program of study.

Please also see the Graduate Programs in Combat Systems Engineering brochure for additional details. 


Graduate Programs at Rowan ECE

B.S. / M.S. in ECE Dual Degree Program

Qualified students can complete a dual B.S. and M.S. in ECE in five years. To graduate with the dual BS/MS degrees in ECE, students must satisfy the full degree requirements for the BS and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs. The 4+1 BS/MS in ECE program allows eligible students accepted into the programs to take up to 12 graduate credits during their senior year. Furthermore, six (6) of these credits can be double counted to satisfy the degree requirements of both the BS in ECE and the MS in ECE programs. The remaining graduate credits can only be applied to the MS in ECE program.

In summary, these full degree requirements entail the requirements of
  • The existing 128 credit BS-ECE curriculum
  • The existing 30 credit MS-ECE curriculum
  • A minimum of 152 total credits for completion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering CADP (with 6 credits double counted)

Specific requirements for the graduate level coursework include satisfaction of Category 2 Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress status as defined by Rowan Global:

  • Graduate coursework letter grades must be no lower than “B-“
  • Cumulative graduate coursework GPA must remain at 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0) scale

For additional details, admission and graduation requirements, curricular structure, please see the B.S. / M.S. in ECE Dual Degree Program pages  as well as the Master of Science in ECE pages.

Master of Science (MS) in Electrical and Computer Engineering                                                                        back to top

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rowan offers two tracks for the MS in ECE, both of which consists of 30-credits. For details, please visit Master of Science in ECE (also available on the navigation panel on the left)

Track 1 - Research (Thesis) Track
This track is designed for those who are interested in developing an expertise within a specific area of focus within Electrical and Computer Engineering. To develop such an expertise, students in Research Track perform a rigorous research, supervised by an advising professor, on a specific topic of interest to solve a previously unsolved problem. The outcome of this research culminates in an MS thesis. Students who would like to excel in one of the areas of electrical and computer engineering, or those who are considering pursuing a Ph.D. one day, typically choose this track. Students who are accepted to this track are often eligible for research or teaching fellowships that can reduce or eliminate the out-of-pocket cost of the graduate education. Visit Master of Science in ECE for more details.

Track 2 - Professional (Course-only) Track
This track is designed for those who are not interested in writing a thesis, but rather interested in expanding their breadth and depth of ECE knowledge by taking a larger number of courses in a wide spectrum of electrical and/or computer engineering fields. Students in this track do not work on a thesis and take 30 credits of courses, which his typically 10 graduate level courses. While this is a course-only track, students who wish to obtain some research experience may choose to work on a smaller-scale project that can be counted for 3 credits (or 1 class). Visit Master of Science in ECE for more details. 

Ph.D. in Engineering / Electrical & Computer Engineering                                                                                 back to top 

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is offering a Ph.D. in Engineering program with a specialization in Electrical and Computer Engineering that consists of a unique and innovative curricular structure. Rowan’s Ph.D. program is a terminal degree program that is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of researchers, scholars, and scientists in academia, industry, and the government. The primary goal of this program is, therefore, to prepare students for careers in research and/or academics by providing an environment that closely reflects the realities and expectations encountered by today’s academicians, professional scientists, and research engineers. The program is designed to offer a highly flexible inter and multi-disciplinary curricular structure, allowing specialization in any (or multiple) of the traditional or emerging engineering disciplines. The primary strength of the program is involving students in activities that they are most likely to encounter in real-world academic or industrial settings. Please visit Ph.D. in ECE for curricular details of the program.  

Applying to Graduate Programs in ECE               

For the latest information, admission requirements and to apply online please visit either the MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering program or the Ph.D. in Engineering: Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Minimum academic requirements for admission to either the MS or the Ph.D. Program includes:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in electrical or computer engineering or a related area from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)or better; or a minimum of 3.2 in-major GPA, or be in the upper 10% of graduating class.
  • Completion of foundation courses: Physics I (Introductory Mechanics), Calculus I, II, and III, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and at least one of Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism) or Chemistry I or Probability & Statistics.
  • Two letters of recommendation (three for the Ph.D. program) describing your ability to undertake rigorous graduate-level work.
  • Typewritten statement of professional objectives.
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume - Students applying to the Ph.D. program should also be able to show sufficient demonstration of independent research skills (advanced course projects, papers, presentations, thesis, etc.).
  • For international students:
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores with a level of 6.0. or
    • a minimum TOEFL score of 70 (higher is preferred) on the internet based test (IBT). Corresponding scores for the paper and computer-based tests are 525 (PBT), 213 (CBT).
    • International students who have received their undergraduate degree from English-speaking countries may be exempt from TOEFL requirement.
  • An admission committee member may also require an interview (in person, over the phone, or over the Internet, as appropriate and feasible).
  • For additional information specifically for international students, please see the International Center; and to apply, please visit International Admissions.

A GRE exam is NOT required, but encouraged; however, GRE scores will be used in evaluating the applicant should the applicant choose to provide these scores. Students are particularly encouraged to submit GRE scores if they believe their academic background is stronger than what is implied by their GPA. Applicants for the Ph.D. program are also encouraged to submit GRE scores.

Any Rowan student who completes his / her B.S. degree in Engineering with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; or completes his / her M.S. in thesis/research track with a GPA of 3.3 or higher will automatically qualify for the Ph.D. program.

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Additional Information for Current and Prospective Students

Paying (or getting paid) for Graduate School: Research and Teaching Fellowships                   

Rowan ECE program offers two types of financial aid in the form of research or teaching fellowships. Fellowships are only available to Ph.D. students or MS students in Research (thesis) track and are only awarded to exceptionally qualified students. Applicants awarded Fellowships are notified via the admission offer packet, which will include the Graduate Fellowship Agreement Form. Fellowship amounts vary but may be available up to the full cost of attendance. In order to obtain and maintain status as a Fellow, all students must, at a minimum:

  • Be an admitted, matriculated full-time and active student in good standing in the program.
  • Register for at least 4 consecutive terms (for MS students).
  • Registration each term meets or exceeds the enrollment minimums outlined on the Fellowship Agreement Form. This will typically be full time (9-12 SH) in fall and spring, and part-time (3-9 SH) in summer. International students must meet the requirements of their student visa with respect to full-time enrollment (please visit the International Center for details.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.000 cumulative GPA each term and adhere to the Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for their particular academic program, as stated in the GLP Policy Handbook
  • Commit significant hours each week of each term to academic research under the guidance of their Advisor/Program Coordinator/Research Supervisor.
  • Work with faculty members on research projects leading to an MS thesis or PhD dissertation.

In addition to the above, Fellows receiving stipends must:

  • Submit the additional hiring paperwork listed in the Fellowship Agreement.
  • Commit additional hours each week for each term to academic research.

In addition to all of the above, those designated as Teaching Fellows must:

  • Teach two 3-credit courses within their first four terms of enrollment as agreed upon with their academic program/department.

Research fellowships are awarded primarily by individual faculty and are paid from their externally funded research grants. To increase your likelihood of getting a research fellowship, contact the professor with whom you would like to work early in the application process. Award amounts vary and may include any combination of the following across different semesters based on the satisfactory research and academic performance and availability of funds.

  • Reduced tuition – Student pays $1000/semester regardless of the number of credits + fees + insurance (if applicable)
  • Full tuition waiver - Student pays fees and insurance (if applicable)
  • Full tuition and fee waiver - Student pays insurance (if applicable)
  • Monthly stipend (amount varies based on the availability of funds)

Teaching fellowships are awarded by the department, in conjunction with faculty members who express interest in working with that student towards a thesis. Since teaching fellowship also requires research work and completion of a thesis, contact the professor with whom you would like work early in the application process and inform him/her as well department chair about your skills that may uniquely qualify you for a teaching assistantship. Once awarded, the continuation of the fellowship to subsequent semesters requires satisfactory performance in both teaching and research (and availability of funds). A typical teaching fellowship award includes:

  • Full tuition waiver - Student pays fees and insurance; and
  • Monthly stipend (typically $1000/month)

Full details about the student costs, funding provided, and all expectations and responsibilities required of Fellows are included in the official Graduate Fellowship Agreement Form. Fellowship Agreements are subject to change due to changes in funding availability. No university or department-sponsored fellowship is available for MS students after students have reached the 30-credit limit.

Thesis & Dissertation Requirements                                                                                                                       back to top

Please visit the Thesis & Dissertation Requirements page from the Office of Graduate Research Services for information on thesis format requirements, deadlines, submission requirements, etc. Electronic templates are available at the above link, as well as a Thesis and Dissertation Manual, and a Thesis & Dissertation Format Checklist

All students in M.S. Research Track or the Ph.D. program must file a Thesis/Dissertation Committee Appointment Form , typically during the first year of the program. A Thesis Approval Form or a Dissertation Approval Form must be presented to the Thesis / Dissertation Committee members for their approval and signatures, prior to submission to the Office of Graduate Research Services. A separate College of Engineering Thesis / Dissertation Approval Form must also be approved/signed by the Committee and submitted to the Associate Dean for Research.


List of Available Graduate Level Courses                                                                                                                back to top

ECE 09.504: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer
ECE 09.509: Virtual Reality Systems
ECE 09.510: Alternate Energy Systems
ECE 09.521: Fundamentals in Systems Engineering
ECE 09.523: Advanced Radar Systems
ECE 09.524: Advanced War Gaming and C4ISR 
ECE 09.525: Advanced Command and Control
ECE 09.526: Advanced Weapon Systems
ECE 09.527: Advanced Model-Based Systems Engineering
ECE 09.551: Digital Signal Processing
ECE 09.552: Digital Image Processing
ECE 09.553: Digital Speech Processing
ECE 09.554: Theory and Engineering Application of Wavelets
ECE 09.555: Advanced Topics in Pattern Recognition / Machine Learning
ECE 09.556: Advanced Embedded Software Design
ECE 09.560: Artificial Neural Networks
ECE 09.566: Advanced Topics in Systems, Devices, and Algorithms in Bioinformatics
ECE 09.568: Discrete Event Systems
ECE 09.569: System-on-Chip Verification
ECE 09.571: Instrumentation
ECE 09.572: Advanced Smart Grid
ECE 09.573: Advanced Smart Sensors
ECE 09.582: Memristors and Nanoelectronic VLSI
ECE 09.585: Advanced Engineering Cyber Security
ECE 09.586: Advanced Portable Platform Development
ECE 09.590: Advanced Emerging Topics in Computer Engineering
ECE 09.595: Advanced Emerging Topics in Comp. Intelligence & Machine Learning
ECE 09.651: Estimation and Detection Theory
ECE 09.655: Advanced Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning
ECE 09.704: Special Topics for Doctoral Students in Electrical Engineering

ENGR 01.510: Finite Element Analysis
ENGR 01.511: Engineering Optimization
ENGR 01.598/599: Graduate Research / Master’s Thesis Research
ENGR 01.700: Graduate Seminar: What is Next in Engineering
ENGR 01.701: Effective Teaching in Academic, Corporate, and Government Settings
ENGR 01.702: Strategic Technical Writing and Winning Grant Proposals
ENGR 01.799: Doctoral Research and Dissertation

ENGR 10513 - Renewable Energy: Photovoltaics and Energy Harvesting


Coming soon: Optical Communications, Internet of Things

Not all classes are offered every year, whereas additional classes are taught every semester as special and emerging topics under the ECE 09.504 course number. 

◊ ECE 09.504 series constitute the Emerging Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering sequence. These classes can be taken multiple times when approved by the advisor. Multiple sections of this course are offered during each semester with different content on emerging topics. The following courses have recently been taught in this class

  • Computer Networks
  • Electronic Packaging
  • Advanced Visualization
  • Virtual Reality
  • Nanotechnology
  • DSP Architectures
  • RF Design
  • Computational Intelligence
  • Microwave systems
  • Smart satellites
  • Internet of Things


These four courses are also part of the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Combat Systems Engineering (CSE), as well as the MS in Engineering Management with specialization in Combat Systems Engineering. The CSE programs are designed and delivered in cooperation with Lockheed Martin Corporation.

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Thesis / Dissertation Continuation Credit

Graduate students who have attempted / completed all required credits (30 for MS and 72 for PhD), but have not yet completed their thesis (for MS students) or dissertation (for PhD students) may register for a 1-credit ENGR 01.598 Thesis Continuation or ENGR 01.798 Dissertation Continuation course, which - for certain circumstances - provide students with a full-time status. 

In all cases, students should confirm / verify with the appropriate university office (e.g., International Office, Registrar, Financial Aid, etc.) whether taking this 1-credit class does indeed provide you with the full time status for your intended purposes.

Students interested in taking this special 1-credit thesis / dissertation continuation course, should first discuss with their advisor, confirm eligibility, complete the Thesis / Dissertation Continuation Credit form and obtain all the signatures stated on this form.