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Master's of Science

Graduate Programs

The Bradley Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers both research-based and professionally-oriented Master's-level programs. The ECE department offers both Master of Science (M.S.) thesis and non-thesis degrees. The M.S. thesis degree is suitable for students interested in research who wish to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. 

Master of Science (M.S.) Thesis-Based

ECE's M.S. thesis degree is a research-based degree based on graduate coursework and culminating in the defense of an M.S. thesis. The M.S. thesis documents results of independent research done under the direct supervision of an ECE faculty member.

Broad areas of specialization are offered within the research-based programs. For more information, please see Areas of Focus.

M.S. Thesis Oral Exam

The M.S. thesis final oral exam is a defense of the thesis before an examining committee of three faculty members. Upon application for the thesis defense, students are required to submit a technical paper or abstract, based on some aspect of the thesis research, in a form suitable for submission to a regional technical conference.

M.S. Thesis Course Work

Students pursuing the thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of course work, plus a maximum of 9 credit hours of thesis work to be applied toward the degree.

Master of Science (M.S.) Non-Thesis

The M.S. (non-thesis) degree is a coursework-only degree that does not does not require a final examination.

M.S. Non-Thesis Course Work

Students pursuing the M.S. non-thesis degree are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work.


Applicants applying to the Master of Science program are encouraged to have a 3.3/4.0 or higher GPA on their most recent 60 course credit hours in addition to receiving their bachelor's degree. See admissions.

Bradley Fellowships

Each year, ECE offers renewable Bradley Fellowships to several top applicants. See financial awards.

Master of Information Technology

An online masters degree in information technology, or graduate certificates, are available through Virginia Tech's MIT program.

Admissions for non-EE/CPE students

Students who do not have EE or CPE backgrounds are welcome in the MS programs. They may, however, need to make up courses in certain areas. For more information, please see the ECE Graduate Student Policy Manual.