Computer Engineering M.S.

Introduction

The graduate program in computer engineering accepts students for the M.S. degree. Graduate students in this program establish a solid foundation in computer algorithms and architectures and then proceed to a thorough study of recent developments in their selected area of specialization. This provides the basis for the M.S. degree project or thesis work. The major areas of research concentration in computer engineering at UC Santa Cruz are computer networks; embedded and autonomous systems; computer systems design; robotics and control, mobile and pervasive computing; and computer-aided design; and sensing and interaction.

The computer engineering program benefits from a close relationship with other graduate programs in the School of Engineering and UC Santa Cruz as a whole. It maintains strong ties to local industry in the Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay areas. Graduates of the program are prepared for careers in academia and research as well as for positions in industrial research and development.

While in the program, most graduate students are supported as research assistants on faculty-sponsored projects or as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses."

Requirements

 

Base Requirement

In their first year, graduate students must show proficiency in three fundamental subjects: 1) computer algorithms and data structures; 2) computer architecture; and 3) one of the following three subjects—logic design, circuits, or software systems. Proficiency can be demonstrated by either completing one of the associated undergraduate courses, by establishing that an equivalent undergraduate course has been completed elsewhere, or by passing the final examination (or project when deemed appropriate by the responsible faculty) of an associated course. Students should obtain a computer engineering base requirement worksheet for the list of associated courses and instructions on fulfilling this requirement.

All graduate students must meet the base requirement by the end of the spring quarter of their first year in the program.

Course Requirements*

Project Track

Each M.S. student is required to complete a total of at least 48 credits. At least half of the credits from the graduate-level courses must be computer engineering graduate courses as listed here. The coursework must include:

Each M.S. student is required to complete a total of at least 48 credits. The coursework must include:
  1. Completion of base requirement as described above.
  2. Core requirements (CSE 200 to be taken in fall quarter of the first year):
    1. CSE 200
    2. CSE 201
    3. CSE 220
    4. CSE 296
  3. Up to 10 credits of either graduate courses (not seminars) in related disciplines outside the School of Engineering (requires adviser and computer engineering graduate director approval) or upper-division undergraduate courses when necessary to strengthen the student's preparation for graduate studies (requires adviser approval).
  4. All remaining courses must be regular 5-credit graduate courses from within the School of Engineering (with adviser and grad director approval); courses that do not count include all courses numbered CSE 280, CSE 296, CSE 297, and CSE 299.

At least half of the credits from the graduate-level courses must be computer engineering graduate courses as listed here.

Core Requirements (CSE 200 to be taken in fall quarter of the first year):
CSE 200Research and Teaching in Computer Science and Engineering

3

CSE 201Analysis of Algorithms

5

CSE 220Computer Architecture

5

CSE 296Masters Project

2

Graduate courses in related disciplines

Up to 10 credits of either graduate courses (not seminars) in related disciplines outside the School of Engineering (requires adviser and computer engineering graduate director approval) or upper-division undergraduate courses when necessary to strengthen the student's preparation for graduate studies (requires adviser approval).

Graduate courses from within the School of Engineering

All remaining courses must be regular 5-credit graduate courses from within the School of Engineering (with adviser and grad director approval); courses that do not count include all courses numbered  CSE 280, CSE 296, CSE 297, and CSE 299.

Thesis Track

Each M.S. student is required to complete a total of at least 48 credits. At least half of the credits from the graduate-level courses must be computer engineering graduate courses as listed in this site. The coursework must include:

Core Requirements (CSE 200 to be taken in fall quarter of the first year):
CSE 200Research and Teaching in Computer Science and Engineering

3

CSE 201Analysis of Algorithms

5

CSE 220Computer Architecture

5

Research credits

Up to 10 credits of the CSE 297 series, Independent Study or Research; or the CSE 299 series, Thesis Research:

CSE 297AIndividual Study or Research

5

CSE 297BIndividual Study or Research

10

CSE 297CIndividual Study or Research

15

CSE 297FIndependent Study or Research

2

CSE 299AThesis Research

5

CSE 299CThesis Research

15

CSE 299FThesis Research

2

Graduate courses in related disciplines

Up to 10 credits of either graduate courses (not seminars) in related disciplines outside the School of Engineering (requires adviser and computer engineering graduate director approval) or upper-division undergraduate courses when necessary to strengthen the student's preparation for graduate studies (requires adviser approval).

Graduate courses from within the School of Engineering

All remaining courses must be regular 5-credit graduate courses from within the School of Engineering (with adviser and graduate director approval); courses that do not count include CSE 296, and all courses numbered CSE 280, CSE 297, and CSE 299.

*This section was revised on 11/07/19.

Other Requirements

 

Thesis Track

Completion of a master's thesis is required for award of the master's degree. To fulfill this requirement, the student must submit a written proposal to a faculty member, usually by the third academic quarter. By accepting the proposal, the faculty member becomes the thesis adviser for the proposed thesis. In consultation with the adviser, the student must form a master's thesis reading committee with at least two additional faculty members, each of whom is provided a copy of the proposal. It is recommended that the student give an expository talk on the thesis research. The approved reading committee must accept the final thesis before the Master of Science degree can be awarded.

Project Track

Completion of a master's project is required to satisfy the master’s degree capstone requirement. The master’s project is the culmination of the student's academic experience and builds upon the knowledge acquired during the program. In consultation with the adviser, the student forms a master's project reading committee of at least two faculty members, each of whom is provided a copy of the project report. The final project must be accepted by the review committee before the award of the master of science degree.

Transfer Credit

Up to three School of Engineering courses fulfilling the degree requirements may be taken before beginning the graduate program through the concurrent enrollment program.

M.S. students who have previously successfully completed graduate-level classes in a related field at another institution may substitute courses from their previous institution with the approval of the graduate director. The number of courses that can be substituted is limited so that, in all cases, students must complete a minimum of four graduate-level classes during their matriculation at UC Santa Cruz. These classes must be School of Engineering graduate-level courses and must be approved by the student's adviser and the program’s graduate director.

Petitions for course substitutions should be submitted along with the transcript from the other institution or UC Santa Cruz extension. For courses taken at other institutions copies of the syllabi, exams, and other coursework should accompany the petition. Such petitions are not considered until the completion of at least one quarter at UCSC.

Acceptance of prior work for course transfer is at the discretion of the department.

Academic Progress

Each year, the program faculty reviews the progress of every student in the graduate program. Students not making adequate progress toward completion of degree requirements (see the UC Santa Cruz Graduate Handbook for policy on satisfactory academic progress) are subject to dismissal from the program. Students with academic deficiencies may be required to take additional courses. Full-time students with no academic deficiencies are normally expected to complete the degree requirements at the rate of at least two courses per quarter. Full-time students must complete CSE 201 and CSE 220 within two years and normally must complete all course requirements within two years for the M.S.

Students receiving two or more grades of U (Unsatisfactory) or below B in School of Engineering courses are not making adequate progress and will be placed on academic probation for the following three quarters of registered enrollment. Withdrawing or taking a leave of absence does not count as enrollment. Part-time enrollment is counted as a half of a quarter of enrollment.

Should any computer engineering graduate student fail a School of Engineering course while on probation, the program faculty may request the graduate dean to dismiss that student from the graduate program. If, after being removed from probation, the student again fails a School of Engineering course, he or she will return immediately to academic probation.

Graduate students experiencing circumstances or difficulties that impact their academic performance should contact their adviser and the graduate director immediately. Students may appeal their dismissal.

Letter Grade Policy

Letter grading is required for all courses applied toward the computer engineering master's degree with an exception for up to 10 credits of the student’s choice and the following courses: Research and Training in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE 200), Master's Project (CSE 296), Independent Study or Research (CSE 297), Thesis Research (CSE 299), and seminar courses (CSE 280 series). This policy includes courses used for this degree that are sponsored by other departments. To ensure they will receive a letter grade, students should check that they have selected the letter grade option no later than the 15th day of instruction each quarter for each class in which they are enrolled.