Master of Science

Specialized preparation for industry, research careers or doctoral study

The Duke Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering provides a unique combination of opportunities:

  • World-class research integrated with project-based learning
  • Flexible, individualized curriculum with thesis, project or coursework-only options
  • Professional development opportunities such as internships or teaching assistantships
  • Excellent outcomes for graduates entering PhD programs or industry careers

Olympios Petrakis"I value the close ties that Duke has with the industry."

Olympios Petrakis, MS
Software Engineer, NetApp
 
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Degree OPtionS & REQUIREMENTS

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Coursework Only

Coursework Requirements (30 units total)

  • 12 units of graduate-level ECE courses (ECE 899 courses may not be used as part of this requirement)
  • 6 units of approved graduate-level technical electives (ECE 899 courses may not be used as part of this requirement) from Engineering (including ECE), Math, Statistics, Computer Science, or Natural Science (i.e., Chemistry, Physics, Biology), or other courses approved by the faculty
  • 12 units approved graduate-level electives

Note:

  • Graduate-level courses are numbered 500 and above
  • No more than two ECE 899: Independent Study courses may be used to satisfy MS degree coursework requirements.
  • Undergraduate courses do not satisfy requirements for the MS degree.
  • English for International Students (EIS) courses do not count toward the 30 total units required for the MS degree.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing and to graduate.
  • Course selection is formally approved by submitting a Program of Study form

Coursework MS Final Exam

The Graduate School requires a final exam approved by a committee made up of three Graduate Faculty members, one of whom must be from a department other than ECE or outside the student’s main curricular area. The committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School at least one month prior to the examination date. The student is not required to generate a written document for the ECE department, and the format of the exam is determined by the department.

Download the MS Coursework Evaluation Form

Project

Coursework Requirements (30 units total)

  • 12 units of graduate-level ECE courses (ECE 899 courses may not be used as part of this requirement)
  • 15 units approved graduate-level electives
  • 3 units of ungraded research

Note:

  • No more than two ECE 899: Independent Study courses may be used to satisfy MS degree coursework requirements.
  • Undergraduate courses do not satisfy requirements for the MS degree.
  • English for International Students (EIS) courses do not count toward the 30 total units required for the MS degree.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing and to graduate.
  • Course selection is formally approved by submitting a Program of Study form

Project MS Final Exam

For the project option, a written research report and oral presentation are required to be presented to a committee made up of the student's advisor and two other members of the graduate faculty, one of whom must be from a department other than ECE or outside the student’s main curricular area. The committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School at least one month prior to the examination date. The format of the written and oral project reports are determined by the student’s advisor. The project report is not submitted to the Graduate School; however, a final copy must be submitted to the ECE Department.

Download the Project MS evaluation form

Thesis

Coursework requirements (30 units total)

  • 12 units of Graduate-Level ECE coursework (excluding ECE 899)
  • 12 units of Approved Electives chosen to provide a coherent program of study
  • 6 units of ungraded research

Note:

  • No more than two ECE 899: Independent Study courses may be used to satisfy MS degree coursework requirements.
  • Undergraduate courses do not satisfy requirements for the MS degree.
  • English for International Students (EIS) courses do not count toward the 30 total units required for the MS degree.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing and to graduate.
  • Course selection is formally approved by submitting a Program of Study form

Thesis MS Final Exam

A written thesis must be uploaded by the guidelines presented in the Graduate School’s Guide for the Electronic Submission of Thesis and Dissertation, and the thesis must be defended orally before a committee composed of the faculty member under whose direction the work was done and at least two other members of the graduate faculty, one of whom must be from a department other than ECE or outside the student’s main curricular area. The committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School at least one month prior to the examination date.

Download the Thesis MS evaluation form 

Download complete Master of Science (MS) degree requirements »


ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Application Deadline

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid and Fellowships

Because many master's degrees are professional degrees rather than research degrees, most students pay their own tuition costs. Many students use student loans and believe there will be an excellent return on investment.

In certain circumstances, we provide limited financial aid to Master of Science (MS) students.

Diversity Scholarships

For MS, limited financial aid is available to highly qualified candidates through academic scholarships with an emphasis on increasing diversity within our master's degree programs.

Underrepresented minorities may receive up to 50 percent per year in tuition scholarship through our Diversity Scholarships. Additionally, up to $10,000 per year may be allocated for the student to gain experience in a research setting under the direction of a principal investigator (PI).

Externally Funded Scholarships

For MS students, we also offer support to recipients of select competitive externally funded scholarships, such as:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships
  • Fulbright Scholar Program

Fellowships

Some departments will occasionally provide some reduced-tuition assistance, but most of Pratt’s masters students pay through a combination of loans and their own money.

Also see Duke Graduate School Master Student Financial Aid web page.

Federal Loan Programs

Duke University offers the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs for graduate students, including Stafford unsubsidized loans, Graduate PLUS, and Perkins loans. Each of these loans has different terms and conditions, but they are generally deferrable until after graduation or until the student is enrolled for less than half-time.

These federal loans are available only to United States citizens. Visit the Duke Financial Aid website for more information and application procedures for student loans.

On-Campus Work

While enrolled in the program, many students work in a variety of places, such as campus libraries and various departments within Duke. Teaching assistantships are available in various departments, and some departments have research assistantships as well.

These positions are paid an hourly rate, and most students work between 10 to 20 hours per week. Positions are generally posted and filled just a week or two before classes begin each semester.

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