Master of Science in Electrical Engineering 

A student may pursue a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS EE) via one of the following three options:
(i) MS with thesis
(ii) an accelerated MS (for SDSM&T undergraduates only -- 5 year program for BS + MS)
(iii) MS non-thesis (a course work only) degree.

The student must focus within one of the following discipline focus areas, as well as complete the specified requirements for the chosen degree option described below.

Focus Areas

  • Applied Electromagnetics
  • Controls and Autonomous Robotics Systems (CARS)
  • Power Systems and Power Electronics
  • Communications and Networking

Learn more about Research Focus Areas and Department Resources and Equipment

For complete information, including hours, courses, requirements, policies and curriculum examples, please review our Master of Science in Electrical Engineering graduate program document.


Degree Options

(I)  MS EE with Thesis

The thesis MS EE degree consists of a program of graduate course work and thesis research. Candidature for the MS EE degree with thesis is contingent on an aptitude to do research and/or development. A limited number of students are accepted into the MS EE thesis option, on the recommendation of a major professor.  Teaching and research assistantships are normally reserved for thesis students.  Upon commencement of this program, transfer from a MS EE thesis degree program to a non-thesis degree would require additional approvals from the student's existing major professor and department head, and usually is not granted.

(II)  MS EE Accelerated option (SDSMT undergrads only)

The accelerated MS EE degree consists of a program of graduate course work and a significant engineering project resulting in a project report and/or a peer-reviewed conference or journal paper.  This degree is meant as an honors type of degree available to SDSM&T students in good standing at the beginning of their junior year, i.e., a student with a GPA 3.0 or above within ECE related course work.  Students desiring to be a part of the program need to apply to the M.Sc. EE graduate program at the beginning of their junior year and be accepted into the MS EE Accelerated option graduate program.  The student must also be accepted into a focus track (one of four listed above) before taking any classes counted towards their master degree, i.e. obtain a major professor that will mentor their project research within a focus track.  These degree students are normally not supported by the department via teaching or research assistantships. However, as an undergraduate student they may qualify for any available undergraduate scholarships.  It is encouraged that the student align their senior project with their graduate research project.  The degree is designed to allow the student to complete both their BS EE or BS CENG, and their MS EE within a five-year time frame.  The student's engineering project is meant to be completed during the summer between the senior and graduate year and/or the summer just after their graduate year, if needed. Students in this program are assumed to be able to complete their BS and MS degree requirement in 5 years.

(III)  MS EE with Non-Thesis option

The non-thesis MS EE degree consists of a program of graduate course work.  A project and/or research are not required and are normally discouraged for the MS EE non-thesis option.  These degree students are normally not supported by the department via teaching or research assistantships.


Additional Information

Language Requirements

  1. Students whose native language is not English are generally required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language Test (TOEFL).
  2. Graduate students with a TOEFL score below 560 are required to attend a remedial course in English.
  3. Meeting or exceeding prescribed academic standards in English composition and oral presentations.

Graduate Courses Taken by Undergraduates

Undergraduate students taking 600 level graduate courses and petitioning these courses for graduate credit should realize that application of these credits to the program of study is subject to the approval of the student’s graduate committee. A student’s graduate program will come under the control of the graduate committee at the time the student is accepted into the graduate program.

Graduate Committee and Program of Study

The ECE Graduate Committee is the graduate committee for all MS EE non-thesis degree students, with the ECE Graduate Coordinator or designee serving as the advisor. MS EE thesis and accelerated students must form a graduate committee with a major professor who has agreed to supervise the research/project of the student. In both cases, the student must arrange to have a faculty member external to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering serve on their committee.
Each student must submit a program of study to the candidate’s graduate committee by the end of the first semester of study within their program. Approval of the program of study is necessary in order to register for the second and subsequent semesters.
The student’s graduate committee has the right to disallow any course proposed in the student’s program of study that they feel is not appropriate for a graduate degree in electrical engineering.

ECE Faculty Research Areas and Resources

The MS EE degree offers emphases in the areas of applied electromagnetics, antennas, and microwave, power systems and power electronics, robotics and autonomous systems, communications and networking. In addition to the more discipline-specific equipment listed below, the ECE department has well-equipped laboratories of networked PCs, general purpose test and measurement equipment such as high-speed oscilloscopes, arbitrary function generators, logic analyzers, and printed circuit board prototyping machines and software.  Learn more about Research Areas and Resources.