Jul 05, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Information

Departmental Overview

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers advanced studies leading to the Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering with specialization in Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Ph.D. program is administered by the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation.  The goals and the admission and degree requirements for the Ph.D. program are listed under the College of Engineering. The goals of the MS program are to prepare graduates with advanced engineering and research skills and state-of-the-art knowledge in selected areas for positions in industry and for advanced studies towards the Ph.D. The MS-ECE degree program can be pursued with either a thesis option or a non-thesis option.

The departmental faculty have expertise in the following areas of electrical engineering: circuits and signal processing; control, robotics and instrumentation, digital systems, computers, and VLSI circuit design; nuclear engineering; physical phenomenon and lasers; electric power; and telecommunications, wireless communications and networking. Graduate students may carry out their research for their thesis/dissertation in any one (1) of the above areas under the supervision of a faculty member having expertise in that area. Faculty advisors assist graduate students in developing individual programs of study depending on their career goals and thesis/dissertation research interests. The student’s advisory committee assists the student in the development and execution of the program of study and monitors and evaluates the student’s work towards the degree.

Many departmental faculty members actively participate in research related to the three Centers of Excellence operated within the University: two within the College of Engineering and one under the Office of Research & Economic Development. The resources and facilities of the Centers greatly enhance the graduate program of the Department.

Fast Track MS Program

The Fast Track program is designed to enable TTU ECE undergraduates to accumulate up to six (6) credit hours of graduate coursework while still pursuing their undergraduate degree and to transition to the graduate program smoothly, with accelerated completion. Up to six (6) hours of graduate coursework, exclusive of directed study, taken during the student’s senior year can be used to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. These courses must be taken at Tennessee Tech University and must be approved as appropriate substitutions in the undergraduate curriculum for senior ECE electives. In order to remain in the Fast Track program, the student must demonstrate ongoing scholarship by continuing to meet the GPA admission requirements during the semester that the student enrolls in the first of their graduate courses. The student must earn a minimum grade of “B” in the graduate courses in order to apply them to their M.S. program of study and to continue in the Fast Track program. Additionally, Fast Track students will be integrated into ECE research projects and/or capstone design projects while enrolled as seniors with the expectation that this research will directly coordinate with their M.S. thesis research. Either a thesis or non-thesis M.S. option may be pursued. ECE Fast Track students that graduate with their B.S. in the spring semester can be expected to complete their M.S. requirements in either the spring or summer term of the following calendar year.

Fast Track students are only eligible for graduate teaching or research assistantship during the fifth (graduate) year of their studies. Students who do not succeed in their first graduate course during their senior year (B grade or better) will be advised to withdraw from the Fast Track program and complete their B.S. degree in a normal manner.

Departmental Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for full standing admission into the MS program are the same as those for any MS program in the College of Engineering and these are stated under the College of Engineering  listing. Similarly, the minimum requirements for full standing admission into the Ph.D. program with a major in ECE are the same as those for the Ph.D. program listed in the College of Engineering section. Applicants with impressive academic performance or publication record may be admitted on full standing status even if their GRE(R) General Test (GRE) and/or TOEFL scores do not meet the minimum requirements. The Departmental Admissions Committee evaluates each application individually for potential to succeed in the graduate program and makes an admission recommendation. Students who do not meet the minimum admission requirements or whose potential for success is not evident from the application may be considered for provisional admission. These students will be reclassified to full standing admission once they satisfy the conditions specified in the admission letter. Students with good academic background but having BS degrees in fields other than electrical engineering will be admitted on a provisional basis. They will be required to complete satisfactorily a specified set of undergraduate electrical and computer engineering courses before they are reclassified to full standing.

Departmental Degree Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy

To receive a Ph.D. degree with specialization in ECE, the student shall complete all the requirements for the Ph.D. specified under the College of Engineering  section of the catalog.

Additionally, the program of study for Ph.D. students majoring in ECE shall include ECE 6910 - Introduction to Graduate Research  during the first semester of study except when the student has already taken ECE 6910  as a part of the MS program or when the student has prior research experience as demonstrated by the successful completion of a master’s thesis; and no more than nine hours of independent/directed study courses such as ECE 6980 /ECE 7980 . The ECE departmental chairperson will assist the Associate Dean in deciding the appropriateness of each program of study.

The student’s advisory committee must be chaired or co-chaired by an ECE faculty member, and additionally, the committee must include at least two members of the ECE faculty, a member from the engineering faculty outside the ECE Department and one member from the Mathematics Department. The Associate Dean for Research and Innovation is an ex-officio nonvoting member of every Ph.D. student’s advisory committee.