Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
 Master of Electrical Engineering (M.E.E.) Program Information
The Master of Electrical Engineering is a terminal, non-thesis degree intended primarily for students who wish to strengthen their academic background through a year of additional coursework. The M.E.E. program is a bridge to industry, designed to provide advanced learning and training in the applied aspects of ECE technology beyond the typical undergraduate electrical and computer engineering degree program.

Upon matriculation, the M.E.E. student selects a faculty advisor in his/her primary area of interest (See “ECE Areas of Study” in this section). The advisor will counsel the student in developing a degree plan:

Degree Plan
Coursework is based on the student’s degree plan. The M.E.E. degree plan must include:

At least 30 credit hours comprised of 10 courses of at least 3 hours each: Major area (18 hours); Minor Area (6 hours); Free Electives (6 hours)
At least 4 of the technical (major or minor) courses must be 500 level or higher
At least 7 of the technical (major or minor) courses must be 400 level or higher
Of the 10 required courses, at least 5 courses/15 hours must be 500 level or higher
All courses must be 300 level or higher
No ELEC 590 or ELEC 599 may count for major area or minor area
ELEC 698 for each semester in residence (please see ga.rice.edu for information on the residency requirement)
Minimum residency is one fall or spring semester of full-time graduate study, with the exceptions of professional masters programs in the schools of engineering and natural sciences, as well as the Master’s of Liberal Studies

Free electives may be fulfilled through research (ELEC 590 or 599), other ECE electives, or through courses available through affiliated departments in areas such as Communication Training or Engineering Leadership Management, including:
ENGI 610 (3) Management for Science and Engineering
ENGI 510 (3) Technical and Managerial Communications
ENGI 529 (3) Ethics and Engineering Leadership
ENGI 505 (3) Engineering Project Development and Management
ENGI 528 (3) Engineering Economics
NSCI 511 (3) Science Policy and Ethics

Students may be eligible to transfer up to three hours of course credit from another university. Rice undergraduates entering the M.E.E. program may transfer course credit not applied to their undergraduate degrees, with the approval of the ECE Graduate Committee and Office of the Registrar. See the ECE M.E.E. Administrator for details.

The M.E.E. may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis during the fall and spring semesters. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained in major and minor coursework. Only courses in which a grade of C or above is achieved will be counted towards the M.E.E. degree. Students whose GPA falls below a 2.33 will be placed on academic probation by the university. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation by the ECE Department. Students must maintain continuous program enrollment and involvement unless granted an official leave of absence. For more information see General Announcements: ga.rice.edu.

Joint M.B.A. and M.E.E. (Master of Business Administration and Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Students wishing to pursue this joint degree should apply through the Jones School of Business: business.rice.edu.

ELEC 698 Seminar
The ELEC 698 Seminar Course is intended to foster development of breadth among all graduates at all phases of study in ECE. The requirement is registered attendance at 3 ECE sponsored or co-sponsored seminars per semester. All M.E.E. students are required to take and earn an “S” (Satisfactory) in ELEC 698 as a part of his/her degree requirements for each semester in residence. Details of seminars are emailed to all department personnel on a regular-basis and are posted on the ECE website at ece.rice.edu. Some seminars hosted by the Engineering Professional Master’s Program (EPMP) can count for 2 of the 3 requirements. Please check with the M.E.E. Administrator for a list of approved courses. Departmental attendance sheets will be provided at all seminars for the first 10 minutes. It is your responsibility to sign-in at the beginning of the seminar. If for some reason there is no sign-in sheet available, students will be responsible for emailing the M.E.E. Administrator within 24 hours of attendance in order to receive credit.

Academic Advisors
Each incoming M.E.E. student is assigned an academic advisor, usually a member of the Professional Master’s Committee, to help with course selection and other initial academic concerns. Final course selection does not need to be completed until after the start of classes.

Changing Departments
Rice recognizes interests may change after a student enters a graduate program. If a student feels his/her interests and talents could be better served in a different department, a change can be accommodated. In order to transfer from the M.E.E. program to another program at Rice University, the following conditions must first be met:

1. You must have been a student in the M.E.E. program for a minimum of six months to petition for transfer.
2. You must have met with your M.E.E. advisor and have a M.E.E. Degree Plan on file with the ECE M.E.E. Administrator.
3. You must demonstrate acceptance by another department by providing a copy of the offer letter.

Once you have met the conditions above, the process for requesting a transfer is as follows:

1. Complete the Transfer Request form.
2. Meet with your M.E.E. advisor to discuss the degree plan and your reasons for requesting a transfer. Your advisor must sign the transfer request form.
3. Provide a copy of the following to the ECE M.E.E. Administrator:
a. The signed Transfer Request form;
b. A copy of your M.E.E. Degree Plan; and
c. Letter of acceptance from the new department.

Your request will be submitted to the ECE Professional Master’s Committee for consideration.

ECE Areas of Study
The ECE Department has four interdisciplinary areas of study that the M.E.E. student can choose from:

Computer Engineering:
The Computer Engineering group at Rice University has a long track record of innovative research in physical modeling and characterization, VLSI signal processing, computer architecture, computer-aided design, and storage and network systems. Spanning the spectrum of computing from low-power personal devices to large-scale parallel information systems, networked computing solves a myriad of technology challenges. Future computing technologies, including the on-chip integration of systems and networks, will move us beyond current methods in silicon.

Neuroengineering is the analysis and control of the nervous system in order to enhance and restore neuronal function. At Rice, we develop technologies to understand, repair, replace, enhance, or treat the diseases of the nervous system. We also design, construct and study devices that interface with living neural tissue.

In addition to the ongoing neuroengineering research efforts in individual laboratories across campus, the university has established the Rice Center for Neuroengineering (RCNE). The center’s goal is to integrate state-of-the-art research and technologies developed by individual research teams into broader research efforts to interrogate and understand neural systems. The mission of the RCNE is to apply engineering principals to neuroscience in a way that advances both the science and technology related to neural systems. RCNE is uniquely positioned as a leader in neuroengineering thanks to the broad, interdisciplinary research performed in conjunction with the world’s largest medical center (Texas Medical Center), steps away from the Rice University campus. Current neuroengineering research in ECE includes:
Nanotechnology for measuring and manipulating neural cells and circuits; Optogenetic and photonic neural interface technology; Computational microscopy and functional neural imaging; Neural recordings in behaving animals; Cutting-edge tools and algorithms for systems neurobiology; Information theory and signal processing methods for neuroengineering; Closed-loop neuromodulation and real-time deep brain stimulation; Theoretical and computational neuroscience.

Photonics, Electronics and Nano-devices:
The focus of this program is the improved understanding of electronic, photonic, and plasmonic materials, optical physics, the interaction of light and matter, along with the application of that knowledge to develop innovative devices and technologies. The specific areas of interest cover a broad range: Nanophotonics and plasmonics, optical nanosensor and nano-actuator development, studies of new materials, in particular nanomaterials and magnetically active materials; imaging and image processing, including multispectral imaging and terahertz imaging; ultrafast spectroscopy and dynamics; laser applications in remote and point sensing, especially for trace gas detection; nanometer-scale characterization of surfaces, molecules, and devices; organic semiconductor devices; single-molecule transistors; techniques for optical communications; and optical interactions with random, nanoengineered, and periodic media; and applications of Nanoshells in biomedicine.

Systems: Communications, Control, Networks and Signal Processing: The understanding of how to analyze and restructure signals is applied to a wide range of areas, including image and video analysis, representation, and compression; wavelets and multi-scale methods; statistical signal processing, pattern recognition, and learning theory; distributed signal processing and sensor networks; communication systems; and computational neuroscience. Emergent applications include high-performance, scalable and widely deployed wireless Internet and expanding “broad-band” services for residences and public spaces.

Students must register for courses using ESTHER. ESTHER is the web application for students, faculty and staff. Students will use this application to register for classes and retrieve certain data such as grades and account information. For information about how to use ESTHER see Section II or: registrar.rice.edu/students/esther_FAQs/

Guidelines for Independent Study
ELEC 590 - Graduate Non-Thesis Research Projects is intended for M.E.E. students who wish to undertake specific theoretical or experimental research projects under the direction of a faculty member. The parameters of the research project and grade determination should be discussed with the faculty member prior to enrollment. A maximum of 3 credits of ELEC590 can be applied to the M.E.E. degree as a free elective course.

Grades and Academic Status
Grades—According to university guidelines, students must achieve at least a B- (2.67) grade point average (GPA) in courses counted toward the graduate degree. The ECE Department adds the requirement that only courses in which a grade of C or above was earned will count towards the graduate degree. To compute GPA, the credits attempted in semester hours for each course and the points for the grade earned (from A+ = 4.33 to F = 0.00) are multiplied, then the products (one for each course) are added together, and the sum is divided by the total credits attempted.

Pass/Fail—All students, except visiting post-baccalaureate students, may take course(s) Pass/Fail. For the M.E.E. degree, elective courses that do not count toward the student’s major or minor coursework may be taken Pass/Fail outside the ECE department. Students must file a course as Pass/Fail no later than the end of the 10th week of classes; however, they may later convert a Pass/Fail to a graded course by filing the appropriate paperwork with the Office of the Registrar. Students should be aware that while a grade of “P” does not affect their GPA, a grade of “F” does.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory—In the ECE Department, the faculty assign a grade of “S” or “U”. ELEC 800, Research and Thesis, is such a course. Students should be aware that while a grade of S or U does not affect their Grade Point Average, no credit is awarded if a grade of U is received. Courses with a grade of S will count towards total credits earned.

Incompletes—Instructors report this designation to the Office of the Registrar when a student fails to complete a course because of verified illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control that occur during the semester. For an incomplete received in the fall semester, students must complete the work by the end of the fourth week of the spring semester or an earlier date as defined by the instructor, and instructors must submit a revised grade by the end of the fifth week. For an incomplete received in the spring semester, students must complete the work before the start of the fall semester or an earlier date as defined by the instructor, and instructors must submit a revised grade by the end of the first week of the fall semester.

Audit—The grade designation of “AUD” is used for people auditing a course, and specifically when the auditing student has met the audit requirements of the course. A grade designation of “NC” is given to students who do not meet the audit requirements. Requests to audit a class or to change from audit to credit or vice versa must be done by the end of the second week of the semester.