Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MECE) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MECE Degree

Upon completing the MECE degree, students will be able to:

  1. Design and implement technical solutions to real-world problems that reflect an advanced command of principles in mathematics and science.
  2. Communicate effectively expert analysis of technical problems and features of proposed solutions to stakeholders.
  3. Practice as an expert specialist in at least one of the major sub-fields of electrical and computer engineering.

Requirements for the MECE Degree

The MECE degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MECE degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 10 courses (30 credit hours) to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level study (graduate semester credit hours, coursework at the 500-level or above). 
  • A minimum of 27 graduate semester credit hours must be taken at Rice University.
  • A minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken in standard or traditional courses (with a course type of lecture, seminar, laboratory, lecture/laboratory). 
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of part-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) from the Capstone Requirement.
    • 1 course (3 credit hours) to fulfill the Capstone Foundations requirement.
    • 2 courses (6 credit hours) to fulfill the Capstone Experience Project requirement. 
  • A minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from the Engineering Communications Requirement.
  • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Engineering Software Development Requirement.
  • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) in one area of specialization (see below for areas of specialization). The MECE degree program offers five areas of specialization:
  • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Elective Requirements.
  • ELEC 698 each semester in residence at Rice University. 
  • A maximum of 1 course (3 graduate semester credit hours) from transfer credit. For additional departmental guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab. 
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework.
  • A minimum program GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree with a minimum grade of C (2.00 grade points) in each course.

Students are admitted to the MECE degree program in the fall semester. MECE students are to consult with an academic advisor on the MECE Committee each semester in order to identify and clearly document their individual curricular requirements or degree plan to be followed.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MECE Degree30

Degree Requirements

Capstone Requirement (Foundations and Experience Project)
Select 1 of the following Capstone topical areas: Computer Engineering, Machine Learning, or Wireless Systems
1 course selected with a faculty advisor to fulfill the Capstone Foundations requirement 13
2 courses selected with a faculty advisor to fulfill the Capstone Experience Project requirement 16
Engineering Communications Requirement
1 course selected with a faculty advisor to fulfill the Engineering Communications requirement 13
Engineering Software Development Requirement
2 courses selected with a faculty advisor to fulfill the Engineering Software Development requirement 16
Area of Specialization
Select 1 of the following Areas of Specialization (see Areas of Specialization below):6
Computer Engineering
Data Science
Neuroengineering
Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices
Systems
Elective Requirements
Free Elective Requirement: select 2 additional courses as free electives 26
Professional Master's Seminar
ELEC 698ECE PROFESSIONAL MASTERS SEMINAR SERIES (required each semester in-residence at Rice University, credit hours earned do not apply towards degree requirements) 31
Total Credit Hours30

Footnotes and Additional Information

Areas of Specialization

Students must complete a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from one Area of Specialization.

Area of Specialization: Computer Engineering

Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:6
MACHINE LEARNING FOR RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED PLATFORMS
ANALOG INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
MICROWAVE ENGINEERING
ADVANCED DIGITAL INTEGRATED CIRCUITS DESIGN
ADVANCED VLSI DESIGN
INTRODUCTION TO MICROFABRICATION
HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
VLSI SYSTEMS DESIGN
ADVANCED HIGH-SPEED SYSTEM DESIGN
COMPUTER SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE
UBIQUITOUS AND WEARABLE COMPUTING
Total Credit Hours6

Area of Specialization: Data Science

Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:6
NEURAL MACHINE LEARNING I
STATISTICAL MACHINE LEARNING
MACHINE LEARNING FOR RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED PLATFORMS
DATA SCIENCE AND DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS
STATISTICAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
INTRODUCTION TO RANDOM PROCESSES AND APPLICATIONS
INFORMATION THEORY
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
LEARNING FROM SENSOR DATA
A PRACTICAL INTRODUCTION TO DEEP MACHINE LEARNING
INTRODUCTION TO MACHINE LEARNING
ADVANCED MACHINE LEARNING
Total Credit Hours6

Area of Specialization: Neuroengineering

Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:6
NEURAL MACHINE LEARNING I
INTRODUCTION TO MICROFABRICATION
INTRODUCTION TO RANDOM PROCESSES AND APPLICATIONS
MACHINE LEARNING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING FOR NEURO ENGINEERING
FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN NEUROIMAGING
FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING I
INTRODUCTION TO NEUROENGINEERING: MEASURING AND MANIPULATING NEURAL ACTIVITY
THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE I: BIOPHYSICAL MODELING OF CELLS AND CIRCUITS
NEURAL COMPUTATION
NANO-NEUROTECHNOLOGY
SPOTLIGHT ON LATEST NEUROTECHNOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE
Total Credit Hours6

Area of Specialization: Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices

Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:6
MICROWAVE ENGINEERING
INTRODUCTION TO MICROFABRICATION
PHYSICS OF SENSOR MATERIALS AND NANOSENSOR TECHNOLOGY
OPTOELECTRONIC DEVICES
INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS I
NANOPHOTONICS AND METAMATERIALS
NANO-OPTICS
ULTRAFAST OPTICAL PHENOMENA
IMAGING AT THE NANOSCALE
FINITE ELEMENT METHOD FOR MULTIPHYSICS MODELING
TOPICS IN NANOPHOTONICS
COMPUTATIONAL ELECTRODYNAMICS AND NANOPHOTONICS
QUANTUM INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Total Credit Hours6

Area of Specialization: Systems

Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:6
STATISTICAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
INTRODUCTION TO RANDOM PROCESSES AND APPLICATIONS
INFORMATION THEORY
ARCHITECTURE FOR WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
THE APPLICATION OF VECTOR SPACE METHODS AND OTHER ADVANCED TECHNIQUES TO DSP
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER VISION
COMPUTER VISION
COMPUTATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MODERN COMMUNICATION THEORY AND PRACTICE
DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
NETWORK SCIENCE AND ANALYTICS
UBIQUITOUS AND WEARABLE COMPUTING
COMPUTATIONAL IMAGING
Total Credit Hours6

Policies for the MECE Degree

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2021_22/Electrical_Computer_Engineering_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the MECE degree should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 1 course (3 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the degree.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Electrical and Computer Engineering website: https://www.ece.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MECE Degree

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

In certain situations and with some terminal master's degree programs, Rice students have an option to pursue a master’s degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four years of undergraduate studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing typically apply to the master’s degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate major advisor and the master’s degree program director.

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Rice undergraduate students completing studies in science and engineering may have the option to pursue the Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MECE) degree. For additional information, students should contact their undergraduate major advisor and the MECE program director. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Electrical and Computer Engineering website: https://www.ece.rice.edu/