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College of Engineering and Computing

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Electrical Engineering Graduate Programs

Our electrical engineering faculty have been recognized as #1 in the state for their research productivity. As an electrical engineering graduate student, you can work in outstanding labs and facilities as you join our research efforts in areas ranging from communications and electromagnetics to power and energy systems.

Why Electrical Engineering Graduate Study?

A graduate degree in electrical engineering may improve your career by equipping you to work on advanced projects or enabling you to transition to a new career in research or teaching. Our master's degrees in electrical engineering prepare students for specialized and supervisory positions in a variety of work environments, and our doctoral degree prepares students for academia and high-level research and development jobs. All of our graduate programs cultivate the next generation of leaders in academia and industry.

Programs of Study

Electrical engineering graduate degrees include the Master of Engineering (M.E.), which is perceived to be more practically oriented and the Master of Science (M.S.), which is considered more scholarly or fundamental and includes a thesis. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is designed mainly for full-time students interested in an academic, laboratory and/or industrial research and development career.

If you have a few years and you've got what it takes, we want you here. Break new ground; publish world-changing research. If your aim is a career in academia or in an industrial or government research and development laboratory, you'll need to earn the highest degree an electrical engineer can get. Complete a research-based dissertation, grounded in 48 hours of coursework, in just four years beyond your B.S. degree.

Major components of the electrical engineering Ph.D. program include:
  • Research resulting in a dissertation proposal, a dissertation, a dissertation defense, and 12 hours of dissertation credit
  •  A qualifying exam
  • A comprehensive exam
  • A total of 48 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in and related to electrical engineering, comprised of:
    • Up to 30 credit hours of transfer course work from a prior M.S. or M.E. degree may be applied
    • At least half of the credit hours taken here from ELCT courses at the 700-level or above

Demonstrate your technical acumen and ratchet up your career objectives. This research-oriented graduate degree requires a thesis and 24 hours of graduate coursework.

Major components of the electrical engineering M.S. program include:
  •  Research resulting in a thesis, thesis defense, and 6 hours of thesis credit
  • A comprehensive exam
  • A total of 24 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in or related to electrical engineering, comprised of:
    • Up to 6 credit hours of directed study
    •  Up to 6 credit hours of coursework outside of but related to electrical engineering
    • Not fewer than 12 credit hours taken from ELCT courses at the 700-level or above

Become a more-competent electrical engineer with just 30 hours of graduate course work beyond your B.S. This non-thesis graduate degree is especially great for working engineers who cannot easily get into a research laboratory.

Major components of the electrical engineering M.E. program include:
  • A comprehensive exam
  • A total of 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in or related to electrical engineering, comprised of:
    • Up to 6 credit hours of directed study
    • Up to 6 credit hours of coursework outside of but related to electrical engineering
    • Not fewer than 15 credit hours taken from ELCT courses at the 700-level or above

Areas of Specialization

Course work and research can generally be conducted in any sub-discipline of electrical engineering coinciding with the research interests of our faculty, which include these topics:

  • Power systems
  • Power electronics
  • Simulation environments for power electronics and interdisciplinary systems
  • Microwave power amplifier and MOS devices based on wide bandgap semiconductors
  • Growth device processing, and characterization of wide bandgap (SiC and GanN) semiconductors
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Electromagnetic scattering
  • Wireless communication applications
  • Outdoor and indoor wave propagation
  • Millimeter-wave integrated circuits
  • Microwave and antenna design
  • Electronic packaging
Visit the Electrical Engineering Department for more information on our faculty and research areas

Graduate Admissions

All applications must be submitted to the Graduate School of the University of South Carolina. The Graduate School provides helpful information on the admissions application process and even lets you know what to do before you apply.

Admission is competitive. Normally, applicants are expected to have an earned baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering with at least a B average and to meet any other entry requirements of the Graduate School.

Test Scores:

Admitted students generally will have GRE scores higher than 153 (verbal) and 155 (quantitative). Students whose native language is not English must submit suitable TOEFL scores (generally above 80 computer-based score).


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