Computer Engineering

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

PhD in Computer Engineering



Academic Program

The Computer Engineering program in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers graduate programs of study which lead to the MS degree (thesis and non-thesis options), the PhD degree and the Doctor of Engineering (DE) degree. Both the Rolla campus and the Engineering Education Center in St. Louis offer MS programs. Selection of specific options and programs of study is determined by students, subject to approval by advisor and department. Graduate programs in computer engineering will generally include specialization in one or more of the following areas:

  • Digital systems design and embedded systems: Topics include hardware/software co-design, IC design, electromagnetic compatibility, VLSI design, and secure embedded systems design.
  • Networking and security: Topics include network analysis and synthesis, cyber-physical systems, wireless networks, sensor networks, dependability, and fault tolerance.
  • Computers and architecture: Topics include high performance systems, parallel processors, GPU computing, and heterogeneous systems architecture.
  • Computational intelligence: Topics include clustering, adaptive resonance and reinforcement learning architectures, learning and adaptation, hardware and applications, neurofuzzy regression, traveling salesman problem heuristics, robotic swarms, bioinformatics, medical informatics, machine vision, and automation.
  • Interdisciplinary areas: Topics include nano-scale circuits, systems, and architectures.

Research Opportunities

The Applied Optics Laboratory, Applied Microwave Nondestructive Testing Laboratory, Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory, Factory Automation Laboratory, and Ameren UE Power Electronics Laboratory are all located in the ECE department. In addition, many ECE students and faculty are involved in research performed in multi-disciplinary research centers and laboratories located on campus. Some of these centers include the Intelligent Systems Center, High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory, Instructional Software Development Center, and the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies, and the Trustworthy Systems Laboratory.

Career Opportunities

The Computer Engineering Program is designed to prepare an engineer to work in both the abstract software world, where high level languages and more complexity will often provide a solution to a problem, and in the physical world where designs are often compromises between many opposing factors. The program further prepares engineers to compete in today's rapidly changing marketplace by providing the fundamental concepts and attributes that will enable them to recognize and understand future developments.

The distinction between a computer engineer and the more traditional computer science major or digital design electrical engineer may be in his/her desire to understand and participate in the entire process of using abstract algorithms and data structures to control changes in real physical devices.

There are many aspects to Computer Engineering. A Computer Engineer might be working on the design of a new automobile brake system where a knowledge of the electronic sensors and the dynamic nature of the brakes might be as important as the programming of the I/O handler interrupt subroutine in high level C or assembly language. Another project such as the design of a distributed control system for a factory floor might require the engineer to have background in computer networks and programming as well as an understanding of the manufacturing process.

Recent Missouri S&T computer engineering graduates have been employed in the private sector by several well known corporations including AdTran, Cerner, Caterpillar, Motorola, Intel, and Microsoft. Graduates have also worked in the public sector for the Naval Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

Because computer engineering is a relatively new degree (when compared to electrical engineering) salary data is not readily available. However, a recent salary survey* conducted by IEEE yielded the following median salaries as a function of degree for engineers working in the computer area.

PhD: Approximately $120,000 per year

Master's Degree: Approximately $106,000 per year

BS Degree: Approximately $98,000 per year

Note that the data for this survey came from a cross section of IEEE members and therefore includes both new hires and individuals with many years of experience. These median salaries should not be interpreted as median starting salaries. This data also includes members from many different geographic areas.

* IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey - 2001 Edition, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Piscataway, NJ., 2001.


Financial Assistance

Professional Societies

ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education

IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

ACM - Association for Computer Machinery

NSBE - National Society of Black Engineers

SHPE- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

NSPE - National Society of Professional Engineers

SWE - Society of Women Engineers

Tau Beta Pi

Eta Kappa Nu

Phi Kappa Phi

Sigma Xi


ECE Graduate admission information

ECE Graduate Handbook

Past Qualifying exam problems