Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies

Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Computer Engineering (ECP)

Catalog Photo

Master of Science in Computer Engineering (M.S.C.P.)
CIP Code: 14.0901
College of Engineering (EN)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 30

Contact Information:
College of Engineering
Computer Science and Engineering Department (ESB)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue ENB118
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Miguel Labrador
Phone: 813-974-3260


Faculty Search: Engineering Faculty List

Program Information

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers both a thesis and non-thesis option for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Engineering (M.S.C.P.). The thesis option requires students to pursue a more concentrated range of topics, while the non-thesis option allows students to explore various areas of computer engineering. There is considerable freedom in the choice of the courses.

The breadth of subjects that comprise computer engineering together with the immense diversity of its applications, make it imperative that students in the Master's program maintain close contact with the Graduate Program Director, or, if choosing the thesis option, with their major professor to achieve a coherent plan of study directed towards a specific goal. In particular, selection of courses should only be made with prior consultation and approval of the major professor or the Graduate Program Director.

Major Research Areas
An excellent selection of courses and laboratories support graduate studies in algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, computer architecture, graphics, networks, computer vision, distributed systems, embedded systems, expert systems, formal verification, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, databases, software engineering, computer security, compilers, programming languages, and VLSI design and CAD.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: January 15
Spring: September 15
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • The GRE is required for all Ph.D. and M.S. applicants. The median GRE scores of recently admitted students include 770 on the Quantitative portion and a Verbal Total of 450. For GRE tests taken after August 1, we require a minimum of 161 on the Quantitative portion (81 percentile) and a minimum of 150 (44 percentile) on the Verbal. If a candidate is admitted to the M.S. program and later decides to apply to the Ph.D. program, the GRE requirement must be met by the candidate as part of the application process. The GRE will be waived for M.S. degree applicants with an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited United States university.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of B or equivalent for all coursework completed during the last two years of undergraduate program.
  • Submission of TOEFL scores with an Internet-based score of 79 or higher for applicants from non-English speaking countries. If consideration of an assistantship is desired, the speaking score component of the TOEFL must be 26 or above, or a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System, (IELTS).
  • The TOEFL requirements may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
    • Has scored 500 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test, (Old Scores) or 153 with the New GRE scoring.
    • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning.
    • Has earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English, (must be noted on the transcript).
    • Has scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System, (IELTS).
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • The applicant must also have mathematical preparation equivalent to that obtained from courses in Calculus through Differential Equations; knowledge of computer science and computer engineering, including logic design, computer architecture, data structure, operating systems and analysis of algorithms. The majority of students accepted to the program possess an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics; however, students who hold an undergraduate degree in a related field are encouraged to apply.

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 30 hours

Core Requirements: 9 hours
Successful completion of three core graduate-level courses is required:
     EEL 6764 Principles of Computer Architecture (3)
     COP 6611 Operating Systems (3)
     COT 6405 Introduction to the Theory of Algorithms (3)

Thesis option students must select at least 15 hours and non-thesis students must select at least 21 hours from the list of available graduate elective courses below in consultation with the Graduate Program Director of individual advisor:
     CAP 5400 Digital Image Processing (3)
     CDA 5416 Introduction to Computer-Aided Verification (3)
     CAP 5625 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (3)
     CAP 5682 Expert and Intelligent Systems (3)
     CAP 5771 Data Mining (3)
     EEL 5771 Introduction to Computer Graphics I (3)
     CNT 6215 Computer Networks (3)
     CAP 6415 Computer Vision (3)
     CAP 6455 Advanced Robotic Systems (3)
     CAP 6615 Neural Networks (3)
     COP 6621 Programming Languages and Translation (3)
     EEL 6706 Testing and Fault Tolerance in Digital Systems (3)
     CAP 6736 Geometric Modeling (3)
     EEL 6766 Advanced Computer Architecture (3)
     CIS 6900 Independent Study (1-19)
     CIS 6930 Special Topics (1-5)
     CIS 6940 Graduate Instruction Methods (1-4)
     CIS 6946 Internships/Practicums/Clinical Practice (0-3)
     CIS 6971 Thesis: Master’s (2-19)

Thesis Option:
The thesis option requires completion of 24 credit hours of CSE graduate-level courses (9 credit hours core and 15 hours of electives) and 6 credit hours of thesis in computer engineering related problems, as determined by the Major Professor and documented in the Plan of Work. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. . With prior permission from the Graduate Program Director, students can take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of 3 hours of one-hour seminar courses, and up to one graduate level course (3 credit hours) outside of the department.

Non-Thesis Option:
The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours, with 9 credit hours of core courses and 21 hours of electives. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. At least 6 hours of electives should be in the following topic areas: CMOS VLSI Design, Digital Circuit Synthesis, Formal Verification, Testing and Fault Tolerance, Low-Power VLSI, Robotics, or Computer Networks, as determined by the Graduate Program Coordinator and documented in the Plan of Work. With prior permission from the Graduate Program Director, students can take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of 3 hours of one-hour seminar courses, and up to one graduate level course (3 credit hours) outside of the department.

Graduation Requirements:
For the thesis option, students must defend and pass the thesis and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Non-Thesis Option students must obtain a letter “B” or better in the core graduate courses and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

EEL6764, COP6611, COT6405, CAP5400, CAP5625, CAP5682, CAP5771, CAP6100, CAP6415, CAP6455, CAP6615, CAP6672, CAP6736, CDA5416, CIS6900, CIS6930, CIS6940, CIS7910, CNT6215, COP6621, EEL5771, EEL6706, EEL6766, CIS6971,