Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

The Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (ECEE) Department at CU dates back to the 1890s and the earliest days of the Engineering College. There are 40 full-time faculty members in ECEE along with a host of adjunct, research, and jointly appointed faculty. Annual research expenditures are near $6M. Research grants from NASA, DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NOAA and collaborative industrial and military funding provide support for qualified graduate students. The program also has unique facilities and equipment for experimental and theoretical training, and for conducting subject-specific research.

Concentration Areas of Study and Research

  • Biomedical and biological engineering
  • Communications and signal processing
  • Computer engineering (including VLSI/CAD) and software engineering  
  • Dynamics, robotics, and controls
  • Electromagnetics, RF and microwave engineering
  • Embedded systems engineering
  • Optics and photonics
  • Power electronics and renewable energy systems
  • Remote sensing
  • Nanostructures and devices

Degrees Offered

ME, MS, PhD, Certificate in Electric Drivetrain Technology, Certificate in Embedded Systems, Certificate in Power Electronics

Degree Details


The master of engineering (ME) is a single, college-wide degree. The ME application requirements and curriculum guidelines offer wider access to interdisciplinary courses in the college, ranging from engineering management courses from the college’s enterprise programs to technical courses from various departments. Therefore the ME degree provides flexibility for individuals pursuing technical management, entrepreneurial or purely technical careers. The ME degree is non-thesis and requires 30 semester hours of course work.  


Master of science (MS) degrees are individual degrees each focused on a specific technical discipline, with some interdisciplinary flexibility allowed outside a student’s specialization. MS degrees are oriented for individuals seeking a research career in ECEE or a technical industry career. An MS degree requires completion of 30 credit hours. Students can do either a thesis or non-thesis option.  Under both options, all but one course must be technical; in the thesis option, 4-6 hours of the total 30 are thesis study.

Under the rules of the department, it is possible for a duly admitted graduate student to complete the requirements for the MS degree through distance education. 

Professional MS 

Professional Master’s Programs are typically project-based, aimed at workforce preparation. The department offers two tracks of their professional masters program: Embedded Systems Engineering (ESE) or Power Electronics (PPE), both of which result in a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). 

Distance Education

The department also offers two tracks of the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering completely online. 

Learn more about earning a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Embedded Sytems Engineering (ESE) online:

Download the brochure 

Learn more about earning a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Power Electronics (PPE) online: 

Download the brochure 



The doctor of philosophy (PhD) is the terminal degree for individuals seeking a technical or research career in ECEE. It requires completion of an MS, 30 hours of dissertation, passing of a preliminary and comprehensive examination, and a successful dissertation defense. There is a foreign language requirement.

NOTE: If you intend ultimately to pursue the PhD degree, it is best to apply directly to our PhD program rather than first apply to our MS program.

Certificate Programs

Admissions Requirements

  1. TWO online applications: One is the university application. The other, relatively brief one, is the ECEE department application.

  2. A baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing (or the equivalent). NOTE: Transcripts evidencing same are required.

  3. Adequate technical preparation to enter graduate study in ECEE.

  4. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 of higher. NOTE: Provisional admission is sometimes possible for applicants with lower GPAs.

  5. GRE general exam scores (no older than 5 years) for MS or PhD degrees. NOTE: GRE scores are not required for admission to ME.

  6. Four letters of recommendation from qualified referees.

  7. A statement of purpose describing the applicant’s goals and interests.

  8. For non-native English speakers only, certification of adequate spoken and written English. A TOEFL score greater than 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (internet-based) (no older than two years), or an IELTS score of at least 7.00 (no older than two years) is desired. Equivalently 1+ years (evidenced by transcripts(attendance must be within the past two years) of prior instruction at a U.S. university or at a university in a country with English as one of its official languages may suffice.

Applicant Instructions

Spring Admissions Deadlines

MS & PhD

International and US citizen/permanent resident: September 1, 2016

Professional MS

October 1, 2016

Fall Admissions Deadlines 

MS & PhD

International applicant deadline: November 1, 2016 for full financial consideration, otherwise January 15, 2017.

US citizen/permanent resident applicant deadline: December 1, 2016 for full financial consideration, otherwise January 15, 2017.

Professional MS

January 15, 2016

Contact Information

University of Colorado Boulder
Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
425 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0425
Phone: 303-735-0490
Fax: 303-492-2758

Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering website

Email: ecegrad@colorado.edu