Telecommunications is the study of how technology influences communications. The field is no longer a matter of technology alone, however, as it also links complicated technology, business and management problems with legal, political and regulatory challenges. It is essential that today's managers and future leaders understand both the technology and complex multidisciplinary environments that characterize the modern information network.
Through course work, research and laboratory studies, students in the Interdisciplinary Telecom Program (ITP) obtain an understanding of the latest thinking and best practices relating to networking, wireless systems, cyber security, twenty-first-century telecom technology and business and regulatory policy frameworks. The program was specifically designed to provide a crossdisciplinary curriculum of electrical engineering, computer science, business, economics, policy and law that prepares graduates to design, plan, analyze and manage information networks and telecommunication systems. Graduates are able to apply their learning to careers in telecommunications, utilities, financial services, healthcare, e-commerce and Internet-based organizations.
ITP offers a Master of Science in Telecommunications and four dual telecom degrees, encompassing business, law and information management. The Master of Science in Telecommunications integrates technology, business, economics and public policy, completing the set of skills and knowledge that engineers and business leaders need. In addition, students wishing to prepare for careers working on network engineering, wireless engineering, network security and telecom policy can pursue an MS in Telecom under one of the four corresponding ITP tracks to customize the technical content of their MS degrees. Upon successful completion of one of the tracks, students receive the corresponding graduate certificate.
The ITP PhD program is for highly motivated students seeking to conduct research at the intersections of traditional telecommunications technology, economics and policy disciplines. ITP PhD students learn the necessary skills to conduct academic research, along with a focused study plan that emphasizes the specific technical areas of their research and mirrors one of the established specialities of the ITP program such as broadband networking, wireless, policy, security and energy.
The PhD in Telecom enables students to address the key challenges of global communications and the networking infrastructure. For example, researchers at CU-Boulder are helping develop WiMAX, the next generation of the Internet—a more mobile version—and ITP is employing the new technology in a laboratory setting to allow students firsthand experience with this technology. For students interested in an energy focus, the Graduate Digital Energy Program represents ITP’s commitment to and expansion into the energy sector—leveraging the study of Internet technology, wireless, network design, security and other areas to integrate twoway telecommunications technology into the electric power grid.
The ITP program offers graduate certificates in Computer and Network Security, Energy Communication Networks, Network Architecture, Telecommunications Policy and Wireless Networks and Technologies. The Computer and Network Security Certificate is a set of courses that helps students gain expertise in security topics ranging from technical to legal procedures. The Energy Communication Networks Certificate gives students the fundamentals of communications systems, data communications, energy systems and smart grid technologies. The Network Architecture Certificate instructs students in designing communications solutions, including theoretical and handson experience. The Telecommunications Policy Certificate gives students expertise in the legal, political and regulatory dynamics of the Internet and communications industries. Finally, the Wireless Networks and Technologies Certificate allows students to master skills in key areas like security and vulnerability characteristics, assessing and selecting the right product, deploying a reliable wireless network and potential interactions between wireless products.