Power electronics is a key enabling technology in essentially all electronic systems and is increasingly important in the grid interface of renewable energy sources and in efficient electrical loads. The necessity for power electronics technology in these rapidly expanding areas creates an increasing need for design engineers equipped with knowledge and skills to actively participate in multidisciplinary teams.

Our Professional Master's Program offers an MS degree through the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. Through flexible core course options and electives, students enrolled in this program pursue a 30-credit hour MS degree. A 9-credit hour professional certificate is also available. 

Most of the Power Electronics courses offer distance-learning options through the Graduate School

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The power electronics field has evolved rapidly with the advances in technology and introduction of many new application areas. As a result, it is likely that the required knowledge and skills were not in the curricula when many of today's professionals were in college. This creates a strong ongoing demand for continuing education of the workforce in the area of power electronics. This professional MS program seeks to address the ongoing demand for skilled power electronics design engineers. Switching power supplies, dc-dc converters, inverters, power factor correction converters and LED lighting drivers are examples of power electronics circuits that employ high-frequency switching circuits to convert and condition electrical power. Power electronics is an integral part of most electronic systems, yet most engineers have little of the background required to understand and design these circuits, including their control systems and their magnetics. The professional MS program provides a knowledge of fundamentals of the power electronics field, including the curriculum of the Certificate in Power Electronics. The program enables a working electrical engineer to gain the foundation needed for the practice of power electronics.

The program is intended for students and engineers with a BS degree in electrical engineering or the equivalent. Entering students must have adequate knowledge of circuits and electronics, as taught in undergraduate courses intended for EE majors.

A total of 30 credit hours (nominally 10 courses) are required for the MS degree. The curriculum is built around a core of three theory courses in power electronics, comprising the certificate in power electronics:
  • ECEN 5797 Introduction to Power Electronics (offered every fall semester)
  • ECEN 5807 Modeling and Control of Power Electronics Systems (offered alternate spring semesters including spring 2017)
  • ECEN 5817 Resonant and Soft Switching Phenomena in Power Electronics (offered alternate spring semesters including spring 2016)

The degree also requires completion of two laboratory courses in power electronics:

  • ECEN 5517 Photovoltaic Power Electronics Laboratory (offered every spring semester)
  • ECEN5xx7 Project Laboratory in Power Electronics (offered every fall semester beginning F2017)

These courses provide practical laboratory and design experience of specific relevance to the practice of power electronics. The above two laboratory courses are not available online; however, distance students who can demonstrate significant laboratory experience in power electronics may petition to substitute technical courses from the list below.

An additional power electronics elective course is chosen from the pool of Power Electronics Program electives listed below. The remaining four courses must include at least three approved technical electives.

Electric Vehicles

  • ECEN 5017 Power Electronics for Electric Drivetrain Vehicles (offered every fall semester)
  • ECEN 5xx7 Electric Machines (to be offered beginning 2017) 
  • ECEN 5737 Adjustable Speed AC Drives (offered every spring semester)

Analog and Mixed-Signal IC Design

  • ECEN 5827 Analog IC Design (offered every fall semester)
  • ECEN 5837 Mixed-Signal IC Design Lab (offered alternate spring semesters)
  • ECEN5xx8 Integrated Circuits and Devices for Power Electronics (to be offered in alternate spring semesters)

Grid Integration of Renewables

These courses are currently under development, to be offered starting in the 2016-17 academic year. 

  • ECEN 5xx7 Control of Power Electronics in AC Systems and Micrograms
  • ECEN 5xx7 Renewable Energy and the Future Power Grid
  • ECEN 5xx7 Advances in Control and Optimization of Power Systems
  • ECEN 5xx7 Power System Analysis

The final three courses must be technical electives approved by the student's advisor. Recommended electives include courses in control systems, RF/microwaves and engineering management.

Students must complete the following sequence of three courses, with a grade of C or higher in each course, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all three courses:
  • ECEN 5797 Introduction to Power Electronics (Offered every fall. Prerequisite: completion of basic undergraduate courses in circuits and electronics)
  • ECEN 5807 Modeling and Control of Power Electronics Systems (Offered in alternate springs. Prerequisite: ECEN 5797)
  • ECEN 5817 Resonant and Soft Switching Techniques in Power Electronics (Offered in alternate springs. Prerequisite: ECEN 5797. ECEN 5807 is not prerequisite for this course)

Each semester-long course requires completion of 10 to 12 homework assignments, a midterm exam and a final exam. The graduates of this program will have successfully demonstrated their abilities in the subjects of all three courses listed above, to the satisfaction of the faculty of the Colorado Power Electronics Center. Please note that transfer credit is not accepted in lieu of the above requirements.

Students must first be admitted to the Graduate School with power electronics sub-plan for course credit towards the professional MS degree. Graduate students pursuing one of the above certificates are not required to matriculate into the power electronics professional MS sub-plan, although degree-seeking students enrolled in the power electronics professional MS program will be given course registration priority. Admission to the Graduate School is also not required for students pursuing only one of the above certificates.

 

For information on how this certificate fits into a graduate degree in electrical and computer engineering, contact Graduate Advisor Adam Sadoff at adam.sadoff@colorado.edu. To register for a graduate-level course through the Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering Department, contact Adam Sadoff. To register for a distance learning course through CU Boulder Connect, check their website for schedule and application information.