Electrical & Computer Graduate Programs

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The graduate degrees offer concentration in four areas:

Computer Engineering

Built around the design and development of embedded computer/control systems, this focus uniquely addresses the needs of the automotive and aerospace industrial communities. The program seeks to provide students with the ability to design real-time distributed microcontroller-based systems commonly found in automotive and manufacturing environments.

Robotics Systems

The robotics specialization at Detroit Mercy is structured to integrate three elements of robotics: computation, sensing and action.  These three elements thus define the courses and projects as students explore Perception, Cognition, Control and Dynamics, as well as experiential areas related to environment interaction, such as Learning, Power Systems and Mechatronics (embedded systems, sensors and actuators).

Both Doctoral and Masters students are members of the Advanced Mobility Lab (AML) graduate research team and they undertake research covering a broad variety of topics relevant to mobile robotics, Navigation, Mapping, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and mobile/sensor wireless network systems.  Funding agencies include TARDEC, MDOT, USDOT, Denso, Chrysler and Ford.

A master’s degree in Robotics Systems may be completed through the five-year bachelor/master’s program, available to UDM electrical and computer engineering undergraduates, or as a two-year program.

Mechatronics Systems

This modern program is commonly defined as “the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering with electronics and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacturing of industrial products and processes." The evolution of this area came about as a result of the tremendous growth in the area of Embedded Electronic Systems.

The power of microcontrollers has improved dramatically, even as they have gotten smaller, so it is becoming increasingly feasible to design products with embedded intelligence that gives them capabilities that were not possible before. The faculty of the ECE Department, in close cooperation with the Mechanical Engineering department, has designed an innovative, world-class Mechatronics program that offers a balance of Electrical, Software and Mechanical content with a focus on Embedded Systems Design.

Signals and Systems

The signals and systems focal area provides a background in digital signal and image processing, and control systems. The advent of high-speed specialized digital signal processor integrated circuits has spurred rapid development in this area (witness cellular phones, software radios, CD and DVD players, and HDTV systems). The subsequent demand for specialists in this field has created excellent career opportunities. Students completing this program will have both the theoretical background and practical experience to design and develop quality products in this market.

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    Master’s Degree Requirements

    Thesis Option

    The thesis option consists of 24 credit hours of coursework, six credit hours of thesis work, and an oral presentation of the thesis to the departmental thesis committee and the public.

    Non-thesis option

    The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours of coursework. A student’s plan of study must consist of at least seven courses with a 500 level designation. Furthermore, the student’s program of study must consist of no fewer than six courses from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

    Points of Pride

    Graduate Co-op Program: Qualified individuals may choose to work in the industry on either alternating semesters or during the summer semesters. A rich variety of engineering opportunities are available in southeastern Michigan.

    Design- and Project-Oriented: Participate in exciting hands-on projects that integrate theory and application.  For example, students are currently working on the design and development of an internationally competitive autonomous vehicle to participate in the International Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC).

    Student-Centered: Take advantage of small class sizes and opportunities for one-on-one contact with professors. Most courses include opportunities to work in teams and advance the professional and personal skills so vital to long-term career success in industry.


    Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering

    The Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering requires students to complete the doctoral core courses, the core courses for one concentration, as well as at least nine credit hours in a related discipline and 36 30 credit hours of dissertation. The Doctoral program is divided into three parts: Coursework, Dissertation and Examination.


    Coursework consists of 51 post-baccalaureate course credits at the graduate level. Up to 36 graduate credit hours can be transferred, but at least 21 additional graduate credits must be accrued at UDM. Coursework is divided into Doctoral Core, Concentration Core, and Discipline Specific. There are three Doctoral Core courses (or equivalent): ENGR 5020 Design of Experiments; ENGR 5200 Optimization; and ENGR 5300 Advanced Engineering Mathematics. For Concentration Core courses, each concentration has a number of associated courses, all of which must be taken to fulfill the requirements for the concentration. Discipline Specific courses are those related to Electrical and Computer Engineering and at least nine credits of Electrical and Computer Engineering courses must be taken outside the Concentration Core and Doctoral Core courses.


    Dissertation credits consist of research credits under the guidance of a Doctoral Dissertation committee headed by a faculty member who acts as the supervisor. Although Doctoral research is independent, novel and advances the state of the art, the committee members can provide guidance, advice and technical expertise. A minimum 30 dissertation credits is required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering degree.


    Examinations comprise three stages: Qualifying, Dissertation Topic and Final. The Qualifying Examination is administered and interpreted by the college-level Doctoral Graduate Committee. The exam consists of three parts: Mathematics, Computer and Discipline Specific (in this case, Electrical and Computer Engineering topics relevant to the individual examinee). The Qualifying Exam must be taken as soon as the student has completed the Doctoral Core Courses. Students passing the Qualifying Exam are allowed to advance in the Doctoral program. Students can repeat the qualifying exam once. Students failing the Qualifying Exam for the second time are dismissed from the Doctoral program.

    The Dissertation Topic Examination consists of the formal presentation of the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee. The committee provides feedback to the student regarding scope, depth and relevancy of the topic. With approval of the committee, the student can proceed with the research and subsequent accrual of dissertation credits. Final Examination consists of the formal and public presentation of the dissertation results. The written dissertation must also be approved and accepted by the supervisory committee. The Final Examination, in concert with submission of the approved version of the written dissertation, constitutes the last step in completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Electrical & Computer Engineering degree.