The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Program Overview

Advisor and studentThe M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering are designed with a focus on research. These research programs are supported by both federal and industrial funding as well as numerous state-of-the-art research laboratories. The research programs of the department cover a wide spectrum of activities in the primary disciplines of communications, electromagnetics, mechatronics, electronics, photonics, computer architecture, power systems, and software enabled systems. The department is equipped with an extensive computer facility consisting of a variety of state-of-the art mainframes, workstations, and personal computers located in several open laboratories and in a large number of specialized research laboratories. In addition, there are many specialized research laboratories and centers supporting activities in speech and image processing, communications systems, wireless networks, robotics, control systems, computer architecture, VLSI design and testing, semiconductor materials and devices, photonics, fiber optics, microwave circuits, power systems, power electronics, computational electromagnetics, vehicle electronics, and plasma science. For organizational purposes, the department’s research activities and the associated faculty members are clustered into four major areas as described on the ECE Research page. Joint programs are maintained with other units within the College of Engineering and Science, as well as with the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Clemson Computing & Information Technology unit, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips, Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering, and Institute for Intelligent Materials, Systems and Environments.

Graduate Program Highlights
Teacher instructing a class.Engineering Education Certificate: The Department of Engineering and Science Education offers graduate students in the Department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Engineering Education.  This educational experience is designed for graduate students who seek experience in preparation for an academic career and wish to further their understanding of the education process in engineering.  This certificate program includes a range of courses that may be chosen to address specific research questions or interests. 

Launch Pad logoTechnology Entrepreneurship Certificate: The Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate is available to graduate students in engineering and science disciplines across campus. The certificate is intended to serve those students who envision an entrepreneurial career as their long range career goal, want to be involved in new product and new business activities within a corporate setting, or seek a better understanding of the process of commercializing inventions.

Power plantAdvanced Power Systems Engineering Certificate: Recent blackouts around the world led the power engineering community to develop new, innovative methods for wide area monitoring, protection and control, wireless communication, and smart grid systems. Discussions with leaders in the power industry and academia indicate that many power engineers do not have the necessary background to tackle these challenging problems related to modern power systems. To address this need, the Advanced Power Systems Engineering Certificate Program provides power engineers with an opportunity to attack more sophisticated problems associated with power systems protection, dynamics/stability, transients, and distribution.

Laser testing
Graduate Degree Programs in Photonics:
The Photonics Graduate Degree Program is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to expand a student's knowledge beyond the boundaries of traditional departmental based graduate programs. Specifically, graduate students, at the M.S. and Ph.D. level, participate in cross-departmental research, take application related classes from multiple engineering and science departments, and develop workplace related skills in a modern laboratory environment.


Direct entry Ph.D. programDirect Entry Ph.D. Program: The Ph.D. program includes a direct-entry option for suitably qualified students who have completed a baccalaureate degree. Students in the direct-entry Ph.D. program are required to: i) take a minimum of 42 credit hours of approved course work, ii) pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, iii) pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination, and iv) write a dissertation that must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate School. For more information on this option, see the ECE Graduate Handbook.


Graduate ambassadorECE Graduate Ambassadors: The ECE Graduate Ambassadors are a diverse group of motivated and dedicated graduate students who assist the department with its recruiting, outreach, and education programs. These student participants assist the department by teaching classes and labs in freshman engineering and participating in the fall semester information session for incoming graduate students. In addition to providing an important service to the department, this program is a fun way for the participants to network with faculty, alumni, and students within the department and the college.