Computer Engineering


Degrees Offered


The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. The M.S. program includes an all-coursework option and a thesis option.  The Ph.D. program includes a direct-entry option for suitably qualified students having completed a baccalaureate degree. Graduate students majoring in computer engineering at Clemson can concentrate their program of study in any of four areas of specialization: communication systems and networks, computer systems architecture, digital signal processing, and intelligent systems.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Degrees Awarded

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*This estimator is provided to help you determine the minimum tuition and fees for admitted students. Additional fees may apply. For more information please review the tuition and fee schedule.


For tuition information, please refer to the “Other Graduate Student Tuition and Fees” section of the Tuition and Fee Schedules page.


Program of Study

Available focus areas for computer engineering majors are computer systems architecture, communications systems and networks, digital signal processing, and intelligent systems.

MS The MS program includes an all-course work option and a thesis option. In the former, your plan of study will include a minimum of 33 credit hours, at least 18 of which must be at the 8000 level. In the latter, you will be required to write a thesis that is approved by your advisory committee and the Graduate School. If you choose the thesis-option, you must take a minimum of 30 credit hours, including six hours of ECE 8910 (Master’s Thesis Research). At least 12 of the credit hours, excluding the six ECE 8910 credits, must be at the 8000 level.If you are supported as a research assistant, you will most likely be required by your advisor to choose the thesis option. If you anticipate continued studies toward the PhD, you should strongly consider the thesis option.

A student selecting the thesis option for the MS degree must also pass a final exam consisting of an oral defense of a written, research-based thesis on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. The student pursuing an MS degree may optionally elect a minor area in the degree program, which requires two courses (six hours) in some area outside of the major, such as math, physics, computer science or industrial engineering, as approved by the student’s advisory committee.

PhD The PhD program of study requires 24 credit hours of graduate course work and 18 credit hours of research for a student holding a prior master’s degree in the major. Direct entry into the PhD program is available to highly qualified students with baccalaureate degrees who are accepted into the program. A student entering the PhD program without a prior master’s degree in the major is required to complete 42 credit hours of graduate course work and 18 credit hours of research. Each PhD student is also required to pass a qualifying examination early in the program, pass a comprehensive examination later in the program, and pass a final exam consisting of an oral defense of a written, research-based dissertation on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee.


The research activities of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are organized into seven areas of specialization: applied electromagnetics, communication systems and networks, computer systems architecture, digital signal processing, electronics, intelligent systems, and power. Each of the areas of specialization is available to computer engineering majors except applied electromagnetics, electronics, and power (which are restricted to electrical engineering majors).

Applied Electromagnetics

The applied electromagnetic focus area includes research emphases in antenna design, computational electromagnetics, electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interference, fiber optics and optoelectronic systems, and RF and millimeter-wave circuits.

Communication Systems and Networks

The communication systems and networks research focus area includes research emphases in adaptive modulation and coding techniques, decoding algorithms for error-correction codes, communication over time-varying channels, protocols for dynamic spectrum utilization, protocols for mobile radio networks, and applications of software-defined networking.

Computer Systems Architecture

The computer systems architecture focus area encompasses research in accelerated and embedded computing, computer architecture, computer security, computer vision, distributed and high-performance computing, human-computer interfaces, sensor fusion, and sensor networks.

Digital Signal Processing

The digital signal processing focus area includes research in artificial intelligence, computer vision, image processing, and speech processing.


Topics of research in the electronics focus area include semiconductor devices and materials, fabrication of electronic materials and devices, organic electronic materials and devices, dielectric films, bioelectronics, photovoltaics, power electronics, high-frequency electronics, and optoelectronic materials and devices.

Intelligent Systems

Research in the intelligent systems focus area encompasses the integrated application of several areas of expertise. They include artificial intelligence and neural networks, computer vision, control systems, embedded computing, human-machine interfaces, mechatronics, and robotics.


Faculty in the power focus area are engaged in research spanning alternative energy resources (solar and wind), power electronics, power grid simulation, and power system reliability and stability.


Application Information

Admission is based on previous academic performance, standardized test scores and letters of recommendation. The student's statement of purpose should provide insight into his or her professional goals and academic interests in addition to describing any relevant prior research or work experience. The starting point for application on the web is Applications for entrance in any semester must be received and complete no later than five weeks prior to the last date of registration for the semester. (Students who require a visa to attend Clemson should complete the application no later than five months prior to that date.) An application is considered complete only when all required application documents have been received by the Graduate School.

Required Documents


The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)