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Computer Engineering

Master's Degree Program


Opportunities for graduate studies

Where will you make your mark in tomorrow's tech-driven world: real-time systems, simulation, microprocessors - or something entirely new?

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas offers course work leading to a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

The university is constantly assessing its degree programs with an eye on tomorrow's marketplace. With a graduate degree from UNT in computer engineering, you'll be well-positioned for an accomplished career at the epicenter of the future.

UNT's College of Engineering is a pioneer in developing project-oriented curricula that allows students to apply knowledge in tangible real-world applications. Its state-of-the-art lab and research facilities are the envy of other universities nationwide.

With small class sizes, you will work closely with distinguished faculty members to solve complex problems faced by businesses and consumers. You also will have the opportunity to take advantage of the many working research relationships UNT has with leading companies.

Choose from a variety of cutting-edge courses and research areas, including:

  • VLSI design and CAD
  • low power VLSI
  • reconfigurable computing
  • communication and networks
  • real-time systems  
  • computer system architecture
  • distributed computing
  • simulation and modeling

To easily accommodate working students, classes are offered on a rotating schedule, with all core classes offered at night at least once every two years.


Faculty research, centers and laboratories

UNT is committed to excellence in teaching and the discovery and application of knowledge through research and creative activities. The university also is making significant investments in programs, infrastructure and leading faculty who partner with students on many unique research projects.

For example, Professor Ian Parberry has been recognized five years in a row by Microsoft as a "Most Valuable Professional" for his work in game development. Associate Professor Rada Mihalcea is one of only 100 university researchers nationwide to earn the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her groundbreaking research on understanding the meaning of text. Assistant Professor Saraju Mohanty was awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to reduce power consumption and lower costs for consumers by making electronic chips more energy-efficient.

Engineering classes and research are conducted at Discovery Park, a nearly 290-acre research park with cutting-edge equipment. In addition to instructional facilities, the department supports numerous centers and research laboratories that offer virtually unlimited possibilities for study and research.

The Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis (CeCERA) brings together the UNT departments of geography, computer science and engineering, and biological sciences, and the Department of Biostatistics at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth to develop models to predict the extent of future disease outbreaks. 

The Center for Information and Computer Security helped UNT earn the designation of "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" from the National Security Agency for its strong computer and information security program.

The Computational Epidemiology Research Laboratory applies computational science applications to the public health field.

The Computer Privacy and Security Laboratory conducts research to improve computer security and privacy.

The Computer Systems Research Laboratory investigates multithreaded architectures, compiler optimizations, memory systems, intelligent memory devices and real-time and embedded processing.

The Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory focuses on computer vision problems.

The Geometric Computing Laboratory conducts research to improve the efficiency of geometric algorithms.

The Global Software Development Laboratory works with student teams in other countries including Great Britain, Panama and Turkey. The ultimate goal is to create curriculum materials aimed at teaching students to work more effectively in global software teams.

The Intelligent Distributed Software Systems Laboratory provides the infrastructure for research in exciting areas such as intelligent mobile agents, distributed artificial intelligence and Internet programming.

The Laboratory for Recreational Computing serves as a center for research, education and development for computer game programming.

The Language and Information Technologies Laboratory investigates natural language processing and computational linguistics.

The Multimedia Information Laboratory conducts research on multimedia material processing, multimedia information extraction and multimedia information modeling and retrieval.

The Net-Centric Software and Systems Center aims to promote cooperative research between industry and universities.

The Network Research Laboratory conducts research in high-speed networking techniques and applications.

The Network Security Laboratory advances wireline and wireless security and communication.

The VLSI Design and CAD Laboratory carries out research in low-power design and CAD for nano-scale VLSI circuits.

The Wireless Sensor Laboratory conducts research to advance wireless sensors.

To learn more about UNT's research laboratories, visit www.cse.unt.edu


Admission requirements

Departmental application deadlines are March 1 for the fall semester and Oct. 1 for the spring semester.

Ph.D. degree

You must meet the admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School and the following program requirements:

  • minimum 3.5 GPA
  • acceptable score on the GRE
  • minimum TOEFL score of 580 on the written exam or 237 on the computer-based exam for international applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a prior degree from an accredited U.S. institution
  • three letters of recommendation

An overall evaluation of your credentials will be used as a basis for admission.

M.S. degree 

You must meet the admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School and the following program requirements:

  • minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work
  • acceptable score on the GRE
  • minimum TOEFL score of 580 on the written exam or 237 on the computer-based exam for international applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a prior degree from an accredited U.S. institution

Our faculty will evaluate your overall credentials when your application is first considered for acceptance. For admission into the graduate program, an undergraduate degree in computer science or computer engineering is desirable. If necessary, you may take leveling courses to complete any requirements. For more information about leveling courses for computer engineering, please contact the department.

Degree requirements

Ph.D. degree

You must complete 60 credit hours beyond the master's degree or 90 hours beyond the bachelor's degree. At least 12 hours must be from 6000-level organized courses in computer engineering. At least two consecutive semesters of enrollment in 9 or more semester hours are required to meet the university residence requirement.

In addition to the course work, you must pass the computer engineering comprehensive exam early in the degree program. After passing the comprehensive exam, you must find a research topic, organize and pass an oral qualifying exam related to the topic, and write a dissertation and defend it to a committee of at least four faculty members.

M.S. degree

You have two options for earning a master's degree. You may choose the thesis option, which consists of 31 credit hours of course work, including CSCE 5020 (Current Research in Computer Science and Engineering), and 6 credit hours of thesis.                                                                                  

You may opt for the non-thesis course option, which consists of 37 credit hours of course work, including CSCE 5020, and which may include 3 hours of project or 6 hours of problem in lieu of thesis.

Leveling courses do not count toward either option. You can select an area of specialization, which will be decided in a consultation with a major professor and the graduate coordinator.

The areas of specialization in computer engineering are VLSI, communication and networks, real-time systems, and computer systems. For more information on any of these areas, please contact the department.


Financial assistance

Many computer science and engineering graduate students are supported each year through teaching assistantships and research assistantships with the department. Submit your completed assistantship and admission applications to the department by March 1 for the fall semester and Oct. 1 for the spring semester. Application forms and deadlines for assistantships that are available from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering can be found at www.cse.unt.edu.