Graduate Program


The Master of Engineering program in Electrical Engineering challenges students to pursue one or more areas of specialization in depth, combining rigorous theory and enhancement of analytical skills together with a significant research project experience. An essential aspect of the program is the close working relationship between the student and faculty advisor.

The candidate must choose a full-time Cooper Union faculty member from the electrical engineering department as his or her advisor. With the approval of this advisor and the department chair, a second person who is not among the full-time electrical engineering faculty may be a co-advisor. A co-advisor who is not a member of the full-time faculty of the school of engineering must also be approved by the dean of engineering.

The advisor, in consultation with the other faculty in the department, approves the set of courses used to fulfill the requirements for the Master’s program. Possible areas of concentration or thesis topics are numerous and reflect the diverse interests of the faculty. Some examples are: digital signal processing (including speech, audio, image, video and biomedical signals); wireless communications and networks; big data, machine learning, NLP, reconfigurable and distributed computing; electronic materials and integrated circuit engineering; control; sustainable engineering.

A listing of recent Master Theses can be found here:

Master Theses

Most EE graduate level courses have a significant project component, and many are research oriented, for example requiring readings in the technical literature. The Master Thesis is based on a research project undertaken by the student in collaboration with the thesis advisor. For students pursuing the non-thesis option, one of the graded projects from a graduate level ECE course must be identified, with the approval of the advisor, and submitted to the engineering dean’s office as evidence of significant project work; the grade for this project must have been at least a B, and the grade for the course for which this project was performed must have been at least a B.

As noted above, the advisor approves the set of courses used to fulfill the requirements for the master degree, subject to the following constraints. For each course, the course grade must be at least a C, and the overall GPA for the credits used to fulfill the master of engineering degree must be at least 3.0. A limited set of non-ECE courses may be permitted, but the overall course plan should indicate a strong concentration in some area within the broad discipline of electrical engineering.

The Integrated Master Program allows undergraduate students at The Cooper Union who take additional courses beyond those required for the Bachelor of Engineering degree, who then enter the Master of Engineering program, to apply those additional credits towards the requirements for the Master degree, with the approval of the advisor.

Students entering the Master of Engineering program in electrical engineering are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field from an accredited institution. The exception is that Cooper Union undergraduates or alumni with an engineering degree in a major other than electrical engineering, including the Bachelor of Science of Engineering degree, would be considered for admission into the Master of Engineering program in electrical engineering if they have taken a substantial number of ECE courses and are prepared for advanced studies in the field.

Courses taken at other academic institutions may not be used to fulfill the requirements of the Master of Engineering degree at The Cooper Union.

Integrated Master Program for Cooper Union Undergraduates

Undergraduate engineering students at The Cooper Union are permitted to take graduate level (400-level) courses offered by the engineering school if they fulfill the course prerequisite requirements. In general, these credits count as technical electives for the Bachelor of Engineering degree. The concept of the Integrated Master Program is that graduate level elective credits beyond those required for the Bachelor’s degree (i.e., in excess of 135 credits) can be used towards the Master of Engineering degree at The Cooper Union. More details on this can be found on the Technical Electives page on this website.

In certain exceptional cases, a student may be admitted by the electrical engineering department into the Master of Engineering program with thesis option during his or her senior year, and receive the Bachelor and Master degrees simultaneously. In order to be eligible, the student must demonstrate a strong likelihood that all requirements, including the thesis, will be completed by the end of the senior year, and must also have the recommendation of the identified thesis adviser. Students considering this must contact the electrical engineering department chair no later than the spring of their junior year.

Undergraduate students who plan to stay in the Master program at Cooper Union are strongly encouraged to begin conversations with their potential graduate adviser early, during their senior year.

Thesis versus Non-Thesis Options

The electrical engineering department recommends that students undertake a thesis for their Master of Engineering degree, as the faculty believes there is significant value in undertaking a research project. Students who prefer to pursue the non-thesis option must have particularly strong academic records and demonstrate a clear educational plan during the application process. Students who apply to the program must specify thesis or non-thesis options in advance, and changing to the other option would be permitted by the department only in exceptional circumstances.

Students are not required to identify a graduate adviser prior to admission, but must identify one prior to initial registration so that the adviser can approve the courses. Students in the thesis option who do not start the project immediately should select a temporary adviser; once a thesis adviser is chosen, that person becomes the graduate adviser who approves courses for registration.