Graduate Degree Programs

Our graduate programs are ranked among the top in the country and our faculty are committed to providing well-funded interdisciplinary research programs and preparing our students to make an impact in a global economy.  At Iowa State, you can work closely with internationally recognized faculty and get one-on-one mentoring from your major professor.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) offers four ways to earn a graduate degree in electrical engineering and computer engineering: a Master of Science with thesis, Master of Science with creative component, traditional Ph.D., and direct entry Ph.D.

Our Ph.D. students have earned degrees in as few as four years. Master’s degree students have earned degrees within two years.

Students also may select the ECpE department as their home department to pursue graduate degrees in one of three interdepartmental programs: bioinformatics and computational biology (Ph.D.), cyber security (MS, Ph.D.), and human-computer interaction (MS, Ph.D., and certificate).

The ECpE department also offers coursework-only Master of Engineering degrees, traditional Master of Science degrees, and graduate certificates online. These programs are convenient for working professionals. Learn more about our online electrical and computer engineering graduate programs.

Master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering require 30 credits, and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering requires 72 credits. See Program of Study Requirements for complete details on graduate degree requirements.

Iowa State is a Research I university, which means you can participate in pioneering research. The National Research Council recently ranked our electrical engineering Ph.D. program among the top 28 nationwide. You can research topics in electrical and computer engineering ranging from developing a novel ultrasound therapy system to inventing new approaches and techniques for enhancing cybersecurity.

As a graduate student at Iowa State, you also can access national, state-of-the-art research facilities, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames National Laboratory, as well as two powerful supercomputers and the world’s first virtual cyber defense laboratory—the Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment.

Students can pursue graduate research in the following areas:

The ECpE Graduate program should produce graduates who fulfill the following:

1. Demonstrate mastery of knowledge and scholarly literature in their fields of study.

2. Understand ethical principles and conduct responsible research

3. Effectively communicate and disseminate their technical contributions.

4. Students pursuing theses/dissertations shall also demonstrate ability to conduct state-of-the-art research and expand the knowledge base in their fields of study

Admission to our graduate degree programs strongly depends on students meeting application requirements, as well as on the ability to match a student’s area of interest and research specialties with the needs of faculty. Learn how to apply.

All applications to the MS and Ph.D. degree programs will receive full consideration for available funding opportunities, primarily research or teaching assistantships. All master’s and Ph.D. students with assistantships receive a monthly stipend and tuition support. Opportunities for scholarships and fellowships also are available. Learn more about graduate program financial aid.


Who to Contact

If you have questions about our graduate programs, view our answers to frequently asked questions or contact our Graduate Admissions Coordinator.


Want to hear more about why and how to approach graduate school, from the perspective of our own ISU ECpE faculty? Check out this video!