Frequently Asked Questions

How does this program differ from the thesis-track MSECE?

A thesis provides students with an opportunity to “cut their teeth” on important, challenging, open-ended research problems.

Although it is not technically a thesis, the project that project-track students complete is comparable in scope and rigor to a MS thesis in terms of providing an extensive opportunity to apply technical concepts.  

Is the diploma/degree given for the project-track MSECE different from the degree awarded for other MSECE tracks?

No. All of our master’s students earn the same degree: the MSECE degree. The project-track master’s is a specific concentration within the regular ECE master’s program. After completion of the program, your Purdue transcript will indicate a Concentration in Innovative Technologies.

What will I gain from the MSECE project track?

We designed the project-track MSECE with input from a team of industry advisors with the goal of creating well-rounded engineers with specific skills that organizations need. In this track, you will develop both technical and professional skills, including teamwork, communication, and project management, that will help accelerate your career advancement in industry or prepare you for success in Ph.D. studies.

You’ll also gain the opportunity to learn about and implement techniques used in industry and develop a design portfolio of relevance to industry.

Hear from some of our students about their experiences in the project track.

Do I need to identify a project myself? If not, how are projects and project teams formed?

You do not need to identify a project on your own. In the first Ideas to Innovation course, you’ll implement an innovation and ideation process to explore and identify potential projects. You’ll also investigate the needs of stakeholders, evaluate risks and ethics of potential solutions, and further refine project ideas. Students then get to select the project they want to continue with into the prototyping phase.

How long does it take to complete the program?

While most MSECE students spend two academic years on campus, the Ideas to Innovation coursework, can be completed in Fall-Spring -Summer or Fall-Spring-Fall, which allows students to graduate in 1 year or 1.5 years if desired.

Can I participate in a corporate internship during the summer?

Yes. Students can take Ideas to Innovation-III online in the summer if away from campus or complete this course in the Fall. (Note that ECE does not have a co-op program for graduate students. However, many graduate students participate in internships during the summer.)

Once I’m on campus, can I switch to the MS thesis track?

Yes, if you find a faculty member who commits to serving as your thesis advisor.

Can I hold a TA position while in the project track?

Due to university regulations, students with TA positions can enroll in the project-track coursework but cannot formally be in the project-track concentration. While the student experience will be exactly the same, your transcript will not show the Concentration in Innovative Technologies.

Is the project track suitable for students who want to pursue a PhD?

Yes. The project track is suitable for both students who plan to work industry after earning the MSECE or for students interested in a PhD.