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UCSD ECE Department Overview


Programs of Study

ECE offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering with specializations in each of the following areas: communication theory and systems; computer engineering; electronic circuits and systems; electronic devices and materials; intelligent systems, robotics and control; magnetic recording; photonics; radio and space science; and signal and image processing. In addition, there are interdepartmental curricula in advanced manufacturing, applied ocean sciences, and materials science. The department offers a Ph.D. program in applied ocean science jointly with MAE and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Further detail about our research areas and degrees may be found on our ECE Programs of Study website.

The Ph.D. program is strongly research oriented and is for students whose final degree objective is the Ph.D. If a student with a B.S. is admitted to this program, he or she will be expected to complete the requirements for the M.S. degree before beginning doctoral research. The M.S. programs are also research oriented, and intended to provide the intensive technical preparation necessary for subsequent pursuit of a Ph.D.

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs are designed to prepare students for a career in research or teaching.


The Faculty and Their Research

Click here for the list of faculty and their research.


Research Facilities

The Department has state of the art research facilities in a wide range of areas. Facilities for materials and device research include several molecular beam epitaxy and organometallic vapor phase epitaxy reactors, electron beam lithography, a complete microfabrication facility and laboratories for microelectronic and photonic device research. In the area of optical systems and photonics, a wide variety of lasers, optical tables, light valves, modulators, characterization equipment, computing platforms, and CAD tools are in use. The circuits and systems laboratories include computational platforms, software tools, and equipment for evaluation of microwave devices and circuits. The radio and space science group operates its own workstation network and makes extensive use of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The Computer Vision and Resources Laboratories include optical systems for metric computer vision, a network of Sun and Silicon Graphics workstations, two Puma Arms, and a mobile golf cart under computer control. Communications and Networking research activities are supported by laboratories providing modern software tools for analysis and simulation using a variety of computational platforms.

The Department operates or participates in a variety of research centers, including the NSF Industrial/University Cooperative Research Center for Ultra-High Speed Integrated Circuits and Systems, the ARPA-sponsored Optoelectronics Technology Center, the Center for Magnetic Recording Research, the Center for Astronomy and Space Science, the California Space Institute, and the Institute for Nonlinear Science. The San Diego Supercomputer Center, one of 4 NSF national centers for supercomputing research, is located on the UCSD campus and is heavily used for electrical and computer engineering research. The Center for Wireless Communications supports graduate level research in communications theory, communications networks, multimedia applications, circuit design, antenna design, and propagation measurements/modeling.


Financial Support

Financial support is available in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. The department attempts to support all full-time Ph.D. students. Further information about funding may be found on our Financial Support website