Santa Clara University

Graduate School of Engineering

Department of Electrical Engineering

Professor Emeritus: Shu-Park Chan, Dragoslav D. Siljak
Thomas J. Bannan Professor: Sally L. Wood (Chair)
William and Janice Terry Professor: Samiha Mourad
Professors: Timothy J. Healy, Cary Y. Yang, Aleksandar Zecevic
Associate Professors: Chris Kitts (Robert W. Peters Professor), Shoba Krishnan, Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, Mahmud Rahman, Sarah Kate Wilson (David Packard Fellow)
Adjunct Assistant Professor: Talal Al-Attar


The field of electrical engineering covers the design, construction, testing, and operation of electrical components, circuits, and systems. Electrical engineers work with information representation and transmission; advancing integrated circuit design for digital, analog, and mixed systems; new devices and architectures, energy systems and renewable energy; nano technology; and all the areas of information circuits and systems that have traditionally supported these efforts. This includes all phases of the digital or analog transmission of information, such as in mobile communications and networks, radio, television, telephone systems, fiber optics, and satellite communications, as well as control and robotics, electric power, information processing, and storage.

The Electrical Engineering Program is supported by the facilities of the University’s Academic Computing Center, as well as by the School of Engineering Design Center, which is described in the Facilities section of this bulletin. The department supports 10 major teaching and research laboratories, three additional laboratories used only for teaching, and a laboratory dedicated to the support of senior design projects. The three teaching laboratories cover the fields of electric circuits, electronic circuits, and logic design.


The master’s degree will be granted to degree candidates who complete a program of studies approved by a faculty advisor. The degree does not require a thesis, but students may include a thesis in their program with up to 9 units for their thesis work. The program must include no less than 45 units. In addition, a 3.0 GPA (B average) must be earned in all coursework taken at Santa Clara. Residence requirements of the University are met by completing 36 units of the graduate program at Santa Clara. A maximum of 9 quarter units (6 semester units) of graduate level coursework may be transferred from other accredited institutions at the discretion of the student’s advisor. All units applied toward the degree, including those transferred from other institutions, must be earned within a six-year period.

Students must develop a program of studies with an academic advisor and file the program during their first term of enrollment at Santa Clara. The program of studies must contain a minimum of 25 electrical engineering units and a minimum total of 45 units of graduate-level engineering courses. The number of engineering management courses
accepted is restricted to 6 units.

Each MSEE student must satisfy the requirements of one of the three focus areas: Circuits and Systems, Electronics, or Microwave and Communication. See the list of courses under each area below. The program of study must include the following:

General Core

  1. Graduate Core (minimum 6 units): See descriptions in the Accademic Information section.
  2. Applied Mathematics (4 units)
  3. Electrical Engineering Core focus area (6 units) :
    Students must select and meet the requirements of one of the three primary focus areas:
    • Systems: Choose two courses from ELEN 211, 236, BIOE 251. Choose one course from ELEN 233, 233E, or BIOE 250.
    • Electronics: Choose one course from each of these three groups: ELEN 252 or 387, ELEN 261 or 264, ELEN 500 or 603
    • Communication and Microwave: ELEN 201, 241, 701
  4. Electrical Engineering Core – breadth: (4 units) One course must be taken from each of the two areas not selected as the primary focus area. These courses may be selected from the focus area lists above or, with the approval of the graduate program advisor, from an extended list included in the program of studies form.

Additional graduate courses recommended and approved by the graduate program advisor. Up to 15 units of electives may be selected from the following upper-division undergraduate courses: 112, 118, 127, 130, 133, 160 (Systems); 116, 117, 152, 153, 156 (Electronics); 141 (Communication and Microwave).

These M.S. degree requirements may be adjusted by the advisor based on the student’s previous graduate work. Alterations in the approved program, consistent with the above departmental requirements, may be requested at any time by a petition initiated by the student and approved by the advisor.

Students with relevant technical backgrounds may be admitted to the MSEE program without a BSEE from an accredited program. In order to guarantee prerequisites for graduate courses, those students must take sufficient additional courses beyond the 45-unit minimum to ensure coverage of all areas of the undergraduate EE core requirements. A student who has earned a Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Certificate will have satisfied these background requirements.

Undergraduate Core Courses:

  • ELEN 21 Introduction to Logic Design
  • ELEN 33 Introduction to Digital Systems Architectures
  • ELEN 50 Electric Circuits I
  • ELEN 100 Electric Circuits II
  • ELEN 104 Electromagnetics I
  • ELEN 110 Linear Systems
  • ELEN 115 Electronic Circuits I
  • ELEN 151 Semiconductor Devices I

The advisor will determine which courses must be taken to meet these requirements. Undergraduate core courses will not be included in the 45 units required for the MSEE.

Please Note: In general, no credit will be allowed for courses that duplicate prior coursework, including courses listed above as degree requirements. (However, a graduate-level treatment of a topic is more advanced than an undergraduate course with a similar title.) Students should discuss any adjustments of these requirements with their academic advisor before they file their program of studies. In all cases, prerequisite requirements should be interpreted to mean the course specified or an equivalent course taken elsewhere.


The program leading to the engineer’s degree is particularly designed for the education of the practicing engineer. The degree is granted on completion of an approved academic program and a record of acceptable technical achievement in the candidate’s field of engineering. The academic program consists of a minimum of 45 quarter units beyond the master’s degree. Courses are selected to advance competence in specific areas relating to the engineering professional’s work. Evidence of technical achievement must include a paper principally written by the candidate and accepted for publication by a recognized engineering journal prior to the granting of the degree. A letter from the journal accepting the paper must be submitted to the Office of the Dean, School of Engineering. In certain cases, the department may accept publication in the peer-reviewed proceedings of an appropriate national or international conference.

Electrical engineering courses at the introductory master of science level (e.g., ELEN 210, 211, 212, 230, 231, 236, 241, 250, 261; and AMTH 210, 211, 220, 221, 230, 231, 235, 236, 240, 245, 246) are not generally acceptable in an engineer’s degree program of studies. However, with the approval of the advisor, the student may include up to three of these courses in the engineer’s degree program. The department also requires that at least 15 units of the program of studies be in topics other than the student’s major field of concentration. Candidates admitted to the Electrical Engineering Program who have M.S. degrees in fields other than electrical engineering must include in their graduate programs (M.S. and engineer’s degree combined) a total of at least 45 units of graduate-level electrical engineering coursework.


The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is conferred by the School of Engineering primarily in recognition of competence in the subject field and the ability to investigate engineering problems independently, resulting in a new contribution to knowledge in the field. The work for the degree consists of engineering research, the preparation of a thesis based on that research, and a program of advanced studies in engineering, mathematics, and related physical sciences.

Preliminary Examination
The preliminary examination shall be written and shall include subject matter deemed by the major department to represent sufficient preparation in depth and breadth for advanced study in the major. Only those who pass the written examination may take the oral.

Students currently studying at Santa Clara University for a master’s degree who are accepted for the Ph.D. program and who are at an advanced stage of the M.S. program may, with the approval of their academic advisor, take the preliminary examination before completing the M.S. degree requirements. Students who have completed the M.S. degree requirements and have been accepted for the Ph.D. program should take the preliminary examination as soon as possible but not more than two years after beginning the program.

Only those students who pass the preliminary examination shall be allowed to continue in the doctoral program. The preliminary examination may be repeated only once, and then only at the discretion of the thesis advisor.

General Requirements
Thesis Advisor
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain consent from a full-time faculty member in the student’s major department to serve as his/her prospective thesis advisor.

It is strongly recommended that Ph.D. students find a thesis advisor before taking the preliminary examination. After passing the preliminary examination, Ph.D. students should have a thesis advisor before the beginning of the next quarter following the preliminary examination. Students currently pursuing a master’s degree at the time of their preliminary examination should have a thesis advisor as soon as possible after being accepted as a Ph.D. student.

The student and the thesis advisor jointly develop a complete program of studies for research in a particular area. The complete program of studies (and any subsequent changes) must be filed with the Graduate Services Office and approved by the student’s doctoral committee. Until this approval is obtained, there is no guarantee that courses taken will be acceptable toward the Ph.D. course requirements.

Doctoral Committee
On the student’s request, the thesis advisor will form a doctoral committee. The committee will consist of at least five members, including the thesis advisor and at least two additional current members from the electrical engineering department. The committee must also include at least one member from outside the department, preferably from outside the School of Engineering. The doctoral committee will review the student’s proposed program of studies and determine any further changes that may be required prior to approving the program.

The doctoral degree is granted on the basis of achievement, rather than on the accumulation of units of credit. However, the candidate is expected to complete a minimum of 72 quarter units of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree. Of these, 36 quarter units may be earned through coursework and independent study, and 36 through the thesis. All Ph.D. thesis units are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. A maximum of 18 quarter units (12 semester units) may be transferred from other accredited institutions at the discretion of the student’s advisor.

Ph.D. students must undertake a minimum of four consecutive quarters of full-time study at the University; spring and fall quarters are considered consecutive. The residency time shall normally be any period between passing the preliminary examination and completion of the thesis. For this requirement, full-time study is interpreted as a minimum registration of 8 units per quarter during the academic year and 4 units during summer session. Any variation from this requirement must be approved by the doctoral committee.

Comprehensive Examinations and Admission to Candidacy
After completion of the formal coursework approved by the doctoral committee, the student shall present his/her research proposal for comprehensive oral examinations on the coursework and the subject of his/her research work. The student should make arrangements for the comprehensive examinations through the doctoral committee. A student who passes the comprehensive examinations is considered a degree candidate. The comprehensive examinations normally must be completed within four years from the time the student is admitted to the doctoral program. Comprehensive examinations may be repeated once, in whole or in part, at the discretion of the doctoral committee.

Thesis Research and Defense
The period following the comprehensive examinations is devoted to research for the thesis, although such research may begin before the examinations are complete. After successfully completing the comprehensive examinations, the student must pass an oral examination on his/her research and thesis, conducted by the doctoral committee and whomever they appoint as examiners. The thesis must be made available to all examiners one month prior to the examination. The oral examination shall consist of a presentation of the results of the thesis and the defense. This examination is open to all faculty members of Santa Clara University, but only members of the doctoral committee have a vote.

Thesis and Publication
At least one month before the degree is to be conferred, the candidate must submit to the Office of the Dean of Engineering two copies of the final version of the thesis describing the research in its entirety. The thesis will not be considered as accepted until approved by the doctoral committee and one or more refereed articles based on it are accepted for publication in a first-tier professional or scientific journal approved by the doctoral committee. All doctoral theses must also be reproduced on microfilm by University Microfilms International, which keeps on deposit the master microfilm copy and responds to requests for copies by individuals and libraries.

Time Limit for Completing Degree
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within eight years following initial enrollment in the Ph.D. program. Extensions will be allowed only in unusual circumstances and must be recommended in writing by the student’s doctoral committee, and approved by the dean of engineering in consultation with the Graduate Program Leadership Council.

Additional Graduation Requirements
The requirements for the doctoral degree in the School of Engineering have been made to establish the structure in which the degree may be earned. Upon written approval of the provost, the dean of the School of Engineering, the doctoral committee, and the chair of the major department, other degree requirements may be established. The University reserves the right to evaluate the undertakings and the accomplishments of the degree candidate in total, and award or withhold the degree as a result of its deliberations.


General Information
Certificate programs are designed to provide intensive background in a narrow area at the graduate level. At roughly one-third of the units of a master’s degree program, the certificate is designed to be completed in a much shorter period of time. These certificate programs are appropriate for students working in industry who wish to update their skills or those interested in changing their career path. More detail about certificates may be found on the department website.

To be accepted into a certificate program, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree and meet any additional requirements for the specific certificate. Exceptions based onwork experience may be granted for the Certificate in Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering.

Grade Requirements
Students must receive a minimum grade of C in each course and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better to earn a certificate.

Continuation for a Master’s Degree
All Santa Clara University graduate courses applied to the completion of a certificate program earn graduate credit that may also be applied toward a graduate degree. Students who wish to continue for such a degree must submit a separate application and satisfy all normal admission requirements. The general GRE test requirement for graduate admission to the master’s degree will be waived for students who complete a certificate program with a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Academic Requirements

ASIC Design and Test
Advisor: Dr. Samiha Mourad

This certificate program has a dual purpose: (a) to strengthen fundamental knowledge of the design process that helps the designer adapt to future innovations in technology; and (b) to introduce the designer to state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The program consists of the eight courses listed below. Any change in the requirements must be approved by the academic advisor.

Required Courses (16 units)

  • ELEN 387 VLSI Design I (2 units)
  • ELEN 500 Logic Analysis and Synthesis (2 units)
  • ELEN 603 Logic Design Using HDL (2 units)
  • ELEN 605 High-Level Synthesis (2 units)
  • ELEN 608 Design for Testability (2 units)
  • ELEN 624 Signal Integrity in IC and PCB Systems (2 units)
  • Two electives from ELEN 388, 389, 601, 604, 609, 613, 614 or 620 (2 units)

Analog Circuit Design
Advisor: Dr. Shoba Krishnan

This certificate provides a background in the basic devices and circuits that are fundamental to analog circuit design. The program will also introduce the student to state-of-the-art analog IC design tools. The program consists of the courses listed below totaling 16 units.

Required Courses (14 units)

  • ELEN 252 Analog Integrated Circuits I (2 units)
  • ELEN 253 Analog Integrated Circuits II (2 units)
  • ELEN 254 Advanced Analog Integrated Circuit Design (4 units)
  • ELEN 264 Semiconductor Device Theory I (2 units)
  • ELEN 387 VLSI Design I (2 units)

Elective Courses (2 units)

  • ELEN 251 Transistor Models for IC Design (2 units)
  • ELEN 265 Semiconductor Device Theory II (2 units)
  • ELEN 351 RF Integrated Circuit Design (2 units)
  • ELEN 352 Mixed Signal IC Design for Data Communications (2 units)
  • ELEN 353 Power IC Design (2 units)
  • ELEN 388 VLSI Design II (2 units)

Digital Signal Processing Applications
Advisors: Dr. Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, Dr. Sally Wood

This certificate program provides a basic understanding of digital signal processing theory and modern implementation methods as well as advanced knowledge of at least one specific application area. Digital signal processing has become an important part of many areas of engineering, and this certificate prepares students for traditional or novel applications.

Required Courses (10 to 12 units)

  • ELEN 233E or
    ELEN 233 and 234 Digital Signal Processing I, II (4 units)
  • ELEN 223 Digital Signal Processing System Development (4 units) or
    ELEN 226 DSP Design in FPGA (2 units)
  • ELEN 421 Speech Coding I or ELEN 640 Digital Image Processing I (2 units)
  • AMTH 210 or
    AMTH 245 (2 units)

Elective Courses (4 to 6 units to make a total of 16 units) may be selected from the list below. Any courses from the required list above that were not selected to meet the requirements may be included in the elective options.

  • AMTH 308 Theory of Wavelets (2 units) or
    AMTH 358 Fourier Transforms (2 units)
  • ELEN 241 Introduction to Communications (2 units)
  • ELEN 243 Digital Communications Systems (2 units)
  • ELEN 244 Information Theory (2 units)
  • ELEN 334 Introduction to Statistical Signal Processing (2 units)
  • ELEN 422 Speech Coding II (2 units)
  • ELEN 431 Adaptive Signal Processing I (2 units)
  • ELEN 643 Digital Image Processing II (2 units)

Digital Signal Processing Theory
Advisors: Dr. Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, Dr. Sally Wood

This certificate program provides a firm grounding in fundamentals of digital signal processing (DSP) technology and its applications. It is appropriate for engineers involved with any application of DSP who want a better working knowledge of DSP theory and its applications. A novel feature of the program is a hands-on DSP hardware/software development laboratory course in which students design and build systems for various applications using contemporary DSP hardware and development software.

Required Courses (8 units)

  • AMTH 308 Theory of Wavelets (2 units) or AMTH 358 Fourier Transforms (2 units)
  • ELEN 233E or ELEN 233 and 234 Digital Signal Processing I, II (4 units)
  • ELEN 334 Introduction to Statistical Signal Processing (2 units)

Elective Courses (8 units)

  • ELEN 223 Digital Signal Processing System Development (4 units)
  • ELEN 226 DSP Design in FPGA (2 units)
  • ELEN 235 Estimation I (2 units)
  • ELEN 241 Introduction to Communications (2 units)
  • ELEN 244 Information Theory (2 units)
  • ELEN 336 Detection (2 units)
  • ELEN 431 Adaptive Signal Processing I (2 units)
  • ELEN 640 Digital Image Processing I (2 units)
  • ELEN 641 Image and Video Compression (2 units)
  • ELEN 643 Digital Image Processing II (2 units)

Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Electrical Engineering Department Chair

This certificate has been designed for those individuals who have significant work experience in some area of electrical engineering and wish to take graduate-level courses but may lack some prerequisite knowledge because they have not earned the BSEE degree. This one-year program consists of 16 to 28 units, depending on the background of the individual student, and covers electrical engineering core areas. Eight of these units may be credited toward an MSEE degree after successful completion of the certificate.

The required courses are selected with the help of the program advisor according to the student’s background.

Required Courses (selected with the help of the program advisor according to the student’s background):

  • ELEN 21 Introduction to Logic Design (4 units)
  • ELEN 33 Digital Systems Architecture (5 units)
  • ELEN 50 Electric Circuits I (5 units)
  • ELEN 100 Electric Circuits II (5 units)
  • ELEN 104 Electromagnetics I (5 units)
  • ELEN 110 Linear Systems (5 units) or ELEN 210 (2 units)
  • ELEN 115 Electronic Circuits I (5 units) or ELEN 250 (2 units)
  • ELEN 151 Semiconductor Devices I (5 units) or ELEN 261 (2 units)

Microwave and Antennas
Advisors: Dr. Talal Al-Attar, Dr. Timothy Healy

The purpose of this certificate is to meet the increasing need for the knowledge in microwave, antenna and RF integrated circuits in present electronic products. This program is offered for students who have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. The students are expected to have had knowledge of multivariate calculus and preferably partial differential equations.

The curriculum consists of 16 units: two required courses (4 units) and 12 units of elective courses listed below:

  • ELEN 201 or 202 Electromagnetic Field Theory I or II (2 units each)
  • ELEN 701 Microwave System Architecture (2 units)

Elective courses:

  • RF Circuits: ELEN 351, 354 (2 units each)
  • Laboratory oriented: ELEN 705, 726 (3 units each)
  • Passive components: ELEN 706 (4 units)
  • Active components: ELEN 711, 712 (2 units each)
  • Antennas: ELEN 715, 716 (2 units each)

Substitutions for theses courses are only possible with the approval of the certificate advisor and the chair.


The Electrical Engineering program is supported by a set of well-equipped laboratories. Some are dedicated solely for lower division courses such as circuits and electronics. In addition the department has a diversity of research and teaching laboratories listed next.

The ASIC Testing Laboratory supports research conducted by graduate students from the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Computer-aided testing packages from industry and the public domain are used in projects such as fault modeling and analysis. Projects include design for test on RTL-level for digital and mixed signal circuits, and design for reliability based on the defect-based testing.

The Communications and Microwave Laboratory provides a full range of modern measurement capability from 0-22 GHz, including a number of automatic network analyzers and modern spectrum analyzers. It also has extensive computer-aided design and simulation capability, based largely on modern commercial software running on workstations. Interconnection of hardware measurements and computer simulation is stressed.

The Digital Systems Laboratory (operated jointly with the Department of Computer Engineering) provides complete facilities for experiments and projects ranging in complexity from a few digital integrated circuits to FPGA-based designs. The laboratory also includes a variety of development systems to support embedded systems and digital signal processing.

TheElectronic Devices Laboratory is dedicated to teaching and research topics on electronic devices, materials, and their manufacturing technologies. Current research topics include impact of process variations on the analysis and optimization of VLSI circuits, photovoltaic devices, and MOS device modeling, including quantum mechanical interface charge distribution effects.

The Intelligent Control Laboratory provides an experimental environment for students in the area of control and system engineering. It includes a computer-controlled robotic system, several servo-experimenters, and a torsional mechanical control system. The equipment provides students with a wide range of qualitative and quantitative experiments for learning the utility and versatility of feedback in computer-controlled systems.

The Latimer Energy Laboratory (LEL) supports a very wide range of activities relating to photovoltaics (PV), from K-12 outreach through graduate engineering. The laboratory focuses on measurement of solar radiation, measurement and characterization of artificial light sources, study of physical characteristics of PV cells, and electrical characteristics, including I-V curves. Instrumentation includes: pyranometers, VIS-IR spectrometers, metallurgical microscopes, source meters, and related computers.

The Nanoelectronics Laboratory provides teaching and research facilities for modeling, simulation, and characterization of devices and circuits in the nanoscale. Ongoing research topics include silicon heterostructures, thin dielectrics, high-frequency device and circuit parameter extraction, carbon nanostructures used as electrical interconnect and thermal interface materials, and compact modeling of transistors and interconnects for large-scale circuit simulation. This laboratory is part of the campus-wide Center for Nanostructures, established to conduct, promote, and nurture nanoscale science and technology interdisciplinary research and education activities at the University, and to position the University as a national center of innovation in nanoscience education and nanostructures research.

TheImage and Video Processing Laboratory supports graduate student research on algorithms and implementations for image analysis, image reconstruction and super-resolution, and stereo imaging. Laboratory equipment includes cameras for image acquisition, computational resources, and FPGAs for real-time testing.

The Multimedia Education Laboratory (operated jointly with the Department of Computer Engineering) is dedicated to the development and delivery of multimedia educational resources and to the development of tools to create and present these resources. The laboratory is equipped with eight UNIX workstations with high-speed ATM networking.

TheRobotics Systems Laboratory is an interdisciplinary laboratory specializing in the design, control, and teleoperation of highly capable robotics systems for scientific discovery, technology validation, and engineering education. Laboratory students develop and operate systems that include spacecraft, underwater robots, aircraft, and land rovers. These projects serve as ideal test beds for learning and conducting research in mechatronic system design, guidance and navigation, command and control systems, and human-machine interfaces.

TheSignal Processing Research Laboratory (SPRL) conducts research into theoretical algorithm development in adaptive/nonlinear signal processing, speech/audio/video signal processing, and their applications in communications, biotech, Voice-over-IP networking, and related areas. The lab supports student research in algorithms and real-time implementations on Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Laboratory equipment includes UNIX workstations, PCs, digital oscilloscopes, video cameras, wireless LAN networking equipment, DSP boards, and FPGA boards.

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