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Graduate Programs

Programs and Degrees

The School of Engineering offers qualified Santa Clara University undergraduates the opportunity to earn both a B.S. and M.S. degree in five years. The program is open to Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Software EngineeringElectrical Engineering, Engineering Management & LeadershipMechanical Engineering, and Sustainable Energy students. This is an excellent way to save time and it opens up more career possibilities early on.

To apply, you will need to submit the Engineering Graduate Programs' Online Application no later than the end of your junior year. The application fee and the GRE General Test requirement are waived. Automatic admission into the 5-year program is based on a minimum GPA of 3.0 (this GPA is not cumulative and is based only on math, science and engineering classes). Upon notification of acceptance into the B.S./M.S. program, students may begin taking graduate-level courses in their senior year and a maximum of 20 units can be transferred into the graduate program.

Please note that you will not be able to sign up for courses through eCampus until your B.S. degree is conferred and your student status is officially changed to Graduate Student. In the interim, you can do the following to register for courses in your senior year (upon notification of your acceptance into the Graduate Program):

  1. Complete the Permission to take Graduate or Undergraduate Course form.
  2. Have it signed by both your faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Programs.
  3. Bring the approved form to the Office of the Registrar for official course registration.

Notes:

  1. B.S. degrees (for those who are graduating seniors) must be posted by Sept. 1 to allow the student progression in their graduate career.
  2. Course numbers below 200 indicate undergraduate courses; numbers of 200 and above indicate graduate courses. Students may take courses assigned both undergraduate and graduate numbers (same title used for both numbers) only one time, either as an undergraduate or graduate student.
  3. Undergraduate students must submit Permission to take Graduate or Undergraduate Course form to be correctly registered for graduate courses.

The master’s program is designed to extend the technical breadth and depth of an engineer’s knowledge. Students in this program complete a program of studies approved by the faculty advisor in the major department. The program must include no less than 45 quarter units and 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 quarter 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 that have not been applied to a previous degree 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 have the option to write a thesis as part of their master’s degree. Students who choose this option are responsible for obtaining an advisor for their thesis work. The maximum number of units awarded for the master’s thesis is nine. Please note that the thesis option is not available in engineering management and leadership.

The School of Engineering offers master’s programs in applied mathematics, bioengineering, civil engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management and leadership, mechanical engineering, software engineering, and sustainable energy. The coursework requirements for the degree are determined by each of the major departments. In order to graduate, students must complete the required coursework for the program to which they are admitted and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all coursework listed on their approved program of study. In addition to this requirement, engineering management and leadership degree candidates must earn a 3.0 GPA in those courses applied to their technical stem and a 3.0 GPA in their engineering management course stem.

Note that the number of engineering management and leadership courses accepted for other degrees in the graduate engineering program is restricted to 6 units in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and most options of mechanical engineering.

M.S. Programs

The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is sought by those engineers who wish to become experts in a specific area within their 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. The student’s work is directed by the degree-conferring department, subject to the general supervision of the School of Engineering. The school grants the Ph.D. in computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Ph.D. Programs by Department

The Industrial Track

In addition to our regular Ph.D. program, Engineering Graduate Programs also offer an “industrial track” for working professionals as an option to facilitate the collaboration between academia and industry. Details are as follows:

  1. The topic of the research should be coordinated with the needs of the candidate’s employer, and must be agreed upon by all parties. This topic must have a component that is publishable, and is presentable in open forums. If necessary, a collaborative research agreement will be enacted to indicate the rights of the School and the industrial partner.
  2. As a part of the application process, candidates must submit a letter of support from their employer. This letter should contain a pledge of financial support, and must identify a co-advisor within the company. The co-advisor shares responsibilities for guiding the candidate’s research with a full-time faculty advisor. This person is also expected to be a member of the doctoral committee.
  3. The full-time study component of the residence requirement is waived, but other residence requirements remain the same. Students who opt for this “industrial track” are responsible for meeting all other requirements for the Ph.D. The awarded degree will be the same for all students, regardless of the track that they choose to pursue.

The program leading to the engineer’s degree is particularly designed for the education of the practicing engineer. It is offered in the computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering departments. The degree is granted on completion of an approved academic program and a record of acceptable technical achievement in the student’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 student 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 department chairperson. In certain cases, the department may accept publication in the proceedings of an appropriate conference.

Admission to the program will generally be granted to those students who demonstrate superior ability in meeting the requirements for their master’s degree. Normally, the master’s degree is earned in the same field as that in which the engineer’s degree is sought. Students who have earned a master’s degree from Santa Clara University must file a new application (by the deadline) to continue work toward the engineer’s degree. A program of studies for the engineer’s degree should be developed with the assistance of an advisor and submitted during the first term of enrollment.

Engineer's Degree by Department

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are designed to provide intensive background in a narrow area at the graduate level. 

Science, Technology and Society (STS) Minor

The graduate minor in Science, Technology and Society (STS) is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the influence that engineering has on society (and vice versa).

Engineers who wish to update their skills or learn new technologies without pursuing a specific degree may enroll in the School of Engineering’s Open University program.

Open University allows the students to:

  • Examine a field of study before enrolling in a degree program
  • Enhance your professional training
  • Attend on a regular or noncontinuous basis, depending on your own needs
  • Get a head start by enrolling in classes while waiting for admission/transfer to a degree program

Transfer to a Degree Program:

If you would like to apply to a degree program later on, you will need to follow the same procedures required of the degree-seeking applicants, except that you will not need to pay the application fee again. The general GRE test requirement for admission to the master's degree program can be waived if the following two conditions are satisfied, effective winter 2008:

  • The student has completed a set of required courses in the department to which they are applying.
  • The student has achieved a GPA of 3.5 or above in these courses.

PLEASE NOTE: Official transcripts will still be required as part of the admissions process.

In general, up to 16 units taken in the Open University program can be transferred into the M.S. program. However, students who wish to do so should make sure that these courses conform to the departmental requirements in their chosen area of specialization.

Click here for a list of the Required Courses for Waiving the GRE, by department.

The School of Engineering now offers qualified Santa Clara University undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences the opportunity to earn both a B.S. and M.S. degree in five years. The program is open to students majoring in Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering Physics.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the B.S./M.S. program, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the major. Those who meet this criterion will not be required to take the GRE. Students whose Bachelor's degree is in Mathematics, Computer Science or Engineering Physics will be accepted automatically, with no additional prerequisites. Biology majors will have to take the following three undergraduate courses before they are admitted into the M.S. program in Bioengineering:

  1. ELEN 50
  2. BIOE 120 or AMTH 108
  3. COEN 44 or 45

Note: Biology majors who have applied to the joint BS/MS program will be allowed to take ELEN 50 with PHYS 13 as a prerequisite (instead of PHYS 33). This exception applies only to students in this program.

Admissions Procedures

In order to apply for the B.S./M.S. program, you will need to submit the Engineering Graduate Programs Online Application no later than the winter quarter of your senior year. The application fee and the GRE General Test requirement are waived.

Transferrable Courses

Students who are admitted into the program will be allowed to transfer up to 20 units of eligible coursework taken in the College of Arts and Sciences into the appropriate Engineering Master's program. Only courses that have not been used to fulfill the requirements for the Bachelor's degree qualify, provided that the student received a grade of B or higher. Grades obtained in each such course will be included in all GPA calculations related to the Master's degree.  

A list of courses that can be transferred is provided below (this list will be reevaluated periodically, and can be modified if both departments in question agree to this).

Engineering PhysicsElectrical Engineering

Transferrable Courses: All eligible senior electives in Electrical Engineering.

Biology Bioengineering

Transferrable CoursesBIOL 104,110, 122, 124, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 189; CHEM 111, 141, 142, 143,151, 152. Also, all eligible senior electives in Bioengineering.

Computer Science Computer Science and Engineering

Transferrable Courses: All eligible senior electives in Computer Science and Engineering.

Mathematics Applied Mathematics

Transferrable CoursesMATH : 103, 105, 112, 113, 123, 125,133, 134, 144, 153, 154, 155, 165, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178; CSCI: 161, 162, 164, 165, 167, 168, 181, 182

Undergraduate Students Who Wish to Take Graduate Courses

Students who have the necessary prerequisites will be allowed to take graduate-level engineering courses in their senior year. These courses are transferrable into the graduate program, as long as they are not applied toward the Bachelor's degree.

In order to register for these courses, you must do the following:

  1. Complete the Permission to take Graduate or Undergraduate Course form.
  2. Have it signed by your faculty advisor, the Department Chair and the Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Engineering.
  3. Bring the approved form to the Office of the Registrar for official course registration.