University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder Search A to Z Campus Map CU Search Links
Undergraduate
Graduate
Course List
Research
Contact Us

Embedded Systems

CU-Boulder's Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (ECEE) is pleased to offer our Embedded Systems Engineering (ESE) Professional Master's program. Concepts were devised from the ground up, with comprehensive coverage of essential embedded technologies, current tools and trends, and coupled with industry input for continuous curriculum updates, and structured to generate differentiated embedded engineering skillset breadth and versatility.

This new Professional Master's program is offered under the College of Engineering and Applied Science's Master of Engineering degree. Through flexible core course options and electives, students enrolled in the ESE program may pursue a 9-credit hour certificate or a 30-credit hour degree.

Some courses may offer distance learning options through our Be Boulder Anywhere program. Please refer to our course schedule for further information. This site will be updated with further details as the program evolves. Please stay tuned! Meanwhile, please refer to the attached overview and our FAQ document.

The Demand for Embedded Systems

Fundamentally, an embedded system is some combination of hardware and software that is designed for a particular function. It senses a real-world condition, does some computing, then produces output data or control of some kind. Personal computers, tablets, etc. are considered the exception because they do not have a single dedicated function, but almost everything else containing electronics and requiring a power source can be generally classified as an embedded system.

Most of us will casually encounter dozens of embedded systems by mid-morning each day throughout our residences, roadways, workplaces, retail stores and so on. These intelligent machines are a permanent part of our global landscape, and are continuously being expanded and upgraded by a world of forward-thinking engineers and entrepreneurs. Application domains include Aerospace and Defense, Energy, Industrial Automation, Medical, Networking and Communication, Security, Transportation and more. Also expected to fuel much more growth is an overarching megatrend referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves connecting more embedded systems to the internet with unique identifiers, enabling countless human-to-machine and machine-to-machine applications ranging from home automation to security and many beyond. Fueled largely by new internet protocols and wireless technology convergence, industry-wide estimates on the order of 20 to 30 billion connected devices by 2020 are common among major technology research companies. Of course, this trend ushers in greater hardware and software design challenges of effectively managing and securing connected devices, as well as capturing and harnessing the vast amounts of data the devices are meant to produce around their associated services.

Embedded Systems Engineering Program

The main objective of our ESE program is professional career preparation with practical engineering skills using today's tools and knowledge around tomorrow's technology.

Our ESE Program consists of two options.

  1. The Professional Master of Engineering Degree in ESE requires successful completion of 30 credit hours:
    • Any four ESE core courses
    • Six electives, chosen either from the pool of ESE Program electives, or from an approved list of other graduate-level electives, or a combination of both
    • Students must first be admitted to the Graduate school for ESE program course credit towards the ME degree in ESE.
    • Students may also pursue the ME degree in ESE degree through our BS/MS Program.

  2. A Professional Certificate in ESE requires successful completion of 9 credit hours:
    • Any two ESE core courses
    • One elective chosen either from the pool of ESE Program electives, or from an approved list of other graduate-level electives
    • Students pursuing an ESE Certificate may not be enrolled in ECEE graduate degree programs other than ESE, but are not required to be enrolled in any.
    • ESE Certificate credit hours may also be applied towards a full degree in ESE, provided the student is admitted to the Graduate School for the ME degree in ESE.

All ESE core courses, ESE electives and recommended ECEE electives are three credit hours each.

NOTE: Please refer to the attached overview for ESE course plans and our FAQ document. Further info will be provided in the near future.

To earn the certificate, all courses must be taken for a letter grade and the minimum grade for each must be a B-.

For information on how this certificate fits into a graduate degree in electrical and computer engineering, contact our Graduate Advisor, Adam Sadoff.

To register for a graduate-level course through the Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering Department, contact Adam Sadoff, (303) 735-0490.

To register for a course through CAETE, check the CAETE webpage for schedule and application information.

Applying for the Certificate upon Completion of Courses

Once all three courses have been completed successfully, please fill out the application form and return it by fax, email, or in person to Adam Sadoff. Certificates may take several weeks to issue. Application deadlines are as follows:
Fall:      December 31st
Spring:      May 15th
Summer:      August 15th

The certificate will be sent to the address on the application form.

If you have taken one or more certificate courses and are interested in pursuing a graduate degree, find application information on the graduate study page.