Each student MUST have an approved plan of study.
A plan of study has a minimum of 24 credits in ECE. Credits can be any mix of 3 and 1 credit hour courses. For example, 3 labs, 1 credit hour each, count toward the 24 credits. Students are encouraged to get hands-on experience with labs.

In the case of the ME410L Product design Lab, that would count toward your 24 credits, as would ECE labs.

We would normally expect to see 8, 3 credit hour courses in ECE. Or 7, 3 credit hour courses and 3, 1 credit hour labs. Other courses are typically taken in the SOE, with advisor approval.

There are some courses that are required. For example: ECE420, SW407, ECE440 and ECE415. These required courses count for 9 of your required ECE credit hours.
If you do not have an approved plan of study on file you:
1. Cannot graduate
2. Cannot register
3. Cannot change your registration
4. Cannot drop courses.
5. Cannot get an OPT letter signed.
6. Cannot get a PIN to register.
I am very sorry, but I cannot sign any paperwork until you have
a plan of study on file.

On the topic of the thesis.

Having a thesis adviser is an absolute requirement to proceed with a thesis. If you are unable to make satisfactory progress toward your thesis after thesis I, you will be removed from the thesis track.

The total number of hours required is 36 for the non-thesis option. The total number of hours required for the thesis option is 33.

You should have a plan of study that shows ECE420, Readings in ECE, first. Thesis I and Thesis II (ECE550, ECE551) are required courses that follow, in sequence, ECE420. You may not take Thesis I and II at the same time. Thesis I must be taken AFTER ECE420. Thesis II must be taken AFTER thesis I. If you get a C in Thesis I you may NOT proceed to Thesis II and you will not be permitted into the thesis track.

After dropping out of the thesis track the Thesis I course does not count toward the graduate requirement.

Please consult the catalog at:
A printable version is available here;
when devising your program.


Not every course is offered every term; Our draft 2 year rotation schedule is given here.
The draft schedule is subject to change without notice and students are STRONGLY enouraged to take required/desired courses when they are offered.

The course search tool is our most up-to-date means of selecting courses.
When suggesting courses keep time conflicts in mind.


Please pay attention to course descriptions and pre-reqs;
A pre-req means you need to have it before you take the course.
A co-req means you need to have it either before or during the course.
A programming pre-req is in place for ECE415 as you need
some programming in your background before you take the course.


Please include the grades that you got on the courses that you have taken.
Also include the credit hours you have earned or are planning to earn.

Please show the total number of credit hours in your plan.
Remember, you need to total your credit hours to 36 or 33.
Your proposed plan of study should add up to 33 credit hours, if you have a thesis
and 36 credit hours if you don't.

ECE 420 is a required course, but registration is only by permission. It is permitted only for students in their second term.


The plan consists of a list of courses that you have taken,
and the courses that you plan to take;
For courses you have taken, please list:
Credit hours, Course Number, Course Title, term taken (SFU), Grade

For courses you would like to take, please list:
Credit hours, Course Number, Course Title, term desired

Q: I am a new student and this is my first term. What should I take?
A: please consider registering for:
3 credits, SW407, Java for Programmers
3 credits, ECE415, Numerical Methods

Q: Can I take 9 credit hours and remain full-time?
A: Yes you can!
Students need at least 9 credit hours to remain full time.

For example, this student would like the summer off:
3, SW407, Java for programmers, F14 (W: 2-4:30) // Wednesday
3, ECE508, Engineering Entrepreneurship, F14 (R: E) //Thursday Evening
3, ECE415, Numerical Methods, F14 (T: E)// Math Elective, Tuesday Evening
3, SW409, Advanced Programming in Java, S15 // Programming Elective
3, ECE460, Computer Networks, S15
3, ECE420, Readings in ECE, S15 // Required Course
3, ECE440, Computer Graphics, S16
3, ECE505, Power Electronics, S16
4, ECE448/ECE448L, Microcontrollers S16 //lab is required with this course
3, ECE406, Advanced Digital Design, F16
3, ECE505, Advanced Power Electronics, F16
3, ECE480, Microwave Stuctures I, F16
37 credit hours, Total

Q:I can't decide, will you make an exception for me?
A:No, just do the best you can and you may change your plan, later.

Q:Can I graduate in one year?
A: Yes you can!
If you can keep your grades up, you may do 12 or even 15 credit hours
in a term. However, if your grades fall below a B in any one course,
you will have to reduce your course load. Graduate students must
keep a B or better average.

You may also take courses in the summer; If you are not doing
a thesis, we should see a minimum of 36 credit hours.
For example:
A new student might propose to take:
3, SW407, Java for programmers, F14 (W: 2-4:30) // Wednesday
3, ECE508, Engineering Entrepreneurship, F14 (R: E) //Thursday Evening
3, ECE415, Numerical Methods, F14 (T: E)// Math Elective, Tuesday Evening
3, ECE505, Power Electronics, F14 (M: E) // Power Electronics, Monday Evening
3, SW409, Advanced Programming in Java, S15 // Programming Elective
3, ECE440, Computer Graphics, S15
3, ECE505, Power Electronics, S15
3, ECE460, Computer Networks, S15
3, ECE420, Readings in ECE, S15 // Required Course
3, ECE405, Electronics Materials, U15 // U means summer
3, ECE461, Green Power, U15
3, ECE447, Analog Integrated Circuit Design, U15
36 credit hours, Total

My comments are preceded with "//". Note: This student graduates
in 1 year. You may take longer

Once you have an approved plan of study, you may register for courses; Please wait for approval prior to sending a registration form.

When planning your courses, please pay attention to scheduling conflicts.
The best way to do that is to check the course schedule;
A this terms' graduate course schedule is available here:


Sometime students will seek to override the pre-reqs for a course,
Such a course may be registered for, by the student, in person, at the registrars
office, only if permission is given, by me.

NAME, COURSE NUMBER and CRN of the course along
with the statement that I am giving approval to over-ride the pre-reqs for the
course is REQUIRED before a student may register;

Area of Specialization
You must have a subject area of concentration in order to know what area your thesis will be in. A subject area of specialization is a requirement for graduation.

ECE is not a specialization, it is a major. Thesis students do 33 hours, non-thesis 36 hours (minimum). There may be an ESL course required (EG410) that is typically 1 credit hour. Do check the catalog here.

Areas of specialization require two courses from one of the 10 domains, below...

Other areas may be considered, with permission.

ECE Domains

1. Electronic Product Design. The courses in this domain cover the nature and properties of materials used in electronic devices and, in particular, management of the thermal environment for the safe operation of the devices .
ECE 405 Electronic Materials
ECE 425 Thermal Management of Microdevices ECE 448 Embedded Microcontrollers
ECE 448L Embedded Microcontrollers Lab ECE 510L Product Design Lab

2. The Architecture of Microelectronics. The courses in this domain consider the design of analog, digital, and mixed-mode integrated circuits, along with the methods of fabricating high density interconnection structures for manufacturing microelectronic assemblies: thick films, thin films, printed circuit boards and nanotechnology .
ECE 435 Microelectronics
ECE 445 Digital Integrated Circuit Design ECE 447 Analog Integrated Circuit Design
ECE 515L Microelectronics Lab
ECE 451 Nanoelectronics I
ECE 452 Nanoelectronics II

3. Systems Design. This domain includes studies of the fundamentals of linear and nonlinear electric circuits.
ECE 455 Sensor Design and Applications
ECE 457 Advanced Linear Systems
ECE 465 Nonlinear Control Systems
ECE 520L System Design Lab

4. Communications Systems. This domain considers the generation and transmission of electromagnetic waves. Structures used in microwave propagation, including transmission lines, waveguides, resonators, and antennas are also considered.
ECE 407 Fiber Optic Transmission and Communication
ECE 407L Fiber Optic Transmission and Communication Lab ECE 475 Microwave Structures I
ECE 476 Microwave Structures II
ECE 480 Wireless Systems I
ECE 481 Wireless Systems II
ECE 485 Digital Communications
ECE 490 Analog Communications Systems
ECE 525L Communications Systems Lab

5. Power and Power Electronics. The courses in this domain consider the design and application of electronic circuits related to power generation, conversion and distribution.
ECE 495 Power Generation and Distribution
ECE 496 Fault Analysis in Power Systems
ECE 505 Advanced Power Electronics
ECE 530L Power Electronics Laboratory

6. Signal Processing. This domain covers one-dimensional and two-dimensional signal processing . These include audio devices like CD players, electronic music synthesizers, sound cards, etc . It also includes image processing applications like machine inspection,remote sensing, and security.
ECE 410 Voice and Signal Processing
ECE 430 Image Processing

7. Scientific Visualization. This domain examines the process of converting to a visual form to improve understanding of the data . Applications are in gaming, simulation computational physics, high-energy astrophysics, cosmology, and high-energy physics.
ECE 433 Biomedical Visualization
ECE 440 Computer Graphics
ECE 460 Network Programming

8. Embedded Systems. The embedded systems domain is critical to the creation and deployment of smart systems, which are today embedded in networks that use microchips and computers . Understanding the process by which software and hardware mechanisms allow computations and communications with networks of computers is crucial to this domain.
ECE 406 Advanced Digital Design
ECE 460 Network Programming

9. Enterprise Computing. The enterprise computing domain addresses the needs of companies based on information technology for their successful operations by providing expertise in server-side application development . This is the enabling technology for deploying business services on the Web; it is further in accord with the new model of Internet services where Web content is replicated in different geographic locations on the Internet for faster accessibility by Web users and Web-based technologies.
SW 402 Database Concepts
SW 410 Enterprise Java

10. Biomedical Engineering. The courses in biomedical engineering address the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field . It combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to help improve patient healthcare and the quality of life of individuals.
ECE 431 Biomedical Signal Processing
ECE 432 Biomedical Imaging
ECE 433 Biomedical Visualization