Degree Requirements

To obtain the MS CMPE degree from SJSU, a student must meet the following requirements:

6.1) Classification Requirement 

The student must be in a classified MS-CMPE status, as described in Section 5.3: Admission Conditions.

6.2) Course Requirement 

The student must complete coursework in the following three categories:
  1. Program core courses (courses that all MS-CMPE students are required to take):
CMPE 200, CMPE 220, CMPE 240 (3 units each, total of 9 units).
  1. Specialization Courses (total of 9 units within the student’s declared specialization):
Specialization Specialization Core Courses Units Per Course
System Design and Verification CMPE264, CMPE212 and Special topic courses (CMPE297’s) in this area
Network Systems  
CMPE206, CMPE207, CMPE208, CMPE209

Embedded Systems CMPE242, CMPE243, CMPE244, CMPE245, CMPE261, CMPE262, CMPE265
Secure Systems  
CMPE209, CMPE279, CMPE287

Data Science
CMPE 255, CMPE 256, CMPE 257
  1. Technical elective courses (total of 6 units):
An elective course can be any graduate-level CMPE course (3 units each) except the following: CMPE 270, CMPE 271, CMPE 298, CMPE 298i, CMPE 295A, CMPE 295B, CMPE 299A, and CMPE 299B. With the MS-CMPE Graduate Advisor’s approval and clear justification for the alternative course(s), a student can take up to two elective courses from other departments. Note that before registering for a non-CMPE course, the student must submit the Take Non-CMPE Department or Program Course Request Form to the CMPE Department. Without the Graduate Advisor’s approval prior to registering for the course, non-CMPE courses will not be credited toward the student’s degree program.

6.3) Project or Thesis or Additional Course Requirement 

The student must satisfactorily complete one of the following:
Options Courses Total Units Comments
Project CMPE 295A and CMPE 295B 6 Must be completed in two consecutive semesters.
Thesis CMPE 299A and CMPE 299B 6 CMPE299A & CMPE299B must be completed in two consecutive semesters.
Course Only (taking additional courses and a comprehensive exam)
  1. Two more CMPE electives (6 units), and
  2. CMPE 298 (1-unit comprehensive exam covering CMPE program core and specialization fundamentals)
7 (minimum)
  1. The 1-unit CMPE 298 is graded on a CR/NC basis.
  2. The comprehensive exam is given twice a year (once in fall and once in spring), approximately a week before the last day of instruction).

Please note that the course-only option will be phased out beginning in Fall 2018. Students who matriculate in that Fall semester or after will not have this option. Those who were enrolled in the CMPE Department’s MS programs prior to F18, and have not disenrolled and been re-admitted after F18, will maintain rights to exercise the option.

6.4) Writing Requirement 

Students must fulfill SJSU’s Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by satisfactorily completing CMPE 294. Those who have satisfactorily completed technical writing courses, 100W or 200W, at SJSU have already met the GWAR. Those with publications (e.g., previous master’s thesis or single authored refereed journal article or patent in English) or have taken a CMPE 294-comparable technical writing course at another university may submit the Waive Technical Writing Requirement request for a GWAR waiver. Decisions on such requests will be made by SJSU’s Graduate Studies office, not by the CMPE Department.   

6.5) Document Requirement 

Before graduation, the student must complete and submit the following documents:
  1. The Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy (i.e., the Candidacy Form). The candidacy form and supporting materials should be submitted directly to the College of Engineering International Graduate Student Advisor in the Graduate Engineering Student Success (GESS) Center. Drop-in times will be made available for this purpose, or the student can make an appointment at Along with completed candidacy form, you must submit your SJSU graduate transcripts, admission letter listing admission conditions (if conditionally accepted), evidence of completing conditions (aforementioned transcripts and emails from department indicating passage of conditional course waiver tests), departmental Plan (or Program) of Study, transfer course permissions (if any), permissions to take courses in other departments (if any), and any other documentation needed to evaluate the accuracy of your submitted candidacy form.
  2. The Application for Award of Master’s Degree Form (i.e., the Graduation Application, access to which is now online through the student’s MySJSU account)
  3. Thesis or project report (not for students who choose the course-only option). For project-option students, submission is done via the CMPE 295B class Canvas site. For thesis-option students, the thesis, once approved by the student’s master’s thesis committee, should be submitted to SJSU’s Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs (GUP). Please visit the GUP website at for instructions on thesis preparation and submission

6.6) GPA Requirement

Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA for all upper-division and graduate courses taken at SJSU (cumulative SJSU GPA) as well as the courses listed on his or her candidacy form (candidacy or degree GPA).