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Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs

In this Section

Computer Science
Thomas Ortmeyer, Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Christopher A. Lynch, Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science

A program of study leading to the Master of Science in Computer Science is offered jointly by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science. With unique strengths in engineering, science, and business, Clarkson is in a position to offer students an unusual opportunity to study computer science in an interdisciplinary environment. Courses are offered in a wide variety of areas, ranging from theoretical topics in computer science to design and layout of VLSI circuits; computer vision, image processing, and medical imaging. Students having an undergraduate background with appropriate computer science content are invited to apply. The regular course load for a full-time student, including research credit towards the M.S. degree, is 30 credit hours per calendar year. Thirty credit hours and a thesis are required for the M.S. degree.

Requirements for the M.S. Degree in Computer Science
In addition to the general requirements for the M.S. degree established by the University,
a student is required to satisfy the following set of requirements:

The program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level work. At least 20 credit hours must be earned in residence at Clarkson. Each student’s program of study must be approved by the Computer Science Advisory Committee.

Those students who are not fully prepared to pursue graduate work in computer science may be required to take CS511 Foundations in Computer Science. In addition, students with insufficient background in computer science may be required to take undergraduate computer science courses, for which graduate credit will not be given.

Course and seminar work will comprise a minimum of 20 credit hours. To ensure some breadth in the program, courses must include four that satisfy the following criteria:
Two foundation courses must be taken, as described below:
CS541 Introduction to Automata Theory and Formal Languages
CS547 Computer Algorithms
Two courses from the following set, where each of these courses requires a substantial
amount of programming:
CS544 Operating Systems
CS545 Compiler Construction
CS550 Software Design and Development
EE505 Computer Graphics
EE569 Software Design and Analysis

For those students who can demonstrate that they have successfully completed comparable graduate-level courses before coming to Clarkson, the Advisory Committee may waive the requirement that the student take these specific courses upon request from the student.

At least two restricted elective courses will be taken from the courses offered by the computer science or computer engineering departments as selected by the student and their advisor. Of these two restricted elective courses:
      (a) one must be a course that focuses on research topics in computer science.
      (b) one must be a computer engineering course with relevant emphasis on computer science topics.

Students should consult with their advisors to identify courses in these categories.
      Two seminar credits. To earn a seminar credit, students must enroll in a seminar course in Computer Science.

Thesis credit
will comprise a maximum of 10 credit hours of the 30 credit-hour minimum. All students must have a research advisor by the end of their first semester of study and must submit a research proposal to the Examination Committee by the end of the semester before they plan to graduate. The Examination Committee shall consist of a minimum of three faculty members. All students must complete a thesis and defend it orally to their Examination Committee. Two copies of the completed thesis must be submitted to the University.

A wide variety of research areas are represented by the faculty supporting this program. Among these are algebraic theory of automata, algorithms, artificial intelligence, automata and formal language theory, automated deduction, Boolean circuits, complexity theory, computational learning theory, computer-aided design, computer architecture, distributed artificial intelligence, expert systems, file systems, finite element methods, finite model theory, genetic programming, hardware and software verification, high speed network architectures, intelligent tutoring, machine learning, multiagent systems, multigrid and spectral methods in numerical analysis, multimedia applications, networked computing, operating systems, parallel and distributed computing, programming environments, semantics, virtual reality, and VLSI CAD. Further information can be obtained at or contact the School of Arts & Sciences (

Kenneth DaRin, Director

The challenges of global competition demand effective management of technical and human resources. To meet these challenges, Clarkson University offers an innovative part-time interdisciplinary graduate program in Engineering & Global Operations Management (EGOM) for professionals working full-time in industry. All entering students must have at least two years of industry experience, be nominated by their company, and be accepted by the program. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, but students with a B.S. degree in other areas and relevant experience may also be admitted. Students completing the program receive an M.S. in Engineering and Global Operations Management or a graduate certificate in a specified focus area.

The program offers maximum flexibility by providing a variety of options to complete the degree. For example, the entire 30 credit-hour program can be completed by taking only on-campus courses or by taking a combination of residency and distance learning courses. The residency portion of the program consists of two-week summer sessions and the distance learning courses are offered 12 months a year during the fall, winter, spring and summer semesters. As a result, the program may be completed in as few as 24 months and up to 80% online.

This program was developed in the 1960s in partnership with industry and has evolved constantly over time to meet the changes in technological and business conditions. Companies currently sponsoring program participants include: Alcoa, American Packaging, AT&T, Avery Point Group, Carrier Corp., Corning Inc., Eastman Kodak, General Dynamics, General Electric, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hanson, Hatch Mott MacDonald, IBM, Magna Powertrain, MTI Management, New York Air Brake, New York Power Authority, Prudential Real Estate, RR Donnelley, Severstal NA, Sorunke Dental, Sustainable Performance Consulting, Welch Allyn, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Young and Franklin, and Xerox.

This 30 credit-hour program is composed of core courses and electives. In addition, seminars and workshops offered by industry executives during the residency sessions provide practical insights and exposure to a variety of operational issues. The core courses provide a foundation in engineering and management. Elective courses are selected to permit a continuation of the broad perspective of the core courses or to build a concentration in a particular area.

(at least seven out of nine are required) FN608 Financial Management
ES505 Design of Experiments MF687 Capstone Project
ES510 Strategic Project Management OM676 Developing & Managing Technology
ES530 Environmental Sustainability and OS652  Strategic Human Resource Management
  Risk Analysis OS666  Negotiations and Relationship
ES540 Engineering Economics   Management
ES555 Global Supply Chain Systems Mgt. SB641 Advanced Topics in Supply Chain
ES572 Quality Management and Process   Management
ME504 Design Methodology    
OS657 Leading Organizational ChangeSB6    
SB696 Global Business Strategies    

A description of the courses and requirements can be obtained at or by contacting Kenneth DaRin (e-mail:, phone: 315-268-5982).

Master's and doctoral degrees in Environmental Science and Engineering (ES&E) span multiple disciplines to investigate how science and engineering interact with the environment in a broad context. This approach is necessary since the environment comprises complex, interacting biological, chemical, physical and social systems. It is essential to apply an interdisciplinary framework to understand how these systems function and the many ways environmental factors should be integrated into a comprehensive decision-making process. The unusually broad background of ES&E graduates will enable them to better understand how engineering and science impact policy decisions. The ES&E degree programs provide a flexible framework for students to develop coursework and pursue research projects that fit their individual interests.

ES&E is administered by Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment, whose mission is to develop, foster and enhance innovative, cross-disciplinary research and educational activities at the forefront of environmental research, education, and outreach. Interdisciplinary group faculty affiliates associated with the center will advise students.

Course Requirements 

Students must take at least one course from the following:
ES532 Risk Analysis
EC660 Environmental Economics
CE582 Environmental Systems Analysis
CE586 Introduction to Industrial Ecology

Additional courses are divided into four major groups:
      Biology and Ecology
      Chemistry and Physics
      Control Technologies
      Fluid Mechanics and Transport

M.S. students must take at least two courses from at least one of these groups and have at least three engineering courses. Ph.D. students must take at least two courses from at least two of these groups.

Wm. Dennis Horn, Director

The Master of Science in Information Technology offers an interdisciplinary, broad-based curriculum for this professional degree. Students take courses from a range of disciplines that include math and computer science, electrical and computer engineering, technical communications, and management information systems. The program has a practical orientation that emphasizes hands-on learning and real-world experience in collaborative projects.

Students develop a broad base of competencies in hardware, software, and the management of technology. At the same time they can explore specific application areas of their choice through elective classes and project work. Projects will focus on real-world problems that provide experience directly applicable to IT in an organizational setting.

Applicants should be able to show competence in at least one modern programming language (such as C, C++, Pascal, Java, or related languages), familiarity with the use of a modern operating system, and experience with applications on multiple hardware platforms. Full acceptance may be delayed and remedial coursework required if a student lacks specified competencies. All applications are evaluated individually by an advising committee.

The MS in IT program comprises a minimum of 30 credit hours which include: one course treating modern object-oriented design in a language such as C++; one course treating the principles of computing and telecommunication systems; one course in the management of technology; three courses in application of information technology; six credits of project work; additional credits can include course or project work. Each student must prepare a comprehensive report acceptable to the IT Advisory Committee documenting the scope and subject matter of the degree project.


The doctoral degree in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) crosses multiple disciplines to understand the properties, synthesis and processing of advanced materials.   This multi-disciplinary approach is required given the complex nature of advanced materials.  To provide just one example, materials’ optical, electrical, mechanical, magnetic and thermal properties depend in a complex manner on their chemical composition and morphology.  Applications of advanced materials to the fields of electronic devices, biotechnology, alternative energy, and the environment are at the forefront of current Materials Science and Engineering research. 

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) graduate program is administered through its Director (, who works closely with the Dean of Engineering and the Dean of Arts & Sciences.  The MSE graduate program is closely associated with Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing, whose mission is "to perform innovative research and conduct educational efforts on the synthesis and processing of advanced materials of interest to industry."  Doctoral students are mentored by faculty associated with the MSE graduate program. 

Course Requirements

Doctoral students are required to take a total of 10 courses.  These include 2 required courses:

  • MT 560
  • MT 551

Doctoral students must also take 4 courses from one of these two focus areas:

  CM 530 Colloids and Interfaces
  CM 551 Manufacturing Implications of Advanced Materials Processing
  CM 584 Multicomponent Polymer Systems 
  EE 541 Electronic Devices for IC Simulation
  ES 557 Microelectronic Circuit Fabrication
  ES564 Corrosion Engineering
  ME 591 Micro/Nano Systems Engineering
  ME 595 Principles of Physical Metallurgy
  PH 528 Intermolecular Forces in Modern Nanotechnology
  CM 585/PH 585 Nanostructured Materials
  PH 589/EE 543 Physics of Semiconductor Devices
  PH 636            Scanning Probe Techniques in Soft Condensed Matter Physics
Advanced Materials and Biomaterials:
  BY 512 Advanced Cell Biology
  BY 612 Molecular Biology
  CH 515 Polymer Materials
  CM 553 Medical and Pharmaceutical Biomaterials
  CM 583 Introduction to Polymer Science
  CM 584 Multicomponent Polymer Systems 
  EE 539 Dielectrics
  EE541 Electronic Devices for IC Simulation
  ES552 Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering Applications
  ES 557 Microelectronic Circuit Fabrication
  ES 564 Corrosion Engineering
  ME 557/CE 521 Advanced Mechanics of Composite Materials
  ME 591 Micro/Nano Systems Engineering
  ME 595

Principles of Physical Metallurgy

  ME 637 Particle Transport, Deposition and Removal
  PH 589/EE 543

Physics of Semiconductor Devices

  PH 636 Scanning Probe Techniques in Soft Condensed Matter Physics

Doctoral students must also take 4 elective courses in consultation with their research advisor.