Taking Courses

7.1) MS - Computer Engineering Course Information 

The website contains the complete list of CMPE courses, including course numbers and names, as well as their descriptions and prerequisite requirements.

7.2) Courses Required in Program

All of the following are required to earn the master’s degree in Computer Engineering:

  1. conditional (or “prerequisite”) courses – CMPE 180A, CMPE 180C, and perhaps CMPE 180D (all of which should be completed within the first two semesters). Students entering in a classified status (i.e., graduates of the SJSU Computer Engineering bachelor’s program) are not expected to take these courses or the waiver (challenge) exams.
  2. program core courses – CMPE 200, CMPE 220, CMPE 240 (prerequisites are strictly enforced)
  3. specialization courses (refer to Section 6.2b: Specialization Courses)
  4. graduate writing requirement (GWAR; CMPE 294)
  5. technical electives (refer to Section 6.2c: Technical Elective Courses)
  6. master’s project (CMPE 295A and B) or thesis (CMPE 299A and B).

It is also advisable that students, especially in the first semester, take no more than 10 units. Therefore, prepare to take one subject course (core or GWAR course) in the first semester. Check course prerequisites in the university catalog to determine which to take.

7.3) Prerequisites and Constraints

There are hard prerequisite constraints that all students must comply with, as listed below:

  1. Prerequisites for Program Core Courses
Program Core Courses Prerequisites
CMPE 200 CMPE 180D or not listed as condition of admission (retain admission letter as proof)
CMPE 240 CMPE 180D or not listed as condition of admission (retain admission letter as proof)
CMPE 220 CMPE 180A and CMPE 180C


  1. Requirements for CMPE 295A, 299A, and 298 (comprehensive exam)
Requirement Description
1  Be a classified MS-CMPE student, i.e., completed all admission conditions and be in good standing
2  Both cumulative SJSU GPA and candidacy (degree) GPA are 3.0 or higher
3  Completed or concurrently taking last of all three program core courses
4  Completed or concurrently taking second of three specialization courses
5  Completed or concurrently taking GWAR
6  Submit candidacy form and obtain approval during early stage of the semester when these courses are taken
7  All program core courses and GWAR must be completed before or together with CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A. Failure to fulfill the GWAR will lead to a failing grade for CMPE 295A/299A.

Plan your full degree program schedule carefully, taking into account courses not offered every semester, to meet these requirements. Summer courses are few and fill rapidly so relying on getting into one often leads to delays in graduating. However, CMPE 294, 295A, 295B, 299A, and 299B are always offered during the summer. Priority for enrollment in CMPE 294 is given to those enrolled in CMPE 295A and 299A.

  1. Requirements for CMPE 295B and CMPE 299B
Requirement Description
1  Both cumulative SJSU GPA and candidacy (degree) GPA are 3.0 or higher
2  Completed CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A
3  Completed all three program core courses
4  Passed all specialization courses or taking third one concurrently
5  Fulfilled GWAR 

7.4) Number of Courses Per Semester 
Students are permitted to take no more than four courses (10 or 12 units) per semester, including CMPE 294, CMPE 298i, and MS project or thesis courses. This departmental restriction is strictly enforced. Students on an F-1 visa must take no fewer than 9 units per semester with the exception of semesters of enrollment in culminating experience (project or thesis) courses where all graduation requirements other than one subject class, at most, and the culminating experience have already been completed. In the latter case, permission for a reduced course load (RCL) can be applied for with the department and ISSS. It is recommended for all students that no more than 10 units be taken in any semester.

7.5) Course Registration 

All course registration is done online. Please visit the website for course registration information and instructions. If a course is unavailable for online registration, the student needs to request a permission code. To do so, visit the online CMPE Department permission code request page (accessible from the department webpage). One may also contact the course instructor in advance by email or, more often, in person on the first class meeting of the semester. Fee information can be found at the Bursar’s Office website. For other registration problems encountered, please contact SJSU’s Office of the Registrar (registrar@sjsu.edu).