Master of Science in Wireless and Network Engineering

Master of Science in Wireless and Network Engineering

Integrated Learning for a Connected World

Offered by the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Master of Science, MS, in Wireless and Network Engineering program equips students to become qualified researchers and specialized professionals in our hyperconnected world. Students will learn to understand, design, implement, and test present and future wireless and wired communication networks, through a combination of coursework, master’s thesis research, and/or industry experience. They will also have opportunity to gain unmatched research experience at Northeastern’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things.

The program is suited to students with a background in electrical and/or computer engineering, computer science, or other related disciplines. Strong candidates in other STEM disciplines, including both engineering and sciences (e.g., physics, math), with prior exposure to calculus, linear algebra, probability theory and programming, will also be considered. Ideal for students and professionals looking to continue into a PhD program in the field of electrical and computer engineering or a related engineering field.

Innovative Curriculum

Merging knowledge and skills from technical fields traditionally pursued separately, the MS in Wireless and Network Engineering integrates concepts from both electrical engineering (communications, signal processing and control) and computer engineering (computer networking, security, and policy). Students will gain those integrated skills necessary to understand and develop future networks. The program also covers policy and ethics concepts relating to communication networks.

By combining the strengths of both electrical engineering and computer engineering, the MS in Wireless and Network Engineering offers an integrated path for students who want to cover the entire protocol stack, from communications and signal processing to networking and application. Key topics include AI-based network management and performance optimization, as well as software-defined radios and networking. The program also includes concepts on networking from policy and ethics points of view.

Students conduct research and experiential projects at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things, a leader in next-generation wireless and wired communication networks with emphasis on 6G wireless systems, the use of machine learning for network orchestration and management, and overall large-scale experimental research.

Students can use testbeds such as Colosseum, the world’s largest wireless RF emulation platform; plus X-Mili and TeraNova, the largest millimeter-wave and terahertz networking platforms in the nation. Exclusive access is provided to on-campus FCC-designated Spectrum Innovation Zones—among only a few of these zones nationwide. Additionally, Northeastern is one of only a handful of universities to be part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

Northeastern’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things has strong relationships with government agencies and major companies in the wireless, defense, computing, and manufacturing areas, which sponsor its research. These partnerships create unique co-op and research opportunities for students.

Experiential Learning

Extensive experiential opportunities are offered including research at the Institute of the Wireless Internet of Things and with Northeastern’s top ranked cooperative education program.

The co-op program is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a co-op program for graduate students. Through this program, students gain up to eight months of real-world industry or research experience as part of the academic curriculum, while building a professional network and gaining a competitive edge upon graduation. With Northeastern’s hundreds of employer partners, students can choose from a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, including industry partners of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things.

Northeastern is an R1 research institution ranked No. 1 in internships/co-ops by U.S. News and World Report. Research at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things is supported by NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and other leading institutions.

Program Goals

Educational Objectives
  • Prepare a highly qualified workforce for careers in the fast-changing, high-growth communication networks field.
  • Equip students with a comprehensive skillset through integrated computer engineering and electrical engineering studies.
  • Provide hands-on experiences through industry and government collaborations, plus Northeastern’s own advanced technology facilities.
Career Outlook

With the rapid growth of wired and wireless networks spurred by internet users, connected devices, and mobile wireless connectivity, a highly qualified workforce is needed. Students will be prepared to meet this need with knowledge to design, implement, and test wired and wireless networks. Skills range from hardware design and electromagnetic characterization to communication techniques and networking protocols for present and future network generations (from 5G to 6G and beyond).

With the strong expected growth of networked systems, students’ skills in the field of wireless and network engineering will be in high demand across fields such as education institutions, federal agencies, and national research labs.

Cisco projects that by 2023, 66% of the global population will be internet users, and the number of devices connected to the internet will be more than three times the global population. An estimated 70% of the global population will have mobile connectivity—10% through 5G devices. 5G and 6G wireless systems are estimated will affect 100% of the national economy, creating 4.6 million jobs by 2034.