M.S. Comprehensive Exam

In order to pass the M.S. capstone, M.S. students must either pass a written thesis and defense OR a written Comprehensive Exam.

 

M.S. students are encouraged to thoroughly review the Comprehensive Examination Guidelines for M.S. Students.


All study materials have been updated on April 8, 2020.


EXAM OFFERINGS

The Comprehensive Exam is given twice per year: near the middle of the Fall quarter, and near the beginning or middle of the Spring quarter.

 

Due to COVID-19, there have been some changes (please see in detail below) to the next exam which will be held online in Summer 2020. It will take place on

 

Saturday, August 8th, 2020 at 12-4pm.

Please arrive to the zoom meeting (link will be provided later) at 11:15am so we can check ID's and scan your testing environment (requirements below). The exam session will close at 5pm (at the latest) to allot time for scanning the completed exam to an email (will be provided later).

 

If you are eligible for the online SU20 MS Comp Exam, you should have received an email with the following information. If you have not received the email, please email Christina Vassos (cvassos@eng.ucsd.edu).

REGISTRATION

  • If you are a graduate student who will be graduating in FA20/registered for the SP20 exam and need to take the MS Comprehensive Exam, then you should have been emailed. It will only be offered to those who need to absolutely graduate in Fall 2020.

  • This means if Fall 2020 is your final quarter of coursework, and/or second attempt of the MS comp exam, you are eligible to take the MS Comp Exam in Summer 2020.

  • If you are a B.S./M.S. student graduating in Fall 2020, you are eligible to register for the SU20 online comp exam. 

  • If you have not already, please REGISTER for the Summer 2020 MS Comprehensive Exam. Your FA20 graduation eligibility will be verified; if you are not graduating in FA20, then you will be emailed about being ineligible to take the online SU20 exam.

  • Students must register for the area of their major for the graduate section of the exam. 

  • Once you have registered for the online SU20 exam, Christina Vassos will be in contact with you via email.

IMPORTANT POLICIES regarding the M.S Comprehensive Exam:

  • All full-time students must take the exam during their 4th quarter of enrollment. Refusal to take the exam during the fourth quarter will result in a failing grade for their first attempt. 

  • If you failed the Fall Exam (or failed to take the exam per #1 above), then the Spring Exam will be the final opportunity to pass the MS Comprehensive Exam.

  • Students who fail the MS Comprehensive Examination twice will not receive the terminal Master's degree.

  • It will be the same format (4 hours for 4 sections and you need to pass 3/4 sections) EXCEPT math is NOT a mandatory pass or attempt for the online SU20 exam,

    • You can choose any combination of 4 sections and as long as you pass 3/4 sections, you will pass the comp exam exam. For example, you can take 4 undergraduate sections OR you can take 3 undergraduate sections and your graduate major section.

  • All relevant tables and charts will be provided for corresponding exams (ECE 101 Signals and Systems and ECE 164/264 and ECE 166/265).

  • If you are an ECS student, you may bring a compass and ruler.

  • No calculators allowed during the exam. The problems are designed so that a calculator is not necessary, no additional notes are allowed.

  • NO phones, laptops, smart watches, study materials, hoodies, hats, or sunglasses will be allowed, whatsoever. If you are found with any of these items during the exam, it will be reported to the Academic Integrity Office.

  • Please do not bring your belongings other than your photo ID, pencils/pens, snacks, and water. If you choose to bring any items other than the ones mentioned above (e.g., your backpack, bag, calculator, notes, etc.), you will not be allowed to take the exam.

  • You can bring a snack or a drink for consumption during the exam.

  • You can use the restroom and upon your return your testing environment will be re-evaluated.

  • The ECE Department will report any instance of suspected or observed cheating to the campus Academic Integrity Office.


FORMAT

The Comprehensive Exam is a written exam covering a range of topics at the undergraduate level, plus a single topic covered at the graduate level (must be your graduate area of study).  Students must pass 3 of the 4 sections of the exam (EXCEPT math is NOT a mandatory pass or attempt for the online SU20 exam). The exam is 4 hours in duration.

  • All full-time students must take the exam during their 4th quarter of enrollment, with the exception of students in the 5-year B.S./M.S. program.  Part-time (7-11 units) and half-time (6 units or less) students should see an advisor to assess their exam eligibility.  Refusal to take the exam during the required quarter will result in a failing grade.

  • It will be the same format (4 hours for 4 sections and you need to pass 3/4 sections) EXCEPT math is NOT a mandatory pass or attempt for the online SU20 exam,

    • You can choose any combination of 4 sections and as long as you pass 3/4 sections, you will pass the comp exam exam. For example, you can take 4 undergraduate sections OR you can take 3 undergraduate sections and your graduate major section.

  • Students must work only within the time allotted - 4 hours.

  • No calculators allowed during the exam.  The problems are designed so that a calculator is not necessary.

  • Students who fail the written examination twice will not receive the terminal Master's degree.  No other options are available.

**We cannot determine how much of each question must be completed correctly in order to pass a section - it is determined for each question by the instructors when grading. Students should do their best.


RESULTS

Notification of exam results will be conveyed via email 4-5 weeks following the exam.


All study materials have been updated on August 19, 2019.

 

Selected Past Comprehensive Exam Questions and Solutions

Prior exams (pre-Spring 2015) are made available below as study material. All questions/solutions are provided directly by the exam's writers; some years may have missing entries (an exam wasn’t offered, a solution was not sent to the SA office). Exams given post-Spring 2015 are unavailable. 

 

Subject

Questions

Solutions

Mathematics
(Required; Mandatory pass)

(Math 20A-F, ECE 109)

Math Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

 

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

 

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Plus, the student’s choice, during the exam, of any two of the following:

Electricity & Magnetism

(ECE 107)

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

 

Fall 2013

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Signals & Systems

(ECE 101)

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Solid State Electronics

(ECE 103)

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Electronic Circuits & Systems

(ECE 102)

Study Info

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Logic Design

(CSE 140)

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Plus one of the following depth topics
(you will specify your major when you sign up for the exam):

 

 

Applied Electromagnetics

(ECE 222B)

Study Info

 

 

Practice Problems

Solutions to Practice

Problems are Included

on the Left

Applied Physics – Electronic Devices and Materials

(ECE 230AB)

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

 

Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Communication Theory and Systems

(ECE 250)

Study Info

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Computer Engineering

(ECE 260A)

Study Info

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Electronic Circuits & Systems

(ECE 166/265A OR 164/264A)

Study Info

Smith Chart

Spring 2015

 

Spring 2014 (ECE 164/264)

Spring 2014 (ECE 164/264)

Spring 2014 (ECE 166/265)

Spring 2014 (ECE 166/265)

Fall 2013 (ECE 166/265)

Fall 2013 (ECE 166/265)

Spring 2013 (ECE 164/264)

Spring 2013 (ECE 164/264)

Intelligent Systems, Robotics & Control

(ECE 276A)

Study Info

Spring 2019

Spring 2019 - Key

Spring 2018

Spring 2018 - Key

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Machine Learning & Data Science

(ECE 271A)

Study Info

 

ECE 271A Practice Problems  


Medical Devices & Systems

(ECE 201)

Study Info

 

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Nanoscale Devices & Systems

(ECE 212ABC)

Study Info

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Fall 2010

 

Photonics

(ECE 240ABC)

Study Info

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

 

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Fall 2012

 

Radio & Space Science

Fall 2011

 

Signal & Image Processing

(ECE 251A)

Study Info

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013