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.


EXAM OFFERINGS

The Comprehensive Exam is given twice per year: near the middle of the Fall quarter, and near the middle of the Spring quarter. The next exam will be held in Fall 2018:

 

Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8:00am to 12:00pm.

 

Students must arrive no later than 7:15am and please plan to leave at 1:30pm as it takes time to collect exams and return your belongings.
 

REGISTRATION

  • If you are a graduate student who has reached their 4th quarter of the program, REGISTER HERE for the Fall 2018 MS Comprehensive Exam. 

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

  • If you are an ISRC student, you have to choose ONE of the TWO options: ECE 275A or 276A. Please complete the following google form to select the exam of your choice.

 

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 Spring Exam (or failed to take the exam per #1 above), then the Fall 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.

  • Students must pass the Math section of the exam in order to pass the written Comprehensive Exam (No exceptions).

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

  • In addition to calculators, notes, study material or cell phones are NOT allowed during the exam. All such items MUST be placed at the front of the classroom prior to the exam start. If you are caught with any of these items during the exam, it will be considered an automatic fail and you will be reported to the Academic Integrity Office.

  • 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; Math is a mandatory pass.  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.

  • Students must pass the Math section of the exam in order to pass the written Comprehensive Exam.

  • 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.

  • No notes or study materials are allowed.

  • No cell phones allowed.

  • 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.

**The most important change is for those students taking the ISRC section. You will choose ONE of the TWO options: 275A or 276A.

**There will be no exam section for the Machine Learning and Data Science and Applied Electromagnetics tracks in FA18. If you are planning to switch to these depths, you must take the graduate exam for the major you are currently enrolled in. You will still be awarded a degree in MLDS or EM if you are approved to make the switch but take your current graduate section of the exam instead of MLDS or EM. The department has emailed all students with instructions on switching to these depths.


RESULTS

Notification of exam results will be conveyed via email in the weeks following the exam.


All study materials have been updated.

 

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 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

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

 

Fall 2013

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Signals & Systems

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Solid State Electronics

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Electronic Circuits & Systems

 

(Please see practice tests)

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Logic Design

 

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 Physics – Electronic Devices and Materials

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

 

Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Communication Theory and Systems

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Computer Engineering

 

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

 

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

 

Study Info

Spring 2015 (contains solutions)

 

Fall 2014

 

Spring 2014

 

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

 

Machine Learning & Data Science

 

Study Info

 

First time being offered

in Spring 2019

 


Medical Devices & Systems

 

Study Info

 

Spring 2015

 

Fall 2014

 

Nanoscale Devices & Systems

 

Study Info

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Fall 2010

 

Photonics

 

 

Study Info

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

 

Fall 2013

 

Spring 2013

 

Fall 2012

 

Radio & Space Science

Fall 2011

 

Signal & Image Processing

 

Study Info

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

Spring 2012