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Information for New ECE Graduate Students


Welcome to ECE! We are very happy you have decided to join our graduate program. Below is more information to help you transition to UCSD. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact an ECE Graduate Student Advisor




Please be certain to review Graduate Division’s Admitted Students webpage, which details all of the steps you should complete as a new UCSD student.

International students should visit the International Students & Programs Office webpage for a specific pre-arrival checklist.  

For in-depth information about the ECE Department, plus graduate student requirements, policies, and procedures, we encourage you to read:





ECE Graduate Student Orientation

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Warren Lecture Hall, Room 2001

Attendance is mandatory; no registration required.

More information will be sent to all new students as the orientation date nears.


Graduate Division New Graduate Student Orientation

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Price Center West Ballroom

Attendance is mandatory; no registration required.

For more information, please see the Graduate Division's Orientation webpageMore details will be announced as the orientation date nears.


International Graduate Student Orientation

Saturday, September 17, 2016

8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Mandeville Auditorium

Attendance is mandatory for all new international students in F-1/J-1 status (including transfer students from other U.S. schools). Reigstration is required.

To register, and for more information, please see the International Student Orientation webpage.





2016-17 Academic Calendar

2016-17 Enrollment and Registration Calendar


Fall Quarter 2016 Officially Begins:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall Quarter 2016 Instruction Begins:

Thursday, September 22, 2016





New ECE graduate students may register for Fall Quarter classes starting Monday, August 1, 2016 at 10:00 am (Pacific Standard Time). New students will not have access to register for Fall Quarter classes until then. 


Resources for selecting your courses:

After reviewing your major's Degree Planner, login to TritonLink and enroll in classes through WebReg. (Instructions for creating a TritonLink account are sent to each student by Graduate Division.) For enrollment details, please visit UCSD's Enrolling in Classes webpage.


Additional enrollment details:

  • All ECE students are expected to enroll full-time and register for at least 12 units each quarter during the academic year until the completion of all requirements for the degree. ECE graduate students should not enroll in more than 20 units. Enrollment in more than 20 units will result in a hold on future registration.
  • If you plan to enroll in ECE 200, ECE 298 and/or ECE 299, make certain you select the section under the correct faculty member.  
  • You must obtain permission to enroll in any ECE class(es) for which you do not meet the prerequisite(s).  This is done via the ECE Course Pre-Authorization Request Form.

  • To request enrollment in a course offered by the Computer Science and Engineering Department, please complete the ECE Clear Me / CSE Request form.



Ph.D. students:
The majority of our full-time graduate students are supported by faculty and employed as Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs). PhD students are encouraged to speak with ECE Faculty to determine mutual research interests and discuss opportunities for financial support. 
M.S. students:
Unfortunately, there is little support opportunity for masters students. Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions are rare and very competitive, as most of these opportunities are reserved for Ph.D. students. Teaching assistant positions are possible, though also extremely competitive. TAships and other in-class positions are generally discouraged for incoming ECE graduate students, particularly those in their first quarter at UCSD. Professors would like students to meet with faculty and establish a UCSD GPA before applying for these positions. (Please note that international student TAs must still pay nonresident supplemental tuition, as TA funding only pays resident tuition, health insurance, and the student services fee.)
For more information about ECE Department Support, we invite you to read the Department's Financial Support webpages. Additional opportunities outside of the ECE Department are posted on the UCSD Graduate Division's funding webpage




We strongly recommend that you arrive in San Diego early so that you can get settled in your new environment before beginning your studies.

If you wish to live on-campus, please note that graduate student housing is very competitive, so we advise getting on the waitlist as soon as you can. You can increase your odds of acquiring on-campus housing by selecting an early start date (i.e. the earliest you would be able to move in). Please refer to the following Graduate Student Housing website for more information.

UCSD has compiled a list of off-campus housing resources that may also be of use to you.





All students are automatically enrolled in the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) each academic year.  The fall quarter SHIP start date for new ECE graduate students is September 12, 2016.

Refer to the Student Health Services website for more information regarding SHIP and services available at Student Health Services.

Students who are able to demonstrate they have comparable coverage may be able to opt out of SHIP via the Health Fee Waiver application available online (TritonLink). The Fall Quarter 2016 deadline to waive SHIP (without a late fee) is September 16, 2016. More information about waiving out of SHIP may be found on the Student Health Services website.
All incoming students must complete immunization requirements, including a Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Questionnaire. The TB Screening deadline is July 15, 2016. Failure to complete this by the deadline will result in a hold on future registration.




What is an estimated total cost for one year of study at UCSD?

The Graduate Division publishes updated tuition and fee costs each year. (Tuition and fee costs have not yet been set for the 2016-17 academic year, but will be published on the website once finalized.) 

May I change my major / research area after I have been admitted to the graduate program?

Computer Engineering and Electrical Circuits and Systems majors are specifically impacted; major change requests to these areas are not permitted after admission. A change into any non-impacted major may be requested via petition after the first quarter in residence in the ECE graduate program. In other words, if you are interested in changing your major, you must wait until Winter Quarter 2017. Please see the appropriate Graduate Student Affairs staff to go over the change of major process.

I am a domestic U.S. student and would like to be classified in future as a California resident for tuition purposes. What steps should I take?

You should begin the process of becoming a California resident at least one year before the quarter you are seeking reclassification. This includes establishing a physical presence in California, establishing your intent by changing your ties from your previous state of residence to California, and meeting financial independence requirements. This process is described in more detail on the website “How to Change Your Nonresident Status to Resident”; all Domestic US students should read this website thoroughly and familiarize themselves with the requirements. The Residence Deputy in the Registrar’s Office is the final authority in determining the classification of resident status. All questions and concerns should be addressed to the Residency Deputy directly. 

I am an international student. When will I receive my I-20 (for F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visa)? 

After accepting our offer, you will be given information directing you to the iPortal. Follow the directions given in the iPortal to request your I-20.  Please allow for 6 weeks after submitting your request to receive your I-20. Questions about the I-20 or DS-2019 should be directed to UCSD's International Center at

May I defer admission?

You may defer for one year to the following Fall Quarter only. When you receive the official email from the Graduate Division requesting your admissions decision, you may choose 'defer'.  You must defer by the first Monday following the registration fee payment deadline.  Then, you should contact the department at least three months prior to the following Fall Quarter so that we can make arrangements to reactivate your admission.

If your plans have changed and you wish to defer after already accepting the offer online, you will need to contact the department immediately (and no later than the first Monday following the registration fee payment deadline).