FAQ - General Application Questions

How do I apply?

Our graduate program only accepts online admissions applications. View our Admissions page for more information about deadlines, requirements, and procedures.

Do you accept Winter or Spring quarter admissions applications?

We only accept admissions applications to the ECE graduate program for Fall Quarter. We do not accept Winter or Spring quarter admissions applications.

Based on my qualification and test scores, would you tell me whether I am eligible for the ECE graduate program?

We are not able to pre-assess admissions applicants. If you wish to be considered for one of our graduate programs, please complete an online application . Our minimum admissions requirements are detailed on our Admissions page.

May I apply for both the Ph.D. and M.S. program?

No. You may only make one application, to either the Ph.D. or the M.S. You should apply for the degree that reflects your ultimate degree objective. 

Please note: prospective Ph.D. students whose only prior preparation is a bachelor's degree may earn a M.S. degree along-the-way to the Ph.D. If this describes your background and interest, you are advised to apply to Ph.D. program in your online admissions application. 

When applicants are not admitted to the Ph.D. program, are they considered for the Master's program?

Not automatically. However, you can indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for the Master's program in the event that your application for the Ph.D. program is unsuccessful. This will be taken into consideration by the admissions committee when assessing your application.

May I apply if my undergraduate major is not in Electrical Engineering?

All applicants with a B.S. and/or M.S. degree in engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics are considered for admission. You may still apply if your major is not in one of these areas, however you should compare your previous coursework to the Degree Planners of the area you are interested in. Based on your comparison, if you believe you would preform successfully in our program, you can consider applying.

I already hold a Master's or Doctorate degree from another institution/university; may I apply for a duplicate/second degree?

The University does not permit duplication of advanced degrees. (A professional degree is not regarded as a duplication of an academic degree.) Holders of a Master's or Ph.D. are therefore advised not to apply for admission to ECE for the same degree, regardless of the discipline of the first degree or the discipline to which they seek admission.

The admissions application includes a Supplemental Diversity Essay. Must I complete it?

UCSD values a diverse student body; the supplemental diversity essay allows applicants to comment on how they might contribute to diversity on campus. Departments review these essays for the purposes of nominating students for University diversity fellowships (for which international students are not eligible). In short, submitting the supplemental diversity essay with your admissions application is entirely optional. It will not negatively impact your chances of admission if you decide not to provide the essay. 

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

A change into any non-impacted major may be requested via petition after the first quarter in residence in the ECE graduate program. (Computer Engineering, Electronic Circuits and Systems, Machine Learning and Data Science, and Intelligent Systems Robotics and Controls majors are specifically impacted; major change requests to these areas are not permitted after admission.)

How do I select Part-time enrollment?

The ECE graduate program only accepts admissions applications for full-time study. Once admitted, domestic students (or students considered Permanent Residents of the US by the University) may petition to study half-time.

How can I check my application status to make certain that all of my materials have been received?

To monitor the progress of your letters of recommendation, please login to your application and select section 6: "Letters of Recommendation". There you can view which recommenders have submitted their recommendation. (The "Received At" column notes the day and time the recommendation was submitted.)

As for test scores, it will take a bit of time for your official scores to be matched to your application. We will receive your scores as long as you have used UCSD's graduate institution code (4836). (It is also helpful if your name and birth date are the same in both your admissions application and the score report.) As long as you have self-reported your test scores in your application, our admissions committee will be able to evaluate it. If you are admitted to our graduate program, your official scores will be double-checked against what you self-reported.

No other materials (including hard copy documents) should be sent to UCSD; instead, they should be uploaded to the online application.

When will I be notified of the outcome of my ECE Graduate Admissions application?

Please see our Admissions page for more details.