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M.S. Comprehensive Examination

For students following the non-thesis option, the M.S. comprehensive examination in Electrical Engineering is satisfied by the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course requirement under the direction of a faculty member. In the M.S. project format, an M.S. student or a group of M.S. students are assigned some topic of independent study by a faculty member. The study culminates with a written report and an oral presentation. The M.S. project program across the department is administered, for each student, by the faculty member directing the course, the Director of the Area to which the student belongs, and the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs.

General Instructions for EE299 M.S. Project Seminar Courses

M.S. students following the non-thesis option are required to complete an independent-study course (EE299 MS Project Seminar) under the supervision of their faculty advisor. Successful completion of the course meets the University M.S. Comprehensive Examination Requirement.

  1. Purpose of the Course. The purpose of the independent-study course is to provide M.S. students following the non-thesis option with an opportunity to pursue independent-study projects, write technical reports, make oral presentations, and research the pertinent literature. Students are to enroll in EE299 the quarter the project will be completed and the presentation will be made. Students may only register for this course once.
  2. Format. An M.S. student or a group of M.S. students would be assigned some topic of independent study by a faculty member (their M.S. advisor). The student(s) and the faculty advisor agree on the study to be undertaken and establish a list of objectives that the project is to accomplish. Throughout the project, the student(s) interact with the faculty advisor on a regular basis (for example, through weekly or bi-weekly meetings), asking questions and providing progress feedback. The study culminates with a written report and oral presentation.
  3. M.S. Committee. For every M.S. student following the non-thesis option, the M.S. Project is evaluated by a committee of three faculty members appointed by the department. The committee consists of the faculty supervisor directing the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course, the Director of the Area to which the student belongs, and the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs. If the Director of the Area happens to be the student's faculty supervisor, then the Director is replaced by another faculty member from the same Area. Likewise, if the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs happens to be the student's faculty supervisor, then the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs is replaced by another department Vice-Chair or the Department Chairman.
  4. Evaluation and Grading.
    • For every student, the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course culminates with a written report and an oral presentation in front of the faculty supervisor. Based on this work, the student, or each member in a group of students, earns a letter grade from the faculty supervisor. The evaluation of the students' performance should be based on a satisfactory completion of the assigned project and on an assessment of the quality of the written report and oral presentation.
    • If the faculty supervisor is not satisfied with the progress of the student or the quality of the work, then the a grade of "U" will be assigned.  If you complete the requirements of the project the following quarter, you must request a grade change from your faculty supervisor.
    • The student submits the graded work (report and slides) to the other two committee members for final approval using the relevant Comprehensive Examination Form from the Department's Office of Student Affairs. The final course grade is approved by the committee of three faculty members. A copy of the signed form, the written report, and the presentation slides are then submitted by the student to the Department's Office of Student Affairs.
  5. Procedure. M.S. students following the non-thesis option should follow, in consultation with their faculty advisors, the procedure outlined below to complete the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar requirement:
    • The student meets with their faculty advisor and expresses interest in completing the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar requirement under their guidance. The student(s) and the faculty advisor agree on the study to be undertaken and establish a list of objectives that the project is to accomplish.
    • The student enrolls in the section of the EE299 course that corresponds to the particular faculty supervisor. EE299 courses are treated like EE296 courses; every faculty member has a separate session. Enrollment in EE299 has been capped at 5 students per offering per faculty. The student enrolls in EE299 only once (the quarter the project and presentation will be completed.)
    • The student starts work on the project and meets the faculty supervisor with reasonable regularity to seek guidance or with updates on his/her progress.
    • The student delivers a final written report and oral presentation. The project may be pursued individually or in a small group working under the supervision of the same faculty member.
    • Each student is graded individually and receives a letter grade from the faculty supervisor.
    • The student submits the graded written report and presentation slides to the other two committee members for final approval. Once the grade has been approved by all committee members, the grade is submitted to the Registrar's Office.
    • Satisfactory completion of the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar requirement requires a letter grade of B or higher.
    • The signed Comprehensive Examination Form, along with copies of the written report and the slides, are submitted to the Department's Office of Student Affairs. Copies should be submitted, printed, and in PDF form. PDF copies may be emailed to Deeona Columbia in 2 files (one for report; one for slides).
  6. Timeframe.
    • All M.S. program requirements, including successfully completing the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course, should be completed within 2 academic years from admission into the M.S. graduate program.
    • M.S. students following the non-thesis option are strongly advised to sign up for the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course at least two quarters prior to the completion of their M.S. degree requirements. In case of failure, the student may re-take the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course only once, subject to approval by the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs.
    • Students must complete the EE299 MS Project Seminar requirement within 2 quarters from the first time they enroll in the course. If a student is unable to complete the duties of the project during the first quarter, and if the faculty supervisor deems that the satisfactory progress has been accomplished until that point, then a letter grade of Incomplete (I) may be justified and the student is required to complete the project in the following quarter at the latest. Failure to do so results in the student failing to meet the EE299 MS Project Seminar requirement.
  7. Honor Code. Obtaining a masters degree from UCLA Electrical Engineering is an outstanding accomplishment. Completing the independent-study course EE299 is one step towards achieving this goad for M.S. students following the non-thesis option. During their studies, students should abide by the University Academic Integrity Policy and the UCLA Student Code of Conduct. Acts of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students. Serious penalties may apply.
  8. Answers to Questions.
    • Can a student complete the EE299 MS Project Seminar requirement with a faculty member who is not his official M.S. faculty advisor?

      Answer: No, unless the student switches officially to a new M.S. faculty advisor.
    • What happens if a student does not finish the project before the end of the quarter?

      Answer: Students must complete the EE299 MS Project Seminar requirement within 2 quarters from the first time they enroll in the course. If a student is unable to complete the duties of the project during the first quarter, and if the faculty supervisor deems that satisfactory progress has been accomplished until that point, then a letter grade of Incomplete (I) may be justified and the student is required to complete the project in the following quarter at the latest. Failure to do so results in the student failing to meet the EE299 MS Project Seminar requirement.
    • Should a student enroll in EE299 during the last quarter of study?

      Answer: M.S. students following the non-thesis option are strongly advised to sign up for the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course at least two quarters prior to the completion of their M.S. degree requirements. In case of failure, the student may re-take the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar course only once, subject to approval by the Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs.
    • What are the components of the project?

      Answer: The student(s) and the faculty advisor agree on the study to be undertaken and establish a list of objectives that the project is to accomplish. Throughout the project, the student(s) interact with the faculty advisor on a regular basis (for example, through weekly or bi-weekly meetings), asking questions and providing progress feedback. The study culminates with a written report and oral presentation.
    • What is the criterion for passing the project?

      Answer: The evaluation of the students' performance is based on a satisfactory completion of the assigned project and on an assessment of the quality of the written report and oral presentation. The student delivers a final written report and oral presentation. The project may be pursued individually or in a small group working under the supervision of the same faculty member. Each student is graded individually and receives a letter grade from the faculty supervisor. The student submits the graded written report and presentation slides to the other two committee members for final approval. Once the grade has been approved by all committee members, the grade is submitted to the Registrar's Office. Satisfactory completion of the EE299 M.S. Project Seminar requirement requires a letter grade of B or higher.
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