Frequently Asked Admission Questions

Application, Admission Requirements, and Application Processing

Q1:  My background is not in Electrical Engineering.  Am I still eligible for admission?

A1: Due to the competitive nature of admission to the Electrical Engineering graduate programs, applicants with Electrical Engineering backgrounds have a slight advantage over other applicants.  However, it is common for students in closely related fields to gain admission.  Closely related fields are other branches of engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, etc.  Students with a background outside of these areas are encouraged to gain a strong background before applying for admission.

Q2:  May I apply for PhD even if I do not have my MS?

A2: Yes.  Any student with a genuine interest in pursuing a PhD may apply directly to the PhD program.  If admission is not granted to the PhD program, these applications will automatically considered for MS admission (assuming they do not already hold a MS degree).

Q3:  What is the minimum GPA for admission?

A3: Entering students are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree with at least an overall 3.0 GPA.

Applicants for the PHD program must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 in their undergraduate & Graduate (if applicable) coursework.

The most competitive applicants have GPAs within the range of the most recently admitted applications.  These statistics are listed here.

Q4:  What GPA do I enter on the application?

A4: Applicants are expected to enter their overall GPA. The ECE Office of Graduate Student Affairs will verify and review the transcripts you provide on your application to make sure the GPA is accurate.

Q5:  My GPA is not on the 4.0 scale.  Am I expected to convert my GPA?

A5: Our faculty are very familiar with considering coursework taken in many different scales.  We review all coursework using the original scale assigned by the university.  Statistics on GPAs for the most recently admitted application is located here.

Q6:  I uploaded copies of my transcript as part of my application.  Do I also have to mail copies to UCLA?

A6: No, official transcripts are no longer required at the time of the application. Only applicants who are admitted into our program will be asked to submit official transcripts. The university still recommends that International students submit official transcripts at the time of the application in order to avoid delays with the issuing of documents required to request a student visa in the given circumstance that they are offered admission.

Q7:  Are there minimum GRE scores required for admission?

A7: No.  There are no minimum GRE scores required.  However, most admitted applicants have GRE scores competitive with the average scores of recently admitted students.  GRE and GPA averages for recently admitted applicants is included here.

Q8:  If I take the GRE multiple times, which scores will be used for my application evaluation?

A8: All scores will be reviewed.  However, only the most recent scores will be used for admissions consideration.

Q9:  If I take the TOEFL or IELTS multiple times, which scores will be used for my application evaluation?

A9: All scores will be reviewed.  However, only the most recent scores will be used for admissions consideration.

Q10:  What is the minimum TOEFL score required for admission?

A10: TOEFL is a university requirement for admission.  The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department cannot recommend admission for any international student who does not meet the university TOEFL requirement.  Details on the TOEFL/IELTS requirements are available on the UCLA Graduate Division’s website.

Q11:  How can I get a TOEFL/IELTS waiver?

A11: The UCLA Graduate Division’s website outlines which applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirements.  The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will automatically document applications when TOEFL/IELTS is waived.

Q12:  I meet the overall minimum score requirement for TOEFL, but I do not meet the minimum scores for each section.  Do I still have a chance for admission?

A12: The section scores are recommended, but not required.  The most competitive applicants are those who meet the minimum scores AND the overall minimum total score.

Q13:  I studied in Singapore where all of my courses were taught in English.  Am I exempt from TOEFL?

A13: No, the UCLA Graduate Division’s website indicates that only applicants who hold a bachelor.s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g. Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction or who have completed at least twos years of full-time study at such an institution are exempt. from the TOEF/IELTS requirement.

Q14:  Can I apply for Winter or Spring admission?

A14: No.  The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department only accepts applications for Fall Quarter.

Q15:  What is the deadline to apply?

A15: Applications must be paid and submitted by 12-midnight (PST) on December 15 for the following fall quarter.

Q16:  I paid my application fee by the midnight deadline, but I forgot to press the submit button.  Did I meet the deadline?

A16: No.  In order to be fair to all applicants and make efficient use of staff and faculty time, we require all applications to be paid and submitted by the midnight deadline.  No exceptions are made to this policy.

Q17:  What are my chances of admission if I apply late?

A17: Applicants who fail to meet the application deadline are not offered admission.

Q18:  When must my test scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts be received by the EE Office of Student Affairs?

A18: All supplemental material must be received in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Office of Graduate Student Affairs by 5:00 PM (PST) on January 1.

Q19:  All of my documents were not received by the January 1 deadline.  Will my file still be reviewed?

A19: The admissions committee will have access to review COMPLETE applicant files once all materials received by the deadline have been entered into our system.  Incomplete files are not available to our faculty.  As late documents are received (for those who met the application deadline) and entered into the system, completed files will become available to faculty.  However, it is important to note that those files completed by the deadline receive priority processing.  There is no guarantee that files completed after the deadline will be reviewed by our faculty.

Q20:  I’ve met all of the deadlines and my file is complete, when will my file be reviewed?

 A20: All faculty will have access to review completed applications on or around February 1.  The timing of the review process adjusts slightly from year-to-year.  However, all faculty have access to review files and make recommendation for admission decisions.  The admissions committee for each area and the departmental vice chair for graduate affairs then review the recommendations and all complete files.  Admission decisions are released as files are processed.  This process begins in mid-February and ends in mid-March.  Applicants are emailed periodically to update them on the processing timeline.

Funding, Fees, and Faculty

Q1:  How do I apply for departmental funding?

A1: All admitted applicants are automatically considered for departmental funding.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to apply for University  and external funding opportunities.  More information on funding is located on the UCLA Graduate Division’s funding website.

While all applicants are considered for funding, most funding opportunities are awarded to PhD applicants.

Q2:  What types of funding opportunities are available in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department?

A2: Funding information is located on the EE Funding Information web page.

Q3:  How do I apply for a teaching assistant (TA) position?

A3: TA positions are reserved for 2+ year students.  First year students are expected to focus on their coursework.

Q4:  What is a GSR position and how do I get one?

A4: GSR stands for Graduate Student Researcher.  Each faculty member determines if he/she has the funding available and whom to hire as GSR.

Q5:  How much does it cost to attend UCLA?

A5: Annual fee chart information is available at the UCLA Registrar’s Office website.

Q6:  Which faculty will be accepting MS and/or PhD students into their labs?

A6: Faculty do not inform the EE Office of Graduate Student Affairs of their plans to/not to accept new students into their labs.  Students who have researched faculty interests, may email them directly to inquire if a position is currently open in the lab.

Q7:  Is there any way I can search for faculty research areas?

A7: A searchable database of UCLA Research Expertise is available online.  Please note it will contain information from all departments on campus.  Clicking the Contact Information link in this database will take you to the UCLA Directory.

Q8:  Where can I learn more information on the current research taking place in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department?

A8: Details on EE Research Groups is located here.

Q9:  Is it permitted to contact faculty directly?

A9:   Applicants and students who have research interests in the same area as a particular faculty member, may wish to email him/her as an introduction to the application process.  However, many faculty schedules (teaching, research, travel, etc.) do not permit them to reply to the many requests they receive.  We encourage applicants to be considerate when emailing faculty.

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Degree, Deposit, and Deferral

Q1:  How long does it take to earn a MS degree?

A1: The average length of time in the MS program is 5 quarters.  The maximum time allowed for completing the MS degree is 2 academic years (6 quarters).

Q2:  How long does it take to earn a PhD degree?

A2:  Applicants who are admitted into the PhD and do not hold a MS are required to complete and earn a MS degree within the first two years (6 quarters) of enrollment with UCLA.  These students would then be expected to complete and earn the PhD within 5 years (15 quarters) of earning the MS.

Applicants who are admitted into the PhD and hold a MS are expected to complete and earn the PhD within 5 years (15 quarters) of earning the MS.

Q3: How do I defer my admission if I am unable to begin the quarter for which I’m admitted?

A3: It is very rare that the UCLA Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will approve an applicant’s admission deferral.  The official department policy is located here.

Q4: Does UCLA require a security deposit to hold my place for the incoming class?

A4: No.  UCLA does not require a security deposit.

Q5: If I am admitted, but I cannot attend, how can I receive admission for the next fall?

A5: Admitted applicants who do not attend for the quarter they are admitted, may renew their application during the next academic year.s admission cycle.  Students must apply as they did the previous year (meeting all stated deadlines).  However, selecting the application type as RENEWAL will waive the application fee.  NOTE: Only admitted students may renew their application.

Q6: If I was not admitted, may I renew my application for the following year?

A6: Applicants who are not admitted for one academic year may reapply for the following academic year.  The application and application fee must be submitted and paid as was done for the previous application.

Q7: If I am renewing or reapplying, can you re-use my statement of purpose, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation?

A7: Renewal and reapplying applicants will be required to upload a statement of purpose and scanned transcripts as part of the application process.  If final, official transcripts were previously received by the EE Office of Graduate Student Affairs, they will be held on file for 3 years.

Many students may find it beneficial to gain new letters of recommendation outlining any additional achievements and skills earned to strengthen their application.  However, those who have already submitted an application for the next academic year, may request one or more previous year.s letter(s) to be applied to the current application.  This request must originate from the applicant, include identifying information (such as full name, date of birth, application id for current year, and application id for previous year, if known), and identifying information for the recommendation writer (name, email address, institution, etc.) for each letter that is requested to be reused.  Requests must be emailed to before December 16th with the subject .Recommendation Letter Move Request.

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