Graduate Student Procedures

Instructions for Scheduling the Ph.D. Oral Qualifying Examination (Quals)

  1. Complete the Doctoral Committee Nomination Survey and submit a one-page abstract of your prospectus at least three weeks before the date of your examination. Any days that the University is closed will not count toward the time that the form is submitted in advance.
  2. Ensure that you have taken all courses on your Ph.D. Program of Study If there have been any changes since you submitted your last Ph.D. Program of Study, please be sure to submit an updated version. If you have not taken either ECE 297 or ECE 295 by the time that you take your qualifying examination, a hold will be placed on your account until you complete the course(s).
  3. No conference rooms are being reserved during Campus closure; all events are via Zoom. The Chair’s Assistant can be contacted by email at ecechair@seas.ucla.edu, if you have questions.
  4. At least two weeks before your exam, send your doctoral committee a copy of your prospectus. Students are advised to speak with their advisors for their expectations on the length and content of the prospectus.
  5. Send an email to ee_exam@seas.ucla.edu with the following information:
    • Name
    • UID
    • Faculty Advisor
    • Date of qual exam
    • Time of the exam
    • Location of the exam
    • Title of your prospectus

Instructions for Scheduling the Ph.D. Final Oral Exam (Defense)

  1. Contact the Chair’s Assistant (58-121 Engr. IV) regarding the steps necessary for preparing a department flyer for your defense. No conference rooms are being reserved during Campus closure; all events are via Zoom. The Chair’s Assistant can be contacted by email at ecechair@seas.ucla.edu.
  2. Fill out the Final Oral Exam Schedule_Fill in Form and save a print PDF copy.
    Reference the example form when completing the form. Save the file name of your form as “Final Oral Exam Schedule_Last Name, First Name” (e.g. Final Oral Exam Schedule_Bruin, Josie).
  3. Send an email to ee_exam@seas.ucla.edu” with the following information:

    Name
    UID
    Committee Chair
    Committee Members
    Date of exam
    Time of the exam
    Location of the exam
    Title of your dissertation

    Attach the completed Final Oral Exam Schedule form to your email.

  4. If any of your committee members have changed since you took your Qualifying Examination, you will need to begin the process of reconstituting your committee at least three weeks before your defense.
  5. At least two weeks before the date of your exam, send your doctoral committee a draft of your dissertation.
  6. Please refer to the Graduate Division’s website for more information on formatting requirements and for steps on initiating the filing process.

Reconstitution of the Doctoral Committee

To reconstitute their doctoral committee students must complete the Doctoral Committee Reconstitution form. The form requires the approval of all current members (and proposed members if committee members are to be added). Students may either receive approval from their committee members in the form of a physical signature or an email from their ucla.edu email address. In the event that the request is to be approved by email, students must include the eerequest@seas.ucla.edu email address and attach an electronic version of their reconstitution form.

The reconstitution form and all faculty approvals must be submitted to the ECE Office of Graduate Student Affairs at least three weeks before the date of the student’s examination.


Verification Letters

Students requesting verification letters from the ECE Graduate Office must submit their requests, by sending an email to eerequest@seas.ucla.edu, at least five (5) business days before they require the letter. In the body of the email, students are encouraged to include as much information as possible regarding the requirements for the letter, preferably in the form of a list.


M.S.-to-Ph.D. Application Instructions

M.S. students with at least a GPA of 3.5 may apply to begin the Ph.D. program during the quarter immediately after completing their M.S. degree. If admitted, a student’s ability to begin the Ph.D. program is contingent upon the completion of all M.S. program requirements within the time limit specified by the Department.

To apply to the Ph.D. program through this process, M.S. students must submit the following materials:

  1. A completed application form signed by the student’s proposed faculty advisor.
  2. A statement of purpose of no more than 2 pages in length.
  3. A current CV or resume that includes a list of any and all publications.
  4. Three (3) Recommendations. Each recommendation consists of a written letter of recommendation and a recommendation form. The recommendations should either be emailed to eerequest@seas.ucla.edu or submitted to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Office of Graduate Student Affairs located in 57-127 Engr. IV.

One of the student’s recommendations should be from the faculty member who has agreed serve as the applicant’s Ph.D. advisor. The letter of recommendation from the faculty member agreeing to be the student’s Ph.D. advisor should also include a statement on any financial support that he/she intends to provide to the applicant if admitted to the Ph.D. program. This statement of financial support should include the following information:

  • Source(s) of financial support
  • Amount of funding that the source(s) will provide
  • The duration of funding provided by the given source(s)

Note that, for the purposes of the M.S.-to-Ph.D. application process, anticipated Teaching Assistant positions are not considered to be valid sources of funding.

All materials must be submitted by the first day of the quarter prior to an M.S. student’s intended quarter of graduation.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Requests

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a form of work authorization that allows continuing F-1 students to engage in an off-campus academic internship or employment (paid or unpaid). To be eligible for CPT, students holding an F-1 visa must have continuously maintained their visa status for at least one academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters). Students must notify the ECE Office of Graduate Student Affairs of their intent to participate in CPT and complete the department’s CPT instructions below at least five (5) business days before their scheduled appointment with DCISS.

Academic Year CPT (Fall, Winter, or Spring)

Students who have met the minimum requirements for participating in CPT must enroll in their advisor’s section of EC ENGR 596.

To apply for Academic Year CPT, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Submit ECE’s Academic Year CPT request survey
  2. Obtain your advisor’s approval to enroll in 2 units of their EC ENGR 596 course. Forward this confirmation to the ECE Graduate Office at eerequest@seas.ucla.edu
  3. Once your advisor gives you a PTE#, send our Office an email (eerequest@seas.ucla.edu) to confirm that you have completed the CPT survey and enrolled in ECE 596. If you receive your advisor’s approval but they are unable to give you a PTE, please let us know when you forward their approval and we will provide a PTE.
  4. Allow up to 5 business days to receive confirmation that your CPT request has been approved by our Office

M.S. students may not participate in full-time CPT during the academic year until they have completed all course requirements for their degree and have submitted the necessary surveys and documents to declare their intent to graduate.

Ph.D. students may only participate in full-time CPT during the academic year after advancing to candidacy (passing their Oral Qualifying Examination).

Additional Notes:

  • All students, regardless if they are advanced to candidacy, must be enrolled in a CPT course to engage in CPT (full or part-time)
  • The ECE Department does not provide support letters (during the academic year or summer) to waive enrollment in a CPT course
  • Students who choose to go on Filing Fee in lieu of registering during their final quarter are not eligible for CPT, as you must be registered and enrolled to be eligible for CPT

Summer CPT

During the summer quarter, all students may participate in full-time CPT, assuming that they meet the minimum CPT requirements. ECE students who intend to participate in Summer CPT must enroll in EC ENGR 297. The registration fees for this course are approximately $500.

Note that, during the Summer, the EC ENGR 297 Summer CPT course is separate from the EC ENGR 297 seminar offered during the academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters). The EC ENGR 297 CPT course offered during the Summer quarter is only for CPT purposes and may not count toward course requirements.

To apply for Summer CPT, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Submit ECE’s Summer CPT request survey
  2. Enroll in EC ENGR 297 for the Summer
  3. Send our Office an email (eerequest@seas.ucla.edu) to confirm that you have completed the Summer CPT survey and enrolled in ECE 297
  4. Allow up to 5 business days to receive confirmation that your CPT request has been approved by our Office


Optional Practical Training (OPT) Verification Requests

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available to eligible F-1 students interested in engaging in employment in the U.S. directly related to their major field of study after their degree completion. To be eligible for OPT, students holding an F-1 visa must have continuously maintained their visa status for at least one academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters) and must be completing a UCLA degree program in the next 90 days. To learn more about OPT guidelines and procedures please visit the Dashew Center’s website.

Students who intend to apply for OPT status must complete all steps to declare intent to graduate during a given quarter. To process your OPT Verification of Degree Completion request, our office will need you to complete the following steps based on your degree level:

M.S. students:

  1. Submit your MS Graduation Survey for 2021-22
  2. Submit your Program of Study
  3. Submit the ECE M.S. OPT Verification of Degree Completion Request form

Please allow at least 5 business days for processing. Our office will send you the signed Verification of Degree Completion form once we have processed your request.

Ph.D. students:

Our Office will need you to send an email to your advisor stating that they agree to the following:

  1. That you are expected to complete your degree requirements by [your specified filing date].
  2. That they approve of you beginning your OPT status after [the given filing date].

Please use the following subject line: PhD OPT Request – [Quarter] – [First Name Last Name, UID]

  • e.g. PhD OPT Request – Spring 2022 – Josie Bruin, 000111222

Include your UID in the body of the email and cc eerequest@seas.ucla.edu on the email.

Please allow at least 5 business days for processing. Our office will send you the signed Verification of Degree Completion form once we have processed your request.