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Graduate Program Information
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Chicago


On this page, you will find information about

Application deadlines | Admission requirements | Application procedure | Frequently asked questions


Applications for admission are individually evaluated by the Graduate Admissions Committee. A complete set of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work is required before an application is evaluated for admission.

Decisions on granting admission and awarding financial aid are based on criteria that include the overall academic record, strength of the undergraduate program, grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (required of all international applicants), letters of recommendation, and other information provided in the application.

There are, however, no strict rules for decisions on admitting students. As a reference, all UIC students recently admitted with financial aid (fellowship, teaching assistantship, or research assistantship) had undergraduate GPAs higher than 3.6 on a 4.0 scale. The main consideration in admitting students is that the applicant's academic background and record should, in the judgment of the graduate admissions committee, show potential for success in graduate studies and research.

At the discretion of the ECE graduate admissions committee, applicants to the Master of Science Program may be admitted on limited standing, and applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy Program can be admitted only on full standing status.

The College of Engineering has a polciy that would not allow any Ph.D. students to transfer to M.S. program within the college.


Deadlines for Graduate Admission

The application deadlines are set by the Graduate College: Click here to see the deadlines.

It is recommended that all application materials should be submitted by January 1 for admission in Fall semester of that year in order to get full consideration for financial aid. University fellowship nominations are due by the end of January and department financial aid decisions (TA/RA/TFW) are made about the middle of February to the middle of March.


Graduate Admission - Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Prior Degrees: Applicants seeking admission to the Ph.D. program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) should have an M.S. degree in EE or CE, or in a related field, with substantial coursework in the chosen field of study. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in EE or CE or a related curriculum and an outstanding academic record are encouraged to seek admission directly to the Ph.D. program.

GPA: For graduate admission to UIC, we consider only your GPA for the last 60 credit hours of course work at the undergraduate level. To be considered for Ph.D. admission, normally you are required to have a GPA of 3.5/4.0 or higher. For master's admission, you should have a GPA of 3.2/4.0 or higher. We strongly recommend that you apply for our Ph.D. program if your GPA is higher than 3.5/4.0 since that will guarantee a consideration for financial aid. Note: the school from which you obtained your degrees will be a factor in our consideration. We may relax slightly the above requirements if you are from a top-ranked school in your country. An applicant with a master's degree is expected to have a GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0 in the master's program.

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required of all applicants for Ph.D. admission. Both original and the pre-formatted forms (included in the application package) are acceptable. They may arrive separately from other materials.

TOEFL: International applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for admission to ECE Department is 243 (equivalent to 590 on the paper based test). Applicants taking the TOEFL test should have ETS report the scores to institution code 1851. Applicants may request a TOEFL waiver if they have completed a minimum of two years of full-time transferable study at the secondary or collegiate level in a country where English is the primary language as well as the language of instruction, or if they have worked full time in the United States. Requests for a TOEFL waiver must be made in writing to the Office of Admissions and Records. An employment-based request for waiver must be accompanied with a letter from a supervisor certifying that the applicant has English proficiency. All foreign applicants from non-English speaking countries who seek financial aid in the form of Teaching Assistantship must pass the Test for Spoken English (TSE) or an equivalent university-sponsored test known as SPEAK test. The minimum required score is 50. This requirement is not satisfied by the TOEFL examination. International students are strongly encouraged to take the TSE test before coming to UIC. Students may also arrange and sign up to take the test at UIC before classes start. The SPEAK test schedule is available at http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/spec_prog/ita.

GRE Requirement: General test scores of GRE are required of all international applicants for admission.

  • Applicants with a bachelor's degree from an accredited US institution are not required to provide GRE scores. However if they feel that their performance in GRE will be strong enough to significantly enhance prospects for admission or financial aid, then they are encouraged to take the exam and have the scores reported.
  • If an applicant, whether international or domestic, wishes to be considered for a University fellowship, then the applicant must have the General Test scores of GRE sent to UIC.
  • Applicants are generally expected to have scores of at least 750 on the quantitative part. Applicants taking the general test of GRE should have ETS report the scores to institution code 1851.


Graduate Admission - Master of Science

Prior Degrees: Applicants seeking admission to the M.S. program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in Electrical Engineering (EE) or Computer Engineering (CE) or in a related field.

GPA: To be admitted with full standing to the M.S. program, an applicant is expected to have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.2 out of 4.0 in the final 60 semester hours (final 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study. In addition, applicants should have completed substantial coursework in the chosen field of study. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in EE or CE or a related curriculum and an outstanding academic record, with a GPA above 3.5/4.0, are encouraged to seek admission directly to the Ph.D. program.

Limited Standing: At the discretion of the admissions committee, promising applicants who do not meet all of the requirements for full standing may be admitted on a limited standing status. Graduates of scientifically oriented curricula other than Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering must show substantial evidence of their ability to successfully complete the ECE graduate program. Depending on individual qualifications and academic history, such applicants will be required to complete one or more deficiency courses. Incoming graduate students are expected to have completed the equivalent of the undergraduate major sequence for EE or CE.

Click here for list of EE undergraduate major sequence
Click here for list of CE undergraduate major sequence

Students with strong academic backgrounds who have not completed the equivalent of the major sequence of courses may be admitted on limited standing status. Ordinarily, this option is restricted to students who are missing at most two or three courses from the list of courses in the major sequence. Students who are admitted on limited standing will be required to complete a set of specific deficiency courses in order to be elevated to full standing graduate status. Students must remove their deficiency within their first year in the ECE graduate program, and must receive grades of A or B in these courses in order to continue in the graduate program. Applicants may also be admitted on limited standing status if the TOEFL score is low, or if the GPA is below the threshold. These students must meet the conditions specified in the admission letter. After fulfilling requirements to attain full standing the student should petition for a status change, from limited to full, prior to the semester in which the student intends to graduate. It is the student's responsibility to submit a request for status change in the Student Affairs Office of the ECE Department. Applicants who plan to take only undergraduate deficiency courses should consider applying for admission either to the undergraduate program or as a non-degree student. Admission to non-degree status does not obligate the Graduate College or the ECE Department to later admit a student to a degree program. Only domestic students may be admitted, and only in exceptional circumstances, on non-degree status.

TOEFL: See the TOEFL requirement for Ph.D. admission.

GRE Requirement: See the GRE requirement for Ph.D. admission.


Procedure to Apply for Admission to the ECE Graduate Program

Please carefully follow the instructions below in order to avoid delays in the processing of your application. Applicants should adhere to the application deadlines.

Step I: Submitting materials to Office of Admission and Records

The UIC Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) is responsible for initial evaluation of all graduate student applications. Please submit the following materials directly to OAR:

  1. Completed Graduate College application form and application fee. When applying to the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) graduate program

      M.S. applicants must use the curriculum code 20FS1200MS
      Ph.D. applicants must use the curriculum code 20FS1200PhD

    in response to item 20 on the Graduate College application form.

    The application may be completed in one of three ways:

  2. Official transcripts issued by the registrar(s) of all prior institutions attended, as well as any applicable standardized score reports (e.g., GRE, TOEFL). These should be delivered to OAR soon after the application is filed in order to avoid processing delays.

  3. Completed Declaration and Certification of Finances (International applicants only). International applicants must complete and send to OAR a Declaration and Certification of Finances form. This may be done in one of two ways:

Step II: Submitting supplementary materials to the ECE Department

After the above application materials are submitted to Office of Admission and Records, applicants should submit supplemental materials, as appropriate, directly to the UIC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

  1. Letters of recommendation: The ECE Department requires three letters of recommendation for all applicants to the Ph.D. program as well as applicants seeking financial aid. These letters should be written by people who are familiar with the applicant's academic work and who can assess the applicant's potential success in graduate studies and research. A downloadable Letter of Recommendation form may be printed and given to recommending persons to be mailed directly to the UIC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

  2. Specialization form: The ECE Department requires an applicant to choose one of the two major fields of study (computer engineering or electrical engineering) offered in the department before a decision for admission can be made. The choice is used to assess an applicant's preparation in the chosen field of study. A downloadable specialization form should be completed and mailed to the ECE Department.

  3. Other supplemental materials: Any additional information about the applicant's candidacy for admission or consideration for financial aid may be provided, including resumes, statement of purpose, etc. These materials are not required for admission, but such materials will be considered in evaluating applications.