Preparing for Graduate Study at UIC
MS applicants: Successful master’s program applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering physics, computer science, or a related field. We also will consider outstanding applicants with other appropriate academic backgrounds who demonstrate the promise to succeed in graduate-level study in ECE. MS applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0, based on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework completed. Download our MS degree booklet for an overview of our master’s program.
PhD applicants: Successful applicants for doctoral study should have a master of science degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering physics, computer science, or a related field and should have completed substantial coursework in the chosen field of study. The department does consider outstanding PhD applicants who have only a bachelor’s degree through a program called “direct admission.” Please see the direct admission section below for more information. PhD applicants should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0, based on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework completed.
Note: In making all admissions decisions, the department does consider the institution where you earned your prior degrees: for example, the requirements above may be relaxed slightly if you studied at a top-ranked school in your country.
There are two phases to the admissions process for graduate study in electrical and computer engineering.
Step 1: Graduate College review. Prospective graduate students must apply for admission through the UIC Graduate College. Within two to three days of completing your online Graduate College application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt and indicating that you can log back into the system to begin uploading supplementary application materials (see Step 2 below).
Step 2: Departmental review.The department is very interested in reviewing the additional documents you will upload as part of the application process. These include your statement of purpose, résumé, GRE general test scores, specialization form (for PhD applicants only), and other documents you might want to submit for consideration. These documents will help to distinguish you from other applicants. The next section explains them in detail.
Application Requirements for MS and PhD Students
Applicants must meet the requirements of the Graduate College and the requirements of the electrical and computer engineering department. In general, applicants should be prepared with the following:
- Admissions application completed online
- Transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
- GRE general test scores (non-U.S. degree holders only). GRE general test scores are required for applicants earned their undergraduate degree outside the United States. Students who received degrees from U.S. colleges and universities do not need to submit scores but are encouraged to do so if they feel their test performance would enhance their prospects for admission or financial aid. For score reporting, our institution code is 1851, and no department code is required. **Note: The GRE requirement is temporarily waived for applications to begin study in spring 2021 and fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on test availability.
- English competency test. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English competency test. Minimum required scores are: iBT Internet-based TOEFL of 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21; New Paper-Based TOEFL (after August 2018) of 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21; Institutional Testing Paper-Based TOEFL (prior to August 2018) of 550; IELTS of 6.5, with all four subscores of at least 6.0; or PTE-Academic of 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56. GRE, TOEFL, IELTS and other test scores must be sent directly from the testing service to UIC. UIC’s Institutional Code is 1851 for the GRE and the TOEFL.
- Application for Graduate Appointment form, personal statement, and résumé/CV (PhD applicants only). These items are required for PhD applicants who want to be considered for fellowships, assistantships, tuition and fee waivers, and other forms of financial aid.
- Letters of recommendation (PhD applicants only). Letters should be written by people who are familiar with your academic work and who can assess your potential for success in graduate studies and research. Note: during the application process, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of your references, and UIC will contact these individuals to request the references directly.
Direct Admission for PhD Applicants
Most PhD applicants already have earned (or are about to complete) a master of science degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related field. However, exceptional applicants who seek to start the PhD with only an undergraduate degree may be considered for what is called “direct admission.” Students who are admitted to the PhD program with only a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related field must complete all 108 credit hours toward the PhD degree (compared with students entering with an MS degree, who can transfer in 32 earned credits from their master’s program).
For MS programs:
- October 1, 2020: International MS applicants seeking to begin in January 2021
- December 1, 2020: Domestic MS applicants seeking to begin in January 2021
- April 1, 2021: International MS applicants seeking to begin in August 2021
- May 15, 2021: Domestic MS applicants seeking to begin in August 2021
For PhD programs:
- October 1, 2020: International PhD applicants seeking to begin in January 2021
- December 1, 2020: Domestic PhD applicants seeking to begin in January 2021
- January 15, 2021: Deadline to be considered for fall 2021 financial aid
- February 15, 2021: International PhD applicants seeking to begin in August 2021
- May 15, 2021: Domestic PhD applicants seeking to begin in August 2021
All current application deadlines are available on the Graduate College’s admissions deadlines page.