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Preparing for Graduate Study at UIC Heading link

cover of the ECE department's MS booklet

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.

Application Fee Waiver Heading link

The College of Engineering will sponsor application fee waivers for a limited time to all qualified applications that meet the following conditions:

  • passing the minimum admission GPA requirements as shown above, and
  • passing the minimum admission requirements on English competency test scores as shown below (for international applications only), and
  • paying the International Credential Evaluation Fee (assessed for the evaluation of international coursework) and
  • completing a Fall 2024 application by the following deadlines:
    • for PhD programs: December 15, 2023
    • for MS programs: February 15, 2024

If you are interested in learning more about our graduate programs and research opportunities, or are applying for admission for the Fall 2024 semester, please view the graduate program information session. The session includes an overview of the master’s and doctoral degree programs, research opportunities, and a Q&A.

View it here

Application Process Heading link

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 Heading link

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. The GRE requirement is temporarily waived for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 applications. Students 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.
  • 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.
  • Personal statement and résumé/CV (PhD applicants only). These items are required for PhD applicants. Use the personal statement to tell us who you are, what has influenced your academic or career path so far, what your professional interests are, and what you hope to do after completing your graduate education.
  • 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 Heading link

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).

Deadlines Heading link

Current deadlines can be found on the Graduate College’s admissions deadlines page.