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B.S. and M.S. Integrated Degree Program

Approved by Graduate Council: July 6, 2016

Applications available: February 15
2064 Kemper Hall or online here

Deadline to apply: March 31

1) Admissions Requirements:

a) During Junior Year:
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program offers two B.S./M.S. integrated degree programs, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Integrated Degree Program (IDP) for ECE undergraduates, and the Joint Physics-Electrical and Computer Engineering IDP for Physics undergraduates. Undergraduate students in ECE and Physics at UC Davis seeking admission to the B.S./M.S. must apply during their junior year to these graduate degree programs.

Undergraduate students with junior standing, as of the Fall quarter, with a desire to complete a Master’s of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering through the IDP program must submit an Integrated Degree Program application, which is posted on the ECE department website, to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator by March 31.

Materials for IDP admission consideration include:

  • ECE B.S./M.S. Application Form
  • Students with a UC Davis cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater must list three references.
  • Students with a UC Davis cumulative GPA of 3.2 – 3.5 must submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from members of the Academic Senate. The names and positions of the three letter writers must be listed on the application form.

Upon admission, students will complete two graduate level courses concurrently with their undergraduate education. Once admitted to the IDP, participants are required to maintain a UC Davis cumulative GPA of 3.2 in their coursework to advance to graduate standing upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree.

 b) Admission Requirements to Advance to Graduate Standing:
Students admitted to ECE’s IDP programs must submit a graduate application, by the stated deadline, in order to transition into graduate standing. Application deadlines are updated yearly, and are available on the Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate application webpage. Applications are submitted online through the Office of Graduate Studies. Additional materials required for admission consideration include:

  • Three letters of recommendation – required regardless of GPA;
  • A Statement of Purpose – which should indicate the student is applying for the B.S./M.S. IDP and the quarter the student expects to begin graduate study in addition to their intent to do research;
  • a Personal History and Diversity Statement;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – General Test, if applicable.

Students with a UC Davis cumulative GPA above 3.5 and at least 3 quarters in residence will have the GRE exam requirement waived. The GRE is required, as for general applicants, for those with a UC Davis cumulative GPA below 3.5 and/or less than 3 quarters in residence.

The student is awarded a Bachelor’s degree as soon as their B.S. requirements are completed. Students in the IDP program should apply to switch to graduate status in the quarter immediately following completion of their B.S. degree.

c) Prerequisites: None

d) Deficiencies: Admitted students not holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering must complete a remedial course plan.

Students with a background other than electrical or computer engineering will meet with the ECE Graduate Adviser during their first quarter of residence to determine the required sequence of remedial courses. Students must demonstrate competency by completing the remedial course requirements, obtaining a grade of B or better, in six of the courses listed below or their equivalents. The six courses must be selected from at least three of the six areas listed.

  1. Active and Passive Circuits:
    EEC110A Electronic Circuits I
    EEC110B Electronic Circuits II
  2. Electromagnetics:
    EEC130A Introductory Electromagnetics I
    EEC130B Introductory Electromagnetics II
  3. Physical Electronics:
    EEC140A Principles of Device Physics I
    EEC140B Principles of Device Physics II
  4. Signals and Systems:
    EEC150A Introduction to Signals and Systems I
    EEC150B Introduction to Signals and Systems II
  5. Computer Engineering:
    ECS30 Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving
    ECS40 Introduction to Software Development
  6. Digital Systems:
    EEC170 Introduction to Computer Architecture
    EEC180A Digital Systems I
    EEC180B Digital Systems II

None of these courses can be counted toward an ECE graduate degree and cannot be taken on an “S/U” basis. Remedial courses may be taken concurrently with courses used to satisfy graduate degree requirements and must be completed prior to advancing to candidacy.

2) IDP M.S. Degree, Master’s Plan I (Thesis) and Plan II (Project/Examination):

Students should decide, in consultation with their Major Professor, which plan best suits their individual goals. Plan I gives the student an opportunity to perform in-depth research and thesis writing, whereas Plan II provides more learning from coursework.

IDP M.S. Plan I. This plan requires a minimum of 30 units of graduate and upper division courses (the 100 and 200 series only), of which at least 12 units must be graduate engineering courses (200 series) in the major field. Not more than 3 units of graduate seminar and 9 research units can be used to satisfy the 30-unit requirement. In addition, a thesis is required. The thesis serves as the capstone requirement. All courses listed on the Program of Study must be passed with a “B-“ or higher. A course in which a student receives a “C+” or lower cannot be used to satisfy the unit requirement for the M.S. degree but will count in determining the grade point average.

IDP M.S. Plan II. This plan requires a minimum of 36 units of graduate and upper division courses (the 100 and 200 series only). At least 18 units must be graduate courses (200 series), excluding seminar and research units, of which at least 15 units must be in graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering courses. Not more than 3 units of graduate seminar and 6 units of research (299 or equivalent) may be used to satisfy the 36-unit requirement. A comprehensive final examination in the major subject is required of each candidate. No thesis is required. The capstone requirement is fulfilled by a capstone written report, and oral examination, on an appropriately comprehensive topic after the student has advanced to candidacy.

IDP M.S. Plan

Capstone Requirement  No. of graduate units required No. of EEC 299 units allowed toward coursework No. of Seminar units allowed toward coursework Committee Constitution
Plan I (Thesis)   A written thesis 12 9 3 Three faculty members; Major Professor serves as Chair of committee
Plan II (Comprehensive Exam) Written report and oral examination 18 6 3 Three faculty members; Major Professor serves as Chair of committee

3) Course Requirements – (30 units)

a) Core Courses: None
b) Elective Courses: None
c) Summary:

1. IDP M.S. Plan I (Thesis)
Thirty (30) units of upper-division and graduate course work, a thesis, and a minimum of three quarters of academic residence are required.

At least 12 of the 30 units must be ECE graduate courses (excluding 29X seminar series and 299), at most 9 units can be research (299), at most 3 units can be seminar (290-297, excluding 290C) in ECE or other approved program, and the remaining units required to total 30 units must either be upper division technical or graduate courses. A student should register for the number of 299 research and independent study units that reflects the actual effort and time devoted to thesis work, although no more than nine units can be counted.

Courses required for the ECE undergraduate degree, or the following courses: EEC100, EEC110A/B, EEC130A/B, EEC140A/B, EEC150A/B, EEC161, EEC170, EEC172, and EEC180A/B, may not be used to satisfy the requirements of the ECE M.S. degree.

Full-time students must enroll for 12 units per quarter including research, academic and seminar units. Courses that fulfill any of the program course requirements may not be taken S/U unless the course is normally graded S/U. Once course requirements are completed, students can take additional classes as needed, although the 12 units per quarter are generally fulfilled with a research class (299) and perhaps seminars. Per UC regulations students cannot enroll in more than 12 units of graduate level courses (200) or more than 16 units of combined undergraduate and graduate level (100, 200, 300) courses per quarter.

2. IDP M.S. Plan II (Comprehensive Exam)
Thirty-six (36) units of upper-division and graduate coursework, satisfactory performance on a comprehensive final examination, and a minimum of three quarters of academic residence are required.

At least 18 of the 36 units must be graduate engineering courses of which 15 units must be ECE graduate courses. Furthermore, at most 6 units can be research (299), at most 3 units can be seminar (290-297, excluding 290C) in ECE or other approved program, and the remaining units required to total 36 units must either be upper division technical or graduate courses. A student who elects Plan II can register for 299, research and independent study, and should do so while preparing for the Comprehensive Examination. The number of 299 units taken should reflect the amount of time and effort devoted to the preparation. However, only 6 units of 299 can be applied toward the 36-unit requirement.

Courses required for the ECE undergraduate degree, or the following courses: EEC100, EEC110A/B, EEC130A/B, EEC140A/B, EEC150A/B, EEC161, EEC170, EEC172, and EEC180A/B, may not be used to satisfy the requirements of the ECE M.S. degree.

Full-time students must enroll for 12 units per quarter including research, academic and seminar units. Courses that fulfill any of the program course requirements may not be taken S/U unless the course is normally graded S/U. Once course requirements are completed, students can take additional classes as needed, although the 12 units per quarter are generally fulfilled with a research class (299) and perhaps seminars. Per UC regulations students cannot enroll in more than 12 units of graduate level courses (200) or more than 16 units of combined undergraduate and graduate level (100, 200, 300) courses per quarter.

A summary of coursework requirements is contained in the table below:

IDP M.S. Plan I

IDP M.S. Plan II

Number of graduate ECE courses taken in undergraduate status 2 2
Minimum number of graduate engineering course units (exclusive of 290, 290C and 299)
(Number of graduate engineering course units that must be ECE course units)
12
(12)
18
(15)
Minimum number of graduate and undergraduate course units (exclusive of 290 and 299 and courses listed below) 18 27
EEC 290 (Seminar) 3 3
EEC 299 (One unit of EEC 290C must be included each quarter when 299 units are taken but are not listed on the Program of Study.) Variable
(at most 9 units)
Variable
(at most 6 units)
TOTAL MINIMUM UNITS REQUIRED 30 36

4) Special Requirements:

All graduate students are required to take EEC290, Seminar in Electrical and Computer Engineering, each Fall quarter. An S grade in EEC390, the Teaching of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is required to be eligible to hold a Teaching Assistantship in ECE but may not be used to satisfy graduate coursework requirements.

5) Committees:

a) IDP Admission Committee:
Completed applications submitted to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator by the application deadline will be submitted to the IDP Admission Committee for consideration. At minimum, this committee consists of ECE’s Vice Chair for Undergraduate Studies and ECE’s Vice Chair for Graduate Studies. Notification of admission decisions will be sent prior to registration for the Fall quarter in order for admitted applicants to select which two graduate courses to take while in senior status.

b) Graduate Admission Committee:
Once the completed application, all supporting materials, and the application fee have been received, the application will be submitted to the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee consists of the faculty members of ECE’s Graduate Study Committee (GSC) and the GSC Admissions Chair. Applicants who apply by the Space Available Deadline (but after the General Deadline) are not guaranteed to have their application reviewed by the graduate program. Their application will be reviewed only if the graduate program determines that they have additional space available. Based on a review of the entire application, a recommendation is made to accept or decline an applicant’s request for admission. The recommendation to accept or decline an applicant’s request for admission is forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies for final approval of admission. Notification of admissions decisions will be sent by Graduate Studies. Applications are accepted from the date the admission system opens (typically in September) through the Space Available Deadline for the next Fall-entering class.

c) Course Guidance or Advising Committee
The Major Professor and the ECE Graduate Adviser will assist the student in developing a Program of Study. See the section below on “Advising and Mentoring”.

By the third quarter of enrollment the student must file a Program of Study that must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser’s approval.

d) Thesis Committee for IDP M.S. Plan I
At advancement to candidacy, the student will declare an M.S. Thesis committee. The ECE Graduate Adviser will nominate the committee based on consultations with the student and the Major Professor. This committee is chaired by the Major Professor and made up of at least two other members. The majority of this committee must be members of the ECE graduate program. The responsibility of this committee is to assist in the guidance of the student and to read and approve the thesis. The thesis must be prepared in accordance with Graduate Studies guidelines.

e) Comprehensive Examination Committee for IDP M.S. Plan II
At advancement to candidacy, the student will declare an M.S. Comprehensive Examination committee. The ECE Graduate Adviser will nominate the committee based on consultations with the student and the Major Professor. This committee is chaired by the Major Professor and made up of at least two other members. The majority of this committee must be members of the ECE graduate program. The responsibility of this committee is to assist in the guidance of the student and to give the comprehensive exam and approve the final report.

 6) Advising Structure and Mentoring:

The Major Professor is the primary mentor during the student’s career at UC Davis and will assist with developing the student’s Program of Study. The Major Professor serves as the chair of the Thesis Committee (for Plan I) or Comprehensive Exam Committee (for Plan II). The student must select a Major Professor from the members of the ECE Graduate Program as soon as possible, but no later than the beginning of the third quarter of enrollment. In the case of a change of Major Professor, signatures of the previous and new major professor are required acknowledging the change. The ECE Vice Chair for Graduate Studies, also referred to as the Graduate Program Chair, will serve as the interim adviser to new students during the process of selecting a major professor.

The Graduate Adviser, who is nominated by the Department Chair and appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, is a resource for information on academic requirements, policies and procedures, and registration information until a major professor is selected. The ECE Graduate Adviser is responsible for reviewing programs of study for each student and acting on student petitions.

The Graduate Program Coordinator should be the first person consulted on all actions regarding graduate affairs. The Graduate Program Coordinator may advise the student to contact the ECE Graduate Adviser or the Office of Graduate Studies to address particular issues.

ECE Mentoring Guidelines can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook, which is located on ECE’s Graduate Program webpage.

7) Advancement to Candidacy:

Every student must file an official application for Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science and pay the Candidacy Fee after completing one-half of their course requirements and at least one quarter before completing all degree requirements; this is typically the third quarter. The Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science form can be found online at: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/forms/. A completed form includes a list of courses the student will take to complete degree requirements. If changes must be made to the student’s course plan after s/he has advanced to candidacy, the Graduate Adviser must recommend these changes to Graduate Studies. Students must have the ECE Graduate Adviser and committee Chair, if applicable, sign the candidacy form before it can be submitted to Graduate Studies. If the candidacy is approved, the Office of Graduate Studies will send a copy to: the appropriate Graduate Program Coordinator and the student; the Thesis Committee Chair will also receive a copy, if applicable. If the Office of Graduate Studies determines that a student is not eligible for advancement, the program and the student will be told the reasons for the application’s deferral. Some reasons for deferring an application include: grade point average below 3.0, outstanding “I” grades in required courses, or insufficient units.

8) Comprehensive Examination and/or Thesis Requirements:

a) Thesis Requirements (IDP Plan I):
The M.S. thesis must demonstrate the student’s proficiency in research methods and scientific analysis, and a thorough knowledge of the state-of-the-art of the student’s chosen field. Original contributions to knowledge are encouraged, but not expected, at the M.S. degree level. Thus, an M.S. thesis may consist of:

1. An original technical or research contribution of limited scope.
2. A critical evaluation of the state-of-the-art of a current research area.
3. An advanced design project, either analytical or experimental.

Research for the Master’s thesis is to be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member of the program. The thesis research must be conducted while the student is enrolled in the program. The thesis is submitted to the thesis committee at least one month before the student plans to make requested revisions. All committee members must approve the thesis and sign the title page before the thesis is submitted to Graduate Studies for final approval. Should the committee determine that the thesis is unacceptable, even with substantial revisions, the program may recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies that the student be disqualified from the program.

The thesis must be filed in a quarter in which the student is registered or on filing fee. Instructions on preparation of the thesis and a schedule of dates for filing the thesis in final form are available from Graduate Studies; the dates are also printed in the UC Davis General Catalog and in the Class Schedule and Registration Guide issued each quarter. A student must have a GPA of 3.0 for the M.S. degree to be awarded.

b) Comprehensive Examination (IDP Plan II):
Fulfillment of the Comprehensive Examination is the last requirement of the M.S. Plan II. The examination may be taken once the student has completed required courses and advanced to candidacy.

The purpose of the exam is to demonstrate the student’s ability to initiate and carry to completion a short engineering investigation. The examination has two parts: an oral presentation and a written report.

The oral presentation consists of a seminar attended by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. After a formal talk on the subject of the investigation, the Committee questions the student on that subject and on related topics.

The topic of the written report is chosen by the Major Professor in consultation with the student. It can be a literature search, an in-depth study of a particular topic, or a brief experimental investigation. The report is concise and follows the style of an IEEE paper.

With the advance endorsement of the student’s Major Professor and the ECE Graduate Adviser, a student in the PhD program may request permission from his or her PhD Qualifying Exam Committee to combine the comprehensive exam for the M.S. Plan II degree with the PhD qualifying exam. The PhD Qualifying Exam Committee will only approve such requests provided that the M.S. requirements are met as a subset of a successful PhD Qualifying Examination as determined by the PhD Qualifying Exam Committee. With the permission of the PhD Qualifying Exam Committee, a student may submit a version of the PhD research proposal in fulfillment of the M.S. Plan II written report requirement. The M.S. Plan II report must be considered separately from the student’s PhD research proposal; however, the PhD research proposal may contain text from the M.S. written report.

The Exam committee’s unanimous vote is required to pass a student on the exam. If a student does not pass the exam, the committee may recommend that the student be reexamined a second time, but only if the Graduate Adviser concurs with the committee. The second exam must take place within one quarter of the first exam. The format of the second exam is the same as that of the first exam and may include the submission of an amended version of the report. The examination may not be repeated more than once. A student who does not pass on the second attempt will be recommended for disqualification from further graduate work in the program to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

After passing the examination a copy of the M.S. Plan II report must be submitted to the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator. The Master’s Report Form is signed by the Program Graduate Adviser and then forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies. The deadlines for completing this requirement are listed each quarter in the campus General Catalog (available online at the website of the Office of the Registrar). A candidate must be a registered student or in Filing Fee status at the time the program submits the form, with the exception of the summer period between the end of the Spring Quarter and the beginning of Fall Quarter. The program must file the report with Graduate Studies within one week of the end of the quarter in which the student’s degree will be conferred.

9) Normative Time to Degree:

Careful adherence to the program guidelines presented above make it possible for a student to complete all degree requirements in three quarters of graduate study. Some students may take additional time to complete the master’s degree.

10) Typical Time Line and Sequence of Events:

In order to make satisfactory progress, the expectation is that full-time students in the M.S. program will follow the timeline below. The number in each column is the consecutive quarter of graduate enrollment. Students not holding an ECE degree may require additional quarters of study to complete their M.S. degree requirements depending on the number of remedial courses needed.

M.S. Plan I M.S. Plan II
Select Major Professor 1 1
Application for candidacy which includes a plan of study 2 2
Application Form for Master of Science Plan I Thesis Committee 2 NA
Application Form for Master of Science Plan II Comprehensive Examination NA 3
Plan I Thesis 3-6 NA
Plan II Comprehensive Examination NA 3
*The timeline for students entering the ECE graduate program without a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering and who must complete remedial courses will likely be extended by 1-2 quarters, depending on the extent to which their previous coursework fulfills the prerequisite requirements.

11) Sources of Funding

Sources of funding in the ECE Graduate Program include: ECE Graduate Program fellowships, Graduate Student Researcher appointments and Teaching Assistantships. Funding decisions related to fellowships are generally made by the graduate program or Graduate Studies, depending on the source of funding for the fellowship. Not all fellowship funding decisions are made by either the graduate program or Graduate Studies; as examples, graduate students often seek fellowship funding directly from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, foundations, and a range of other agencies and organizations. Funding decisions related to Graduate Student Researchers are made by the Principal Investigator of the source of funding. Teaching Assistant appointment decisions are made by the Undergraduate Program Chair approximately four weeks prior to the start of each quarter and are based, in part, on a graduate student’s educational background, grade point average, academic standing, degree objective, feedback from instructors, and recruitment status at the time of entering the graduate program.

Master’s students in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis are typically self-funded or apply for graduate financial aid, such as student loans. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents must file a FAFSA annually in order to be eligible for graduate financial aid. Master’s students are welcome to apply for fellowships, Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Researcher appointments.

12) PELP, In Absentia and Filing Fee status.

Information about PELP (Planned Educational Leave), In Absentia (reduced fees when researching out of state), and Filing Fee status can be found in the Graduate Student Guide: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/publications/

M.S. students are eligible for filing fee status after completing their coursework (Program of Study) and a working draft of their thesis or comprehensive examination report. In order to be approved for filing fee status, a student must submit the filing fee request along with signatures of all three members of the Thesis Committee or Comprehensive Examination Committee stating they have received an acceptable working draft of the thesis or comprehensive examination report. This application must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser’s approval and then must be filed with Graduate Studies. Filing Fee is available for one quarter only, but extensions may be approved on a case-by-case basis. In the event that filing fee status expires, the student must file a readmission application.

NOTE: Please refer to the Forms page to download the forms you need.