Master's Degree Requirements

Approved by Graduate Council: September 24, 2008

  1. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
      1. Consideration for program admission requires three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and Office of Graduate Studies application.
      2. Students admitted without a B.S. degree in ECE 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. Signal and Systems:
          EEC150A Introduction to Signals and Systems I
          EEC150B Introduction to Signals and Systems II
        5. Computer Systems and Software:
          ECS30 Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving
          ECS40 Introduction to Software Development
          EEC70 Computer Structure and Assembly Language
        6. Digital Systems:
          EEC170 Introduction to Computer Architecture
          EEC180A Digital Systems I
          EEC180B Digital Systems II
      3. Students will meet with the ECE Graduate Adviser during their first quarter of residence to determine the required sequence of remedial courses. None of these courses are counted toward the UC Davis ECE graduate degree.
  2. MASTER'S PLANS
      1. The Graduate Program of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers two plans for the M.S. Degree: Plan I requires a thesis and Plan II requires a comprehensive 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 information from coursework.
  3. COURSE REQUIREMENTS - M.S. PLAN I AND M.S. PLAN II
      1. All graduate students are required to take EEC290, the ECE Graduate Seminar, each Fall quarter.
      2. Students should note that ECE program requirements are more stringent than those stated by Graduate Studies. The ECE program requirements, therefore, take precedence.
    1. M.S. Plan I (Thesis)
      1. By the third quarter of enrollment, the student must file a Program of Study for the M.S. Plan I that must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval; the required form is provided at the end of this document.
      2. Thirty-six (36) units of upper-division and graduate course work, a thesis, and a minimum of three quarters of academic residence are required.
      3. At least 15 units must be in graduate engineering courses (excluding 29X seminar series and 299) and of these 15 units, at least 12 units must be in graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering courses (again excluding 29X seminar series and 299). The balance of the 36-unit requirement may be met with a combination of upper division technical elective courses and 29X and 299 in ECE or other approved programs. No more than three seminar (290-297, excluding 290C) units can be counted. A student should register for the amount of 299 research and independent study 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.
    2. M.S. Plan II (Comprehensive Examination)
      1. By the third quarter of enrollment the student must file a Program of Study for the M.S. Plan II that must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval; the required form is provided at the end of this document.
      2. 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.
      3. At least 24 units must be in 200 series courses (excluding 29X seminar series and 299) with a minimum of 18 units in graduate engineering courses of which at least 15 units must be in graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering 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 three units of 299 and one unit of seminar (290-297, excluding 290C) in ECE or other approved programs can be applied toward the 36-unit requirement. These 299 and 29X units may not be applied toward the 24 unit graduate course 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.
  4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS B.S./M.S.  INTEGRATED DEGREE PROGRAM
      1. The ECE 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 should apply in their junior year to these graduate degree programs. Upon admission, students will complete two graduate level courses concurrently with their undergraduate education.  As graduate masters level students, their programs of study will vary slightly from that of a typical M.S. degree.
    1. IDP M.S. Plan I (Thesis)
      1. By the third quarter of enrollment the student must file a Program of Study for the IDP M.S. Plan I that must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval; the required form is provided at the end of this document.
      2. The IDP M.S. Plan I option requires 30 units of coursework at the upper division and graduate levels and the submission of a thesis. 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. 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. All graduate students are required to take EEC290, The ECE Graduate Seminar, each Fall quarter.
    2. IDP M.S. Plan II (Comprehensive Examination)  
      1. By the third quarter of enrollment the student must file a Program of Study for the IDP M.S. Plan II that must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval; the required form is provided at the end of this document.
      2. The IDP M.S. Plan II option requires 36 units of coursework at the upper division and graduate levels  and satisfactory performance on a comprehensive final examination. 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. 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. All graduate students are required to take EEC290, The ECE Graduate Seminar, each Fall quarter.
  5. RESIDENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP REQUIREMENTS
    1. Academic Residence Requirement
      1. Candidates for the M.S. degree must be in academic residence for the equivalent of at least three academic quarters. A student is in academic residence when enrolled in at least four units of graduate or approved upper division courses, including research. All full-time students must be registered for 12 units each quarter. Two regular six-week summer sessions may be counted as the equivalent of one quarter, provided that full registration is maintained in this period. Arrangements can be made to satisfy part of a residence requirement by study on another campus of the University of California. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact the Graduate Adviser.
    2. Transfer Credit
      1. Though ordinarily all work for the ECE M.S. degree is done in residence, some work completed elsewhere may be credited toward the degree. The following information regarding the transfer of credit has been extracted from the “Graduate Adviser's Handbook”.  If any discrepancy exists between this description and the description in the Adviser's Handbook, the Handbook takes precedence.  The Graduate Adviser's Handbook can be found at: http://graduatestudies.ucdavis.edu/facstaff/HandbookFeb08.pdf
      2. Students seeking the master's degree may request to transfer course work to their graduate transcript. Course work requested for transfer must have been taken at an accredited institution.  If the units were earned at another campus of the University, they may fulfill up to one-half of a student's unit requirement. This may be done as long as the units have not already been used to satisfy the requirements for another degree.
      3. The Petition to Transfer Coursework must be submitted to the Graduate Adviser.  The petition should be accompanied by an official transcript if the courses in question were from University Extension or from any campus other than the University of California, Davis.  The Graduate Adviser then forwards the petition to the Office of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies determines final approval. The Petition to Transfer Coursework can be found online at: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/forms/.
        1. Open Campus (Concurrent Courses):  A student may be allowed to transfer up to twelve units of credit for work taken through Open Campus (concurrent courses) prior to admission to a graduate program. The student will be required to submit an official University Extension transcript if one is not already on file in Graduate Studies. Students will receive unit and grade point credit for their concurrent coursework.
        2. Summer Sessions:  Work taken during a UC Davis Summer Session prior to admission may be transferred toward the graduate program. This work must be done after the student has received a bachelor's degree. The work does not qualify as transfer credit if it was a requirement for admission.
        3. Undergraduate Status:  Up to six units of graduate work taken by an undergraduate student may be credited towards his/her graduate degree program. This does not apply if the units were used to satisfy any requirements for the bachelor's degree. Only 200-level courses are eligible.
        4. University Extension:  According to Academic Senate regulation, University Extension (X300) level courses cannot be used to satisfy unit requirements for graduate degrees. These units can only be used as credit toward a teaching credential. The maximum credit for extension courses, including concurrent courses, is twelve units. The adviser and Graduate Studies determine the acceptability of extension courses on an individual basis.
        5. University of California: Up to one-half of the unit requirement may be transferred from graduate level enrollment at another UC campus. Grade points and residency are also transferable.
        6. Other Universities: Up to six units may be transferred from another university if the student was in graduate status. Courses equivalent to 100 or 200 level courses at UC Davis may be transferred but grade points do not transfer.
        7. Double Majors: Under a ruling by the Graduate Council, students who are in a double major program (either a professional degree/academic degree program or two academic degree programs) may share a total of 12 units between programs with the approval of their Graduate Adviser and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The student must spend a minimum of two quarters in regular graduate standing in the master's program to meet the residency requirements of Graduate Studies.
    3. Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory Grading Options
      1. Students working toward an M.S. degree are not permitted to take any courses, normally offered for a grade, on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
    4. Standards and Scholarship
      1. a. Courses in the 100 and 200 series in which the student receives grades of "A", "B", or "S" may be counted in satisfaction of the requirements for the M.S. degree. 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.
      2. b. Candidates must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all upper division and graduate courses taken during their residence as graduate students at the University of California.
      3. c.   Courses graded "S/U" will not be counted in determining grade point averages.
      4. d.  The ECE Graduate Program does not normally permit graduate students to repeat a course for credit. In unusual circumstances, a student may be permitted to repeat a course for credit in accordance with campus regulations, which allow graduate students to repeat up to nine units of courses in which a grade of C, D, F, or U was received.
  6. COMMITTEES   
    1. Graduate Study Committee
      1. The Graduate Studies Committee is chaired by the ECE Graduate Program Chair who appoints members from the ECE Graduate Program faculty to represent the research areas of the department as they are currently listed under “research” on the Electrical and Computer Engineering website.  The committee reviews petitions from graduate students, assists in the recruitment of graduate students, and makes recommendations to the ECE Graduate Program Chair on admissions.
    2. Admission
      1. Based on recommendations from the Graduate Study Committee, which assists in the recruitment of graduate students, and ECE Graduate Program faculty, the ECE Graduate Program Chair makes final recommendations for admission to the Office of Graduate Studies.
    3. Advising
      1. 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”.
    4. Thesis Committee for M.S. Plan I
      1. 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. The committee is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. 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. Three copies of the thesis with the signed signature page are required.
    5. Comprehensive Examination Committee for M.S. Plan II
      1. 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.
  7. ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY
      1. The candidate must file for Advancement to Candidacy during the quarter when all coursework requirements are completed. The Candidacy for the Degree of Master application form can be found online at: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/forms.  The application must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval and then filed with Graduate Studies.  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.
  8. ADVISING AND MENTORING
      1. The Major Professor is the primary mentor during the student's career at UC Davis. ECE Graduate Program mentoring guidelines are posted on the program's website.
      2. 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 in Major Professor, signatures of the previous and the new major professor are required acknowledging the change. The ECE Vice Chair for Graduate Studies will serve as the interim adviser to the new students during the process of selecting a major professor.
      3. The ECE Graduate Adviser is responsible for reviewing programs of study for each student and acting on student petitions.
  9. M.S. DEGREE TIMELINE
      1. 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 is the consecutive quarter of 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

        2

        2

        Application for candidacy which includes a plan of study

        3

        3

        Application Form for Master of Science Plan I Thesis Committee

        3

        NA

        Application Form for Master of Science Plan II Comprehensive Examination

        NA

        3

        Plan I Thesis

        6

        NA

        Plan II Comprehensive Examination

        NA

        5

  10. PLANNED EDUCTIONAL LEAVE PROGRAM
      1. Planned Educational Leaves or PELP applications must be routed through the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator for the ECE Graduate Adviser's approval.  ECE students may not be on PELP status any more than three academic quarters. In the event that a PELP expires, it will be necessary to file a readmission application.
  11. FILING FEE STATUS
      1. M.S. Plan I students are eligible for filing fee status after completing their coursework (Program of Study) and a working draft of their thesis. In order to be approved for filing fee status, a student must submit the filing fee request along with signatures of at least two members of the Thesis Committee stating that they have received an acceptable working draft of the thesis. See the Graduate Adviser's Handbook for additional details on the application procedure and on limits to eligibility:
      2. http://graduatestudies.ucdavis.edu/facstaff/HandbookFeb08.pdf   The 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 an application for readmission.
  12. READMISSION
      1. Upon readmission, an ECE student will be held to the prevailing program requirements at the time of readmission.
  13. THESIS REQUIREMENT
      1. 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.
  14. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT 
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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. The examination may be taken once the student has completed required courses and advanced to candidacy. After passing the examination a copy of the M.S. Plan II report must be submitted to the ECE Graduate Program Coordinator.
      4. With the advance endorsement of the student's Major Professor and the ECE Graduate Adviser, a student 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.

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