We welcome the interest of prospective students in considering the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for their graduate studies.
The ECE Department offers graduate programs leading to Electrical and Computer Engineering degrees at the master's and doctoral levels. Consult these pages for current requirements, policies, and regulations. Major research areas in which graduate degrees are offered by the ECE Department include Bioelectronics and Biomimetics, Computer Engineering, Electromagnetics, Device Physics and Electronics, and Information Systems. More information about the ECE research areas and research labs can be found at the ECE Department's web site.
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 15 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.
Prior Degrees – Applicants seeking admission to the PhD program in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) should have an MS 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 PhD 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 PhD 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 3.0/4.0 or higher. We strongly recommend that you apply for our PhD 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 – ECE Department requires three letters of recommendation for all applicants to the PhD program. 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.
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 on the computer based test (equivalent to 590 on the paper based test). The minimum TOEFL scores accepted for admission to the Graduate College for the TOEFL iBT includes minimum for the four subsections, as well as the total score. The required scores are: Reading 19, Speaking 20, Listening 17, Writing 21, and Total 80. The minimum TOEFL scores accepted for admission to the Graduate College for the IELTS includes minimum for the four subsections, as well as the total score. The required scores are: Reading 6, Speaking 6, Listening 6, Writing 6, and Total 6.5. The minimum TOEFL scores accepted for admission to the Graduate College for the PTE Academic includes minimum for the four sections, as well as the total score. The required scores are Reading 51, Speaking 53, Listening 47, Writing 56, and Total 54. 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 for a minimum of one year. 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 at least one year employment and applicant’s English proficiency. International students who will serve as TAs must satisfy the State of Illinois English proficiency requirement. For information on procedures for certification, see http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/spec_prog/ita/index.html.
GRE Requirement – Applicants who have an undergraduate degree from a foreign institution must submit GRE scores. Applicants who have an undergraduate degree from a 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. Applicants are generally expected to have scores of at least 160 (new scale) or 750 (old scale) on the quantitative part of the general exam. Applicants should have ETS report the general test scores of the GRE to institution code 1851.
Prior Degrees – Applicants seeking admission to the MS 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 MS program, an applicant is expected to have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 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 PhD 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 UIC CE undergraduate major sequence Click here for list of UIC EE 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 ful. 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 under PhD Admission
GRE Requirement – See the GRE Requirement under PhD Admission
Step I: Submitting institutional requirements The UIC Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) is responsible for initial evaluation of all graduate student applications. Submit an online Graduate Application and application fee. To apply online go the the UIC Admissions web page and click on Apply to Graduate Degree & Non-degree Program. Within 2 – 3 business days after submitting your online application, you will receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your application, as well as indicating that you may log back into the system to begin uploading application materials (see step II below). For guidelines on the document upload process, please click here.
Step II: Submitting departmental requirements Paper documents will not be accepted. All documents required by the department must be submitted in PDF format. Other formats will not not be accepted. Please see the list of required documents below:
- Specialization Form. This form is required of PhD applicants only. To submit the Specialization Form, download it from the ECE web page, complete the form and upload to the link called Miscellaneous Requirement.
- GRE General Test Scores. All applicants who completed their undergraduate degree at a foreign institution must submit GRE scores. Applicants who have an undergraduate degree from a 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. To submit the GRE scores, request that ETS report scores to institution code 1851. A department code is not required. It is not necessary to upload a copy of the score report but if you are unable to submit scores through ETS you may upload a copy to the link called GRE Test Scores.
- Letters of Recommendation. Letters are required for PhD applicants.The ECE Department requires three letters of recommendation for all applicants to the PhD program. 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. You will be asked to provide the email addresses of your references. A request for a letter of recommendation will then be sent to the designated reference.
- Application for Graduate Appointment Form, Statement of Purpose & Resume. Required for PhD applicants seeking financial aid. PhD applicants must download the Application for Graduate Appointment Form. Do not add your statement on this form, please upload it separately to the link called Statement of Purpose. Upload The Application for Graduate Appointment Form to the link called Graduate Appointment App. Upload your resume to the link called Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
- Miscellaneous Documents (optional). Applicants who wish to submit additional information may upload documents to the links called Miscellaneous Optional Doc 1 and Miscellaneous Optional Doc 2.
Application for Graduate Appointment (Applicants who want to be considered for financial aid should submit this application.)