General requirements applying to all MS and PhD students


All graduate students must register in the seminar course ECE 500 and must attend at least three seminars each semester while they are in residence.

PhD candidates must be registered in ECE 599 (for zero or more hours) for the entire term in which the preliminary examination is held and the term in which the final examination is held. A candidate who registers for a term (semester or summer session) is considered to have satisfied this requirement if the Final Examination is taken after the end of that term, but before the first day of classes for the following term.

MS and PhD students receiving Teaching or Research Assistantship appointments or fellowships must register for 12 hours each semester. In addition, registration for 6 hours is required during Summer II session if the student will have an assistantship or fellowship during that session.

All students approaching graduation must apply for their degrees by the deadline specified on the Graduate College Calendar ( The University will not know that you are ready to graduate unless you notify them. This is done online (UI-Integrate Self-Service ( at preregistration, or by submitting the "Application for Degree" form available from the Graduate College Thesis Handbook ( website. Please apply if there is a reasonable chance that you will graduate, even if you are uncertain about your graduation. This application does not carry over to the next graduation date. There is no penalty if you need to re-apply. Failure to apply for a degree by the deadline may result in not receiving the degree until the next semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 to continue in the ECE Graduate Program. The cumulative GPA is computed on all courses taken for hour credit except thesis and seminar courses in which Df, S, and U grades are recorded.

A student who fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is placed on limited status. If the student's cumulative GPA is still less than 3.0 after one semester on limited status, he/she may not continue in the ECE Graduate Program, and further registration is prohibited.

A degree candidate must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to receive a graduate degree.

Degree candidates who have not yet completed coursework requirements are expected to earn at least 6 hours of credit (other than credit in seminar courses such as ECE 590) each semester. This expectation does not apply if fewer than 6 hours are needed to fulfill the coursework requirement. In any academic term, credit is not considered to have been earned in ECE 599 unless the thesis is completed and submitted to the Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering no later than the tenth day of instruction of the following term. Students who fail to earn 6 hours in a semester may receive a letter warning them of the deficiency. If the progress during the next academic term is not satisfactory, the student may not continue in the ECE Graduate Program, and is prohibited from further registration.

Credit Restrictions

Credit in courses at the 400 level that are specifically required or primarily intended for undergraduates in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering may not be included in the credits for a graduate degree. The courses not available for graduate credit are:

  • ECE 415, 445
  • PHYCS 404, 405, 435, 436
  • STAT 400

Note: Graduate students may not use the "Credit/No Credit" option for any 400-level and 500-level courses.

Credit Loads

A "full program of study" consists of 12 hours or more during a semester and 6 hours during an eight-week summer session. This is also the minimum credit load which must be carried in order to be certified as a full-time student (for loans, Immigration and Naturalization Service, fellowships, etc.) or to hold a tuition and fee waiver from the Graduate College. All assistants and fellows must register for a full program of study. In most cases, it is recommended that assistants satisfy the 12 hour registration requirement by registering for two courses (typically 8 hours total) plus an additional 4 hours of credit in ECE 599.