ECE Frequently Asked Questions
- What programs are available through the EECS Department?
- Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in EECS to apply?
- I have a B.S. degree and am interested in the Ph.D. program. Should I apply to the M.S. or Ph.D. program?
- Do you accept applications for all terms?
- What is the deadline for the Ph.D. program?
- What is the deadline for the M.S. program?
- What is the minimum GPA guideline?
- I attended an institution that does not have a 4.0 grading scale. How do I convert it?
- How important are the statement of purpose and personal statement?
- What is the minimum GRE guideline?
- What codes do I need for the GRE and TOEFL?
- What are the minimum requirements on English language tests for international students?
- Can the TOEFL be waived in certain cases for non-native English speakers?
- Who should write my recommendation letters?
- What should I do if my recommender has not received my online invitation to recommend me?
- Is it possible for me to update my application after it has been submitted?
- Do I need to submit an Affidavit of Financial Support or any financial documentation?
- Should I submit hard copies of my application materials to the EECS Department?
- How can I submit my journal publications or articles?
- What counts most when you are evaluating applications?
- Will Rackham notify me if they have received my application?
- How can I check the status of my application?
- Will I be notified if something is missing from my application?
- Can I apply to more than one program in Rackham?
- I listed the wrong date of birth on the online application. How can I revise this?
- If I am not admitted to the Ph.D. program will my application be considered for the Master’s Program (if I do not already have a Master’s degree from another institution)?
- What about financial aid/fellowships?
- How can I apply for a Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) position with a faculty member?
- When will I receive my I-20?
- I applied last year. How can I reapply?
- Do you have part-time or evening programs?
- Who do I contact for technical help while applying to Rackham?
What programs are available through the EECS Department?
The Master’s and PHD degrees are offered in the following three programs:
Computer Science & Engineering
Hardware, Intelligent Systems, Interactive Systems, Software, Theory, VLSI
Applied Electromagnetics & RF Circuits, Integrated Circuits & VLSI, MEMS & Microsystems, Optics & Photonics, Solid State
Electrical Engineering: Systems
Control, Communications, Signal Processing
Areas of studies currently being developed: Computer Vision, Power/Energy
Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in EECS to apply?
We expect an applicant to have earned a Bachelor’s degree by the time he/she registers into any of the EECS programs, and possess a strong background in math, physics, computer science, or engineering.
I have a B.S. degree and am interested in the Ph.D. program. Should I apply to the M.S. or Ph.D. program?
Applicants who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. should apply to the Ph.D. program. PhD applicants not admitted to the PhD program are automatically considered for admission to the MS program. An applicant admitted to the PhD program (without a relevant Master's degree from another school), will receive a Master's degree while working towrds the PhD.
Do you accept applications for all terms?
No. We accept applications for the fall term only.
What is the deadline for the Ph.D. program?
Application materials for the Ph.D. program must be received by December 15th.
What is the deadline for the M.S. program?
Application materials for the M.S. program must be received by January 15th.
What is the minimum GPA guideline?
Admission typically requires a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
I attended an institution that does not have a 4.0 grading scale. How do I convert it?
The Rackham Graduate School will evaluate your official transcript and convert it to a 4.0 scale.
How important are the statement of purpose and personal statement?
They are extremely important. They are critical to both the admissions decision and the awarding of departmental fellowships and Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) positions.
The Statement of Purpose is a statement about your academic research and career goals.
The Personal Statement is a statement about the effects of your life experiences, such as volunteer work, leadership activities, cultural, and educational background, on your decision to pursue a graduate degree.
What is the minimum GRE guideline?
A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test score of at least 1300 (verbal and quantitative) and 4.5 (analytical writing) is required. Test scores must be less than 5 years old at the time of application submission.
Although we do consider applications with scores below these, applicants with substantially GRE scores are accepted only under unusual circumstances.
The average GRE score using the new GRE Revised General Test for students admitted to EE and EE:S MS and PhD for Fall 2012 was 321 (verbal and quantitative).
What codes do I need for the GRE and TOEFL?
The institution code for both the GRE and the TOEFL is 1839.
Department code is not required.
What are the minimum requirements on English language tests for international students?
Applicants who have earned or will earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution where the exclusive language of instruction is English are exempt from submitting a TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS score.
Scores are valid for 2 years.
Minimum test score required:
Internet-Based TOEFL: minimum total score of 84
IELTS: minimum total score of 6.5
MELAB: minimum total score of 80
Can the TOEFL be waived in certain cases for non-native English speakers?
Please refer to the Rackham guidelines for First Time Enrollee Applicants Whose Native Language is Not English.
Who should write my recommendation letters?
Your letter writers should be people with whom you have worked closely, and who are familiar with your academic work and research potential. We suggest that at least two of the recommendation letters be from academia.
What should I do if my recommender has not received my online invitation to recommend me?
This tends to be a problem with a recommender's email account set up. The emailed inviation is either blocked or automatically filtered into a junk mail folder. An applicant can check the status of the recommendations, resend a recommendation request, and even change a recommender if the recommendation is not yet started via an applicant's Personal Activity page. This page may be accessed under the Manage Your Account section of your online application homepage and by clicking on the review Your Activity link. Once the application is submitted, the online application cannot be modified. Please refer to the application instructions for more details.
Is it possible for me to update my application after it has been submitted?
No. Once the application is submitted, it cannot be modified. You should include all relevant information in your application before you submit it.
Do I need to submit an Affidavit of Financial Support or any financial documentation?
You do not need to submit any financial documents at the time of application. However, if you are offered admission, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies will contact you with a request to provide this financial information at a later date. Do not send these documents to Rackham until you have been asked to submit them.
Should I submit hard copies of my application materials to the EECS Department?
No. The application materials should be submitted electronically when you are submitting the online application or asking ETS to send us your test report. Official transcripts are required to be sent to the Rackham Graduate School for processing and evaluation. EECS should not receive your official transcripts in the mail.
How can I submit my journal publications or articles?
The publications or articles can be uploaded with the online application at the time of filling in the online application. We ask that you do not mail any hard copies.
What counts most when you are evaluating applications?
When evaluating applications, we look at the whole picture and every piece is important. This is why we wait until we have all required documents before we begin the evaluation process.
Will Rackham notify me if they have received my application?
Yes. The Rackham Graduate School will notify you when they have received your application. This lets you know your on-line application has arrived at Rackham and at the program office. It does not mean that it has been processed in the program or that we have received all of the required information.
How can I check the status of my application?
Applicants who would like to check the status of materials sent to the Rackham Graduate School, including GRE or TOEFL scores, may check Rackham’s website.
In the department, we are not usually able to respond immediately to requests for application status. Each application is carefully reviewed. Decisions are made throughout the academic year; therefore it is best to allow us until April 1st before making a status request.
Will I be notified if something is missing from my application?
Yes. If something is missing from your file, an email will be sent to you regarding the missing items.
Can I apply to more than one program in Rackham?
Yes. You must submit a new application form, new fee, and ALL required credentials, GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc., for each program to which you apply.
I listed the wrong date of birth on the online application. How can I revise this?
You must send validation of the correct date of birth by providing a copy of your Driver’s License or Passport. Scan your document and send it attached to an email to the Rackham Graduate School Admissions Department at: email@example.com. Please provide your University of Michigan Identification Number (UMID) on the copy in order to avoid any delay in processing.
If I am not admitted to the Ph.D. program will my application be considered for the Master’s Program (if I do not already have a Master’s degree from another institution)?
Yes. The Faculty Admission Committee determines this when evaluating an application. There is no need to email us requesting this consideration.
What about financial aid/fellowships?
All Ph.D. applicants are automatically considered for departmental financial aid. No separate application is required.
Departmental financial aid is not available for students applying to the Master’s program.
For more information regarding department and other sources of financial aid refer to the ECE Departmental Financial Aid page.
How can I apply for a Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) position with a faculty member?
There is no application for these positions. Faculty will select students they desire for GSRA positions.
Applicants with an interest in a particular faculty member’s research are encouraged to mention this in the application Statement of Purpose.
When will I receive my I-20?
The Rackham Graduate School issues I-20’s once the admission process is complete and you have matriculated. Questions regarding I-20’s should be directed to the Rackham Graduate School Admission Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name and your UMID.
I applied last year. How can I reapply?
You will need to submit a new online application and pay the application fee. You will need a new statement of purpose, at least one new letter of recommendation, and a new transcript if you have been taking classes. GRE and TOEFL scores will need to resubmitted only if the scores have expired (2 years for TOEFL, 5 for GRE). We keep applications and materials in our files for one year and will supplement your new application with your old documents. Notify us by email when you submit your new application so we will know to pull any materials from your previous file.
Do you have part-time or evening programs?
Our graduate program is intended for day-time students. Occasionally a domestic student may choose a part-time schedule of one course per term.
Who do I contact for technical help while applying to Rackham?
If you or your recommenders experience any technical difficulty while apply to Rackham, please refer to the following website for assistance: