5. Degree Programs

  1. Graduate Division
    1. The Guide to Graduate Policy
  2. Master of Science (M.S.)
    1. Coursework
    2. Grades
    3. Academic Residency
    4. Advancement to M.S. Candidacy
    5. Transfer of Credit for the M.S. Degree
    6. Thesis or Project Report
    7. EECS Department Exit Survey
    8. Certificate of Completion
    9. Diplomas
    10. Degree Checklist
    11. Petitioning to Change or Add a Major (Campus users only)
    12. Fifth Year Master of Science (Joint Bachelors/M.S.)
    13. Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)
    14. Master of Advanced Study in Integrated Circuits (MAS-IC)
  3. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    1. Normative Time
    2. Ph.D. Coursework
    3. Departmental Preliminary Requirement
    4. Tentative Program of Study (Blue Card)
    5. Division-Specific Requirements
    6. Transfer of Credit for the Ph.D. Degree
    7. Final Program of Study (White Card)
    8. Qualifying Examination and Thesis Proposal
    9. Advancement to Candidacy
    10. Academic Residency
    11. Teaching Requirement
    12. The Dissertation
  4. EECS Department Exit Survey
  5. EECS Technical Report


  1. Graduate Division

    As the administrative arm of the Graduate Council, the Graduate Division monitors the progress of almost 9,800 students enrolled in over 100 different graduate degree programs, from the time they are admitted to Berkeley until they complete their degrees. The individual units of Graduate Division include:

    • Office of the Dean
    • Graduate Academic Services
    • Graduate Admissions
    • Graduate Appointments
    • Graduate Communications & Events
    • Graduate Degrees
    • Graduate Development Office
    • Graduate Diversity Program Office of Outreach and Retention
    • Graduate Fellowships
    • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching and Resource Center
    1. The Guide to Graduate Policy

      The Graduate Division's Guide to Graduate Policy is the primary source of rules and regulations relating to graduate degrees and programs in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. The EECS Graduate Student Handbook includes rules and regulations that augment the Graduate Division policies. All graduate advisors and graduate students should refer to the Graduate Division's Guide to Graduate Policy when necessary.

    Section Index Grad Handbook Index

  2. Master of Science (M.S.)

    There are 2 types of M.S. degrees EECS students can be awarded:

    • Master of Science in Engineering (EECS) —normally for EE students with a B.S. degree in engineering
    • Master of Science in Computer Science —normally for CS students with a B.S./B.A. in computer science

    The M.S. degree requires either a thesis (Plan I) or a project report (Plan II); the two options are very similar.

    1. Coursework

      M.S. students must complete a total of at least 24 units of coursework (not including 298, 301, or 602 units), approved by their Research Advisor and within the following guidelines:

      • At least 10 units must be graduate (200 series) EE and/or CS courses, not including EE or CS 298s or 299s.
      • Under Plan I, between 4 and 10 units of independent research called 299 (in either EE or CS, depending on your area), taken in conjunction with the writing of a thesis, are included as part of the 24 total units.
      • Under Plan II, between 3 and 6 units of 299 (in either EE or CS, depending on your area), leading to an approved project report, are included.

      The remainder of the units may be fulfilled by 100- or 200-level courses from any department as long as the research advisor signs off on the coursework.

    2. Grades

      All courses, except for 299s, must be taken for a letter grade. 299s should be taken with the S/U grade option. Your overall GPA must be at least 3.0 (computed for all 100 and 200 level courses taken up to the time that the M.S. is awarded). Courses with a "C" grade may be balanced with "A" or "B" grades. No credit toward the M.S. degree is given for grades "D+" or below; however, these grades will affect the overall GPA.

      Grades of "I" (Incomplete), "NR" (No Report), or "F" must be cleared or explained before you are advanced to candidacy or allowed to receive your degree.

    3. Academic Residency

      You must be in academic residence for at least 2 semesters before you can apply for California Residency. In order for a semester to count for academic residence, you must enroll for at least 4 units of 100 or 200 level courses. (These 4 units do not necessarily satisfy the requirements for full-time study.) The Department expects M.S. candidates to finish in 3 semesters unless they are continuing for the Ph.D., but Masters students must complete a minimum of 2 semesters in academic residence to receive the degree.

    4. Advancement to M.S. Candidacy

      Students should plan to Advance to Candidacy after completing at least half of the required coursework. For both Plan I and Plan II M.S. students, you need to complete the departmental Advance to Candidacy form, have your research advisor sign it, and submit it to the Staff Graduate Advisor in 205 Cory no later than the end of the second week of classes of your final semester.

      If you are planning to use Plan I for your M.S. Degree, you also need to complete this Graduate Division Advance to Candidacy form. You Faculty Advisor also needs to sign, then it must be submitted to the Staff Graduate Advisor in 205 Cory no later than the end of the second week of classes of your final semester.

      The Staff Graduate Advisor must verify your courses will be applicable for the degree before you can be advanced. If you have made any changes to your coursework that will be applied for the degree, notify your Staff Graduate Advisor immediately. Please note that coursework listed on your Advancement form may not be more than 5 years old. Once you have officially been advanced, your candidacy is valid for 3 years.

    5. Transfer of Credit for the M.S. Degree

      You are allowed to transfer a maximum of 4 semester units or 6 quarter units of credit earned while you were in graduate standing at another institution, provided:

      1. The credit was not applied toward satisfying the requirements of a previously conferred degree
      2. The credit was earned for coursework normally offered within your current program of study, and
      3. The credit will not be used to reduce the minimum requirement for 200-level courses.

      Petitions are considered on an individual basis and should be completed before applying for candidacy. They will be granted only for students with high achievement (i.e., a GPA of at least 3.3 at both Berkeley and the original institution). If you were a UC Berkeley undergraduate and you took a graduate course for a grade during your final semester which did not count toward your undergraduate degree, you may be able to transfer this course towards your M.S. program. Consult your Staff Graduate Advisor for details about this "backdating graduate standing" process and for the proper petition form.

    6. Thesis or Project Report

      You must be either registered or on Filing Fee the semester you submit your thesis or project report.

      In the EECS Department, Plan II's Project Report replaces the "Comprehensive Examination" referred to in university documents and forms. Likewise, there is no examination for Plan I. All fifth year M.S. students must submit a Plan II project report.

      PLAN I

      The thesis must be approved by the Research Advisor and 2 other members of the Berkeley Academic Senate (regular, Berkeley faculty). The 3-member committee, in turn, must be approved by Graduate Division through application for Advancement to Candidacy. It is recommended that at least one member of the committee be from another department.

      You need to submit two copies. (Refer to the Graduate Division's guidelines on Thesis Filing Guidelines.)

      • 1 copy sent to edegrees@berkeley.edu. Double check that you follow the Graduate Division guidelines.
      • 1 copy (including signature and abstract) uploaded to the EECS Department Website online submission form.
      • You must also submit to your Graduate Assistant the following documents: (1) a copy of the signed signature page, (2) a copy/printout of the title page, and (3) a copy/printout of the abstract.
      PLAN II

      A written report of a project must be approved by your EECS Research Advisor and by a 2nd reader who is also a member of the regular, Berkeley faculty. Exceptions for non-Berkeley faculty must be approved by the general petition.

      • Produce an M.S. Plan II Title/Signature Page. See samples for EE (Word, postscript, LaTeX 2e) or CS (Word, postscript, LaTeX 2e);
      • There is no special formatting or paper required for the body of the Plan II MS report (unlike the Plan I MS thesis which must follow strict Graduate Division guidelines);
      • 1 copy (including signature and abstract) uploaded to the EECS Department Website online submission form.
      • You must also submit to your Staff Graduate Advisor the following documents:
        • (1) a copy of the signed signature page
        • (2) a copy/printout of the title page
        • (3) a copy/printout of the abstract.
      • 1 copy to Research Advisor (optional)
    7. EECS Department Exit Survey

      If you are not continuing beyond the M.S. degree, you must complete the online Exit Survey (this is a departmental requirement in order to receive your degree).

    8. Certificate of Completion

      Once you have completed your report and before the degree is officially conferred, you may obtain a certificate of completion of degree requirements from the Graduate Degrees Office. Request a Certificate of Completion form.

    9. Diplomas

      Degrees are posted to transcripts approximately 3 months after the conferral date. Diplomas are available approximately 1 month after that. For more information, see the Registrar's sites below:

    10. Degree Checklist

      • Found a Research Advisor?
      • Completed 24+ units of coursework?
      • Obtained academic residency?
      • Advanced to M.S. Candidacy?
      • Filed your Plan I with Graduate Division or Plan II with the Graduate Office?
      • Completed the EECS Exit Survey (if M.S. is your final degree)?

      You should check to make sure that you receive grades for all required courses. Missed deadlines or bureaucratic snafus may lead to a delay in receiving your degree.


    11. Petitioning to Change or Add a Major (Campus users only)

    12. Fifth Year Master of Science (Joint Bachelor/M.S.)

      Many of the above policies for M.S. students are true for 5th year M.S. students, as well. Below are some of the distinct elements of the program

      • If admitted to the program, students must begin the graduate portion in the semester immediately following the conferral of the Bachelor degree.
      • Only one additional year (two semesters) beyond the Bachelor degree.
      • Only available to Berkeley EECS and L&S CS undergraduates.
      • Participants in program may NOT serve as Graduate Student Instructors.
      • Participants in program are self-funded.
      • All 5th year MS students complete the Plan II technical report.

      Coursework

      Minimum of 24 units required:

      • 10 units of 200 series (excluding 298 & 299) in the EECS Department;
      • 3-6 units of 299;
      • at least 8 units must be 100/200 series outside the EECS Department.

      Also note:

      • All courses must be taken for a letter grade, EXCEPT for 299s which must be taken for the S/U option.
      • Minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0.

      Breadth courses:

      • Requires at least 8 units outside EECS.
      • Must form a coherent set of courses that well prepares the student for leadership goals.
      • No courses cross listed with EE or CS will be approved.
      • Breadth courses must be approved your 5th Yr. MS advisor. Please fill out the following form and have your advisor approve it: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/GradAffairs/ProposedCourseListfor5thYrs.pdf.

      Degree Checklist

      • Completed 24+ units of coursework?
      • Advanced to M.S. Candidacy?
      • Filed your Plan II with the Graduate Office?
      • Completed the EECS Exit Survey?

      You should check to make sure that you receive grades for all required courses. Missed deadlines or bureaucratic snafus may lead to a delay in receiving your degree.


    13. Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)

      Many of the above policies for M.S. students are true for M.Eng. students, as well. Below are some of the distinct elements of the program

      Coursework

      Students are required to complete 24 semester units divided into these three areas:

      • Technical Graduate Courses: Four graduate courses are required for a technology concentration. Students can choose from all approved MEng classes, and will only require a petition if a course is not on the approved list. Each concentration includes a specific list of courses, giving you some options. Students can deviate from this list to accommodate special needs, special interests, or take into account prior academic work or work experience. Please consult the list of Approved Courses to find out more about the M.Eng. courses offered in 2012-2013. The catalog includes an extensive list of graduate courses.
      • Leadership Courses: Two courses, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, on engineering leadership are required. These courses fill out the technical education with many non-technical topics of importance to engineering developers and managers, such as intellectual property, communications, teamwork and project planning, and general business concerns like competition, accounting, human resources, organizational development, and so forth. These courses employ the same case study method used in many of the top business schools.
      • Capstone Project: A unique and important feature of the Berkeley Masters of Engineering is the capstone project experience. Students join a team of three to five students and pursue a specific problem or opportunity that can be addressed by technology. In the project students not only pursue the technology challenges, but also gain direct experience in applying the skills learned in leadership courses. Throughout the project, students are closely guided and mentored by faculty from both the technical and leadership sides, and at the end of the project they gain valuable experience in oral and written communication of outcomes.

      Additional M.Eng. Policies

      • Due to the intensive nature of the M.Eng. curriculum, students in this program may not be employed through GSR, GSI, or Reader appointments.
      • All M.Eng. students complete the Plan II project report based on their capstone projects. The report is written individually, but based off of group work.
      • M.Eng. students are assigned to a faculty advisor based on the area of concentration s/he is accepted to.
    14. Degree Checklist

      • Completed 25+ units of coursework?
      • Advanced to M.Eng. Candidacy?
      • Filed your capstone report with the Graduate Office and the Fung Institute?
      • Completed the EECS Exit Survey?

      You should check to make sure that you receive grades for all required courses. Missed deadlines or bureaucratic snafus may lead to a delay in receiving your degree.


    15. Master of Advanced Study in Integrated Circuits (MAS-IC)

      The MAS-IC is an online part-time degree program focused on developing an in-depth and advanced knowledge in the field of Integrated Circuits, including but not restricted to the digital, mixed-signal and radio-frequency domains.

      The MAS-IC program will begin in Fall 2013 and will offer 12 courses, clustered into three groupings: base, advanced and specialized. From these, a minimum of seven courses are required for the degree with the following additional constraints:

      • A maximum of 3 base courses - While the Base Courses are offered at the senior undergraduate level in Berkeley, most incoming graduate students tend to take these classes due to their already advanced nature compared to what is offered in most other schools.
      • A minimum 3 out of 4 advanced courses - The material serves as a prerequisite for the corresponding follow-up courses in the Advanced Category, which represent the core of the material to be mastered under the MAS-IC heading. They include advanced topics in the domains of semiconductor devices, and digital, analog and radio-frequency circuits.
      • A minimum of 1 specialized course - The Specialized Courses offer both breadth and depth by covering related areas (such as Computer-Aided Design for ICs and MEMS design) or specialized topics such as data converters and high-speed serial links.

      All students must select either an advanced or a specialized course for the fulfillment of their capstone project requirement. To serve as a capstone, the selected project in that course must be comprehensive, and include a final (Plan II) report and an oral presentation (delivered live, using online presentation technologies).

      For more information on this program, please contact Jenn Gardner (JennG@eecs).

    16. Degree Checklist

      • Completed 24+ units of coursework?
      • Advanced to M.A.S. Candidacy?
      • Filed your capstone report with the Department?
      • Completed the EECS Exit Survey?

      You should check to make sure that you receive grades for all required courses. Missed deadlines or bureaucratic snafus may lead to a delay in receiving your degree.


    Section Index Grad Handbook Index

  3. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

    The EECS Department offers 2 types of Ph.D. degrees awarded to students under the same conditions as the corresponding M.S. degrees (see Master of Science degree programs):

    • Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering - EECS
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

    The principal requirements for the Ph.D. are:

      1. Coursework (a major field and 2 minor fields)
      2. Departmental Preliminary Requirement (oral examination and breadth courses)
      3. The Dissertation

    There is no foreign language requirement.

    1. Normative Time

      Normative Time is the elapsed time, calculated to the nearest semester, which students would need to complete all requirements for the doctorate, assuming that they are engaged in full-time study and making adequate progress toward their degrees. Normative Times for doctoral programs have been recommended by department faculty and approved by the Graduate Council and the UC Systemwide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs. The Normative Time for the EECS department is 10 semesters.

    2. Ph.D. Coursework

      The Faculty of the College of Engineering recommends a minimum number of courses taken while in graduate standing. Depending on when you enter the EECS graduate program, this equates to a total minimum of 24 or 32 units of coursework, taken for a letter grade and not including 298, 299, 301, and 602 units. At the discretion of the Vice Chair, credit may be given for some units taken at a comparable institution. Please see the Transfer Credit section for more information.

      Graduate courses used for the Berkeley M.S. degree may be included as part of Ph.D. coursework.

      The EECS Department requires that a student establish a major subject area and 2 minor subject areas

      If you entered Fall 2009 or later, you must meet the following minimum course requirements:

      Major (all grad (200 level) courses) 12+ units 3.5+ GPA
      Inside Minor (at least 1 grad (200 level) course) 6+ units 3.0+ GPA
      Outside Minor (at least 1 grad (200 level) course) 6+ units 3.0+ GPA

      All doctoral students must fulfill a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) requirement. If you entered prior to Fall 2009, you have the option of meeting the above minimum course requirements combined with 30 hours of GSI (at least 20 hrs. for undergrad courses) or meeting the following minimum course requirements combined with 20 hours of GSI (at least 10 hrs. for undergrad courses):

      Major (all grad (200 level) courses) 16+ units 3.5+ GPA
      Inside Minor (at least 2 grad (200 level) course) 8+ units 3.0+ GPA
      Outside Minor (at least 2 grad (200 level) course) 8+ units 3.0+ GPA

      Major Subject Area: A coherent program of graduate courses (200 level) or the equivalent, with a GPA of 3.5 or better, as approved by your Research Advisor, will satisfy the major requirement. Most students take considerably more than the minimum units in the major area.

      Minor Subject Areas: The minor subject areas requirement is typically met by taking 2 courses in a given area. At least one of the courses must be a graduate (200 level) course.

      The minor for your Ph.D. should provide .broad support for the technical goals of your proposed dissertation research.. There are 2 issues which you should consider when you are choosing specific courses for the minor:

      • adequate technical content in the minor, and
      • adequate breadth provided by the minor, as distinct from the major area.

      Ph.D. candidates, with the approval of their advisor, must choose courses for each of their minor subjects which meet the following criteria:

      • Each minor program must have an orientation different from the major program, and the courses involved should contain concepts not present in the major program.
      • At least one minor program must consist mainly of courses from outside the EECS Department.
      • The Inside Minor may include one or more classes from outside the EECS department.
      • The minor program must have depth (meaning 1 graduate course for a 6-unit minor or 2 graduate courses for an 8 unit minor should be included). The more removed the outside minor program is from the content of the EECS major program, the fewer the number of graduate-level courses which may be required (as in the case of a biology minor for a computer hardware major program). To attain depth of knowledge in one technical area, a minor is expected to contain courses in related technical topics. A minor should not usually comprise courses covering broadly different technical areas. In particular, a minor can not consist of two classes placed in different breadth areas by the prelim breadth requirement rules.
      • The Outside Minor must include two classes outside of the EECS department, one of which should be a graduate-level course. Only one of the courses can be cross-listed with EECS, and it should not appear on the list of restricted courses for that minor. (See list below.)
      • The minor programs should provide broad support for the technical goals of the proposed dissertation research.

      These criteria attempt to define minors not by departments but by a selection of courses, which constitute a body of knowledge and include courses from several different departments. For example, a student in computer hardware who wishes to have a minor in statistics and stochastic processes could include courses from the Statistics Department, as well as EE 226A. In general, one member in the Qualifying Examination Committee will represent each of the minors.

      There are cases where the technical overlap between EECS courses and courses in other departments is so great that the latter should be listed as part of the major, rather than as a minor, since they add so little breadth to your program. Examples of this sort of overlap would be Electromagnetics students in EECS taking certain EM courses in Physics or CS Theory students taking some of the theory courses in IEOR. These complications make it essential for students to fill out their Blue Card in the Graduate Office as soon as they have passed the preliminary exam requirement.

      Suitably chosen sequences in subjects that support the students professional goals may be used to satisfy the EECS course requirement for a minor. In proposing a set of courses for any minor to the Vice Chair of Graduate Matters for approval, the student should provide descriptions of the course material if not readily available. The student should maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in minor fields. In the event of a disagreement, the student may appeal to the EECS Graduate Study Committee by submitting a written petition to the Graduate Office.

      Statistics (outside) minor (updated September 2014):

      Please be advised that a minor consisting solely of Stat 201A (formerly Stat 200A) and Stat 243 is not considered acceptable. Students in areas of EECS with a strong background in probability such as CS theory or EE systems are recommended to take 2 graduate courses other than Stat 201A and 243, as they may find these courses insufficiently advanced for their purposes.

      Restricted courses for Statistics minor:

      • Stat201A (formerly Stat200A)
      • Stat243
      • EE226A is not officially cross-listed but, due to course content, may be considered as cross-listed with Statistics.
      • EE227A is not officially cross-listed but, due to course content, may be considered as cross-listed with Statistics.

      The Teaching (outside) minor:

      The Teaching Minor is intended for those with a strong interest in education, teaching pedagogy, or future faculty positions. Following are the requirements:

      • A 3-unit course surveying research in issues relating to computer science education. Examples include the following:
        • Education 224A, 224C, 225C, and 295B
        • Information 216 and 247

        Experimental courses such as those offered as Education 290 or Information 290 may also be appropriate for this requirement. Contact the Faculty Advisor for GSIs for further information.

      • CS 302, "Designing CS Education" (3 units). In a semester-long project, participants invent and refine a number of homework and exam activities, review relevant educational research, and evaluate alternatives for texts, administrative policies, and uses of technology.

      • A total of 40 hours of GSI appointments. (20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester.) At least a 20-hr/wk appointment or two 10-hr/wk appointments in lower-division courses and at least a 20-hr/wk appointment or two 10-hr/wk appointments in upper-division or graduate courses that include discussion sections. The lower-division GSI appointment must include at least a 10-hr/wk appointment in one of the large lecture sections.

        • Students must enroll in the CS399 section corresponding with their GSI appointments for a total of at least 4 units. This represents 40 hours of GSI appointments required for the Teaching Minor. A 10-hr/wk appointment requires 1 unit of CS399. A 20-hr/wk appointment requires 2 units of CS399.

      Designated Emphasis:

      Ph.D. students may choose to add a designated emphasis to their program. A designated emphasis is a specialization, such as a new method of inquiry or an important field of application, which is relevant to 2 or more existing doctoral degree programs.

    3. Departmental Preliminary Requirement

      The EECS Preliminary Requirement consists of 2 components: 1) the oral examination and 2) breadth courses. The purpose of the prelim requirements is to ensure that students have competence in several of EECS fields, not just one specialization. Previously, the department preliminary exam covered multiple areas to require breadth. In the current version of the preliminary examination requirement, the breadth course requirement is used in combination with a narrower exam to ensure adequate subject matter depth and breadth. the department had offered one broad oral exam. You will have fulfilled the Prelim Requirement only after you pass the exam and meet the breadth requirement. All Ph.D. students are expected to complete the preliminary breadth requirements by the end of their fourth semester. The Qualifying Examination may not be taken until the "pass" for the Preliminary Requirement is issued.

      The oral exam serves an advisory role in a student's graduate studies program with official feedback from the exam committee of faculty members. Students must be able to demonstrate an integrated grasp of the exam area's body of knowledge in an unstructured framework. Students must pass the oral portion of the preliminary exam within their first two attempts. A third attempt is possible with a petition of support from the student's faculty advisor and final approval by the Prelim Committee chair. Failure to pass the oral portion of the preliminary exam will result in the student being ineligible to complete the Ph.D. program.

      The breadth courses ensure that students have an exposure to other areas outside of their concentration. It is expected that students achieve high academic standards in these courses.

      NOTE: Although CS PhD students are expected to take at least one course from each grouped areas (Group 1 : THY, AI, GR; Group 2:Programming, Systems, and Architecture), students can petition to have an EE class satisfy one of their CS breadth requirements.

      As a reminder, the prelim oral exam is for students enrolled in the Ph.D. programs; students enrolled in the M.S.-only program are not permitted to sign up for the exam.

      For both the EE and CS oral exams, you must be registered for the semester the exam is taken, and you must have a minimum cumulative 3.5 GPA in courses taken at Berkeley while in graduate standing. Graded units of 299 and 298 are not included in the computation. If the GPA on record in the EECS Graduate Office is below 3.5, you must submit a petition, including an explanation, supported by a memo from a faculty member about your research progress or extenuating circumstances. The petitions are judged on a case-by-case basis.

      In some cases EE students may desire to take a CS exam or vice-versa. To be allowed to take the desired exam, the student must petition their home division. Once this is approved (you must submit the petition before the deadline for prelim applications), you are responsible for meeting the specific deadlines. You can contact the Staff Graduate Advisor for details.

      All other specifics for the EE prelim and the CS prelim are different.

    4. Tentative Program of Study (Blue Card)

      After you have passed the Preliminary Exam Requirement, you must submit a Tentative Program of Study, otherwise referred to as a Blue Card (EE / CS) to the Graduate Office. This card outlines the courses that you plan to take to fulfill all the coursework requirements for the Ph.D. You will be free to make changes to your plan after filing this card, but once your advisor and the Vice Chair have signed it, you are assured that the courses you intend to take will be accepted as satisfying all of the requirements. This eliminates the possibility that you will discover, while preparing to take the qual exam, that you have to take another course.

      To see a sample of an approved Blue Card, please refer to the Appendices in section 11

    5. Division-Specific Requirements

      Electrical Engineering - Preliminary Oral Examination

      Subject

      The EE exam should be taken in the subject offering most related to your intended field of research. If there is any question about the appropriateness of the choice, you should consult your advisor. If the Graduate Office sees an apparent discrepancy between your choice of exam and your research area, you and your advisor will be asked for justification. Under certain circumstances, your advisor may require that the exam be retaken in a more appropriate area.

      You may select an exam in any one of the following areas:

      This list may continue to be revised; an updated list can be obtained from the EE Graduate Office in 217 Cory. Structure and Syllabus

      The scope of the exam, intended to be the equivalent of about one graduate course plus supporting undergraduate material, is defined by an examination syllabus which is available from the EE Graduate Office or on the EE Prelims webpage. Three faculty members meet with you for one hour, and each poses a series of questions in the field of the exam based on the syllabus. The graduate students. association often schedules review sessions. It is also useful to talk to students who have previously taken the exam.

      Scheduling and Sign-up

      The exam is offered prior to the beginning of instruction each semester. All students are expected to take the exam no later than their third semester. If a repeat exam is necessary, it must be done at the next prelim offering.

      If you think you are exceptionally well prepared, you may petition to take the exam a semester early with the approval of your advisor. If you wish to delay taking the exam, you must submit a petition prior to the sign-up for the scheduled offering of the exam. The petition must explain the circumstances behind your desire to delay and be supported by your advisor.

      Students sign up late in the semester preceding the exam. The EE Graduate Office announces the sign-up dates by e-mail. Applications are submitted on-line via MY EECS INFO. If you do not meet the 3.5 minimum GPA requirements, you will be notified and the petition procedure must be used. The intended set of examiners, date, and time for each student will be announced by the end of the preceding semester; however, a change in the composition of the examination committee may occur which is not an excuse to cancel a scheduled exam.

      Withdrawing from the exam once you have signed up requires you to submit a petition, at least 2 weeks before the exam, approved by your advisor and the prelim committee chair, explaining the extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical or family emergencies). Please be aware that research obligations, disillusionment of study groups, employment off campus, etc., are not legitimate reasons for withdrawing. If you sign up and then drop out of the exam within 2 weeks of the exam date, you will be considered to have failed that exam. If you sign up for a time slot and do not show for the exam, you will also automatically fail and be required to retake the exam the following semester.

      Scoring

      The 3 examiners make a collective recommendation on whether you have passed or failed the oral portion of the prelim requirement. The examining committee awards a score in the range of 0-10. The minimum passing score is 6.0. A review committee consisting of the chairs of each of the exam groups then evaluates examinees that score below 6.0. The committee considers the student's entire record, including exam scores and any letters of support, particularly from the student's research advisor. The Graduate Office staff will only solicit the support letters for 2nd-attempt students who receive failing scores. You will receive a letter confirming the results of your exam and stating any remaining requirements (e.g. breadth courses not completed).

      Preliminary Breadth Courses

      You must complete, with a grade of A- or better, a graduate or advanced undergraduate course of at least 3 units in 2 different areas in the EECS Department, outside of the area of the oral exam. These same rules apply for an EE student who takes a CS prelim oral exam. (For example, an EE student who takes a CS oral preliminary exam in Architecture must choose 2 breadth courses from areas other than Architecture and these areas must differ from each other.) Also, at least one of the 2 breadth courses must be satisfied while in graduate standing at Berkeley.

      Depending upon your Preliminary Exam area, EE students MAY NOT use the following classes in fulfillment of the requirement (this list has been updated as of September 2014):

      Linear Systems 128, 221A, 222, 223, 290N, and 290O
      Communication 120, 121, 123, 126, 224, 225ABD, 226AB, 228AB, 229, 290Q, 290S, and 290T
      Digital Signal Process. 120, 123, 126, 225AB, 226, 290T, 290S, CS280
      CAD 219ABCD, 244, CS170, CS172, CS250
      IC 105, 120, 140, 141, 142, 145L (formerly 145A), 240 (series), 241AB, 242, 244, 247, 290C
      MEMS 143, 147, 245(ME218), 246(ME219), 247, ME119, BioE121
      Semicon. Devices 130, 131, 140, 141, 142, 143, 230 (series), 231, 240 (series), 241AB, 242, 243
      Semicon. Process. 130, 143, 230A, 231, 243, 290H
      Optoelectronics & Photonics 117, 118, 119, 232, 233, 236AB
      Electromagnetics 105, 117, 118, 119 210, 216, 217, 290F
      Networking 122, 228AB, CS268, 226AB
      Operating Systems CS261, CS262AB, CS266, and CS269
      Graphics CS280, CS284, CS285, CS294-3
      Artificial Intelligence CS280, CS281AB, CS287, CS288, CS289A
      Architecture CS250, CS252, CS254, CS257, CS258
      HCI CS160, CS260, CS294 (CSCW, Human-Centered Computing , or Assistive Technology)

      Any EE290 or CS294 courses must be petitioned for use in fulfillment of the EE breadth requirement.

      This list may change when Departmental course offerings are updated. See the EE Grad Office for any updates.

      For courses taken at other schools, you may complete a petition form available in the EE Grad Office and have it approved by the instructor of the equivalent course here at UC Berkeley. You must provide the instructor with as much information as possible so that he or she can make an informed evaluation. This form and accompanying information will then be sent to the Chair of the Prelim Committee for final approval.

      Students must inform the EE Grad Office when they believe they have completed both classes in fulfillment of the prelim breadth requirement. A "pass" can then be issued–this is a necessary step for the student to progress toward the Qualifying Examination.


      Computer Science - Preliminary Oral Examination

      Subject

      Students should choose to take the CS oral exam in the area closest to their major field of study in the Ph.D. program. If there is any question about the appropriateness of the choice, you should consult your advisor.

      Exams are given in the following research areas:

      Structure and Syllabus

      The research area prelim is a 50-minute oral exam given by 2 faculty members. In each area, the faculty team is responsible for designing, administering, and documenting the exam. The syllabus for each exam consists of a topic outline and recommended readings keyed to the test subjects. These syllabi are available on the CS Prelim webpage. Other resources that may help prepare you for the exam are practice sessions organized by the graduate students. association and other students who have formerly taken the exam.

      Scheduling and Sign-up

      The oral exams are offered once per semester, sometime during the third week of classes. Under special circumstances, an exam may be postponed to the following week with the approval and arrangement of the examiners. All students are expected to take the exam no later than their third semester. If a repeat exam is necessary, it must be done at the next prelim offering

      If you think you are exceptionally well prepared, you may petition to take the exam a semester early with the approval of your advisor. If you wish to delay taking the exam, you must submit a petition prior to the sign-up for the scheduled offering of the exam. The petition must explain the circumstances behind your desire to delay and be supported by your advisor.

      Students sign up for the exam late in the preceding semester. The CS Staff Graduate Advisor will send an email announcing the sign-up dates by e-mail. Applications are submitted on-line via MY EECS INFO. If you do not meet the 3.5 minimum GPA requirements, you will be notified and the petition procedure must be used. After the deadline, all applications will be reviewed and the examiners will be organized. Another email will inform you of your faculty examiners and other grads who have signed up for the exam. You will then need to contact the examiners (if they have not contacted you) for a designated exam time slot.

      Withdrawing from the exam once you have signed up requires you to submit a petition, at least 2 weeks before the exam, approved by your advisor and the prelim committee chair, explaining the extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical or family emergencies). Please be aware that research obligations, disillusionment of study groups, employment off campus, etc., are not legitimate reasons for withdrawing. If you sign up and then drop out of the exam within 2 weeks of the exam date, you will be considered to have failed that exam. If you sign up for a time slot and do not show for the exam, you will also automatically fail and be required to retake the exam the following semester.

      Scoring

      The faculty members administer the exam, grade student performance and inform the students of their grades. The minimum passing score is 6.0 on a scale of 10. A pass is meant to indicate that the student would be welcome to do Ph.D. research with the examiners or their colleagues in the field of specialization.

      Students who fail their exam after the second attempt, or who fail to pass all the requirements within the required time period, or who request an exception, are to petition the CS Prelim Exam Committee. The Committee considers the student's entire record, including exam scores and any letters of support, particularly from the student's Research Advisor (letters should be submitted to the Staff Graduate Advisor . It is therefore extremely important that students involve themselves in research under some faculty member at the earliest possible opportunity, preferably by their second semester. The Committee also considers compelling circumstances such as illness, or in the case of students switching to CS, those with very weak prerequisite backgrounds. The committee exercises wide discretion: it may decide that no action is necessary (if there are one or more semesters left in which to complete the requirements), that the student be allowed more time to complete the requirements, certain requirements be waived, certain remedial action be taken, or that the student be advised to leave the program.

      When students leave UC Berkeley and are subsequently readmitted to the Ph.D. program, the Prelim Committee on an individual basis determines the time by which they should complete the Prelims. Students who withdraw to avoid the Preliminary Exam should be aware that they might not be readmitted to the Ph.D. program.

      Preliminary Breadth Courses
      Students must complete courses from 3 of the following areas, passing each with at least a B+:

      Theory: 270, 271, 273, 274, 276, 278
      AI: 280, 281A, 281B, 287, 288, 289
      Graphics/HCI: 260B, 283

      Programming: 263, 264, 265, 267; EE219C
      Systems: 261, 261N, 262A, 262B, 268, 286B
      Architecture/VLSI: 250, 252, 258

      The courses must include at least one from the group of three above the line and one from the group of three below the line. CS260B, CS263, and EE219C cannot be used for this constraint, though they can be used as providing 1 of the 3 areas. (For students who took the old CS260 course, that is equivalent to the current CS260B.)

      Students must complete the requirement by the end of their 6th semester.

      CS breadth courses can count towards a major or minor, but classes in different areas cannot be used together for the major or in the same minor.


    6. Transfer of Credit for the Ph.D. Degree

      With the approval of your advisor and the Vice Chair, you may petition to transfer a maximum number of units of coursework (see options below) completed at other schools toward the course requirements for the Ph.D. In most cases, not more than one course would be accepted for the major field. Units used to complete a bachelor's degree will not be accepted. A Transfer of Credit petition is required for each course you intend to transfer. See the Staff Graduate Advisor for details.

      For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program in Fall 2009 or later, the maximum number of transferable units is 12 semester units or 18 quarter units.

      For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program prior to Fall 2009, the maximum number of transferable units depends on the minimum number of units you are using to meet the department Ph.D. requirements.

      • For students meeting a total minimum of 24 units for the Ph.D. program, the maximum transferable number of units is 12 semester units or 18 quarter units.
      • For students meeting a total minimum of 32 units for the Ph.D. program, the maximum transferable number of units is 16 semester units or 24 quarter units.
    7. Final Program of Study (White Card)

      Ideally by the end of your 6th semester, when you are ready to apply for the Qualifying Exam, you should complete the Final Program of Study, otherwise known as a White Card (EE / CS) available in the Graduate Office (please note that students cannot advance to candidacy without an approved White Card on file) . The courses you list on the White Card need not be the same as those you listed on your Blue Card. However, the courses you do list are now considered to constitute your final program. Any changes you wish you make after having the card approved and signed by your advisor and the Vice Chair requires a petition. To see a sample of an approved White Card, please refer to the Appendices in section 11.

    8. Qualifying Examination (also known as Quals) and Thesis Proposal

      The Qualifying Examination is an important checkpoint meant to show that you are on a promising research track toward the Ph.D. degree. It is a University examination, administered by the Graduate Council, with the specific purpose of demonstrating that "the student is clearly an expert in those areas of the discipline that have been specified for the examination, and that he or she can, in all likelihood, design and produce an acceptable dissertation." Despite such rigid criteria, faculty examiners recognize that the level of expertise expected is that appropriate for a 3rd year graduate student who may be only in the early stages of a research project.

      The department has recently reconstituted the Qualifying Exam process in order to get students through the process in a timeframe closer to that expected by the University, and to ensure that Ph.D. students get feedback from a group of faculty earlier in their research, when it can have the most impact.

      In the past, the Qualifying Exam in EECS doubled as a Thesis Proposal. In the new system, students, in consultation with their advisors, are given the option of taking a single exam (Format B) as before, or splitting the process in two (Format A): a research area summary as a Qualifying Exam, followed (typically semesters later) by a Thesis Proposal.

      While our current Qual system is fairly new, the intent is that (as with the previous system) very few students should fail; with proper preparation, the examination should not be overly stressful. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to get feedback and constructive criticism on your research ideas from four professors at a time when such criticism can potentially help your research.

      Qual Deadlines

      For students entering Fall 2003 or later, the Qualifying Examination must be taken within 6 semesters of starting the program, and if the Qual is not a Thesis Proposal, then a satisfactory Thesis Proposal should be presented by the end of 10 semesters. In some cases it may be necessary to delay this strict deadline depending on the format of the exam (please see the Qual Format section for more details). Significant delays, however, will be brought to the attention of the research advisor and to the faculty at large at the EE and CS Student Review meetings. The exam is meant to demonstrate readiness to do research; it is not intended as a defense of an all-but-completed dissertation. An inability to successfully pass or take the Qualifying Exam may result in probationary status, and eventual ineligibility to complete the Ph.D. program.

      Qual Eligibility

      Since the Qualifying Exam is a University requirement, it can be taken only with the approval of, and at a time approved by, the Graduate Division. Eligibility requirements for taking the exam are as follows:

      • You must be registered the semester in which the exam is taken (an exam may be taken during the summer or winter breaks IF the student paid fees for the semester immediately preceding the exam or intends to pay fees for the semester immediately following the exam).
      • You must have completed at least one semester of academic residence at Berkeley.
      • You must have passed the Preliminary oral exam and met the breadth course requirements.
      • You must have a GPA of at least 3.5 in your major subject area, at least 3.0 in each of your minor areas (298 and 299 not included), and have no more than 2 "Incomplete". grades.

      Qual Committee

      In consultation with your research advisor, you should choose an appropriate examination committee. Your committee must consist of 4 members, all regular faculty members at Berkeley. Your advisor or co-advisors are usually members of the committee, but cannot be the chair. Another committee member must be from outside the EECS Department, representing some area of expertise relevant to your research area, and usually from one of the areas declared as the outside minor in your Ph.D. program. All members of the Quals Committee must be able to examine the student on at least one of the 3 subjects of the examination. The outside minor need not be one of the 3 subject areas.

      Qual Format

      Format for Students Who Began the Program Fall 2003 or Later

      Qual may be in format A or B below, at the choice of the examinee, after consultation with his/her advisor.

      Format A

      • Prepare a write-up and presentation summarizing a specific research area, preferably the one in which you intend to do your dissertation work. Your summary should survey that area and describe open and interesting research problems.
      • Describe why you chose these problems and indicate what direction your research may take in the future.
      • Prepare to display expertise on both the topic presented, and on any related material that the committee thinks is relevant.
      • The student should talk (at least briefly) about any research progress to date (e.g. MS project, Ph.D. research, class project etc.) Some evidence of the ability to do research is expected.
      • The committee shall evaluate the student on the basis of his/her comprehension of the fundamental facts and principles that apply within the student's research area, and his/her ability to think incisively and critically about the theoretical and practical aspects of this field.
      • The student must demonstrate sufficient command of the content and the ability to design and produce an acceptable dissertation.

      Format B

      This option includes the presentation and defense of a thesis proposal in addition to the requirements of option A. It will include a summary of research to date and plans for future work (or at least the next stage thereof). The committee shall not only evaluate the student's thesis proposal and his/her progress to date, but shall also evaluate according to option A. As in option A, the student should prepare a single document and presentation, but in this case additional emphasis must be placed on research completed to date, and plans for the remainder of the dissertation research.

      Thesis Proposal Defense

      Any student not presenting a satisfactory thesis proposal defense, either because s/he took option A for the Qual, or because the material presented in an option B exam was not deemed a satisfactory proposal defense (although it may have sufficed to pass the Qual), must write up and present a thesis proposal which should include a summary of the research to date and plans for the remainder of the dissertation research. S/he should be prepared to discuss background and related areas but the focus of the proposal should be on the progress made so far, and detailed plans for completing the thesis. The standard for continuing on with Ph.D. research is that the proposal has sufficient merit to lead to a satisfactory Ph.D. dissertation. Another purpose of this presentation is to provide feedback on the quality of work to date. For this step, the committee should consist of at least 3 members from EECS familiar with the research area, preferably including those on the dissertation committee.

      The Departmental Thesis Proposal Application can be found online. This form should be submitted to the Staff Graduate Advisor before your Thesis Proposal Defense.

      Qual Application & Scheduling

      On the Graduate Division Qualifying Exam Application (also available in the Grad Office) and the Departmental Qualifying Exam Application, indicate the names of the proposed examination committee members, as well as the date, time, and location of the examination. (It is your responsibility to find a date and time at which all the members of your exam committee are available.) The applications must be approved by your advisor and submitted to the Graduate Office at least one month before the proposed date of the exam. Once again, students should take the exam before the end of the 6th semester of graduate study. Failure to do so may result in probationary status, and eventual ineligibility to complete the Ph.D. program. The Vice Chair reviews and signs the applications which will then be sent to Graduate Division. Graduate Division then officially appoints the exam committee and approves admission to the exam. Students must not take the Qual exam without prior receipt of an approval notice from Graduate Division. One week before the exam date, the Graduate Office sends a reminder about the exam to each member of the committee, so be sure to keep your Staff Graduate Advisor updated about any change of time, location, etc. If a student wishes to change the membership of the exam committee after the application has been approved by Graduate Division, the committee must be "reconstituted" by petition. The petition, signed by your advisor, must be submitted to the Graduate Office for department approval and forwarding to Graduate Division. See the Staff Graduate Advisor for the Request for Change in Higher Degree Committee petition form or download it from the web.

      Meeting with the Qual Chair

      Since research areas differ, the format of the exam may vary somewhat. It is most important to meet with the Chair of the examination committee well in advance of the exam to be sure of a common understanding of the structure and format. Additionally, you will prepare a written research proposal or short summary of research area according to the exam chair's direction. Distribute the proposal to the committee in advance of the exam. In some cases, the committee may request a 2nd proposal. Occasionally, one or more of the committee members may give some feedback prior to the exam, but the aim of the written proposal/summary is to provide appropriate background so that the discussion during the exam can move more quickly.

      Qual Structure

      • The exam begins with a formal presentation of a summary of your research area or a research proposal, typically following the write-up submitted to the committee in advance of the exam. In planning the length of the presentation, you should think in terms of a 45 minute seminar if there were no interruptions.
      • The committee will listen, interrupt, and ask questions. It is almost certain that not all committee members will be expert in all aspects of your research area, so you should give clear definitions and explanations, and be prepared to answer questions of a fundamental nature. Graduate division instructs the outside examiner that his/her responsibilities include ensuring "that the student's mastery of the subject matter is both broad and comprehensive."
      • As the exam develops, the questions may range further from the specific topic of research, especially if the questions posed by the research do not appear to be interesting and challenging or if there appears to be gaps or misconceptions in your understanding of the issues. Any and all questions which address the fundamental purpose of the exam should be expected.
      • Normally at the conclusion of the exam, you will be asked to leave the room while the committee discusses the result of the exam. You will be invited back once the committee has reached an agreement.

      Tips and Suggestions for Qualifying Exams

      The following tips on preparing for your Qual are taken from the Graduate Division's publication The Graduate:

      Studying for the Qualifying Exam

      • Find out about the format of the exam. Talk to students who have recently passed their exams, especially students with whom you have committee members in common. Ask about the format of their exams. Did the exam begin with a short summary of the student's academic career by either the chairperson or the candidate? If your department includes a talk as part of the exam, how long was it? Did the faculty members interrupt the talk with questions?
      • Talk to your committee. Many students neglect this all-important resource, even though much of the intimidating mystery of the exam lies in what the faculty members will ask. Don't fly blind. Find out what you'll need to know for the exam. A suggestion: Prepare a brief outline of what you know about your 3 areas and take this with you when you talk to your committee members. Ask them what else you need to know. This outline will help you to organize your studying, and you can plug facts into this framework to illustrate your ideas. If the outline approach isn't appropriate, present a bibliography for a particular area to your committee and ask what other sources you should study. Ask which publications the professor would read to review a certain area quickly and effectively.
      • Synthesize, not memorize. As you study, keep in mind that part of your task during the qualifying exam is to be convincing, as well as accurate, in your arguments. Professors want to see how you've organized your knowledge and how you can use facts to bolster your arguments. Many questions will have no "right" answer; intelligent, informed conjecture is acceptable in many cases.
      • Begin studying early enough to permit rehearsal time. Be sure to give yourself time to practice. Most students report that practicing for the exam was extremely helpful. Besides giving you a chance to review what you know about the subject matter, a mock exam gives you the experience of answering questions before a group and makes you more confident in that setting. Often major advisors, as well as other students and postdocs are glad to give you a mock exam. If an oral presentation will be part of your exam, practice it several times. Use a blackboard if you plan to use it during the actual exam.
      • Prepare for the occasional mistake. Imagining a perfect exam in which you know every answer and are consistently brilliant for 2 or 3 hours simply is not realistic. Instead, rehearse saying that you don't know and plan what you will say in case you draw a blank. You can gain time, for example, by saying, "Let me take some time to consider that question." Your committee will understand and wait for you to recover.
      • Organize a mock examination administered by your fellow students.

      During the Exams

      • If you are nervous, say so. Keep in mind that the committee members are instructed by the Graduate Division to "try to humanize an inherently difficult examination" and that the chair should "do all in his/her power to put the student at ease". It's perfectly fine to say, "I'm a little nervous right now; I'll have to get myself organized." And it will give you time to think.
      • Take control of your exam as much as possible. If you've talked to your committee and other students, you should have a good idea of what to expect. In some cases, you may be asked your preference about the order of topics. If you have prepared answers to questions you are fairly certain you will be asked, you will have well-organized responses with no unfortunate tangents that may lead to questions you can't answer.
      • Take your time in answering questions. Listen to the questions and give yourself time to think about them. Although the silence can be unnerving while you think about an answer, rushing in with a disorganized response is worse.
      • If you can't answer a question, say so. Don't pretend that you know the answer. Going off on a tangent is a transparent attempt to avoid the question. Most committees will simply re-state the question. Say you don't know.
      • If you can't answer a question or feel you have given a poor or incorrect answer, don't dwell on it. Remember that no one expects you to know all the answers. Most likely, the very people who are examining you didn't know all the answers on their qualifying exams. (Twenty years later, one Berkeley professor remembers the exact wording of a question he couldn't answer on his exam. ) Instead of worrying about a wrong answer, concentrate on the next question, the one you will field with confidence.

      Antidotes to Anxiety

      • If you're worried about failing the exam, fortify yourself with the knowledge that your chances of passing are excellent. Since 1975, only 6 percent of Berkeley students have failed their 1st qualifying exam.
      • Recognize that your committee wants you to pass. These faculty members have a great interest in seeing you do well. They selected you for graduate study and trained you in courses. Most students report that their committee members were very cordial and gave them every opportunity to show what they knew during the exam. Often committee members would re-state questions of other committee members so that students would understand.
      • Finally, believe it or not, 83% of Berkeley doctoral candidates consider the qualifying exam to be a beneficial experience, according to the Graduate Division exit questionnaire. It is a rite of passage that can build your confidence and affirm your readiness to take the next step in becoming a scholar.
    9. Advancement to Candidacy

      Obtain the Application for Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D. from the Graduate Office as soon as you pass your Qualifying Exam. The fee for Advancement to Candidacy is $90. If you are an NSF recipient, you may be waived from paying the fee. Please also note that students cannot advance to candidacy without an approved White Card on file.

      Students must file the advancement form in the Graduate Office no later than the end of the semester following the one in which the Qualifying Exam was passed. In approving this application, Graduate Division approves your dissertation committee and will send you a Certificate of Candidacy. You would be eligible for a GSR pay increase by bringing this Certificate as proof of your passing the Qual exam to the CSS Team 2 (formally known as ERSO) Payroll Office, 199M Cory Hall. (See the Reduction in Nonresident Tuition section.)

      Students who plan to use human subjects in their research must take the online Collaborative IRB Training Initiative course and print out the Course Completion Record to be submitted with their candidacy application.

      Candidacy forms submitted without the CITI Course Completion Record will be returned to the student and will not be processed. Delays in the advancement to candidacy limit the student's actual time as a candidate and may jeopardize his/her full eligibility for the Dean's Normative Time Fellowship, if in a qualified major.

    10. Academic Residency

      You must be in academic residence for at least 4 semesters to qualify for a Ph.D. In order for a semester to count as academic residence, you must enroll for at least 4 units of 100+ or 200+ level courses. (These 4 units do not necessarily satisfy the requirements for full-time study.)

      The College of Engineering requires 2 semesters of residence after the Qualifying Examination has been passed, before the Ph.D. can be granted. The 2 semesters may include the semester in which the Qualifying Examination is taken.

      Summer Sessions may be counted under the following conditions:

      (1) enrollment in two consecutive six-week Summer Sessions counts as one term of residence provided the candidate is enrolled in each session for the equivalent of at least two units of upper division and/or graduate work as given in a regular term (four units total);
      or
      (2) enrollment in an eight-week Summer Session counts as one term of residence provided the candidate is enrolled for the equivalent of at least four units of upper division and/or graduate work as given in a regular term. No degrees are awarded for work completed during Summer Session only.

      Under exceptional circumstances, the requirement may be waived, with the concurrence of the student's advisor and the Vice Chair of Graduate Matters.

    11. Teaching Requirement

      The Department requires all Ph.D. candidates to serve as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) within EECS. The GSI teaching requirement not only enhances and helps to develop a student's communication skills, but it also makes a great contribution to the department's academic community.

      For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program in Fall 2009 or later, you must fulfill this requirement by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301, or EE or CS 375) for a total of 30 hours minimum prior to graduation. At least 20 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in two semesters.)

      For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program prior to Fall 2009, the GSI requirement you must fulfill depends on the minimum number of units you are using to meet the department Ph.D. requirements.

      • For students meeting a total minimum of 24 units of coursework for the Ph.D. program, the GSI requirement will be fulfilled by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301) for a total of 30 hours. At least 20 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in two semesters.
      • For students meeting a total minimum of 32 units of coursework for the Ph.D. program, the GSI requirement will be fulfilled by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301) for a total of 20 hours. At least 10 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in one or two semesters.

      NOTE: The hours calculated per semester only refer to the fall or spring semesters. Students that wish to use service during their summer GSI appointment towards their teaching requirement must fill out a general petition to be evaluated and approved by the Head Graduate Advisor. The petition should include information on the course number, course title, the summer session (e.g., 6 or 8 week session), and approximately how many students were enrolled in the course. In addition, students should plan to submit the petition well in advance of applying for a summer GSI if they want it to count towards their teaching requirement. Students should keep in mind that there is no guarantee the petition will be approved.

      Students who have passed the Preliminary Requirement and have not yet fulfilled the teaching requirement may be required to fill existing departmental teaching needs.

      20 hours of the GSI teaching requirement MUST be a course within the EECS department. Students that wish to use a course outside of the EECS department may submit a petition to have the course count. Final approval of this outside course counting towards the GSI teaching requirement will be subject to the approval of the Head Graduate Advisor.

      Exemptions from the teaching requirement will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. In order to obtain an exemption, the student's Faculty Advisor must propose to the Vice Chair an alternate form of service for the student IN ADVANCE (e.g., the redesign of laboratory exercises for an existing course).

      Please note that ALL first time GSIs are required to take the EE or CS 375 course, and successfully pass the online ethics course required by the Graduate Division, before they can teach.

    12. The Dissertation

      Filing your doctoral dissertation at the Graduate Division is one of the final steps leading to the award of your graduate degree. It is imperative that you carefully follow Graduate Division's Instructions for Thesis Writing & Filing or Dissertation Writing & Filing. Graduate Division strictly enforces rules about margin widths, page numbering, etc., and the Graduate Degrees Office in 318 Sproul Hall is the official source of all answers regarding any aspect of preparing your manuscript. You are REQUIRED to read the Dissertation Filing Guidelines (for Doctoral Students). In addition to electronically submitting your dissertation to Graduate Division, a copy should also be uploaded to the EECS Department Website through the online submission form. The Department no longer accepts a hard copy of your dissertation. The documents you must submit to the EECS Grad Office are:

      • a copy of the signed signature page
      • a copy/printout of the title page
      • a copy/printout of the abstract

      If you want a Certificate of Completion of the Ph.D., be sure to mention this to the Graduate Division when you file your dissertation. The Request for Certificate of Completion is available online.

      Your diploma will not be ready for a number of months. You may arrange to have it mailed to you when it is ready by completing the Diploma Request Form found on the Registrar's website

      Dissertation Committee

      The dissertation committee must consist of 3 members of the Academic Senate, voting or non-voting, one of whom must be from outside the department. The chair of the dissertation committee is usually the student's advisor, but the Qualifying Exam Chair cannot also be a Dissertation Chair. Graduate Division must approve any additional committee member not a part of the Academic Senate. A written memo of justification, signed by the advisor plus curriculum vitae of the proposed non-Senate member, must be submitted to and approved by the Vice Chair and Graduate Division. See the Staff Graduate Advisor for more details.

      Dissertation Talks

      Thesis Seminar (Dissertation Talk)

      Students filing a Ph.D. dissertation must give a one-hour talk on the principal results of their research as part of the graduate requirement. This must be done in the last semester in residence or in the semester in which the dissertation is filed. Summer graduates must plan to give the talk in the spring semester before graduation or opt to graduate in the fall semester in order to give the talk in the fall semester. Summer dissertation talks are not allowed. The talk will be advertised in the departmental calendar.

      One preferable, but not necessary, venue for the dissertation talk is one of the group seminars For CS students, the Computer Science Colloquium or any one of the following regular seminars is acceptable for this requirement: Computer Systems, Theoretical Computer Science, Graphics, Numerical and Scientific Computing, Database Systems, AI/Vision/Robotics. The Associate Chair for CS, in consultation with the research advisor, may designate another seminar, if appropriate.

      If this option is selected, it is advisable to contact the professor in charge of the seminar at least 2 weeks before the semester in which the dissertation will be completed. If another option is chosen, the student must make sure that the Seminar is adequately advertised. In both cases, complete the Thesis Seminar Form and advertise your talk in the Department Calendar.

      Dissertation Talk Requirements

      As part of the requirements for the doctoral degree, each student must give a public talk on the research covered by his/her dissertation. The dissertation talk is expected to be given within a period of a few months before the signing of the final submission of the dissertation. The talk should cover all the major components of the dissertation work in a substantial manner–in particular, the dissertation talk should not omit topics that will appear in the dissertation but are incomplete at the time of the talk.

      The dissertation talk is to be attended by the whole dissertation committee, or, if this is not possible, by at least a majority of the members. Attendance at this talk is part of the committee's responsibility. It is, however, the responsibility of the student to schedule a time for the talk for that is convenient for members of the committee. Students should complete the Thesis Seminar Form before they give the talk and advertise their talk in the Department Calendar. By signing this form, thesis committee members are informed of the scheduled time for the talk and can indicate if they plan to attend.

    Section Index Grad Handbook Index

  4. EECS Department Exit Survey

    All graduating/withdrawing/departing students must complete the EECS Exit Survey.

    Section Index Grad Handbook Index


  5. EECS Technical Report

    Effective Spring 2006, every Ph.D. dissertation must be submitted to the EECS Technical Memorandum Series. Please fill out the Ph.D. Dissertation or Masters Thesis/Report online submission form. Your manuscript will need to be in PDF format. Once submitted, the report will be assigned a number, given an HTML coversheet, assigned a URL, and added to the EECS Technical Reports Database. You will be sent its number and URL via email.

    If you need to delay the submission of your Tech Report, there is an option via your My EECS Info page that will allow you to specify a "delayed publication date".

    Be sure to check in with the Staff Graduate Advisor to ensure that all coursework, prelim, GSI, and other requirements are completed.

    Section Index Grad Handbook Index