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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Prospective Graduate Students

    Todd Klein placing sera on detection device Weikang Qian 

Welcome to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) 

The department is one of the core engineering programs within the 
College of Science and Engineering 
(CSE)—the University of Minnesota's college of engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. The 
combination of academic departments and research centers contained within CSE, combined with the 
resources of a large, comprehensive university, provides unparalleled opportunities for cross-disciplinary 
research and education. 

The application deadline for Fall semester is December 1. We begin accepting applications for admission beginning November 1. We do not admit students for other terms except for part-time students living in Minnesota who work in industry.

Our admission decision is based on all aspects of your file. Your application will be judged based on your
     • academic record within the context of the rigor and reputation of where you received your 
          undergraduate and graduate degrees, 
     • statement of purpose, 
     • letters of recommendation, 
     • GRE test scores, 
     • identified faculty adviser, and 
     • ‘fit’ within our program.

If you have any questions about applying to our program, please email   


BEE/MSEE or BCompE/MSEE Degree
This degree offers University of Minnesota ECE Juniors with a GPA of 3.4 or better and 79 semester credits, the opportunity to complete both a BEE and MSEE or a BCompE and MSEE in five years. Both degrees will be granted. The BEE/BCompE must precede the MSEE degree. Students may elect to take either a Plan A thesis or Plan C coursework only MSE. See BEE/MSEE and BCompE/MSEE 5-year Degree plan for more information
MSEE Degree
The MS degree can be earned via Plan A thesis option or Plan C coursework only option. All master's degree plans include a total of 30 semester credits. On average, a student completes the MSEE program within two years after the award of the bachelor's degree.

PhD Degree
The Ph.D. degree requires a total of 40 semester credits and 24 thesis credits (if you enter with an MS degree, most course credits from your MSEE degree will count toward PhD course credit requirements.) Minimum course requirements include 6 credits from 8000-level courses (the most advanced graduate-level courses offered), 14 credits in electrical engineering, and 12 semester credits in the minor or supporting program. The remainder of the course credits can be from electrical engineering or from the minor or related field. A minimum of 14 course work credits must be taken at the University of Minnesota. On average, a student completes the PhD program within five or six years after award of the bachelor's degree.        

Applying to the Graduate School - The ApplyYourself Application

The application process is entirely electronic.
     • All documents must be submitted online as part of the Graduate School ApplyYourself application.
     • Do not mail any documents to the Graduate School.

Suggestion: Have your electronic documents ready to upload to the ApplyYourself online application
before you begin the application process.

Your admission decision will be communicated to you through the ApplyYourself system.

The Graduate School Application   

All documents must be submitted online as part of the Graduate School ApplyYourself application.

Do not mail any documents to the Graduate School or the department.

Have your electronic documents ready to upload to the ApplyYourself online application 
before you begin the application process. Have the email addresses of those writing letters of recommendation for you ready to be input to the ApplyYourself online application.

Please view the Faculty Interest Areas list prior to beginning the ApplyYourself application. You will be asked to list up to three area(s) of interest and the names of faculty with whom you would like to work.

We recommend students apply for the highest degree they would like to receive from the Electrical Engineering program.

Create an application via the ApplyYourself admissions system.

Transcripts. Upload unofficial copies of your transcripts and academic records directly to the online application.  Unofficial transcripts or academic records must be uploaded directly to the ApplyYourself online application  BEFORE you submit the application. If you are recommended for admission you will be asked to provide official transcripts. Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the institution. 

Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation.  Please do not submit paper or fax copies of this material--this will cause delays in your application processing. If you have previously enrolled at any University of Minnesota campus, you can obtain electronic copies of your transcripts from OneStop student services

Please provide a class rank statement if available.

Uploading transcripts - please click here for important instructions.

International applicants - (or any student with transcripts from a foreign institution)- please click here for more details about transcripts (this includes some specific instructions for students from Chinese institutions).

GRE - Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores is required of every student applying to our program, except BEE and BCompE University of Minnesota students who have a GPA of 3.4 or greater. Note, most fellowship competitions require the GRE general test. For more information, see Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The institution code for the University of Minnesota is 6874. Do not use the department code.

English Proficiency Tests - A TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS test is required of most international applicants whose native language is not English. For more information, see English language requirements.

To learn whether your GRE or TOEFL scores have been received by our office,click here.

Resume.  Every student applying to our program should submit a resume with the following information: Name, Current Address, Permanent Address, E-mail Address, Personal Web Address, Objective/Goals, Education (including web address of Colleges/Universities) (rank within your class, if available), GRE/TOEFL test scores, Academic Honors, Publications, Research Experience, Technical Skills.

Applicant Statement 1. Your statement of purpose should speak primarily to your education, background, and “fit” for our program. Describe your undergraduate education, and graduate education if you have an MS degree. If you are an international applicant, provide information as to how your school is ranked in your country and your grading system. If your degree is from China, tell us if your school is a national “Key School.” Describe your specific areas of interest in Electrical Engineering and your goals after the award of your degree. If your interests are broad, state that. If you are a PhD applicant, your statement should include a paragraph on the professor(s) you are interested in conducting research with and why. If you have fluctuating grades or low GRE scores, please explain.

 Applicant Statement 2, is optional.

PhD applicants. We require applicants to our PhD program to submit a writing sample. If you have published, upload your publications/papers to the Graduate Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself Online Application. If you have no publications, submit a paper you have written for a class. Submit at least one paper or publication. Limit 3.

Letters of Recommendation. The Electrical Engineering graduate program requires three letters of recommendation, which must be submitted via the online application. Before beginning the ApplyYourself application, obtain the email addresses for those writing letters of recommendation on your behalf so that this information will be ready to input into the ApplyYourself application.  In most cases you can submit your application before letters of recommendation have been uploaded. Please do not have recommendation materials sent to the Graduate School Admissions Office or the department. Letters of recommendation must submitted online as part of the ApplyYourself application.

After you submit your materials, you will receive periodic email status updates at each point in the admission process. You will also be able to check the status of your application yourself.

Your admission decision will be communicated to you through the ApplyYourself system.


Financial Support
Highly competitive fellowships and teaching and research assistantships are available through the 
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Offers are generally for the academic year and 
in some instances include summer support.  Priority for support is given to PhD applicants. 

Your application file is also available to faculty members for consideration for Research Assistant 
positions.  Faculty will contact applicants directly with questions and information about their research

We also encourage applicants to apply for external fellowships. 
Below are links to some programs that provide fellowships:

AT&T Labs Summer Internship Program
Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowships
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Ford Foundation Fellowship Program
GEM Fellowship Program (open to underrepresented groups (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans)
The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellowship
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships
National Physical Science Consortium Fellowships
The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Fellowship
Symantec Graduate Fellowship Program
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fellowships

Other Funding Opportunities (list provided by the Graduate School)

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