FAQs

    Before contacting EE Department office, please try the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and websites from the university EE Department as shown below:

Frequently Asked Questions about Application Process, Residency, Test Scores (GRE and TOEFL), Academic Standing, Changing Your Major, Candidacy, Graduation, 7 Year Limit: http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/faq/

Questions about Steps for Completing Your Master's Degree
http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/

Questions about Candidacy and Graduation Deadlines
http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/

Enrollment, GPA, and Degree Verification
http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/students/enrollment_degree_gpa_verification/

Frequently Asked Questions from Office of the Registrar
http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/faqs/index.html

EE Department Information about Admissions, Advising, Courses, Exams, Projects & Graduation Requirements: http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduate-program

If You Need Forms, below are Online Forms from GAPE, EE Department, and Registrar Offices
http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms/
https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms/index.html

What are the minimum requirements for applying to MSEE program? Please refer to http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduate-admissions

Do I have to provide reference letters for applying to MSEE program? No. Academic and professional references are not required.

What are the required minimum TOEFL score?
TOEFL (or other forms of English-language proficiency exam such as IELTS or PTE) is only required for students who graduated from a higher education institution in a country in which the primary language is NOT English. TOEFL ( or IEL TS or PTE) is NOT required for students who received a Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or completed 3 years full-time school in a U.S. institution. The minimum required test scores can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/prospective_students/international/

What are the required minimum GRE score?
  • GRE score is NOT required for applicants with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited university, who's GPA (Grade Point Average) in the last 60 units is higher than 3.0.
  • ORE score is only required for applicants with a BSEE degree from an accredited university within the United States but their GPA in the last 60 units is less than 3.0 and higher than 2.75; for applicants with a BS degree in a field related to Electrical Engineering from an Accredited University in the U.S.; and for applicants with undergraduate degrees from foreign universities
  • There are no hard cut-offs on the ORE scores but the scores will be used with applicants' degree and GP A to rank the candidates for admission
What if I don't have my GRE score by the application deadline?
Try to submit your scores ASAP. The ETS institution code for both ORE ( and TOEFL) is 4687. You also should fax your scores to our department fax number 408-924-3925. We will try to accommodate your late submission if we could.

What is the expedited admission for applicants from India?
The MSEE program has an expedited admissions process for applicants from India, and can evaluate an application for admission (and the necessary 1-20) as soon as the 7th semester mark-sheets/transcripts is available.

Can I submit my application without GRE scores?
Yes. But your application will not be processed by the evaluator until SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) office receives your official ORE scores.

Does EE Department offer scholarships, research and/or teaching assistantships? In general, the EE Department accepts applications for scholarships, research and/or teaching
assistantships from classified students only. If you are admitted as conditional classified student, you need to complete admission conditions stated in your acceptance letter and apply to become classified student. Visit the department website at http://ee.sjsu.edu/ for the information

I received admission this semester, is it possible for me to start my study next semester?
A new graduate student has to take at least one course during his/her first semester at SJSU. Otherwise, the student forfeits the admission to current semester and has to re-apply to SJSU. By notifying SJSU Graduate Studies and Research office, you might not have to resubmit all required documents. The FAQ from GAPE office (http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/faq) also explains this

Upon admission to the program, am I required to make an appointment with the Program Coordinator/A dvisor immediately?
It is not required. However, attending the new student orientation session is required. The EE Department will email you information regarding the new student orientation session.

I am working in Silicon Valley; it is feasible for me to attend classes? Yes since almost all EE graduate courses are offered after 6:00 p.m.

I am recently admitted to SJSU but with other major. How can I transfer to MSEE program?
You have to submit a Change of Major Request form to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) office after the 6th week of the first semester. An evaluation of the request will be conducted by the EE Department Chair after receiving the request form from GAPE. Transferrable
courses will be evaluated after the student successfully transfers to the MSEE program. The FAQ from GAPE office (http://www.sisu.edu/gape/faq) also explains this

What should I do after I got accepting letter from SJSU and/or EE Department?
Do whatever the letters asked you to. Also, you should:
  • Make sure that your email address and telephone number are up-to-date on your MySJSU account
  • Check your email regularly so that you can obtain information and respond to university and/or department requests timely
  • Explore the EE Department website (https://ee.sjsu.edu/) to better understand about the EE program. Explore the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) website (http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/) and Office of Graduate Studies and Research (GS&R) website (http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/gradstudies/) to obtain university information
  • Make sure to enroll courses and pay fee by deadline to avoid possible admission problems
  • Make sure you can attend orientation sessions per letters/emails sent to you
What should I do during my first semester at SJSU?
During the first semester at SJSU:
  • You should complete admission conditions stated in your acceptance letter
  • You should make decision on your area of specialization and options on completing the MSEE program (by project, thesis, or exam only). The detailed information can be obtained at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduation-requirements-0
  • You must fill out and submit the Plan of Study form to the EE Department office. The form can be downloaded at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms
  • If you are admitted as "Conditional Classified" student, you may apply to change your status to "Classified" (if you want to apply for university jobs and/or internship) at the end of your first semester if you passed 2 core courses with grades B or better. The "Change of Classification in Master's Program" form is at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms/. Note that you must complete the requirements of being "Classified" student before applying for advance candidacy.
What are the total units of the degree?
The MSEE degree in requires a minimum of 30 units of graduate-level course work plus the completion of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GW AR). Detailed information can be found at EE Graduate Program website at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduation-requirements-0

I am admitted as classified student. Do I still need to complete 2 core courses?
Yes, the 2 core courses are required courses for an MSEE degree

What is GWAR?
Information about GWAR can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/gradstudies/. EE graduate students can satisfy this requirement by completion of EE 295 course.

When should I complete GWA R requirement?
You should complete GWAR requirement during the first or second semester at SJSU. You need to submit the Candidacy form per deadline (http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/), which is almost about a year before graduation, and candidacy form requires that you are classified student and have satisfied GW AR requirement.

What is the degree course curriculum or structure?
Information can be found at EE Graduate Program website at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduationrequirements-0

What are the specializations?
Information can be found at EE Graduate Program website at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduationrequirements-0

When shall I declare a specialization?
You should declare your specialization during the first semester at SJSU by filling out the Plan of Study form. You however can change your specialization anytime by correcting or re-submitting new Plan of Study form with approval from your Area Advisor and Graduate Coordinator/ Advisor. Detailed information can be found at EE Graduate Program website at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduationrequirements-0. All departmental forms can be obtained at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate% 20Forms, and list of Area Advisors can be found at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/advising-0

When shall I remove my admission conditions?
You should complete all admission conditions stated in your acceptance letter as soon as possible to avoid the delay of your graduation. For any special circumstance, you should meet EE Graduate Coordinator/A dvisor for his/her advice on satisfying admission conditions

Do I have to take 2 core courses during the first semester at SJSU?
You do not have to, but we strongly recommend you to satisfy admission condition stated in your acceptance letter (if any) as soon as possible and apply to become a classified student, ideally at the end of your first semester. As a classified student, you can apply for internships, scholarships, as well as departmental jobs such as TA, RA, ISA, etc ... Moreover, since most of the elective courses require backgrounds from the core courses, completing the 2 core courses at the end of your first semester will be an advantage for you to select elective courses starting the second semester. Without completing 2 core courses at the end of the first semester, you may have some difficulties in completing the program timely.

As a new student, can I enroll for courses after the orientation?
You should enroll your courses and complete payment on time to avoid possible admission problems. After attending the orientation you can change courses by dropping and adding courses. Note that during the first few weeks of the semester, you will be able to add a course by contacting the professor who teaches the course permission-code. As a new student, the EE Department guarantees you to be able to enroll in 2 core courses in your first semester but may not be in your preferred sessions.

If the student is on waiting list now, is there a chance the waiting list candidate can get a confirmed admission once s/he visits the campus?
Waiting list is for the instructor to know the status of his/her class only. Your name on waiting list does not mean that you will be enrolled automatically when the class has space available. When the semester started, you can attend the first lecture and asking the instructor for permission code. For new admitted students, the EE Department guarantees the students to be able to enroll in 2 core courses, but may not be in your preferred sessions

What are the elective courses that I can take?
All EE 200-level courses besides the 2 core courses are elective courses, except EE 297A , EE 297B, EE 299A, EE 299B, EE 295, EE 298, and EE 2981. The EE 298 and EE 2981 are not counted toward M.S.E.E. degree. The EE 295 is used to satisfy technical writing requirement (GW AR) for M.S.E.E. degree, and the EE 297A  and EE 297B, EE 299A and EE 299B are the project and thesis courses. You can obtain descriptions of all EE courses at http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/course-syllabi

Can I take courses from other department or EE undergraduate courses as elective courses? A student can use at most one elective from other departments and this course must be graduate-level courses. A student can use at most two EE undergraduate courses as elective course but the total number of undergraduate courses, courses taken from other departments, and courses transferred from other universities before admission must NOT be more than three. A student must submit an official request (by the Plan of Study form) and receive an approval from the Graduate Coordinator/A dvisor before taking a course from another department or taking an EE undergraduate course; otherwise the course will not be counted toward to the student's degree program.

Can I transfer courses that I completed from other universities to MSEE program at SJSU?
Yes basically you can transfer at most 3 graduate-level courses from the U.S. accredited universities to MSEE program at SJSU. The transferred courses must be equivalent (level and contents) to EE elective courses and must be within 7 Year Limit (see http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/faq). You must meet EE Graduate Advisor/Coordinator for a discussion and process of course transfer. Please note that transferring more than one course from other U.S. institutions to MSEE program is rarely approved.

Can I transfer courses from SJSU open university to MSEE program?
SJSU open university courses are treat as courses from other U.S. accredited universities

Can I transfer courses from extension or Open University courses of other universities?
No.

Can I take off-campus courses as part of my degree course?
No.

When can I take elective courses?
You can take elective courses anytime as soon as you satisfy the pre-requisite for the course. However, the department strongly recommends you to take elective courses after completing all 2 core courses since most of elective courses require background knowledge from core courses.

What are the differences between a master project and master thesis?
A thesis has more rigid requirements of contents, reporting style, and must follow the required report format from the university. A project is more in hand of the department control and its contents, format, etc., are defined by the department and project advisor. A project-track student must enroll in EE 297A  and EE 297B in two consecutive semesters A thesis-track student must enroll in EE 299A and EE 299B in two consecutive semesters. Summer enrollments are optional. Requirements for enrolling in these project/thesis courses can be found on EE Department website at http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduation-requirements-0. Guidelines for project/thesis proposals and reports can be found at
http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/projectthesis-guidelines. Steps for Completing a Master's Thesis can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/gradstudies/

How can I find a project/thesis advisor and decide my project/thesis topic?
Your advisor must be an EE full-time faculty member with expertise in the area of your specialization. List of advisors and their specialization can be found at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/advising-0. Contact a faculty member that you want to be your project/thesis advisor for a discussion and he/she will start to work with you on the process

What are the requirements of EE 297A  or EE 299A, EE 297B or EE 299B?
Requirements for enrolling into project/thesis courses can be found on EE Department website at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/graduation-requirements-0 and on the course descriptions and course syllabi http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/course-syllabi-for-graduates
      
Due to the unforeseen situation I can't complete a project or thesis course this semester, what should I do?
A student receives a RP grade if
  1. The project scope changes, or
  2. The student encounters documented unforeseen circumstances will not be able to complete the project/thesis
A RP grade can be changed to CR for the following options
  1. The student satisfactorily completes course requirements within one calendar month from the last day of instruction.
  2. The student enroll into 1-unit EE 290R (Thesis/Project Supervision) course (unless the student is enrolled in any other course) for each semester until the completion of the project/thesis. The EE290R is repeatable up to 12 times and has no degree credit, therefore cannot be used on the candidacy form or to fulfill graduation requirements. The RP grade in the project or thesis course remains on the official record until a culminating memo has been submitted by the graduate advisor to the Office of Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations, and the course instructor of the class in which an RP was received has petitioned for a grade change to CR.
Information about grades can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/students/grades-grades_changes/ 

What are the format, scope, and grading of the comprehensive exam?
You can find information about comprehensive exam at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/comprehensive-exam

When can I start internship or Curricular Practical Training (CPT)/internship?
A student must satisfy all of the following conditions to be qualified to take CPT/intemship: 1. Completed all admission conditions. 2. Overall SJSU GPA 3.0 or better. 3. Be a classified EE graduate student. 4. Must be in full-time status for one academic year (2 semesters). 5. Enroll in a 3-unit EE 2981. Additional information is at http://www.sjsu.edu/isa/employment/curricular_practical_training/

How many times may I take CPT?
A maximum of two semesters is permitted. Additional information is at http://www.sjsu.edu/isa/employment/curricular_practical_training/

How can I get my CPT or OPT approved from the department?
Go to the EE Department office and file a CPT or OPT Request. (https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms)

How can I apply for an Internship position?
You can check department website at http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/job-and-internship-openings for some Internship positions. Most students got their Internship jobs from SJSU Career Center through job search and/or events. The Career Center website is at http://www.sjsu.edu/careercenter/index.html and its special webpage about Internship is at http://www.sjsu.edu/careercenter/students/find-a-job-internship/. Once you got an offer, you then start the paperwork process, which include enrolling into EE 2981. EE 2981 application is available online at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms. Note that EE 2981 is not counted toward an MSEE degree and you can repeat EE 2981 many times based on the length of your Internship.

How can I apply for a teaching assistant, research assistant, or a student assistant position?
All EE Department jobs and applications forms are available on EE Department website under the "Student Support" tab, which is at http://ee.sjsu.edu/content/department-job-openings

Under what circumstance a graduate student will be placed on probation?
Whenever your overall GPA falls below 3.0, you will be put on academic probation by the university. Once on academic probation, graduate students are subject to disqualification if they fail to earn a SJSU term GPA of 3.0 or better each semester until a SJSU cumulative GPA of 3.0 is again established. A student with GPA below 3.0 must make an appointment with the graduate advisor immediately.

Under what circumstance will a graduate student be disqualified?
If the student is on probation and fails to achieve a semester GPA above 3.0.

I just got disqualified. How can I establish a petition or reinstatement?
Obtain Graduate Petition for Reinstatement form (http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/forms/index.html) and see your Graduate Advisor/Coordinator. The EE Department will process reinstatement requests with limited options.

Does "grade forgiveness" policy applied to graduate students?
No, courses taken and grades of all attempts of a course must remain on the record and be averaged, even if repeated.

I completed all courses and units required for the MSEE degree but my overall GP A is below 3.0, what should I do?
According to the university catalog, if a graduate student does not complete the graduate degree program with a minimum 3.0 GPA in both the overall coursework and the candidacy coursework, the student's major department may terminate the candidacy or permit completing additional courses in an attempt to raise the GPA in the program to the minimum 3.0 threshold. When the student's major department recommends the latter, additional courses can be taken by either option (1) or option (2) described. Failure to raise the candidacy and overall GPA to 3.0 after completing one of the two options (which results in adding 6 additional units into the program) will result in a termination of the student's candidacy and an inability to earn the master's degree.
Option 1: Retake courses already taken, usually ones in which low grades were earned (note that the original grade cannot be eliminated but instead is counted in GPA calculations along with the new grade.) Any course with a grade beneath a "B" may be repeated, but no more than 6 units can be repeated
Option 2: Must take 2 new courses at the 200 level that total not less than 6 semester units and are letter graded. The courses must apply directly to the student's master's degree objectives, although they need not be drawn from offerings in the student's major department. Two new courses must be taken even if it is possible to raise the GPA to 3.0 with a single class.

Can I take a class without completing all prerequisites?
If the prerequisites are not core courses (EE 210, EE221, EE 250) then the instructor can make decisions. If you believe you have sufficient background to take the class, you can emoll in the class and then request the instructor's consent. If the instructor denies your request, you must drop the class during the first two weeks of the semester.

I got a C in a d egree course. Do I have to repeat the course?
For 2 core courses (2 courses among EE 210, EE 221, and EE 250) Bis a passing grade (B- is not). For other graduate courses, C is a passing grade (C - is not). You have to maintain at or higher than 3.0 overall GPA  in order to avoid probation.

Do I need advising before enroll in a class?
If a student's overall GPA is not below 3.0, a pre-registration advising is not necessary. Student with an overall GPA below 3.0 must seek the advice from Graduate Coordinator/Advisor before emolling in any
class. For an overall GPA below 3.0, any course taken without Graduate Coordinator/Advisor's prior written permission will not be counted towards the student's degree program. The student must keep all written permissions in order to complete the "Graduation Candidacy Form"

I am the first one on the waiting list of a full class. Will this provide me the priority to enroll into this class when a seat is available?
No, waiting list only serves as one of the indicators for scheduling purposes. It is optional for an instructor or the department to use the waiting list to decide the priority of issuing permission numbers. You need to
communicate with the instructor for a permission code ( add code) so that you can emoll yourself into the class.

How late can I add or drop a class without penalty?
Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during the first fourteen days of classes. See the Academic Calendar section at http://www.sjsu.edu/calendars/ for exact dates and deadlines.

What is the maximum course load?
The maximum load limit for graduate students is 16 units. A student who wants to take more than 16 units must submit "Graduate Student Petition for Excess Units " form. The form is available online at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms/. However in general, a student should not take more than 9 units of graduate courses.

What is the minimum load?
A newly admitted domestic student must take at least one class in the first semester in order to keep the student status. For international students, full load (9 units) per semester is required for every semester. If an international student takes less than 9 units of a semester, the student must file a Reduced Load Request during the first week of the semester. The approval of a request is based on the student's specific situation such as "the last semester," etc ... Students must submit a "Reduced Course Load" request form (available at https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms) to EE Department office.

What if I do not take any class for a semester?
A student will lose his/her active status if the student does not take any class for two consecutive semesters. Students must file a Leave of Absence Form prior to the first semester of leave to avoid losing active status while on leave. Otherwise, the student must reapply to the university to regain active status. Policy about leave of absence can be found at the Attendance and Policy FAQs section on the university registrar website (http://www.sjsu.edu/registrar/faqs/Attendance_and_Policy_FAQs/index.html) and on the GAPE website http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/faq/

What paperwork should I complete before my graduation?
You should submit "Advancement To Candidacy Petition" form, complete all academic requirements, and submit the "Application for Award of Master's Degree." Deadlines and forms are available online at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/. Additional information can be found at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/

When should I submit the graduation paperwork?
Deadlines and forms for candidacy petition and graduation application are available online at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/.

When will my Candidacy Form be approved?
The information is at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/completing_masters/

I already filed my "candidacy' form, How can I replace a course on the form with another course? You can fill out and submit the "Course Substitution in Master's Degree Program" form available on
GAPE website (http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms/) or on EE website (https://ee.sjsu.edu/content/Graduate%20Forms)

I applied for graduation but I cannot complete the graduation requirements in the semester that you originally identified on my graduation application?
You need to reactivate your graduation for a future date by submitting the "Graduation Date Change Request for Award of Master's Degree" form. You must file this form within the same published deadlines as the Application for Award of Master's Degree. You can obtain the form at GAPE office at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/forms/