Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions

Thanks for your interest in the graduate school of ECE at Georgia Tech! We look forward to hearing from you. The following is an overview of everything you need to know about ECE graduate admissions, including how to apply, admission requirements, and important dates.

The admissions committee considers several factors when making admissions decisions, including your academic performance at prior institutions (GPAs), GRE test scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

Eligible Degrees

Most students who are accepted into the School of ECE's graduate program have a degree in electrical and/or computer engineering. Applicants with degrees in other engineering disciplines, computer science, or physics also are eligible to apply. Qualified applicants with degrees in disciplines other than electrical and/or computer engineering are encouraged to take undergraduate ECE courses as prerequisites before enrolling in ECE graduate courses. Persons with engineering technology (EET) degrees or persons with non-engineering degrees not mentioned above must first earn a B.S.E.E. or B.S.Cmp.E. before applying to our graduate program.

*It is highly discouraged to apply for the master's program if you have already received a master's degree in EE, ECE, CmpE from a U.S. institution. In addition, we do not pre-evaluate admission qualifications for the graduate school of ECE. Therefore, requesting evaluations via email is highly discouraged. 

Put your competitive hat on! Entrance to both graduate programs is very competitive and meeting the minimum requirements outlined below does not guarantee acceptance.

Master's Program (including Distance Learning)

Students with a bachelor of science degree as described above and with a minimum grade point average of 3.25 out of 4.0 from a recognized school of engineering are eligible to apply for admission.

Ph.D. Program

Students with bachelor of science or master of science degrees as described above with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 out of 4.0 from a recognized school of engineering are eligible to apply for admission.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required of all applicants. There is no exemption for this policy under any circumstances. All applicants must submit scores for the following three parts: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing. Your GRE test scores are an important part of your application, and you should strive to submit the best possible scores. The average GRE scores for applicants accepted into our graduate program for fall 2015 under the previous grading system are:

Overall Incoming Fall 2015 GRE Average
Verbal: 152
Quantitative: 166
Analytical Writing: 3.7
Incoming Fall 2015 Average GPA
Overall: 3.62
Masters: 3.66
Ph.D.: 3.64

The admission committee considers several factors when making admission decisions: your academic performance at prior institutions (GPAs), your GRE test scores, your statement of purpose, and your letters of recommendation. All of these factors are important, and your application will be strengthened if your GRE scores are at or above these average values. If your GRE scores are lower than these averages, your chances for admission will be reduced. The minimum scores that are needed to be considered for the program are 146/V, 155/Q, and 3.5/AW. Due to the volume of admission correspondents, emails and phone calls are highly discouraged when pertaining to the GRE cut-off scores. It is the discretion of the applicant to make the decision as to whether to apply, though we welcome all applicants. Furthermore, meeting or exceeding these average numbers for GRE scores does not guarantee admission.

GRE test scores that are more than five years old will not be accepted.

If you meet the minimum requirements and wish to apply to the School of ECE, you must complete the online application. Applications for admission are accepted by the deadlines listed below for entrance at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. For master of science students, fall term admission is recommended for optimum course availability. Summer semester admissions are very limited and not encouraged.


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Important note: You will be asked to select a major. When you enter electrical and computer engineering, you will be routed to detailed instructions for completing and submitting the application, online letters of recommendation, and mailing required documents. You should print these instructions so you can refer to them anytime.

The online application includes:

  • The general Georgia Tech application. On this form, you will enter information about yourself, such as contact information, academic qualifications, and statement of purpose. (You must submit your statement of purpose online. Do not mail the statement of purpose as a separate document.) Please accurately enter your personal contact information in the online application. The email address you enter must be correct and active during the entire application review process as this is the primary means the ECE Graduate Affairs Office will use to contact you.
  • Georgia Residency Application
  • Information from Non-Citizens Form (International applicants only)
  • ECE Specific Information
    • Area of concentration: It is important to both the admissions process and financial aid decision to include information on the area of concentration for graduate studies that you intend to pursue. Applicants to ECE are required on the online application to identify two of the ECE Technical Interest Groups in which graduate studies will be concentrated. Please review each of the groups under the research section for complete descriptions in the space allotted (4,000 characters).
    • Statement of purpose: Additional descriptive terms, such as "computer vision" or "robotics," may also be included in the statement of purpose. Descriptions should be brief and use generally accepted keywords to aid in database searches. The statement of purpose is important in the admissions process, and should be concise, outline a plan for graduate studies, and indicate why Georgia Tech is the right graduate program to meet this plan.
    • Research advisor: If applicable, faculty with similar research interests, who may be a potential research advisor, should also be noted as well.
  • Submission and application fee payment.

Three letters of recommendation are required, and we suggest that at least two of your recommendations come from faculty who are familiar with your academic performance. ECE requires that your letters of recommendation be submitted online with your application.

More About Submitting Recommendation Letters

Instructions for submitting required documents are included in the directions you are given at the beginning of the online application process.

  • Required documents must be uploaded and submitted along with your application. After submission of your application, you can no longer upload additional documents to your application.
  • If you are admitted to the program, you will be informed at a later date which official documents you will be required to mail to Georgia Tech.
  • Only official GRE test scores sent from ETS will be used for admission.
    • The GRE institution code for Georgia Tech is: 5248.
    • The GRE department codes for ECE are: 1201-1204 (any of these codes are valid).
  • Your resume may be uploaded with your application submission (optional).

For international applicants only:

  • TOEFL scores are mandatory for international students. Georgia Tech requires a minimum TOEFL score of 213 (computer based), 550 (paper based) or 79 for the iBT TOEFL. The TOEFL requirement is waived for international students who have received a bachelor's degree from a school in the United States or have completed one year of graduate studies in the United States.
    • The TOEFL institution code for Georgia Tech is: 5248.
    • The TOEFL department code for ECE is: 66.
  • Georgia Tech TOEFL Policies and Exemptions
  • Proof of financial support.


After completing your online application, you can check on its status. Because some of the documents must be processed and certified by more than one office, please be patient. During high peak time, (December and January), it may take several weeks for some confirmations to appear.

*We do not accept updates such as resumes, publications, etc. unless there is a major update sent from ETS. For example, final transcripts can be submitted for updates only once admission has been offered. Please plan ahead!

Please note: To inquire about or report any discrepancy in your application documentation, please contact ECE’s Graduate Affairs Office at ECE Graduate Affairs Office Contact Form for Application Questions and Prospective Students.

Online applications must be completed and submitted, and the application fee paid by the dates shown below to be considered for that term. An admission decision will not be made on an incomplete application.

For students applying for the master's and Ph.D. at the Atlanta campus, please be advised that all supporting documents such as letters of recommendations, unofficial transcripts, and official TOEFL and GRE scores must be submitted no later December 15, 2015 for the Fall 2016 semester. Any supporting documents received after this deadline will make your application incomplete and therefore not considered for the Fall 2016 semester. Official transcripts and financial support are only submitted if a decision has been offered. Plan ahead!

*Please note: If you are not admitted for the Ph.D. program, this does not mean you are automatically considered for the M.S. program.

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: Dec. 1
(This deadline does NOT include supporting documents. Please read the note in the blue box above for further details.)
International Applicants (includes those residing in the U.S.): Dec. 1 (This deadline does NOT include supporting documents. Please read the note in the blue box above for further details.)
Online Learning Applicants: May 1

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: Aug. 1
International Applicants (includes those residing in the U.S.): July 1
Online Learning Applicants: Sept. 1
**Ph.D. applications will not be accepted in the spring semester**

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: Dec. 1
International Applicants (includes those residing in the U.S.): Dec. 1
Online Learning Applicants: Feb. 1

**Ph.D. applications will not be accepted in the summer semester**


Can’t seem to find the answer to your question?



What are the admissions requirements?

We require that students complete an online application. Learn more about admissions requirements and procedures.

Do you require all letters of recommendation to be submitted online?

Yes. Given the large number of applications that we receive, the online letters are much easier to track and to disseminate to the faculty who make the admissions and financial aid decisions.

Are the admission deadline dates firm?

Yes, the deadlines are firm. For students pursuing their degrees via distance learning the deadlines are May 1 for fall semester, September 1 for spring semester, and February 1 for summer semester. All other students should adhere to the admission deadlines posted.

What if my GRE or TOEFL score is below your minimum allowable scores?

Our admission requirements are posted on the graduate applications and admissions page. You may retake the GRE or TOEFL to improve your score as many times as you wish. We will accept the highest score attained in each category.

Is there a strategy for whether to check the box indicating that I require financial aid?

Many students check the "require financial aid" box thinking that we will not consider them for financial aid if they do not check it. Our assistantship positions are based solely on qualifications not on financial need, hence, your response on this question has no bearing on the decision for financial aid. However, we ask that you are honest in checking the box. The estimated cost of attending Georgia Tech is discussed below. Foreign students who require financial aid and do not receive an assistantship offer are not admissible since they would not be able to secure a student visa to come to the United States. The visa procedures for our campuses in France and in China are different, so students who may not be admissible to our campuses in the USA may be admissible to GT-Lorraine or GT-Shenzhen.

How can I check the status of my application or check if my application materials (transcripts, test scores, etc.) have been received by Georgia Tech?

Applications, transcripts, test scores, and other application materials sent to Georgia Tech are received and processed by Graduate Admissions. Graduate Admissions must certify these materials, scan transcripts, etc. before forwarding them to ECE. To check your application status and/or what materials have been received by Georgia Tech, go to the Graduate Studies website. On this page, there is a link called "Graduate Application Status Check" where you can check the most current information regarding the status of your application including received materials.

My supporting documents such as my transcript (or GRE or TOEFL scores) have been sent to Georgia Tech, but my application status is still showing incomplete due to missing documents. Should I resend missing documents?

No. The application status site shows what has been received and processed. Transcripts must be scanned in order to be added to the database, and some of the data from other documents must be entered manually into the database. This takes time, especially near the application deadlines, since Georgia Tech receives thousands of applications each year, many of them arriving right before the application deadlines. Documents arriving during school holidays and school breaks will not be posted during that time (see a list of upcoming school holidays and breaks). A minimum of 10 working days is typically required to process received documents.

Be sure you have allowed sufficient time for the materials to be sent and processed. If any of the materials you sent or arranged to be sent to Georgia Tech are not acknowledged as received, you should contact Graduate Admissions.

Do not contact ECE inquiring about the status of these materials as they are received and processed by Graduate Admissions.

How can I check if my letters of recommendation have been received by Georgia Tech?

Your recommenders submit your letters of recommendation directly to College Net which then forwards them to Georgia Tech Graduate Admissions. To check the status of these letters, go to the Graduate Studies website. On this page there is a link called "Reference Letter Status Check," where you can check the most current information regarding the status of your letters of recommendation. Do not contact ECE regarding the status or your letters of recommendation, as they are received and processed by College Net and forwarded to Graduate Admissions.

When and how will I be informed if I have been admitted?

We will send out decisions as they are made, starting in late January for U.S. citizens with the vast majority completed by late March for fall semester. Spring admissions should be completed by late October.

As admission decisions are made, some admission decision letters will be available for direct download in Adobe pdf format. If your decision letter is available for download, you will be informed via email and there will be a link provided on the ECE Application Decision Status site to download your letter. If you do not receive an email that your admission decision letter can be downloaded and no link for downloading a letter appears on the ECE Application Decision Status website, your letter will be mailed to you.

I am completing my M.S. requirements at Georgia Tech and will graduate this term, but I recently decided that I’d like to get the Ph.D. here in ECE. How can I get admitted as a Ph.D. student?

Once a person is admitted into a graduate program at Tech, they do not apply for admission again. In order for an ECE M.S. student to be reclassified as a Ph.D., the Ph.D. preliminary examination must be passed. M.S. students are allowed two semesters beyond the completion of the 30 hours needed for the M.S. degree to pass the preliminary exam and be reclassified as a Ph.D. Students on visas are reclassified as “Special Non-Degree” during the interim period and will be issued a new I20 or DS2019 for the interim period. U.S. students and permanent residents remain classified as M.S.

I was not accepted into Georgia Tech, yet someone that I know whose qualifications seem worse than mine was accepted. Why is that?

First of all, students do not know all of the details on their own application (specifically, their letters of recommendation) and certainly not the details of another person’s application. When students have contacted us in the past with this question, we find that they are usually mistaken about other student’s records. Even so, we understand that we do deny admission to many students who are extremely qualified, and this should not be a reflection on their qualifications. If a group of students all have equivalent grades and test scores, then other factors will influence the decision: letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose including prior experience, the degree sought, the technical interest areas within ECE, and the need for financial aid. Our admission standards for students interested in a Ph.D. are higher than for students who are only interested in an M.S. degree. Does this mean that you should not apply for the Ph.D. program or not mark that you are interested in a Ph.D.? Not if it is your plan. Faculty are interested in offering a GRA primarily to students who want to pursue a Ph.D. The technical area of interest may affect your chances of admission. For example, a particular technical interest area may have a large number of applicants compared to other areas, and we may need to balance the number of students across the different areas considering also the number of courses and faculty in that area. The need for financial aid and its role in the decision process is discussed above. A student may have acquired work experience that exactly matches the need of a particular faculty member who has an open research assistantship position. That student may be admitted with lower a GPA and test scores than someone else since the experience is weighted more heavily in that case.

Last revised November 19, 2015