Updates on the campus response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

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), statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. GRE scores are no longer required. GRE scores will be considered if submitted, but are not necessary. Applicants' undergraduate record and recommendation letters will be given greater consideration.

Graduate Program Requirements

Students with a previous degree in engineering or a related field from a recognized institute of higher education are eligible to apply for admission to our graduate programs.

For more information about the graduate program offerings in electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech, see:

The admission committee considers several factors when making admission decisions: your academic performance at prior institutions (GPAs), your statement of purpose, your letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores (if supplied). All of these factors are important. We welcome all applicants.

 

Mandatory Documents for All Programs
  • Transcript (unofficial or official) for eligible degrees. Official transcripts are welcomed but are only required after you have been admitted.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose (1,000 word maximum).
  • International students only: Official TOEFL or IELTS Scores.

*Exemption of the TOEFL or IELTS test is determined by the Graduate Studies Office. In addition, this link is provided for more information.

 

Eligible Degrees

Most students who are accepted into the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering's graduate program have a degree in electrical and/or computer engineering. Applicants with degrees in other engineering disciplines, computer science, mathematics, or the physical sciences are also eligible to apply. Qualified applicants with degrees in disciplines other than electrical and/or computer engineering are encouraged to take undergraduate ECE courses as preparation 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 bachelor's or master's of science degree in one of the disciplines listed above 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 ECE, EE, or CE from a U.S. institution.

 
Standardized Tests
 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores are not required, but will still be considered if submitted.     

Institute Code: R5248
Department Code: 1203

 

TOEFL

The TOEFL is one option for international students to demonstrate English proficiency.

Minimum score required:

  • Overall minimum score of 90.
  • Minimum section scores of 19. 

Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered. Exam may be taken multiple times, with only the highest score being considered.

Institute Code: 5248
Department Code: 66

 

IELTS

The IELTS is another option for international students to demonstrate English proficiency.

Minimum score required:

  • Overall minimum score of 7.
  • Minimum section scores of 6.5 in reading, listening, speaking, and 5.5 in writing.

Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered. Exam may be taken multiple times, with only the highest score being considered.

Application Deadlines

 

Atlanta Campus

  • Fall: Dec. 16 (All Ph.D. and M.S. programs, except M.S. Robotics)
  • Fall: Feb. 1 (M.S. Robotics)
     

Lorraine Campus

  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring: October 1 (M.S. only)
     

Shenzhen Campus

  • Fall: May 15 (M.S. only)
  • Spring: October 1 (M.S. only)
  • Summer: January 15 (M.S. only)
     

Distance Learning Campus

  • Fall: May 1 (M.S. only)
  • Spring: September 1 (M.S. only)

If you meet the minimum requirements and wish to apply to the School of ECE, you must complete the online application. For M.S. students, fall term admission is recommended for optimum course availability. Summer term admissions are very limited and not encouraged.

You can begin your application here.

Note: The email address you enter in the application must be correct and active during the entire application review process as this is the primary means the ECE Graduate Office will use to contact you.

The application consists of several components:

This consists of a range of general questions, including:

  • General background/contact information
  • Academic history
  • Employment history (if applicable)
  • Test scores (if applicable)
  • Resume/curriculum vitae (optional)
  • Statement of purpose (1,000 words maximum)

You will be asked to select a program as part of the general application. After selecting “Electrical & Computer Engineering” an additional set of questions will appear under “ECE Supplemental." The key pieces of information that you must provide include:

  • Research concentration areas.  Applicants to ECE are required on the online application to identify two research concentration areas which best describe the fields in which they expect their graduate studies to be concentrated. These areas are based on the ECE Technical Interest Areas. Please review the complete descriptions of each area at the above link. The research concentration areas play a key role in who will review your application. This impacts the admissions process as well as financial aid decisions. Note, however, that this selection does not bind you to work or take courses in any specific areas.
  • Ph.D. Applicants Only: “Buzzword” Selection. Applicants are also asked to select their interest level in a variety of additional research topics that typically span multiple research areas. This information is used to help faculty more easily find students who are interested in their area of research.
  • Ph.D. Applicants Only: “Research Style” Selection. Applicants are also asked to select their interest level in different styles of research. This is again used to help faculty to find students whose interests align with their research.

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. Supervisors from experience in industry are also appropriate. Applicants are responsible for providing contact information for the recommenders, who will then be asked to submit their recommendation online. Note that while we prefer letters to arrive by the application deadline, letters that arrive after the deadline will still be considered as long as a final decision has not yet been made.   

More About Submitting Recommendation Letters

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 the peak application period, (December and January), it may take several weeks for some confirmations to appear.

Please note: We do not accept updates to application materials (updated transcripts, resumes, publications, etc.) 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.

 

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

Admissions

FAQ: 

Should I apply to the Ph.D. program or to the Master’s program?

If your goal is ultimately to get a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech, you should apply to the Ph.D. program. You do not need to already have a Master’s degree to apply to or be admitted to the Ph.D. program.

Note that our admission standards for students applying to the Ph.D. program are higher than for those who are applying to the Master’s program. In particular, for Ph.D. applicants there is a greater emphasis on a broader set of criteria, such as your personal statement, letters of recommendation, and prior research/work experience. Does this mean that you should not apply for the Ph.D. program even if you are ultimately interested in a Ph.D.? We do not recommend this. Financial assistance (in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships with ECE faculty) are generally offered only to students applying to the Ph.D. program.

Note, however, that if you are denied admission to the Ph.D. program you will not be automatically considered for the Master’s program.

Are the application deadline dates firm?

Yes.

Can someone in ECE tell me if I am likely to be admitted?

We do not “pre-evaluate” applicants’ qualifications for graduate school in ECE. Requesting evaluations from faculty/staff via email is highly discouraged.

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.

Submitting GRE scores is “optional." What does this mean?

We do not require applicants to submit GRE scores. They are not expected, but if you have taken the GREs and would like to include them, they will be considered. Strong GRE scores can potentially help make up for weakness in another area of your application, but GRE scores are not a primary factor in admissions decisions.

I need help funding my education, how can I obtain a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or graduate research assistantship (GRA)?

Admitted M.S. students can apply for GTA funding after enrollment in the first semester. Students can fill out the position request form at the secured ECE site. Those seeking GRAs are encouraged to reach out directly to faculty with a shared research interest to discuss GRA opportunities. GTA/GRA funding is very limited and is not guaranteed. M.S. students should have an alternative plan for funding their degree.

Most applicants admitted to the Atlanta campus Ph.D. program will receive a GTA or GRA offer. This will be noted in your acceptance letter. In the event funding is not offered, students will need to have an alternate plan for funding their degree. The Office of Graduate Studies fellowships page maintains links to external national fellowships that may be of interest.

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 the Georgia Tech Office of Graduate Studies. To check your application status and/or what materials have been received by Georgia Tech, go to the application status checking page. On this page you can view 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 checking page 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 the Office of Graduate Studies. Do not contact ECE inquiring about the status of these materials as they are received and processed by the Office of Graduate Studies.

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

Your recommenders submit your letters of recommendation directly to the Georgia Tech Office of Graduate Studies. To check the status of these letters, go to the application status checking page. On this page you can view the most current information regarding the status of your application including received materials. Do not contact ECE regarding the status or your letters of recommendation, as they are received and processed by the Office of Graduate Studies.

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

For Atlanta campus M.S. and Ph.D. admissions: We will send out decisions as they are made, starting as early as January, with the vast majority completed by late March (for applications for fall admission).

For B.S./M.S. admissions: Admission decisions will be made by the end of the fall and spring semesters one year from the date of the start of the graduate program. (For example students who applied for fall 2021 admission will receive a decision before the end of fall 2020; students who applied for spring 2022 admission, will receive a decision before the end of spring 2021.)

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 emailed to you using the email address on the application.

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 excellent students due to program capacity limitations, and this is not a reflection on their qualifications. If a group of students all have equivalent grades and test scores, then other factors will influence the decision, such as: letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose and prior experience, and the alignment between the student’s area of interest and our needs within ECE.

For example, a student may have research or 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/or test scores than someone else since the experience is weighted more heavily in that case. Alternatively, a particular research concentration area may have a large number of applicants compared to other areas, and we may need to balance the number of students across these areas to align with the needs of our faculty.

Last revised November 11, 2020