Graduate Student Handbook: Information for Undergraduate and Non-ECE Students

INFORMATION FOR ECE UNDERGRADUATES
 
Permission to take Graduate Level Classes
  • The School urges qualified Georgia Tech undergraduates to attend graduate school since the Master's degree is increasingly regarded as the starting point of a professional career.  
  • The School provides two ways for a qualified undergraduate to get a head start on the Georgia Tech graduate degree requirements: the B.S.-M.S. Program and the Graduate Option.
 
The B.S.-M.S. Program  
  • The B.S.-M.S. program permits early admission into the M.S. program, streamline application for graduate school, and double counting six hours of undergraduate or graduate courses (Must be 4000 level or higher) taken as an undergraduate.  
  • Students applying for the B.S.-M.S. program must have a minimum Georgia Institute of Technology grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 at the time of application. Application must be made during the term in which students complete ECE 3040 (EE) or ECE 3030 (CmpE) or by Drop Day of the term immediately following completion of ECE 3040 or ECE 3030.  
  • Students interested in applying for the B.S.-M.S. program will submit a graduate school application and a brief Statement of Purpose addressing interests and ambitions, how a graduate level degree will support these plans and offering a brief recap of academic and personal accomplishments that support their interest in graduate level work.  
    • One letter of recommendation from an ECE faculty member is also required.  Additional recommendation letters are also accepted.
    • The GRE and application fee requirements are waived for students admitted through the B.S.-M.S. program.  
  • Once admitted, B.S.-M.S. students are expected to maintain a strong grade point average through the remainder of their undergraduate program.
    • The final undergraduate GPA is expected to be 3.50 or higher.
    • Students admitted into the B.S.-M.S. program cannot have an undergraduate term GPA lower than 3.0.  
  • Students admitted into the B.S.-M.S. program may use up to six credit hours of undergraduate or graduate level ECE coursework for both degrees.  
  • In order to double count hours towards the B.S. and M.S., the Master's degree must be completed within a two year period from the award date of the Bachelor's degree.  
  • Students wishing to apply for the B.S.-M.S. program should first review the B.S.-M.S. materials on ECE's website.
 
Classes Completed as a GT Undergraduate
  • Students who graduated with a B.S. from ECE with at least a 3.5 GPA may choose the “Graduate Option” rather than the B.S.-M.S. plan. In this case, they apply to graduate school using the full application and they may double-count 6 credits taken as a Georgia Tech undergraduate towards their M.S. degree provided that the classes meet the requirements for both degrees. In order to double count class toward both the B.S. and the M.S., the M.S. degree requirements must be completed and the M.S. degree awarded within two years of the BS degree.
  • Students who completed their undergraduate degree in ECE, including those who are ineligible for the B.S.-M.S. program may be able to count excess courses taken as an undergraduate towards their M.S. degree. This information will be verified by an ECE undergraduate advisor.
    • Under this option, students take hours in excess of those required for the undergraduate degree, at either the graduate or senior level.  
    • An undergraduate wishing to take graduate level courses using this option must be classified as a senior, have a minimum GPA of 3.25 and receive an on-line permit before registering for the course.  
    • The excess hours so accumulated are considered for use toward the graduate degree by listing them along with the other classes to be used toward the graduate degree on the ECE Coursework Planning Form.  
    • These classes are distinguished from those to be taken as a graduate student by recording a grade notation of " UG” and noting the term and year in which each class was completed.  
    • The use of hours from undergraduate studies is also subject to approval by the Registrar’s Office.  This is done when M.S. the degree petition is submitted.  
    • Up to nine hours completed as an undergraduate may be used for the Master's degree.  
      • B.S.-M.S. students and Graduate Option Students who double-count 6 credits towards their M.S. degree are allowed one additional graduate level course (taken as an undergraduate and not used towards the BS degree) to count towards their M.S. degree.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Undergraduate students are not to delay completion of the bachelor's degree by taking classes intended to be used toward a future graduate degree.

  • Requests for permits to register for graduate level classes to be taken while classified as an undergraduate student are filed through the “Overload/Permit Request System” tab on the "Coursework Planning" page. When you have to select the level of class for which you are seeking the permit, select "GRADUATE (ECE 6000-9999)”. Your request will be forwarded to our office. You will be notified by email of our decision regarding your request.
 
Ph.D. Preliminary Examination
  • Undergraduate students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and who plan to apply for admission into the ECE Graduate Program, are allowed to take the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination one time during their undergraduate studies.   
  • The prelim exam is offered twice each year: during the midterm break in fall (October) semester and on the first Saturday of March for spring semester.
  • Registration forms for the prelim exam are on the ECE website and are due by September 15 for the fall exam, January 15 for the spring exam.
  • A preliminary exam study guide and samples of past exams are available on the ECE website.
  • For additional information regarding this examination, contact the ECE Graduate Affairs Office.
 
INFORMATION FOR NON-ECE GRADUATE STUDENTS
 
Registration Permits for Graduate (6000-9999) Level Classes
  • All ECE graduate level classes are restricted to ECE majors through the first day of classes in each term.
  • Non-ECE majors are considered for registration permits after the first day of classes.
  • Non-ECE majors seeking permission to register for ECE graduate level courses must submit requests for registration permits through the “Overload/Permit Request System” tab on the "Coursework Planning" page. When you have to select the level of class for which you are seeking the permit, select "GRADUATE (ECE 6000-9999)”. Your request will be forwarded to our office. You will be notified by email of our decision regarding your request.
 
Registration Permits for Undergraduate (1000-4999) Level Classes
  • Non-ECE graduate students needing prerequisite over-rides or other permission to take ECE undergraduate courses should follow the instructions above.  
  • Non-ECE graduate students seeking permission to register for ECE undergraduate level courses must submit requests for registration permits through the “Overload/Permit Request System” tab on the "Coursework Planning" page. When you have to select the level of class for which you are seeking the permit, select "UNDERGRADUATE (ECE 1000-4999)”. Your request will be forwarded to our office. You will be notified by email of our decision regarding your request.
 
Permission for Non-Majors to Seek an ECE Degree
  • Students in other Georgia Institute of Technology graduate programs may request permission to pursue an M.S. degree in ECE as part of their studies at Georgia Tech. Students wishing to change their major to ECE will be required to submit an application through the normal online process. In order to be considered for either of these options the following must occur:
  • Non-ECE students who intend to pursue an ECE M.S. degree while attending the Georgia Institute of Technology must make their intentions known to ECE's Graduate Affairs Office before completing no more than four ECE courses at Georgia Tech. This is done by filing the following materials with the ECE Graduate Affairs Office:
    • Letter of Intent: With this letter, the student requests permission to pursue an ECE M.S. degree and includes a statement of purpose outlining the reasons for pursuing the ECE M.S. – i.e. describes how the ECE M.S. degree fulfills the student's academic, research, and career goals.  The Letter of Intent must be endorsed by the Graduate Coordinator of the major school.
    • Recommendation Letters  
      • Students seeking permission to obtain an ECE M.S. while remaining in their major school may use copies of the recommendations provided in the initial application packet, provided the major school will release copies of the letters.
      • A recommendation from the student’s advisor addressing the ways in which the ECE M.S. degree supports the student's studies in the major school.  
      • A recommendation from another faculty member in the student’s major school.
    • A current, official GT transcript
    • When the items above are received, the ECE Graduate Committee will review the student's request. The student and the Graduate Coordinator of the student's major school will be notified of the committee's decision. If granted, permission to pursue the ECE M.S. would be given with the understanding that the student is also expected to make reasonable progress toward a graduate degree in the student's major school. The major school may impose other requirements before ECE courses can be taken.  

Last revised November 4, 2016