Become an ECE graduate student

The information on this page pertains to applications for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Those interested in earning a professional M.Eng. degree should visit the Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering (MAGE) website. 

Application Deadlines

All admission decisions and offers of financial assistance are made on a rolling basis. Most admission decisions and offers of financial assistance are made relatively early in the review process which is why applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications far in advance of the posted deadlines.

All applicants seeking assistantship funding are encouraged to apply by December 15, our preferred deadline.

Applications and all supporting materials must be received by:

  • December 15 is the preferred deadline for best consideration for financial aid.
  • February 28 is the final deadline for all international students to apply. This includes F-1 and J-1 students currently studying elsewhere in the United States. 
  • March 28 is the final deadline for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply. 

*Please note that we do not accept applications for spring or summer admission.

Minimum Admission Requirements

For admission to the graduate programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering, applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in electrical or computer engineering or a related field (math, computer science, physics, or other areas of engineering) and have an overall grade point average of 3.5 (B+) or better. In exceptional cases, students with a lower GPA may also be admitted. Other criteria include overall academic record, strength of recommendations, GRE scores (optional for fall 2025), and adequacy of preparation. We do not post a minimum GRE score requirement. International students’ TOEFL or IELTS scores are also taken into consideration. Please see the International Student and Scholar Service's website for the minimum TOEFL and IELTS requirements. Applicants are competitively judged by a faculty committee. 

The M.S. program offers the thesis and non-thesis options. Students must satisfy a course requirement and complete either a thesis or scholarly paper. For complete details, see the ECE Graduate Handbook.

Students in the Ph.D. program must complete a course requirement, satisfy a Ph.D. qualifying requirement, pass an oral Ph.D. research proposal examination, and write and successfully defend a Ph.D. dissertation. For complete details, see the ECE Graduate Handbook.

While not guaranteed, applicants with lower GPAs or GRE scores may be considered for provisional admission if other indicators of ability—letters of recommendation, prior experience, etc.—are exceptional. 

Technical Areas

Many academic and administrative functions of the department are organized around the following five technical areas: 

  • Communications and signal processing (CSP)
  • Computer engineering (COMP)
  • Controls (CONT)
  • Microelectronics (MICR)
  • Electrophysics (ELEC) 


Required Materials

The following information must be submitted in order to have a completed application. Please note that applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
    •  MS Program: $75
    •  PhD Program: $75
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE Test Scores (optional for fall 2025)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for international applicants
  • Transcripts


Application Instructions

Applications are submitted online via the Graduate School website. When creating your application account, ensure that your name matches the name listed on your official, government-issued identification (e.g., passport). 

Please note: When completing the Educational Intent section in the online application, there are two entries for the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The M.S. and Ph.D. programs can be found under "Electrical and Computer Engineering (ENEE)."


Application Review Process

After your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the ECE Department. The student's files are evaluated by members of a graduate admissions committee and by a faculty member(s) whose area of research is related to the student's stated research interest. The department will decide whether or not to recommend you for admission to the Graduate School. The Graduate School makes all final admissions decisions and will issue the official admission letter.

In most cases, applicants who have submitted complete application packages by the stated deadline should receive notification of admission or rejection between February and May. Once the decision has been made, you will be able to view your decision letter online by logging back into your application.


Financial Aid

The department offers various types of financial aid to exceptionally qualified applicants. If you indicate on your application that you wish to be considered for financial aid and submit all your application materials by December 15, you will be considered for all available forms of funding. Most financial aid offers are made before April 15th.

  • Clark School Doctoral Fellowships are offered to doctoral applicants with exceptionally strong academic records. Fellowships include full tuition remission, subsidized health benefits, and a generous stipend.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are nine-month appointments that are awarded to excellent students. They consist of teaching responsibilities in a discussion section or lab or grading responsibilities. You do not need to apply separately for a TA position.
  • Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) are awarded to applicants by individual faculty members who have active, grant-funded research projects. You may wish to contact faculty members with whom you are interested in working to inquire about GRA opportunities.

Our Graduate Handbook further details the opportunities listed above.

US students interested in receiving Federal support should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the February 15 University of Maryland Office of Student Financial Aid priority deadline.


I-20 for International Students

The I-20 is issued by the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office when the Graduate School grants admission. Admitted students will receive all necessary immigration information in order to obtain an I-20 directly from ISSS. 

Deferment of Admission and Term Changes

To request a deferment of admission or term change, please email

Application Withdrawal Dates/Termination of Admission Status

Please note that all incomplete applications and applications from international students who are not cleared for admission will be withdrawn by May 31. Applicants who do not register for the semester for which they are admitted will have their admission terminated.

Master's in Telecommunications

The Master's in Telecommunications Program is a cross-disciplinary program offered jointly by the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The program is professional in nature and combines technical courses and business courses to prepare students for career advancement in the telecommunications industry. Students must successfully complete 30 credits and a scholarly paper to earn the Master of Science degree.

M.Eng/Graduate Certificate in Engineering

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree is distinct from the research-focused MS in ECE. This program requires successful completion of 10 approved courses (30 credits total). Neither a thesis nor a scholarly paper is required. This program is managed by the Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering Office.

The Office of Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering also offers a Graduate Certificate in Engineering (CGEN) degree. The program requires completion of four approved courses (12 credits total) with an ECE focus.

More information about admission to these programs can be found here.

Graduation cap