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 M.Eng. degree should visit the Office of Advanced Engineering Education website

Application Deadlines

Applications and all supporting materials must be received by:

  • December 15 is the preferred deadline for best consideration for financial aid. Fall 2020 PhD application fee waived - submit by December 15.
  • March 6 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. 
  • May 1 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, 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 (general test only)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for international applicants
  • Official Transcripts

Statement of Purpose and Resume/CV should be uploaded in the Upload Requirements section. PDF format is preferred for both.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application under the Important Links section in order to avoid delays in reviewing your application. We require official institutional email addresses for your recommenders. Letters of recommendation may arrive after submission of the online application but before the application deadlines.

GRE and TOEFL scores are sent electronically from ETS. Please use institution code 5814. The department code is not important. Scores are downloaded once per month, so please request your score report well in advance. It may take up to four weeks for us to receive your scores. 

IELTS scores can be sent electronically to the department to speed up the application review process. To submit your scores to the department, please email a scanned copy of your IELTS report to Please ensure your Test Report Form (TRF) number is visible and legible. If recommended for admission, an official IELTS test report will need to be sent directly to the Enrollment Services Operation (Room 0130 Mitchell Building, College Park, MD 20742) for final review by the Graduate School.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) scores are sent electronically from Pearson by selecting University of Maryland - College Park while viewing your scores in your account. View detailed instructions here.

Official transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions should be uploaded to your application. If a transcript is not in English, both an original language version and English translation must be provided. Only admitted students who choose to enroll will be required to submit official hard copy transcripts to the Graduate School by the end of the fall semester.


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). 

When you are filling out the online application you will see several tabs that ask for different information—detailed below.

After responding to all required and relevant items, you may submit your application.

  • College/School: A. James Clark School of Engineering - Research Programs
  • Program of Study: Electrical and Computer Engineering (ENEE)
  • Degree: M.S. or Ph.D.

Enter your cumulative GPA for all schools attended as listed on your transcript. International students should not convert their GPA to the 4.0 scale, instead selecting the appropriate grading scale. 

Upload your statement of purpose and resume/CV under items #1 (Statement of Purpose) and #2 (Resume/CV), respectively. Disregard all other items as these materials will not be considered as part of the application. 

Add a minimum of three recommendation providers. Once entered, the system will send an automatic notification email from the email with the sender identified as "University of Maryland, College Park – Graduate School." 

We recommend that you contact these individuals in advance to ensure the provider will be wiling to write a letter of recommendation. 

You can log in to your application anytime to check the status of your application. This information will be displayed on your application dashboard.

  • If you need to make any changes after you have submitted the application, you must contact the Graduate School at
  • For any technical difficulties with the online application, please contact Application Support.
  • For all other questions relating to the application process, please contact the department at


Application Review Process

After your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the ECE Department. 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 16, you will be considered for all available forms of funding. Most financial aid offers are made before April 15th.

  • Clark School Distinguished Graduate Fellowships are offered to 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