Frequently Asked Questions
General Application Questions
What are the application deadlines?
Domestic Applicants International Applicants
*Fall Quarter - Priority Admission & Fellowship Consideration*
Fall Quarter - General Deadlines
Recommended submission date
Last day to submit an application
Winter Quarter November 1st September 1st Spring Quarter February 1st December 1st
To be considered for fellowship funding, the online application must be submitted by this date. Applicants may submit an incomplete application in order to meet this deadline and follow up with pending application materials after submitting. Applications submitted after the fellowship consideration deadline will be considered for financial support based on remaining funding availability.
I would like to update my application, what steps should I take?
If you would like to update documents such as CV's, Resumes, Transcripts, etc..., please email email@example.com with your application ID and the PDF version of the document you wish to update.
I’ve submitted my application and would like to know my status.
"Being processed" means your application is under review. Graduate Admissions are done on a rolling basis and are ongoing at this time. You will be notified by email from Graduate Division when a decision is made. In the meantime, please remember, the best and only way for you to check your application status is by logging on to our website at: https://gradsis.ucr.edu/gradsis/GSIS_LOGIN.Login_student
What should I attach in the Additional Information section?
The Additional Information section can be used to provide more information regarding your qualifications not reflected in the other part of your application. Examples may include a resume/CV, published papers, and writing samples.
Is it possible to copy the contents of my current application so I can submit another application--one for the MS and another for the PhD program?
If you have not already submitted your application, please select the "copy application" option in your online application in order to copy information from your current application onto a new application.
Do I need to make contact with a professor in the program before I submit my application as part of the admission requirements?
We encourage applicants to have an idea of the area(s) of research that most interests them, and more specifically, an idea of faculty with whom they share overlapping research interests with. Further, applicants are encouraged to specify this information in their Statement of Purpose. Applicants, however, are not required to contact the faculty of interest before submitting their application as part of the admissions process.
Why hasn't my transcript status been updated?
If you used a delivery service (e.g. DHL, UPS, FedEX, etc.), please use their confirmation as confirmation that the Department has received your hard copy materials. If your GradSIS application status has not been updated, please allow at least 3-4 weeks for this to be updated. Different components of your application are reviewed and updated separately, which means you will likely see various update times. Also, the University closes for two weeks at the end of December which delays our ability to make status updates. Moreover, we receive a very large number of documents and it can take some time for the system to be updated with your transcript information. We make every effort to process and update the system with the transcripts we receive as quickly as we can.
Please continue to check your application status here.
Can I send unofficial documents?
Unofficial copies are accepted and highly encouraged. We highly recommend attaching scanned copies of any documents required to complete initial review of your application (e.g. transcripts and/or degree certificates) in the Statement of Purpose and Statement of Personal History section of your application, under the section called "Additional Information." If you are unable to attach your documents before submitting, please email scanned copies to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to provide your application ID in the body of your email to ensure your documents are attached to the correct application.
When possible, unofficial copies should be provided for the application review process and, if admitted, official copies will be requested by Graduate Division after you accept your offer. Notarized documents are not acceptable.
[International Applicants: The department highly recommends submitting official transcripts when possible to avoid any potential delays in the processing of visas.]
What are the Department codes for the GRE and TOEFL?
- University: 4839
- Department: 66 (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
- UC Riverside: 4839
- Department: 1203 (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Is the IELTS accepted?
UCR accepts scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- The exam must be taken within two years of the time you intend to enroll at UCR.
- The minimum acceptable scores are: overall band score of 7 with no individual section score less than 6.
Please request an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your (IELTS) and have it sent to Graduate Admissions
Am I allowed to retake my GRE/TOEFL/IELTS exam?
We do allow you to retake the test. If you believe that retaking the test will improve your chances in getting admitted, you are welcome to retake the test. If you do decide to retake the test, it is highly advised the test be taken as soon as possible.
Why are my test scores marked unofficial?
"Unofficial" is how we mark it as received (this is the system notation). Your score is indeed received and marked complete. If we require further information, we will contact you directly.
Is the GRE required?
The GRE general test requirement is now optional for all applicants applying for admission to Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. Applicants may report a GRE general test score but it is not required to complete an application.
I've submitted my application--how do I update my recommenders?
Please send us an email at email@example.com with all the information we need to update your recommender information. You have two options when updating recommenders: 1) replace or 2) add a fourth. Please keep in mind that if your first-choice is reluctant or unresponsive, you may want to choose a new recommender. We are unable to send more than one request to each recommender.
How many times can I resend the request to my recommender(s) to submit their letter of recommendation?
As the applicant you are allowed to resend the request once to recommender(s). If for any reason the recommender(s) have not received the request, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org to resend the request to recommender(s). This can only be done only once by us.
Am I able to put my employer as one of my references for my application?
It is find to submit a letter of recommendation from your employer, but it is highly recommended that you have at least two letters from professors in your major subject.
Can I still apply if I don't meet all the application criteria?
The selection of qualified candidates for the Master’s and Ph.D. programs is based on an applicant’s qualifications as a whole. Therefore, an applicant’s GPA, GRE score, TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only), statement of personal history, and letters of recommendation are all very seriously considered.
Occasionally, applicants are considered for admission if one of the above mentioned areas is slightly below minimum criteria. However, this is rare and only occurs when an applicant is specifically recommended by a faculty member and special circumstances justify the exception.
Where can I find more information regarding requirements?
To see information regarding our graduate program, graduate student admission criteria, graduate application priority deadlines, and applicant checklist please visit:
How can I find out more about fees and tuition assistance?
Fellowships and other financial assistance opportunities are available on the Graduate Division website.
I am interested in applying for a fee waiver, what are the requirements?
In order to qualify, you must be a U.S. Citizen or current Permanent resident as explained here: https://graduate.ucr.edu/fee-waivers
Am I able to apply for Winter or Spring quarters, and do I qualify for funding in these quarters?
For off-cycle admissions (Winter and Spring), we highly recommend that students apply only if specifically asked to do so by a faculty member. There are occasions where students are admitted off-cycle but such cases are rare. Financial packages are awarded based on a number of factors, including funding availability for that cycle. Moreover, financial packages are awarded on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may qualify for funding based on these criteria.
As an international applicant, do I need to show a financial verification statement?
U.S immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, must show documented evidence of sufficient funds to cover all fees, transportation, and living expense for the first year of their studies at UCR and that a sponsor is committed to their financial support beyond this date. Proof is required before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. Here is our website: https://www.ece.ucr.edu/academics/graduate-apply#international applicant
Can I send unofficial documents?
Unofficial copies should be provided for the application review process and, if admitted, official copies will be requested by Graduate Admissions after you accept your offer. Notarized documents are not acceptable.
However, the department highly recommends submitting official transcripts when possible to avoid any potential delays in the processing of visas.
I applied last year and I would like to use my materials from my previous application for my current one, what are the steps I should take?
Please send an email to email@example.com with your past and current Application ID and indicate what materials you would like to reuse for your current application (i.e., transcripts test scores, LOR, etc...). The application fee cannot be transferred.
Statement of Purpose and Statement of Personal History
Do I have to submit both statements?
Yes, you must submit two distinct responses. That is, your essay response should not duplicate the other. We also do not accept a personal resume or curriculum vitae as a response to either essay.
How long does each essay need to be?
There is a character limit if your responses are typed directly into the application. There is no character limit if your responses are attached as PDF's or word documents to your application.
May I submit an updated/corrected essay response?
Yes. Email your essay response (in PDF or word document file) to firstname.lastname@example.org with your application ID as the subject line.