FAQ - Graduate Admissions

Degree Plans

  1. What are the requirements for a Masters or a Ph.D.?
  2. What is the difference between the M.S. and M.Eng. degree?
  3. What is the difference between Ph.D. and D.Eng.?
  4. I have taken a graduate level course in which I got a C. This course is already present on my degree plan. Can I keep the course on the degree plan?
  5. Can I change the courses on my degree plan once it is filed?
  6. Can I change my degree status once I've been admitted?
  7. Can I change my degree status once a degree plan is filed?
  8. I do not have a BS degree in electrical engineering. Are there courses I will be required to take before I start my degree plan?
  9. Are leveling courses to be included in the degree plan even though they cannot be counted towards the required number of credits? Who should be on my degree plan committee?
  10. Who should be on my degree plan committee?
  11. When should I file the degree plan?
  12. I already have a M.S./Ph.D. degree. Can I transfer some of the credits toward my current degree plan?
  13. If I qualify to transfer some of my M.S./Ph.D. credits to my current degree plan, how many hours allowed?
  14. I am currently a graduate student in another department at Texas A&M University and would like to transfer to the Department of Electrical Engineering. What must I do?

Assistantships

  1. There are two different types of courses for the summer, 5-week courses and 10-week courses? How can I register to satisfy the full-time status for my RA/TA?
  2. How do I apply for a Teaching Assistant (TA) position?
  3. How do I apply for a Research Assistant (RA) position?
  4. I am a foreign student and English is my second language. Can I apply for a TA? What is the requirement?

Recommended Courses for Different Majors

  1. Are these recommended courses mandatory?
  2. I am working on a research topic that requires interdisciplinary expertise. Can I mix the recommended courses together to satisfy my need?

Probation

  1. What is the criteria on probation?
  2. What happens after one semester on probation if my GPR is not back up to 3.0?
  3. What if the GPR requirement is satisfied after one semester, but falls again below 3.0 in another semester?
  4. My current GPA is around 3.0. Now I am taking a course that is not going well. Can I drop the course so that I will not fall into the category of probation?
  5. I understand that an I (incomplete) is changed into an F after one semester if nothing is done. How do they count the summer as one semester or two semesters?
  6. I took a course in which I got an I for incomplete. After one semester, it becomes an F. Now I am on probation. What can I do to change the F back to a better grade?
  7. Does I (incomplete) in 691 (research) 684 (professional internship), or 692 (Professional study) become an F after one semester?
  8. Does an I (incomplete) of 685 (problems) become an F after one semester?

Degree Plans - Answers

  1. What are the requirements for a Masters or a Ph.D.?

    ElectricalComputer
    Masters of Science (M.S.) Masters of Science (M.S.)
    Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.)
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  2. What is the difference between the M.S. and M.Eng. degree?

    • M.Eng. (Master of Engineering) - non-thesis option requiring 30 hours of graduate credit
    • M.S. (Master of Science) - thesis option requiring 32 hours of graduate credit

    Accordingly, the M.S. degree is more research oriented and M.Eng. is more course oriented.

  3. What is the difference between the Ph.D. and D.Eng. degree?

    • The Ph.D. requires a total of 96 hours. The degree is obtained by completing 64 hours beyond the M.S. hours requirement. The Ph.D. also requires a written and oral exam, plus a final exam on the dissertation.
    • A D.Eng. degree requires a minimum of 96 hours. Candidates are required to take exams, complete an internship and file a record of study.

    Accordingly, the Ph.D. degree is research oriented. The D.Eng. degree is a practice-oriented management program.

  4. I have taken a graduate level course in which I got a C. This course is already present on my degree plan. Can I keep the course on the degree plan?

    Yes. The requirement for graduate students is to maintain a GPA of 3.0 on the degree plan.

    The intent of the degree plan is to identify the appropriate course of study for your chosen degree as determined by your advisor. Once the courses have been chosen and place on an approved degree plan, it is the student's responsibility to maintain a 3.0.

    ** It is NOT the intent of the degree plan to allow students to take courses and then, after taking the courses and receiving a grade, to choose whether or not the courses are to be included in the degree plan. A student is NOT to choose only those courses for inclusion in the degree plan for which he/she may receive grades of A or B!

  5. Can I change the courses on my degree plan once it is filed?

    Yes, the student can change the courses by filing a Petition. The Petition must be signed by ALL committee members AND the department head. The Petition must subsequently be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) and approved.

  6. Can I change my degree status once I've been admitted?

    Yes, once admitted to graduate school, a student may file a Petition to change a degree status. The Petition must be signed by the department head and then filed with the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) and approved.

    International students must check with the International Student Services Office to maintain legal status.

  7. Can I change my degree status once a degree plan is filed?

    Yes, the student must file a Petition. The Petition will include any changes needed to the degree plan. The Petition must be signed by ALL committee members AND the department head. The Petition must subsequently be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) and approved.

  8. I do not have a BS degree in electrical engineering. Are there courses I will be required to take before I start my degree plan?

    The student is required to complete leveling courses that are the basic requirements for an undergraduate. Some of the leveling courses may have prerequisites; if so, the student is required to complete those also. Once the leveling courses are completed, the student will have a basic background to begin graduate courses.

  9. Are leveling courses to be included in the degree plan even though they cannot be counted towards the required number of credits?

    Leveling courses may be listed at the bottom of the degree plan as prerequisites.

  10. Who should be on my degree plan committee?

    M.Eng. degree committee:

    • Advisor as chairman
    • A professor from electrical engineering outside student's area of study
    • A professor from outside the EE department.

    M.S. and Ph.D. degree committee :

    • Advisor as chairman
    • A professor from the student's area of study
    • A professor from electrical engineering outside student's area of study
    • A professor from outside the EE department.

    Ph.D. degree also includes: A Graduate Council Representative (GCR) assigned by the Office of Graduate Studies.

  11. When should I file the degree plan?

    For both Ph.D. and M.S. students, file before preregistration of the second semester, summer semester excluded.

  12. I already have a M.S./Ph.D. degree. Can I transfer some of the credits toward my current degree plan?

    The courses that have been used towards a previous M.S./Ph.D. CANNOT be transferred. You may transfer courses that didn’t apply to the previous degree(extra courses) up to 6 credit hours. This transfer must be approved by the student's degree plan advisor and by the committee. An official transcript containing these courses must be on file with the Office of Graduate Studies. List these courses, their prefix and title, on the degree plan as listed on the transcript.pt.

  13. If I qualify to transfer some of my M.S./Ph.D. credits to my current degree plan, how many class hours are allowed?

    Please refer to the degree requirements. For a M.S./M.Eng. degree, a student may transfer 6 credit class hours. For a Ph.D. degree, a student is required to take at least 18 class hours after M.S..

  14. I am currently a graduate student in another department at Texas A&M University and would like to transfer to the Department of Electrical Engineering. What must I do?

    You will be treated as a new applicant. The previous department will need to send the complete file they have you. A new statement of purpose and resume will be required. Once this is received you will be entered into our graduate application database. Your application will be reviewed and a decision will be made. If accepted, you will be required to file a Petition (Office of Graduate Studies website) with the change of departments and signed by each department. The petition will need to filed with the Office of Graduate Studies, to change your degree status.

Assistantships - Answers

  1. There are two different sessions for the summer--two 5-week terms and one 10-week term. How can I register to satisfy the full-time status for my RA/TA?

    To be considered a full-time student for the Summer, a student must register for a total of 6 credit hours in one of the two following ways:

    • 6 credit hours during the 10-week summer term OR
    • 3 credit hours during each 5-week summer term

    To hold an assistantship for the Spring and Fall semesters, the student needs to register for 9 hours in order to be considered full-time.

    No other combinations are allowed.

  2. How do I apply for a Teaching Assistant (TA) position?

    About three months prior to a new semester, applications are distributed into all the graduate student mailboxes. In order to apply for a TA, complete the application and return it to the listed contact person.

  3. How do I apply for a Research Assistant (RA) position?

    In order to apply for a RA, a student must contact the professors in their area of interest. The professors handle funding and will be able to inform students about openings for research positions.

  4. I am a foreign student and English is my second language. Can I apply for a TA? What is the requirement?

    International students whose native language is not English and who wish to apply for a TA position must fulfill an English proficiency requirement. The English Proficiency Certification is required before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a TA or in any other position considered to be a teaching position. It is best to meet this proficiency requirement early in a student's program. Contact the International Admissions Office at (979) 458-0427, to arrange a test.

Recommended Courses for Different Majors - Answers

  1. Are these recommended courses mandatory?

    The recommended courses are only recommendations that suit most cases. The student's advisor really knows what is required to fulfill a student's research tasks. Students should discuss needs and expectations with their advisors and committee members.

  2. I am working on a research topic that requires interdisciplinary expertise. Can I mix the recommended courses together to satisfy my need?

    Yes, definitely. Please refer to #1 in this section and discuss with advisor and committee members.

Probation - Answers

  1. What is the criteria on probation?

    Electrical Engineering graduate students are expected to maintain a Grade Point Ratio (GPR) equal to or better than 3.0 throughout the duration of their graduate study. This requirement applies to each of cumulative, degree plan, and semester GPR. It is also a prerequisite for receiving a graduate degree in electrical engineering.

    When a student's GPR (either cumulative, degree plan or semester) falls below 3.0, the student is placed on probation by the department and is blocked from pre-registration for the following semester. Notifications are made by letter to the student, the advisor, and other pertinent offices within the university. The student will then be allowed one semester to return the GPR back up to 3.0. A student who is on probation will not be allowed to hold a departmental assistantship, fellowship, or any other financial aid during the probation period. A student will be allowed to register for the following semester only after official transcripts are issued indicating that the GPR has been brought back up to 3.0.

  2. What happens after one semester on probation if my GPR is not back up to 3.0?

    If after one semester on probation a student's Cummulative or degree plan GPR is not back up to 3.0, the Office of Graduate Studies will be asked to remove the student from the graduate studies. Notification will be made by letter to the student, the advisor, the Office of Graduate Studies, and other pertinent offices within the university.

  3. What if the GPR requirement is satisfied after one semester, but falls again below 3.0 in another semester?

    The student will be dismissed by the department. No more than one semester with a GPR below 3.0 is permitted throughout the duration of graduate study in the electrical engineering program.

  4. My current GPA is around 3.0. Now I am taking a course that is not going well. Can I drop the course so that I will not fall into the category of probation?

    The ability to drop a course depends on several things:

    • the approval of the Graduate Coordinator
    • the add/drop period dates
    • the Q-drop period requirements
    • whether or not a student holds an assistantship or a fellowship

    A student who has filed a degree plan listing the course in question must file a Petition in order to remove the course from the degree plan.

  5. I understand that an I (incomplete) is changed into an F after one semester if nothing is done. How do they count the summer as one semester or two semesters?

    The summer semester is counted as one semester. The I will be changed to an F at the end of the Fall semester unless the professor submits a grade change form.

  6. I took a course in which I got an I for incomplete. After one semester, it becomes an F. Now I am on probation. What can I do to change the F back to a better grade?

    The student must complete the course work for which an I was received by submitting it to the professor. The professor will then submit a grade change form. This change may or may not change the student's GPR. The student will remain on probation until the registrar has changed the grade in the system.

  7. Does I (incomplete) in 691 (research) 684 (professional internship), or 692 (Professional study) become an F after one semester?

    No, these courses are excluded from that rule.

  8. Does an I (incomplete) of 685 (problems) become an F after one semester?

    Yes, if you receive an I in 685, it will turn to an F after one semester. The course 685 is a letter grade course and therefore is not excluded from the rule.