Graduate Students

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California State University Los Angeles

Electrical and Computer Engineering programs will prepare you for the next step in your career development.

Program Overview

You will need a minimum of 45-quarter units to obtain the MS degree.  The 45 units are divided into Area of Specialization, Electives in Engineering, and Electives in related fields as follows:

  • Minimum of 24 units in Area of Specialization (500-level courses)
  • 400-level courses in Electrical Engineering, including the prerequisites to the specialization
  • 4 units outside of Electrical Engineering, typically a 400-level Math course

This section describes the actual graduate program of courses.  In addition to courses on the graduate program, you may have to take prerequisite and/or qualifying courses.  Under certain circumstances, the graduate program may contain one or more 400-level courses from the qualifying list (i.e. these can count in both categories).  The program may not contain any of the courses from the prerequisite list.

Up to 13 quarter units may be used from work prior to admission to our program.  These can be transfer courses from a recognized university, or they may be courses taken at Cal State LA after award of the BS degree.  No courses taken prior to the award of the BS degree may be used on the MS program (with the one exception of courses fitting the catalog description, “graduate credit for undergraduate students”.  This is limited category that requires pre-approval, and must occur during the very last quarter as an undergraduate).

Area of Specialization:

You must take at least 24 units of 500-level courses in your area(s) of specialization.  If you choose to do a thesis, the research and thesis units count as part of this requirement.  The distribution of courses in the area of specialization depends on whether you choose a thesis or comprehensive exam.  If you choose a comprehensive exam, you will need at least two areas of specialization, while those choosing a thesis may have only one.  The currently available areas are:

            POWER SYSTEMS

The listing of courses in each area is available from your adviser.

Electives in Electrical Engineering:

The electives consist of 400-level courses in electrical Engineering.  They will normally be those courses related to the 500-level courses selected in the specialization.

Electives in Related Fields:

One course is required outside of Electrical engineering, and this normally math courses.   MATH 402A must be this course if it was not taken as an undergraduate.  Other typical courses are MATH 402B and MATH 474.  In certain special cases, the list might include Physics or Computer Science courses.


COURSE                               PREREQUISITE
EE411                                     EE437
EE412                                     EE437
EE420                                     EE320
EE421                                     EE320
EE422                                     EE320
EE423                                     EE422
EE424                                     EE320, EE437
EE425                                     EE320
EE426                                     EE320
EE430                                     EE333, EE336
EE432                                     EE304
EE433                                     EE432
EE434                                     EE304
EE436                                     EE371
EE437                                     EE332
EE439                                     EE336, EE372
EE442                                     EE360
EE443                                     EE317, EE439 (MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY)
EE445                                     EE345, EE372, EE347 (MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY)
EE448                                     EE346, EE347 (MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY)
EE449                                     EE345 (MAY BE TAKEN CONCURRENTLY), EE347
EE460                                     EE360
EE461                                     EE360
EE462                                     EE360
EE472                                     EE336
EE473                                     EE320, EE371
EE483                                     EE336
EE496A                                  EE330
EE496B                                   EE496A
EE520                                     EE420, MATH402A
EE521                                     EE520
EE522                                     EE521
EE523                                     EE520, *EE521(may be taken Concurrently)
EE524                                     EE520, *EE521(may be taken Concurrently)
EE525                                     EE520 *EE521 (may be taken Concurrently)
EE530                                     EE430, MATH402A
EE533                                     EE332, 433
EE534                                     EE360, EE533
EE536A                                  EE436
EE536B                                   EE536A
EE536C                                   EE536B
EE537                                     EE433

EE544                                     EE449
EE547A                                  EE449
EE547B                                   EE547A
EE561                                     EE334
EE562                                     EE461
EE563                                     EE462

Writing Requirement

Unless you are exempt (see next paragraph) you must take the upper division writing proficiency exam (WPE)  in your very first quarter as a graduate student!!!  This is extremely important since the University will block you from registering until you pass this exam DON’T BE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE!  You will not receive any special notice. It is your responsibility to take the exam at the proper time.   You register for the exam as UNIV400, which is listed in the schedule of classes along with the other “UNIV” courses.

There are only two ways that you may be exempt from taking the writing exam.  The first is if you have passed a writing proficiency exam at an accredited college or university where the language of instruction is English.  This must be clearly indicated on you transcript.  The second is if you hold an earned doctorate from an accredited college or university where the primary language of instruction is English.

If you fail the exam the first time, you must meet with a consultant in the University Writing Center.  Based on recommendation from the consultant, you may retake the exam or enroll in UNIV401, the upper division writing proficiency course.  In any case, the requirement must be satisfied within the first three-quarters or prior to the completion of 16 units, whichever comes later.  Failure to pass this requirement in this allotted period will result in blocking of future registrations.  Check the schedule of classes for details.  Help is also available in the University Writing Center to correct deficiencies in your writing.  You must be able to write effectively in order to succeed in the profession.

GPA Requirements

When you first are admitted to the University, you are an unclassified postbaccalaureate student. You are “post-bac” since you already have a BS degree, and you are unclassified since classification is a formal process described below.  The unclassified postbaccalaureate status should be a very temporary status lasting as little as 24 hours.  It means that although you have been admitted, you don’t yet have a home in a department.  You are a floater, and the state of California will charge you extra tuition since you are not yet formally on a degree track.

When you see an adviser in the department and file a tentative graduate program, you become conditionally classified.  This removes you from the higher tuition category.  If conditions are specified, they fall into one or more of two categories:  (a) qualifying courses” (b) prerequisite courses.
            (a) If your grade point average in the upper division (300 and 400 level) courses in the        major in your BS degree is less than 2.75, you must first prove yourself capable of graduate study.  The department will assign four qualifying courses, (300 or 400-level) as a test, and you must achieve at least a B average in these courses to be eligible for admission.  These are known as qualifying courses, and you MUST take them before starting on the program.  That is, these courses must be the first 4 courses you take at our school.  If scheduling problems make it difficult for you to take these in a timely manner, you should see an adviser to discuss changes in the list.  If you complete these courses with less than a 3.0 average, you are permanently disqualified from becoming a graduate student in Electrical  Engineering at Cal State LA  If you complete the courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher, you have met this condition for classification.
            (b) If your BS degree is not equivalent to that offered by Cal State LA, we may require you to complete certain prerequisite courses before being admitted to our program.  These will normally be 300-level courses, though the list might contain a limited number of 200 or 400-level courses.  Under certain circumstances, you may start on the graduate program prior to finishing the entire list of prerequisite courses.  You should discuss this with an adviser.  Your grade point average on the prerequisite courses should be over 3.0, but in any case, it must be at least as good as your undergraduate grade point average.  For example, if you are admitted with over a 2.75 in the upper division major, you are exempt from taking qualifying courses as described above.  However, since the prerequisites are considered part of the BS degree requirement, poor performance on the prerequisite courses could lead to a re-evaluation, and we may have to ask you to take qualifying courses.

Once you have successfully completed all specified conditions (qualifying courses and prerequisite courses), you are ready to become a classified graduate student.  The department will normally process this automatically and ask you to come in to sign the necessary papers.  However, if you think you are ready for classification and you have not heard from us, please inquire at the department office.  Classification is a requirement to register for 500-level courses.

Once you are classified, it is time to think about the final category - Advancement to Candidacy. Upon completion of at least 16 units of your graduate program with the grade point average of at least 3.0, you are eligible to apply for advancement to candidacy for the degree MSEE.  Advancement to candidacy is a requirement to apply to thesis or comprehensive exam, and also to apply for graduation.  It is a very simple process.

Transfering Courses

Up to 13 quarter units may be used from work prior to admission to our program.  These can be transfer courses from a recognized university, or they may be courses taken at Cal State LA after award of the BS degree.  No courses taken prior to the award of the BS degree may be used on the MS program (with the one exception of courses fitting the catalog description, “graduate credit for undergraduate students”.  This is limited category that requires pre-approval, and must occur during the very last quarter as an undergraduate).

Before you begin your first quarter as a graduate student, you make up a program in consultation with an adviser.  Up to 13 units can be transfer courses, either taken before CSULA Admission as described above, or taken at another university after admission.  The maximum total of 13 units applies to the sum of all transfer courses.  Any courses taken in continuing education status at Cal State LA are considered transfer courses and are included in the 13 unit limitation.