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UCLA General Catalog 2017-18

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    School of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate Study


Concurrent Degree Program

A concurrent degree program between HSSEAS and the Anderson Graduate School of Management allows students to earn two master’s degrees simultaneously: the MBA and the MS in Computer Science. Contact the HSSEAS Office of Academic and Student Affairs for details.

Master of Science in Engineering Online Degree

The primary purpose of the Master of Science in Engineering online self-supporting degree program is to enable employed engineers and computer scientists to augment their technical education beyond the Bachelor of Science degree and to enhance their value to the technical organizations in which they are employed.

Master of Engineering Degree

The Master of Engineering (MEngr) degree is granted to graduates of the Engineering Executive Program, a two-year work-study program consisting of graduate-level professional courses in the management of technological enterprises.

Engineer Degree

HSSEAS offers an Engineer (Engr) degree at a level equivalent to completion of preliminaries in the PhD program. The Engineer degree represents considerable advanced training and competence in the engineering field but does not require the research effort involved in a PhD dissertation.

Requirements for the Engineer degree are identical to those of the PhD degree up to and including the oral preliminary examination, except that the Engineer degree is based on coursework. The minimum requirement is 15 (at least nine graduate) courses beyond the bachelor’s degree, with at least six courses in the major field (minimum of four graduate courses) and at least three in each minor field (minimum of two graduate courses in each).

The PhD and Engineer degree programs are administered interchangeably, so that a student in the PhD program may exit with an Engineer degree or pick up the Engineer degree en route to the PhD degree; similarly, a student in the Engineer degree program may continue to the PhD after receiving the Engineer degree. The time spent in either of the two programs may also be applied toward the minimum residence requirement and time limitation for the other program.

PhD Degrees

The PhD programs prepare students for advanced study and research in the major areas of engineering and computer science. All candidates must fulfill the minimum requirements of the Graduate Division. Major and minor fields may have additional course and examination requirements. For more information, contact the individual departments.

Fields of Study

Established fields of study for the PhD are listed below. With the support of an adviser, students may propose any other field of study to their department. Instructions on the definition of acceptable ad hoc fields and procedures for their approval are available in each department office.

Bioengineering Department. Biomedical instrumentation; biomedical signal and image processing; biosystems science and engineering; medical imaging informatics; molecular cellular tissue therapeutics; neuroengineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. Chemical engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Civil engineering materials, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydrology and water resources engineering, structures (structural mechanics and structural/earthquake engineering)

Computer Science Department. Artificial intelligence, computational systems biology, computer network systems, computer science theory, computer system architecture, graphics and vision, information and data management, software systems

Electrical Engineering Department. Circuits and embedded systems, physical and wave electronics, signals and systems

Materials Science and Engineering Department. Ceramics and ceramic processing, electronic and optical materials, structural materials

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Applied mathematics (established minor field only), applied plasma physics (minor field only), design, robotics, and manufacturing (DROM), dynamics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, nanoelectromechanical/microelectromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS), structural and solid mechanics, systems and control

Graduate Certificate of Specialization

HSSEAS offers a Certificate of Specialization in all areas, except computer science. Requirements for admission are the same as for the MS degree.

Each graduate certificate program consists of five 100- or 200-series courses, at least two of which must be at the graduate level. No work completed for any previously awarded degree or credential may be applied toward the certificate. Successful completion of a certificate program requires an overall minimum B average in all courses applicable to the certificate. In addition, graduate certificate candidates are required to maintain a minimum B average in 200-series courses used in the certificate program. A minimum of three terms of academic residence is required. The time limitation for completing the requirements of a certificate program is two calendar years. Details regarding the certificate programs may be obtained from each department office.

Courses completed in HSSEAS for a Certificate of Specialization may subsequently be applied toward master’s and/or doctorate degrees.


In addition to meeting the requirements of the Graduate Division, applicants to the HSSEAS graduate programs are required to take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Specific information about the GRE may be obtained from the department of interest.

Students entering the Engineer/PhD program normally are expected to have completed the requirements for the master’s degree with at least a 3.25 grade-point average and to have demonstrated creative ability. Check with department of interest for specific GPA requirements. Normally the MS degree is required for admission to the PhD program. Exceptional students, however, can be admitted to the PhD program without having an MS degree.

For information on the proficiency in English requirements for international graduate students, see Graduate Admission in the Graduate Study chapter of this catalog.

To submit a graduate application, see the HSSEAS Graduate Admissions website. From there connect to the site of the preferred department or program and go to the online graduate application.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Graduate degree information is updated annually in Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees.

Master of Science Degrees

No lower-division courses may be applied toward graduate degrees. In addition, the various departments generally do not allow, for graduate degree credit, courses required of their undergraduate students. Consult the departmental graduate affairs office for more information.

Individual departments within the school may impose certain restrictions on the applicability of other undergraduate courses toward graduate degrees. Consult with the graduate adviser on departmental requirements and restrictions.

Major Fields or Subdisciplines

The MS program focuses on one major field. The major fields and subdisciplines offered at the MS level in most cases parallel those listed below for the PhD program. There are some differences (for example, manufacturing engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is offered only at the MS level). Contact the department concerned regarding possible differences between the MS and PhD fields and subdisciplines. Students are free to propose to the school any other field of study, with the support of their adviser.

Course Requirements

A total of nine courses is required for the MS degrees, including a minimum of five graduate courses. (Some fields require more than five; obtain specific information from the department of interest.) A majority of the total formal course requirement and of the graduate course requirement must consist of courses in HSSEAS. In the thesis plan, seven of the nine courses must be formal courses, including at least four from the 200 series. The remaining two courses may be 598 courses involving work on the thesis. In the comprehensive examination plan, at least five of the nine courses must be in the 200 series; the remaining four courses may be either 200-series graduate or upper-division undergraduate courses. No 500-series courses may be applied toward the comprehensive examination plan requirements.

Thesis Plan

The thesis must either describe some original piece of research that students have done, usually but not necessarily under the supervision of the thesis committee, or else supply a critical exposition of some topic in their major field of study. Students would normally start to plan the thesis at least one year before the award of the MS degree is expected. There is no examination under the thesis plan.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

For information on the comprehensive examination plan for each department, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degree.

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