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Graduate School: Why, What, How, When? Brian Johnson Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Graduate School: Why, What, How, When? Brian Johnson Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Graduate School: Why, What, How, When? Brian Johnson Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

2 Why Graduate School? u Plenty of job opportunities for BSEE…. –Good starting salaries –Good annual advancement –Moving on to management –I can’t afford more school –Besides, I’m sick of school

3 Why Graduate School? u Different types of job opportunities –Research and development engineer –Teaching at the college level –Patent attorney –Medical school

4 Why Graduate School? u Other Benefits –More likely to stay in engineering longer »Often higher pay for engineering projects (Master’s more than Ph.D.) –Often have more say in project assignments –More interesting and varied projects »More likely to work near the technology cutting edge »More interesting toys

5 What graduate school options? u Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering u Doctoral Degrees in Electrical Engineering u Degrees in Other Engineering Disciplines u Non-Engineering Degrees –Law Degrees –Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) –Master’s in Engineering Management –Medical School u Or simply for continuing education –Marketable job skills –Continuing education requirement for PE

6 EE Master’s Degrees u Typically 24-36 credits –Often focused in one area or two areas u Master of Science (MSEE) –Roughly 6 credits of Master’s thesis research –Written document (~100 pages) and defense  MS Research: –Generally slightly extends existing knowledge –Or applies existing knowledge in different way –Or uses existing knowledge in a new application

7 EE Master’s Degrees u Master of Engineering (MEEE) –Non-thesis Master’s –Often additional courses replace thesis »Often 10 semester length courses –Often geared toward part-time students –Many schools require a report/presentation –At some schools this is almost a thesis

8 Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) u Many Engineering Programs Require Master’s u Often 15 -24 course credits beyond Master’s u Many schools require breadth areas u Often some form of qualifier exams u Doctoral Dissertation (or Thesis) –Key distinguishing factor –Prove you are capable of performing research at cutting edge in a field of study, globally, not locally –Significant new contribution that field

9 How?  Full Time Option u Generally 2-3 courses per term –Usually fewer, longer assignments –Often more interesting courses –Usually more relaxed pacing than BS courses u Time for working on research –Full time students more often doing MS or Ph.D. –Fewer courses during school year –Full time on research in summer

10 How?  Full Time Option u Graduate students often funded as TA or RA –Not medical school or law school –20 hrs/week during school year, 40 in summer –Pay rate approximately what get for internship »$16/hr to $20/hr –Fees or tuition often paid (health insurance) u Approx. 2-2.5 years for MS u Approx. 3-4.5 years for Ph.D.

11 How?  Part Time Option u Graduate school while working full time u Employer often pays for classes –If you get good grades u Often 1 course/semester –Figure 10-12 hours/week on average per class –Some students take 2 classes if have time u Courses delivered by DVD, Web, etc. –For example, UI Engineering Outreach

12 How?  Part Time Option u Often works better non-thesis degree –Classes have fixed milestones and deadlines u People do complete MS and even Ph.D. –Generally very self-motivated people –In many cases research project has some relationship to job u Challenges with job related research topic –Managers looking over your shoulder –Intellectual property issues

13 When? u Take advice you get with a grain of salt –People with graduate degrees typically suggest what worked for them u If part time option: –Employer may have a time limit before reimburse –Degree will take about 5 years »Does that fit the rest of your life –We have Engineering Outreach students just out of BS and others 25 or more years out of BS

14 When?  Full time option u Your circumstances may vary…. –Perhaps you can’t find a job you like, where you like… –Or you have a spouse or significant other who needs one more year of school… u Some people recommend going straight to graduate school –You are used to student lifestyle (aren’t moving paying job to a low paying one) –You have an assistantship of fellowship

15 When?  Full time option u Others recommend working for a few years as an engineer –Learn more about real world engineering issues –Practical knowledge to help theory fit into place –Less common outside of engineering –Some employers will provide a paid leave of a year or so to work on the thesis research –Work part time for company and full time student

16 When?  Application process u Every school has some sort of application process –Web based applications u Some schools only admit full time students for starting in fall semester –Part time students may also be able to start in spring –Application deadlines posted on their web pages »Often in December January for Funded Fall Admission »Partly driven by visa requirements

17 When?  Application requirements u Minimum undergraduate GPA –Ranges from 2.8 to as high as 3.8 depending on school –Most will give credit for post-BS level courses if low undergraduate GPA –Most will accept at least a few transfer credits u Many schools require graduate records exam –Score may be used for admission or –Just for determining who gets assistantships »Especially if degree from accredited undergraduate program

18 When?  Application requirements u Specify which area of EE for specialization –Make sure that school offers that area –Try to contact faculty researchers in that area of study to see if they have open positions u They may require some form of written statement of personal goals u Letters of recommendation (possibly a form to complete) u Resume of some form

19 When?  Where to apply? u Consider how strong the school is in your area of specialization –Will a degree from there help your career goals –Reputation of a Ph.D. program or of your major professor impacts job prospects significantly u Can you get admitted there u Can you get funding there

20 When?  Where to apply? u Generally not a good idea to get BS, MS and Ph.D. from the same school unless the school unless they have a very strong Ph.D. program

21 UI ECE Department u MSEE, MEEE, Ph.D. EE u MSCompE, MECompE u Undergraduate GPA of 2.8 or higher (3.0 preferred) for MS u Letter of recommendation waived for recent BSEE or BSCompE graduates u GRE not required UI ECE BSEE/BSCompE graduates u Keep 1-2 page statement of purpose short and to the point…

22 UI ECE Department u 30 credits for Master’s (MS thesis is 6 credits) u 78 credits past BS for Ph.D. –Master’s counts for 30 –Dissertation is up to another 30 –Two breadth areas u Areas of department with funded research –Electromagnetics (Young) –Digital systems (Donohoe) –Control Systems (Edwards) –Power/Power Electronics (Hess, Johnson) –Applications of embedded systems (Wall, J. Frenzel) –Electronics (Ay, Barlow, Elshabini)

23 UI Resources u ECE Graduate Guidelines u UI College of Graduate Studies – u 2008-09 Graduate Fees: –Idaho Residents: »Full time student fees: $5212 (2 semesters) »Part time student per credit fees: $267/credit u This would apply for taking class for graduate transcript as a senior as an Idaho resident –Out of State Students »Full time student fees: $15,292 (2 semesters) »Part time student per credit fees: $603/credit

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