FALL 2020 NEW INTERNATIONAL MS STUDENT UPDATES

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Master of Science Program

The information below pertains ONLY to new international MS students in the ECE Department.  For questions on admissions/deferrals, please contact ECEgradapps@eng.ucsd.edu. Curriculum questions may be directed to your academic student advisor: http://ece.ucsd.edu/graduate/m-s-academic-advising.  

We look forward to meeting you when you come to join us this fall!  With so much uncertainty in the world right now, we hope that the following updates/information will be helpful to you in your decision making.

Joining ECE: Your Options

Attend Fall Quarter remotely. The benefits are:
  • You can stay on track with your original timeline to graduation.
  • Instructors can leverage experience from previous quarters hosted online to provide a high quality learning experience.
  • More materials are available.
  • Easier access to office hours.
  • Course content, lectures, assignments and other course related materials will be available for students to review at a time convenient in your time zone. 
  • Instructors often include more frequent opportunities to receive feedback.
  • You could take courses that you might not have been able to take together due to in-person conflicts (e.g., two courses offered at the same day/time).
If I do not want to take classes remotely, can I defer my offer of admission?

If you are experiencing visa delays or other exceptional hardships due to Covid-19, you may defer your offer of admission to any of the following terms: Winter 2021, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021. Please see the Admissions and Deferrals section below for more details.

Visa Questions

Updates from U.S. Imigration and Customs Enforcements - SEVP

ICE SEVP sent a notice on 7/6/20 regarding online instruction and hybrid/in person requirements. This policy has since been overturned and no longer applies. Check ISPO’s website for more details on this.

Do I Have To Maintain Full-Time (12 Units) Of Enrollment If I Plan To Take All Of My Classes Remotely From Outside The U.S. For Fall 2020?

Yes. All international students will be expected to maintain a minimum of 12 units throughout Fall 2020, regardless of whether they are taking classes remotely or not.

How Do I Register And Enroll In Courses For Fall 2020 If I Do Not Have A Visa?

The registration process is independent of whether or not you have a visa, so please follow the standard instructions as if you were planning to be physically present at UC San Diego.  Please refer to descriptions about registration, orientation, required training, and enrollment on the websites by International Students and Programs Office (ISPO) and Graduate Enrollment.

Do I Still Need To Apply For My I-20/DS-2019 If I Plan To Do Remote-Start Instruction For Fall 2020?

Yes. Even if you plan to take all of your classes remotely for Summer and/or Fall of 2020 from outside the United States, you should still obtain an I-20/DS-2019 document from ISPO with a fall start date and attempt to book a visa appointment in your home country as soon as they become available.

Note that due to the fluid nature of COVID-19 and its impacts, guidance regarding I-20/DS-2019 document issuance from the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) may change. ISPO will provide further guidance and next steps to all students immediately if this occurs.  Information changes daily, so please refer to ISPO’s website for any questions you may have: https://ispo.ucsd.edu/news/coronavirusinfo.html

Am I Still Eligible For Work Authorization (F-1 CPT, F-1 OPT, Or J-1 AT) In Summer 2021 If I Enroll Remotely For Fall 2020?

Routinely view the following ISPO FAQs posted here: https://ispo.ucsd.edu/news/coronavirus-info/new-students/faq-employment.html#How-is-the-One-Academic-Year-Re . Ultimately, we are beholden to the federal government, which is why we refer all visa and CPT questions to the ISPO, as they synthesize and disseminate federal guidance on behalf of the campus.we have it.

What About…? (Other Visa Questions)

For all other questions about your immigration status and/or your visa, please refer to the International Students and Programs Office:
https://ispo.ucsd.edu/contact/index.html

We will not answer any questions about immigration, as the information is constantly evolving.  Your best source for information is here: https://ispo.ucsd.edu/news/coronavirusinfo.html

Admissions and Deferrals 

Can I Defer My Offer Of Admission?

If you are experiencing visa delays or other exceptional hardships due to Covid-19, you may defer your offer of admission to any of the following terms: Winter 2021, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021.

How Do I Submit A Deferral? Is There A Deadline For Deferral?

The ECE Department will have an internal form for students to complete beginning August 3rd, which will be due by September 1st. International students waiting on their visa approval are advised to wait until closer to late August to complete the form. Failure to formally defer by this date may jeopardize your readmission process, if you decide to defer after the deadline.

How Often Can I Change My Mind?  For Example, What If I Defer To Winter 2021, And Then I Want To Defer To Spring 2021 Or Fall 2021?

If you are experiencing visa delays or other exceptional hardships due to Covid-19, we will work with you to accommodate your specific situation. HOWEVER, it is extremely important to be cognizant of the registration and enrollment deadlines and the schedule of refunds.  We are not responsible for any late fees that you are assessed as a result of not registering and enrolling prior to the deadlines listed here: https://blink.ucsd.edu/instructors/courses/enrollment/calendars/2020.html. Also, please refer to this Schedule of Refunds, as we are not able to make any exceptions if you fail to withdraw from courses after changing your mind regarding a deferral: https://students.ucsd.edu/finances/fees/registration/schedule-of-refunds.html

If I decide after September 1st that I want to defer my admission from Fall 20 to a later quarter, what should I do?

We cannot guarantee that this will be possible after September 1st. Please be sure to contact our Admissions Advisor at scj002@eng.ucsd.edu for guidance.

If I decided that I want to defer to Winter21 but then change my mind to defer to a later quarter, is this possible?

Yes we will work with you to best accommodate you given your situation. We do not encourage changing your mind unless circumstances require it. The deadline to change your defer from Winter to a later quarter would be December 1st. Please be sure to contact our Admissions Advisor at scj002@eng.ucsd.edu for guidance once you make your decision to do so.

If I decided that I want to defer to Spring21 but then change my mind to defer to a later quarter, is this possible?

Yes we will work with you to best accommodate you given your situation. We do not encourage changing your mind unless circumstances require it. The deadline to change your defer from Spring to a later quarter would be March 1st. Please be sure to contact our Admissions Advisor at scj002@eng.ucsd.edu for guidance once you make your decision to do so.

Similarly, What Happens If I Register (Pay Tuition/Fees) And Enroll In Classes For Fall 2020, And Then I Decide I Want To Defer To A Later Quarter?

Once you have *registered (submitted payment)*and enrolled in courses in a given quarter, you will be subject to campus drop/withdrawal deadlines as well as any applicable fees. Please closely review the deadlines on the following calendars, and add to your calendar, as needed:

Enrollment and Registration Deadlines: https://blink.ucsd.edu/instructors/courses/enrollment/calendars/2020.html

Schedule of Refunds: https://students.ucsd.edu/finances/fees/registration/schedule-of-refunds.html

Other

Career Services & Industry Networking

Are there plans in place for virtual career fairs and/or remote interaction with industry partners?

Yes! There are several resources for career services that will be available remotely in fall 2020. 

-The UCSD Career Center will continue to offer virtual industry events and information sessions https://career.ucsd.edu/about/index.html

-The Jacobs School of Engineering Job & Internship Resources (JSOE Link https://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/cap/job-internship)

What else should I do to prepare for starting in Fall 2020
If I am pursuing the Thesis option, how will I be able to participate in research remotely?

The vast majority of ECE research labs are currently running remotely as seminars, and group meetings and individual meetings are being held online.  In fact, attending campus remotely makes it easier to attend the many group seminars and to meet with instructors in your desired research area.  To get involved in research projects, the same recommendations that applied for in-person instruction still apply:  1) Take core graduate courses in the area of your research interest and both excel in those courses and get to know the instructor via Office Hours; 2) Attend research seminars for the area of your research interest (if applicable) and participate in those discussions; 3) After steps 1 and/or 2, reach out to faculty to express interest in joining an ongoing project.  Please be patient, as only some research projects are in phases where they are recruiting new students to help.