Undergraduate Program FAQ

Advising

What is Walk-In Advising?

Walk-In visits for current students are designed to last 10-15 minutes to ask simple questions of your advisors. Thse topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Degree checks for students
  • Review of courses for the current quarter
  • Review and sign forms, including Petitions, Special Studies Courses forms, Programs Abroad documents, International Center forms, and Financial Aid Academic Plans
  • Selection of courses for the upcoming quarter

Walk-In Hours are subject to change.

 

What is an Appointment?

Appointments to meet with a counselor are available for current student during specified times in 30 minute increments. Students can contact the office one week in advance to schedule an appointment. Appointments can be made through the Virtual Advising Center. Typical topics discussed by appointments include:

  • Developing long-range curriculum plans
  • Students facing academic difficulty or other challenges that may require a referral
  • Not sure if you require an appointment? Contact us through the Virtual Advising Center for assistance.

 

What is the Virtual Advising Center?

Current students can submit brief questions 24/7 through the Virtual Advising Center. An Advisor will respond within 24-72 hours (and often sooner).

 

Prerequisites

Can I take an ECE course without the prerequisites?

The department recommends you to take the prerequisites for the ECE core courses. Learning the material in the prerequisite courses help students understand and be successfull in more advanced courses.

 

Do I have to follow the prerequisites for ECE Courses?

Yes, you are required to complete all prerequisites for an ECE course.  There will be no exceptions, especially for the core courses: ECE 15-65 and 100-109. However, you may take ECE 65 with ECE 100 concurrently and ECE 100 with ECE 102 concurrently with department approval.

 

I really want to take the ECE course without the prerequisites and I really think I can do it. What should I do?

The ECE Undergraduate Advising Office does not recommend students enroll in courses without completing prerequisites. Prerequisites are in place to make sure a student understands the material in a course. However, the instructor is the final arbiter of who is allowed to enroll in their course. Students who do not have prerequisites and want to enroll in a specific course, will need faculty approval with the Undergraduate Student Petition form. Once students have obtained faculty approval, please drop off the form to the ECE Undergraduate Advising Office. 

 

So I received faculty approval, now what?

Once you have obtained faculty approval, please drop off the form to the ECE Undergraduate Advising Office. Students will be cleared Monday of Week 10 in the order the forms are dropped off. This is to ensure that students who have the prerequisites can enroll first.

 

What if the course is now full?

Getting faculty approval and being cleared to enroll in the course will not guarantee you a spot. You'll need to place yourself on the Wait List.

 

Courses

Can I take my major courses Pass/No Pass?

No, the ECE Department does not accept Pass/No Pass grades for all major requirements (i.e. Math, Physics, Chem, ECE, etc.). You are required to take all major courses for a letter grade and pass them with a C- or better. 

 

Can I take an ECE course without the prerequisites?

The department recommends you to take the prerequisites for the ECE core courses. Learning the material in the prerequisite courses help students understand and be successfull in more advanced courses.

 

Do I have to follow the prerequisites for ECE Courses?

Yes, you are required to complete all prerequisites for an ECE course.  There will be no exceptions, especially for the core courses: ECE 15-65 and 100-109. However, you may take ECE 65 with ECE 100 concurrently and ECE 100 with ECE 102 concurrently with department approval.

 

How do I take courses concurrently?

You may take ECE 65 and ECE 100 or ECE 100 and ECE 102 concurrently. You will need to get clearance to enroll from the advisors. Utilize the Virtual Advising Center (vac.ucsd.edu)

 

I’m an EE major. Do I need to take a Physics lab?

No, you are not required to take the Physics lab (i.e. Phys 2AL, 2BL, etc.).

 

Can I graduate if I received a D in any courses that I used towards my major requirements?

No, you cannot graduate if you have any D or F grades in your major courses. You will need to repeat the course and achieve at least a C- or better.

 

Can I substitute ECE 109 with any other course?

No. ECE 109 must be taken as it is a core Breadth course and designed specifically for ECE majors. Please do not take Econ 120A, MAE 108, Math 180 A-B, Math 183, or Math 186. These courses are equivalent to ECE 109 and thus credit will not be allowed for these courses. If you end up taking one of these courses, you will only receive credit for one course. If you end up taking any of these classes, you will not receive units nor the grade be factored into your UCSD term or cumulative GPA. Credit is given to the first course completed.

 

How do I pick a Depth sequence?

A Depth sequence is a “specialization” or “concentration” in an engineering field you’re interested in learning more about. The “core” ECE courses (ECE 15-65 and 100-109) will give you a sample of each Depth sequence. From these courses you can decide which Depth sequence to pursue. 

Electronic Circuits and Systems
Electronic Devices and Materials
Machine Learning and Controls
Photonics
Signal and Image Processing
Computer System Design

 

If a certain course that I want to take is full and I am on the waitlist, how likely will the department allow more students in or add another section?

The department will try to accommodate as much as possible. Please be patient as you will be notified  whether or not another section will open up or if more students will be able to get in. Place yourself in the waitlist and if seats become available, the waitlist will be added in order.

 

ECE 108 is no longer being offered. What can I do to fulfill this requirement?

Effective Fall 2014, continuing students who have not completed ECE 108 must replace the course with an acceptable upper division Technical Elective (upper division engineering, math or physics course). You will need to inform the ECE Undergraduate Advisors of which class you plan on using to satisfy this requirement so your degree audit can be updated manually.

 

I want to take ECE 111. What should I do?

Enroll in the course as you would normally. At the end of the quarter, submit the ECE 111 Project Description Form with the final report to the Undergraduate Advising Office (Jacobs 2701 or 2702).

 

I want to take ECE 190. What should I do?

In order to take ECE 190, you will need to fill out the ECE 190 Independent Design Enrollment form. The prerequisites for ECE 190 is to be in senior standing and to have completed all of your breadth courses (ECE 100-109). It is okay to take ECE 190 for the following quarter if you are finishing up your breadth course in the present quarter. To get ECE 190 clearance, turn in the completed form to the Undergraduate Advising Office (Jacobs 2701 or 2702).

 

I want to take ECE 191. What should I do?

In order to take ECE 191, you will need to have completed all of your breadth courses (ECE 100-109) and in senior standing. It is okay to take ECE 191 for the following quarter if you are finishing up your breadth course in the present quarter. To get ECE 191 clearance, you will need to contact the ECE Undergraduate Advisors through the Virtual Advising Center (vac.ucsd.edu).

 

How come the lab schedules (i.e., ECE 25, ECE 35, ECE 121, or ECE 125A) have not been posted yet? It’s already my second pass and I need to know.

Students are unable to enroll until the lab schedule has been finalized. Lab schedules are generally available during second pass, but may take longer. Students cannot enroll until the lab schedule is available and cannot waitlist until second pass.

 

I have heard that I can take CSE 30 in place of ECE 30. Is this true?

You can only replace ECE 30 with CSE 30 if you have taken an equivalent course to CSE 30 (according to assist.org) with a letter grade before transferring/entering into UCSD. Otherwise, you will need to petition. ECE Petition Process

 

Can my depth and design courses overlap?

Yes and no. If your depth requires one of the design courses, you may choose to take another technical elective in place of the design course requirement. You can also choose to take two design courses to which one will fulfill your depth requirement and the other will fulfill your design requirement. Regardless of which path you choose, you will still need 2 courses. One course cannot count for two requirements.

 

Wait List

What is the Wait List Policy?

If a course that you want to enroll in is full, please place yourself on the waitlist. Please note that you cannot waitlist a course during your 1st Pass. Waitlisting is available during the 2nd Pass only. The buttons to ENROLL or WAITLIST will be blacked out. This is normal.

We understand that you need these courses to graduate so please be patient as we work on enlarging enrollment. The Department will do everything we can to accommodate students so please be patient. Waitlist yourself into the class and if seats become available, students will be enrolled in the order they waitlisted. We cannot guarantee that you will get into the course. If you need assistance with an alternate course, stop by during walk in advising hours in Jacobs Hall 2701 or 2702.

 

How come I can't place myself on the wait list?

Waitlisting is only available during the 2nd Pass only. 

 

I see that enrollment increased, how come I'm still on the waitlist?

If enrollment limits are increased, it takes the system overnight to process this command. Students will be added in the order they are on the waitlist. Please have patience.

 

I received an email that said my enrollment was bypassed. What does this mean?

According to your email, it will explain why they bypassed you on the waitlist. This is usually due to the fact that you are enrolled/waitlisted in more than 19.5 units. University policy indicates that you can only enroll/waitlist in 19.5 units or less. You will be able to add another course during Week 1. 

 

I just see that I was dropped from the waitlist. What is going on?

You may have been dropped from the waitlist because there was a change in the course (i.e., switched times, switched days). ALWAYS check your email for enrollment updates. During the enrollment period, it is critical that you check your UCSD email for any updates. This may have an impact on your schedule. The ECE Undergraduate Advising Office will not be able to help you if you missed deadlines indicated in emails sent out.

 

I really need this class. Is there any way the Undergraduate Advising Office can move me up?

Unfortunately, there is nothing the Undergraduate Advising Office can do. We do not have a priority list. Students need to prioritize which classes they want to enroll in and if the class is full, put themselves on the waitlist. The Department will do its best to accommodate as many students as possible. Please wait patiently as it may take up to Week 2 to finalize enrollment sizes.

 

Special Studies Courses

What are the Special Studies Courses?

Special Studies Courses 197, 198, and 199 are intended to enable students to learn about subjects not taught in regular courses and to engage in research in the laboratory, in the field, or in the library. Such a project should be carefully planned with faculty advisor along the lines of the student's overall academic plan. 

 

What are the requirements to be eligible?

Students must have completed at least 90 units with at least a 2.5 GPA.

 

What are the differences between 197, 198, and 199?

  • ECE 197 is typically for internships done off-campus.
  • ECE 198 is independent study or research for a group of students.
  • ECE 199 is for research for an individual student.

 

What do I need to do?

  1. Contact faculty to discuss if they can sponsor you for the course.
  2. Fill out the form Special Studies 197, 198, 199 form with the faculty.
  3. Bring back completed form to the ECE Undergraduate Advising Office (Jacobs Hall 2701 or 2702).
  4. Once stamped, the ECE advisor will be able to open up a section for you to enroll in. (NOTE: If you are to add the course after week 2, you will need to bring it to the Registrar's office.)

 

What is the deadline to enroll in the Special Studies Courses?

The official university deadline to add classes (including Special Studies courses) is the end of the second week of the quarter.

 

What if I can't find a faculty to sponsor?

In order to enroll in the Special Studies Courses, you will need an ECE faculty to sponsor you.

 

Can these courses count towards my major requirements?

Yes, at most 4 units of 197-199 may be used for elective credit. 197 will ONLY count towards the Professional Electives. CE majors are not allowed to use ECE 197,198 and 199 towards major requirements.

 

So I have an internship/research position, but can I do the internship/research position first and then take the class later or vice versa?

No. You must be enrolled in the special studies course during the time you are doing your internship/research. You cannot do it retroactively.

 

Major/Minor

Can I minor in another engineering program?

No, per Jacobs School of Engineering policy, you cannot minor in another engineering program. You can minor outside of JSOE. Lower-division courses can overlap between your major and minor. Two upper-division minor courses may overlap. How to Declare a Minor

 

Can I double major in another engineering program?

No, per Jacobs School of Engineering policy, you cannot double major in another engineering program. You can double major outside of JSOE. Lower-division courses can overlap between your majors. Upper-division courses can overlap but there must to be at least 10 upper-division courses unique for each major.  How to Declare a Double Major

 

How do I declare a minor?

Complete an Undergraduate Declaration of Minor using the Major/Minor Tool. For more information, click here

 

Can my classes overlap with both major and minor?

You can overlap lower division and two upper-division courses that satisfy your major to fulfill your minor requirements. For more information on overlapping classes, read the Academic Senate Policy on minors (section E).

 

Can I major and minor in the same school/department?

No, per Jacobs School of Engineering policy, you cannot minor in another engineering program. You can minor outside of JSOE.

 

Transfer Students

Can I waive ECE 15 if I took a programming course in community college?

No, the ECE Department does not accept C programming courses from community colleges. But, you can take the ECE 15 Waiver Exam to waive the requirement. The exam takes place during Week 0 of Fall quarter. An announcement with exact time and location will be sent to all incoming transfer students and posted on the ECE Website in September. The department recommends trying some sample problems found here: ECE 15 Waiver Exam  If you do not know how to do them, the department recommends you take ECE 15.

 

Can I waive ECE 35 if I took a Circuits course in community college?

No, the ECE Department does not accept circuit courses from community colleges. But, you can take the ECE 35 Waiver Exam to waive the requirement. The exam takes place during Week 0 of Fall quarter. An announcement with exact time and location will be sent to all incoming transfer students and posted on the ECE Website in September. The department recommends trying some sample problems found here: ECE 35 Waiver Exam  If you do not know how to do them, the department recommends you take ECE 35.

 

The transfer course I took is not showing up in my academic history. What do I do?

If you already sent your transcripts and AP Scores to UC San Diego, then the Admissions Office is still processing your transcripts. Transfer academic histories are not updated until mid-August. Please be patient as this is a long process to complete.

 

I am transferring from a 4-year college/university, and my courses do not count for anything. What do I do?

You need to speak with each academic department (i.e. Math, Physics, ECE, etc.) regarding the petition process to get course equivalencies for your transferred courses. ECE Petition Process

 

I am transferring from out-of-state, and my courses do not count for anything. What do I do?

You need to speak with each academic department (i.e. Math, Physics, ECE, etc.) regarding the petition process to get course equivalencies for your transferred courses.ECE Petition Process

 

I have heard that I can take CSE 30 in place of ECE 30. Is this true?

You can only replace ECE 30 with CSE 30 if you have taken an equivalent course to CSE 30 (according to assist.org) with a letter grade before transferring/entering into UCSD.

 

I thought I took MATH 20E. Why is it not showing up on my degree audit?

Any questions regarding MATH 20E, please refer to the UCSD Math Department. Please feel free to take a look at the MATH Transfer Equivalencies and MATH 20E Requirement Fulfillment Exam.

 

Electives

What are Technical and Professional Electives?

For EE, EP, EE & Society majors, Technical Electives are 4 approved upper-division Math, Physics, and Engineering courses. You are allowed to take a mix-and-match of the 3 fields and it does not have to be a sequence. These electives are meant to enhance or explore your technical skills in the ECE or another department. Please check theECE Electives Policy for courses that qualify and do not qualify as Technical Electives.

For EE, EP, EE & Society majors, Professional Electives are typically 3 approved upper-division Math, Physics, and Engineering courses. All 3 Professional Electives must be from the same department. These electives are meant to help you enhance or explore your professional goals. Please check the ECE Electives Policy for courses that qualify and do not qualify as Professional Electives.

 

How many electives do I need?

You will need a total of 7 elective courses – combination of Professional and/or Technical Electives. Please check the ECE Electives Policy for elective courses. ECE Electives

 

How can I apply Global TIES courses to count towards major requirements?

CE majors are allowed up to 8 units of GlobalTies courses towards their CSE/ECE Electives. EE, EP and EE & Society majors can use up to 12 units to satisfy Professional Electives only.

 

BS/MS Program

When should I apply to the ECE 5 YR BS/MS Program?

Entered as Freshman: For freshmen, you apply the year before you graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate in 4 years, you would apply the Spring quarter of your 3rd year at UCSD.

Entered as Transfer:  For transfers, you apply the year before you graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate in 3 years, you would apply the Spring quarter of your 2ndyear at UCSD.

 

What are the requirements for the BS/MS Program?

Requirements: GRE scores are not required. You need at least a 3.0 cumulative and major GPA. However, it is recommended to have a 3.4 GPA in order to be competitive. BS/MS Program

 

Summer Courses

What summer courses will be available?

Any courses that require a lab will most likely not be offered in the summer. Summer schedules will be up in Spring quarter. Class offerings will depend on who will be teaching and it will vary every year.

 

Where can I see which summer courses will be offered?

You can check out UCSD Summer Session for a preview of courses until they are officially published.


[NOTE: For further clarification, please contact us through the Virtual Advising Center.]