Applying to Purdue – ECE Graduate Program

Thank you for your interest in graduate study in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Purdue.

Bachelor's level students are considered for admission into either the Master's program or into the Direct Ph.D. program. Students who have already completed (or who will soon complete) a qualified Master's program may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Online webinars about the ECE Graduate application can be found here: WebEx Webinars.

Table of Contents:


Statement of Equality

"Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry,  genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran. We encourage applications from all individuals."


Application Deadlines

The Grad On-Line Application and all supplemental materials must be received by dates specified.  If all material are not received by this deadline, the application will not be reviewed until the next deadline.

Deadlines apply to all domestic and international applicants.

Spring Admission

December 15--New Deadline (Priority consideration of admission and financial support)

May 1 (Final Date to Apply for Fall)

Fall Admission

December 15--New Deadline (Priority consideration of admission and financial support)

May 1 (Final Date to Apply for Fall)

Admissions Decision Notice Date

Admissions decisions will be announced via e-mail about 6-8 weeks after the stated deadline.

Send Admissions Inquires to ecegrad@purdue.edu


Check Application Status

You may check the progress of your application by logging onto Technolutions Slate.

  • Status of "Awaiting Submission" means that your application will not be reviewed until payment is received.
  • Status of "Awaiting Materials" will show up in Slate. Your application will indicate what you are missing with an "X" in order to become complete.
  • Status of "Awaiting Decision" means that you application is complete and will be forwarded to our Admissions Committee for review.

Your GRE and TOEFL scores may not appear on your application.  We are using your self-reported scores for review and will confirm the official scores of the students who will be offered admission.

Admission decision notifications will be e-mailed to applicant approximately 4 - 6 weeks from the application deadline.


Contact ECE Grad Program

Send all application materials to:

Purdue University
ECE Graduate Office
MSEE Building, Room 140
465 Northwestern Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035

Contact the ECE Graduate Office by:

Helpful hints

  • E-mail is preferred.
  • DO NOT send e-mail to anyone other than the Admissions Representative to inquire about your application status. The faculty will not be able to give you this information.
  • Provide the application reference number in your e-mail if you have inquiries regarding your application.
  • E-mail no more than two (2) faculty to learn about research opportunities.
  • Sending multiple emails could have a negative result on your application

Criteria for Admissions

While no single factor or score can characterize an applicant's probability for success, the following benchmarks may prove helpful.

GPA:

  • US applicants have an average GPA of 3.60 or higher.
  • International applicants are typically in the top 5% of their graduating class, or higher.
  • Typically, a 3.25/4.00 grade point average (GPA) is considered a minimum requirement for admission into the ECE graduate program.

GRE:

While we do not have minimum scores, the Average scores for admitted students in previous semesters are approximately:

  • 152 (Verbal)
  • 166 (Quantitative)
  • 3.6 (Analytical Writing)

International students must have:

TOEFL: (Required by Purdue University Graduate School)

  • iBT overall minimum score of 80
  • (iBT individual minimums: Writing = 18, Speaking = 18, Listening = 14, Reading = 19) 
  • IELTS minimum score = 6.5
  • (IELTS individual minimums: Reading = 6.5, Listening = 6.0, Speaking = 6.0, Writing = 5.5)
  • Please ensure you meet all minimum requirements BEFORE you apply to our program
  • TOEFL waivers will only be granted to the following:
    • International students who have received a degree from a U.S. institution within 24 months, prior to applying.
    • International students who have received a BS or higher degree within 36 months, prior to applying, from a university/college whose primary language of instruction is English in a country where English is the official language.

TOEFL: (Required by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

  • Besides satisfying the Graduate School minimum scores, the ECE requirement for the TOEFL Writing Score 22 for admission.  However, ECE will make an exception to the required TOEFL Writing score of 22 for exceptional PhD applicants with financial support, and consider them for conditional admission.
  • Please note – If you are an international applicant, you must submit the Internet-based TOEFL to be considered for a TA. A minimum score of 23 on speaking section is required to be considered for teaching assistantships.  Highest priority will be given to students with a score of 27 or higher on the speaking section.  International students whose TOEFL requirement is waived MUST submit a TOEFL to be considered for TA positions.

Additional info:

Applicants seeking possible funding are cautioned that successful applicants have qualifications that far exceed the minimum/average requirements of GPA,GRE, and TOEFL scores.

Only applicants who submit iBT scores will be considered for a TA.

** International students are NOT required to submit a Diversity Essay**

More information regarding criteria may be found here.


Deferment of Admission

Students who have been admitted into the School of ECE may request to defer their enrollment semester according to the following procedures:

  • Only One deferral Request per application
  • Defer only up to one year
  • Send a letter or e-mail to the Admissions Representative explaining why you need to defer your admission.
  • If you have been offered funding, your funding may not be guaranteed with your deferral

Approval Process:

  • The Director of Graduate Admissions will review your request and your file.
  • Upon approval your request to defer will then be forwarded to the Graduate School for official approval.
  • If granted deferment, you will receive a letter from the Graduate School.

Degree Selection

Before selecting your desired degree objective, take a moment to consider your long-term plans.

If a Ph.D. is your ultimate degree objective, we recommend you apply for the direct Ph.D. program even if you don’t have an MS degree. The direct Ph.D. option reduces your credit requirements and can accelerate your progress towards the Ph.D. degree. If you choose to do this, but your record is not strong enough to merit direct admission into the Ph.D. program, you will automatically be considered for admission to the MS/PhD program.

If you are seriously considering a Ph.D. degree but you are not sure about this yet, selecting the MS/Ph.D. track would be appropriate.

If you are relatively certain that the MS degree is your main objective, please select the MS track.


Financial Aid

No separate financial aid application is necessary, except for:

  • outside funding
  • aid from a department other than ECE

Fall semester has the most financial aid awards from Purdue for applicants who intend to enroll in Fall, and completed their application by January 5 deadline.

Spring semester has very little financial aid awards for applicants who intend to enroll in Spring, and completed their application by September 15 deadline.

Fellowships

A limited number of outstanding incoming students are offered fellowships each year. The selection of fellowship candidates is based in part on academic record, recommendations, statement of purpose, and GRE scores. For more information: https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/funding/fellowshipresources/publications-forms.html

Teaching Assistantships

If you are an international applicant, you must submit the Internet-based TOEFL to be considered for a TA. A minimum score of 23 on speaking section is required to be considered for teaching assistantships.  Highest priority will be given to students with a score of 27 or higher on the speaking section.  International students whose TOEFL requirement is waived MUST submit a TOEFL to be considered for TA positions.

  • Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are offered to those graduate students who the department believes can be especially valuable in helping the faculty carry out the undergraduate teaching mission of the school.
  • Though a substantial number of TAs are used to teach laboratories and help with other instructional functions, the school is able to employ only the number actually needed.
  • Those chosen must show outstanding evidence of scholarship by both scholastic record and their letters of recommendation.
  • Since the language of instruction is English, only those with good oral and written English communication skills are acceptable for such a position.
  • Thus, for those students whose native language is not English, employment in a TA position requires that the student demonstrate written and oral competence to the English Department. This is a University requirement and cannot be met prior to matriculation.
  • TA decisions are made centrally by the ECE administration.
  • TA positions outside the ECE department are the responsibility of student to apply for.

Research Assistantships

  • Research Assistantships (RAs) are supported by research funding made available by the faculty members for whom the research is done.
  • Most RAs are offered after a student has completed at least one semester of course work on the Purdue/West Lafayette campus. This gives the faculty an opportunity to gauge the quality of a student’s academic work before making a research commitment to the student.
  • There are very rare cases where RAs are offered to new students prior to their arrival on campus.
  • As would be expected, RAs are more likely to be offered to Ph.D. students than to MS students.

Tuition/fee waivers:

  • Are only offered to students who have either:
    • Fellowships
    • TA
    • RA
  • No other waivers are offered.

Additional funding opportunities can be found on the Graduate School Web Site.


Admission Forms


GRE and TOEFL Codes

You will need the following Institutional Code for your GRE and TOEFL exams (no departmental codes needed as we have one central database):

  • GRE
  • TOEFL---"for international applicants only"
  • IELTS Accepted (hard copies only)---"for international applicants only"

Reapplication Procedures

Students who have been denied admission or whose application was incomplete may reapply for future semesters by completing a new, complete, Graduate School application.

Please note:

  • Previous admission does not guarantee future entrance into the ECE department
  • Previously denied applicants have only a very slight chance of a positive decision

Required Materials:

  • Application
  • Transcripts – Upload a copy of your official transcripts to the electronic application.  If you are admitted, you will be required to submit official final transcripts to the Purdue University Graduate School. 
  • Recommendations (3): If you choose paper recommendations, you must submit in the following format: 1) Download the ECE Recommendation Cover Form, 2) Complete the top portion and sign, waiving your right to view the recommendation, 3) Give to each recommender to finish and include with their letter in a sealed envelope with their signature over the flap.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • Max of 500 words
    • General Format
    • Submitted with other application materials or submitted with On-Line Graduate Application
    • Explanation of your immediate and long-range occupational objectives in relation to your major field, being specific about your particular areas of interest.
    • Indicate any proposed minor fields, if known.
    • Describe any educational or other experiences pertinent to your application for graduate school.
    • Additional points you believe are relevant.
  • Resume
  • Fellowship Essay is only for students who attended a U.S. High School.  (International students should not complete the essay.)
  • Official GRE/TOEFL scores ordered from ETS.
    • Eligibility for waivers:
      • GRE – no waivers
      • TOEFL waivers will only be granted to the following:
        • International students who have received a degree from a U.S. institution within 24 months, prior to admission.
        • International students who have received a BS or higher degree within 24 months, prior to admission, from a university/college whose primary language of instruction is English in a country where English is the official language.

NOTE:sending additional material – or duplicates of online documents - to enhance your application will not be used in the admission review.


Transferring Credits

For Master's:

Up to 6 credits of graduate courses, not previously used toward a degree, may be transferred toward the Master's.

For Ph.D:

Up to 30 credits from the Master's degree may be counted toward the Ph.D. requirements.

Up to 6 graduate level credits not previously used toward a degree may be transferred.


Undergraduate Background

Successfully earning a graduate degree in the School of ECE requires a strong background and certain engineering subjects. Our applicants typically have the following credentials:

Background in Math

Three semesters of calculus (such as MA 16500MA 16600, and MA 26100)
Differential Equations (e.g. MA 26600)
Linear Algebra (e.g. MA 26500)

Background for related graduate courses

ECE302 / ECE600
ECE382 / ECE602
ECE311 ECE604
ECE305 / ECE606
ECE368 / ECE608
ECE321 / ECE610
ECE201 / ECE554, ECE558
ECE266 / ECE559
ECE301 / ECE638
ECE Lab / ECE557, ECE585