Graduate Student Resources

About the Graduate Student Office

The ECE Graduate Student Office is the administrative office within department for graduate student affairs. It is the main resource for graduate students administrative matters and serves as a liaison to other offices in relation to student affairs. The Student Affairs Manager helps graduate students navigate bureaucratic matters during their studies at UCSB.

Besides being the general "go to" advisor and contact, examples of the Graduate Student Office support services include:

  • Student advising from requirements to financial support petitions and forms that require the department Graduate Advisor's signature
  • Degree progress checks and clearance sheets for MS (Study Plan) and PhD (Computer Engineering only)
  • Processing of administrative paperwork such as MS and PhD forms

Top 3 MS & PhD Questions

How much does it cost for graduate school at UCSB?

The Financial Aid cost of attendance (or "cost budget") is an estimate of the expenses a students will incur while attending UCSB.



What types of financial support are available?

  • Graduate Student Researcher: a GSR is a graduate student who assists faculty members with scholarly research
    • Eligibility: available to students after one year in residence but occasionally upon enrollment
    • Apply / Selection Process: arranged and selected by a faculty member / principal investigator (PI)
    • Support Coverage / Length: a monthly stipend and coverage of student fees, health insurance, and non-resident tuition if working more that 35% time
  • Teaching Assistantships: TAs apprentice under the active tutelage and supervision of a faculty member
    • Eligibility: must be an active registered student. New applicants are automatically considered and continuing students must apply quarterly.
    • Apply / Selection Process: through application and merit-based with selection by the Vice Chair.
    • Support Coverage: a monthly stipend plus all fees, health insurance, and non-resident tuition
  • Fellowships: are funds provided to support the living and educational expenses of graduate study
    • Eligibility: are primarily awarded to PhD. students and are very competitive.
    • Apply / Selection Process: through application and is merit-based or reserved for students with specific needs, affiliations and goals. Selected by the ECE Department, UCSB Graduate Division and sponsoring agencies.
    • Support Coverage / Length: ranges from full financial support (quarterly stipend plus all fees, tuition, and health insurance) to partial funding and can cover a quarter, a year, or multiple years.
  • Financial Aid via the Financial Aid Office: is funding intended to help students pay education expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc.
    • Eligibility: available only to domestic students.
    • Apply / Selection Process: through submission of a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and are needs based.
    • Support Coverage: varies but usually loans


As a currently enrolled student, how can I apply for financial support / funding?

  • Graduate Student Researcher: students may also approach individual faculty to see if there are GSR positions in their laboratories. Occasionally, other departments have GSR positions available but it is up to the student to seek them out.
  • Teaching Assistantships: students can apply for TAships on a quarterly basis. These positions pay a monthly stipend plus payment of all fees and health insurance and nonresident tuition when applicable. Availability of applications and application deadline are announced throughout the year. This information is also posted on the ECE website. Occasionally, other departments have TAship positions available but it is up to the student to seek them out.
  • Graduate Division Fellowships: funds are available and students must apply for these awards. See the Graduate Division website's financial support section for information. Typically, the fellowship application season for the following year starts around early November.
  • External Sources for Fellowships: are also available such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) the deadline for which tend to be around late October or early November for the following year.


More MS & PhD Questions

How many units are required for registration for each quarter?

The ECE Department requires its graduate students to be enrolled in 12 units of coursework each quarter. While other departments or administrative offices require only 8 units of coursework each quarter, ECE requires more. Non-compliance may result in academic probation. Please plan courses carefully.
NOTE: Media Arts and Technology (MAT) and Technology Management Program (TMP) courses do not count towards the required 12 units of coursework. If in doubt, contact the ECE Graduate Student Office.

Can I take courses in other departments?

Yes, however, only courses in the science and engineering fields may count towards the MS degree requirements. One can take courses in the humanities and social sciences if one wishes to do so. Any upper division undergraduate courses taken as a graduate student taken for a letter grade will count towards the cumulative GPA. (grade point average). Lower division classes never count towards the overall GPA. for graduate students. NOTE: individual departments control their own courses

Can I take a leave of absence?

A student may only take a leave of absence for the following reasons:

  • Medical (need a doctor's note);
  • Parenting (need child's birth certificate);
  • Military (need military orders);
  • Family emergency; and
  • Filing fee (only for those done with all course requirements but yet have to take the MS Comprehensive Exam or file MS Thesis) and for those PhD students who just have to file the dissertation


ECE Grad Student Affairs Office

Office Hours: 9a-12p & 1-4p

Clint Schow – Prof., Vice Chair & Graduate Director

Val de Veyra – SAO Manager
office: Trailer 697, Rm 101

Gayle Gonzales – Graduate Admissions
office: Trailer 380, Rm 101

Curriculum Information

Graduate Resources

ECE Graduate Student Survival Manuals

Graduate Student Survival Manuals – Refer to the year of entrance:

Need an older manual?  Contact SAO

ECE Screening Exam Manual & TA Handbook
Graduate Division Resources

2020 New Graduate Student Presentations

  • Part I: ECE Graduate Advisor
  • Part II: ECE Vice Chair & ECE Graduate Advisor

UCSB Grad Post

"The Voice of the Graduate Student Resource Center" – Resources on Academics, Writing, Funding, Career plus Top Stories, Events and more...