Frequently Asked Questions
I am interested in applying to MECPS. What are the next steps?
MECPS admission for Fall 2024 opens on October 2nd, 2023. The preferred application deadline is January 15, but applications will be accepted until February 15, 2024. International applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible to allow ample visa processing time. Submit your application through UCI’s Graduate Division at https://apply.grad.uci.edu/
I’ve been working in industry. Do I still need to take the GRE or other entrance exams?
Yes, you’ll need to supply current TOEFL scores. The GRE requirement has been waived for the 2023 admission cycle.
What are the requirements for admission to the MECPS program?
- Applicants are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, computer science or electrical engineering. Students from other disciplines are also considered for admission if they have sufficient background in the basics of embedded systems.
- Undergraduate G.P.A. must be 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
- GRE scores: The GRE requirement has been waived for the 2024 admission cycle.
- TOEFL (minimum score of 80) or other evidence of English language proficiency
- Official university transcripts from every college attended by the applicant
- Three letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose with any industrial or hands-on experience, if applicable
What are the costs that are not included?
Health insurance and Living expenses
- Graduate student health insurance is estimated at $3,000 – $7,000 (depending on insurance carrier).
- Room, board, travel, meals, and other supporting costs are estimated at $18,000 per year.
What type of visa do I need?
For international students, your visa will be processed by the UCI International Center, the same way it is processed for other degree programs.
More information available at https://ic.uci.edu/students/newStudents.php.
If admitted, more details will be provided to you about requesting a visa document.
Are there any fellowships or financial assistance available?
Yes, the MECPS program offers fellowships to top applicants who can demonstrate financial need. The MECPS fellowships are merit-based and aim at adding diversity to the program. Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission or during registration. There is no separate application process. All applicants are considered candidates for fellowships based on their application. In general, applying early maximizes the chances of receiving a fellowship offer.
Is this program OPT/STEM eligible?
Yes, this program is OPT/STEM eligible. For more information, please see https://ic.uci.edu/students/currentStudents/employment/index.php.
Will I be eligible for Teaching and Research assistantships if I take up this program?
No, at this time there are no TAships or GSRs available for the MECPS program. These options may be available in the future.
Will the length of this program impact the visa?
The program lasts four quarters plus a summer quarter (one academic year, a summer quarter and another fall quarter). No, this will not impact your visa.
Your visa will be processed by the UCI International Center, the same way it is processed for other degree programs. More information is available at https://ic.uci.edu/students/newStudents.php.
What are the total number of credits for this program ?
48. To earn the degree, students must complete 48 units and a capstone project.
Since this is an interdisciplinary program between ICS and EECS, can we choose courses from both departments?
No. All courses are specific to the MECPS program and are not taken from other ICS or EECS offerings. They are taught by faculty from both departments.
The curriculum consists of eleven courses as described on our courses page.
What are the differences between the MECPS Program and MS Computer Engineering with specialization in Embedded Systems? How will a student benefit from the MECPS Program?
MECPS is geared towards preparing students for a professional career in Cyber-physical Systems. If you are interested in pursuing an academic career then the regular MS Computer Engineering program is better suited.
Will I be eligible to pursue my Ph.D upon successful completion of this course?
This is your choice to make. MECPS does not prevent you from applying to the Ph.D. program after completion of MECPS. We recommend that you check with schools you are targeting for the PhD.
Please note that the primary focus of MECPS is preparation for a professional career in industry. In general, if you are planning for a PhD then a traditional thesis oriented MS may be better suited.
Does this program have a thesis option?
No, it does not. MECPS is a five quarter professional program that culminates in a Master of Embedded and Cyber-physical Systems degree. If you are interested in a research-oriented career, then a traditional Master of Science (e.g. with a thesis option) may be more suitable.
Will the employment opportunities be the same as for a traditional two-year program?
Employment opportunities depend on the employer. There has been great demand for students with embedded and cyber-physical skills and all of our graduates in 2017-18 were employed within 3 months of graduation.
Is an internship during the summer required?
No, summer internships are encouraged but optional. Internships are a great way to become familiar with a company and prospective employer.
If you are not interested or cannot secure an internship, the summer quarter can be used to start the capstone project (or simply for vacation).
Do you have hiring agreements with private industry for MECPS graduates?
While we do not have specific agreements with industry regarding hiring our MECPS graduates, we will organize a number of events that allow students and industry to interact. For example, students will present their projects in a forum that has industry partners invited hence giving you exposure to potential hiring personnel.
Is there any information about the types of jobs and companies of alumni of this program? I’m a little worried about finding an internship/job after graduation.
After graduation, 100% of our students in 2017-18 were hired within 3 months in industries including IoT stack design, Firmware Engineering, Cloud Programming, Defense Systems, Home Automation, Information Technology, Software Engineering and Software Development.
Even before graduation more than 50% received job offers.
Can I take up an internship during this program?
Yes, the program accommodates for an internship during the summer quarter.
What type of computer should I use during this program?
Any recent laptop should work fine, either with Windows 10 or MacOS (but not a Chromebook). It does not need to be a top-of-the-line device, something in the mid-range will do fine. For more details, please consult the Laptop FAQ (http://laptops.eng.uci.edu/instructional-computing/hssoe-laptops) for EECS.
The UCI catalogue 2021-22 edition states that MECPS "is currently not admitting students". Is this correct?
No, this statement is incorrect. Unfortunately it cannot be removed after the catalogue is in print.
The MECPS admission window for students entering in Fall 2022 is open now until June 30, 2022. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the preferred deadline of January 15, 2022, but applications are accepted in a rolling admission process until June 2022.