Frequently Asked Questions for prospective students and new applicants 

You're expected to have questions – and we like questions here so ask away. To make it easier for you, we have created this FAQ section for students interested in our graduate programs in electrical and computer engineering. Feel free to browse through them, and if you don't find the answer to your question, contact us.

General FAQs 


Financial Information


Examination Requirements (TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, GPA, etc.)

Current Student FAQs

Click here to go to FAQs for current students.




Where is the Graduate Coordinator?

The Coordinator of Graduate Programs can be found in the Engineering Building (H11).

What about the job opportunities after graduation?

Job opportunities depend heavily on many external factors (e.g., the economy, the particular area of specialization, the student's job search skills, etc.) so it is hard to give precise information on this. Graduates from our master's and PhD programs have been successful getting job offers from both large and small employers throughout the U.S. For additional information, consider conducting an Internet search or contacting the ECE Program's Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Mark Fowler.

What percentage of your students are international students? Are there any Chinese students?

Roughly 60 percent are international students. And yes, we have many students from China.

Where can I find course information if I don't have a log-in yet?

Course information can be found by going to, click "Schedule of Classes" at the top of the page. Choose the semester on the drop-down menu. On the next drop-down menu choose "EECE." Click submit at the bottom of the page.

I am an international student. Where can I find information about Full-Time Certification?

Please click here for information regarding full-time status.

When a student is course complete as a master’s student and therefore only needs to register for 1 credit (of thesis or project), he/she needs to complete a Full-time Certification form for students not receiving funding.

The full-time certification forms can be downloaded here; choose the correct form for funded or non-funded. You must be registered for qualifying classes before you can be certified.

As an international student you are required to be full-time. As a PHD student, 9 credits is considered full-time. If you have completed all coursework, you may register for one credit per the policy above, and be certified full-time for the balance.

Note: If you are beginning your first year of PHD study it is unlikely you have met all course requirements and can be certified full-time per the policies found at the 1st link. If you aren’t registered for a qualifying course as noted in the procedures you cannot be certified full-time

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When does the fall application process start?

We begin looking at fall applications in November of the preceding year. Deadline for funding consideration is January 15.

When are the deadlines for fall and spring applications?

The deadline for fall applications is January 15 to be considered for funding. The deadline for spring applications is October 15 to be considered for funding. If you would like to apply and do not need to be considered for funding, you may apply closer to the beginning of the semester. If you are an international student, the time frame for you to get your visa and travel documents in order may be a concern for you. For your best interest, please begin your preparation as soon as possible. Click here for more details.

I am a Binghamton University student. Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

Both current students and former Binghamton University students are required to submit at least two letters of recommendation for graduate applications.

Please click here for guidelines that current, former, and accelerated Binghamton University students should follow when they apply to the Graduate School.

What should a former Binghamton University student do to apply to the Graduate School?

Former Binghamton University students should fill out the online application and pay the application fee. Please click here for guidelines that current, former and accelerated Binghamton University students should follow when they apply to the Graduate School.

I submitted an application for the Graduate School. How long until I will be able to pay my application fee?

Check your e-mail for a receipt of your Binghamton ID# (B#) and Binghamton University Computer Accounts User ID. This e-mail will be sent within two business days of submitting your online degree application, to the e-mail address used on your application. Your user ID is required to pay your online application fee and check your application decision status. If you do not receive an e-mail within two days, please be patient. This is done manually and could take slightly longer during heavy submission times.

Is graduate admission ultimately decided by the Graduate School or by the department? And do I need to send one package of application materials to the grad school and another to the department separately when I apply?

The department decides. You should send only one package directly to the Graduate School, which will organize the application materials and send them to us.

Do you consider the reputation of applicant's undergraduate university?  Is it important?

Yes, it is important and we consider the reputation of an applicant's undergraduate university.

What kind of applicant background is competitive? High test scores, research experiences or something else?

It is difficult to isolate a single factor; they are all important.

I paid my application fee but the status checker doesn't show it has been received. What should I do?

We have no record of your application fee payment. If the payment was made online, you should have received a web confirmation of a successful online payment. If you still have this confirmation please forward it to us so that we may research and credit your payment. If you no longer have the confirmation, the payment should be reflected as a debit on your credit card statement. Please send us a copy of your credit card statement showing the application fee debited so that we may research and credit your payment. If you paid by check, please scan the front and back of the check and e-mail it to the Graduate School. Online payments are completely system-processed. It may take a few days to update, but if your payment doesn't show that it has been received, please contact the Graduate School at to resolve this.

Can an MS student be a Research Assistant?

Each processor handles the hiring decisions for Research Assistants so students must be a professor in his or her area of interest and contact them. When the application is reviewed, the Graduate Director refers professors to quality applicants. However, while professors typically look for PhD students, MS students that exhibit exceptional talent are also funded. 

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Financial Information

What about the financial aid for master's students?

Occasionally master's students receive financial support as a teaching assistant (TA), and sometimes as a research project assistant (RPA). Exceptional academic performance, high test scores and research experience can increase your chances of receiving support. Usually the TA positions are given to PhD students.  When Research Assistantships are available, they are usually offered to applicants after they become students and after they show a driving interest in a specific area and also show an excellent work ethic. Other funding options are available.

What are the approximate tuition, fees, and living expenses?

The total costs for your graduate studies can vary depending on the number of credits you will be taking and your living expenses. The Graduate School's web site lists tuition and fee rates (based on the Student Funding Survey published by Graduate School).

What financial information will be needed for an international student before an I20 can be processed?

Financial paper work will need to be submitted. Please see the International Student Financial Statement here. Complete the form as required, attach the necessary documentation supporting proof of the funds. The completed form and bank documents should be uploaded to your credentials vault. This needs to be complete before ISSS can begin processing an I-20.

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I'd like to apply to a computer engineering program, but I cannot find such a program in your department.

Our program name is currently Electrical Engineering with Computer Engineering as a specialization within that. We have courses and research in computer engineering but we do not have a separate PhD degree NAMED that.

I am still a senior student, can I apply for the PhD program along an MS/PhD track... or should I apply for the MS program instead?

You can apply for the PhD program directly and earn the MS as you progress.

If I apply to the PhD program and am denied, can I be considered for the MS program?

Yes. If you apply as a PhD applicant but you are denied, you can request to be reviewed for the MS program. If you know, in advance, that you are interested in being reviewed as an MS applicant (in the event you are denied) when you apply for the PhD program, please e-mail the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as soon as you send your packet to “My Credential Vault”.

I am an Accelerated Senior. What 500 level courses should I take? Is there a guideline?

The requirements you need to meet for the MS degree are spelled out in the ECE Graduate Handbook located here. Your regular academic advisor can help your during your advising session as well. It is important for you to be aware that Accelerated (4+1) students can take up to 3 500-level courses during their senior year and have them double counted, so it is recommended that students choose these in order to fill their various requirements for the MS degree (refer to the handbook).

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Examination Requirements (TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, GPA, etc.)

What is the Binghamton University code?

The code to give to your testing center for your scores to be sent to Binghamton University is 2535.

What are the exam requirements for international students? What is an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score?

ECE exam requirements consider a variety of aspects such as course grades and/or strong research experience.

I'm an international student, but I will be receiving an undergraduate degree from a U.S. school. Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

The TOEFL/IELTS score is not required if you have received a degree from a U.S. institution or if you have received a degree from an institution in a country whose native language is English.

I am a U.S. citizen and I graduated from an ABET accredited school.  Do I need to submit TOEFL/IELTS or GRE scores?

No, if you have graduated from an ABET accredited school, your examination requirements will be waived.

I am a Binghamton University student, do I need to submit GRE and TOEFL scores?

No, Binghamton University students do not need to submit GRE or TOEFL scores.  All scores will be waived. The screens will show to the Graduate School and the student that the scores have been waived after the decision is made. Binghamton University students should e-mail the department secretary when the application fee has been paid. At that time the department will be able to see the electronic application and note the screen for the Graduate Committee to see as the application is reviewed.

Last Updated: 1/18/16