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Information for New Students


Degree requirements and other program information are posted on the department web site. To view information click here.


Departmental advising is not required for registration. A temporary course selection advisor is assigned at time of admission. The name and contact information of your advisor will be included in the department letter. Please carefully read our graduate program information. You may contact your advisor in case you have a problem in selecting courses. Students may choose to stay with the advisor assigned at the time of admission or may select a different advisor.

Registration Holds
Registration holds are not imposed on domestic students.

Registration holds (SEVIS-HOLD) are imposed on international students. Immigration law requires that your entry be verified by the Office of International Services (OIS) located at SSB. International students must report to OIS within the first few days of their arrival with the following documents: passport, visa, I-20 or DS-2019, and I-94 card. OIS will make a copy of these documents for your file and release the hold on your registration so you may register for classes.

New Student Check-In

New students are not required to check in the department office before registering.

Note: Students who have an offer of department financial aid must report to the department office no later than August 18th. See Assistantships section.


Sometime after you receive your official admission letter from the Office of Admissions and Records you will receive, usually via email, information on when you may register and instructions, if not included with your admission letter.

Registration, including changes to any existing registration, begins a number of months before the term and continues through the first official ten days of the term (first official five days for summer session). During the registration period, all registration activity is done by the student using Student Self-Service. When attempting to register, if you receive an error message directly pertaining to the class or section you are requesting, consult with the department offering the course as an override may need to be inputted into the system to allow you to continue to register. Once the override has been added you still have to register for the course in Student Self-Service. If you receive an error message that you do not understand, consult the Registration Help Line at (312) 996-8600.

ECE Registration Guide
  • Make an appointment with your temporary advisor to discuss registration options. If he or she is unavailable, you are permitted to register without any prior approval. Feel free to speak to other faculty members if you find your research interests are incompatible with the advisor to whom you were originally assigned.
  • Consult the Registration Online Step-by-Step guide for instructions on how to use the on-line registration system. All registration is done using this system until the tenth day (spring and fall semesters) of classes.
  • If you are closed out of certain courses, you should continue to make daily attempts to add it using the registration system. You may also speak with the instructor about being added (if space still allows). If he or she agrees to admit you to the class, they must provide the Student Affairs Office with your name and university identification number (UIN) in an email.
  • You can view the ECE course schedule by accessing the UIC Schedule of Classes.

Registration Restrictions for ECE Graduate Students

New Registration Policy

The number of ECE courses graduate students may register for in a single semester will be limited to a maximum of three ECE courses. The limit is placed on ECE graduate course work only (i.e. 400-491; 500-594). The limit is not placed on ECE 595, ECE 598 or ECE 599. Furthermore, if an ECE course is crosslisted with another program, students must take the course under the ECE rubric and it will count towards the limit allowed. Students must not take the course under the other program. For example: A student is interested in taking ECE 466 but decides to register for CS 466 instead. There will be no degree credit for CS 466; the student must register for ECE 466 and it will count towards the limit of three ECE courses.

The policy will be enforced as follows:

  • Students who want to register for more than three courses need to obtain DGS approval.

  • Students who are registered for more than three courses without DGS approval will have a registration hold placed on their account. A hold will prohibit any further registration (add or drop). The department will then work with the Graduate College to drop students from courses so that the total number of ECE courses is reduced to three. The department will decide which courses will be dropped.


The department uses email to send announcements such as deadlines, schedule changes and employment opportunities. It is important that you read your email on a regular basis so that you do not miss any important university or department deadlines. Excuses for failing to read your email will not be accepted. To read more information about your UIC email account, click here.


The i-Card is the official identification card of the University for students, staff and faculty. It is important to obtain the i-Card and carry it with you at all times. The i-Card is needed to enter certain labs and buildings, for access to certain student-related events and services, and to check material out of the library.

Once you have registered for a course you may obtain your i-Card. This should be done as soon as possible following your registration. You will need to bring a print-out of your registration and either a driver's license, state ID card, or passport to the i-Card Office. Complete information, including locations, is available from the Photo ID Center.


Illinois state law requires proof of certain immunizations for students in most situations. The policy and contact information are available at the Office of Medical Immunization Records. It is important that you read this information carefully as registration for future terms is not allowed if you are not in compliance at that time.


Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The tuition and fee schedule at UIC is fairly elaborate so it is important to understand what your charges will be, as well as your payment obligations. This information is available from the UIC Registrar Office.


The department offers funding to new students in the form fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Graduate assistantships are not available.

If you have been granted an assistantship in the department (teaching or research) there are a number of important steps that have to be undertaken to ensure timely processing and receipt of your first stipend check.

  • You will receive a formal letter of offer from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
  • Hiring paperwork must be completed in the Student Affairs Office within three days of the appointment start date of August 16th but no later than August 18th. Note: TAs are required to be on-campus no later than August 16th.
  • The following documentation is required when you report to the Student Affairs Office: UIC admissions letter, passport and I-20 plus I-94 form (international students only). Domestic students can bring a driver's license and social security card in lieu of the passport.
  • If you are an international student you must inform OIS that you have an assitantship in the department. They will provide you with a letter which you will need in order to apply for a social security number (SSN).
  • After your report yourself in the Student Affairs Office, you wil receive an email with login and other information for an online system called NESSIE.
  • In NESSIE, you will need to complete the HR Application and Payroll information (demographic, educational, and bank deposit information).
  • Complete all questions in NESSIE including attendance and graduation dates of every school you have attended in the Employee Information Form section.
  • The department will receive a notice once you complete the forms; we can then process your appointment.
  • It is important that all necessary steps are completed in a timely fashion.
It is only after all these stages have been successfully completed that your appointment becomes official and allows you to begin your duties and receive the monthly stipend, which is paid on the 16th. In addition, if the appointment comes with a tuition waiver, it is only at this stage that the waiver is available to be applied to your account, assuming you have also correctly registered for the total hours required to receive the waiver. The tuition waiver covers the following fees: tuition; tuition differential (for doctoral students ONLY); the service fee; the health service fee; the AFMFA; the LITA fee; and partial cost of the Campus Care health insurance, if enrolled, in the first semester of the waiver. If the appointment for the assistantship is offered or processed late, or any of the steps outlined above are delayed, there is a possibility of missing your first monthly stipend check. Although you will receive an adjusted payment a month later (assuming the beginning date is properly processed and assuming you worked for that period), not having the first check can cause financial issues you did not anticipate. Therefore, if you do not receive timely responses you should always contact the Student Affairs Office to ensure procedures have not been overlooked.

Employment and International Students
Students without on-campus employment are not eligible for SSNs.

On-Campus Employment: An F-1 student requesting an SSN for on-campus employment must prove he or she has an on-campus job, and must show evidence* of that employment or an SSN will not be assigned. This is in addition to providing evidence of age, identity, a SEVIS-generated Form I-20 A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, and a current Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, showing F-1 nonimmigrant status. Please be advised that due to new security measures, new students are suggested to wait at least 10-15 business days after arriving in the U.S. before applying for a SSN. Notification of the number usually takes 2-3 weeks. Be sure to apply using a reliable mailing address.

*Documents required as evidence of on-campus employment are: (1) letter from OIS and (2) department offer letter.

If you do no have a department TA or RA and are seeking an assistantship elsewhere on campus this information is for you.

Graduate assistantships are not available in the department. Furthermore, UIC does not have a central office for students seeking graduate asssitantships. However, several departments on campus do hire graduate assistants. The easiest way to look for assistantships is to search the UIC Events Calendar. Here you can find any position available on campus. Also, check your email as the department will notify students of any positions as they become known.

Warning: Please do not go from door-to-door to drop off your resume. It will be best if you contact only the main office of a department to inquire about assistantships. Departments that don't have assistantships will post a note in their offices. Again, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department does not have Graduate Asssitantships.

Graduate Funding Resources

The Graduate College Fellowship Office works with students who are seeking funding such as external funding (i.e. nonprofit organizations and corporations). You can attend any of their funding seminars or visit them in their office. For more information, click here.

Registration requirements for recipients of an ECE Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship

The minimum registration requirements for students receiving ECE financial support may differ from those of the University. ECE department requires all students appointed as TA/RA to register for a minimum of 11 hours in each regular (fall or spring) semester.

SPEAK requirement for TAs

Illinois State Law requires the University to attest to the English proficiency of all classroom instructors, including teaching assistants. The oral certification process will incorporate the use of admissions required incoming ibT (internet-based TOEFL), IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) scores to filter newly appointed ITAs into 4 tiers:

  • Immediate full certification contingent upon iBT/IELTS/PTE speaking and listening sub-scores and a brief oral verification check with the ITA program
  • Full certification based on iBT/IELTS/PTE speaking and listening sub-scores and an in-house Oral Certification Interview (OCI)
  • Conditional certification based on iBT/IELTS/PTE speaking and listening sub-scores and requires a minimum of one semester of ESL 401: Communication Strategies for ITAs concurrent with a full teaching assignment
  • Conditional limited certification based on iBT/IELTS/PTE speaking and listening sub-scores and requires a minimum of one semester of ESL 401: Communication Strategies for ITAs concurrent with a limited teaching assignment with responsibilities such as tutoring, office hours, or grading
All certifications must be done by the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program staff. For addtitional information, click here.
Topic revision: r12 - 2016-03-09 - 20:22:29 - Main.aalvar4
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