Comprehensive Exam

We’re ready to help you ace the Comprehensive Exam. Look below to find the registration application, details about the exam’s format, and a copy of our most recent study guide.

 (Note: This option is no longer available for students admitted in Fall 2021 or later)

Exam Date

The exam will be available on Friday, November 12, 2021

The exam will be available online, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Accept Canvas invitation for EE 200 - Comprehensive Exam after registration.


General Information

  • The department holds the exam during the mid/late semester. We will announce the specific time and place as soon as we know more about it.

  • To be eligible to take the exam, you must be a graduate student in Classified and Good Standing status. You must also complete at least 21 units (including transferred courses) at the end of the semester you take the exam.

  • The exam will be closed-book.

  • The use of a calculator will be allowed during the exam.

  • We will grade your exam on a curve.

  • If you fail the exam, you can retake it as long as you do so within the maximum time allowed for degree completion.

  • The exam will be given twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring.


Note: You must register to take the Comprehensive Exam at least two weeks before the exam date.

Register for the Graduate Comprehensive Exam


Exam Format

You will receive a 1.5-hour closed-book exam and will be required to answer three of the available questions.

There will be 14 questions from the 14 graduate-level EE elective courses listed below:

  • VLSI and Mixed Signals (EE 223, EE 224, EE 287)
  • Power Electronics and Control (EE 231, EE 238)
  • Communications, DSP, and Machine Learning (EE 251, EE 253, EE 257/EE 258)
  • Digital/Logic (EE 270, EE 271, EE 275)
  • Networking (EE 281, EE 283, EE 286)


Download the MSEE-Comprehensive Exam Study Guide [pdf] (Updated March 2020)