Master of Engineering (MEng)

Frequently asked questions about the program appear below. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our Admissions team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment & Admissions

Q: When can I apply and how soon will I know I have been accepted?

A: The application is now open and the deadline for Fall 2024 is January 15th, 2024. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. If you have questions about the application process and timelines, please email meng@seas.ucla.edu with your inquiry. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by email. Applicants may also check their status through the Online Decision Status for Graduate Admission.

Please refrain from contacting our office regarding admission decisions. While the school of engineering may send a courtesy email with a recommendation of admission, only official notification from the dean of the UCLA Graduate Division constitutes approval of admission.

Q: How long does the degree take to complete? Do we have to start the program in fall 2022, or can we start in another quarter?

A: Courses begin on campus in fall 2022. The degree is meant to be completed in one calendar year (fall, winter, spring and summer). Deferrals are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What is the maximum time-to-degree for this program, and will there be any opportunities to submit a Leave of Absence during the one-year program?

A: Students have two years to finish the program. Therefore students can submit Leave of Absence only after they have matriculated in the first quarter. However, we strongly encourage students to finish the program within the given time as it is structured so students can do capstone projects with their cohort. For international students, please meet with an International Advisor at Dashew Center before making any decision.

Q: Why is the school requiring in-person attendance for this program with so much COVID-19 uncertainty?

A: The MEng program will not be launched if the campus remains under remote instruction, which is not the case as of fall 2021. Safety of our students and faculty is our top priority and we will continue to adhere to public health guidelines. The school has up-to-date COVID-related information that can be accessed from the homepage.

Ultimately, we want our students to have access to our beautiful, multidisciplinary campus where they can have peer-to-peer and student-faculty interactions in person, as well as industry networking opportunities. We believe that our on-campus program will help enrich the students’ educational experience.

Q: How does the admissions process work at UCLA?

A: An applicant submits an online application for Graduate Admission with the nonrefundable application fee ($120 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $140 for other applicants). The applicant uploads transcripts, supplemental information, department-specific material (such as a portfolio), statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. The applicant’s information then becomes available online to the graduate program and each application will go through a holistic review by the administrators. View General FAQs from the Graduate Division.

Q: When will students receive admission decision?

A: Admission process takes two months to process from the date the applicants submit the application. Please note that all students are required to SIR to the program by April 15th. 

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: The program is open to all qualified applicants, including early career professionals. Please check the admissions requirements for details. Prior work experience in the area of study is not mandatory.

Q: What requirements are needed for admission?

A: Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry (or its approved equivalent) from an ABET-accredited institution (if you are uncertain, use the link to locate your institution). International students have a separate admission guideline. Applicants must attain an undergraduate record that satisfies the standards established by the UCLA Graduate Division.

Q: Is GRE required? Does it make my application stronger if I were to include the report?

A: Applicants for the 2022-2023 academic year are not required to take the GRE or submit GRE scores as part of their application package. We understand some applicants do not have access to GRE preparation and that’s why we’re not requiring it and are generally de-emphasizing GRE scores. However, if you have taken the GRE, you are welcome to include the report in your package, which will be looked at holistically as we do with all applications. The GRE exemption will be reviewed for the cohort beginning fall 2023.

Q: What is the minimum GPA requirement?

A: We will look at all applications holistically; however please keep in mind the minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. The average GPA of students accepted into the fall 2021 cohort was 3.7. We will calculate equivalent GPA scores for international students who attended schools with a different grading system. Please email us with any questions.

Q: Are letters of recommendation required?

A: Each applicant must submit three letters of recommendation, two of which must be academic references. Applicants who have graduated three or more years from their undergraduate studies can submit professional references in lieu of academic references.

Q: I’m a current undergraduate student and my grades won't be finalized before Dec. 1. For the admissions process, is it okay if my transcripts do not include them?

A: Please submit your current transcripts for review by admissions. If you are admitted into the program, we will need to secure your official transcript with your degree conferred prior to your registration and enrollment. Transcripts must be sent to us directly by your institution. Current or former UCLA students do not have to submit transcripts as we can retrieve them internally.

Q: How many students will be accepted to the program each year?

A: For the fall 2022 cohort, there will be a total of 100 students across all seven areas of study. The program will increase to 150 students for fall 2023 and 200 students for fall 2024. We will then maintain an ongoing enrollment of 200 students per academic year.

Q: Will there be 150 students per area of study or 150 students total for this cohort?

A: There will be a total of 150 students for the cohort across the seven areas of study — not 150 each.

Q: How many students did you accept for fall 2021?

A: We had hundreds of applicants, but accepted only 50.

Q: How many students do you have in the inaugural class for fall 2021?

A: 40, with some deferrals due to the pandemic.

Q: When will the 2021-2022 application statistics be available?

A: A: We expect to post statistics on our graduate MEng website in April 2022.

Q: Is this a recurring program? Would current juniors have the option of applying to this program for fall 2023?

A: Yes, this is a recurring program and we will provide updates on application timelines for each year on the website. Current juniors are encouraged to explore admissions criteria if they intend to apply in their senior year.

Q: Is it possible to complete the program while employed full time or concurrently with part-time work?

A: Attendance in the program is meant to be full time, on campus, for one year. Please consult your employer if you intend to continue working while enrolled in the program.

Q: What is the cost of the program? Is financial assistance available?

A: The program’s tuition is $50,400, plus quarterly fees charged by the campus for all students. As campus fees vary by academic quarter and degree, please visit the Registrar’s Office for more information. Limited financial support for need-based, domestic students will be considered after April 15 on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Will there be an opportunity to lower the cost of tuition if I become a Teaching Assistant (TA)?

A: The MEng program combines curriculum from several departments. Since TA hiring is at the discretion of individual Samueli departments, current TA status may be viewed favorably for admissions, but a reduction in tuition may not be guaranteed.

Q: Can students who have been approved for the Exceptional Student Admissions Program (ESAP) gain automatic admission into the new program?

A: ESAP students who choose to apply to the MEng program are automatically admitted.

Q: What does the capstone project entail? Is there a thesis requirement?

A: There is no requirement for a thesis, but students are expected to successfully complete a capstone project, which will involve students working in teams to conduct hands-on design, analysis, fabrication and/or testing. At the end of the quarter, students will turn in a report about the project and give a presentation describing their work.

Q: When will the course list become available?

A: Sample curriculum options are listed on the website for each area of study. Once we complete the admissions process, we will share the course list prior to the start of the quarter.

Degree Comparisons

Q: How is this degree different from the existing Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering degree?

A: Our existing M.S. degree is modeled on our Ph.D. program, providing technical and research depth, but no management, financial or business training. The traditional master’s program is intended for students who wish to pursue technical or research-oriented career paths. The new MEng program is a terminal professional degree designed for those interested in a management role in tech industries, with a balanced focus on technical knowledge and business management.

Q: If I pursue this degree with a focus on Data Science, how is it different from similar master’s programs at UCLA?

A: Our program focuses on a balanced curriculum of engineering technical skill set and business management training. For Data Science, it draws faculty expertise from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Computational Medicine. The focus is on unifying statistics, data mining and analysis, machining learning, and distributed and parallel systems to understand and analyze large amounts of data.

Q: How does this program compare to other master's programs with a focus in Translational Medicine?

A: Our interdisciplinary program draws faculty expertise from multiple departments. In the case of Translational Medicine, we integrate faculty expertise from Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Computational Medicine. The focus is on improving human health and longevity by determining the relevance of novel discoveries in the biological sciences to treat human disease. Translational medicine facilitates the characterization of disease processes and the generation of novel hypotheses based on direct human observation.

Q: How is this program different from an MBA with technical breadth?

A: Our program is focused on both engineering technical knowledge and business management in industry. The courses are taught by the same faculty who teach the regular engineering classes, and the capstone projects are designed with practical industry design in mind. This is not a business degree, but a professional engineering degree with management training.

Q: How is this program different from an engineering undergraduate program with a capstone project?

A: Our undergraduate program does not emphasize management experience and training. The focus is on technical knowledge and skill set.

Q: Can I major in this degree along with my current master’s degree? Can I switch from my current master’s degree to this one entirely?

A: No, this is a different track and cannot be completed simultaneously. If a student wants to switch to the professional degree from the traditional master’s program, or vice versa, they must take all required courses designed for each track and will have to be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Will employers view a single-year degree with the same weight as a two-year degree?

A: A traditional M.S. degree can also be completed in one year, similar to the MEng. The length of the program should not be an issue for employers.

Areas of Study & Coursework

Q: What areas of study are offered?

A: The degree is currently offered in the following areas of study: artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, data science, digital health technology, green energy systems, IoT systems and translational medicine.

Q: What requirements must be met to earn the degree?

A: Students must successfully complete 36-quarter units of graduate and upper-division undergraduate courses (in or related to the major subject area).

Q: What are the components of the program and how much technical coursework is covered?

A: The program will offer an interdisciplinary technological concentration (20 units), a substantial engineering professional development component (12 units) and a capstone project (four units).

Q: Can students take additional technical graduate courses in addition to the five required for their track?

A: Students can take additional engineering courses to support their learning, although keep in mind this will increase tuition costs as we charge students $1,400 per unit plus additional fees.

Q: For the ENGR 2XX professional development classes, are they only open to enrollment for students in the MEng program, or will they be open to on-campus M.S. students as well?

A: The professional development electives are only available to MEng students. These courses are taught by faculty from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Q: Will the capstone project be in the area of study we sign up for?

A: Yes, the capstone project will be focused on the chosen area of study. Project topics will be selected by the course instructor based on current trends and industry inputs in each technology concentration.

Q: Why is civil and environmental engineering not offered as an area of focus?

A: As the program becomes established, additional areas of focus will be incorporated.

Q: Would a background in mechanical engineering be a good fit for this program?

A: Our seven areas of study involve interdisciplinary technology concentration drawing faculty expertise from multiple departments. For those interested in mechanical engineering, autonomous systems and green energy systems may be of particular interest.

Q: Will classes be offered with a Pass/No Pass option, or must they be taken for a letter grade?

A: This will be a letter-grade only program.

International Students

Q: Do I have to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

A: Those whose first language is not English are required to submit acceptable scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

If you attained a Bachelor’s degree in the U.S., then you do not need to submit scores as you had instructions in English while obtaining your degree.

Q: Can international students apply to the program and if so, is it valid for the OPT visa?

A: Yes, international students are welcome to apply. By the time you finish the program, you will have remained on the UCLA campus for three consecutive quarters, thus meeting the criteria for OPT. More information can be obtained on the Dashew Center website.

Q: Because of COVID-19 challenges, if an admitted international student cannot get a visa to come to the U.S., will it be possible to defer enrollment for the following year?

A: As expanded COVID testing and vaccines deployment continue to bring relief around the world, most international students have been able to secure visas with a few exceptions. Please visit the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars website if you have any questions. Deferrals are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Is there a quota limitation on international students?

A: There is no quota for international students.

General Interest

Q: What degree will be listed on my diploma?

A: Your diploma will show a “Master of Engineering” degree. The area of specialization will be listed on a separate certificate.

Q: Are internships a part of this program?

A: Internships are not part of the program. However, we believe our students will gain hands-on, project-based experience, especially on the capstone project, which will prepare them for industry entry upon degree completion.

Q: Do you plan to hire faculty from notable industry companies?

A: Industry leaders will be involved in the capstone project, a key part of the program’s requirement.

Q: Will there be career placement help available?

A: Yes. A career specialist will focus on helping students network, give career advice and job hunting at the end of the program (as well as find internships).

Q: Can I participate in the commencement ceremony? When is it?

A: Yes. MEng students are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony held in mid-June and then finish the capstone project requirements during the summer quarter. Degree conferral is contingent upon successful completion of all program requirements.

The ceremony is organized by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Please view the OASA website for more information.