FAQ

Master of Engineering (MEng)


Frequently asked questions about our MEng program appear here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment & Admissions

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

A: The official application deadline for Fall 2022 is Dec. 1, 2021. If you have questions about the application process and timelines, please email 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 MEng 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 does the admissions process work at UCLA?

A: An applicant submits the online Application for Graduate Admission with the nonrefundable application fee ($120 [for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents] or $140 [for all 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. View General FAQs from the Graduate Division.

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 an engineering discipline, 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.

Applicants for the 2022-2023 academic year are not required to take the GRE or submit GRE scores as part of their application package. Applications with GRE scores included will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores. This exemption will be reviewed for the cohort beginning Fall 2023.

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).

Additionally, 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. All other application requirements are specified in the graduate application.

Q: What can I do to improve my chances of admission?

A: The admission committee will review each application thoroughly with a holistic approach. Applicants are advised to check the admissions criteria carefully to make sure you meet all the requirements.

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

A: In Fall 2022, there will be a total of 100 students across all six 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: 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: 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). Currently, UCLA expects to return to in-person instruction beginning Fall 2021. We will continue to adhere to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health COVID-19 guidelines and will notify students accepted into the program should there be any changes.

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 local public health guidelines. 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: 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, underrepresented 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. Please inquire via email to confirm your options.

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.

Areas of Study & Coursework

Q: What areas of study are offered?

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

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: 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 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: 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: 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.

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 six 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.

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 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, s/he has to 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.

International Students

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 vaccines deployment continues to bring relief around the world, we anticipate international students should be able to secure visas when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Please visit the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars website if you have any questions.

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.