Table of Contents

MS CMPE Frequently Asked Questions

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1 – Application and Admission

What are the minimum requirements to be admitted to the MS in CMPE program?

  1. Have degree(s) equivalent to a four-year U.S. undergraduate baccalaureate degree.
  2. Have academic degrees in computer related fields including Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science.
  3. An applicant without a US baccalaureate degree must pass the TOEFL or equivalent exam. For the latest information regarding English-Language Proficiency Exam Requirements, please refer to
  4. B (3.0) or better GPA.
  5. The General Test GRE is required if an applicant does not have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university in the United States.
  6. For the GRE test, there are no hard cut-offs. We use the scores to compare and rank candidates.

Do I have to provide reference letters?

No. Academic and professional references are not required.

What are the application deadlines?

What is the application procedure?

Online application may be obtained from the following link:

Where do I submit my application?

Applications are submitted using the graduate admissions selection at The following are some hints for filling in the application pages. (1) Page 1: Applicants should select Engineering-Computer Engineering (MS) as the Major/Program Objective. (2) Test Scores: GRE and TOEFL test scores should be routed to San Jose State University, code=4687. No department code is required.

Can I submit my application without GRE scores?

Yes. But your application will not be processed by the evaluator until SJSU Graduate Studies and Research Office receives your official GRE scores.

When should I submit my application without GRE scores?

You should submit your GRE scores before Documentation Deadline.

Does CMPE Department offers scholarships, research and/or teaching assistantships?

In general, CMPE Department does not offer any of the above to new students.

How can I enter MS in CMPE program from another SJSU graduate program?

A student who has been admitted to another SJSU graduate program can apply to transfer to the MS in CMPE program before the beginning of the second semester at SJSU. The student must submit a Change of Major Form to SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) office. Transfer students have the same admission requirements as new applicants of next semester.

I received admission this semester, is it possible for me to start my study next semester?

A new graduate student has to take at least one course during his/her first semester at SJSU. Otherwise, the student forfeits the admission to current semester and has to re-apply to SJSU. By notifying SJSU Graduate Studies and Research office, you might not have to resubmit all required documents.

Can I send the pending documents in the form of softcopy by scanning the documents?

You have to submit all pending documents in the original form, not softcopy.

Upon admitting to the program, am I required to make an appointment with the Program Coordinator/Advisor immediately?

It is not required. However, attending the new student orientation session is required. The Program Coordinator/Advisor will email you information regarding the new student orientation session.

I am working in Silcon Vally, it is feasible for me to attend classes?

Almost all single-section CMPE graduate courses are offered after 6:00 p.m.

I am recently admitted to SJSU. How can I trasfer to MS in Computer Engineering program?

You have to submit a Change of Major Request form to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) office after the 6th week of the first semester. An evaluation of the request will be conducted by the Graduate Advisor after receiving the request form from GAPE. The Graduate Advisor will not provide a Program of Study for a non-MSCMPE student. Transferrable courses will be evaluated after the student successfully transfers to MS in CMPE program

Do you offer graduate assistantships to incoming or current students?

Graduate assistantships are competitive, and are awarded based on the student's qualifications and fit to particular tasks. We do not award assistantships at the time of admission. We generally recommend that students do NOT distract themselves by taking on duties beyond their studies the first term. Generally, the tuition and fees are very low at our university, we had invested in lower costs for all students rather than charging high fees and only providing some students with the lower cost.

2 - Degree Requirements

What are the total units of the degree?

The MS degree in Computer Engineering requires a minimum of 30 units of graduate-level course work plus the completion of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

What is the degree course curriculum or structure?

The degree requires (1) 9 units of degree core courses,(2) minimum 9 units of specialization core courses, (3) minimum 6 units of technical electives, (4) 6 units of project, 6 units of thesis, or 1 unit of comprehensive exam, and (5) Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement.

What are the specializations?

A student must take at least three courses from one of the four specializations: System Design, Network Systems, Embedded Systems, and Secure Systems. Due to the students' demand, the specializations in System Design and Secure Systems are not active for the time being.

When shall I declare a specialization?

A student must declare a specialization during the first week of taking CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A

I am a student of BS+MS Accelerated Program. What are the degree requirements?

You should consult with your Program Advisor, Dr. Su, for your overall program of study. Dr. Su will direct you to the appropriate program advisors for comprehensive advising.

3 - Project, Thesis and Comprehensive Exam

What are the differences between a master project and master thesis?

A thesis has a more rigid requirements of contents and reporting style. A project-track student must enroll in CMPE 295A and CMPE 295B in two consecutive semesters A thesis-track student must enroll in CMPE 299A and CMPE 299B in two consecuive semesters. Summer enrollments are optional.

How can I find a project advisor and decide my project/thesis topic?

Your project/thesis topic must be closely related to your specialization. Your advisor must be an SJSU instructor with expertise in the area of your specialization.

What are the requirements of CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A?

  1. Completed all admission conditions and in good standing
  2. Completed at least two core courses*
  3. Completed at least two specialization core courses*
  4. File a candidacy form by the 2nd class session
  5. Acquire the approval of candidacy form by the 4th class session
  6. Have a minimum 3.0 overall SJSU graduate course GPA (CMPE and pre-approved courses)
  7. Have a minimum 3.0 overall GPA of all grades received for the courses listed on the Candidacy Form (except writing course)
  8. Completed graduate writing assessment requirement (GWAR) or taking CMPE 294 concurrently
  • All degree core courses, all specialization core courses, and GWAR must be completed before or together with CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A.

What are the prerequisites of CMPE 295B or 299B?

  1. Admission to Candidacy of Master Degree (with satisfied writing requirement)
  2. Satisfactorily completed CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A
  3. Satisfactorily completed all three program core courses
  4. Satisfactorily completed all three specialization core courses
  5. Current overall SJSU GPA is equal or greater than 3,0
  6. Current overall Candidacy Form GPA, except writing classes, is equal or greater than 3.0

I am taking CMPE 294 and 295A concurrently, what is the consequence if I fail CMPE 294?

The completion of GWAR (e.g., receiving a passing grade of CMPE 294 or ENGR 200W) is required to obtain a passing grade of CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A. At the end of the semester, a student has not completed GWAR will received a failing CMPE 295A or CMPE 295B grade and must enroll in CMPE 295A or CMPE 299A again and restart the project or thesis.

What is the grading scheme of project and thesis courses?

A student receives a CR (Credit), NC (No Credit), or RP (Report in Progress) grade.

Due to the unforeseen situation I can’t complete a project or thesis course this semester, what should I do?

A student receives a RP grade if

  1. the project scope changes, or
  2. the student encounters documented, unforeseen circumstances that would satisfy the requirements for a grade of “I” in a letter-graded course.

A RP grade can be changed to CR for the following cases.

  1. A student satisfactorily completes course requirements within one calendar month from the last day of instruction. (The student doesn’t have to enroll the same course in the following semester.)
  2. A student reenrolls in the course in the following semester and satisfactorily completes the course requirements. (This process may be repeated for subsequent semesters up to the limit provided by the university catalog.)*
  3. A student satisfactorily completes course requirements as per a completion contract between the faculty member, the student and the chair (or designate).

*A student can claim only one CMPE 295A and one CMPE 295B in the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy form.

Last semester I enrolled into CMPE 295 (A/B) and got "I" or "RD" grade. What should I do to get the regular grades for I?

Prior to Spring 2010, a student who get “I” in 295(A/B) should enroll into 298. From Spring 2010, RD is used to replace “I”. A student received an RP must complete an RP Grade Contract and follow the policy described in the contract.

What are the format, scope, and grading of the comprehensive exam?

The exam will be given twice a year, once in fall semester and once in spring semester. The exam will be held at least one week before the last day of instruction. The time and place will be announced one week after the last day to add.

A student must meet the prerequisites of CMPE 295A in order to take the exam, During the second week of the “taking exam” semester, a student must submit a Candidacy form to the respective program coordinator to indicate the degree program plan. To take the exam, a student is required to enroll in a designated CMPE 298 section.

The exam is 2-hour long. No books or other assistive devices are allowed, except, if it is necessary, a pre-approved calculator may be allowed during the exam. A student must answer five questions: one question from each of the three degree core courses and two from two selected specialization courses.

Questions will be given for the degree and specialization courses listed on individual student's candidacy form.

A student passes the exam if (a) the average of the scores from five courses is at least 70% and (b) at most one of the scores is less than 70%. CMPE 298 grades will be posted on MySJSU to indicate the exam results. After failing an exam, a student may repeat the exam as long as the maximum time allowed for degree completion has not been exceeded.

Can I take CMPE 298 Section 2 for my degree credits?

A student selected Course-Only Plan can apply to include a 2-unit CMPE 298 course (CMPE 298 Section 2) in the degree program.

4 – Writing Requirement

What is GWAR and how can I complete it?

GWAR stands for Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement and it is a degree requirement for all SJSU graduate students. You can meet GWAR in one of the following ways:

* Satisfactory completion of CMPE 294

* Satisfactory completion of the CSU baccalaureate graduation requirement of competency in written English (100W course);

* Satisfactory completion as a graduate student of the SJSU undergraduate upper division writing requirement by passing the writing workshop waiver examination with a waiving score or completing satisfactorily a writing workshop (100W). Thus the WST must be taken, but GS&R will honor the course-waiver score, if achieved;

* Approval by the Associate Dean or Associate Vice President for GS&R of a professional (peer-reviewed) publication or graduate thesis in which the student was the sole author

* Satisfactory completion of a discipline-specific upper-division writing course at another university judged by the by the Associate Dean or Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies & Research to be equivalent in content and writing requirements to the SJSU 100W (refer to for more information)

Most Computer Engineering Department students take CMPE 294 to meet GWAR. Students transferring from another MS degree program at SJSU may satisfy the GWAR by completing the GWAR course recommended for the original degree program prior to transfer.

When shall I take CMPE 294?

Take it concurrently with CMPE 295A or any time before taking CMPE 295A. Due to the severe consequence of failing CMPE 294, it is prudent for you to take CMPE 294 before CMPE 295A.

How can I be qualified to enroll in CMPE 294?

A student can enroll in CMPE 294 regardless of the student’s WST score. However, a student without a passing WST grade has to complete an evaluation test in CMPE 294, and may have to enroll in a tutoring course if the evaluation indicates a need. CMPE 294 offers an Entry Writing Test (EWT) for students who have not passed or who have not taken the WST. The EWT will be given only in the first class of each CMPE 294 section.

What is WST?

WST stands for Writing Skill Test. A high WST score allows you to be waived the CMPE 294 requirement. A passing WST score allows you to be waived the writing evaluation test at the beginning of CMPE 294.

5 – Taking Classes

How can I register for classes?

I am a new student, is it necessary for me to contact the Graduate Advisor to discuss my course work before registering?

You are not required to contact the Graduate Advisor if you are not in a special status and you don't have any special requests. Please follow the FAQ postings.

Who do I contact with registration problems?

If you cannot access the system, contact If you have problems seeing the correct screen or problems with incorrect IDs, contact

What is the study sequence for me to follow?

In general, you should follow the study sequence shown below:

  1. admission condition courses,
  2. degree core courses - CMPE 200, CMPE 220, CMPE 240
  3. specialization core courses
  4. graduate writing requirements (CMPE 294)
  5. technical electives
  6. master projects (CMPE 295A, 295B) or thesis (CMPE 299A, 299B)

Due to scheduling or capacity constraints, you might deviate from the above sequence. But, you must satisfy the prerequisites of a course before take it.

Can I take a class without completing all prerequisites?

Except CMPE 200 and 220, the instructor, not graduate advisor, makes decisions. If you believe you have sufficient background to take the class, you can enroll in the class and then request the instructor's consent. If the instructor denies your request, you must drop the class during the first two weeks of the semester. Graduate advisor enforces the prerequisites of CMPE 200 and 220 without exceptions.

Can I take CMPE 200 or CMPE 220 as a conditionally classified student?

A student can’t take CMPE 200 if one of CMPE 124, 127, and 180-90 admission conditions is not satisfied. A student can’t take CMPE 220 if one of CMPE 126, 142, 180-42, 180-92, and 180-94 admission conditions is not satisfied. All CMPE 124, 127 and 180-90 conditions can be satisfied by passing the scheduled Digital Design Test. Both CMPE 126 and 180-92 conditions can be satisfied by passing passing the scheduled Object-Oriented Programming Test. All CMPE 142, 180-42 and 180-94 conditions can be satisfied by passing the scheduled Operating Systems Design Test.

Can I take CMPE 270 or CMPE 271 as an elective course?

No. They cannot count towards the minimal requirements for an MS degree.

I got a C in a degree core course. Do I have to repeat the course?

No. C is a passing grade for a graduate course (but C- is not). You have to maintain at or higher than 3.0 overall GPA in order to avoid probation.

Do I need advising before enroll in a class?

A new student or a student's overall GPA is 3.0 or better, a pre-registration advising is not necessary. The student just follows the sequence describe above. A student with an overall GPA below 3.0 must seek the advise from the program coordinator or graduate advisor before enrolling in any class.

How do I enroll in a class?

Register on-line (, but pay attention to fee payment deadlines. Since graduate students can’t enroll in some undergraduate courses directly, you might have to request permit number from the department office or the course instructor.

I am the first one on the wait list of a full class. Will this provide me the priority to be added to the class by the instructor?

After the semester begins, a class might have some available seats to add more students. The instructor will consider several factors to decide the priory of adding students. The instructor will decide whether “wait list sequence” is one of the factors.

I tried to enroll a class but the enrollment system required Department Consent. How can I receive the Department Consent?

You can contact the Department Office. However, the Department office will most likely ask you to check MySJSU frequently for the class status updates or contact the instructor directly to issue you a permission number.

The time overlap of two courses prevents me to enroll into either one. What shall I do?

You can only enroll into one of them. The Graduate Advisor is not assigned to schedule the classes of the department. The department will post additional sections, if any, on the the schedule section of mySJSU.

How late can I add or drop a class without penalty?

Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during the first fourteen days of classes. See the Calendar section of for exact dates and deadlines. Courses dropped during this initial period will not appear on the student's transcript.

If I drop a class now, can I enroll in it next semester?

Yes, if you meet the course prerequisites and the class is not full.

As a newly accepted CMPE graduate student, do I have to take course(s) immediately?

A new graduate student has to take at least one course during his/her first semester at SJSU. Otherwise, the student forfeits the admission to current semester and has to re-apply to SJSU. After the first semester, a student must file a Leave of Absence form for not taking any course during a semester.

When should I establish or update my Program of Study (POS)?

It is not required to file a POS. A POS will be established for special events such as CPT, on-probation, etc.

What is the maximum course load?

There is no maximum load limit. In general, a student should not take more than 9 units of graduate courses.

What is the minimum load?

A newly admitted student must take at least one class in the first semester in order to keep the student status. A student will lose his/her active status if the student does not take any class for two consecutive semesters. Students must file a Leave of Absence Form prior to the first semester of leave to avoid losing active status while on leave. Otherwise, the student must reapply to the university to regain active status

What is the minimum load for an international students?

Full load (9 units) per semester is required. If a student takes less than 9 units of a semester, the student must file a Reduced Load Request during the first week of the semester. The approval of a request is based on the student’s specific situation such as “the last semester”, etc. The student must go to the department office to submit a Reduced Course Load” request.

Will the classes I take to satisfy my admission conditions be counted as part of the required 9 units for F1 visa?


Will CMPE 298I for CPT be counted as part of the required 9 units?


Can I enroll in a graduate or undergraduate course without prerequisites?

Except for CMPE 200, 220, 298I, 295A/B, and 299A/B, the prerequisites of a CMPE course can be waived by the course instructor (not the Graduate Advisor). A student must attend the first session of a class to receive the instructions of presenting prerequisites and submit the student’s proofs of perquisites to the instructor in order to be qualified to take the class.

What is CMPE 298?

CMPE 298 (Special Problems) is a graduate course with two possible grades - CR (credit) or NC (no credit).

CMPE 298 can be taken for the following purposes:

  • CMPE 298 Section 1 is for students electing Course-Only Plan to register for Comprehensive Exam.
  • CMPE 298 Section 2 is for students electing Course-Only Plan to register for technical elective toward the minimal requirements of the degree. Students electing Project or Thesis Plans can't use CMPE 298 toward the minimal requirements of the degree. It is a supervised independent study course. Although the course is not conducted in classroom, the independent study must under the supervision of a full-time CMPE Department faculty member. It must have a clearly defined study scope and a written study plan pre-approved by the faculty supervisor, the CMPE Program Graduate Advisor, and the Department Chair.
  • CMPE 298 Section 3 is a catch-up course after a student enrolled in CMPE 295A and 295B before Fall 2009 and failed to complete the project in the semester he/she planned to complete. The student must register 3 units of CMPE 298 in the subsequent semester. These units will not be counted toward MS degree.

What is CMPE 298I?

It is a required course for students engaging in Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) or internship program. The student must register 3 units of CMPE 298I. These units will not be counted toward the minimal requirements for the degree.

How can I get the permission code to enroll in CMPE 298?

CMPE 295A instructors will issue permission codes during the second scheduled class session to students electing Course-Only plan. Other students must go to the department office to complete a CMPE 298 enrollment form.

I have two courses with time overlapped, how can I get the approval of taking both class at the same time?

You have to go to the department office to file a Course Overload Request.

What are the elective courses that I can take?

Besides taking three courses form the specialization, each student must take two technical electives. An elective can be any graduate course with a CMPE prefix, except CMPE 270, 271, 298*, 298I, 295A, 295B, 299A, and 299B. CMPE 297 courses can be electives. A student can take at most two electives from other departments. A student must submit an official request and receive a documented approval from the graduate advisor before taking a course from another department; otherwise the course will not be counted toward to the student’s degree program. *A student electing the Course-Only plan can use of 2 units of CMPE 298 as electives toward the degree.

When can I take elective courses?

It is highly recommended that you take elective courses after (1) completing all admission conditions, (2) two degree core courses, and (3) two specialization core courses.

I am taking CMPE 203 which is the software engineering class. Does this count towards my degree?

It is counted towards your degree as one or the electives.

How can I find out the textbook for a class?

Contact Spartan Book Store.

Since the add period is over, how can I get the permit code to a class?

Go to the first day of class and ask your instructor for the permit code.

I am admitted for fall semester, can I take a class in summer?

You can take a class as a provisional student. Go to the first day of class and ask the instructor for the permit code.

6 - Admission Conditions

When shall I remove my admission conditions?

You should complete all admission conditions as soon as possible to avoid the delay of your graduation. However, it is not mandatory for you to satisfy the admission conditions during a specific semester. Some courses have the prerequisites of satisfying these conditions. You can’t take CMPE 200 or 240 without satisfying the Digital Design condition. Likewise, you can’t take CMPE 220 without satisfying both Object-Oriented Programming and Operating Systems Design conditions. In addition, a student can't take CMPE 295A before satisfying all admission conditions.

How can I satisfy my admission condition(s)?

At the beginning of each semester, three subject tests are scheduled for graduate students to satisfy their admission conditions: Digital Design Test, Object-Oriented Programming Test, and Operating Systems Design Test.

All CMPE 124, 127 and 180-90 conditions can be satisfied by passing the scheduled Digital Design Test. Both CMPE 126 and 180-92 conditions can be satisfied by passing passing the scheduled Object-Oriented Programming Test. All CMPE 142, 180-42, and 180-94 conditions can be satisfied by passing the scheduled Operating Systems Design Test.

Please visit to get the information of the scope, references, time, and location of each test. You must register at this website 7 days before each test.

These are closed book and closed note tests. Technical data sheets will be provided if needed. Only pens, pencils, erasers and rulers are allowed to be on the test tables. The questions for all tests can be a combination of multiple choice and problem solving. The Object-Oriented Programming Test includes programming questions. The duration of each test is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Without a proof of medical reason, a student will fail the test if s/he leaves the room during the exam. You must bring a valid ID with a recent photo.

These tests are offered only once per semester. If you miss a test for any reason, you can take the test next semester or enroll into the pertinent class. There will be no make-up tests for any reason.

You can take each CMPE 180 class more than once with the instructor's consent. However, you can take a specific subject test only once. If you fail a CMPE 180 or corresponding class, you can't take the pertinent subject test later. See next question about CMPE 180-50.

I failed CMPE 180-50 class. Can I take Object-Oriented Programming Test?

You can take the test regardless whether you passed or failed CMPE 180-50 class. If you pass the test, you'll satisfy the admission condition.

I failed CMPE 180-24 or CMPE 180-27, or CMPE 124, or CMPE 127 class. Can I take Digital Design Test?

No, you can't take the test. You must take CMPE 180-90 class.

I failed CMPE 180-26 or CMPE 126 class. Can I take Object-Oriented Programming Test?

No, you can't take the test. You must take CMPE 180-92 class.

I failed CMPE 180-42 or CMPE 142 class. Can I take Operating System Test?

No, you can't take the test. You must take CMPE 180-94 class

I received an Incomplete grade of CMPE 180-50 class. Can I take Object-Oriented Programming Test?

Yes, you can take the test. But you still have to complete your CMPE 180-50 work to receive either a CR or NC grade. Passing this test doesn't give you a CR grade of CMPE 180-50 class.

I received an Incomplete grade of CMPE 180-24 or CMPE 180-27, or CMPE 124, or CMPE 127 class. Can I take Digital Design Test?

No, you can't take the test. You must complete the course. If you receive an “NC” grade, then you must take CMPE 180-90 class.

During this semester, I enrolled into both CMPE 190-90 and CMPE 200. Now I failed the Digital Design test, I can take CMPE 190-90, but not CMPE 200. Will I be panelized if I drop CMPE 200 after the semester begins?

A student with admission conditions can enroll into graduate classes and also CMPE 180-90, 92, 94 to start with. However, you should drop a class immediately after you receive the passing result of the pertinent test. Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during a specific time period. For Refund and Pro-Rata Charges, please refer to

Can my admission condition(s) be waived after completing a graduate course in the topic area?

Passing a graduate course does not waive an admission condition, e.g., passing CMPE 240 does not waive the condition of passing Digital Design Test or CMPE 180-90 course.

Can I take a corresponding undergraduate course, e.g., CMPE 142, to satisfy one of my admission conditions, e.g., CMPE 180-94?

Yes. But, a graduate student must acquire a permission number from the instructor (not the Graduate Advisor) before taking the class.

Can one of my admission conditions be waived if I have taken a course of the same subject in another institution before?

No, any of your admission conditions can't be waived. You must pass the subject test or the designated subject class in order to satisfy each admission condition.

I have to satisfy one or more admission condition courses. How do they affect my GPA?

All letter-grade courses count towards your GPA, even if they do not count towards the minimal requirements for the MS degree. However, the grading policy of CMPE 180 is credit/no credit. Thus the grades of CMPE 180 sections don't count towards your overall GPA.

I have CMPE 200 and CMPE 220 as my admission conditions. How can I clear them?

You just enroll in CMPE 200 and CMPE 200 classes and receive a B or better grade in each. If you score lower than a B grade, then you have to take the course again until you receive a B or better grade.

After completing all my admission conditions, do I have to change my status from “Conditional” to “Classified” immediately?

No. your status will be changed when you file a Departmental Request for Candidacy and Graduate Degree Program Form when you take CMPE 295A. At that time you have to present a Web printout transcript with the passing grades to the Program Director.

7 – Transfer Non-SJSU, Non-CMPE, or Non-regular Credits

How many units can I transfer from other institutions or programs?

You can transfer up to 9 semester units form other universities, other SJSU departments, SJSU undergraduate programs, and/or SJSU Open University.

Can I transfer graduate credits from other graduate schools and/or SJSU Open University?

Before applying for candidacy, students can petition for transfer credit work that they are interested in receiving.

Transfer credit work can be courses taken at another university (in graduate standing only) or courses that were taken during the last semester as an SJSU senior.

Transfer work must be from institutions that were listed on your initial application to SJSU and must be from an accredited institution. Other restrictions are indicated in the university catalog. Petitions must be signed by your graduate advisor before submitting them to our office for approval.

Generally, a maximum of 30% of your program can be transfer credit units (e.g., 9 units are allowed as transfer units into a 30-unit program). If the courses are from the SJSU undergraduate career or from SJSU Open University and amount to 30% or less of the total graduate program, they can simply be entered on the candidacy form in Section D without the need to receive prior permission from this office or to file any other form.

The signature of the graduate advisor on the candidacy form will indicate to us that the advisor approves of the transfer. To request transfer credit for courses lacking SJSU equivalence, for correspondence or extension courses from another university, or for courses in which the total number of transfer units requested exceeds the 30% level, a memo of support must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies & Research on behalf of the student. For updates, please refer to

Please take note that Computer Engineering Department has a stricter policy on transfer Open University credits. Open University classes are not available to students who intend to apply for a degree program.

Requests to transfer open university courses to the MS in Computer Engineering degree program will be denied if an application to the MS in Computer Engineering program was submitted while the course was in progress.

Can I transfer my undergraduate units received at SJSU?

The answer is embedded in the answer to previous question.

Can I transfer graduate credits from extension or Open University courses of other universities?


Will a transfer course be counted as a core, specialization, or elective course?

It depends on which of the CMPE or SJSU course it is equivalent to.

When can I apply to transfer courses?

After a semester begins, you can submit a “Transfer non-SJSU or Open University Course Request Form” for each course you’d like to transfer. You must submit the request form with all supporting documents to the department office. The graduate advisor will consult with the professors possessing the subject knowledge to decide whether to approve the request.

Can I take off-campus courses as part of my degree course?

Off-campus courses can't be used for the on-campus MS in CMPE degree program.

8 – Graduation

What paperwork should I complete before my graduation?

You should submit the following:

  1. a petition for Advancement to Candidacy by filing the Departmental Request for Candidacy and Graduate Degree Program Form (Candidacy form in short).
  2. an application for award of MS degree by filing the Application for Award of Master’s Degree Form (Degree form in short).
  3. your thesis or project final report.

When should I submit the graduation paperwork?

Your Departmental Request for Candidacy and Graduate Degree Program Form ( should be filed when you take CMPE 295A. Roughly, applications for Candidacy and Degree should be submitted 8 months and 4 months respectively, before your graduation; thesis or project reports should be submitted 2 months or 1 month respectively, before your graduation date.

When will my Candidacy Form be approved?

It will be approved by the Graduate Studies and Research (GSR) Office after you complete the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). As a practice, you’ll receive a notification from GSR Office to indicate that your Candidacy Form is not approved or not processed if you haven’t completed the GWAR (even if you have satisfied all other requirements). It is not necessary for you to seek advise from the Graduate Advisor. Again, GSR Office will process and approve your Candidacy Form only after you complete CMPE 294 or equivalent.

I already filed my “candidacy’ form, How can I replace a course on the form with another course?

Go to the department office and file a Course Substitution Request.

9 – Internship, CPT, and OPT

When can I start internship or Curricular Practical Training (CPT)/internship?

A student must satisfy all of the following conditions to be qualified to take CPT/internship: 1. Completed all admission conditions. 2. Overall SJSU GPA 3.0 or better. 3. Satisfactory completion of four CMPE graduate courses including two degree core courses. 4. Enroll in a 3-unit CMPE 298I.

How many times may I take CPT?

A maximum of three is permitted. A student can participate in a CPT in Spring, Summer, or Fall term. A Winter term CPT can be counted as part of a Spring or Fall CPT.

How can I get my CPT or OPT approved from the department?

Go to the department office and file a CPT or OPT Request.

10 – Probation, Disqualification, and Leave of Absence

Under what circumstance a graduate student will be placed on probation?

If the student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.0. A student with GPA below 3.0 must make an appointment eith the graduate advisor/director immediately.

Under what circumstance a graduate student will be disqualified?

If the student is on probation and fails to achieve a semester GPA of or above 3.0.

I just got disqualified. How can I establish a petition or reinstatement?

For the time being, the Department does not process reinstatement requests via Program of Study.

How to take a leave of absence from the university?

A leave of absence can be taken by a student that will allow student to skip one or multiple semesters of enrollment. If a student plans to skip more than one semester, then student must submit a request for leave of absence form for approval.

11 – Requests and Advising

How can I submit various requests to the department?

Go to the department office to file the request. Following is a list of the requests:

1.1 CPT

1.2 OPT

1.3 Reduce course load

1.4 Letter for change of status to F1

2.1 Transfer from other program

2.2 Reinstatement after disqualification

3.1 Establish and update Program of Study

3.2 Take non-CMPE department or program course

3.3 Transfer non-SJSU or Open University course

3.4 Waive a core course

4.1 Waive technical writing requirement

4.2 Take CMPE 298 to extend CMPE 295 and 295B

5.1 Remove advising hold

5.2 Overlapping course registration

5.3 Late Enrollment

7.1 File Candidacy form

7.2 Course substitution

7.3 Apply for graduation

8.1 Leave of absence

8.2 Withdraw from the university

What types of requests will not be processed?

The department office will not process requests to change classification, enroll in a class without prerequisites, update program of study, and late drop.

How soon do I expect to receive the results about my request?

In general, it takes a week to process a request. Some requests willl take longer. For example, Transfer Non-SJSU Course and Waiving Technical Requirement will not be processed during the summer and winter breaks.

What is the procedure to process a request from me?

  1. The student goes to the department to completes Information Section of Request Form, Checks the student section boxes of Request Form, and Submits all required documents
  2. The department office create a Request Folder and issues you a receipt with a Tracking Number and time stamp.
  3. Program Director and/or Department Chair process the Request Folder
  4. You pick up documents and takes actions per instructions

Do I have to meet the Graduate Advisor for my request?

No. Only if it is required by the department.

I am a new student, is it necessary for me to contact the Graduate Advisor to discuss my course work before registering?

You are not required to contact the Graduate Advisor if you are not in a special status and you don't have any special requests. Please follow the FAQ postings.

Where can I obtain more information regarding the program?

There is useful information at the Computer Engineering Department's web site However, the MS in CMPE Yahoo Group updates its contents more frequently.

Where can I obtain more information regarding graduate studies?

More complete, accurate, and updated information (such as the exact deadlines and graduation dates, as well as the forms you will need to fill) is available from SJSU's Office of Graduate Studies and Research web site at

What is the best way for the Graduate Advisor to answer to my questions?

You may send emails to the Graduate Advisor at for questions that are not on this FAQ. The answer to a common question will be posted on this FAQ. The answer to a unique situation will be emailed to you.

When do I have to meet the Graduate Advisor?

  1. Your question is not on this Website.
  2. After submitting a request to the department office, the department requests you to meet with the Program Director and/or the Graduate Advisor.
  3. Your overall GPA is below 3.0.
  4. You are on probation.
  5. You are disqualified.

How can I receive the Graduate Advisor's signature for my request?

You must submit a Request Form with all required documents to the Department Office, not to the Graduate Adviser directly.

How can I get in-person advice from the Graduate Advisor?

Dr. Lee Chang is your Graduate Advisor. Please contact the department office (408-924-4150) about the office hours of the Graduate Advisor. Due to large number of inquiries, the Graduate Advisor will only answer the questions that are not addressed on this Website.

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