Frequently Asked Questions About The MS-CES Program

  • Why choose Sonoma?
    We are surrounded by some of the most well-known high-tech industries (e.g., Auto Desk, Broadcom, Ciena, Cyan, Keysight Technologies, Parker Hannifin Corporation, and more). With only a 90 minutes away from the Silicon Valley, 45-minute drive to San Francisco, SSU has been chosen by many high-tech professionals as the place to live, while working at one of the high-tech companies (Google, Dropbox, LinedIn, Facebook, etc.). We are also surrounded by various beaches, the Russian River, and redwood forests. Discover the world-class Green Music Center, a music education & performing arts complex. Utilize the Student Center, a modern and vibrant focal point of student activities and engagement. Take the train and visit San Rafael, Read more here.
  • What is MSCES program and who is it for?
    MS-CES is a graduate program focused on interconnection between electrical engineering hardware and computer science software. The 32-unit curriculum blends relevant academic coursework with practical engineering experience, thereby addressing the evolving demands upon engineering in our progressively technology-driven world. The MS-CES program is designed for professionals holding bachelor degrees in diverse areas of engineering and sciences who desire to further their career paths by adding new knowledge, tools and skills from a cross-disciplinary perspective. It provides value to both practicing engineers and engineering educators. The program is designed to accommodate both full-time and part-time students who work during the day.
  • What’s the cost per credit hour?
    $500 a unit. The program is 32 units. In order to graduate from MSCES program all students are required to complete the following:
    • 27 units in technical courses
    • 3 units in a business and management course
    • 1 unit in Internship
    • 1 unit in Graduate Seminar.
  • Are there any other fees (student, facility use, etc.)?
    No! You only have to pay per unit! There are no other fees.
  • How much is the application fee?
    The application fee to be admitted to the program is $55. All students have to pay the application fee for Admission processing.
  • How to I pay the application fee?
    Please see payment for more information. Currently, there is no Online payment option, unfortunately. Let me know if this is an issue.
  • What type of activities MSCES students are involved in?
    To learn more about what Engineering students at SSU do please see EE News. The scholarly works by our graduate students are listed on SSUScholarWorks.
  • When is the deadline for applications?
    You must submit your application no later than the indicated deadline HERE.
  • What are the documents that should be mailed for SSU for admission?
    Please see the information on this page. In addition, we require a copy of your passport front page. Please note carefully the per-requisites.
  • What is the minimum GRE cutoff marks?
    There are no hard cut-offs on the general GRE scores but the scores will be used along with applicants' degree and GPA to rank the candidates for admissions.
  • How long does it take to finish the program?
    The duration of studies will depend on the relevance of their undergraduate degrees to electrical engineering. Students with a background in electrical engineering will be able to complete the program in less than two years. Please see the ROADMAP.
  • Can I apply for Spring semester?
    In spring International students may be able to apply through A Semester at Sonoma. While you are in the program, you can take your pre-reqresuites and MSCES courses at the same time. Other students can enroll in Spring courses through Open University and take the pre-reqresuites and MSCES courses.
  • How can I apply for A Semester at Sonoma Program at SSU?
    More information about the program and the application process can be found on our website. To submit your application to the Semester at Sonoma program, please submit the following documents (please contact Becky Petrow <> for more information):
    • Semester at Sonoma Application
    • Application Fee
    • Official Transcripts - must be translated in English
    • Passport Copy - must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your program start date
    • Proof of English Proficiency - requirements are listed on the application
  • Where I learn more about the courses I will be taking at SSU?
    Please see the ROADMAP. Please refer to Complete List of MSCES Courses.
  • Can I be admitted if my undergraduate degree is not EE?
    Interested students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, physics, materials science, and other science and engineering fields are highly encouraged to apply. Admitted students will set up a meeting with their designated adviser to design the most efficient plan of studies for the graduate courses as well as the appropriate prerequisites.
  • What is the minimum TOFEL cutoff marks?
    TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum paper based score of 550, or minimum Internet based score of 80. Sonoma State's ETS code is 4723.
    Please note some graduate programs require a higher TOEFL score. Check the program website for this information.
    TOEFL is not required from applicants who have studied in the U.S. full-time (excluding ESL) for three consecutive years. Some graduate programs require a higher TOEFL score. Please check with program to which you are applying.
    IELTS - International English Language Test System, band score of 7.0 will be accepted.
  • What is WEPT and should I take it?
     WEPT is a Written English Proficiency Test requirement. New applicants can meet the WEPT requirement by writing an essay and submitting it along with their application for admission. This can also be done when the student is getting ready to graduate. Note that in order to graduate, all MSCES graduates must have a WEPT score.
  • Is there anyone that can assist me with housing?
    Please contact Becky Petrow <> for assistance. You can also refer to SRJC Housing and SSU Housing Services.
  • Can I be admitted if my TOEFL/IELTS does not meet the minimum requirement?
    If your TOEFL/IELTS score is much lower than the minimum required score, you can apply through our Intensive English Language Program, called  SSALI. The university TOEFL requirement for undergraduates will be waived for students who successfully complete the advanced level of SSALI. For more information please contact Berta Hodges (
  • Can I be admitted if I don't have a TOEFL/IELTS score?
    International students without TOEFL score can be "Conditionally" admitted students and will be required to take:
    • Prerequisite EE courses- (determined by MSCES program)
    • Complete Intensive English Program (SSALI)
  • Can I transfer any graduate courses?
    Please note that in order to receive a Master’s Degree the University requires each student to meet the following:
    • Minimum of 23 units in residence at SSU
    • Minimum of 32 total units (including transferred courses and provisional Graduate credit taken as an undergraduate)
    • Minimum of 15 units at 500 level graduate work
    • Maximum of 9 units of Transfer, Correspondence, Extension, etc.
    • Minimum average of 3.00 GPA on the Completion of Requirements Form - no course with a grade lower than a C will count for graduate work
    • Clearance of Thesis, if required by graduate study plan
    • All courses on Completion of Requirements form are met within 7 year limit
    • No more than one-third of the units can be in non-traditional grading mode
  • Where can I find a job after I graduate from MSCES program?
    Our main goal is to prepare the MS-CES students for employment in high-tech industries. The curriculum includes internships and opportunities for collaboration with local industries. The North Bay industries that provide internships and employ our graduates include, PG&E, Broadcom, Ciena, Cyan, Keysight Technologies, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Pocket Radar, and more.
  • My Bachelor degree from country xxx is a three-year degree and some universities accept a 4 year degree. Can I still apply for MSCES program?
    Three-year bachelor degrees must be reviewed by the Department and approved by the Provost office. The best thing is to communicate with the Department and send us your unofficial transcript. Please note that in most cases, the student will be required to take up to 4 additional undergraduate courses (up to 12 units of pre-requisites). You can also complete the application and submit it to the Engineering department (or university) for faster processing. Please include the following documents:
    • Copies of B.S. degree certificate
    • Affiliation of undergraduate college, in other words who is the highest authority awarding such degree (e.g., name of the University/ Autonomous /State owned university)
    • Copies of High school transcripts ( 10+ 2 )
    • Also copies of GRE Score/TOFEL


  • Where is the MSCES course schedule?
    The latest tentative schedule is available on the Engineering web page. The registration infroamtion can be found here. Click here to see the latest announcements.
  • Should I take any pre-requisite courses?
    Please contact the Department or Dr. Farahmand to discuss your pre-requisite courses. 
  • In my first semester what courses should I register for?
    The exact courses you should be taking depends on your pre-requisites. Please note that MSCES courses will not be closes to students and you can register as late as July. In most cases, Fall students should be taking CES 400 and CES 440. Here is the link to courses descriptions.

* Please contact Dr. if you need more information!

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