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 if I missed the application deadline for Fall. Can I apply for Spring?
    At this point MS-CES does not offer any Spring Addmissin. However, thre are alternative approaches to take courses in Spring, before officially being admitte into the program. If you are an international student please contact John Green <greenj@Sonoma> for more information. If you are a domestic student please contact the graduate coordinator (below). See Late Applications - Below
  • What if I missed the application deadline for Fall. Can I apply for Spring?
    At this point MS-CES does not offer any Spring Admission. However, there are alternative approaches to take courses in Spring, before officially being admitted into the program. If you are an international student please contact John Green <> for more information. If you are a domestic student please contact the graduate coordinator (below). See Late Applications - Below
  • What is the minimum GRE cutoff marks?
    While there are no hard cut-offs on the general GRE, scores will be considered during application evaluation. A score of 3.5 or above on the analytical writing section will exempt students from the Written English Proficiency Test graduation requirement.
  • 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 per-reqresuites and MSCES courses at the same time. Other students can enroll in Spring courses through Open University and take the per-reqresuites and MSCES courses.
  • How can I apply for A Semester at Sonoma Program at SSU?
    More information about the program see A Semester at Sonoma. 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 per-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


  • Should I take any per-requisite courses?
    Please contact the Department or Dr. Farahmand to discuss your per-requisite courses. 
  • In my first semester what courses should I register for?
    The exact courses you should be taking depends on your per-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. You may find more information here.
  • When do I register (Fall 2018)?
    • Early Registration for Fall 2018 is from April 23rd to May 25th (by appointment only)
    • Open registration will be from July 30th to August 10th
    • Late registration will be from August 20th to September 4th
    • Classes start on Monday, August 20th. You can view these and other important dates and deadlines on our Academic Calendar
  • Where is the Fall Course Schedule?
    To view the Fall 2018 schedule of classes, view this instructional video on YouTube. Check the SEIE website for information on registration. If you need to take any prerequisite classes, there are special instructions on the website for these classes.

* Please contact Dr. if you need more information!

Back to MSCES Page



Submission of applications after the stated guaranteed evaluation deadlines for each term/program will be allowed on a space-available, processing-time basis through a late admission appeal process. A passcode to Cal State Apply will be sent if your appeal is successful.

  1. Check the program site to make sure you have fulfilled entrance requirements for your chosen program. Only applicants who are ready to start the program will be considered.
  2. Contact the program Coordinator to discuss the program and your preparation for it. Coordinator approval will be needed to consider your Appeal.
  3. Fill out the Application Appeal Request form.
    • The support letter must come from the Program Coordinator, not from other sources. It can be e-mailed.
    • Return the form to James Peavler, SEIE Admissions Specialist at the address below, NOT to the address on the form.
    • You may also fax to James at 707-664-2613, or scan and e-mail to Please no photo attachments, they are not readable.
      • SSU Extended Education
      • Attn: James Peavler
      • 1801 E Cotati Ave
      • Rohnert Park, CA 94928
  1. Prepare the following documents to submit with your appeal:
    • English Lang Req (Intl): Submit your official TOEFL or IELTS score to Sonoma State University through ETS; our school code is 4723. If you’ve studied full-time for 3+ years at an institution where English is the language of instruction, we will waive this requirement. Or, If you’ve completed GE Area A2 English Composition with a “B” or better, we will waive this requirement.
    • Financial Doc (Intl): Email us the Financial Affidavit for International Students form and attach supporting documentation (e.g. bank statement – must be less than 6 months old).
    • Official Foreign Doc (Intl): Submit official copies of your academic records. Check the WES website to see which documents are required for our evaluation. See our website for instructions on how to send your official documents to Sonoma State University.
    • Gap in Education (Intl): Submit the Gap in Education form if there are any gaps in your educational history of 12 or more months.
    • Passport (Intl): Email us a copy of your passport, which should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended start date at SSU.
  2. Set up your profile in Cal State Apply so you are ready to complete your application as soon as you get your passcode. See our SEIE Admissions page for important tips.