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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How do I determine what courses to take?

Students are assigned a faculty adviser upon admission to the School. Advisers may be changed upon written request from the student. All MAE faculty serve as advisers.

New students should arrange an appointment as early as possible with the faculty adviser to plan the proposed program of study toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Continuing students are required to confer with the adviser during the time of enrollment each quarter so that progress can be assessed and the study list approved.

For an MS Degree:

The requirements are a total of 9 courses with 36 units.

Within those 9 course, 5 must be graduate level and one from the list below.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 250D, 253B, 254A, 255B, 256F, 263B, 269D, or 271B.

The remaining courses can be taken from your major field or a combination of other MAE major fields . Or other HSSEAS Engineering departments.

(Refer to the Program Requirements to see which courses are not applicable)

In addition to the nine courses, you have the following one options:

(1) Take and pass the first part of the PhD written qualifying exam.

(2) Conduct a research or design project and submit a final report.

(3) Take and pass three extra examination questions offered separately from each of the finals of three graduate courses.

The basic program of study for the Ph.D. degree is built around major and minor fields. The established major fields are listed above, and a detailed syllabus describing each Ph.D. major field can be obtained at the Student Affairs Office.

For a PhD Degree:

The program of study for the Ph.D. degree requires the student to perform original research leading to a doctoral dissertation and to master a body of knowledge that encompasses material from the student’s major field and breadth material from outside the major field. The body of knowledge should include (1) six major-field courses, at least four of which must be graduate courses; (2) one minor field; (3) any three additional courses, at least two of which must be graduate courses that enhance the study of the major or minor field.

The major field syllabus advises the student as to which courses contain the required knowledge, and a student usually prepares for the written qualifying examination (formerly referred to as the preliminary examination) by taking these courses. However, a student can acquire such knowledge by taking similar courses at other universities or even by self-study.

A minor field embraces a body of knowledge equivalent to three courses, at least two of which must be graduate courses. Minor fields are often subsets of major fields, and minor field requirements are then described in the syllabus of the appropriate major field. Established minor fields with no corresponding major field can also be used such as applied mathematics, and applied plasma physics and fusion engineering. Also, an ad hoc field can be used in exceptional circumstances, such as when certain knowledge is desirable for a student’s program of study that is not available in established minor fields.

Grades of B- or better, with a grade-point average of at least 3.33 in all courses included in the minor field, and the three additional courses mentioned above are required. If the student fails to satisfy the minor field requirements through coursework, a minor field examination may be taken
(once only).

For Additional MS and PhD Information:

2. To be a Teaching Assistant do I need to take the TOP Exam?

Students who plan to work as teaching assistants (TA) at UCLA and are non-native English speaking international students must pass the TOP before working as TAs in any department at UCLA. Only non-citizens are considered international students. A “native speaker” of English is currently defined by Graduate Division as someone who has learned English from his/her parents.

3. How do I inform UCLA I won’t be enrolling this quarter and plan to file
my MS Thesis or Dissertations?

4. How can I change my Address, Mobile Telephone, and E-mail?

Students must keep their UCLA mailing and e-mail addresses and mobile telephone numbers up to date, and may change them on URSA at

Keeping this information current allows students to be reached through the BruinAlert system.
Three times each year, student mailing addresses are updated from the change-of-address list on file with the U.S. Postal Service. Students must, however, still inform UCLA when they change addresses and verify that their addresses are correct in URSA.

5. How do I get a UCLA BruinCard?

Campus Location and Hours:

123 Kerckhoff Hall 9am – 4pm Monday-Friday

150A Sproul Hall 9am – 4pm Monday-Friday

6. How do I get access to UCLA Wireless Network?

In order to access the network, you will need to meet the following requirements:

a valid individual UCLA Logon ID.
a wireless card that is 802.11b compliant.

a Windows (98/ME/2000/XP/Vista) notebook

a Macintosh 10.x notebook computer.

7. How do I get Bruin OnLine Services?

BOL services are automatically provisioned upon the creation of eligible UCLA Logon IDs. Users with an ineligible UCLA Logon ID will not be able to use BOL services. Information on eligibility for BOL services is available on the Bruin OnLine service eligibility page.

8. Where is the UCLA Career Center?

UCLA Career Center

501 Westwood Plaza (at Strathmore),
Floors Two and Three

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1573

Campus Mail Code 157308

Phone: 310.206.1915

9. How do I get a BOL Account?

Bruin OnLine (BOL) is a collection of services that provides UCLA students, faculty, and staff with Email, Web Hosting Services, Network Connectivity, including Wireless.

10. How do I establish the intent to become a California resident?

You must demonstrate intent to make California your home by severing residential ties with your former state of residence and establishing those ties with California shortly after arrival. If the requisite intent is not demonstrated promptly, the waiting period for residence classification will be extended until both presence and intent have been demonstrated for the entire one-year period. Documentation is required. For detailed information, see Intent and Temporary Absence. The specific sample questions about intent should also be read.

11. How do I get a PTE number?

Students may enroll through URSA in a restricted class if they get a five-digit PTE number. A PTE number is issued at the discretion of the instructor of the class. When used with the nine-digit course I.D., it guarantees enrollment through URSA. Inquire at the respective departmental office regarding any
internal department procedures for receiving a PTE number.

PTE numbers may be issued in the following cases:

The department/instructor offering the class may authorize selective enrollment if the enrollment capacity is filled. This is at the instructor’s discretion and may only be approved based on criteria established by the instructor and/or department.

As an exception to published restrictions (consent of instructor, department consent, specified majors, class levels–freshmen only, juniors or above) in the Schedule of Classes Closed classes (enrollment capacity reached). When the enrollment capacity is reached, students may choose to be on a wait list. They are moved into the class as enrolled students drop out or if the department increases the enrollment capacity

12. How late can a Graduate Student make Changes to a Study List?

Graduate students can use URSA to add, drop, change grading basis, or change variable units through the end of the last day of instruction.

13. How do I enroll late?

Registered students who are not officially enrolled in courses for credit as of Friday of the second week of instruction must file a late Study List. Use an Enrollment Petition for this process.

A fee is charged for filing a late Study List after Friday of the second week of instruction as described under “Late Payment” in the Registration section. See “Miscellaneous Fees” for fee information. Fees are assessed through BAR.

14. May I defer my admission?

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department does not grant admission deferrals. Instead, all admission offers must be either accepted or declined. Those who decline an offer may use the streamlined renewal process to re-apply the following year and be evaluated within the new competitive pool of applicants.

15. What forms do I need to file for my MS Degree?

Program Study Plan

Advancement to Candidacy

Masters Comprehensive Form

For the Thesis option: Masters Committee Nomination

16. What forms do I need to take my PhD Oral Exam?

Ph.D. Committee Nomination

Ph.D. Preliminary Exam / Oral Qualifying Exam