Thank you for your interest in graduate studies with the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Montana State University. The application process is outlined below. Appropriate links are provided so that interested students can determine the suitability of the graduate program and compare research and course offerings with their own interests. Preference will be given to those who express a clear research interest that clearly matches the research currently being done by faculty members. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty via email to discuss research opportunities, but it is best first to check the available assistantships web page to identify the most timely opportunities.

Minimum requirements necessary for MSEE & PhD applicants. Applicants not meeting these requirements will not be processed:

Baccalaureate Degree:  Electrical Engineering (or closely related)
GPA:  3.0 out of 4.0
GRE:  150 Verbal, 155 Quantitative, 3.5 Analytical Writing
(updated Nov. 2016)

Letters of Reference:  3

And for international applicants, ONE of the following:

TOEFL:* 90 (updated Nov. 2016)
OR IELTS:*  7.0

*An official TOEFL score OR IELTS is required for all international applicants unless English is the student's official language or the student received an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in a country where English is the official language.

To Apply, Go To

All application fees are nonrefundable.

Application Materials

The following materials must be submitted by the application deadline:

1. Statement of Research Interest

Describe the primary research areas you are interested in pursuing as a graduate student in an essay, approximately one page in length. The essay must include a discussion of specific research areas of mutual interest to the student and the Electrical & Computer Engineering faculty at Montana State University.

2. Letters of Reference

During the online application process you will be asked to provide information about three references. The electronic process will prompt each reference to submit a signed reference letter. Letters should be written by people who are able to judge your ability to succeed in graduate school, e.g., your undergraduate engineering professors, an advisor or supervisor during an internship, or other faculty. Please do not ask for letters of recommendation from family members, friends, roommates, etc. 

3. GRE Scores

Official GRE scores must be received directly from ETS. For Montana State University, the Institution code is 4488; the Department code: 1203.

4.  Official Transcripts

Have your institution send official transcripts for all degrees completed.

5.  International Applicants

  • In addition to the above, international applicants will be required to submit the following*:
    • English proficiency scores:  TOEFL [90] or IELTS [level 7], necessary for applicants who are not U.S. citizens and not from countries where English is the official language. This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S.
    • Evidence of financial support
    • Proof of funds (if self-funded)
    • Copy of applicant’s passport
    • Degree certificates as well as an English translation for all non-English academic transcripts and credentials. Photocopies can be used to initiate the application process, however official transcripts/credentials are still required upon admission.
    • *See International application process.


Graduate research or teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis.  The awards are based on the applicant's qualifications and potential ability to perform the duties of each position. Only applicants who have been accepted by the Graduate School as regular graduate students may be awarded assistantships. However, being accepted for admission does not mean that a research or teaching assistantship is automatically awarded. If an assistantship is awarded, it will be stated in the acceptance letter.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) positions are awarded based on the needs of the department to graduate students who can effectively communicate, in English, to undergraduates. All international students must pass a "speaking" test to qualify for a TA position.

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions are funded by research grants of individual faculty members.  Therefore, the faculty members award these assistantships to admitted graduate students with whom they would like to work. Applicants are encouraged to check the list of currently available research assistantships and to contact individual faculty members via email to discuss research interests and potential research projects.

The Department may admit more students to the graduate program than we can currently support on assistantships. Students without an assistantship may continue to investigate employment or other financial aid options after enrolling in classes, but if an assistantship is not initially offered, the student must accept full responsibility for tuition, fees, and living expenses without financial support from the Department.


For priority consideration of admission with financial support, domestic and international students’ complete applications must be received by the following priority deadlines:

  • January 15 for the following fall semester
  • September 15 for the following spring semester

Domestic Applicants: The following are the final deadlines for submission of complete applications by applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents (with fewer financial aid options than available at the priority deadlines):

  • April 1 to begin the following summer semester
  • July 15 to begin the following fall semester
  • December 1 to begin the following spring semester

International Applicants: The following are the final deadlines for submission of complete applications by international applicants (with fewer financial aid options than available at the priority deadlines):

  • February 1 to begin the following summer semester
  • May 15 to begin the following fall semester
  • October 1 to begin the following spring semester

Further Information