UMass Amherst M.S. ECE Field Degree FAQ
General Program Information
Q: What is UMass Amherst?:
- A: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the nation’s top public universities and ranks number 27 in a field of more than 700 public, four-year colleges and universities in the United States. UMass Amherst is the flagship public higher education campus in Massachusetts and makes a profound, transformative impact to the common good. Founded in 1863, it is the largest public research university in New England, distinguished by the excellence and breadth of its academic, research and community outreach programs.
- UMass Amherst has many points of pride, including being ranked among Top 100 National Universities and Top 60 Engineering programs.
Q: What is the M.S. ECE Field Degree?
- A: The Master’s of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree is an 18-month program designed for working professionals or recent graduates who want to pursue an advanced degree and professional experience at the same time. Classes are delivered virtually at our validated global delivery partners, with a 7-week, intensive summer semester on the UMass Amherst campus.
Q: Is the M.S. ECE Field Degree option accredited?
- A: Yes, this M.S. degree program, as well as the University itself, are accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Q: What will my diploma and transcript say?
- A: When you graduate, your diploma and transcript from UMass Amherst will say “Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering,” the same as for students who complete the residential M.S. option.
Q: How will the program prepare me for a career after graduation?
- A: The M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering degree program gives students the tools they need to create new technologies and solve new computer engineering problems in important fields such as embedded systems, information security, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Through the Field Degree program, students have unique and exclusive opportunities to intern for leading technology companies and graduate with the necessary skills and technical knowledge needed to thrive in their careers.
Q: Does the M.S. ECE Field Degree program offer internship or job opportunities for students?
- A: Yes, qualified students will have opportunities to secure jobs and internships while in the program. Through agreements with leading international employers such as GE, Apple, and Microsoft, students have exclusive access to internship and job opportunities. M.S. ECE students apply to the internship(s) or job(s) of their choice with the assistance of Field Degree staff, and placement is determined by each employer’s discretion and availability. Students’ experiences in the program give them an unparalleled professional advantage as they continue to build their careers.
Q: Why should I enroll in this program rather than apply for a job or simply continue on my current professional path?
- A: This innovative program allows you to both find or continue a job in your field while also obtaining an elite master’s degree within 18 months.
Q: What courses will I take during the M.S. ECE Program?
- A: A sample of the ECE course curriculum can be viewed here.
Q: What is the language of instruction?
- A: The language of instruction is English and entry into the program requires proficiency in English. Students have access to bilingual administrative support.
Q: Does the M.S. ECE Field Degree program allow students to be employed full-time or part-time?
- A: The program courses are held in the evenings to accommodate students with full-time jobs, part-time jobs, or internships; however, no professional experience is required for admission to the program.
Q: How much time will I spend on coursework every week?
- A: You should plan a total of ten to fifteen hours of work each week per course, including time spent both in as well as out of the classroom.
Q: What is the typical class size?
- A: The number of students per classroom is approximately 25.
Q: How will I attend classes in my home country if they are offered by UMass Amherst?
- A: The initial 16-month program will begin in the fall of 2017 with live lectures from UMass Amherst hosted locally by our validated delivery partner, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the most distinguished universities in China. China-based classes are taught by UMass faculty as technology-enabled live lectures. Students will be able to visit the UMass campus and faculty during a 3-week summer residential experience in the Summer of 2018.
Q: Where can I attend live video class lectures?
- A: Live classroom sessions will be held twice weekly on evenings at our delivery partner, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Xuhui campus, and attendance is required. Therefore, students should live within reasonable proximity in order to participate in the program.
Q: Will I have an opportunity to select courses and set my own schedule?
- A: This is a set program. Students may choose from two course options in the final semester. The project course also allows students to choose their own project topic, and work with their project team according to a flexible schedule.
Q: Does UMass Amherst have an academic integrity and academic misconduct policy that will apply to students in this degree program?
- A: Yes. Students are accepted to the M.S. ECE Field Degree program with the strict understanding that completion of the M.S. ECE requires not only satisfactory attendance and successful attainment of specified progression criteria, but also adherence to the UMass Academic Honesty Policy.
Q: What type of coursework and projects will I be expected to complete during the program?
- A: Coursework and project requirements are described in detailed course syllabi, which will be available to students who are accepted into the program. In general, the content courses revolve around twice-weekly class sessions that include lectures, group work, discussions, and student presentations. Pre-work outside of class, such as readings and research, and post-work such as papers and application assignments, are required for most class sessions. Through two project-based courses, students work on and complete a single final project, called the Capstone Project. For this project, students work in small teams and use an embedded system, sensors, and software to solve a real-world problem of their own choosing.
Q: Are there other opportunities for students to engage with UMass faculty throughout the program?
- A: At the end of each term, students participate in a symposium hosted in Shanghai that engages them both academically and professionally. Activities planned include guest lectures, networking events with corporate sponsors and alumni, and opportunities to engage with the host university. UMass faculty will travel to participate, and each symposium will include an activity focused on the students’ Capstone Project.
Program Cost and Features
Q: What is the total cost of the M.S. ECE Field Degree program?
- A: The total cost for the program is $45,000 USD, which includes the 3-week residency at UMass Amherst. Please remember to budget additional funds for personal expenditures during your 3-week residency in the US, as well as costs for books and airfare. Check out how the cost of the Field Degree M.S. option compares to the cost of the traditional, full-residency M.S. option.
Q: What is the cost of travel and accommodation for the Field Degree summer residency?
- A: The total cost for the summer residency at UMass Amherst is $5,000 USD and includes accommodation, health insurance, and university fees. Students should also budget for travel, textbooks, and personal costs.
Q:Where can I find the payment schedule?
- A: Please refer to our Terms & Conditions. Payment Schedule: Section 5, Refund Policy: Section 7
Q: What are my payment options?
- A: Students pay via Flywire by Peer Transfer. Payment instructions and details will be provided during the admissions process.
Q: When should I plan to start attending Shanghai Jiao Tong University?
- A: Plan to arrive on August 24, 2017 for on-campus orientation. Refer to your welcome packet for a complete schedule of orientation activities. Classes begin on August 28, 2017.
Q: What dining options are available for when I visit on campus at UMass Amherst?
- A: The Princeton Review ranks UMass Amherst’s student dining options as the best in the country! Numerous dining options are available during the summer. For a full list, visit the UMass Dining website.
Q: Does the program offer organized group activities?
- A: Yes. During the summer session at UMass Amherst, students have several activities per week that supplement their in-classroom learning, as well as extracurricular activities that welcome them to Amherst, Massachusetts, New England, and the United States. When students return to China for the live-lecture portion of the degree, they will have several opportunities to participate in a variety of local activities such as corporate-sponsored activites and networking events.
Q: Does the university offer local transportation services?
- A: Local and campus transportation is available through UMass’s PVTA bus line. Additional transportation information is available through UMass’s Office of Transportation Services.
Q: How can I apply to the M.S. ECE Field Degree program?
- A: Complete and submit your online application at or submit a completed PDF application and supporting materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What documents are required with my application?
- A: Be prepared to submit the following documents:
- Certified copies of all academic transcripts
- Certified copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated)
- Official copy of English proficiency score (you may qualify for a waiver if you completed your studies in the US, Canada, UK or Australia)
- Letter of recommendation from employer or academic source
Additional documents may be requested if you are accepted into the program. For more information see this page.
Q: What are the admissions requirements for the M.S. ECE Field Degree program?
- A: Admission to the program is competitive. Students must meet a minimum English-language proficiency requirement of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent and should have a strong background in an undergraduate Engineering program.
Q: Will applicants with non-Engineering backgrounds be considered for the M.S. ECE Field Degree program?
- A: Professional and/or academic background in Engineering is required. Students with non-related Engineering backgrounds may be considered for admission but will require additional faculty review and must meet all additional admission requirements.
Q: I’m currently an undergraduate student in the US. Can I transfer my F1 visa status?
- A: Yes. If accepted to the program, you will be asked to supply the following documents to initiate a transfer of your Form I-20:
- Certificate of Finance Form
- I-20 Request Form
- Financial Statement (issued within the previous six months)
- UMass Transfer Recommendation Form