The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Policies & Regulations

ECE793/794 Graduate Seminar Requirements

All ECE graduate students are required to register for (any section) and attend a one (1) credit Graduate Seminar Course (ECE 793 in Fall and ECE 794 in Spring semesters) each and every semester that they are enrolled for course credits and in residence. ECE 793/794 are graded as Pass/Fail based on attendance. These one credit seminars do not count towards university degree eligibility, however, attendance is an ECE departmental requirement for graduation.

Students must register/enroll for Seminar (ECE 793/794) before the end of the Add/Drop period for a given semester or no credit will be given. No one will remind students to register. To verify enrollment, please check final semester schedule on SPIRE. Students are responsible for understanding the importance of ECE Seminar attendance as a departmental graduation requirement.

Seminars are scheduled on weekdays, usually from 4:00-5:00 p.m. All seminars are announced on the ECE website, sent out by email and are posted on the seminar board near graduate student mailboxes in Marcus Hall. Seminar announcements include the name of the research area and indicate if required for graduate students in that area.

Students are required to attend the majority (simple) of SEMINARS in their assigned area (determined by primary research area of student’s advisor).

Students on PROGRAM FEE or Industrial Program students enrolled only in off campus courses, DO NOT have to register for Seminar during that semester. All students in residence (on Campus) are required to enroll for ECE 793/794 and attend required seminars in their area.

A maximum of two (2) excused absences are permitted per semester, the exception being if a class or lab is in conflict with the seminar day and time for the whole semester. To be excused from a seminar absence, students must submit a Seminar Exemption Form signed by their advisor and submitted to the ECE Graduate Office (210 Marcus). Exemption forms are available on the ECE website and can be found on the graduate student bulletin board in Marcus Hall.

Students must attend and complete the assignment on SPARK for the majority (simple majority) of required seminars in a given semester or they will fail the seminar course for that semester. Submitted excused absence forms (no more than 2 per semester) count as attended. It is up to each student to keep track of his/her seminar attendance. Each student must be certain that he/she has completed the SPARK assignment for each seminar. Seminar grades are recorded on your permanent transcript records.

If you have any questions about seminar registration and/or attendance, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask the Academic Programs Manager, Graduate Program Director, or your faculty advisor.


• Register for Seminar (ECE 793/794, any section) every semester you are in residence! Notify the Academic Programs Manager immediately if all sections of Seminar are closed to enrollment.

• Seminar grading (Pass/Fail)r is based on proof of attendance

Be sure to complete the SPARK assignment for each seminar you attend or you will not be given credit for attendance.


ECE Transfer Credit Policy (for M.S. Degree)

A limited number of course credits may be transferred toward the M.S. ECE Program  provided the enrolled M.S. degree student makes a request in writing using the official UMass Graduate School form and attaching required documentation. The ECE Graduate Program Director decides whether or not to recommend the transfer of credits to the Graduate Dean and the Graduate Dean makes the final recommendation. A transfer of credit may result in an appropriate statute of limitations adjustment.


  1. TAKEN AT UMass Amherst (only) before entering M.S. ECE Degree Program:

    Graduate level courses must have been taken no more than 3 years prior to the student’s acceptance into the Master’s Program and may not have been used previously to fulfill the requirements for any other degree, certificate of diploma program. PLEASE SUBMIT the Request for Transfer of Graduate Course Credit form and a current UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT (from SPIRE) showing the grade received for each UMass Amherst non-degree graduate course taken.

    NOTE: If you need a form, please come by the ECE Graduate Office or send your request and your current mailing address to

    Grades received for courses taken at other academic institutions requested for transfer must be “B” or better. Graduate level courses must have been taken no more than 3 years prior to the student’s acceptance into the Master’s Program and may not have been used previously to fulfill the requirements for any other degree, certificate of diploma program. These course(s) must be the equivalent of a current ECE graduate-level course. Non-Umass Amherst transfer credits may be used to fulfill departmental degree requirements at the 500-level only. These courses may not be used to satisfy the 600-800 level requirement, nor can the grade received in a course taken at another institution be used to satisfy the University’s requirement for letter-graded credits (see M.S. ECE M.S. degree requirements).

    PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING MATERIALS TO THE ECE Graduate Office when applying for TRANSFER OF CREDIT taken at other Academic Institutions:
    1. UMass Amherst GRADUATE RECORDS FORM – “Request for Transfer of Graduate Course Credit Taken at Other Academic Institutions”
    2. A copy of the college/university bulletin pages giving the complete course description(s)
    3. A copy of course syllabus (samples of coursework would be helpful also)
    4. An OFFICIAL transcript(s).
  • NOTE: No more than a total of 12 graduate credits may be transferred. Of these, a maximum of SIX (6) credits may be from any ONE of the following sources: (1) another regionally accredited college/university within the United States; (2) course(s) taken as an undergraduate student over and above requirements for the baccalaureate degree; (3) course(s) taken while enrolled as a non-degree graduate student, or response course(s) offered through the Division of Continuing & Professional Education.

Graduate School Statement on Academic Honesty

It is expected that all graduate students will abide by the Graduate Student Honor Code and the Academic Honesty Policy (available at the Graduate Dean's Office, the Academic Honesty Office (Ombud's Office) or online at Sanctions for acts of dishonesty range from receiving a grade of F on the paper/exam/assignment or in the course, loss of funding, being placed on probation or suspension for a period of time, or being dismissed from the university. All students have the right of appeal through the Academic Honesty Board.


M.S. Study Plan

Ph.D. Study Plan

Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam Policy (RQE)

Seminar Exemption Form