FAQ on Programmatic Issues

FAQ on Programmatic Issues

  • Q: As a new student, how do I activate my GT computer account so I can register for classes?
    A:
    Login to: https://passport.gatech.edu/
    Click “I need to activate my account (Students Only)”
    Enter your GTID and birth date (MMDDYY)
  • Q: I cannot login to my student Oscar account. How do I reset it?
    A:
    Go to: https://oscar.gatech.edu/
    Click “Secured Access Login”
    Enter your user id = gtID#  (Click http://gtid.gatech.edu/ for gtID help)
    Leave PIN blank
    Click “Forgot PIN”
    Answer security question
    Once you have logged in with your six digit birthday successfully, then you will come to a point that you will need to change this number to a different six digit PIN.
  • Q: I cannot login to my GT computer account and cannot reset the password either. What should I do?
    A: To reset an Oscar password back to your birthday (MMDDYY), students should email a request to comments@nullregistrar.gatech.edu. Be sure to include your full name and GT ID# in the email request. To reset an email password, students in Shenzhen should bring identification to GT-Shenzhen Program Manager Mr. Zhiya Wang in person. Mr. Wang will then follow a required GT procedure to request for your password to be reset by Ms. Warren. The new password will be forwarded to and distributed by Mr. Wang and you should change it immediately. Your physical presence is to prevent fraudulent activities.
  • Q: Today is the first day of the registration period. I would like to sign up for classes as soon as possible but the system does not allow me to register until 3 days later. Is there anything wrong with my account?
    A:
    The Registrar’s Office assigns registration time ticket for each student. According to the above page, “Time ticket assignment is based on earned hours.” Since new students have earned 0 credit hours, it is typical that their registration time ticket is for a later period. Just try to register early during your assigned registration time period.
  • Q: I have a registration hold on my account for incomplete documents.  How do I submit my final undergraduate transcript and degree documents?
    A: 
    When transcripts or degree documents are incomplete in your student file, a hold will be placed on your registration; it must be cleared or deferred before you are allowed to register.  You will need to submit your final transcript and degree certifications (native language and English) to us before the end of the first semester.  These documents must be official/sealed.

    If you applied to the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE program when you were a senior undergraduate student, the Graduate Admissions Office typically only has the transcripts reflecting the first 3 years of your undergraduate studies. Please submit your final, official transcripts and degree documents (unopened native language and English versions) to the GT-Shenzhen office in Atlanta (see Contact Us page) by July 15 to clear the hold on your registration.

    Arrangements will be made to allow new students to take GT courses during the first semester. However, it is the students’ responsibility to submit all required academic documents to ensure that registration holds are removed permanently after the first semester.  You may either bring them to GT-Shenzhen or have them sent to Ms. Warren (Contact Us).

  • Q: If I participate in an internship during a GT-Shenzhen semester, will my transcripts show such experience?
    A: For the semester that you engage in an internship, you can register on OSCAR for the COOP 6012 course that does not charge any tuition. Your transcripts will indicate “Graduate Co-op” for that semester. To be eligible, your internship must last at least 14 weeks and it must be relevant to your major. Since this involves quite a bit of paperwork and coordination among three different GT offices, internship students who wish to register for the graduate co-op course must declare the intention of doing so by the last day of classes in the semester prior to the internship semester.
  • Q: I am accepted into the MS degree program at GT-Shenzhen. Can I study at GT-Atlanta for a period of time?
    A: Yes; you can exchange to GT-Atlanta, subject to certain conditions.
  • Q: I would like to spend the last semester at GT-Atlanta as an exchange student. How do I apply for the exchange?
    A: First, read the conditions of exchange. Contact the GT-Shenzhen Director Prof. Zhou approximately 4 months before the start of the exchange semester indicating that you have met the exchange criteria. You will provide some basic information needed for the DS-2019 request form to the GT-Shenzhen Director, as well as a bank statement showing sufficient financial resources to pay for your visit to Atlanta. If the bank statement is in the name of a family member, you will need to provide a signed statement in English and Chinese from the sponsor indicating his/her willingness to support you. From that point on, expect to receive the DS-2019 form in approximately one month’s time. You will then use the DS-2019 form to apply for J-1 visa at the US Embassy or a US Consulate.
  • Q: What are the advantages of taking the ECE PhD preliminary exam while I am in the MS degree program?
    A: Students who pass the ECE PhD preliminary exam have a higher success rate of securing a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) position at GT-Atlanta, if they wish to pursue PhD studies there. After enrolling in the GT ECE PhD program, students who have passed the ECE PhD prelim exam in the MS phase will not need to take the prelim exam again. Check the ECE Graduate Handbook for additional details.
  • Q: I will be in school the fall, spring, and summer semesters to finish the GT MS ECE degree. How many chances do I have to pass the prelim exam?
    A: ECE PhD prelim exams are offered during March (spring semester) and October (fall semester) of each year. Students admitted into the graduate program as M.S. students and wish to become Ph.D. students are allowed to take the preliminary examination while in the M.S. program. However, students classified as Ph.D. at the time of admission must pass the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination within their first four semesters (not counting the summer) in the program. All Ph.D. students are permitted three opportunities to take the exam while enrolled in the ECE graduate program at Georgia Tech.
  • Q: I plan to join the GT-Shenzhen program in the fall semester and complete the MS ECE degree the following fall semester. How many chances do I have to pass the prelim exam?
    A:
    ECE PhD prelim exams are offered during March (spring semester) and October (fall semester) of each year. Based on your program plan, you will have three chances to take the prelim exam – during the first October, the next March, and the second October. Even if you will be spending a semester doing internship, you can still participate in the prelim exam that semester. Note that if you fail the prelim all 3 times, you will not be eligible to apply to the GT ECE PhD program any more, now or in the future.
  • Q: I plan to take the ECE PhD Preliminary Exam. On the prelim exam registration form, I am asked to select a primary area of interest for PhD research. Does it have to be the area that I entered in my ECE graduate application? Does it affect how I should complete the MS Coursework Form?
    A:
    The area that you select on the PhD prelim exam registration form and the area(s) that you indicated on the ECE Graduate Application form do not have to be identical; both are for information and planning purposes and are not-binding. They do not affect how your MS Coursework Form should be completed.
  • Q: What is the format of the ECE PhD preliminary exam?
    A:  It is a 4-hour, closed book, closed notes exam on undergraduate materials. The exam consists of 24 problems; each student must select 8 problems to work on and submit for grading. Students are only permitted to bring pencils, pens, eraser, and a basic scientific calculator – trigonometric and log functions can be used but the calculator must not have programming modes. The passing score for the preliminary exam is 65 out of 100. Be sure to read the preliminary exam study guide.

    All students who take the preliminary exam will have to choose one of two exam options: CompE or EE. Each of the two options will consist of a core, which is a set of 4 fixed classes, and electives, which is a set of 4 classes that the student chooses to work.Each student will receive a total of 24 problems and choose if they are CompE or EE option after seeing the exam. Each student will turn in 8 problems: all 4 core problems for the chosen option, plus 4 electives that they choose from the remaining pool. The choice of electives can be made from the other core (for instance, if a student chooses EE core, they can work one or more of the CompE core problems as electives).
  • Q: Will the GT College of Computing (CoC) recognize my ECE PhD prelim exam results?
    A: No. Doctoral programs at the CoC have an entirely different set of requirements.
  • Q: How do we transition from the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE program to the GT-Atlanta ECE PhD degree program?
    A:
    First, pass the ECE PhD prelim exam at the earliest opportunity. Keep your GT GPA high (minimum GPA of 3.5 is required for the PhD program). Approximately 6-9 months before the start of your planned PhD studies at GT-Atlanta, you can contact selected professors to inquire about Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) opportunities. If any professor agrees to sponsor you, please inform the GT-Shenzhen Office about the GRA arrangement.  You will need to fill out a simplified internal application for the ECE PhD program. After that application is accepted, we will arrange for the ECE Graduate Office and the Registrar’s Office to switch your campus from GT-Shenzhen to GT-Atlanta, once you have completed your GT MS ECE degree. Your I-20 form will be requested at that time.
  • Q: I have completed two semesters of coursework at GT-Shenzhen and have passed the ECE PhD prelim exam. I have contacted a GT-Atlanta professor and received a GRA offer from him to study for the PhD. Can I transfer to GT-Atlanta now?
    A: Most professors offer the GRA position because the student will come in with the GT MS degree. If all parties are “on the same page” regarding the student’s qualifications and intentions, the student can transfer to GT-Atlanta with the J-1 (not F-1) visa, as an Exchange Student.
  • Q: If I pass the ECE PhD preliminary exam, earn the GT ECE MS degree, and begin my GT ECE PhD studies at a later date, do I have to take the preliminary exam again?
    A:
    Currently, there is not an expiration date for the PhD preliminary exam results so you will not need to take the exam again once you have passed it.
  • Q: I see many courses listed for the “video” campus. Can GT-Shenzhen students sign up for any of those video courses?
    A: In order to manage costs and ensure adequate staffing for exam proctoring etc, only selected video courses are made available to GT-Shenzhen students. Those video courses will have a section code QSZ (Q for video, SZ for Shenzhen) and will be announced on the GT-Shenzhen website. When you login to OSCAR during the Phase I or Phase II registration period, you will only be able to see RSZ (Shenzhen on-site) and QSZ (video to Shenzhen) courses. All GT courses are coded with campus restrictions – Shenzhen and video (distance learning) are separate campuses.
  • Q: I am really interested in a particular video course that is taught from GT-Atlanta. Can I request for it to be added to the GT-Shenzhen video course offerings?
    A: If at the end of the Phase I registration period, the video campus section (section Q) has at least 5 students registered for the course, we can consider adding a Shenzhen video section (section QSZ) to the GT-Shenzhen course offerings. However, the decision is subject to the approval of the course instructor, as well as GT-Shenzhen fund availability.
  • Q: How do video course students turn in homework and exam papers?
    A: Students should upload the electronic or scanned version of their homework to their account in T-square. You can use the scanner found in any GT-Shenzhen office. Remember to include a cover sheet to each homework assignment. The GT-Shenzhen office scans all exam papers and submits to DLPE.
  • Q: How do I get the textbooks?
    A: We will announce courses and the corresponding textbooks for the following year as early as possible but usually no later than 3 months in advance. You can comparison shop for textbooks at many online vendors such as www.allbookstores.com and have the books shipped to you. You may also find in China, international editions of some of the textbooks that we use. For example, you may check with the following book sellers:book.dangdang.com
    www.china-pub.com
    www.phei.com.cn

    www.tup.com.cn
    www.sciencep.com
    www.ptpress.com.cn
    If international edition of the textbook is not available, the program will provide 1-2 copies of the textbook to be placed on reserve at GT-Shenzhen. Please note that copyright policy from the Board of Regents must be followed.
  • Q: When applying to a position with Company Y, I am asked to provide enrollment or degree verification. I followed the link on the GT Registrar’s website to the National Student Clearinghouse, entered my information, but was given an error message. How do I obtain an enrollment or degree verification?
    A: The US social security number (SSN) is needed to use the Clearinghouse Student Self-Service. Since GT-Shenzhen students do not have the US SSN, the verification will have to be requested by using the Verification Request Form found on the Registrar’s website. Check “Certification of Degree” or “Certificate of Enrollment” under the “Type of Verification” field. For “Special Instructions”, indicate that you are a GT-Shenzhen student, you do not have the SSN, and thus cannot request enrollment verification online through the National Student Clearinghouse. Click here for a sample completed enrollment verification request form.
  • Q: I will be applying for summer internship program. I have already requested the Certificate of Enrollment on the GT Registrar’s website; however the program has a special form of their own that is also required.  What do I do?
    A:
    Please submit the form, with instructions on where it should be sent (and the deadline) to comments@nullregistrar.gatech.edu .
  • Q: What is the recommended GT course load per semester?
    A: If summer will be your last semester and you plan to exchange to GT-Atlanta during that semester, you should take 4 courses each in the two previous semesters and take 2 courses during the GT-Atlanta summer semester. For other scenarios, we recommend that you take courses according to one of the following patterns: 3-3-4 or 3-4-3 or 4-3-3. In any case, the number of courses should add up to 10, and the course combination should enable you to meet the MS ECE degree requirements. Even though you are used to taking 7-8 courses per semester as an undergraduate student, GT courses are fast-paced and are challenging because they are taught in English.
  • Q: I have received low grades in some of the courses. Can I repeat the courses and substitute with new grades?
    A:
    You can re-take any course, but both the old and the new grades will stay on the transcript and enter into the GPA calculation.
  • Q: My term GPA is low and I have received a “warning” status on my transcript. If my performance improves next term, will the word “warning” disappear from my transcript?
    A:
    As a Masters student, if your term GPA and your overall GPA rise above 2.7 (out of 4.0) the next semester, you will be considered in good academic standing and you will not receive a warning status for that semester, but the word “warning” will remain on the transcript for the term that your GPA was deficient.
  • Q: Some of my course grades are low and I am worried about not being able to graduate. Can I take more courses to make up?
    A:
    Yes, you can take more than the minimum required number of courses for your degree. By taking more courses, you allow yourself the possibility of raising your GPA (you will need to gauge yourself, how much GPA improvement you can possibly achieve). You should use your best set of courses for your degree petition, assuming that the combination of those courses meet the degree requirement. You can omit certain courses from your degree petition, but all course grades will appear on your transcript. The program tuition assumes that each student takes a total of 10 courses; additional tuition will be assessed if you take more than 10 courses in total.
  • Q: I have over-committed this semester and wish to drop a course. How do I do that?
    A: First, discuss your situation with the GT-Shenzhen Director Prof. Zhou. Dropping a course is only possible before the official drop date for the semester as specified on the Georgia Tech calendar. Once Prof. Zhou has discussed with you the consequences of the course drop and how you may make up for the lost credit hours, you can drop the course via your student account on OSCAR.