ECE Professional Development Option (PDO)

To become a graduate degree-seeking student at Georgia Tech – Shenzhen, one has to go through the formal graduate admission process at Georgia Tech (GT). This means the student has to complete an online application, meet TOEFL, GRE and GPA requirements, must earn a four-year Bachelor’s degree from a recognized undergraduate institution prior to enrollment, must have three strong letters of recommendation as well as a satisfactory statement of purpose and finally receive an admission offer from GT. If the student wishes to join the MS ECE program at GT-Shenzhen but does not have all the credentials ready at this time, he/she can apply to enroll as a PDO student first. The PDO phase can help the student adjust to the rigor of the Georgia Tech education, prove himself/herself worthy of the graduate admission at GT, and allow time to prepare for TOEFL or GRE or other elements of the graduate application package.

PDO students take courses alongside GT-Shenzhen degree program students and follow the same requirements for the courses. PDO students must complete the same homework and project assignments and take the same exams as degree-seeking students. PDO students are evaluated the same way as degree-seeking students and receive course grades reported on their Georgia Tech Professional Education transcript. Please note that the GTPE transcript is different from the GT transcript for degree-seeking students. PDO students are not allowed to enroll in more than 3 courses total before being admitted into the GT-Shenzhen Master’s degree program.

Courses completed as PDO students cannot be transferred to GT degree programs in general, but the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech has agreed to make the following exception for GT-Shenzhen PDO students: For those who are admitted by the School of ECE as Master of Science (MS) students at GT-Shenzhen within a year of taking PDO courses, upon approval, up to 3 courses taken as GT-Shenzhen PDO students can be transferred into the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE program. In order to qualify for the transfer, the specific course grades earned as PDO students must be A or B. Transfer courses do not enter into GPA calculation however for the degree program. For example, a student who transfers 3 GT-Shenzhen PDO courses (with grades A or B) to the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE degree program may take as few as 7 courses while a degree-seeking student and eventually earn the GT MS ECE degree from GT-Shenzhen. The GT GPA will be calculated based on the 7 courses taken as a degree seeking student. The GT MS ECE degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours or 10 courses to complete. If the student does not enroll in the GT MS ECE program or does not enroll within the 12-month time period, the PDO course credits will still be kept on the student’s GTPE user account and become a part of the student’s professional development history.  We will review credits older than one year on a case-by-case basis.

GT-Shenzhen reserves the right to terminate a student’s PDO program participation if during the semesters of PDO enrollment, the student does not attain a 3.0 GPA.

Most GT-Shenzhen PDO courses mirror the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE program courses. Registration for PDO courses is done via the student’s GTPE user account. Please see below for registration information.

Note: It is extremely important that you use your full legal name and date of birth when registering for account at Georgia Tech. This will help us match your standard test scores and your transcripts etc to your student record. It will also facilitate the transfer of your PDO course credits to your degree program later. If you already have a GTPE user account, please log in directly.

PDO cost: During the current academic year, the GT-Shenzhen PDO cost is $2,250 USD per course.

  • Application deadline:
    • Spring enrollment: December 1
    • Summer enrollment: May 1
    • Fall enrollment: July 30

PDO application requirements:

  • GPA of 3.25 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is required of all PDO applicants. If your university reports grades on a 100-point scale, you will need to first convert numerical scores to letter grades according to the following: Score of 85-100: grade=A (4.0 point); Score of 75-84: grade=B (3.0 point); Score of 60-74: grade=C (2.0 point); Score of 0-59: grade=F (0 point). Note: There is not a D grade in the above conversion. Here is an explanation on how to average the grade points to arrive at the GPA. Note that pass/fail courses do not enter into the GPA calculation. Even though your university may have indicated a GPA on your transcript, please re-calculate using the above conversion rules. Do not continue if you do not have GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  • A completed PDO Information Form in Excel format and in English.
  • Earned a four-year Bachelor’s degree in engineering, computing/computer science, mathematics or physics from a well-recognized institution. Please submit a scanned copy of your undergraduate diploma (if any) and college transcripts (front and back) in Chinese and English. If you have received graduate education as well, you are welcome to submit a scanned copy of your graduate school transcripts and diploma (if any).
  • English proficiency as demonstrated by any one of the following:
    • CET 4 score of 550 or CET 6 score of 500 or above; CET = College English Test (China)
    • Minimum TOEFL score of 577 (paper-based) or 90 (internet-based with minimum section scores of 19). The ETS home version is acceptable.
    • Minimum GRE scores of 146 Verbal, 155 Quantitative, 3.5 Analytical Writing on the new scale, or GRE 400 Verbal, 700 Quantitative, 3.5 Analytical Writing on the old scale.
    • Overall minimum score of 7 with minimum section scores of 6.5 in reading, listening, speaking, and 5.5 in writing; IELTS = International English Language Testing System
    • PETS 4 or above; PETS = Public English Test System

Please submit a scanned copy of any or all of the above test results.

  • Send all attachments in one email to the GT-Shenzhen Office. Please write in the Subject line: PDO application_(Full_Name).
  • Do not apply for the MS and PDO programs for the same term.

We will typically respond within 1-2 weeks if you are accepted as a PDO student or if we need additional information.

Registration of Classes:

Once accepted, please visit this page to set up a GTPE user account. Please see the PDO Courses page for courses and further instructions. PLEASE READ the Canvas instructions and FAQs on how to setup your Dashboard to review course content, etc. A PDO student is only allowed to enroll in one or two courses per semester unless they have met the English proficiency requirement for the intended GT degree program.

Methods of payment:

  • Credit card is the most convenient method of payment. The payment is posted to your student account immediately.
  • Alternatively, you can pay by wire transfer. Wire transfer fees are the student’s responsibility. It will take a few days for the wire to appear on the student’s account. Following the wire transfer, the student must email Robin Finey (cc: the following: Name of the student, GTID, wire transfer amount, and please attach the wire transfer confirmation from the bank. This will help GTPE match up the payment with the registration.

Summary of key information:

  • PDO students do not apply through the ordinary online GT graduate admissions interface, but are expected to submit a PDO Information Form and scanned copies of required documents.
  • PDO students have GTPE student status but not GT degree program student status.
  • PDO students receive GTPE transcript, not GT transcript for degree-seeking students.
  • PDO students can transfer credits earned during the PDO phase to the GT-Shenzhen MS ECE program, if the courses were taken during the 12 month period leading up to the matriculation at GT-Shenzhen. Transfer courses are limited to those with A or B grades.  A maximum of 3 courses can be taken as a GT-Shenzhen PDO student.
  • Course registration and tuition payment are done via the GTPE website.

Email: GT-Shenzhen Office
Voice: +1 (404) 385-1341
Skype ID: gtshenzhen