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New Students FAQ

Welcome to PSU! Students who have been newly accepted to PSU often wonder about the next step.

Check out our orientation PowerPoint. (Don't worry - it's not too long.)

Who's my adviser?

Your adviser is usually assigned via your admission letter. If you're not sure, please check with staff at

What classes should I take?

If you're an M.S. coursework-only student, please see our graduate tracks. All students should discuss their coursework with an adviser and fill out a study plan before the end of their second term. 

How do I use my transfer credits?

Transfer credit is applied to the PSU master's program via the GO-21 form. Transfer credit can only be used as elective. For doctoral programs, transfer credit is applied via approval of the Study Plan.

What about Research Assistant (RA) and Teaching Assistant (TA) positions?

The ECE department offers two forms of student financial assistance: The research assistant (RA) and the teaching assistant (TA). More information about TA appointments can be found on the TA FAQ page.

Research Assistant (RA) positions are under control of each individual faculty member.  The ECE office does not keep any records on availability.  You will need to query each individual faculty member to check on their availability of RA funding. However, you should be aware that a faculty member will most likely NOT offer an RA position unless you are studying and conducting research in their specific research area.

Can I change my faculty adviser?

Yes, Master's students can. To change your faculty adviser please complete and return the Change of ECE Graduate Adviser form to the Graduate Coordinator. The new adviser will need to agree to serve.

Doctoral students are normally expected to work with the same adviser for the duration of their degree programs. However, sometimes changes need to be made. Check with the Graduate Coordinator with questions.

How do I get access to the labs?

First, get a white access badge from ID Services in Neuberger Hall. Then, take the access badge to Student Services in the Engineering Building (Suite 100). They will activate your card so you have access to general labs and the Fourth Avenue Building on nights and weekends. This access should last as long as you're a registered ECE student.

If you need access to another lab, the faculty member who is in charge of that lab must request access on your behalf. They will need your PSU ID number and access badge number.

How do I sign up for mailing lists? I don't think I'm getting all the emails.

Make sure you check your MCECS and PDX email addresses, or forward them to an an email address that you do check.

There are two types of email lists the ECE Department uses to send you information.

The first is a list that's automatically created by the CAT. This includes all students who are registered for a term. If you skip a term or register late, you may not receive these emails.

The second is a series of Google Groups that you may opt in to. Information is sent via these Google Groups only if you've requested to join.