Grad Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Advisors

The Principal Graduate advisor in the Mechanical Engineering Department is Dr.Travis Hu. Other graduate advisors are Dr. Arturo Pacheco-Vega and Dr. He Shen.

Graduate Student FAQ

No. Per U.S. immigration laws, F-1 and J-1 students are required to be full-time. Graduate ECST students are considered full-time with 8 units of graduate courses. If you enroll in less units than full-time, you will need to request for reduced course load at the International Student Office. Without prior approval, you jeopardize your status.

You will still need to request for reduced course load at the international student office. Enroll in UNIV 9000, and fill out the form correctly. Please contact the international student office for more information.

If you have completed all your classes and need more time to study for the comp exam, you will need to enroll in at least one unit to maintain continued student status.

Prior approval by the international student office is needed. You will have to submit a reduced course load form by the third Friday in the same term as when you drop the class.

Make sure that your I-20 is valid at all times. If you need more time past the expiration date of your I-20, you will need to extend the I-20. Please contact the International Student Office on details of how to extend the I-20. You will also need a letter from your academic advisor that details why you need more time.

Yes, the WPE is required of all graduate students prior to enrolling in the thesis, comprehensive, or project courses. Graduate students will be required to pass the WPE (or UNIV 4010, the course alternative to the exam) in their first quarter at Cal State LA. Visit the University Writing Center for more information about registering for the exam (or course alternative) and about scheduled workshops to prepare for the exam.

Achievement of a minimum B (3.0) grade point average in all courses on the approved Study Plan. A grade of C is allowed on the Study Plan; however, any grade below C, including C-, requires that the course be repeated with both grades computed in the grade point average.

ME 4090 is required of all graduate mechanical engineering students. There are no substitutes for this course starting Fall 2016.

You will need to apply to CPT at the international student office with your job offer letter. Please refer to the International Student Office for more information. Since this type of training is not integral to your obtaining the Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, you will need to enroll in a course that gives you credit for the degree. Meet with your advisor to discuss which courses can be used to obtain the CPT. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, you will need to receive 2 units for part-time employment. During the summer, you are allowed to work full-time and need to receive 4 units. The academic advisor has to write a detailed letter as to how this internship will benefit the student, and which course the student will take to receive credit.

Grad check deadlines are posted on the Graduation Office website. Please note that the deadlines for graduate students are different from undergraduate students.

Visit the Graduation Office website to obtain a graduate application form. Take the completed and signed application to the Cashier's Office (ADM 128) and pay the application ($20) and diploma ($10) fees. Your academic advisor will need to check if you have finished all your courses and what other courses are required in the next term. They will sit down with you to fill out a worksheet with your courses, grades, and status of these courses.

Completion of at least 30-semester units in approved courses, of which at least half (15) must be graduate (5000-level) courses. Master’s degree programs whose minimum total units are established at more than 30-semester units must include at least half of those units in courses at the graduate (5000) level.

You will need to bring your previous university’s official transcript to your advisor, who will determine whether the coursework is enough to allow you to enroll in the graduate course.

There are no permits available to guarantee you a spot in the class. Your best option is to keep trying to add the class before the term starts by continually looking on GET and see if a spot opens up. Otherwise, attend the first day of class in order to see if the professor is willing to add you to the course. Remember that you need to maintain full-time load as an international student.

You will need to discuss with your academic advisor first before enrolling in the course. Your advisor will check whether this course can be counted towards your degree in lieu of a mechanical engineering graduate course.