Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ph.D. Preliminary Examination in CpE

Preliminary Examination Requirements

Chair of the Prelim Exam Committee: Professor Phillip Sheu


Written Preliminary Examination

(Please complete and submit registration form to Registration deadline is Friday, April 16, 2021, at 5:00PM)

  • Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
  • Time: 9:00AM-3:00PM
    Architecture: 9:00AM-10:30PM
    Algorithms: 11:00AM-12:30PM
    Operating Systems: 1:30PM-3:00PM
  • Location: Remote/Online

An information session is scheduled for: 

  • Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  • Time: 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Zoom Session (Link will be sent on Monday, March 29th)


Oral Preliminary Examination

  • Date: Monday-Friday, 5/10/21 - 05/14/21
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD


This document outlines the materials to be covered in the written exam. The relevant courses offered at UCI in this field are listed below.  Reference textbooks and supplementary books are provided.

List of courses:

Operating Systems (EECS 111)

  • Reference: Avi Silverschatz, Greg Gagne, Peter Baer Galvin, Operating Systems Concepts, Ninth Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chapters 3-13.

Computer Organization (EECS 112)

  • Reference: D. Patterson and J. Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, Fifth Edition, Morgan Kaufman Publishers, 2008.  All Chapters.

Algorithms (EECS 114)

  • Reference: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E.  Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein, Introduction to Algorithms (Second or Third edition), McGraw-Hill, Chapters 1-12, 15-16, 22-26, 34-35

Although the above material describes the nature of the background information the student should have mastered prior to taking the Preliminary Examinations, it is to be emphasized that an important quality for the student to demonstrate by performance during the examinations is a comprehensive understanding of the technical areas involved and the ability to apply it to diverse applications. In other words, students are ultimately responsible for the body of knowledge in the area that might be besides the materials covered in these classes.

Prelim Registration Form