Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ph.D. Preliminary Examination in CpE

Preliminary Examination Requirements

Chair of the Prelim Exam Committee: Prof. Kwei-Jay J Lin

**Spring 2020 prelims postponed**: Students’, staff’s and faculty’s wellbeing is our utmost priority in these uncertain times. With growing concerns and the continuous unpredictable changes due to the pandemic, and with the understanding of the level of stress that this creates in students, the EECS Department has made the decision to reschedule the Spring Ph.D. Prelims to Fall 2020.  We believe this is in the best interest for all involved. The Spring quarter will not be counted toward the time limit you have to take the Prelim Exam.

An information session is scheduled for: Date: TBD Time: TBD, Location:  TBD

Written Preliminary Examination

(Please register for the exam in the EECS office located in EH 2200. Registration deadline is Monday, April 20, 2020, at 5:00PM)

  • Date: Fall 2020
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD

Oral Preliminary Examination

  • Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
  • Time:TBD
  • Location: EH 2210 (Chair's conference room)


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