Ph.D. Breadth Requirement

CS and EE PhD students must complete all prelim requirements by the end of the 4th semester. Prelim requirements must be completed before students can take the Qual Exam.

EE Breadth Courses

This requirement is satisfied when you have completed, with a grade of A- or better, a graduate or advanced undergraduate course of at least 3 units in two different areas in the EECS Department outside of the area of the oral exam.

Any EE290 or CS294 courses must be petitioned for use in fulfillment of the EE breadth requirement.

Depending upon your Preliminary Exam area, EE students MAY NOT use the following classes in fulfillment of the requirement (effective Spring 2018):


Courses you may NOT use

Linear Systems

128, 221A, 222, 223, 290N, and 290O


120, 121, 123, 126, 224, 225ABD, 226AB, 228AB, 229, 290Q, 290S, and 290T

Digital Signal Process.

120, 123, 126, 225AB, 226, 290T, 290S, CS280


219ABCD, 244, 251A/LA/LB, CS170, CS172, CS250


105, 120, 140, 141, 142, 145L (formerly 145A), 240 (series), 241AB, 242, 244, 247, 244, 251A/LA/LB, 290C


143, 147, 245(ME218), 246(ME219), 247, ME119, BioE121

Semicon. Devices

130, 131, 140, 141, 142, 143, 230 (series), 231, 240 (series), 241AB, 242, 243, 251A/LA/LB

Semicon. Process.

130, 143, 230A, 231, 243, 290H

Optoelectronics & Photonics

117, 118, 119, 232, 233, 236AB


105, 117, 118, 119 210, 216, 217, 290F


122, 228AB, CS268, 226AB

Operating Systems

CS261, CS262AB, CS266, and CS269


CS280, CS284, CS285, CS294-3

Artificial Intelligence

CS280, CS281AB, CS287, CS288, CS289A


251A/LA/LB, CS250, CS252, CS254, CS257, CS258


CS160, CS260, CS294 (CSCW, Human-Centered Computing , or Assistive Technology)

CS Breadth Courses

CS Ph.D. students are required to take at least one course in each of three separate areas (listed below):

  • Theory: 270, 271, 273, 274, 276, 278
  • AI: 280, 281A, 281B, 287, 288, 289A
  • Graphics/HCI: 260B, 283

  • Programming: 263, 264, 265, 267; EE219C
  • Systems: 261, 261N, 262A, 262B, 268, 286B
  • Architecture/VLSI: 250, 252, 258; EECS 251A/LA/LB

Additionally, courses must include at least one from the group of three above the line and one from the group of three below the line.  CS260B, CS263, and EE219C cannot be used for this constraint, though they can be used as providing 1 of the 3 areas. (For students who took the old CS260 course, that is equivalent to the current CS260B.)

Students must complete the requirement by the end of their 6th semester.

CS breadth courses can count towards a major or minor, but classes in different areas cannot be used together for the major or in the same minor.

Although CS PhD students are expected to take at least one course from each grouped areas (Group 1 : THY, AI, GR; Group 2:Programming, Systems, and Architecture), students can petition to have an EE class satisfy one of their CS breadth requirements.