Frequently Asked Questions on the Application Process
Q: Can I apply to both GT-Atlanta and GT-Shanghai?
A: No. You can apply to only one GT campus. The admission requirements for the two campuses are identical. However, many qualified students are denied by GT-Atlanta each year because of space limitations.
- Q: I have
previously applied to GT-Atlanta, and have just learned about
the GT-Shanghai program. Can I transfer my application from
GT-Atlanta to GT-Shanghai?
A: We can transfer your GT-Atlanta application to GT-Shanghai within the same discipline. For example, if you had applied to GT-Atlanta ECE, but want to switch to GT-Shanghai ECE, we can transfer your application easily - just email GT-Shanghai your first name, last name, GTID and your planned enrollment term for GT-Shanghai (Summer or Fall), we will then coordinate the transfer of your application. On the other hand, if you had applied to GT-Atlanta Computer Science (in the College of Computing) for example, but want to be considered by GT-Shanghai ECE instead, your online application cannot be switched over, and you will need to complete a new online application and pay another online application fee. This is because ECE has its own discipline-specific form that must be completed as part of the online application. We can retrieve the TOEFL, GRE scores and the transcripts from your first application however so you only need to contact ETS for one set of scores and submit one set of transcripts.
Q: I am admitted directly into the SJTU PhD program in computer science / instrumentation / mechanical engineering / physics / math / ... without the MS degree (direct-admission PhD student at SJTU). Can I apply to the Dual-MS program?
A: You can only apply to the Dual-MS program after you have completed all required SJTU PhD program coursework and are within 1.5 years of completing your SJTU PhD degree. Each Dual-MS program student is required to sign an MOU stating that the student is committed to completing both the GT and SJTU graduate degree requirements. The GT MS degree will be issued only after the SJTU graduate degree is granted.
Q: The TOEFL, GRE expectations are described in http://www.ece.gatech.edu/academics/graduate/apply.html What about TWE or TSE?
A: We do not look at the TWE score or the TSE score at this point.
Q: I have taken IELTS (International English Language Testing System) but not TOEFL. Can you accept my IELTS score in lieu of TOEFL?
A: No. We do not accept any substitute for TOEFL.
- Q: You require a minimum GPA of 3.25 for admission to the MS degree program in ECE. How should I estimate my GPA since my university does not report course performance using the letter grade basis?
A: Unless your university specifies a different conversation table on your transcript, you can use the following conversion rule. On a 100-point scale, Score of 85-100: grade=A (4.0 point); Score of 75-84: grade=B (3.0 point); Score of 60-74: grade=C (2.0 point); Score of 0-59: grade=F (0 point). Note: There is not a D grade in the above conversion. Here is an explanation on how to average the grade points to arrive at the GPA (grade point average).
- Q: The Registrar’s Office at my university offers two options for transcripts: one that does not display the GPA, one that does. Which option should I take?
A: Take the option that does NOT display the GPA. Most Chinese universities do not take into account all courses in the GPA calculation (such as omitting the elective courses), so the GPA shown on the transcript is usually different from the GPA that Georgia Tech would arrive at. Georgia Tech counts all courses shown on the transcripts, except for pass/fail courses, in the GPA calculation. In order to avoid confusion and unintended consequences, it is better that you take the option that does NOT show the GPA on your transcripts. We will calculate your GPA “in-house” at Georgia Tech.
Q: The GPA entered for me in the OSCAR system is lower than what my university said my GPA is. Could you please use the GPA as determined by my university?
A: Georgia Tech evaluates all international transcripts in-house. We use a 4.0 scale whereas your university may use a different scale. If using the conversion method as described above, you arrive at a very different GPA, you can let us know.
Q: My undergraduate university has a reputation for grading harshly. Do you use different grade conversion tables for different universities?
A: Unless your university specifies a different conversion table on the transcript, Georgia Tech uses the grade conversion method described above for Chinese university transcripts.
Q: SJTU Graduate School gives GPA on the 3.3 point basis, and mine is 2.7. Should I enter 2.7 as my current graduate school GPA?
A: Please use the guideline described above to re-calculate your GPA on the 4.0 basis and supply with your online GT application. The GT Graduate Admissions Office will calculate again to verify your GPA once they receive the official transcripts.
Q: Do you include elective courses in the GPA calculation?
A: Except for courses that are graded on the pass/fail basis, all other courses (including elective courses) shown on your transcript are included in the GPA calculation.
Q: My university reports some of our grades on the letter grade basis. Do you convert those letter grades?
A: If your university uses the A, B, C, D, F letter grade system, we will use those grades “as is” in calculating the GPA. If your university uses the A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-,D+, D, D-, F letter grade system, we will convert (A+, A-) to A, (B+, B-) to B, (C+, C-) to C, and (D+, D-) to D, before calculating the GPA.
Q: I am a graduate student at SJTU. My undergraduate years were spent at another university. Do I need to submit transcripts from both universities?
A: Your undergraduate transcript and degree documents are absolutely required. If you are a second year graduate student, submit your graduate school transcript at the time of application as well. If you are a first semester graduate student and your SJTU transcript is not yet available, you can mail it at a later date, as soon as it becomes available. Failure to do so will result in a registration hold being placed on your account. See more information in the Transcripts and Degree Documents section.
- Q: My university is not willing to release my transcripts. What should I do?
A: Our GT-Shanghai Coordinator, Ms. Jun Ma, can request for your transcripts to be sent to her, for the purpose of applying to the GT-SJTU Dual-MS degree program. Please contact Ms. Jun Ma directly and allow sufficient time for her to request and receive the transcripts.
Q: Am I supposed to mail the transcripts / degree documents directly to GT or will SJTU do that for me?
A: Please send your transcripts and degree documents to the GT-Shanghai office (either the Shanghai or the Atlanta location, see Contact Us page). We will complete some necessary paperwork and then forward to the GT Graduate Admissions Office. If you are based in China and SJTU is not on winter or summer break, sending your transcripts and degree documents to our SJTU office (Ms. Jun Ma) should save you some time and money.
Q: I am a first semester graduate student at SJTU. Our first semester score report will not be available before February 1. Should I still request my graduate transcript?
A: Current SJTU graduate students must submit their graduate transcripts (to include the Fall semester results) by April 15. Failure to do so may result in a registration hold being placed on your account to prevent you from registering for GT courses.
Q: Can I arrange to have supporting documentation (transcripts, degree documents, TOEFL and GRE scores) sent to you before I fill out the online application?
A: Most likely, you will take TOEFL and GRE tests before you apply online to GT. Please use the GT institution code to have ETS send the official TOEFL and GRE score reports to GT as soon as the scores are available. Transcripts and degree documents should be sent to the GT-Shanghai office as described earlier in this FAQ. All supporting documents are not matched to your record until you have applied online and established a GTID so please apply online as soon as possible.
- Q: For my ECE application, should I mail any supporting documentation to ECE?
A: No, individual departments do not expect any direct mailing from you. Official transcripts and degree documents should be sent to the GT-Shanghai office as described previously in this FAQ. ETS sends your official TOEFL and GRE score reports to GT Graduate Admissions if you specify the GT institution code on your TOEFL/GRE score report request form. Individual departments can view your TOEFL and GRE scores from a central GT database afterwards.
Q: In the “Academic History” section of the online application, it asks me to upload a PDF of each transcript. Since the GT-Shanghai office has/will have our official transcripts, do I still need to upload the PDF?
A: GT-Shanghai applicants do NOT need to upload PDF of transcripts when they apply online. PDF upload is an option, not a requirement. You will be able to get past the upload point, complete and submit your online application. Please send your transcripts to the GT-Shanghai office (either the Shanghai or the Atlanta location, see Contact Us page). We will complete some necessary paperwork and then forward to the GT Graduate Admissions Office. If you are based in China and SJTU is not on winter or summer break, sending your transcripts to our SJTU office (Ms. Jun Ma) should save you some time and money.
Q: The GRE General Test is only administered twice a year (in October and June) in China. I will not have the opportunity to take the GRE test before the application deadline. What should I do?
A: We do not offer admission without the official TOEFL and GRE score reports.
If you will not have TOEFL / GRE scores ready in order for summer admission (May start), you are encouraged to apply for fall admission (August start). You are expected to apply online by January 1 (ECE) for matriculation either in the summer or the fall semester. The dates of receipt for official TOEFL and GRE score reports are given here for the ECE program. Please check the GRE website http://www.ets.org for information about Split-Test Administration of the General Test in countries including China and Korea.
Q: I want to apply for summer enrollment. I will take the TOEFL at the end of December but my score report may not be available until February. Is that okay?A: On the Application page, we ask that you TAKE the TOEFL and GRE tests by certain dates. As long as you abide by those dates, you are okay. We have taken into account the time it takes for ETS to send the score reports.
- Q: What are the institute and department codes to use when requesting ETS
to send official TOEFL and GRE score reports for my GT-Shanghai
A: The Institute Code for Georgia Tech is 5248. For GRE score reports, the ECE department code is 1201-1204 (any one of these numbers will work). For TOEFL score reports, the ECE department code is 66.
- Q: I took the TOEFL / GRE test in October and asked ETS to send my official score reports to GT. Now it is already January and it seems you still have not received my official score report. Do you know what might have happened?
A: ETS sends TOEFL score reports to GT approximately twice a month on a tape. GRE score reports are sent via tape and paper copies. When GT receives the tapes, the scores are electronically written to the GT database. When you fill out the online application, the system searches for your TOEFL and GRE score reports and updates your record. If there is any mismatch between the information you provided to GT and the information you provided to ETS (for example, the spelling of your name), the TOEFL or GRE scores will not be written to your record. If it has been at least 6 weeks since you have received ETS’ confirmation that they have sent your TOEFL or GRE score reports but those scores have not shown up on your GT record, please email GT-Shanghai your first name, last name, along with a scanned copy of your TOEFL/GRE score report. Please inquire with ETS the cycle number or run date of your score report and forward that information to GT-Shanghai. We will conduct a manual search based on the information shown on the scanned copy and the cycle number/run date information provided. We cannot however grant admission based on photocopy or scanned copy of TOEFL/GRE score reports.
Q: My TOEFL / GRE score will expire after 1 year. Can I apply now for the next year (not this year)'s program?
A: For Summer (mid May) or Fall (mid August) start, you can apply online during the July – January time frame. If you have already taken the TOEFL / GRE test, make sure that you request for ETS to send your score reports to GT before they expire (ETS will not send expired scores). Once the scores are received by GT and written into our database, we can then evaluate your application and make admission decisions.
Q: On the online application form, I have to choose between I-20 for F-1 Student Visa or DS-2019 for J-1 exchange visa in order to proceed. Since Chinese students do not need visa to study at GT-Shanghai, how should we answer this visa question?
A: The online application form is used mostly by applicants to GT-Atlanta so some of the questions may not apply to GT-Shanghai. You do not need to answer those questions that do not apply. However, if you must choose between I-20 (for F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visa) in order to complete your online application, you can choose I-20, but knowing that you are a GT-Shanghai applicant, we will not actually send you the I-20 form.
Q: My referee is having trouble accessing the online letter of recommendation.
A: As soon as you submit your online application, an email will be sent to your referees. At the bottom of that email, there should be a link that says http://www.applyweb.com/lor?token=.... (encrypted code). If there is no token (encrypted code), the referee should contact CollegeNet (ApplyWeb) or call them at +1 503-973-5213.
If the referee does not have or does not remember his/her password, he/she should follow the link with the encrypted code and then click "request a new password". The system will then generate a password and email to the referee. He/she should save that password for future recommendation letter input for other students applying using the same online system. If the problem persists, the referee should contact CollegeNet (ApplyWeb) or call them at +1 503-973-5213.
The applicant (student) can also re-send the recommendation letter request message to the referee from his/her Activity Log. The applicant can login to the system, go to "user activity page" -> "names list" -> "take action" -> "send reminder"
Make sure that the professor's email address works and is accepting emails. If the professor does not find the email in the Inbox, have him/her check the spam folder, bulk email folder etc as well.
- Q: Can my referee send you the recommendation letter by email or air mail?
A: No. All referees must complete the online “Letter of Reference” as instructed. For the referee’s information, here is a preview of the Letter of Reference; however, the form must be completed online. We do not accept recommendation letters by email or as hardcopy.
Q: I have submitted the application online. Unfortunately, one of the referees is non-responsive. Can I replace him with another person?
A: Yes. Go to the Letters of Reference / Recommendation Status page and click on the online letters link. Login and you should then be able to make the change.
Q: Should I submit additional supporting documentation such as award certificates to Graduate Admissions to enhance my chance of gaining acceptance into the GT-Shanghai program?
A: For admission into the program, we mainly look at your GRE/TOEFL scores, GPA, recommendation letters and personal statement. Additional supporting documents will be scanned and will become part of your permanent record at Georgia Tech, but they will have little impact on the admission decisions. If you apply to any of the GT-Shanghai fellowship, scholarship, or assistantship opportunities, the supporting documentation especially the award certificates will be seriously considered - you should submit those to the GT-Shanghai Program Coordinator in Shanghai, along with your financial aid application.
Q: I am an applicant to the ECE program. I find two ways for checking the status of my online application: at the GT graduate admissions status check page, and at the ECE graduate admissions status check page. They do not show exactly the same information. Which page should I rely on?
A: The ECE database receives updates from the GT Graduate Admissions database after 2 business days (Monday through Friday excluding holidays) so allow several days for the two systems to sync. For ECE applicants, we make admission decisions based on what the ECE Graduate Office has received. In general, if either system shows that we have received a particular item, then there is no need to inquire or re-send.
- Q: On the GT graduate admissions status check page, a 5-digit zip code is needed, but the zip code of my city has 6 digits. What should I do?
A: Try using the first 5 digits of your zip code. For example, if your zip code is 200240, just enter 20024.
Q: I tried the ECE graduate admissions status check page, but received the error message “Account does not exist”. I completed the online application one week ago.
A: Be sure to click “Create an Account to Login” first. The ECE account is separate from the GT Graduate Admissions account.
Q: I am an applicant to the GT-Shanghai program. I made a mistake on my application (applied for the wrong term / selected the PhD program instead of the MS program / swapped my first name and last name / …) Who should I contact to get the problem resolved?
A: To make a correction to an online application that has already been submitted, please write an email
Subject: GT-Shanghai Application
Q: I have sent several email inquiries but have not received any response.
A: Our computer system gives every email a SPAM score. If the score exceeds a certain threshold, the email is labeled as SPAM. Most SPAM emails are not reviewed since there are just too many of them. Here are a few simple things you can do to lower the SPAM score of your email: (i) Include a few words about your question in the Subject line; do not leave the subject line empty; (ii) provide your full name in the email setting; (iii) avoid sending emails from certain web-based mail services (163.com, 263.com etc).
Q: What is the likely process after I have applied?
A: After we have received all required information on your application, we will be able to proceed with admission decisions. For those applicants that we have complete information on, we will strive to make admission decisions within 3 weeks after all application materials (online application, recommendation letters, official TOEFL/GRE scores, official transcripts) are received by Georgia Tech. The summer semester typically starts around mid May. For those that apply for fall semester start, if you will not have the TOEFL/GRE scores ready until some time later (specified on the Application page), we will make admission decisions as soon as we receive all score reports from ETS.
Q: How do I submit my response to the GT-Shanghai ECE admissions offer?
A: Please complete the form that is addressed to the Associate Chair, Graduate Affairs, School of ECE. Please sign, date, and attach a recent photo (in case you accept the admissions offer). Scan the completed form in color. Please email your decision form directly to the ECE Graduate Office by using the applicants contact form (be sure to upload the scanned decision form as an attachment). You then give the original form to Ms. Jun Ma in SEIEE 3-309 for file at the GT-Shanghai office. If you are not currently in Shanghai, please call Ms. Ma (021) 3420-6760 for the office’s mailing address.
- Q: If I get accepted by GT-Shanghai, can I turn down the application if my plans change?
A: If you are a senior undergraduate student and have received an SJTU graduate school admission offer utilizing the GT-SJTU Dual-MS program quota, you are obliged to enroll at GT-Shanghai. Otherwise, you have the option to accept or decline the GT-Shanghai offer by a certain date.
- Q: I have encountered some application trouble that is not covered by this FAQ. What should I do?
A: Send an email to GT-Shanghai with your first name, last name, last three digits of your application/GT ID (xxxxxx000), telephone number(s) where you may be reached, and a detailed description of the problem that you have encountered, attaching a screen-shot if possible. We will then respond with an email or phone call.
Last revised on December 23, 2011.