Introduction to COE and ECE

Master's students in the College of Engineering (COE) are among an elite group of people who have chosen to advance their education at one of the premier engineering colleges in the country. The academic programs in UW–Madison’s College of Engineering are highly ranked, and our faculty are widely recognized as leaders in their fields. Here you will find a community in which you will excel. You will find faculty, staff, and peer students who are supportive and committed to your success. You will find rigorous coursework that will prepare you to achieve your goals. You will experience an environment highly conducive to collaboration—and you will meet faculty with a broad range of research interests and connections both on campus and around the world.

In partnership with our students, it is the mission of the ECE department to:

  • Educate and inspire future leaders who contribute to society through the creation, application, and transfer of electrical and computer engineering knowledge.
  • Expand knowledge through research into new technologies, design methods, and analysis techniques.
  • Serve the state of Wisconsin, our nation, and the world with electrical and computer engineering expertise.

ECE M.S. Degree Options

ECE offers four master's degree named option programs in the Electrical Engineering M.S.:

  • Research—traditional two-year master's program culminating in a thesis or research project
  • Professional—accelerated, course-based master's program with the opportunity to choose a specialty area
  • Signal Processing and Machine Learning—accelerated, course-based master's program tailored to the area of signal processing and machine learning
  • Power Engineering (Online)—online, off-campus program in power engineering designed for working professionals

Students apply to the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering through one of the named options:

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Funding information for each named option is available on the corresponding pages:

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements 

Note: The major is currently non-admitting. Students are admitted through one of the named options (sub-majors) below.


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements See individual named option page in Guide for more information on grade requirements.
Assessments and Examinations See individual named option page in Guide for more information on assessment and examination requirements.
Language Requirements Non-native speakers of English who enroll in the M.S. program must take the ESLAT test on arrival at the university and then take any recommended courses based on the exam results. In addition, if a student's advisor believes that his or her technical writing ability needs improvement, the student may be required to undertake remedial work.

Required Courses

Select a named option for courses required.

Named Options (Sub-Majors)

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits from other institutions can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate1

With program approval, up to 7 credits from UW–Madison numbered 400 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Up to 7 credits of E C E courses numbered 700 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement.

With program approval, students may count up to 7 credits of undergraduate coursework from a bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, or Computer Science from an ABET-accredited program at other institutions (not UW–Madison) toward fulfillment of minimum degree requirements.

Courses numbered 300 or above may be counted towards the minimum graduate degree credit requirement and courses numbered 700 or above may be counted towards the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits from other institutions can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 9 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement, and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Courses numbered 700 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School, their program, and their advisor. The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who received grades of BC, C, D, F, or I in graduate-level courses (300 or above), or grades of U in research and thesis. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment, and the student may be suspended from graduate studies.

The Graduate School may also put students on probation for incompletes not cleared within one term. All incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.

The status of a student can be one of three options:

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status.
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for 1 additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.


New students in the SPML, Professional, and Power Engineering named options are assigned an advisor by the program.  New students in the Research named option must declare an advisor by the end of the second week of classes in the first semester.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.


Funding is not guaranteed and applicants should be prepared to fund their degree. The department awards a limited number of research assistantships, teaching assistantships, project assistantships, and fellowships each year to students in the Research named option. Students in the online Power Engineering program, the accelerated Signal Processing and Machine Learning program, and the accelerated Professional program are not permitted to accept assistantships.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

department of electrical and computer engineering resources

UW-Madison, the College of Engineering, and ECE have an abundance of professional development opportunities for students to take advantage of in order to better prepare themselves for internships and job positions during and following their education. First of all, the ECE Department strongly encourages students to utilize the UW-Madison Graduate School's professional development resources. Additionally, ECE provides unique opportunities throughout the year for students to attend and participate in various lectures, workshops, and trainings. The ECE Graduate Student Association (GSA) also organizes professional development opportunities for fellow students. Students are made aware of events and opportunities via email and other media communications.

  1. Demonstrate a strong understanding of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles in the field.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate, analyze, and independently solve advanced engineering problems.
  3. Apply the relevant scientific and technological advancements, techniques, and engineering tools to address these problems.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Professors, Assistant Professors, and Associate Professors

Anderson, David T.
Behdad, Nader
Booske, John H.
Boston, Nigel
Botez, Dan
Davoodi, Azadeh
Farrell, Robert M.
Fawaz, Kassem
Gubner, John
Hagness, Susan (department chair)
Hitchon, William N.
Hu, Yu Hen
Jahns, Thomas M.
Jiang, Hongrui
Jog, Varun
Kats, Mikhail A.
Kim, Younghyun
Knezevic, Irena
Krishnaswamy, Bhuvana
Lesieutre, Bernard
Lessard, Laurent
Li, Jing
Lipasti, Mikko
Loh, Po-Ling
Ludois, Daniel
Ma, Zhenqiang
Mawst, Luke
Milenkovic, Paul H.
Nowak, Robert
Papailiopoulos, Dimitris
Ramanathan, Parameswaran (Parmesh)
Roald, Line
San Miguel, Joshua
Sethares, William A.
Severson, Eric
Shohet, J. Leon
van der Weide, Daniel
Van Veen, Barry
Velten, Andreas
Venkataramanan, Giri
Wendt, Amy E.
Yu, Zongfu

Adjunct Professors

Armstrong, Carter
Blasko, Vladimir

Faculty Associates

Allie, Mark C.
Fredette, Steven
Hoffman, Eric
Krachey, Joe
Milicic, Srdjan

Affiliate Faculty

Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi (Computer Sciences)
Banerjee, Suman (Computer Sciences) 
Brace, Chris (Biomedical Engineering) 
Brar, Victor (Physics) 
Gupta, Mohit (Computer Sciences)
Hernando, Diego (Radiology) 
Hill, Mark (Computer Sciences)
Miller, Barton (Computer Sciences)
Negrut, Dan (Mechanical Engineering)
Raskutti, Garvesh (Statistics)
Rohe, Karl (Statistics)
Sanders, Scott T. (Mechanical Engineering)
Sankaralingam, Karthikeyan (Computer Sciences)
Sarlioglu, Bulent (Engineering Professional Development) 
Sinclair, Matt (Computer Sciences)
Varghese, Tomy (Medical Physics)


For a listing of current staff members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, please visit the ECE website