This is a named option in the Electrical Engineering M.S.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) offers the Electrical Engineering M.S.-Professional named option program for students looking for an advanced entry into industrial electrical engineering.

It is designed to deepen the student’s technical knowledge and sharpen their professional skills for a well-prepared entry into industry. The program provides a practical focus through a course-only curriculum, an accelerated and predictable 16-month completion time, and a professional development component. Well-prepared students and UW–Madison undergraduates may find it feasible to complete the program in less than 16 months.

The student, in consultation with an academic advisor, will choose courses that align well academically and target their career interests. When applying for the ECE M.S.-Professional program, students are required to choose an area of emphasis: Computer Engineering, Electromagnetic Fields and Waves, Solid State and Photonics, Energy and Power Systems, or a specified curriculum path of their own design. The coursework is customized based on the student’s technical interests and is taught by faculty conducting cutting-edge research in their respective fields. The goal of the student’s studies is to expand their knowledge in new technologies, design methods, and analysis techniques. The combined focus on technical skills and professional development will prepare graduates to assume leadership positions in industry. 

The focus of the Professional program differs from the traditional research-based M.S. program. M.S.-Professional students do not conduct independent research and prepare a thesis, but rather have an accelerated course plan in a specialty area with a professional development component, either via an internship/co-op, an independent project, or through courses from Engineering Professional Development. Overall, the M.S.-Professional program requires 30 credit hours, including the professional development component. If you are interested in research and advanced concept development, you are better served pursuing a research-based M.S. program or a Ph.D. program. If you want to complete your degree in 12–16 months and enter the workforce, then the M.S.-Professional program is right for you.

M.S.-Professional students cannot be simultaneously enrolled in another graduate program at UW–Madison while completing this program. 

After completing the program, students will earn a diploma stating “Master of Science in Electrical Engineering,” and the transcript will include the indication "Named Option: Professional."

For more information on this specific degree plan, please visit the ECE website.

Fall Deadline December 15*
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.**
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

A submitted online application is required, consisting of:

  • Resume/CV;
  • Statement of purpose; see the suggested guidelines provided by the Graduate School:
  • Most up to date unofficial transcript(s) from all previous higher education institutions, regardless of whether or not a degree was earned (official transcripts are requested of only recommended applicants); international academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.
  • Payment of the one-time application fee of $75.00, plus the $6.00 international processing fee; this fee is non-refundable. It can be paid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or debit/ATM card.
  • Test scores and three letters of recommendation as detailed above.

Applications must be entirely complete by the deadline, including test scores and letters of recommendation. Please note that it is highly advised to take the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS tests well in advance of the application deadline in order to ensure time for receiving and processing of the scores. Please do not mail any paper copies of application materials, except IELTS scores. They will not be reviewed.

Information for international students, including proof of funding and visa information, can be found on the Graduate School's website (

By Wisconsin state law, the application fee can only be waived or deferred under the conditions outlined by the Graduate School (

The department welcomes applications from scientific, engineering, and mathematical disciplines other than E C E. Applicants with a bachelor's degree may apply directly to the Ph.D. program.


If you were previously enrolled as a graduate student at UW–Madison, but have had a break in enrollment for at least one fall or spring semester, you will need to apply to resume your studies.

For applicants previously enrolled in a graduate program other than E C E, you must complete a new online application, including all materials, for admission.

For applicants previously enrolled in E C E as a graduate student, you must complete a reentry application. Reentry applicants may apply for the fall term with a deadline of June 1.

In order to apply as a reentry applicant, you must:

  • complete the online application (, including the personal information section, program and term selection, and supplementary application;
  • upload a CV/resume in the application portal;
  • upload a statement of purpose*** in the application portal;
  • upload any new unofficial transcripts from previous higher education institutions, excluding UW-Madison; and
  • submit three letters of recommendation if the break in enrollment equals or is greater than four semesters (fall, spring).

If the reentry applicant is unable to upload any of the additional required materials, please email them to the  EC E Graduate Admissions Team ( 


Students currently enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison, whether in or other than E C E, wishing to apply to this degree program should contact the E C E Graduate Admissions Team ( to inquire about the process and respective deadlines several months in advance of the anticipated enrollment term. Current students may apply to change or add programs for any term (fall, spring, or summer).


Please review the frequently asked questions answered by the Graduate School here

If you have any admissions questions, please do not hesitate to contact the E C E Graduate Admissions Team at

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 restrictions related to funding.


The M.S.-Professional program is an accelerated program. As such, students in the program are expected to focus all of their time on their coursework and are not eligible to accept assistantships or appointments, either in ECE or another department on campus.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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



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

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 21 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 n/a
Assessments and Examinations n/a
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.


Mandatory Courses
E C E 610 Seminar in Electrical and Computer Engineering1
Elective Courses
12 of the 30 credit hours must be taken within one curriculum path. Please see sample curriculum paths below. Students may take courses from combinations of different paths to create custom degrees that are well-aligned with their professional goals. 1
Other Course Requirements
21 of the 30 credit hours must be taken in E C E. Approved graduate or undergraduate transfer credits may count toward the 24 E C E credits.
15 of the 30 credit hours must be at the graduate level; 9 of these must be in E C E.
Special topics courses E C E 601 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering or E C E 901 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering may be used for up to 3 credits towards a curriculum path with advisor approval.
No more than 3 independent study credits count toward the degree. This includes E C E 699 and E C E 999.
Thesis credits are not allowed (E C E 790 or E C E 890).
Sample Curriculum Paths
Computer Engineering (CMPE)
E C E 453 Embedded Microprocessor System Design4
E C E 454 Mobile Computing Laboratory4
E C E 537 Communication Networks3
E C E 551 Digital System Design and Synthesis3
E C E/​COMP SCI  552 Introduction to Computer Architecture3
E C E 554 Digital Engineering Laboratory4
E C E 555 Digital Circuits and Components3
E C E 556 Design Automation of Digital Systems3
E C E/​COMP SCI  707 Mobile and Wireless Networking3
E C E/​COMP SCI  750 Real-time Computing Systems3
E C E 751 Embedded Computing Systems3
E C E/​COMP SCI  752 Advanced Computer Architecture I3
E C E 753 Fault-Tolerant Computing3
E C E/​COMP SCI  755 VLSI Systems Design3
E C E/​COMP SCI  756 Computer-Aided Design for VLSI3
E C E/​COMP SCI  757 Advanced Computer Architecture II3
E&M Fields and Waves
E C E 453 Embedded Microprocessor System Design4
E C E 545 Advanced Microwave Measurements for Communications3
E C E 547 Advanced Communications Circuit Design3
E C E/​COMP SCI  552 Introduction to Computer Architecture3
E C E 740 Electromagnetic Theory3
E C E 742 Computational Methods in Electromagnetics3
E C E 744 Theory of Microwave Circuits and Devices3
E C E/​PHYSICS  748 Linear Waves3
E C E/​N E/​PHYSICS  749 Coherent Generation and Particle Beams3
E C E 841 Electromagnetic Radiation and Transmission3
E C E/​PHYSICS  848 Nonlinear Waves3
Energy and Power Systems 1
E C E 411 Introduction to Electric Drive Systems3
E C E 412 Power Electronic Circuits3
E C E 427 Electric Power Systems3
E C E 504 Electric Machine & Drive System Laboratory2-3
E C E 511 Theory and Control of Synchronous Machines3
E C E 512 Power Electronics Laboratory3
E C E 711 Dynamics and Control of AC Drives3
E C E 712 Solid State Power Conversion3
E C E 713 Electromagnetic Design of AC Machines3
E C E 714 Utility Application of Power Electronics3
E C E 723 On-Line Control of Power Systems3
E C E 731 Advanced Power System Analysis3
Solid State/Photonics
E C E 434 Photonics3
E C E 445 Semiconductor Physics and Devices3
E C E 466 Electronics of Solids3
E C E 536 Integrated Optics and Optoelectronics3
E C E 541 Analog MOS Integrated Circuit Design3
E C E 542 Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems3
E C E 548 Integrated Circuit Design3
E C E 549 Integrated Circuit Fabrication Laboratory3
E C E 741 Semiconductor Diode Lasers and other Optoelectronic Devices3
E C E 743 High-Power Diode Lasers and Amplifiers3
E C E 745 Solid State Electronics3
E C E/​PHYSICS  746 Quantum Electronics3
E C E 845 Transport in Semiconductor Devices3
E C E 901 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering1-3

Professional Development Activities

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the professional development activities below:

  • With assistance from Engineering Career Services, obtain a summer internship and enroll in up to 2 credits of E C E 702 Graduate Cooperative Education Program
  • Enroll in the summer course INTEREGR 601 Topics in Interdisciplinary Engineering.
  • Enroll in up to 3 credits of E C E 699 Advanced Independent Study and be co-supervised by an advisor working in industry (choice of industry advisor is subject to program approval).
  • Complete at least two of the online Foundations of Professional Development courses. Each course is eight weeks and 1 credit:

E P D 701 Writing for Professionals1
E P D 702 Professional Presentations1
E P D/​L I S  703 Managing Digital Information1
E P D 704 Organizational Communication and Problem Solving1
E P D 706 Change Management1
E P D 708 Creating Breakthrough Innovations1
E P D 712 Ethics for Professionals1
E P D 713 Key Legal Concepts for Professionals1
E P D/​ACCT I S/​GEN BUS  781 Financial and Business Acumen1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​MARKETNG  782 Marketing for Non-Marketing Professionals1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​M H R  783 Leading Teams1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​OTM  784 Project Management Essentials1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​M H R  785 Effective Negotiation Strategies1

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.



Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate course work from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 7 credits from UW-Madison numbered 400 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement, or 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.

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.


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). 


All students are required to conduct a yearly progress report meeting with their advisor, scheduled by December 17 and completed by April 30. Failure to do so will result in a hold being placed on the student’s registration. 


15 credits


If students have been absent for five or more years, they must file a new Graduate School application for admission and submit it with a new application fee. Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Students may count the course work completed before their absence for meeting graduate degree credit requirements; the Graduate School will not count that work toward the Graduate School’s minimum residence credit minimum.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

ECE Grievance Procedures

Exceptions, Extensions, and Appeals

Petitions for exceptions to academic requirements are considered on an individual case-by-case basis and granted exceptions do not constitute a precedent. Deviations from established policies are strongly discouraged, but certain extenuating academic and personal circumstances may warrant exceptions. Petitions for course exceptions/substitutions, exceptions to the Satisfactory Progress Expectations (academic or conduct), or other policy exceptions shall be directed to the ECE Graduate Committee, and in some circumstances to the appropriate program coordinator. The following procedures apply to all petitions:

  1. Student must first consult with their advisor(s).

  2. Student is advised to also consult with the ECE Graduate Student Services Coordinator for additional advice.

  3. Student and advisor(s) must both submit written documentation requesting and explaining the petition to the ECE Graduate Student Services Coordinator:

  4. Identify the specific requirement/rule/expectation pertinent to the petition;

  5. Explain the rationale for petition and why it should be granted;

  6. Advisor(s) must support the petition.

The ECE Graduate Student Services Coordinator will forward the petition to the ECE Graduate Committee and appropriate program coordinator for adjudication. Student and advisor(s) will be notified of the ECE Graduate Committee’s decision and the note will be placed in the student’s file.

Please note that petitions for exceptions to clearly-defined program rules are rarely approved by the ECE Graduate Committee.

Progress Requirements

The ECE Graduate Committee may grant extensions to normal progress requirements in circumstances such as childbirth, adoption, significant responsibilities with respect to elder or dependent care obligations, disability or chronic illness, or circumstances beyond one’s personal control. Petitions for extensions should provide evidence of plans and ability to return to conformance with program expectations and to acceptably complete the program. Extensions beyond one semester will be granted only in the event of highly extraordinary circumstances. Extensions will be recorded with a note of explanation placed in the student’s file.

Students desiring confidentiality of their circumstances should consult with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.

Appeal of Previous Decisions

Appeals of ECE Graduate Committee decisions may be pursued regarding any academic issue, including exceptions to program requirements, progress requirements, AGS and Qualifying Exam decisions.  Appeals will only be considered if the student provides new information that was not available to the ECE Graduate Committee at the time the original decision was made. Appeals must be submitted within one month of the date the student was notified of the ECE Graduate Committee action being appealed.

If the student believes their appeal was not appropriately handled or resolved by the ECE Department, the student may further appeal to the College of Engineering by contacting the Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs. Such appeals must be submitted within one month of the date the student was notified of the ECE Graduate Committee denial.


The ECE Department, College of Engineering, and University of Wisconsin offer multiple avenues to resolve unfair or inappropriate treatment by faculty, staff, or another student. This includes hostile and intimidating research group climate, authorship disputes, unreasonable expectations, and disrespectful behavior.  The manner in which the grievance is handled depends on the nature of the issue and specific concerns of the aggrieved student. Graduate Assistants in TA, PA and/or RA appointments may utilize the Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP) grievance process to resolve employment-related issues. Examples of matters appropriate for the GAPP grievance process include allegations of excessive work hours, violations of sick days or vacation policies, or disputes regarding the assignment of duties.

In some cases the best approach is for the aggrieved student to discuss their concern directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action.

If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the other individual or desires a confidential consultation about their concern, they may contact the ECE Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, the ECE Grievance Advisor, or the College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs.  These individuals work to resolve the concern while being sensitive to student confidentiality. 

Change of advisor

Students who believe they are in a research environment that fails to meet ECE and College of Engineering standards for climate and culture should contact the ECE Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, the ECE Grievance Advisor, or the College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs for additional consultation.  They will work with the student to explore alternate advising arrangements and ensure continuity of financial support should the student need to leave the research group. Note that immigration status is NOT tied to a specific research advisor.

Formal Written Complaint Process

Issues that are not resolved to the student’s satisfaction may be pursued at the student’s discretion by submitting a written complaint to the ECE Grievance Advisor. The steps described below are based on the Definition and Procedure section of the Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP) Grievance Procedure.

Step One: The grievant must file a written statement with the ECE Grievance Advisor specifying the grievant’s name, a clear and concise statement of the grievance and the issue(s) involved, the date(s) the incident or violation took place and the specific departmental, college, or university policies involved, and the relief sought. The grievance shall be signed and dated by the grievant(s) and representative (if any).

Within twenty (20) days of receipt of the written grievance, the ECE Grievance Advisor will meet with the grievant and their representative (if chosen) to hear the grievance and will return a written answer to the grievant and their representative (if chosen) no later than ten (10) days after this meeting. This answer will include a copy of the grievance procedure appeal process timeline, a list of resources and relevant contact information for future steps.

Step Two:  If the decision in Step One is not accepted by the grievant, the grievant shall have 10 days from receipt of the answer in Step One to file an appeal with the College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs.  The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs will meet with the grievant and their representative (if chosen) within twenty (20) days from receipt of the appeal of Step One and attempt to resolve the grievance.  The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs will provide the grievant and their representative (if chosen) with a written response to the grievance no later than ten (10) days after this meeting.

Step Three:  If the decision in Step Two is not accepted by the grievant, the grievant shall have 10 days from the receipt of the answer in Step Two to file an appeal with the Graduate School as described in Grievances and Appeals.


Students enrolled in this program are not permitted to accept teaching assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver without department approval. Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate, graduate or certificate programs.

Graduate School Resources

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


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 Graduate School's  professional development resourcesEngineering Career Services (ECS) hosts multiple career fairs each semester where students can directly interact with prospective employers, schedule interviews, and find internships and full-time jobs. ECS also maintains job listings and hosts a variety of professional development workshops each semester. The ECE Department provides unique opportunities throughout the year for students to attend and participate in various lectures, workshops, and trainings. The ECE Graduate Student Association (GSA) organizes professional development opportunities for fellow students. Students are made aware of events and opportunities via email and other communications.


Susan Hagness (Chair)
David T. Anderson
Nader Behdad
John Booske
Dan Botez
Azadeh Davoodi
John A. Gubner (Associate Chair for Operations)
William N. Hitchon
Yu Hen Hu
Thomas Jahns
Hongrui Jiang
Irena Knezevic
Bernard Lesieutre (Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies)*
Mikko Lipasti
Zhenqiang Ma
Luke J. Mawst
Robert Nowak
Parameswaran Ramanathan
Akbar Sayeed
William A. Sethares
Daniel van der Weide
Barry Van Veen (Associate Chair for Graduate and Online Studies)
Giri Venkataramanan
Amy E. Wendt

Associate Professors

Mikhail Kats
Daniel Ludois
Paul H. Milenkovic
Umit Ogras
Bulent Sarlioglu
Zongfu Yu

Assistant Professors

Joseph Andrews
Kassem Fawaz
Dominic Gross
Varun Jog
Younghyun Kim
Bhuvana Krishnaswamy
Kangwook Lee
Chu Ma
Matthew Malloy (adjunct)
Dimitris Papailiopoulos
Line Roald
Joshua San Miguel
Eric Severson
Andreas Velten
Ramya Korlakai Vinayak
Ying Wang

Faculty Associates

Mark C. Allie
Eduardo Arvelo
Steven Fredette
Eric Hoffman
Jeremy Kirch
Joe Krachey
Srdjan Milicic
Pia Strampp (associate lecturer)

*For scholarship information, please contact Professor Lesieutre.

See also Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Directory.