This is a named option within the Engineering M.Eng.

The named option Sustainable Systems Engineering is an online master's degree designed to prepare students to understand and apply principles of engineering, science, policy, and economics to current and future environmental sustainability issues. Through objective, reliable, and cost-effective engineering methods, students will create sustainable solutions for society's energy and resource challenges.

In this program you will

  • Apply sustainability principles to engineering practices and renewable/sustainable energy system design
  • Gain expertise and knowledge of the environmental, social and economic aspects, and design interplays of sustainability frameworks and renewable energy systems
  • Position yourself to create and lead sustainability and renewable/sustainable energy project initiatives through your organization and for your clients

The program is tailored for working engineers, offering:

  • Knowledge and skills that can immediately be applied to work situations
  • Project-based learning with experienced professionals
  • Award-winning distance-learning design

More information about this graduate degree can be found here.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline July 1*
Spring Deadline November 1*
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required but may be considered if available.**
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

Applications are accepted after this date on a rolling admission basis for fall and spring terms.


Applicants are recommended to submit GRE scores if they have already taken the exam.

The degree may be earned by engineers who have:

  • A B.S. degree in engineering from an ABET-approved program
  • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00

Interested applicants with B.S. degrees in related fields should contact the graduate programs coordinator for more specific admission information at Prior coursework should include significant science and math courses. For more details, see the program website.

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.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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

Named Option Requirements


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

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
Other Grade Requirements Must retake any courses for which a grade below C is recorded.
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required courses

Capstone Course
E P D 669 Sustainable Systems Engineering Capstone3
Science and Sustainability Courses (Minimum 9 credits from these courses)
BSE/​ENVIR ST  367 Renewable Energy Systems3
CIV ENGR 723 Energy Principles of Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENGR 729 Environmental Sustainability Tools3
E P D 639 Plastics Recycling and Sustainability3
E P D 660 Core Competencies of Sustainability3
GEOSCI/​ENVIR ST  411 Energy Resources3
Engineering and Design Courses (Minimum 12 credits from these courses)
CIV ENGR/​G L E  535 Wind Energy Balance-of-Plant Design3
E C E 355 Electromechanical Energy Conversion3
E P D 690 Special Topics in Engineering Professional Development (Distributed Renewable Systems Design; Sustainable Microgrids)3
E P D 699 Independent Study1-3
E P D 730 Sustainable Facilities3
E P D 731 Energy Efficiency in Buildings3
Elective Courses (Maximum 9 credits from these courses)
CIV ENGR 629 Special Topics in Environmental Engineering1-3
E P 418 Sustainable Energy Challenges and Solutions1
E P D 611 Engineering Economics and Management3
E P D 612 Technical Project Management3
E P D 701 Writing for Professionals1
E P D 702 Professional Presentations1
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/​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

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

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.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Up to 7 credits of courses numbered 600 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement if they have the attribute. No credits 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 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement, and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement, and up to 15 credits of 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 to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.

  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).


This program follows the Graduate School’s Advisor policy.


15 credits

Time limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Grievance Procedures

Students who feel that they have been treated unfairly have the right to a prompt hearing of their grievance. Such complaints may involve course grades, classroom treatment, advising, various forms of harassment, or other issues. Any student or potential student may use these procedures.

Procedures for proper accounting of student grievances:

  1. The student should speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed. In most cases, grievances can be resolved at this level.
  2. If that does not resolve the grievance, the student should contact the program's director.
  3. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact one of the Interpro's Grievance Advisors to discuss the practice. The Interpro Grievance Advisors are:

Susan Ottman
Graduate Program Director

Ed Borbely
Associate Dean
If the student perfers to talk with someone outside of Interpro, contact:

David Noyce
Executive Associate Dean
College of Engineering

The Grievance Advisor is responsible for facilitating any complaints or issues of students. The Grievance Advisor first attempts to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. 

University resources for sexual harassment concerns can be found on the UW Office of Equity and Diversity website and are included in the next section.

4. If the issue is not resolved to the student's satisfaction the student can submit the grievance to the Grievance Advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.

5. On receipt of a written complaint, a committee will be convened by the Grievance Advisor to manage the grievance. The program committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.

6. The committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Grievance Advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received. 

7.  At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the College of Engineering.

8. Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely. The Graduate School has established policies governing student conduct, academic dishonesty, and sexual and racial harassment. The Graduate School also has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the College of Engineering level.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level. These policies are described in the Graduate School's Academic Policies and Procedures:


Students are strongly discouraged to pursue positions as Project Assistants, Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants during their time in this program. Students in this program will not receive the tuition remission that is typically part of the compensation package for a graduate assistantship.

Graduate School Resources

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