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  COVID-19 Information and Resources for ECE Students, Faculty, and Staff

Admissions Requirements

In addition to curiosity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, UW ECE graduate students have a strong background in math, science, and programming. If you have questions, contact the UW ECE Advising Office at or 206-221-5270.


UW ECE enrolls graduate students once per year, in autumn quarter.  You will submit your application approximately one year prior to when you hope to enroll. Applications for the program are submitted through the Graduate School’s online application (you will need to create a profile in order to apply).

  • Graduate School applications open October 1.
  • Applications must be completed by December 15.
  • Any application materials received after the deadline will not be reviewed.
  • Please do not submit any materials directly to UW ECE. They will not be reviewed.

Selecting Your Areas of Interest

The department promotes interdisciplinary research, and students can specify multiple topics of interest in their application, including:

  • Analog, mixed-signal and RF VLSI systems
  • Bio-robotics
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer vision and image processing
  • Control and dynamical systems
  • Cyber-physical and networked systems
  • Digital VLSI
  • Electromagnetics and remote sensing
  • Embedded systems
  • Engineering education
  • Game theory and decision-making
  • Information theory and applications
  • Optics and photonics
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Medical devices
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neural engineering
  • Optimization and statistical learning
  • Power electronics
  • Power systems
  • Renewable energy
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Sensors and sensor systems
  • Speech and natural language processing
  • Signal processing
  • Synthetic and computational biology
  • Wireless communications and networking


Students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.

For Applicants with Degrees in Other Fields

Students with a strong academic record who hold a degree in a technical field such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science or in another branch of engineering can expect to perform well in UW ECE’s graduate programs — provided they first develop a basic background in electrical engineering.  Students are expected to make up any deficiencies in their electrical engineering background prior to beginning their graduate program.

Fundamental courses required of all non-EE degree holders

  • EE 215 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
  • EE 233 Circuit Theory
  • EE 235 Continuous Time Linear Systems
  • Programming skills at the level of CSE 142 Computer Programming I and CSE 143 Computer Programming II

Students may take these courses at the UW or may develop equivalent knowledge from previous studies at another institution.

Application Materials

Applications for the program are submitted through the Graduate School’s online application. Please do not submit any materials directly to UW ECE. They will not be reviewed.


GRE scores are no longer required or accepted for admission to our MS or PhD programs.

Application Fee

An $85 application must be paid online, as part of the online application.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

This must be uploaded to the application as a PDF, Word or plain text file.

Areas of Interest

Choose up to four areas. Areas are used to match graduate students with potential faculty advisers.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose describes what motivates you to pursue a career in electrical engineering and what your educational objectives are. You are encouraged to mention specific technical areas of interest and optionally faculty who you are interested in working with. The statement should be approximately one to two pages double-spaced.

Personal Statement (optional for domestic applicants)

You may include a brief section on any of the following topics that may apply to your situation: first generation to attend graduate school, low-income background, overcoming adversity. It may be useful to explain a transcript anomaly and it may be used to identify students who may qualify for diversity funding. The statement should be no more than one to two pages double-spaced. This information is optional for domestic students only. International Students will not see this section on their application.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Submit recommender email addresses into the electronic application form. This triggers an automatic request to the recommender to submit their letter. We recommend you submit the email addresses at least one month ahead of the deadline in order to give recommenders sufficient time to submit the letters. Your recommenders must submit their letters only via the online application. Letters submitted any other way (email, postal mail) will not be accepted.

Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts

Scan and upload an electronic copy of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended via the online application system.  Do not mail transcripts and do not submit official transcripts.

TOEFL — Required for New International Applicants

Ask ETS to send official test scores directly to the University of Washington Graduate Admissions Office, institution code 4854, Department code: 99 (for any department). Scores should be no more than two years old. The minimum score required for admission is 600 (paper-based exam), 250 (computer-administered) or 92 (TOEFLiBTI) to fulfill the ELP requirement.

For details on the English language proficiency requirements, including temporary policy updates, review the Graduate School’s Memo 8.