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

Master’s & Ph.D.

Can I visit the Department?

The UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering hosts an invitation only Visit Days weekend for prospective graduate students. Applicants who have been selected will be notified personally, so please be sure to get your application completed on time and have current contact information.

Applicants who wish to visit at other times should contact faculty (with whom they are interested in doing research) in advance to schedule individual meetings prior to their visit. Meetings with faculty or current students (faculty might refer you to one of their students) are beneficial for visitors who are deciding if the UW Electrical & Computer Engineering Graduate Program is the right fit. In their meetings with faculty and students, applicants can assess where their own research interests fit in relation to the current research being done at UW ECE.  Applicants may possibly be able to tour a lab, as well.

Applicants may also contact the Lead Graduate Advisor by email to schedule a meeting to discuss general admissions questions only. We will not review transcripts or critique writing statements, and we do not have insight into other graduate programs/departments. In-depth questions about labs and the research being conducted are better answered by our faculty or their graduate students.

What criteria do you use in making admissions decisions?

Our evaluation will be based on the application as a whole. We do not have rigid cut-off points on conventional criteria such as GPA. In general, we are looking for students whose capabilities and motivation will allow them to contribute significantly to the advancement of Electrical Engineering. These capabilities include the obvious intellectual strengths, the ability to reason clearly and insightfully, creative imagination, the ability to articulate one’s ideas, and mathematical and computational skills. It also includes diversity of perspectives, and the strength of motivation to pursue difficult problems.

Can I apply to more than one area?

Students need to select a primary area of interest, and may select additional areas.  Leaving these blank may mean that your application does not get reviewed. The selected areas of interest are used to determine which faculty groups will review your application.  Your application will be first reviewed by faculty in the primary area, and then in a second round, the application will be reviewed by faculty in the secondary area. The selected areas of interest are not binding decisions on your graduate studies, but simply indicate how your application will be routed for review. Each application will be reviewed by at least three faculty, with usually at least two in their primary area of interest.

How do I apply?

Please use the online UW Graduate School form.

Do you accept Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) Students?

Yes. Please know that being accepted as a GNM student and completing a few classes with our department does not increase your chance of admission if you apply as a regular graduate student later on. Please email us directly, so we can properly advise you.

Do you accept transfer credit?

Ph.D. students can transfer up to 30 credits from a recognized MS program; these credits do not count toward the 18 credits of required numerically graded 5xx-level courses, but as a lump sum toward the 90 total credits required for the degree. MS students can transfer up to 6 graduate level credits as long as they do not apply towards the completion of another degree.

Can I do this program on a part-time basis, or on evenings or weekends?

It is not possible to participate in our program on a part-time basis. This is generally a more than full-time commitment, which includes coursework, lab work, participation in seminars and lab meetings as well as a possible 20 hrs./wk appointment as a teaching or research assistant.  If you are interested in a part-time Master’s Degree, please look into our Professional Master’s Program.

If I have a Master’s degree, will the program be shorter for me?

It is unlikely that having a Master’s degree before entering our program will significantly impact how long it takes to complete your degree. It is not required for one to have a Master’s degree before applying to our PhD program.

How long does the program take to complete?

Our Master’s program generally takes 1.5 to 2 years. Our Ph.D. program generally takes 5 to 7 years to complete. Courses are typically chosen with the guidance of your advisors and supervisory committee, who take into consideration your individual career goals.