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Electrical and Computer Engineering: Professional

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Two electrical engineers working in the lab

Learn to work independently to formulate, analyze and solve advanced engineering problems with UW–Madison’s Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering: Professional program.


Is this program right for you?

The Electrical and Computer Engineering: Professional program from the University of Wisconsin–Madison is designed to deepen your technical knowledge and sharpen your professional skills for a well-prepared entry into the industry.

The program provides a practical focus through a course-only curriculum, an accelerated and predictable 16-month completion time and a professional development summer session. Along with your academic advisor, you will choose courses that target your academic and career interests. Areas of emphasis include computer engineering, fields and waves, solid state/photonics or energy and power systems. You will also have the opportunity to apply for a summer engineering internship or participate in summer professional development courses.

When you enroll in the professional electrical engineering master’s program, you join a department of accomplished engineers and scholars whose primary goal is to expand your knowledge in new technologies, design methods and analysis techniques. Through this 16-month course-only path to a master of science degree, we help you enter the workforce sooner so you have more time to advance your career and positively impact your industry.

The MS professional program requires 30 credits with a core track of 12 credits in a technical emphasis. Example tracks:

  • Embedded Systems – This track offers practical insight into the field of embedded systems and will prepare you to develop low-level programs, tool chains and run-time systems and design and simulate low-power hardware for embedded processors.
  • Networking and Security – This track offers practical insight into the fields of networking and security and will prepare you to implement protocols and applications for mobile and wireless networking, as well as assess security threats and apply defenses and best practices for secure hardware and software.
  • Computer-Aided Design – This track offers practical insight into the field of computer-aided design and will prepare you to use design tools and develop algorithms and methodologies for simulating, synthesizing and verifying digital electronic systems.
  • Computer Architecture – This track offers practical insight into the field of computer architecture and will prepare you to write microprograms, develop parallel applications and design and simulate hardware components for multiprocessors, caches and memory systems.
  • Electric Machines and Drives – This track offers practical insight into the field of electrical machines and drives. This knowledge prepares you for career opportunities in the design and control of electric machines for traction, drone, and other propulsion systems as well as electric generators for wind, high-speed turbines, and other renewable energy systems.
  • Power Electronics – This track offers practical insight into the field of power electronics. This knowledge prepares you for career opportunities in the design and control of power electronics hardware for propulsion, renewable energy and charging systems.
  • Power Systems – This track offers practical insight into the field of electrical power systems. You will explore the construct of the electric utility as well as power flow control and stability through a variety of modeling and simulation exercises and projects including emerging grid technologies such as microgrids to large-scale power systems dominated by renewable energy sources and power electronics.
  • Semiconductor Device and Fabrication Technology – This track offers practical insight into the field of electronic device operation and fabrication. You will learn the basic principles of electronic devices, solid state physics, and learn industry-relevant simulation technologies such as TCAD and Layout. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to experience (hands-on in a cleanroom) how semiconductor devices are fabricated.
  • Photonics Technology – This track offers practical insight into the field of photonics. You will learn the basic principles of optoelectronic/photonics devices such as LEDs and LASERs etc. You will also get hands-on experience with industry relevant practical simulation methodologies for photonics applications.

Tracks in other areas, as well as custom tracks, are available with advisor approval.

Is this program right for you?

The Electrical and Computer Engineering: Professional program from the University of Wisconsin–Madison is designed to deepen your technical knowledge and sharpen your professional skills for a well-prepared entry into the industry.

The program provides a practical focus through a course-only curriculum, an accelerated and predictable 16-month completion time and a professional development summer session. Along with your academic advisor, you will choose courses that target your academic and career interests. Areas of emphasis include computer engineering, fields and waves, solid state/photonics or energy and power systems. You will also have the opportunity to apply for a summer engineering internship or participate in summer professional development courses.

When you enroll in the professional electrical engineering master’s program, you join a department of accomplished engineers and scholars whose primary goal is to expand your knowledge in new technologies, design methods and analysis techniques. Through this 16-month course-only path to a master of science degree, we help you enter the workforce sooner so you have more time to advance your career and positively impact your industry.

The MS professional program requires 30 credits with a core track of 12 credits in a technical emphasis. Example tracks:

  • Embedded Systems – This track offers practical insight into the field of embedded systems and will prepare you to develop low-level programs, tool chains and run-time systems and design and simulate low-power hardware for embedded processors.
  • Networking and Security – This track offers practical insight into the fields of networking and security and will prepare you to implement protocols and applications for mobile and wireless networking, as well as assess security threats and apply defenses and best practices for secure hardware and software.
  • Computer-Aided Design – This track offers practical insight into the field of computer-aided design and will prepare you to use design tools and develop algorithms and methodologies for simulating, synthesizing and verifying digital electronic systems.
  • Computer Architecture – This track offers practical insight into the field of computer architecture and will prepare you to write microprograms, develop parallel applications and design and simulate hardware components for multiprocessors, caches and memory systems.
  • Electric Machines and Drives – This track offers practical insight into the field of electrical machines and drives. This knowledge prepares you for career opportunities in the design and control of electric machines for traction, drone, and other propulsion systems as well as electric generators for wind, high-speed turbines, and other renewable energy systems.
  • Power Electronics – This track offers practical insight into the field of power electronics. This knowledge prepares you for career opportunities in the design and control of power electronics hardware for propulsion, renewable energy and charging systems.
  • Power Systems – This track offers practical insight into the field of electrical power systems. You will explore the construct of the electric utility as well as power flow control and stability through a variety of modeling and simulation exercises and projects including emerging grid technologies such as microgrids to large-scale power systems dominated by renewable energy sources and power electronics.
  • Semiconductor Device and Fabrication Technology – This track offers practical insight into the field of electronic device operation and fabrication. You will learn the basic principles of electronic devices, solid state physics, and learn industry-relevant simulation technologies such as TCAD and Layout. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to experience (hands-on in a cleanroom) how semiconductor devices are fabricated.
  • Photonics Technology – This track offers practical insight into the field of photonics. You will learn the basic principles of optoelectronic/photonics devices such as LEDs and LASERs etc. You will also get hands-on experience with industry relevant practical simulation methodologies for photonics applications.

Tracks in other areas, as well as custom tracks, are available with advisor approval.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor of science in electrical or computer engineering from an accredited institution, however bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, physics or a related discipline will be considered.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit GRE test scores using code 1846 (optional).
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

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Program highlights

  • The Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering: Professional program is accelerated, so you can graduate in 16 months.
  • It’s also course-only, so you complete your degree in a predictable time frame.
  • With more than $12.8 million in annual research expenditures, nearly 100 patents and 13 startups, our faculty and students are at the forefront of scientific discovery and real-world translation.
  • Our flexible curriculum allows you to customize your degree program to fit your personal objectives.
  • Merit-based scholarships available

University of Wisconsin–Madison ranked Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and Best Engineering Grad Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

How you'll learn

  • 16 months of full-time study on campus to earn your degree.
  • Half of degree coursework (15 out of 30 total credits) must be graduate coursework. Must maintain 3.0 GPA to remain in program.
  • Program is course-only. There is no thesis or independent study research.
  • May transfer up to 9 credits of prior graduate coursework.

Sample curriculum

Embedded Systems track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • CS 537 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • ECE 551 Digital System Design and Synthesis
  • ECE 552 Introduction to Computer Architecture
  • ECE 750 Real-Time Computing Systems
  • ECE 751 Embedded Computing Systems
  • ECE 753 Fault-Tolerant Computing

Networking and Security track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 537 Communication Networks
  • CS 537 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • CS 642 Introduction to Information Security
  • ECE 707 Mobile and Wireless Networking
  • ECE 751 Embedded Computing Systems
  • ECE 753 Fault-Tolerant Computing
  • CS 763 Security and Privacy for Data Science

Computer-Aided Design track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 551 Digital System Design and Synthesis
  • ECE 553 Testing and Testable Design of Digital Systems
  • ECE 555 Digital Circuits and Components
  • ECE 556 Design Automation of Digital Systems
  • ECE 755 VLSI Systems Design
  • ECE 756 Computer-Aided Design for VLSI

Computer Architecture track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • CS 537 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • ECE 551 Digital System Design and Synthesis
  • ECE 552 Introduction to Computer Architecture
  • ECE 553 Testing and Testable Design of Digital Systems
  • ECE 752 Advanced Computer Architecture I
  • ECE 755 VLSI Systems Design
  • ECE 757 Advanced Computer Architecture II
  • CS 758 Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture
  • ECE 759 High Performance Computing for Applications in Engineering

Electric Machines and Drives track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 411 Introduction to Electric Drive Systems
  • ECE 412 Power Electronics Circuits
  • ECE 427 Electric Power Systems
  • ECE 504 Electric Machines and Drive System Lab
  • ECE 511 Theory and Control of Synchronous Machines
  • ECE 711 Dynamics and Control of AC Drives
  • ECE 713 Electromagnetic Design of AC Machines

Power Electronics track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 411 Introduction to Electric Drive Systems
  • ECE 412 Power Electronics Circuits
  • ECE 427 Electric Power Systems
  • ECE 512 Power Electronics Lab
  • ECE 711 Dynamics and Control of AC Drives
  • ECE 712 Solid State Power Conversion
  • ECE 714 Utility Application of Power Electronics

Power Systems track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 411 Introduction to Electric Drive Systems
  • ECE 412 Power Electronics Circuits
  • ECE 427 Electric Power Systems
  • ECE 511 Theory and Control of Synchronous Machines
  • ECE 524 Introduction to Optimization
  • ECE 714 Utility Application of Power Electronics
  • ECE 723 On-Line Control of Power Systems
  • ECE 731 Advanced Power System Analysis

Semiconductor Device and Fabrication Technology track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 445 Semiconductor Physics and Devices
  • ECE 528 Plasma Processing and Technology
  • ECE 542 Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems
  • ECE 548 Integrated Circuit Design
  • ECE 549 Integrated Circuit Fabrication Laboratory
  • ECE 745 Solid State Electronics
  • ECE 845 Transport in Semiconductor Devices

Photonics Technology track core course set

Select at least 12 credits from the following list:

  • ECE 434 Photonics
  • ECE 466 Electronics of Solids
  • ECE 536 Integrated Optics and Optoelectronics
  • ECE 740 Electromagnetic Theory
  • ECE 741 Semiconductor Diode Lasers and Other Optoelectronic Devices
  • ECE 742 Computational Methods in Electromagnetics
  • ECE 747 Nanophotonics

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Senior Electrical Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Electrical Design Engineer
  • Controls Engineer

Market Salary
$117K median salary in 2019 1

Projected Job Growth
8.6% for Electrical Engineers (2016-2026)

Job Postings
21,586 in 2019

Top Employers
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • CDM Smith
  • United Technologies Corporation

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Source 1: NACE 2019 Salary Survey

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Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events.

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