University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

Frequently asked questions

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  5. Frequently asked questions

 

If your question is not answered here, please also check the Graduate School's Frequently Asked Questions. Before emailing us, please read through both websites carefully.

Graduate program

What graduate degrees does the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department offer?

 

M.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering

Ph.D. in Industrial & Systems Engineering

How long does it take to earn an M.S. or Ph.D. degree?

It takes approximately 2 years to complete an M.S. degree, and about 5 years to complete a Ph.D.

What is the difference between the Manufacturing and Production Systems specialization within the ISYE Department and the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program?

The main differences between the two programs are:

* The MSE program has more of an emphasis on business, whereas the MPS area within ISYE focuses more on the use of computers in productivity.

* The MSE program requires that you do an independent research project with a business or industry and this project has to be defended orally to 3 professors. ISYE does not require an independent study project or an oral defense.

Application process

What are the application deadlines?

Fall application deadline:

January 15th is the online application deadline for all applicants (MS and PhD). Your online application must be submitted by January 15th and all supporting materials for online applications must be received by March 1st before a final decision can be made.

 

Summer application deadline:

February 1st is the online application deadline for all applicants (MS and PhD). Your online application must be submitted by February 1st and all supporting materials for online applications must be received by March 1st before a final decision can be made.

 

Spring application deadline:

October 1st is the online application deadline for all applicants (MS and PhD). Your online application must be submitted by October 1st and all supporting materials for online applications must be received by October 15th before a final decision can be made.

Please note there is no longer a separate deadline for financial support.

Where do I send my application documents?

See Steps to apply

How do I submit a letter of recommendation electronically?

See Steps to apply

How can I speed up the review of my application?

Please submit all documents in ONE envelope. Clearly label which department you are applying to and include your Campus ID when possible. Only send one copy of each document (either electronically or via mail, NOT both). Only send the documents requested. Do not send extra photos, articles, letters, etc.

Can I have the application fee waived?

Only students who were participants in the McNair Scholars, SROP, or AOF program are eligible for a fee waiver.

I sent my application documents, but they have not been checked off? Have they been received?

This is the most common question we receive from applicants. Due to the number of applications that we receive, and the fact that we process materials for three departments, it is impossible for us to acknowledge receipt of application materials. Please allow up to 4 weeks for your documents to be processed and your application check list updated.

If you received confirmation that your package arrived through a mail carrier, but the documents have not been checked off, it is likely we received the package but have not yet opened it. Please DO NOT e-mail our office to confirm your materials have arrived. Simply continue to check your application check list for an update. When we process your individual application materials, we will notify you if there is anything missing. If your application is complete, you will see a box checked .Application Complete. in your MyUW portal.

Why does my online status show that my test results were not received?

It can take up to 4 weeks for scores to be sent from ETS to UW-Madison. If any information on your test scores (such as family name, surname, birth date, or gender) is different from the information provided on your application, then test scores may not be matched up to your application. If this is the case, please send an e-mail to hubstaff@cae.wisc.edu and we will do our best to correct the problem.

If you received confirmation that your package arrived through a mail carrier, but the documents have not been checked off, it is likely we received the package but have not yet opened it. Please DO NOT e-mail our office to confirm your materials have arrived. Simply continue to check your application check list for an update. When we process your individual application materials, we will notify you if there is anything missing. If your application is complete, you will see a box checked "Application Complete" in your MyUW portal.

I entered my recommenders through my online application, but one of my recommenders lost the e-mail. Can the e-mail request be re-sent?

Yes. If you log back into your application, there is a check box under each recommender to "Email follow up request to Recommender." Check this box, then click "Save this page" at the bottom.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. The Graduate School will allow you to apply to up to 3 different programs using one application. While your application is visible to all three departments, you still must send your supporting documents to each department. Due to the large volume of applicants, we cannot make copies of your documents to be sent to other departments.

How do I make changes to my application once it has been submitted?

First, try to log back into your application and make the changes there. If you cannot make the change, please e-mail gradadmiss@grad.wisc.edu.

I've already filled out the online application, paid my fees, and sent in all my application materials. What else should I do?

After submitting your online application, you will receive an email inviting you to login to the Graduate Application Website to answer a few questions. We will contact you if we need any additional information. Meanwhile, you can keep track of your application status through your MyUW portal and the Graduate Application Website.

How do I access my 'Status Page'?

Use the email link you received from the Graduate School after you submitted your online application or log onto your online application and scroll to the bottom of the page to find your personal web link. If the Graduate School requires any further documentation, this is where they will post a message. Please check this page frequently.

A few days after you apply, you will receive an e-mail from the ISYE department, requesting you log into the Graduate Application Website and answer a few questions. This website will also provide you with a status page that will allow you to see what materials we have received and track your application's progress.

What are my chances of being admitted?

We cannot answer any questions about your admissibility until we review your complete application. Please do not send us an e-mail with your resume and ask if you are qualified to apply. Anyone with a B.S. degree is technically qualified to apply.

International applicants

What is the TOEFL exam and am I required to take it?

Please see the Graduate School's Admission Requirements.

What are expenses for an international student?

Please visit Graduate School Financial Information. Please DO NOT mail any financial documents unless requested.

Admission process

How is the review process for MS applicants carried out?

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department does not review MS applications until after the application deadline. Once the deadline has passed, the ISYE department reviews all MS candidates to make sure their goals match those of the program and that their background meets our minimum requirements. Due to its limited resources, the department can only admit a certain number of students each semester. For historical admissions information, please see the ISYE Department's Program Profile.

If, after consideration of all application materials, the review committee feels that the student will be successful in the program, the department will recommend the student for admission to the Graduate School. Only the Graduate School can officially admit students, but in general they follow department's recommendations.

If the department cannot accept anymore graduate students, or if the review committee feels the student does not meet our minimum requirements, a refusal e-mail will be sent to the applicant.

How is the review process for PhD applicants carried out?

Faculty continuously review PhD applicants. After a student has submitted an official application to the University, the Industrial and Systems Engineering department reviews PhD candidates in a two-stage process. In the first stage, a candidate is reviewed to make sure their goals match those of the program and that their background meets our minimum requirements. If the applicant meets these conditions, they move to the second stage, which is where the applicant is reviewed by the individual faculty members who share the candidate's interests. If and when one of the ISYE faculty chooses to accept a student, the department will recommend the student for admission to the Graduate School and an e-mail will be sent to the applicant. If no faculty member is willing to be the student's advisor, the student is denied admittance.

How important are GRE scores in admissions? Is there a minimum score required?

We try to develop an overall picture of the candidate and their chance of success in our program by considering all the application materials presented. Although we like to see the Quantitative portion of the GRE test scores above 90%, we do not weigh the GRE so heavily that scoring below that mark would cause us to deny a candidate. In general, students who are admitted into our graduate program have an overall score of 1200 or above.

Financial aid and funding

What types of funding are available to graduate students?

At UW-Madison there are four types of financial support, which include: fellowship, project/program assistant, research assistant, and teaching assistant.

Fellowship: A fellowship is an award that enables a graduate student to pursue a degree full-time. Fellowship recipients are chosen through a competitive process in the national, university, school/college, or department/program level. Currently, the ISYE department does not have any fellowships available for incoming graduate students.

 

 

Project/Program Assistantship (PA): These titles designate graduate students employed to assist with research, training or other academic programs or projects. Project/Program Assistants are included in the labor agreement between the state of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. These appointments are offered to students by individual faculty.

 

Research Assistant (RA): A Research Assistant must be a graduate student working toward a master's or PhD degree. The work performed is primarily to further the education and training of the student. These appointments are offered to students by individual faculty.

 

Teaching Assistant (TA): This title is appropriate for graduate students who have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional department under the supervision of a faculty member. Teaching Assistants are included in a labor agreement between the state of Wisconsin and the Teaching Assistants Association. These are awarded to students by the department or individual faculty.

What are my chances of receiving funding?

About 95% of ISyE applicants request financial aid and unfortunately there is very little assistance available, especially to incoming Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate students. Funding is awarded to students based on the qualifications of the student, the amount of available funding, and the number of continuing students receiving support. As these components carry term to term, we cannot answer this question directly. However, approximately 48% of current ISYE graduate students have some type of funding (either from within or outside of the department). It is unlikely that first semester graduate students will receive funding, but the odds increase in later semesters, once students are able to meet faculty and make connections on campus.

Project, research, and teaching assistantships are given by individual faculty who have funding to pay for this type of position; however, professors are generally unwilling to hire students for assistantships based strictly on their resumes and applications. It is too difficult to gauge a person's work ethic this way and has often led to unharmonious working relationships. The chances of getting funding usually increase after a student is on campus, performs well, and establishes a relationship with a faculty advisor.

 

If you choose to attend UW-Madison and plan to pursue funding on your own, the following sites could be very helpful:

 

Graduate School Funding Resources

Graduate School Costs and Funding

International Student Services Finances and Taxes

College of Engineering Financial Support

How do I apply for funding?

You can apply for funding (RA, PA, TA positions or fellowships) by contacting individual faculty members directly. The admissions office does not know if a particular professor has funds for assistantships. Those inquiries, and all other inquiries regarding funding opportunities, should be directed to the faculty directly.

How will I be notified, and when will I be notified, of a funding offer?

You will only be notified by email and/or letter of a funding offer if, and only if, you have been selected to receive one. Most (but not all) financial support offers are made to students applying for the fall semester rather than spring or summer semesters.

 

If, after consideration of all application materials, the review committee feels that the student will be successful in the program, the department will recommend the student for admission to the Graduate School. Only the Graduate School can officially admit students, but in general they follow department's recommendations.If the department cannot accept anymore graduate students, or if the review committee feels the student does not meet our minimum requirements, a refusal e-mail will be sent to the applicant.

After admission

How do I accept or decline my offer of admission?

Once you have been officially admitted by the Graduate School, you will receive an e-mail asking you to accept or decline admission. If you come to a decision before you receive this e-mail, you can send your decision to hubstaff@cae.wisc.edu.

I have been admitted and wish to defer my admission to a different semester. Can I do this, and if so, how?

The Grad School's policy is that your application can only be deferred to the next immediate semester for which you originally applied. (Example: If you applied for Fall, you can only defer to Spring, not the next Fall.)

If you'd like to defer to the immediate next semester for which you applied, please notify the ISyE student services.

If you would like to defer your admission to a semester later than the next immediate semester, you need to submit another application online and pay another application fee. Again, please notify Deidre Vincevineus so we can re-use your previous application documents if they have not expired.