The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering takes a comprehensive approach to fostering the next generation of engineers and technology leaders. Undergraduate students in the department can take advantage of numerous opportunities to customize their electrical or computer engineering coursework (view our courses here) and extracurricular activities to best prepare themselves for the next step in their careers — whether that be a job in industry, graduate studies, an entrepreneurial endeavor, or beyond.

Our students can:

  • Enroll in cutting-edge certificate programs, such as Biology in Engineering and Engineering for Energy Sustainability
  • Engage in undergraduate research opportunities
  • Participate in student organizations with a philanthropic emphasis, such as Engineers Without Borders
  • Enter innovation competitions at UW-Madison
  • Contribute on student organizations such as the UW Hybrid Vehicle Team and the IEEE Robotics Team, which participate in national competitions

Our concept of fostering leadership extends beyond our current students. Our efforts include extensive pre-college (K-12) outreach activities designed to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and math; inspire more students to consider engineering careers; and to increase diversity in engineering.

We offer two Bachelor of Science and four Master of Science programs in addition to a Ph.D. program.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science, Computer Engineering

Computer engineers design, develop, and manage systems that process, store, and convey information. These systems include computers, networks, digital systems and any device or system with an electronic “brain”. They also conduct research on ideas for new computer technologies. Computer engineers are heavily involved in the growing Internet and E-commerce areas and also develop the computer-aided design tools that are used in every other type of engineering. A computer engineer typically has the hardware background of an electrical engineer and the software background of a computer scientist.

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Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers create and innovate electrical and electronic components and systems. They also conduct research on ideas for new technologies. Examples include electric power generation and distribution, mobile communications, robotics, biomedical devices and systems, alternative and sustainable energy sources, automotive electronics, electric and hybrid-electric transportation systems, consumer products, data processing tools, and electronic sensors and sensing systems. The electrical engineer is also concerned with the devices that make up such systems: transistors, integrated circuits, antennas, computer memory devices, and fusion plasma confinement devices.

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Master’s Programs

We offer graduate courses in all areas of electrical engineering.  You can pursue the following specializations in depth: biomedical engineering, signal processing and machine learning, computer engineering, electromagnetic fields and waves, energy and power systems, plasmas and controlled fusion, solid state electronics and photonics.

There are four distinct MS degree programs: Research, Machine Learning and Signal Processing, Professional, and Power Engineering Online.  The table below distinguishes the features of these four programs:

ProgramTypeAdvisingECE RA, TA, Grader EligibilityTime-frameSummer
ResearchTraditionalResearchYes~24 monthsProject/thesis
MLSPCourse OnlyAcademicNo~12-16 monthsECE 697/ Co-op
ProfessionalCourse OnlyAcademicNo~16 monthsCo-op/EPD courses
Power Engineering OnlineAcademic/ ResearchNoOpenN/A

Master of Science, Electrical Engineering: Research

The Master of Science Research Program prepares students to work at the forefront of technology via a combination of advanced coursework and a research project performed under the supervision of a faculty member. Students interested in the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D. are encouraged to choose this program. Program duration is approximately two years.

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Master of Science, Electrical Engineering: Machine Learning and Signal Processing

The Signal Processing and Machine Learning MS program educates students in the foundations of data science theory and methods. This is a 1-year, course-focused master’s program that is intended to be completed in 12-16 months starting only in the Fall semester. Students in this program will NOT be eligible for TA, RA, and PA positions or a thesis. This is a coursework ONLY degree.

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Master of Science, Electrical Engineering: Professional

The Professional Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree is designed to deepen student's technical knowledge and sharpen their professional skills for a well-prepared entry into 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. Students in this program will NOT be eligible for TA, RA, and PA positions or a thesis. This is a coursework ONLY degree.

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Master of Science, Electrical Engineering: Power Engineering

As a student in the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (Power) program, you will have access to the newest technologies and techniques in electric machines, power electronics, actuators, sensors, drives, motion control, and drive applications. Follow along with on-campus classes via pre-recorded lectures, email exchange of assignments, email communication with instructors, and proctored tests taken at your place of employment. This is an online program.

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PhD Program

Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical Engineering

Our PhD degree program emphasizes creative approaches to solving problems. Our laboratory facilities provide opportunities for research in biomedical computing; computer architecture; data acquisition and simulation; digital engineering; microprocessors; signal processing and machine learning; medical instrumentation; microelectronics and integrated-circuit fabrication; microwave devices, circuits, and antennas; photonics and optics; plasmas and controlled fusion; rotating electric machines and power electronics; thin-film devices; VLSI systems; and x-ray lithography.

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ECE TA/Grader Applications

TA/Grader applications will ONLY be accepted from students who are currently registered for classes. Access the TA/Grader application form here.