Frequently Asked Questions

Degree Questions

  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Research
    • Research thesis option
    • Independent study option
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Accelerated Program (accelerated program)
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Engineering (accelerated program)
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Modeling and Simulation in Mechanical Engineering (accelerated program)
  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, Polymer Science (online only)
  • Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)

The Master of Science programs are offered on campus only. The Master of Engineering degree is offered online only.

The research/thesis option will require enrollment in research credits and a written thesis. Students will defend their thesis for a committee of three faculty at the conclusion of the program. The student is responsible for identifying their research advisor.

The independent study option consists of mostly course credits with a required 3-credit independent study. The student is responsible for identifying their independent study advisor.

The three accelerated MS degrees are designed to be completed in three terms but a student may extend the program.

The MS–Research degree is approximately 2 years.

The PhD degree is approximately 5 years, beyond the B.S. degree.

Yes, there are a number of online Master of Engineering and Master of Science degrees. More information may be obtained at epd.wisc.edu.

Application

Please review our “Application Process and Requirements” for the most current program deadlines.

  • The applicant will submit a new application through the Graduate School application portal.
  • The Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty admission committee will review applications and application materials.
  • The Department will make a recommendation for an admit or a deny decision, and forward that decision to the Graduate School for further processing.
  • Applicants with denial decisions will receive an email with the denial decision.
  • Those with admit decisions will receive email communications from the Graduate School with requests for additional information.
  • Once the Graduate School has received the additional information, they will review the application to make a final decision.
  • The Graduate School will send a letter of official admission via email to the applicant.
  • Please note: The Office of the Registrar’s Residence for Tuition Purposes staff determine your Wisconsin residency status (Wisconsin resident or non-resident).

Yes, the Department of Mechanical Engineering does require the GRE General Test.

No, the Department of Mechanical Engineering does not require GRE Subject Tests.

Applicants must have test scores sent directly from ETS to UW-Madison, institution code 1846. No department code is required.

The application process will use the start of the term for which an applicant is applying when determining if the test scores are valid. For example, an applicant who is applying to the Fall 2019 term must have GRE scores no older than September 2014 and English Proficiency scores no older than September 2017.

If your test scores are valid for the new application term (see the question above), then no, you do not need to have your scores resent. If your scores are no longer valid, then new valid scores will be required.

No. Applicants must have test scores sent directly from ETS to UW-Madison, institution code 1846. No department code is required.

Most applicants have a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Students with a Bachelor of Science in other disciplines will be considered for admission. Upon acceptance, students without Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science degrees may be required to complete one or more courses in addition to degree requirements to satisfy any deficiencies. This requirement cannot be determined prior to admission.

Applicants with scores less than Verbal 150, Quantitative 155, and Analytic 3.5 will be considered on an individual basis. These students may consider retaking the exam or supplying a reason for low scores in a separate paragraph at the end of the statement of purpose.

Yes. The Graduate School application allows applicants to apply to up to three programs in one application. While you may apply to multiple programs within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, it is important to consider which program you would accept an offer of admission to if you were granted admission. Admission to one Mechanical Engineering graduate program does not mean the applicant may change to a different Mechanical Engineering program at a later date.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering receives many hundreds of applications from qualified candidates each year. We cannot offer comments on individual student admissibility until after all application materials from all candidates are reviewed for each admission cycle. Please do not email with a request to receive comments on your admissibility.

All application materials are to be uploaded to the MyUW application portal. Please do not send any paper application materials to the Department or the Graduate School. They will not be reviewed.

All application materials are to be uploaded to the MyUW application portal. Please do not send any paper application materials to the Department or the Graduate School. They will not be reviewed.

Yes. Please access your MyUW application portal. Select the “Recommendations” button. Then select the “Send Reminder” button next to the appropriate recommender.

Limited changes may be made after the application is submitted. You may upload a new statement of purpose, new resume/CV, and new transcripts. You may also add new additional recommenders. You cannot make changes to the supplemental application.

You may change your admission term by submitting a new application for a future term.

Application Status

Access your MyUW application portal. Click the “Review Status” button. View the “Program Checklist.” Missing items will not have a checkmark next to them. Received items will have a checkmark. When the department considers your application complete, the “Application Complete” line will have a checkmark. Please note many items require manual intervention to be marked as complete. Due to the number of applications received, please allow 7 business days for items to be marked as complete.

Many application items require manual intervention to be marked as complete. Due to the number of applications received, please allow 7 business days for items to be marked as complete.

Test scores are received by the Graduate School. While the scores are made available to the institution within 4 to 7 days after you grant ETS permission to send your scores, it does take the UW–Madison Graduate School time to retrieve, process, and upload those scores to the application system. Please allow 30 business days for test scores to be processed and uploaded to the system.

Fall applications: Decisions typically take place mid-January through May.

Spring applications: Decisions typically take place mid-October through December.

Summer applications: Decisions typically take place mid-January through May.

Funding, Tuition, and Fees

Tuition rates are found on the UW–Madison Bursar’s Office website.

Funding is awarded on the basis of student qualifications, the number of applicants, the amount of available funding, and the number of continuing students receiving funding. As these vary from term to term, we cannot answer this question directly. It is unlikely that first-semester graduate students will receive funding, but the odds increase in future terms, once students are able to meet faculty and make connections on campus. Generally, most funding is awarded for fall term, then spring term, then summer term. It is best to contact faculty directly to inquire about available funding opportunities. The chances of receiving funding usually increases 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 helpful:

Graduate School Funding and Financial Aid

Bursar’s Office Tuition and Fees

Office of Student Financial Aid

International Student Services Funding & Scholarships

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

Students in any of the three accelerated programs (Accelerated Program, Automotive Engineering, or Modeling and Simulation in Mechanical Engineering) are not eligible to receive Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Project Assistant, or grader funding. Taking four graduate courses during a term is a full load that will not allow sufficient time for an assistantship.

Faculty Advisors

Review the list of Mechanical Engineering faculty. Eligible faculty have one of the following titles: Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor. Contact faculty members in the area of study in which you are interested to inquire if they will serve as your faculty advisor. Faculty will notify admissions if they agree to be your advisor.

Faculty advisors provide academic advising related to degree requirements, including selection of courses consistent with the student’s degree goals. In addition, for students pursuing a thesis as part of their graduate degree, the advisor provides guidance related to research that forms the basis of the thesis or dissertation. In this role as a research advisor, the faculty member often, but not always provides monetary support to a student through a research assistantship (RA). In most situations, these funds are obtained by the faculty member through competitive grant application processes with external agencies. Being an advisor for graduate students can involve extensive obligations on the part of the faculty member and the role is note taken lightly. Thus, obtaining a faculty advisor is a highly competitive process for prospective graduate students.

Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty with one of the following titles: Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor are eligible to serve as a faculty advisor.

Lecturers, professor emeritus, anyone on extended leave, and faculty outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering without department affiliate status are not eligible to serve as a graduate faculty advisor.

The faculty advisor must contact the admissions team to let them know they have agreed to be your advisor.

Questions?

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Admissions Team: megradadmission@engr.wisc.edu