Student Info > Masters and Ph.D.

MSEE Degree Requirements and Procedures

Please read this entire page carefully, noting all requirements and deadlines.   It is the student's responsibility to see that all requirements are satisfied and deadlines met.


Students should have a faculty advisor within the first quarter of study, and should notify the Graduate Advising Office both when an advisor has been determined and if there is a change of advisors.

Master's students will need a minimum of two faculty signatures on the final degree application, so it is important to involve a second faculty (in addition to the advisor) in the program of study so that s/he will be prepared to attend the oral presentation in the case of the M.S. Thesis, and will be prepared to sign for the degree for Thesis or Coursework options.


Students who have already earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at another university are not eligible to earn a second MSEE at the University of Washington.


MSEE students must complete a total of 42 credits. Students have the option of choosing a coursework or thesis option of study. The coursework option is typically selected by students who want to work in industry while the thesis option, which involves more in-depth research, is designed for students who may consider pursuing a Ph.D.

MSEE Degree Audit Worksheet

The following are degree requirements for each option within the MSEE program set by the University of Washington Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

PROGRAM OF STUDY - MSEE students should develop a program of study before completing 2 quarters of coursework toward their degree and submit it to the ECE Graduate Advising Office.


Students must schedule a Final Examination to complete the requirements for the degree. The completed thesis must be presented to the Graduate School; a project write-up is not filed with the Graduate School.

  1. DETERMINE the date/time/location with the faculty members who will be attending the defense (2 minimum are required to attend) approximately 1 month before the exam.

  2. SUBMIT a complete draft of the thesis to the faculty attending the defense 3 weeks before the exam.

  3. RESERVE a room for the exam via ECE Departmental Calendars. Due to COVID-19 restrictions through Summer quarter 2020, all members of the committee and the student examinee may participate via Zoom meeting.

  4. NOTIFY faculty members who will be attending the thesis defense of the exam date/time/location, and ask that they confirm via the Faculty Exam Approval Form 2 weeks prior to the date of the exam.

  5. INFORM the Graduate Advising Office of the exam date/time/location, the title of the thesis and the names of the faculty (2 minimum required) who will attend.

Once the exam has been scheduled and all Faculty Exam Approval Forms have been received, Advising will approve the exam and send an exam announcement to you and the members of your committee.

After the project or thesis presentation, the faculty (2 minimum) will sign the warrant and return it to the Graduate Advising Office, and the Advising Staff will notify the Graduate School.  If you have questions regarding the scheduling of a Thesis and or Application for Master's Degree please contact the Graduate Advising Office.


Before the end of the eighth week (seventh week in summer quarter) of the quarter in which you intend to complete your degree, you must file with the Graduate School the Application for Master's Degree.

  1. Application for Master's DegreeBe sure to select the 'EE 0' degree option:
    "MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING - Electrical Engineering, Major/Pathway: E E 0"

  2. Complete all steps outlined on the Graduate School website regarding the Final Submission of Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD).

  3. Master's Warrants.  The application process will generate a Master's warrant.
    • Coursework option: Students will be notified by advising when they may pick up the warrant and collect the required (2 minimum) faculty signatures, usually about 2 weeks before the end of the quarter.
    • Thesis option: Students' warrants will be given to the faculty advisors to take to the oral presentations and the Master's warrant will be signed there.

  4. Remittance of Paperwork. 
    • Coursework option: After the Master's Degree Warrants have the required faculty signatures, the warrant and program of study form must be returned to the Advising Office at least 2 Days before the last day of the quarter. 
    • Thesis option: The warrant will be submitted to the Advising Office by your advisor after your thesis defense. Please complete all steps outlined on the Graduate School website for final submission of your electronic thesis.

  5. The Advising Office will then confirm the graduation to the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter.

  6. Please complete the Alumni Information Form.
      • Please fill in all the blanks completely, as this information is used for accreditation, statistics and to help graduates stay in touch with us and each other.
      • We protect your privacy: This information is not shared with people/agencies outside the UW, and you will not be contacted for UW events unless you select to do so.

If students do not complete the degree requirements during the quarter in which the Master's application was filed, a new application must be filed for another quarter.

Graduate Registration Waiver Fee.  A $250 Graduate Registration Waiver Fee is an optional fee paid in lieu of registration.  Students who have completed all degree requirements but needed additional time to format the thesis or dissertation for a 2 week period directly following the quarter in which all Graduate School and graduate program degree requirements are met, may take advantage of this opportunity to pay the fee and not have to register the following quarter.   Qualifying students who pay this fee will graduate in the quarter following the fee payment period.  Note: This option may have an effect on the grace period for student loans becoming due; students should check with their lenders for registration requirements before utilizing this option in lieu of registration.


Students who are initially accepted to the ECE Master's program and who wish to continue for the PhD program in Electrical & Computer Engineering must apply to the Electrical & Computer Engineering department for admission to the PhD program during the regular PhD admission cycle (deadline December 15) using the links below.

Enrolled UW MSEE students must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and recommendations from two current UW ECE faculty members, one of whom agrees to serve as student's PhD faculty advisor. Students should consult with faculty to determine if they recommend the student apply for continuation. GRE scores are no longer required or accepted for admission to our MS or PhD programs.

All materials listed below must be submitted no later than one quarter before completion of the Master's Degree and prior to December 15 deadline. None of these criteria guarantee acceptance to the PhD program.

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