University of Wisconsin - Madison Review

The University of Wisconsin at Madison offers seven different online graduate engineering degrees delivered in a uniquely engaging format.

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The Good

Seven graduate engineering degrees are available

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) offers a total of seven online graduate engineering degrees. The degree options include five online master of engineering degrees with various specializations, including engineering management, sustainable systems engineering, engine systems, polymer engineering, and technical Japanese. There are also two online master of science degrees in electrical and computer engineering, and also mechanical engineering. Each of these degree options will require you to complete around 30 credits to graduate, and you cannot apply any transfer credits. UW-Madison’s online engineering programs take about three and a half years to complete, and you can expect to spend around 10-15 hours per week on class assignments and projects.

Engaging online course format

The online engineering program at UW-Madison goes beyond the online course model of recorded lectures, and instead delivers a variety of course content in different formats to make your online learning experience more engaging. Online courses are problem-based and focus on giving you real-world skills that you can immediately apply in your current engineering role. You will have the chance to interact daily with your instructors and your fellow classmates on each course’s website, have weekly web conferences with fellow students, and also work on group projects this way. The online engineering programs at UW-Madison have designed an online degree program that makes every effort to keep you focused, motivated, and connected.

No standardized test is required

The application process for each of the online engineering degree programs at UW Madison is simplified by the fact that you do not need to submit standardized test scores, such as the GRE. Most other online engineering programs require that you have satisfactory GRE scores in order to gain admissions, but UW-Madison does not have this requirement. The full set of required application materials can vary slightly depending on which area of engineering you are applying to, but for the most part you can expect the standard criteria such as transcripts, essay, and in some cases letters of recommendation. The suitable systems engineering program requires that you complete a phone interview at the final state of the application process, but none of the other degree choices require this.

The Bad

Tuition on the higher end of the spectrum

The University of Wisconsin-Madison charges different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. In-state students can expect to pay roughly $800 per credit, while out-of-state tuition costs come in at $1,623 per credit. It is fairly common for state schools to charge different rates for in-state and out-of-state students, but there are several programs, like Auburn University or UCLA that charge one flat rate for all students. Considering that online students are typically located in states around the nation, this difference in tuition can be costly. To be fair, UW-Madison is not the most expensive engineering program on the market. But if tuition cost is a priority to you, school like North Carolina State or Penn State may be worth looking into.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 1998-1999
  • Application Deadline: August 1
  • Application Fee: $56
  • Location: WI
  • Number of Graduate Engineering Programs: 7
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $790
  • Out-of-State: $1,623


  • Master of Engineering in Sustainable Systems Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Professional Practice (Engineering Management)
  • Master of Engineering in Engine Systems
  • Master of Engineering in Polymer Engineering and Science
  • Master of Engineering in Technical Japanese
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Power Electronics)
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Controls)


  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Average Student Age: 33
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.29
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: 4.0
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: 157
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: 154
  • Gender Ratio: 12.2% female, 87.8% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 30
  • Total Enrollment: 188


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 6 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 36
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 13

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 92%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 92%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 95%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 98%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 100%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 97%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 8
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 71/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 7
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 85/100
  • Peer Reputation Mean Score (1-5): 3.8
  • Student Engagement Rank: 2
  • Student Engagement Score: 97/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 6
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 61/100

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