Admissions > Professional Master's Program > FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Program Questions

1. What is the difference between the traditional Master's Program and the Professional Master's Program?

Both program options require a minimum of 45 credits and lead to the MSEE, but are structured differently in that the PMP has a professional orientation, whereas the traditional Master's program has an academic orientation. The PMP is designed to accommodate both part-time working professionals, and students interested in taking full-time courses in the evening, with a long-term goal of working in the field professionally. The PMP offers courses only in the evening to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, whereas the daytime program follows a more traditional weekday schedule. The same UWEE faculty teach courses in both program options. The PMP has a coursework-only structure (designed around six subject areas), while the daytime program offers a thesis option, a project option, and a coursework-only option. 

2. Is there a difference between the degree earned from the Professional Master's Program and the daytime Master's program?

Both programs lead to the same degree, the MSEE.

3. Do I need an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering to apply?

No, it is not required to have a prior degree in Electrical Engineering to apply to the Professional Master's Program. Students with a strong academic record who hold a B.S. degree in another engineering discipline, or in mathematics, physics, applied physics, materials science, or computer science may need a handful of prerequsite courses before beginning the PMP, however prereq requirements would be determined on a case-by-case basis, based on both academic and professional experience.  

4. How long does the program take to complete?

The PMP generally takes 1.5 (full-time) to 3 years (part-time) to complete.

5. Can I do this program on a part-time basis, or during evenings and weekends?

Yes. The PMP is designed both for part-time working professionals, and students interested in taking full-time courses in the evening. Part-time study is considered less than 10 credits per quarter, and full-time study is considered 10 credits or more per quarter. Note that international students on F1 visa are required to study full-time (10 or more credits per quarter).

6. If I enroll in the Professional Master's Program, can I still take classes in the daytime program?

No. While the PMP and the daytime Master's programs lead to the exact same degree, they have different admissions processes, courses, tuition rates, etc.. Therefore, students cannot swap back and forth between daytime and PMP courses.

7. If I enroll in the Professional Master's Program, can I later transfer to the daytime Master's program?

Students wishing to transfer from one program to another must formally apply to the program of their choice via the standard admissions process and be admitted. The PMP is not intended to be a "back door" into the daytime Master's program, and PMP transfer applicants to the daytime Master's program are not treated any differently than traditional daytime Master's applicants.

8. Do you have an online or distance-learning program?

As of now, we do not have a formal online or distance learning program.

9. How much is tuition?

Tuition rates can be found online here.

10. Is this the right program for you?

The Electrical Engineering PMP offers a work-compatible Master's degree and courses taught by world class Electrical Engineering faculty. Our faculty's cutting edge research informs their teaching, allowing you to bring the latest ideas to bear in your career. That being said, the PMP focuses on a subset of EE topic areas and it is important that you find our program to be a good fit for your near and long-term goals. The MSEE degree isn't just for people who want to practice electrical engineering, but is valuable for:

  • Electrical engineers seeking more technical depth
  • Managers supervising technical employees
  • Control systems engineers
  • Software engineers seeking more depth in sensing, signal processing, and controls
  • Financial engineers / Computational finance professionals

11. Do you accept transfer credit?

Yes. The PMP allows a maximum of one graduate level course to be transferred and applied toward the MSEE assuming the course credits were not used to satisfy requirements for another degree. The transfer coursework needs to be applicable to the PMP, and must be approved by an EE faculty member.

12. Do you accept Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) students?

Yes. Please email us directly, so we can properly advise you.

Admissions Questions

Pre Decision

13. Where do I mail my application materials?

We ONLY accept online application materials, including scanned and uploaded versions of unofficial transcripts. Please do not mail hard copies of any application materials, as they will not be accepted.

14. What is the application deadline and what if I miss it?

International Applicants: 11:59pm (PST) on MAY 1ST
Domestic Applicants: 11:59PM (PST) on JUNE 1ST

We only accept applications once a year, for the following academic year which begins in late September.

15. If the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, what do I do?

Since the application is online, the deadline will always be May 1st for international students and June 1st for domestic students, even if the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

16. Can you tell me if you received my application/transcripts, etc.?

You can log into your online application to check the receipt of all items as they arrive.

It is your responsibility to make sure your official test scores are received from ETS.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your recommenders submit their letters for you in a timely manner. Receipt of recommendations is noted when you log into your application. Then it is up to you when or how you choose to contact your recommenders to remind them of their submission.

17. Is my application complete?

We will update your application and the materials received on your behalf as they arrive. Your application will be marked "complete" when all items you list in your profile are submitted online and are checked off.

18. What criteria do you use in making admissions decisions?

Our evaluation will be based on the application as a whole. We do not have rigid cut-off points on conventional criteria such as GPA, though a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required to apply..

In general, we are looking for students whose capabilities and motivation will allow them to contribute significantly to the advancement of Electrical Engineering both professionally and academically. These capabilities include the ability to reason clearly and insightfully, creative imagination, the ability to articulate one's ideas, and mathematical and computational skills. It also includes diversity of perspectives, and the strength of motivation to pursue difficult problems.

19. Can you give me an update on my application or the admissions timeline?

We do not provide updates specific to an individual applicant. Applications will start being reviewed in early June. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or denial by email by late June. 

20. Is there a benefit to applying early?

No. Applications are reviewed after the deadline, regardless of whether or not they were received early.

21. When will I know if I have been accepted or denied?

All admissions decisions should be made by the end of June, and notifications will be made via email. Please do not contact the EE Professional Programs Office inquiring about the status of your application until this time.

22. Can you mail me an application/information on the program?

Our application and its procedures are only available online on our Admissions page. We do not mail paper materials to save time and resources.

23. Can I visit the Department of Electrical Engineering or schedule an advising appointment?

Applicants may contact the Professional Programs Manager by email to schedule a meeting to discuss general admissions questions. Please contact us for an appointment, read our website thoroughly (especially the FAQ page), and have your questions ready before you plan to visit.

Post Decision

24. I was denied admission; can I petition?

No. All admissions decisions are final.

25. Is funding available for Professional Master's Program students?

PMP students are not considered for teaching or research assistantships or College of Engineering Fellowships. PMP students *are* eligible for financial aid and can find more information through the Office of Student Financial Aid. Other funding sources are available through the Graduate School's Office of Fellowships & Assistantships. 

26. If I get in, can I defer enrollment one year to gain more experience?

Yes, if you plan to defer, please email the Professional Programs Manager with your intentions, and she will submit a petition to the UW Graduate School on your behalf. Applicants can defer enrollment up to 1 year and will automatically be admitted the following academic year. New application materials are not required. 

Graduate Application Questions

Regarding Online Graduate School Application

27. Where is the link to the online Graduate School application?

28. I have completed all the steps and printed the application, but it still won't let me pay and submit?

Be sure to use the "Click here to print this application" link on the screen and not File/Print or Ctrl-P; otherwise, the system will not recognize you as having completed this step.

29. I have an update to my application after I submitted it, can I fix it?

We cannot accept any revisions to your application once it has been submitted. However, we will contact you if a file cannot be read/opened and ask that you email us the requested file quickly.

30. Can I get my application materials back if I wasn't accepted?

Since all your application materials are electronic, you should have the original of all the materials.  We cannot mail you copies of any application materials. 

Regarding Exams: GRE, TOEFL, etc.

31. Do you require the GRE exam for admission to the Professional Master's Program?

No, we do not require the GRE for admission into the Professional Master's Program.

32. What are the minimum language requirements for international applicants?

Please refer to the UW Graduate School Memo 8.

33. What are the institution/department codes for sending my TOEFL scores?

ETS will send your scores electronically to the UW Graduate School as long as you use the UW's institution code, 4854. A department code is not necessary. We can look them up once you have submitted your application to the Graduate School, provided that you use the institution code as shown above.

34. Do you accept other tests besides TOEFL?

Please see FAQ 32 for all the foreign language exams and their minimum scores which may be accepted by the Graduate School.

Regarding Letters of Recommendation

35. Do you have forms for the letters of recommendation?

No, we do not require or provide forms for the online letters of recommendation. We only accept letters online through the UW Graduate School Application. The letters should address your academic and professional abilities as much as possible.

36. How many letters of recommendation do I need?

We require two online letters of recommendation.

37. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online, what does this mean?

Letters of recommendation will only be accepted online, as part of the online UW Graduate School application. We do not accept paper letters. While completing your UW Graduate School online application, you will be given the opportunity to designate (or list) who your recommenders will be. Your recommenders will be notified via email that they have agreed to submit a letter for you. It is your responsibility to ensure the email addresses are correct. Please contact us if you have any difficulty with this step.

38. My recommender did not receive the request email to submit an online letter.

The email request may have been identified as spam or bulk mail. Have your recommender add our email address to their address book and then re-send the request. You may log into your UW Graduate School online application and select the option to re-send any recommendation request.

39. When will my recommender get the email request?

The email request is sent immediately, once you enter the information in "Recommendation Detail" and then click "Save and Continue."

40. Do I have to wait until I'm completely done with my application to designate recommenders?

No, in fact, we encourage you to designate your recommenders as early as possible, check in with them, and take your time with the rest of your application (while submitting everything by the deadline, of course). Recommendations MUST be received by the application deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure that your letters are submitted in a timely manner.

41. My recommender does not want to submit a letter online, can it be mailed?

Unfortunately, no paper letters are accepted by our department.  We only accept online letters of recommendation that are submitted through the UW Graduate School Application.

42. Advice to share with your recommenders regarding the online request:

Recommenders should write your letter of recommendation in a Word document (or other file type) and save it to his/her computer. Upon receiving the email request for the recommendation, s/he is lead to a webpage with a form where s/he can either copy/paste a previously written letter or upload a previously written letter. It is not recommended to type the letter directly into the text box as the individual can 'time out' and lose any information entered, especially if the letter is an original version. Once the recommendation is uploaded, s/he will not be able to review what was submitted, this is why it's very important to inform your writers to compose their letters in a Word document (or other file type) and save to his/her computer before uploading.

43. I retained the right to view the letters, may I see them?

Only those who have retained the right to view the letters AND accepted an admissions offer here are eligible to see letters of recommendation received on their behalf. View full rules in the "Designate Recommendations" step of your online application for more details.

Regarding Transcripts & GPA

44. What transcripts are required?

All Applicants: You are required to upload an unofficial transcript as part of the online Graduate Application. Unofficial transcripts are typically available in the student portal of your College/University's website; you can save the entire page as a pdf file. Or you can scan a paper transcript and upload the file. Please make sure that your unofficial electronic transcript, if scanned, can actually be read. If we cannot read it, then we cannot use it to evaluate your application.  We do not accept paper application materials of any kind, including transcripts. 

U.S. Applicants: One set of transcripts from all collegiate institutions from which you earned a Bachelor's degree or higher needs to be uploaded into your online application. This means we do not need transcripts from community colleges or your previous institution if you transferred in. These credits will be reflected on your degree-earning transcript under "transfer" or "outside." If you studied abroad, we do not need that transcript, either. If you have taken additional, relevant coursework since earning your degree, we would like to see that transcript uploaded as well (helpful for those who did not have Electrical Engineering undergraduate degrees or for those who have been out of school for a few years), but it isn't required.

International Applicants: Please upload unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended into your online application.

45. I earned two Bachelor's degrees, how do I enter this in the online application for the two major GPAs?

Enter your undergraduate institution twice, one for each degree you earned and its corresponding major GPA.

46. My school doesn't have official online transcripts.

At this time, most schools do not have official online transcripts. However if you are referring to unofficial online transcripts, you can save it as a pdf and upload it into your online application.  If you already have a paper copy of your transcript, you can scan it, save it as a pdf, and upload it into your online application. Please know that the application system does not accept image files of your transcripts.  

47. What if I haven't graduated and earned my Bachelor's degree by the application deadline?

You will still need to upload an unofficial transcript, but we understand if your degree is still in progress. 

48. I just received new grades/degree; can I send you an updated transcript?

No, but thank you for offering.

49. Do I still need to upload a transcript if I'm currently (or was) a student at the University of Washington?

Yes, you still need to upload an unofficial transcript into your online application, even if you are/were a UW student.

50. Can transcripts be mailed directly to the Department or can I mail them to you?

No to both. We do not accept paper application materials of any kind, including transcripts.  Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded into your online application. 

51. How do I calculate my GPA?

The UW Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for at the last two years (90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits) of study where you earned your degree (Bachelor's or higher). Exceptionally strong applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may still be considered, however. If you have taken classes after graduating but did not earn a degree at this second institution, please do not factor the grades you earned at this second institution. Only use the GPA from the program where you earned your degree (Bachelor's or higher). If your institution grades by letter, or by a different numeric scale, you can estimate your grades by using the scale located here. If you cannot figure out your GPA or your school does not provide grades (letters or numbers), you may skip this step because we will look at your transcript regardless.

52. How do I convert semester credits to quarter credits (and vice versa)?

Colleges and universities that operate on a semester system award semester credit. The UW awards quarter credit. To convert semester to quarter credits, multiply by 1.5. For example, a student who earns 30 credits in an institution on a semester calendar would have earned 45 quarter credits at the UW.

Note: This is not required of our application process, but we have been asked this a few times.

Regarding other Questions or Concerns

53. What if I can't get electronic copies of my exam scores, transcripts, or letters of recommendation, etc.?

We understand that not all materials are easily obtained electronically. Unofficial transcripts can usually be found on the student portal site of your university's website. Save the entire page as a pdf file and upload it into your online application. Otherwise, you can use a document scanner and scan a paper transcript so that you can upload it into the application.

Exam scores are sent to the University of Washington electronically upon your request to ETS, but a self-reported score entered in your online application will assist us as we begin our reviews.

Although the process of submitting online recommendations may sound complicated, it is no more complicated than having to write a letter in the first place. Please read FAQ 42 above to understand the online process and convey this information to your recommenders. Receiving materials online is immediate, which benefits everyone by allowing us to make decisions that much sooner. We appreciate your cooperation.

54. What happens to separate or late materials?

We do not accept separate or late materials.  All application materials must be submitted together into the online application, on time.  Late items will not be processed.  This is your responsibility, as a prospective student.

55. What if I have other questions?

You may contact us via email or phone at 206-616-4909.

56. How do I make a PDF?

You may visit PDF Online and use their free and easy PDF converter for your Word Documents and other file types as well.


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