Frequently Asked Questions

Professional Development Certificates

A certificate is a specific course of study involving two or more courses in a specific area. For more information, see the Certificates page.
The cost of a certificate depends upon the costs of the individual courses required for completion. Some certificates offer discounts on multiple courses taken for certificate completion.
While the majority of our certificates require about five courses, this number will vary. Some certificates require several courses, and then a choice of electives. For specific information, please visit the Certificates page.
This will depend on the number of courses required for the certificate, and how many electives you choose to take. Some students like to spread their courses out over a longer period of time, whereas others will take multiple courses in shorter timeframes. You can chart your own course of study depending on your work and other commitments.
No. Locations will vary depending on the course. Custom onsite courses can also be arranged where expert instructors travel to your organization.
Earning a certificate gives you an industry-recognized credential in a specific topic or skillset to better equip you for your current job, or position you to take on a more competitive role.

Professional Development Course Credits

Each course will have a designated number of CEUs, LU, PDH, LU/HSW and/or GBCI. You can find the credit information within the tabs of the specific course page for exact amounts. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.
"CEU” stands for Continuing Education Unit. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.
“LU” stands for the AIA's Learning Unit. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.
“PDH” stands for Professional Development Hour. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.
“LU/HSW” stands for Learning Unit/Health, Safety, and Welfare. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.
“GBCI” stands for Green Building Certification Inc. Visit our Earn Credit Hours page for more information.

Professional Development Courses, Payments & Policies

Some are offered online. You can find which ones on our course search page. Click on the filter "online courses".
Your course fee covers the course, materials, some meals, and a certificate of completion. Some courses may also include a book or text. For specific information about fees related to your course, look under the "course details" section listed under the course date on the right-hand side of your course page.
Fees are listed on the course page and if there are additional ones, they are generally listed separately in the enrollment process.
Yes. Prepayment is required for all international registrations from outside the United States and Canada at least 30 days prior to the program start date.  Attendees who do not pay upon initial registration will receive an e-mail reminder requesting payment.  Any international registrations from outside the United States and Canada that remain unpaid 30 days prior to the program start date will be cancelled.
Full refunds will be given to those who cancel at least 7 days prior to the course date; otherwise, the refund will be reduced by $150. You may enroll a substitute. No-shows will not be refunded.
Course materials and notebooks will be provided for attendees unless noted otherwise. Some courses recommend bringing laptops, or work clothing for outdoor demonstrations. Please see the “Notes” section and/or the Overview.
Most attendees choose to dress in business casual attire for the lecture portions of class. Some courses with workshops or outdoor demonstrations may require items like safety goggles, or special footwear. Please see the “Notes” section of your course for specific information.   
Course dates and times are indicated on the “Schedule” section of each course page to help you schedule your flight's departure time.
Some meals and refreshments are included with courses. Please see the “Schedule” section of your course for more information. 
A certificate indicating the number of credits earned will be awarded to those who complete each course.
Yes. For specific information about discounts related to your course, look under the "course details" section listed under the course date on the right-hand side of your course page.

Travel to Madison

Madison, Wisconsin, courses are held on the University of Wisconsin campus or nearby hotels. See Course Locations for maps. We also have courses located around the state and the U.S. For information on where your specific course is being held, see the course “Location” section.
Most courses start early in the morning, so it is recommended that you arrive the day before. For more information about your course start times and dates, see the “Schedule” section.
It is recommended that you fly into Dane County Regional (MSN) airport in Madison, but both Milwaukee (MKE) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) are a reasonable distance from Madison by car/bus. If by chance you are flying through ORD and get stuck or delayed, there is a regular coach bus service from ORD to Madison. You can catch the bus from the lower level regional bus terminal (
Parking information for courses held at Lowell or Pyle Center can be found here.
Room blocks at several area hotels have been reserved for attendees with best pricing available. Please see the “Accommodations” section.
Madison is considered a “college town” with the University of Wisconsin campus integrated into the downtown area. In addition to activities at UW, the downtown area offers many excellent dining and entertainment venues. For more information, visit the Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Online Master Degrees and Certificates - Admissions

It depends on the program.  Currently, Polymers require the GRE.
We will accept transcripts via any delivery method options (including pdf) offered by the educational institutions you have previously attended, as long as they come directly from the institution. Transcripts issued to students are not sufficient for admission to the Graduate School. To avoid processing delays, have your transcripts sent directly to: CoE Online Admissions Office; Attn: Daryl Harrison; 432 N. Lake Street, Room 701; Madison, WI 53706. (For pdf’s, use the following email address:
Professional recommendations are preferred over academic recommendations except for students that have less than two years of professional experience.  Students are required to have at least one recommendation from a current or previous direct supervisor.  If you have questions about the right type of recommender to select, contact your graduate programs coordinator.
You do not need to send letters of recommendation. When you complete the University of Wisconsin-Madison online application, you will be prompted to provide the names and contact information of three professional references. Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their recommendation online. Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an automated submission confirmation with instructions on how to check the status of your application and receipt of application materials. If you have any questions, please contact the graduate program coordinator with whom you have been in contact.
If the program admits during the same term, you do NOT need an additional application (only degree programs because certificate programs use a separate application).  Applicants are allowed to select up to three programs to apply for using a single application.  However, students who want to apply for a program that admits during the Summer, and a program that admits during the Fall would need to submit a separate application for each term.
After you have submitted your application, you can only make changes to the recommenders section of the application.  If you need any of the information on your application changed, contact the graduate program coordinator to discuss.
Yes. Some students with less than a 3.0 GPA have been admitted on a probationary status. While grades are important, the admissions committee considers all parts of the application, including letters of recommendation, goals for the program, and work experience.
Admission decisions are only valid for the term offered.  If you want to defer your admission offer you will need to contact the graduate program coordinator to discuss how this can be achieved.
Yes, head over to our webinar archive: 

Online Master Degrees and Certificates Admissions - International Applicants

No, College of Engineering online graduate students are not provided with VISAs.
There are automatic waivers granted if your previous educational was conducted at an institution where English was the official language of instruction.  The department may, in certain cases, request an appeal to the foreign language requirement if the applicant has demonstrated written and verbal english language abilities (e.g. living and working in the US for several years).  You should contact the graduate programs coordinator to discuss if you are elibile for a waiver of this requirement.

Online Master Degrees and Certificates - Admitted Students

The majority of our students are part-time given responsibilities at work and home.  In rare circumstances, students may enroll in sufficient credits for full-time status.
It depends on the degree program. For example: Master of Engineering (for all M.Eng.s) or MS in Electrical Engineering (power program).
It depends on the program. Generally, you will complete the program in 2-5 years.
It depends on the number of courses you complete per semester. Generally, this is a one-year program.

Online Master Degrees and Certificates - Academics

UW-Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The College of Engineering has not pursued any ABET accreditation beyond the Bachelors Degree programs.
UW-Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The College of Engineering has not pursued any ABET accreditation beyond the Bachelors Degree programs.
Yes, we can accept transfer credit from courses taken as a UW-Madison undergraduate student, from courses taken as a University Special student, and from graduate coursework at outstide institutions.  If you are interested in requesting transfer credit of any type you need to contact the graduate program coordinator.
Yes; please review the specific certificate and degree programs to see what applies.
On average, you will spend between 20 and 30 hours per week completing coursework.  To see a typical distance degree program schedule, click here.
Please see the course drop dates from the registrar's office.
Dedicated technical and administrative support; dedicated advisors who will assist you within 24 hours. You will primarily interact with your class and instructors through online forums and live web conferences. You can also e-mail your instructors and expect a response in 24 hours.

Online Master Degrees and Certificates - Cost & Funding

Please refer to the tuition chart.
Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive some level of funding from the federal loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least four credits during the Fall and Spring semesters, and two credits during Summer. Many students work for companies that provide tuition support. Veterans can receive assistance through the Yellow Ribbon program. For more information, visit  International students are not eligible for funding. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Student in online programs are prohibited from accepting any RA/TA/PA appointments through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  However, students are eligible for federal loan programs if they are enrolled at least half-time. There are also lots of private scholarships (e.g. fastweb), private educational loans, and students will need to identify and apply for these as needed.  The College of Engineering does not currently offer departmental or College level scholarships for online students.

Online Master Degrees and Certificates - Learning at a Distance

Summer residencies are required for Engineering Management and Engine Systems. Other programs have optional residencies. Both of the online MS degrees, Electrical Engineering (Power) and Mechanical Engineering (Controls) have an on campus summer lab requirement.
It depends on the program. Some programs, such as MEM and MEES, require a summer residency.
Course materials, forums, recordings, and live sessions are available online. If you have an Internet connection, you're ready for school.
Online courses are similar in content to on-campus courses with a different delivery. They offer many opportunities for interaction like the on-campus courses. However, the online courses are available at times (such as evenings) that better accommodate students who work full-time. Unlike traditional on-campus programs, there is also no "commute" to campus, leaving more time for students to study while they work and fulfill personal and family obligations.
Courses that apply directly to your online degree need to be taken online. You are free to take other courses.
Courses conform to campus academic calendar with weekly deliverables required.  However, during any given week, students are able to create their own schedule.