Graduate Degree Programs — Master's & Certificate

The Electrical and Systems Engineering department offers the following Master’s degrees as well as a certificate in imaging science. Students pursuing the degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of study consistent with the residency and other applicable requirements of Washington University and the McKelvey School of Engineering. The degrees may be pursued with a course only or thesis option.

Students will enjoy the benefits of programs that balance fundamental theoretical concepts with modern applications. In our department, students find ample opportunities for close interactions with faculty members working on cutting-edge research and technology development.

More details can be found in the campus bulletin.

Course Option

This option is intended for those employed in local industry who wish to pursue a graduate degree on a part-time basis, or for full-time students who do not seek careers in research. Under the course option, students may not take ESE 599 Master's Research, and with faculty permission may take up to 3 units of graduate level Independent Study.

Thesis Option

This option is intended for those pursuing full-time study and engaged in research projects. Candidates for this degree must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of course instruction and six (6) credit hours of thesis research (ESE 599). Three (3) of these credit hours of thesis research may be applied toward the 15 core electrical engineering credit hours required for the MSEE program. Any of these six (6) hours of thesis research may be applied as electives for the MSEE, MSSSM, MSDAS, MCEng and MEngR programs. The student must write a master's thesis and defend it in an oral examination.

Core Principles Common to all Degrees:

  • A maximum of six credits may be transferred from another institution and applied toward the Master's degree.
  • ESE 590 Electrical & Systems Engineering Graduate Seminar must be taken by full-time graduate students each semester. Master's students must attend at least three seminars per semester.
  • The degree program must be consistent with the residency and other applicable requirements of Washington University and the McKelvey School of Engineering.
  • Students must obtain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 out of a possible 4.0 over all courses applied toward the degree. Courses that apply for the degree must be taken with the "Credit/Letter Grade" option.

Suggested Academic Requirements for Prospective Students

* Knowledge of a scientific or quantitative social science field is encouraged but not necessary for success in the MSDAS program.

  • Currently, there is no financial aid available for MS students. Admitted students typically have an average score greater than 90% on the quantitative section (new GRE scale) and 3.0 or greater on the analytical section.

  • International students who are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score and who have not studied previously for a minimum of three years in a U.S. school will be required to take an Engineering Communication Tools course during their first semester. This course does not count toward degree requirements and does not require any additional tuition; it is graded on a pass/fail basis, so it is not factored into the grade-point average.

  • Undergraduate or postgraduate research experience is highly desirable for admission to the PhD program, but not mandatory for the master's program. Letters of recommendation from research mentors are a particularly important part of the graduate application. Descriptions of previous research experience or future research goals in the personal statement portion of the application are also important in the admissions decision.