Graduate programs

The UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences offers several options for graduate study. We offer two graduate degree programs:

In addition, we offer two non-degree options:

Finally, we will offer the following cross-departmental, non-degree program starting 2017-18:

Why study at Wisconsin?

Wisconsin CS is one of the oldest and most respected computer-science departments in the United States. Watch a brief video about what makes the Wisconsin experience special.

Key features of our programs include:

  • Internationally recognized research programs in many areas, including artificial intelligence, computational biology, computer architecture, computer graphics, computer networks, database systems, human-computer interaction, optimization, numerical analysis, performance analysis, programming languages and compilers, security, systems and theory. The wealth of opportunities to participate in collaborative, multidisciplinary research is a strength of our program.
  • State-of-the-art graduate courses that are augmented by an active schedule of lectures by distinguished visitors from other top universities, tech start-ups and established corporate giants in the field.
  • A stimulating learning community of approximately 370 currently-enrolled graduate students. In the traditional M.S./Ph.D. track, 90-95% of these students receive departmental financial support through fellowships or teaching assistant/research assistant (TA or RA) positions. Wisconsin CS typically grants about 15 to 20 Ph.D. and 70 M.S. degrees each year.
  • High-achieving students who win many awards and competitive fellowships. Honors regularly awarded to our students include Best Paper awards; fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel, IBM and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; departmental fellowships and research awards; ACM Student Research Competition and Programming Contest awards; and UW-Madison Letters & Science and/or departmental teaching awards.
  • Graduates who go on to notable achievements, including teaching positions in leading computer science departments. Many of our Ph.D. graduates are now on the faculty in other top-tier departments including Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Purdue, Texas and Washington. Other graduates are making important contributions at leading research labs and companies including Cisco, Compaq, Epic Systems, Google, Hewlett Packard, IBM Research, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun. Still other graduates are at start-up companies or teaching at small colleges.

Madison also has a number of high-tech companies that are transforming the city into a high-tech hub. These companies leverage the strength of our department and provide students with local opportunities to interact with industry. These companies include:

  • High-tech giants establishing labs in Madison with close ties to our department. Microsoft opened the Jim Gray Systems Lab in Madison in 2008. That same year, Google established an engineering office in Madison.
  • Local high-tech companies, like Epic Systems (founded by a Wisconsin CS alumna).
  • Start-ups by our faculty, students and alumni, like Ionic, Nemean Networks, NovaShield and EatStreet.

For these reasons and more, we believe the department is an unbeatable choice for your graduate studies. We want to add you to our rapidly expanding group of successful graduates! For questions about program requirements or admissions, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator.