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ECE at UW-Madison: Funding Question


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I recently got an unofficial notification acceptance from ECE dept. at UW-Madison. The letter says that decisions regarding financial aid will be sent out later but I am kind of worried. Does anybody have any prior experience with the way ECE dept. works? I mean, what percentage of admitted students ultimately receive funding?

Another question: the letter says that non-native speakers will have to report Speak Test scores in order to be considered for TA positions. Again, does anybody know whether or not ECE has a policy to offer TA positions to first-year international student?

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I went to UW - Madison for my MS (nuclear engineering), though I did have ties with the ECE department as well. No one knows a percentage of who gets funding, but UW - Madison does regrettably have a habit (and reputation) of admitting students without funding.

Very few people who I met though were "rogue" students with no funding, though they did exist. Out of the ECE students I met, there were probably about 3 students I met who had to fend for themselves for one or two semesters while they tried to secure funding. That is not to say there were not more of them though.

"does anybody know whether or not ECE has a policy to offer TA positions to first-year international student?" What do you mean by policy? TA positions are fair game to anyone, I was a TA in my department, I do not know how they "selected" me out of everyone else, but it likely had nothing to do with measuring me against my peers, I just checked a box that said I was willing to be a TA for funding on my application. TAs come and go, some screw up so badly that they lose their funding. That is to say, there is no detailed screening process if that is your question, but you do need the bare minimum credentials, such as speaking tests in English.

I knew a TA in the engineering physics department who was an international student from China, we got that position his first semester there. I also knew several Indians who had TA positions. Plenty of international students get TA jobs their first semester. But, as I was saying earlier, which is (for want of a better word) the downfall of UW - Madison is that they do have a habit of admitting more students than they have funding for. All you can do is hope for the best. If you want to go there though, you can find some kind of funding on your own, you will just have to be patient and rough it until you can figure it out. Congrats on the unofficial acceptance by the way! I applied to ECE as a re-entry student, maybe I will see you there in the Fall.

Edited by LawlQuals
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Thank you very much. Wow! I guess Nuclear Engineering at UW-Madison is like ECE at Stanford!!!

I will try contacting the faculty next week to see if I can secure an RA position. One of them I contacted before I applied told me that the results of their proposals will be determined during Spring semester. I wonder when exactly are the faculty usually notified of their proposal results, is it in Jan, Feb, or Mar?

Unfortunately, TA positions are not fair game to everyone in many schools. They have a "policy" not to offer TA positions to first-year international students, but I am happy to hear that this is not the case at UW-Madison. I will ask them tomorrow about the "Speak Test". I hope they accept my TOEFL speaking score instead.

Hope you'll get in, although I am guessing you have applied to better schools too!

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