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Energy Systems Innovation Center

Electrical Power Engineering PSM

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree?
The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree is described as follows:

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree is a two-year graduate degree designed to fill a management need for technology-based companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Students pursue advanced training in science, while simultaneously developing valued business skills. Professional Science Master’s programs combine rigorous study in science and mathematics with coursework in project management, finance or law. Most PSM programs require a final project or team experience, as well as an internship in a business or public sector enterprise.

Developed in concert with industry, PSM programs are designed to dovetail into present and future professional career opportunities. Graduates are equipped to manage the breakthroughs that are created by the research teams. They can interact comfortably and intelligently with scientific researchers and business managers, especially in the marketing, finance, and legal departments. Courses such as policy or regulation are often included in programs designed for those interested in working in governmental agencies.

Why would a student be interested in a PSM in electrical power engineering?
At WSU, we believe that the PSM is an ideal degree for new employees at (for example) electric utility companies. In many cases, these employees are hired with relatively few (if any) courses specifically in the area of electric power. Many are also trying to decide between pursuing an MSEE degree and an MBA or degree in engineering management. The PSM allows the student to complete study in both technology and management in a single degree.
 Is the PSM in Electrical Power Engineering at Washington State University (WSU) unique?
The PSM is offered through the Energy Systems Innovation (ESI) Center of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at WSU. The PSM is (to our knowledge) the only PSM in electrical power engineering that is completely online.
What is included in the PSM degree?
The PSM degree contains 27 credits of course work and a 3-credit internship. The four components of the degree are:

  • a set of required courses in electrical power engineering that span the topics of power system analysis, power system economics and high voltage power transmission or distribution (9 credits)
  • a set of electives in a wide range of power engineering topics (9 credits)
  • a set of elective professional courses in project management, finance, law, etc. (9 credits)
  • an internship usually conducted with a local mentor within the students’ organization. (3 credits)
How can a student register for the program?
A student can apply to the program through the WSU Graduate School.
How much does it cost?
PSM EPE tuition is $1200 per credit hour. Since all courses are three credit courses, the cost per course will be $3600. Books required for classes are additional.
Can a student register for a limited number of courses?
The most common way to do this is to use the non-degree graduate status. This classification is for applicants who wish to explore graduate studies on a limited basis. Applications for non-degree graduate status are processed by the Graduate School without departmental recommendation, and applicants are subject to the following rules:

  • Required to pay graduate fees.
  • Permitted to enroll in courses only with the permission of the instructor and the department offering the courses. Some departments do not allow non-degree students to register for their courses. Students who register without departmental approval may be disenrolled.
  • Permitted to remain in non-degree graduate status for up to one calendar year.
  • Permitted to apply up to 6 hours of non-degree graduate status credit to the graduate degree requirements if admitted by the WSU Graduate School to a degree program. Use of non-degree graduate status credits will be held to the usual time restrictions for program completion.

A separate application for admission is required if the student wishes to pursue an advanced degree. It should be noted that students who enroll under non-degree graduate status may or may not choose to complete applications to a degree-seeking program in the Graduate School.

Further, there is no guarantee that they will be accepted if they apply. If the students apply to a degree-seeking program and are accepted, they will be appropriately reclassified as Regular or Provisional. International students who require a student visa are not eligible for non-degree graduate status. Non-degree Application form.

Will there be certificates available for completing subsets of courses?
Certificates are available for completing sets of management courses through the Engineering and Technology Management program. Depending on what courses are selected for the EPE PSM program, it may be possible to earn a certificate in (for example) Project Management by completing one additional course. For more information consult https://etm.wsu.edu/certificate-program/. At this time, this option does not exist within the EPE PSM program. However, it may be in the near future.
What are the prerequisites for this program?
The prerequisite is a BS in electrical engineering or equivalent. A determination of whether a BS degree is equivalent will be made by the program director. It is assumed that the student has the equivalent of the first undergraduate course in electrical power engineering using a textbook such as Electric Machinery & Power System Fundamentals by Stephen J. Chapman. For further clarification about prerequisites, information about the first course in electrical power engineering at Washington State University (WSU) and its prerequisite courses is listed below:
The WSU Course that uses the Chapman book is
361 Electrical Power Systems 3 Course Prerequisite: EE 321 with a C or better; EE 331 with a C or better; Power system hardware; transformers, and electromechanical machinery; introduction to power system operation. The prerequisites for this course are:
261 Electrical Circuits I 3 Course Prerequisite: MATH 315 with a C or better or concurrent enrollment; PHYSICS 202 with a C or better. Application of fundamental concepts of electrical science in linear circuit analysis; mathematical models of electric components and circuits.
321 Electrical Circuits II 3 Course Prerequisite: EE 261 with a C or better; State space analysis, Laplace transforms, network functions, frequency response, Fourier series, two-ports, energy and passivity.
331 Electromagnetic Fields and Waves 3 Course Prerequisite: EE 261 with a C or better; EE 262 with a C or better; MATH 315 with a C or better; PHYSICS 202 with a C or better. Fundamentals of transmission lines, electrostatics, magnetostatics, and Maxwell’s Equations for static fields.
If the student does not have EE 361 or its prerequisites, there are options that can be discussed with the program director. No GRE is required. International applicants will be required to submit TOEFL scores (unless they fall under graduate school exceptions).
When are the courses scheduled?
The courses are held during the normal WSU semesters and may include summer school offerings. The fall semester extends from late August to early December and the spring semester extends from early January to early May.

Course Schedule

Are the courses taught within certain time limits or can you take as much time as you want?
As mentioned above, it is assumed that a student will enroll in and complete a course within a normal WSU semester. If the work is to be extended beyond the end of the semester, the following policy applies.

Incomplete Grades

  • An incomplete (“I”) is the term indicating that a grade has been deferred. It is given to a student who, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete the assigned work on time. The “I” grade for a graduate-level course (all courses numbered 500 and above) and an undergraduate course (all courses numbered 499 or lower) will be changed to an “F” if the work is not completed within one academic year following the semester in which the “I” grade was assigned, unless a shorter time is specified by the instructor. The student may not repeat the course to remove an incomplete grade. Graduate students may not graduate with an “I” grade on their transcript. (See Academic Regulations, Rule 90h here.)
  • Grade requirements for courses.
When was the program first offered?
Fall Semester of 2014.
What is the application deadline?
Deadline for applications for fall will be July 1 and for spring will be November 15.
How are office hours handled?
While each instructor is different, typical instructor interaction policies follow:

  • to be in the course space a minimum of twice a week.
  • respond to emails within 24 hours
  • for grading turn around to be about one week. If scheduled in advance, faculty members can also be available via email in real time so that you can receive an immediate response.
How are exams handled?
Proctors are required for most courses in this program. Review details about proctoring.
What is the contact for information at Global Campus?
online@wsu.edu, 800-222-4978, 509-335-3557
How is the internship arranged and completed?
In their last semester, students must identify and participate in an internship, with an identified internship mentor that encompasses approximately 4 weeks of full-time (i.e., 40 hours per week) effort. Very often this will be at the student’s place of work. The internship can be paid or unpaid, and will usually be conducted in a non-academic workplace. The objectives of the internship are to encourage students to integrate elements of the course work into the workplace and to capitalize on the transitional aspects of the PSM program. The internship will be initiated with an Internship Proposal (PDF). After completion of the internship, an Internship Report will be written and submitted for approval by the students’ faculty committee. It is assumed that the work will be described so that it can be evaluated by program faculty. Students are also evaluated by their internship mentor.
Is it possible to transfer credit from another institution?
Graded graduate-level course work (with a grade of B or higher) taken toward a completed master’s degree at an accredited institution may NOT be used toward another master’s degree at WSU. All other graded graduate-level course work (with a grade of B or higher) taken as a graduate student, but not taken towards a completed graduate degree, may be used toward a master’s degree or a doctoral degree at WSU with the approval of the student’s committee and program director. In all transfer cases, the number of such credit hours is limited to no more than half of the total graded course credits required by the program that is listed on the Program of Study. Online coursework will be considered for transfer to a graduate degree program only upon an exception to policy request to the Dean of the Graduate School. More on the WSU transfer policy can be found here.
If a student completes these courses, can credit be used towards a Ph.D.?
This is possible, but must be endorsed by the power engineering faculty.
What if I have other questions?
For other questions please contact the program director at psmpower@wsu.edu.