The Best Online Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering 2021
thebestschools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Are you ready to discover your college program?
An online bachelor's degree in electrical engineering can lead to in-demand, lucrative careers or become a springboard to an advanced degree.
Electrical and electronics engineers have strong salaries and projected growth rates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth for electrical engineers between 2019-2029 is slightly faster than the national average, and the annual salary in 2019 more than doubled the average for all occupations.
As with many industries, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the engineering profession: It now incorporates more remote work and safety protocols, though some engineering subfields are more impacted than others. Overall, engineering jobs are relatively pandemic-proof, as their work is essential to the operation of everyday life.
To help students choose the best online electrical engineering degree, we've broken down the available programs and career options and ranked the top programs in the country.
|#1||Clemson University Clemson, SC|
|#2||Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY|
|#3||University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND|
|#4||Arizona State University Tempe, AZ|
|#5||Thomas Edison University Trenton, NJ|
|#6||Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM|
|#7||Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL|
|#8||Morgan State University Baltimore, MD|
Featured Online Engineering Programs
The Best Online Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering
Online Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
What Is an Online Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Degree?
At the bachelor's level, electrical engineering programs teach students about electronics and electrical systems. Enrollees learn to design, fix, and improve devices and systems that use electricity while following industry standards and protocols.
The best online electrical engineering degrees prepare graduates for professional engineering licensure (PE). While not required, a PE credential demonstrates that the holder can work to industry standards. Recipients must renew their credentials through continuing education.
Aspiring electrical engineers are usually interested in mathematics, the sciences, and electronics. They build practical skills through both classroom training and internship experience, building a thorough understanding of how electrical components work together in a system. They also need strong communication skills.
What's the Difference Between a BA, a BS, and a BSE in Electrical Engineering?
When researching the best online electrical engineering degrees, students will find a few degree types. Most of these types provide similar training in major-relevant skills, but they vary in complementary courses and electives.
A BA in electrical engineering offers an electrical engineering concentration, but also includes humanities courses, resulting in a broader base of education. Conversely, a bachelor of science in engineering (BSE) and a bachelor of engineering (B.Eng.) both focus on engineering and science topics. These degrees usually offer more practical training and more diverse engineering specialization options than BA degrees.
These different electrical engineering degrees often lead to similar careers, but they can also prepare students for specialty pathways. The focused training of a BSE or B.Eng. equips learners for more technical roles, while those who earn more general BAs in engineering may be better suited to management or engineering-related communication roles.
Choosing the Best Online Electrical Engineering Degree for You
To choose the best online electrical engineering degree for your unique circumstances, there are several factors to consider. Depending on your skills and career goals, you may want to look for specific courses, specializations, or program formats. Cost, accreditation status, and location are also key details to research. The following links can help guide you through the decision process.
What to Expect From an Electrical Engineering Major
Courses and concentrations can vary considerably between electrical engineering majors. Schools have their own unique curriculums, and the different degree types offer different course options. Below, you'll find some of the more common courses and concentrations that electrical engineering programs offer.
Electrical Engineering Curriculum
- Circuit Theory: This foundational course for electrical engineering programs explores the laws of electrical circuits and their parameters. Students learn to analyze, identify, and safely manipulate various electrical networks.
- Control Systems: This course considers automatic, open and closed loops, and digital and analog systems. Students compare and contrast these systems, learning how to build and simplify them and work with different control sensors.
- Digital Signal Processing: In this course, students explore concepts related to discrete-time signal systems, including difference equations, the z-transform, and the Fourier transform. Coursework also covers the design and analysis of digital filters.
- Electromagnetic Compatibility: Electromagnetic compatibility courses examine the mechanisms behind electromagnetic energy coupling. Students learn to measure signals using various industry-standard tools and analyzers.
- Signals and Systems: This course teaches students about discrete- and continuous-time systems. Learners work with various representations, transforms, and system components, analyzing and interpreting them along the way.
- Solid-State Engineering: Coursework examines semiconductor materials and the technologies that use them. Students analyze and experiment with different materials, including metals, semiconductors, and vehicles for electricity.
Electrical Engineering Concentrations
Common courses include microprocessors and advanced processors, digital circuit design, and digital communications. This training may lead to biomedical, information technology, and energy careers.
Ideal for aspiring life sciences professionals, this concentration focuses on the intersection of medicine and technology. Students learn how electronics can be used to improve healthcare, medical treatment, and medical devices. Biomedical engineers primarily work in medical equipment manufacturing or research and development.
Learners in this concentration examine different types of networks and security technology and protocols. Graduates can pursue computer engineering and electrical engineering careers, especially in the telecommunications industry.
This concentration focuses on circuits, signal processing, and control systems, along with power generation and electric power. Graduates pursue careers in energy-related fields, including alternative energy industries like solar, wind, and fuel cells.
Accelerated and Dual Electrical Engineering Degrees
In addition to the traditional electrical engineering degree structure, some schools offer alternate pathways. These programs allow students to combine degrees or complete their training more quickly through dual or accelerated programs.
For example, a school might offer an accelerated BS/MS in electrical engineering, which allows students to earn a bachelor's and master's simultaneously while reducing required credits, time, and costs. Similarly, a computer science and electrical engineering dual degree combines the two disciplines and can help graduates pursue electrical engineering careers in emerging information technology, telecommunications, and energy industries.
Electrical Engineering Organizations
Professional organizations provide support for both new and experienced engineers. These associations offer professional development courses, continuing education opportunities, and industry resources.
Some electrical engineering organizations focus on a specialized industry or subdiscipline within the profession, while others offer services within a geographical region or for a specific demographic. Some of the biggest organizations are listed below.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- Electric Power Research Institute
- International Electrotechnical Commission
- Society of Women Engineers
Electrical Engineering Careers
With a degree in electrical engineering, graduates can pursue employment in many industries and professions. Students can pursue traditional career pathways or expand their postgraduate options by exploring concentrations, interdisciplinary studies, or more advanced training.
The information below explores some of the more popular careers available to graduates, along with their median annual salaries. Readers should note that this list is not exhaustive.
|Career||Median Annual Salary (2019)|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||$117,220|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineers||$101,250|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$83,510|
Frequently Asked Questions
Students can complete electrical engineering degrees entirely online. Many programs also offer online study options with local internship requirements.
Deciding which is the best online electrical engineering course depends entirely on the needs of individual students. Learners should examine course descriptions and delivery formats, choosing one that suits their personal career goals and scheduling needs.
To find the best online electrical engineering degree, learners should first consider what they need most from a program. Some students focus on delivery method or completion timelines, while others need specialty curricula and support services.
Most online electrical engineering bachelor's degrees follow the same structure as on-campus programs, with full-time students typically graduating in four years.
Electrical engineers need a solid understanding of mathematics disciplines, including calculus, linear algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
Electrical engineers do not need certifications to enter the field. However, some employers prefer applicants who hold industry certifications. Engineers can also pursue professional engineering licenses, which demonstrate a thorough understanding of the field.
Learn more, do more.
More topic-relevant resources to expand your knowledge.
Popular with our students.
Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.
Take the next step toward your future with online learning.
Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.