The 25 Best Online Master’s in Electrical Engineering Programs

by TBS Staff
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If you aspire to a rewarding career in electrical engineering - especially if your sights are set on management or design positions - an online master's in electrical engineering can put you at a distinct advantage. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% employment growth for electrical engineers through 2026, and data from Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce indicate increased salary potential for graduate degree holders. In wireless communications, robotics, and photonics, a master's degree is typically required. Some companies also invest in their employees by subsidizing the cost of a graduate degree, so be sure to check with your employer.

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Choosing a Program

You can look forward to fascinating coursework and concentrations for a master's in electrical engineering program. Sample classes include embedded systems design and architecture, digital signal processing, power system dynamics, advanced robotics, renewable energy integration, and solid state electronics. Most programs offer thesis and non-thesis degree paths comprising 30-36 units of coursework, including six to 12 credits of electives and independent study. Business professionals focused on management and practical aspects of engineering may elect to pursue a non-thesis path.

Specializations available include systems and information processing, wireless communication systems and technology, microwave, antenna, and photonic systems, signal processing and communications, electronic circuits and systems, electromagnetics, and photonics.
Master's programs are typically flexible and tailored toward working professionals. Many courses are taught early in the morning or late in the afternoon to allow students working in the industry to attend.

Other available options include GRE waivers for eligible applicants, customized degree plans, and opportunities to complete coursework in related departments, such as physics, computer science, mathematics, or aerospace engineering. Some schools maintain membership in regional consortiums, and agree to accept transfer credits from affiliated schools for up to half of the required coursework. Exceptional undergraduates can also pursue accelerated programs in which they earn both a bachelor's and master's degree.

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Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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The Best Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Degree Programs

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $10168

    Located in Gainesville, UF offers an online master's in electrical engineering that covers topics such as biometric identification, digital signal processing, and machine learning. Students in the electrical and computer engineering program learn about linear algebra and how to analyze linear systems, design data communication networks, and understand computer hardware security.

    The flexible program is available completely online to students around the globe. The curriculum helps students learn new skills and develop professionally. Graduates pursue careers as aerospace engineers, biomedical engineers, and electrical and electronics engineering technicians.

    Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and must submit three letters of recommendation from faculty at the institution that granted their bachelor's degree. Although UF has no minimum GRE requirements, successful applicants have an average score of 315. International applicants must meet minimum scores on English proficiency exams.

  2. University of Virginia-Main Campus
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $16523

    UVA in Charlottesville offers one of the most respected online electrical engineering master's programs in the country. The curriculum covers topics such as circuits, electromagnets, solid state devices, and signal and image processing.

    UF is part of the Online Graduate Engineering Consortium; online students can complete courses through UF and four other schools, and most courses are available in both asynchronous and synchronous, interactive formats. The online master's in electrical engineering requires 30 credits, 18 of which are major credits.

    UF students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn a grade of C or better in all program coursework. Each student submits a program of study, and only courses on their approved plan count toward the degree; students can adjust the plan with their advisor's assistance. Students complete program outcome assessment forms in three of five available areas: analysis, design, oral communication, plan of study, and technical writing. Transfer students may bring up to 15 previous credits earned with a grade of C or better.

  3. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $13950

    Stanford offers a fully online master's in electrical engineering. The 45-unit program covers topics such as integrated circuit fabrication processes, linear dynamical systems, and micro and nano systems design.

    The curriculum comprises breadth courses, depth courses, and 21 units of additional electrical engineering courses. Breadth courses create a foundation for students' future learning and include a 200-level electrical engineering class outside their selected depth area. Students use the depth requirement to specialize in an area of interest, such as fields, waves, and radio science; electronic devices, sensors, and technology; signal processing; or network systems. Students complete at least nine units in their chosen depth area and must maintain a 3.0 GPA in depth courses.

    Students must earn their master's degree within five years of enrollment. Most part-time students complete the 45-unit program in three to five years. Students participate in either one formal seminar course or eight research seminars. Applicants must submit GRE scores and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

  4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $13440

    Based in Raleigh, NC State offers a fully online master's degree in electrical engineering. The program requires 30 credit hours, including 21 credit hours in electrical and computer engineering coursework. Students complete breadth courses that cover a variety of topics and depth courses in a specialized area.

    Students complete breadth requirements in three areas: communications and signal processing, non-electronics and photonics, and power electronics and power systems. The depth requirement involves an advanced, 700-level electrical engineering course. NC State's flexible electrical engineering master's degree is ideal for working professionals. Students who work full time enroll in only two courses per semester, and new students are encouraged to take only one course during their first semester.

    Each student is assigned an academic advisor who helps them create a plan of study. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in electrical or computer engineering with a minimum GPA of 3.25. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and GRE scores. Students must complete the master's program within six years.

  5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    Location

    Minneapolis, MN

    Tuition

    $15212

    UMN students can earn their electrical engineering master's online or in a hybrid format. The 30-credit program covers topics including applied parallel programming, computer systems performance measurement and evaluation, quantum electronics, and plasma physics.

    Students tailor the degree to their interests and career goals by choosing an emphasis, such as computer and systems engineering, signal and image processing, solid and state physical electronics, or communication systems and theory. Available interdisciplinary courses include biological modeling, solar energy, and bioelectrical sciences. Students choose between two plans. Plan A requires 14 major credits, six credits of coursework outside the major, 10 thesis credits, and an oral final exam. Plan C requires 18 to 24 major credits, six to 12 credits outside the major, and no final exam.

    Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, science, physics, or mathematics and at least a 3.4 GPA. Applicants must submit GRE scores, and international applicants must provide English proficiency scores. UMN students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

  6. Purdue University-Main Campus
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $13680

    Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, offers an online electrical engineering master's program that prepares students for careers in electrical and computer engineering. The program is available in thesis and non-thesis options, and students can pursue either an interdisciplinary engineering degree with a concentration in electrical and computer engineering or a master's in electrical and computer engineering.

    The MS in electrical and computer engineering offers six specializations, including signal and image processing, VLSI and circuit design, and energy sources and systems. Students in the interdisciplinary program can concentrate in a variety of subjects, including mechanical engineering, aeronautics and astronautics, and computational engineering. Both programs offer flexible curricula; students work with an academic advisor to create a study plan that fits their academic and career goals.

    Students complete 30 credits, 15 of which must be graduate-level credits, and must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, two official transcripts, a current resume, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

  7. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $21638

    Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, offers an electrical engineering master's degree in fully online and hybrid formats. Students learn to develop systems for measurement, control, and computation. The program offers concentrations in photonics and in communications and networking. Students can further specialize their degree by choosing a focus area such as systems and control, signal processing, RF and microwave engineering, or optics and photonics.

    Students complete a special project and a thesis. Students must graduate within five years of enrollment. All courses must be approved by an academic advisor, and only one course completed with a grade of C counts toward degree requirements. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, or be in the final semester of their undergraduate program, and have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Johns Hopkins does not require GRE scores. International applicants must submit English proficiency exam scores.

  8. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Tuition

    $15657

    Located in South Carolina, Clemson offers an electrical engineering online master's program with thesis and non-thesis options. The non-thesis, all-coursework option requires 33 credit hours, at least 18 of which must be in 800-level courses. The thesis option requires 30 credit hours, 12 of which must be in 800-level courses, and a master's thesis research course. Students who plan to work as research assistants or to pursue a doctoral degree are encouraged to choose the thesis option. Both options require a final exam; the thesis option requires an oral defense of the completed thesis.

    The program curriculum covers topics including renewable energy penetration on the power grid, elements of software engineering, and digital communications. Graduates are eligible for direct entry into Clemson's doctoral program.

    Applicants must submit a personal statement, transcripts, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation. Each student has an advisory committee of three faculty members, one of whom acts as the student's academic advisor. Academic advisors supervise thesis research, approve programs of study, and administer final examinations.

  9. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Location

    Worcester, MA

    Tuition

    $31321

    Based in Massachusetts, WPI offers an online master's in electrical engineering. Students learn from expert electrical and computer engineering faculty members who provide skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to succeed in the field. Students tailor the degree to their interests and career goals. Students can build a program that encompasses several electrical and computer engineering areas, or they can study one specialized topic, such as digital systems design, systems engineering, or power systems engineering.

    The 30-credit curriculum explores topics including analysis of probabilistic signals and systems, digital signal processing, computer architecture, and computer and network security. Part-time students typically complete the program in three to five years.

    Applicants must have at least 21 credits in electrical and computer engineering, at least nine credits in computer science, physics, engineering, or mathematics, and a relevant bachelor's degree. Most online courses are asynchronous, so students can complete coursework at their convenience. Online courses utilize videoconferencing, digital recordings, virtual chat, simulations, and discussion boards.

  10. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $10904

    Located in Atlanta, Georgia Tech is home to the largest electrical engineering graduate program in the United States. The fully online master's degree in electrical engineering program offers 11 specializations and 19 research facilities.

    Students choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. The thesis option requires 12 hours of coursework; two classes must be in one or two technical areas of interest. Thesis students complete a 12-hour thesis course and a course covering responsible conduct of research. Non-thesis students complete nine hours of coursework in one or two technical areas of interest, nine hours outside the technical areas of interest, and 12 hours of elective courses.

    Students must complete the program within six consecutive years and must maintain a 2.7 GPA. Students may apply only courses completed with a grade of C or better toward degree requirements. Online students can complete coursework synchronously, asynchronously, or using a combination of both. Distance learners have access to instructors through email, phone, and fax.

Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Careers

Graduates of electrical engineering master's programs may work in research and development, nanotechnology, robotics, consulting, semiconductors, navigation systems, biomedical systems, physics, circuit design, aviation, or technical sales. In later career stages, some graduates advance to supervisory positions and become licensed as professional engineers, which offers them greater independence in decision making.

  1. Electrical engineer: Electrical engineers design and implement components for electrical equipment, instruments, facilities, systems, or products, such as motors or radar systems. They research, develop, test, and improve electrical devices, prepare technical specifications and drawings to meet established standards, and supervise installation, maintenance, manufacturing, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure proper compliance with regulations.
    • Median Annual Salary: $96,270
    • Projected Growth Rate: 7%
  2. Sales engineer: Technical sales engineers demonstrate and sell technically complex products and services to businesses, such as tools, devices, and machinery. They use their engineering expertise and extensive, detailed knowledge of their products' technical specifications to research and identify potential clients, understand their needs, and present products in persuasive, convincing ways.
    • Median Annual Salary: $100,000
    • Projected Growth Rate: 7%
  3. Engineering manager: Engineering managers plan, implement, and maintain procedures for the design, development, installation, testing, and maintenance of electrical equipment. They direct engineering teams, ensuring that projects are properly staffed and production plans are coordinated. They review and improve manufacturing processes, prepare budgets, and consult with marketing and production to develop product specifications.
    • Median Annual Salary: $134,730
    • Projected Growth Rate: 6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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