Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

A master's in computer engineering can help you write your own career ticket. These schools offer the best online programs out there.
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Updated on March 22, 2024
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Best Online Master's Degree Programs in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers develop and build computer systems, which means they play a crucial role in nearly every industry, from auto manufacturing to medicine to cybersecurity.

Computer engineers tend to enjoy ample career opportunities and good pay. Computer hardware engineers, for example, earn median salaries of around $132,000, while engineers conducting computer and information research earn closer to $136,000.

Even higher salaries are possible for graduates of a master-level engineering program.

www.bestcolleges.com 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.

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Benefits of Pursuing a Computer Engineering Degree Online

Getting a master's degree is a great idea for many students, but finding a program that fits your budget and schedule can be tricky. Luckily, several great online computer engineering programs offer extra convenience, flexibility, and affordability to help you succeed.

  1. Online programs are more accessible: You don't have to move, live on campus, or travel for class. Learn wherever you are.
  2. Online programs tend to be more flexible: Asynchronous coursework — offered by many programs — allows you to move at your own pace and on your own schedule.
  3. Online programs can be more cost-effective: Not only can you save on tuition and on-campus fees, you can fit your studies around an existing job and keep earning a salary while pursuing a degree.
  4. Online programs offer career advancement: Online programs can help you network with colleagues from around the world, develop a marketable specialization, and qualify for better jobs.
  5. We've already curated all the best online programs for you: All you have to do is choose one that aligns with your academic and career goals.

Best Online Master's in Computer Engineering Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com 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.

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#1 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $430 (10 credits per term)
Out-of-State | $971 (10 credits per term)

Credits to Graduate: 30

TAMU's online M.Eng. in computer engineering offers you seven concentration options, including computer engineering systems, electromagnetics and microwaves, and energy and power. The 30-credit, nonthesis program also includes one or two report-based projects.

Most online classes run asynchronously, though some may include synchronous components. You'll need a bachelor's degree in engineering with a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for entry.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,578
Out-of-state
$35,378
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,885
Out-of-state
$19,592
Retention Rate
93%
Acceptance Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
72,530
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $372
Out-of-State | $1,027

Credits to Graduate: 30

In FAU's online MS in computer engineering program, you can pick between a thesis and a nonthesis track. Both options feature mandatory courses in computer architecture and design, software and programming, and systems and applications. You can also incorporate an independent study course into the program.

While most of your online classes run asynchronously, you may encounter synchronous sessions from time to time. For admission, you'll need a bachelor's in engineering or a related discipline and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,522
Out-of-state
$14,374
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,467
Out-of-state
$16,695
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
30,155
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Iowa State University

  • Ames, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $782
Out-of-State | $782

Credits to Graduate: 30

ISU's online M.Eng. in computer engineering helps prepare you for careers focusing on designing and developing computers and systems. The program features only coursework, with no thesis requirement. Many students take one synchronous online course at a time, and the median graduation timeline is 1.8 years. 

As an online student, you can access ISU's academic coaching and support services, career services, and mental health resources. To apply, you should have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,324
Out-of-state
$24,136
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,140
Out-of-state
$25,684
Retention Rate
88%
Acceptance Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
30,708
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Auburn University

  • Auburn, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $949
Out-of-State | $949

Credits to Graduate: 30

Auburn's online MS in electrical and computer engineering program includes a thesis or nonthesis option. Coursework covers topics like systems and robotics, wireless engineering, and magnetic resonance imaging. The school also offers a 33-credit online MS in computer science and software engineering. 

Classes run synchronously in sessions that last 10-15 weeks. For admission, you'll need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field. Regardless of your state of residency, online tuition is the same.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$30,240
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$30,240
Retention Rate
93%
Acceptance Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
31,526
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $833
Out-of-State | $833

Credits to Graduate: 30

If you enroll in FIU's online MS in computer engineering program with a concentration in network security, you can complete your degree in less than a year. Coursework is delivered over eight-week blocks and features asynchronous delivery for most classes. Some of the topics the program covers include cybersecurity, digital forensics, and networking. 

After graduation, you may also qualify for several professional certifications. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in a relevant field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,912
Out-of-state
$21,393
Retention Rate
90%
Acceptance Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
56,664
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#6 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Missouri University of Science and Technology

  • Rolla, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,200
Out-of-State | $1,200

Credits to Graduate: 30

Missouri S&T's online MS in computer engineering features four emphasis options, including computational intelligence, computer architecture, integrated circuits, and networking. You can also opt for a thesis or nonthesis pathway.

At Missouri S&T, you'll take 1-2 asynchronous courses each semester, allowing you to graduate within three years. The same tuition rate applies to all online students, no matter their state of residency. You'll need an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.3 GPA to qualify for this program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,960
Out-of-state
$29,550
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,452
Out-of-state
$29,558
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
7,241
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

University of New Mexico

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $533
Out-of-State | $533

Credits to Graduate: 31

UNM's online MS in computer engineering program features a specialization in the Internet of Things. You can choose between a thesis and nonthesis option, and core coursework in this track covers topics in machine learning and advanced networking. The program also offers five start dates a year.

The online classes at UNM run synchronously and asynchronously and are delivered through accelerated eight-week sessions. You'll need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,605
Out-of-state
$23,942
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,050
Out-of-state
$19,422
Retention Rate
68%
Acceptance Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
22,139
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#8 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Hoboken, NJ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,864
Out-of-State | $1,864

Credits to Graduate: 30

Stevens' online M.Eng. in computer engineering features four concentration options, including software and data engineering, networks and security, artificial intelligence, and embedded systems. Core courses go over VLSI design, modeling and optimization, and applied machine learning. 

Online master's programs at Stevens include a combination of asynchronous and synchronous delivery modes. This program follows a semester schedule and offers three start dates each year. For admission, you'll need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$54,780
Out-of-state
$54,780
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$38,076
Out-of-state
$38,076
Retention Rate
93%
Acceptance Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
8,287
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#9 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

  • Raleigh, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $553
Out-of-State | $1,663

Credits to Graduate: 30

NCSU's online MS in computer engineering is a coursework-only program with no thesis or on-campus requirements. You'll study computer architecture and VLSI systems and complete a comprehensive written exam at the end of the program. 

Most online courses run asynchronously, and you'll complete one or two courses each semester. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in computer or electrical engineering with a minimum 3.25 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,535
Out-of-state
$27,320
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,095
Out-of-state
$27,082
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
47%
Students Enrolled
36,831
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#10 Top 10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • Dearborn, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $909
Out-of-State | $1,136

Credits to Graduate: 30

UM-Dearborn's online MSE in computer engineering gives you four specializations to choose from: networks and communications, intelligent systems, multimedia engineering, and computer architecture and design. You'll also complete classes in other engineering disciplines as part of the curriculum.

The program uses a combination of asynchronous and synchronous sessions to give you added flexibility and ample interaction opportunities with your peers and professors. To qualify for entry into this program, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer or electrical engineering with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,416
Out-of-state
$27,648
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,110
Out-of-state
$25,152
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
8,331
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Computer Engineering Degree?

Career Outlook

Naturally, many graduates of online master's in computer engineering programs become computer hardware engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these workers earned median annual salaries of more than $132,000 in May 2022. Professionals with graduate-level computer engineering skills are especially in demand in industries like scientific research and development, medicine and healthcare services, and electronics.

Other lucrative careers for computer engineering grads include computer scientists and computer information systems managers, which have projected job growths of 23% and 15%, respectively, from 2022-2032 (BLS).

Career Paths

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers develop and design the many components of computer systems. Parts include circuit boards, routers, processors, and memory storage units. While a computer engineering or computer science bachelor's degree is acceptable for entry-level jobs, larger companies may prefer candidates with a master's in computer engineering, a master's in a similar technical field, or an MBA concentrated in IT.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022)
$132,360

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists develop new computer languages and innovate new technologies like robotics, machine learning systems, and cloud computing. Most hold at least a master's degree in computer engineering or a related field.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022)
$136,620

Electrical or Electronics Engineer

Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electrical equipment like motors, navigation systems, portable music players, and GPS devices. A master's degree may qualify professionals for senior roles in the field.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022)
$104,610

Computer Network Architect

Sometimes called network engineers, computer network architects develop and build networks to facilitate computerized data (like intranets, local area networks, and wide area networks). Many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022)
$126,900

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Also known as IT managers or IT project managers, computer and information systems managers guide the computer-related affairs of an entire organization. They recommend and implement software, hardware, and technology solutions. Candidates with a master's degree may qualify for high-level jobs such as chief information officer and chief technology officer.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022)
$164,070

Is An Online Master's in Computer Engineering Worth It?

We asked people who got their master's degree in computer engineering whether it was worth it. Here's what they told us.

“As a cybersecurity expert, I wholeheartedly recommend pursuing a master's in computer engineering. It provides a deep understanding of complex cybersecurity concepts and prepares you to tackle the sophisticated threats prevalent in today's digital landscape. It's a strategic investment that can elevate your career.”

Joseph Harisson, CEO of IT Companies Network

“My master's degree in computer engineering was a growth spurt for my mind. Picture yourself tackling brain-bending challenges while forming bonds that last a lifetime. Professors become mentors; classmates become career allies. Afterwards, having that degree is like having a golden ticket — it's a symbol of dedication and expertise that sets you apart on the job market.”

Karina Newman, Owner, ibuyers.app

“I completed my master's degree immediately after my undergraduate studies, and I wish I had taken a few years to work first. That experience could have provided valuable insights into my career preferences. At the same time, my master's program exposed me to fascinating areas of engineering like cryptography, machine learning, security, and controls, which I wouldn't have encountered in my job.”

Rahul Kumar Verma, Senior Software Engineer at BrainerHub Solutions

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program?

Cost

Costs vary when it comes to an online master's in computer engineering. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average graduate tuition and fees during the 2021-2022 academic year was $12,596 annually at public institutions and $28,017 annually at private institutions. Traditional on-campus programs often assign tuition rates based on your state of residence, while the cost of online tuition may be the same for all students.

Program Format

Online programs are often ideal for students seeking more flexible learning options. Schools may deliver online courses through synchronous or asynchronous methods. Additionally, online programs also commonly offer full-time, part-time, and accelerated options.

Location

Even as an online student, you may want to take advantage of hybrid courses or campus services, so consider whether proximity to your school is important to you. The location of your school may also impact your career options. Building a local network and securing local internships can help you land a job.

Accreditation

Be sure to pick an accredited college or university — accreditation indicates you'll receive quality training. It can also signal to future employers that you are sufficiently qualified. In addition to institutional accreditation, some graduate engineering programs are accredited by ABET.

Student Support

Student support services can be critical to academic success, particularly for online learners. Top programs offer diverse support through tutoring, tech support, career development, alum connections, internships, and mentorships.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program?

An online master's in computer engineering should prepare you for advanced careers in computer science and IT.

Schools commonly offer this program as a master of science (MS) or a master of engineering (M.Eng). Some may also offer computer engineering as a specialization within an electronics or electrical engineering program.

Graduate-level computer engineering program requirements typically include:

  • Around 30 credits of coursework, including concentration courses
  • A field component
  • An independent research/capstone project or thesis
Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program Overview
Concentration Description Careers
Optics and Photonics This concentration involves the study of light, which is integral in telecommunications, information processing, and photonic computing.
  • Photonics engineer
  • Senior optics research scientist
Communications and Networking This option prepares students to design, test, and maintain data transfer systems.
  • Network engineer
  • Wireless communications specialist
Electronics and the Solid State Coursework in this concentration prepares students to design and work with solid-state technology.
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Solid-state development engineer
Signal Processing Students pursuing this concentration learn how to apply the fundamentals of signal processing to many subfields, including audio signal processing, digital signal processing, and wireless communication.
  • Embedded systems engineer
  • Radar signal processing engineer
Systems and Control This concentration provides in-depth instruction on topics like applied Kalman filtering, intelligent algorithms, and time series analysis.
  • Senior control systems engineer
  • Assistant chief engineer

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Computer Engineering?

Web Programming

This course delves into the advanced programming of web applications. Examples include relational databases, virtual file systems, and client-server architecture. Students build skills in tools like SQL, HTML, and XML.

Electronic Materials

Computer engineers need a comprehensive understanding of the electronic components used to build computers. This course explores material types and their electrical, optical, thermal, and mechanical characteristics.

Computer Architecture

Computer engineering professionals must keep up with the latest technological innovations and master the core elements of contemporary computers. These components include cache memory, control circuits, and analog-to-digital conversion systems.

Circuit Design

Designing circuits is a critical part of many computer engineering professions. Computer engineers need expert knowledge of digital integrated circuits to build central processing units and motherboards. This course covers gain and bias considerations, frequency response, chip layout, and transistor design.

Final Project or Thesis

Most master's in computer engineering culminate in a capstone (for nonthesis programs) or a thesis requirement. Thesis and nonthesis programs typically include graduate-level research in a specialization of computer engineering, leading to a final project. To graduate, students must present their final project or defend their thesis during their final semester.

What Are the Admission Requirements for An Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program?

Nearly all master's-level computer engineering programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree, often in computer engineering or a related subject. Some programs accept majors in any field, so long as applicants have completed the computer science or computer engineering prerequisite coursework required for graduate admission.

Application

Prospective students must complete a formal application to verify their GPA and academic and professional experience. Applications may also outline a candidate's eligibility for financial aid based on their state of residence. Most colleges still accept applications by mail, though online applications are generally preferred by both schools and students.

Test Scores

Master's programs in computer engineering commonly request Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, though some online programs do not include this application requirement. The minimum required scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the GRE vary between schools. Admissions officers may use standardized test scores to assess a student's readiness for graduate-level computer science programs.

Letters of Recommendation

Online computer engineering programs commonly ask for several letters of recommendation. Students should seek out letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors, advisors or mentors, and former employers.

Resume and Work Experience

Admissions officers may expect graduate-level applicants to possess some work experience. Thus, students should highlight relevant work experience in computer engineering or a related field. They should also include any professional training or certifications they hold, as well as exceptional soft skills related to communication, problem-solving, and project management.

Essays

Essays help applicants set their intentions for a master's in computer engineering program and express their professional goals in their own words. Admissions officers seek insight into each student's reasons for applying to a particular program through an applicant's personal statement. Students can also showcase their exceptional writing skills in an admission essay.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts are required when applying to a master's degree program. Transcripts help admissions officers verify that applicants meet the necessary requirements, including completing a bachelor's degree and computer science prerequisites.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Programs in Computer Engineering

How hard is computer engineering?

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Computer engineering is often regarded as a tough discipline because it marries the foundational curriculum of computer science with the basics of electrical engineering. That said, it also tends to be a satisfying program for STEM-inclined students who enjoy hands-on work and are motivated to solve challenging problems and puzzles.

Are computer engineering graduates in demand?

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Yes. Computer and IT occupations are generally high-paying, high-growth careers. The BLS projects much faster than average job growth for computer and IT jobs from 2022-2032 — a field that includes a variety of prospects for experienced computer engineers.

Specifically, the BLS projects that jobs for computer hardware engineers will grow by 5% from 2022-2032. Jobs for computer scientists are projected to grow by a whopping 23% during the same period.

How much money can I make with a master's in computer engineering?

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Salaries for computer engineers can start at more than $100,000 — especially for workers in the fields of computer network architecture and database administration. However, individual incomes vary depending on a worker's job title, experience, and location.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in computer engineering?

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With a median annual salary of more than $164,070, computer and information systems managers earn some of the highest wages among graduates of a master's in computer engineering program.

Master's degree-holders may also qualify for senior roles in other IT occupations, potentially leading to higher salaries and additional benefits. Large companies may offer especially high salaries to chief executives like chief information or chief technology officers, provided these professionals possess engineering and management experience.


Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed March 12, 2024.