Best Online Master’s in Electrical Engineering Programs of 2022

Advanced electrical engineering leadership requires deep and broad knowledge. Learn how an online master's in electrical engineering can help.

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by Doug Wintemute

Published on June 14, 2022 · Updated on July 29, 2022

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Electrical engineers design and maintain the electrical systems that play a large role in our homes, jobs, and society. With a two-year master's in electrical engineering, electrical engineers can pursue some of the most important and desirable positions in this essential field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7% growth in electrical engineering between 2020 and 2030, about equal to the rate of 8% for all occupations. Electrical engineers also earned median annual wages of $101,780 in May 2021, more than twice the median annual wages for all occupations.

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The graduate school decision can be a difficult one to make, but this guide can help ease some of the challenges therein. This page highlights the electrical engineering discipline and explores the admissions process and postgraduate potential. It also lists the best online master's in electrical engineering programs from the top online schools.

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

An online master's in electrical engineering may look quite different depending on the school and the program. Usually, the programs feature 30-45 credits and take students two years to complete. They may feature extensive research and a thesis requirement or offer more technical training and have a practicum requirement.

Often the program differences are the result of different degree types. Schools may award an MS or master of engineering (M.Eng.). The former leads to more analytical training and research-based careers, and the latter provides leadership and career-focused training.

While both degree types can lead to the same careers, their training differences may help prospective students choose between them. For example, the course-based M.Eng. provides more targeted training, which might appeal to students who want a more straightforward educational journey. MS programs, conversely, provide more freedom for students to express themselves and explore their study interests.

Finally, when preparing for graduate school, prospective students should think about their ideal concentrations. Many master's in electrical engineering programs offer specialization options, which can help learners direct the focus of their studies and future careers. Some popular concentrations include communication, signal processing, as well as bioelectrical, systems, and control.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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

Communication Systems

This course provides students with an understanding of communication networks and systems. The training covers topics in coding, signal detection, and information theory.

Power System Protection

Students in this course learn how to protect power systems through fault analysis, calculation of line parameters, and stability studies. In addition to the practical examinations, learners look at theoretical discussions on this topic.

Machine Learning

In this course, students learn the leading ideas, concepts, and techniques for machine learning in electrical engineering. They look at ways engineers can use machine learning for data analysis, predictive purposes, and improving system performances.

Programmable Logic Controllers

This course covers the theory of programmable logic controllers and their applications. Students learn how to program the algorithms used to interact with motors, sensors, and systems.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Program?

The admission requirements for an online master's in electrical engineering usually include a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or a related discipline. Competitive programs may require specific course prerequisites or a minimum GPA from applicants.

As per our graduate admissions guide, online and on-campus admission requirements usually look the same. Online learners, however, do need to meet the technological requirements of the program.

Application

The college application features many components that can differ with each school. Prospective students can apply directly to their school and program, or use one of the participating college application systems. These systems make it easier to apply, particularly when applying to multiple schools at once.

Test Scores

Standardized tests, such as the GRE and the GMAT, provide schools with more information to help choose between applicants. While many schools have offered test waivers in light of the COVID-19 situation, students can usually still submit their scores for consideration. GRE prep courses can help them boost their scores and their admission chances.

Letters of Recommendation

At the graduate level, schools usually request 2-3 letters of recommendation from prospective students. These letters typically come from former teachers and employers in relevant fields and address the applicant's previous work and potential. Candidates can ask for guidance from admission offices for how these recommendation letters should be structured if needed.

Resume and Work Experience

The purpose of the college application resume is usually to provide more information about the prospective student's professional endeavors and skills. However, some programs may require candidates to have a minimum amount of experience. Schools may even award credit for previous relevant experience.

Essays

Grad school essays allow learners to showcase their writing ability and provide more information about themselves in their applications. These essays may highlight personal experiences, answer specific questions relevant to the program, or discuss the applicant's study and research interests.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts should be included in every college application. Transcripts provide schools with information about the prospective student's bachelor's degree, GPA, and prerequisites. As per our transfer guide, they also help schools award transfer credit.

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

Career Outlook

While growth has slowed or declined for engineers in manufacturing and utilities industries, technological innovation may keep electrical engineers in demand for the foreseeable future. The BLS projects the addition of more than 12,700 new electrical engineers between 2020 and 2030, plus more than 20,000 annual openings on average to cover standard turnover.

In May 2021, electrical engineers earned median annual wages of $101,780, considerably higher than the median annual wage of $45,760 for all occupations. Equipped with graduate-level training and leadership skills, engineers may gain access to some of the highest-level positions and wages within this field.

Depending on their training and experience, electrical engineers can also apply their skills to other engineering fields, such as computer, mechanical, and aerospace engineering. The BLS projects the addition of nearly 150,000 new engineers and architects between 2020 and 2030.

Discover what paths an online master's in electrical engineering can open for you. Learn more about STEM careers.

Career Paths

Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers design and develop electrical equipment and devices. They must adhere to electrical codes and safety regulations when designing, maintaining, or improving electrical work. They can work in transportation, telecommunications, or power transmission industries. These engineers can also specialize in power generation, electric motors, communication systems, or navigation systems.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $101,780

Engineering Manager

Engineering managers oversee the engineering activities for organizations. They help develop and propose the plans and budgets for projects, hire staff and delegate tasks, and monitor and evaluate progress and performances. Engineering managers communicate and deal with contractors, vendors, and project stakeholders.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $152,350

Health and Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers work in many industries to protect people from products, systems, and processes. They may test products to ensure they operate properly and verify they follow health and safety protocols and guidelines. These engineers also develop and implement new processes and procedures for organizations and engineers to follow.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $99,040

Computer Engineer

Computer hardware engineers design and build devices and components for computer systems. They identify hardware needs and areas for improvement or add in computer hardware to manufactured products. Electrical and computer engineering often overlaps in the areas of computer processors, communication, and circuit boards.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $128,170

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers design and develop devices and equipment for medical and healthcare purposes. They may look to improve biological processes and parts using technology and engineering processes or create products that support healthcare professionals or improve health outcomes. Electrical engineers may apply their knowledge of electronics, electromagnetic waves, signal processing, and computing devices to this field.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $97,410

Electrical Engineering Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Not all graduates want to enter the workforce immediately after their master's in electrical engineering. For those who wish to pursue postsecondary teaching roles or research and development positions, for example, continuing education is a viable option. Programs like a doctorate in electrical engineering or a related discipline can take them in this direction.

Other possibilities include doctorates like organizational leadership. Combined with their engineering background, students in this field can pursue advanced management positions and careers working with management practices.

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

Cost

Most students use cost as a comparative tool when choosing a graduate program. In addition to comparing online and on-campus program costs, prospective learners should compare the cost of private and public schools and in-state and out-of-state programs. The true program cost can help highlight how their studies alter income as well.

Program Format

Every student has an ideal program format and finding it can make a big difference in their learning experience. Prospective online students should start by comparing synchronous and asynchronous learning. They might also compare the difference between full-time and part-time students and even consider accelerated programs.

Location

Even before choosing between online and on-campus studies, prospective students can think about location. School location can impact both online and on-campus learners because online learners may also need to attend classes throughout the year. Not all online programs are entirely online, and even entirely online programs may have on-campus residency requirements.

Accreditation

As per our online college accreditation guide, accreditation is one of the most important elements in choosing a school and program. Institutional accreditation affects financial aid availability, licensure, and postgraduate opportunities. However, an online master's in electrical engineering may not require programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. ABET generally accredits engineering programs at the bachelor's degree level rather than master's

Student Support

Prospective students should always review the student services provided by the school and the program. Many colleges provide the same online student services as they do on campus, including academic support and wellness resources. Degree-seekers can also look at the career and postgraduate support offered, such as career services, mentorship programs, and college internships.

2022 Best Accredited Online Master's in Electrical Engineering Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

School Information
Location Raleigh, North Carolina
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $505
Out of State | $1,505

Credits to Graduate
31

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Board for Engineering and Engineering Technology (ABET)

NC State's online master's in electrical engineering program focuses on nanoelectronics, power signals, and signal processing. 

Students work with an advisor to develop an individual plan of study that demonstrates breadth and depth in the subject. Degree-seekers take seven courses in electrical engineering. Learners may take three courses from another discipline.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in electrical or computer engineering, a minimum 3.25 GPA, and satisfactory GRE scores for full admission.

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#2

New Mexico State University-Main Campus

School Information
Location Las Cruces, New Mexico
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $411
Out of State | $411

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Board for Engineering and Engineering Technology (ABET)

NMSU offers an online master's in electrical engineering program with two tracks. Learners can complete a thesis or a technical report.

The thesis pathway requires 24 credits of coursework and six credits of research. The technical report pathway comprises 27 credits of coursework and a three-credit report.

Courses cover topics including electromagnetics, photonics, and digital signal processing. Regular admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#3

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

School Information
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Admission Rate 21%
Graduation Rate 90%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,100
Out of State | $1,100

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Georgia Tech's online master's in electrical engineering program prepares learners to solve complex engineering problems. Students take courses in nanophotonics, adaptive control, power electronic circuits, and advanced digital systems tests.

The degree provides learning options in computer engineering, electrical energy/systems and controls, and telecommunications and digital signal processing. Students must complete the program within six consecutive years and maintain at least a 2.7 GPA.

Applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores.

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#4

University of Colorado Boulder

School Information
Location Boulder, Colorado
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 69%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $667
Out of State | $667

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

CU Boulder offers an online master's in electrical engineering in partnership with Coursera. Each student completes several specializations of 3-4 courses each.

Specializations cover specific topics such as embedded systems, power electronics, and photonics and optics. Each course confers 0.6-1.2 credits.

The program features performance-based admission. CU Boulder does not request transcripts or test scores. Instead, applicants complete for-credit courses to demonstrate academic potential.

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#5

University of Utah

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 70%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $610
Out of State | $1,721

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

The U offers an online master's in electrical engineering program focused on innovation and solution-oriented design. Students take 10 classes and can graduate in two years.

Courses explore optics for energy, power systems analysis, fundamentals of micromachining processes, and physics of nanoelectronics and related devices. Students can complete a six-credit special study research project.

The U waives the GRE requirement for applicants with a bachelor's degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Engineering Technology.

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#6

University of North Dakota

School Information
Location Grand Forks, North Dakota
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $798
Out of State | $798

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Students in UND's online master's in electrical engineering program conduct cross-disciplinary research in energy, chemistry, aerospace, and medicine. The two-year program offers a course-based master of engineering track and a research-focused MS option.

Students can gain skills in C++, Java, electronics, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and Python. Graduation requires a minimum 3.0 GPA in all coursework.

The program does not require GRE scores from applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from a program with Accreditation Board for Engineering and Engineering Technology accreditation.

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#7

Villanova University

School Information
Location Villanova, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 28%
Graduation Rate 90%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,505
Out of State | $1,505

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

A private school in Pennsylvania, Villanova offers an online master's in electrical engineering with five concentration areas.

Learners can study electronic circuits and systems; electric energy systems; microwave, antenna, and photonic systems; signal processing and communications; or system dynamics and controls.

Currently, the program enrolls 42 students, 19% of whom are female. Admission criteria vary according to undergraduate major. All applicants must have completed an extensive series of prerequisite courses, including calculus III, engineering electromagnetics, and signal processing.

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#8

University of Idaho

School Information
Location Moscow, Idaho
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $812
Out of State | $812

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

U of I offers two online master's in electrical engineering programs: a non-thesis master of engineering and an MS in electrical engineering.

Both programs explore microwaves, supercomputing, network synthesis, digital systems design, and large-scale integrated circuits. Graduates meet partial requirements for professional engineering licensure.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and proficiencies in chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

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#9

George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,150
Out of State | $1,150

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

GW offers an online master's in electrical engineering program. Learners complete 10 courses during 2-2.5 years.

Six core courses include stochastic processes in engineering, computational techniques in electrical engineering, and linear systems theory. Students choose four courses from one of two focus areas: electrical power and energy or communication and networks.

For regular admission, applicants need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a closely related field and a minimum 2.7 GPA.

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#10

Oklahoma Christian University

School Information
Location Edmond, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $585
Out of State | $585

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Institution Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

OC's online master's in electrical engineering program emphasizes ethics, social responsibility, and Christian ethics.

The curriculum includes 18 core credits and 12 elective credits. Required courses include foundations of technology ethics and failure analysis of individual systems. Elective options cover real-time signal processing and vibration theory and application. The program culminates with a capstone.

OC waives the GRE requirement for applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Electrical Engineering Programs

Is a master's in electrical engineering worth it?

Yes. A master's in electrical engineering has plenty of value to aspiring engineers. The degree prepares graduates for the electrical engineering field and may qualify them for higher-level positions and salaries than bachelor's graduates. The electrical engineering foundation allows graduates to move into overlapping engineering disciplines as well.

Students in an online master's in engineering also benefit from the value of an online degree. Online learning provides more training opportunities to learners and features more flexible scheduling. For many working professionals, online learning is the only study option.

What can I do with a master's in electrical engineering?

Most graduates with a master's in electrical engineering enter the workforce as electrical engineers after they finish school. Their master's degrees may help them bypass entry-level positions, leading instead to senior-level positions.

Graduates can apply their electrical engineering skills to other engineering disciplines or even move into a leadership position in business or another industry if they wish. Continuing education is another option. Graduates can pursue a doctoral degree in engineering or look into an interdisciplinary field, such as organizational leadership.

Are electrical engineering graduates in demand?

Yes. Electrical engineering graduates are in demand because of steady development of new technologies and technological advances requiring their expertise. The BLS projects 7% growth for electrical engineers between 2020 and 2030, working out to nearly 13,000 new professionals.

While this is about the same projected growth as for all occupations, master's graduates have advanced and specialized training that should make them desirable candidates. These professionals can also access management and health and safety engineering positions. The BLS projects the addition of 8,000 and 1,500 new professionals in these fields, respectively.

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

The wages available to graduates with a master's in electrical engineering depend on their position, location, employer, and industry. The median annual wage in May 2021 for electrical engineers was $101,780, as per the BLS. The top 10% of professionals in the field made more than $162,930.

In terms of industries, research and development paid the highest median annual wages at $125,080. Semiconductor and electronic components manufacturing paid $107,190, instruments manufacturing paid $102,110, and electric power generation paid $101,780.

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

The highest-paying position for graduates with a master's in electrical engineering is in engineering management. Professionals in this field earned median annual wages of $152,350 in May 2021, as per the BLS. The top 10% of managers earned more than $208,000.

Computer hardware engineers also made very high wages in May 2021. According to the BLS, they earned $128,170. The top 10% in the field made more than $208,000 as well.

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