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Online Electrical Engineering (EE) Degree Programs

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Admissions Requirements for Online Electrical Engineering Programs

Not surprisingly, the admissions criteria among electrical engineering (EE) programs vary by institution, degree desired, and other factors. That said, the process is similar for both on-campus and online schools and committees generally ask aspiring students to submit the following:

  • Online application (NOTE: some engineering programs require separate applications to the university and to the engineering department)
  • Official transcripts detailing one’s previous academic experience
  • Proof of prerequisite coursework (e.g., calculus, chemistry, physics)
  • Competitive GPA (e.g., >3.0)
  • Test scores (e.g., SAT for bachelor’s degree programs; GRE for MS programs; TOEFL for ESL students)
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or others who can speak to a candidate’s relevant abilities
  • Resume or CV (particularly for graduate-level programs and certificates)
  • Application fee

It’s worth noting that some schools offer an early admissions deadline in November, as well as a regular admissions deadline the following December or January. Final decisions are typically mailed to students sometime between March and May with a seat deposit required at some point shortly after the summer begins.

Additionally, some schools such as Iowa State University offer two start dates per year: one in August or September and one in late January. Generally, students pursuing an online degree must adhere to the same schedule as the rest of the on-campus pupils. Because specifics vary by institution, be sure to check school admissions pages for more information about requirements.

List of Online Electrical Engineering Programs

Filter by state :
DEGREE :
School City State Bachelor's Master's Doctoral Grad Cert Grads (2017)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign

IL 461
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn

MI 111
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis

MN 280
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

Durham

NH 33
University of North Dakota

Grand Forks

ND 47
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

Pittsburgh

PA 111
University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia

SC 76
University of Southern California

Los Angeles

CA 558
University of Utah

Salt Lake City

UT 124
University of Virginia-Main Campus

Charlottesville

VA 73
Villanova University

Villanova

PA 42
Washington State University

Pullman

WA 144
Western New England University

Springfield

MA 33
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester

MA 227
American Public University System

Charles Town

WV 1
Arizona State University-Skysong

Scottsdale

AZ 21
Arizona State University-Tempe

Tempe

AZ 428
Auburn University

Auburn

AL 126
Capitol Technology University

Laurel

MD 22
Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh

PA 403
Clarkson University

Potsdam

NY 60
Clemson University

Clemson

SC 138
Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Fort Collins

CO 115
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

CO 17
Columbia University in the City of New York

New York

NY 256
DeVry University-Illinois

Chicago

IL 4
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus

Teaneck

NJ 95
Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago

IL 239
Iowa State University

Ames

IA 192
Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore

MD 181
Kansas State University

Manhattan

KS 89
Michigan Technological University

Houghton

MI 237
Mississippi State University

Mississippi State

MS 61
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Rolla

MO 191
National University

La Jolla

CA 8
Naval Postgraduate School

Monterey

CA 82
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark

NJ 240
New Me1ico State University-Main Campus

Las Cruces

NM 84
New York University

New York

NY 273
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh

NC 368
Ohio University-Main Campus

Athens

OH 64
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Stillwater

OK 83
Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette

IN 386
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester

NY 233
Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud

MN 21
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Carbondale

IL 93
Southern Methodist University

Dallas

T1 76
Stanford University

Stanford

CA 297
Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken

NJ 210
Stony Brook University

Stony Brook

NY 87
Te1as A & M University-College Station

College Station

T1 307
The University of Te1as at Arlington

Arlington

T1 270
University of Arkansas

Fayetteville

AR 74
University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder

CO 138
University of Florida

Gainesville

FL 383
University of Idaho

Moscow

ID 73

Program Accreditation & State Authorization

Prior to enrolling in an online electrical engineering program, aspiring students are encouraged to verify its institutional and/or programmatic accreditation status.

Accreditation is a process verifying that a program or school has met baseline standards of quality in terms of its faculty, curricula, student outcomes, finances, and other measures. Graduating from an accredited program may be a prerequisite for certain certifications or to get admitted to more advanced degree programs.

For instance, the National Society of Professional Engineers awards professional licenses to only those engineers who have obtained a four-year degree from an accredited program. Of course, a professional license is not necessary to work as an engineer post-graduation; however, it is generally required in order to plan, prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, especially for government-funded projects.

For programmatic accreditation, the most prominent agency is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is known as the accrediting agency for engineering, computing, technology, and applied science degree programs in the United States. It comprises more than 30 member societies, one of which is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Prospective students should understand that accreditation is not a mandatory process; instead, schools must choose to undergo a voluntary peer-review, scrutinizing the quality of the program. While ABET-accredited programs may be the ideal, they focus mainly on bachelor’s level programs.

There are various other institutional accreditation agencies, which vary according to region. Above all, it’s important for a school or program to have achieved approval from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Some of these organizations include:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Finally, aspiring online students in electrical engineering are encouraged to verify a program’s state authorization status as well. Due to differing local legislation, a distance-based program based in one state may not be able to enroll students in other specific states. This information is typically available on program websites (e.g., University of Arizona) or can be requested from program coordinators.

All US states except for California participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which is a state-level voluntary compact for the provision of distance-based education. Prior to applying to any program, candidates are strongly encouraged to verify that they are eligible to enroll based on their state or country of residence.

Curriculum & Specializations

The curriculum for online electrical engineering programs varies by institution, but some of the courses at the master’s degree level may include:

  • Circuits and electronics
  • Optimal control
  • Digital spectral analysis
  • Fundamentals of microelectronics packaging
  • Power system control and operation
  • Digital systems and design
  • Wireless communications circuits
  • Propagation of radio waves in the atmosphere
  • Spread-spectrum communications
  • Semiconductor device theory
  • Next generation telecommunications
  • VLSI design
  • Computing
  • Time-frequency signal processing
  • Electron transport in nanostructures
  • Satellite communications systems
  • Error control coding
  • Fiber-optic communications systems
  • Electromagnetic fields and guided waves
  • DSP algorithms and software
  • Advanced silicon processing
  • Artificial neural computation
  • Linear systems: time domain and transform analysis
  • Electromagnetism
  • Multidimensional signal processing
  • Power systems analysis
  • Probability, random variables, and stochastic processes

Other courses are covered in the detailed degree descriptions below. Also, many programs offer the opportunity to specialize in a subfield of the discipline, particularly for the graduate-level degree programs. Some possible areas of focus include:

  • Embedded systems
  • Computer networks
  • Bioengineering, acoustics, and magnetic resonance engineering
  • Control systems
  • Electrophysics
  • Electronic design
  • Optics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Communication systems
  • Microelectronics/photonics
  • Electric power
  • Dynamics, robotics, and controls
  • Wireless health technology
  • Power and energy systems
  • Circuits
  • Remote sensing and space science
  • Wireless networks

Featured Online Electrical Engineering Schools

There are many accredited online electrical engineering degrees available from institutions throughout the country. Please note that due to the hands-on nature of electrical engineering fundamentals, a majority of the undergraduate programs in this field are offered on campus and the online programs are concentrated mainly at the graduate degree level. Here are 12 standout colleges with distance-based electrical engineering programs:

1Johns Hopkins University - Whiting School of Engineering

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Whiting School of Engineering provides an online master of science (MS) in electrical and computer engineering in two concentrations: photonics or communications and networking. Additionally, there are seven focus area tracks offered, including processing systems and control, RF and microwave engineering, computer engineering, communication and networking, electronics and the solid state, optics and photonics, and signal processing.

Johns Hopkins is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and recently added five new innovative labs. One of these, the Remote Laboratory, recently moved from the Dorsey Center to the Applied Physics Laboratory and focuses on helping distance-based students learn to use new instrumentation such as function generators, spectrum analyzers, and oscilloscopes.

JHU’s part-time online program comprises ten courses and must be completed within five years. The program generally costs $5,374 per course, but there are grants and scholarships available. Please note that there are two prerequisite classes for this program: 1) signals and systems, and 2) circuits, devices, and fields.

2University of Colorado, Boulder - College of Engineering and Applied Science

The University of Colorado at Boulder offers a 100 percent online master of science (MS) in electrical engineering, or MSEE, degree. Notably, CU’s Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (ECEE) Department was founded in the 1890s and its annual research budget is around $6M with prestigious grants from NASA, DARPA, the NSF, and other sources.

There are currently two online master’s tracks in electrical engineering: embedded systems engineering and power electronics. The school offers a wealth of research foci in addition to core coursework in embedded systems, power electronics, and photonics and optics, as well as instruction in control and communications, computer engineering, and RF and remote sensing. Each course lasts three to six weeks and is hosted on the dynamic Coursera platform. The online program costs $667 per credit-hour.

3University of Southern California - Viterbi School of Engineering

The University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering offers several online master’s (MS) degrees in electrical engineering, including specializations in computer engineering, computer networks, multimedia and creative technologies, and VLSI design, as well as a dual degree with an MS in engineering management.

USC’s Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is renowned for its outstanding faculty and research in cutting-edge fields such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer networks, control systems, bio-signal processing, adaptive and reconfigurable mixed signal integrated circuits, and photonics, among other areas.

This program is fully online through the school’s one-of-a-kind electronic course delivery network: DEN@Viterbi. This program typically takes two years to complete and there are full- and part-time completion options available. It costs $2,005 per credit.

4Arizona State University - Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering

The Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering provides an online master of science in engineering (MSE) in electrical engineering. There are several MSE focus areas available such as signal processing and communications, mixed-signal circuit design, physical electronics and photonics, and antennas and microwave circuits.

The 30-credit program requires ten classes and is taught by the same award-winning faculty as the on-campus program. Each class takes 15 weeks and this program costs $974 per credit-hour.

Notably, US News & World Report ranked ASU’s online graduate programs in engineering ninth in the nation.

5New Jersey Institute of Technology

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) based in Newark provides an online master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE) program. There are three concentrations available: 1) mechatronics, 2) power and energy systems, and 3) communications, signal processing, and microwaves.

This 30-credit program includes core instruction in linear systems and random signal analysis, as well as varied electives in areas such as wireless networks, power electronics, control systems components, renewable energy systems, real-time computer control systems, project management, and decision analysis, among others.

The school’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also provides a bridge program for applicants who need additional preparation in 1) signals and systems, and 2) random signals and noise. Tuition for a three-credit course is $3,303 for New Jersey residents and $3,846 for non-residents.

6Ohio University - Russ College of Engineering

The Ohio University Russ College of Engineering offers an online master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE) in six concentration tracks: autonomous unmanned vehicles, electrical engineering (general), communication and digital signal processing, computer engineering, electronic navigation systems, and micro nano devices and systems.

Foundational courses in this 36-credit-hour program provide instruction in engineering writing and computational tools for engineers. Other coursework varies by specialization. Please contact the Ohio University Bursar’s Office for a customized tuition assessment.

Graduates of Ohio University’s engineering programs have gone on to work at Apple, Boeing, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Intel, and other prestigious firms.

7North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University based in Raleigh has an online master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE). This 30-credit program does not require a thesis and is taught by the same exceptional faculty as the campus-based program.

The MSEE features instruction in photonics, communications and signal processing, and power electronics and systems, among other areas. The program requires ten graduate-level courses of which seven must be in electrical and computer engineering.

Please note that GRE scores and a 3.25 GPA are required for admission, and the program costs $738.56 per credit-hour.

8Penn State World Campus - College of Engineering

The Penn State World Campus offers and online master of engineering (MEng) in electrical engineering. This 30-credit program is 100 percent online and has three core courses: 1) linear systems: time domain and transform analysis, 2) probability, random variables, and stochastic processes, and 3) research projects.

Elective courses include communications systems, power systems analysis, linear control systems, topics in digital signal processing, and optimal control, among others. This program costs $930 per credit and can be completed in two years.

9Iowa State University - Engineering-LAS Online Learning

The Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) is based in Ames, IA and offers a fully online master of engineering (MEng) in electrical engineering. Students can specialize in communications and signal processing; electric power and energy systems; electromagnetics, microwave, and nondestructive evaluation; or systems and controls.

Classes in this 30-credit program include electromagnetic fields and waves; engineering acoustics; topics in electromagnetics; detection and estimation theory; and optimal control, among others. ISU boasts flexible starting dates and relatively affordable tuition at $627 per credit-hour, excluding additional delivery and technology fees.

10Kansas State University - K-State Global Campus

Electrical engineering graduate students at Kansas State University of Manhattan, KS may pursue an online master of science (MS) in electrical and computer engineering engineering, focusing on either electric power systems or communication and networking.

Courses in the 30-credit program include advanced systems theory; computer engineering methods for analysis, simulation, and design; applied probability theory and random processes; power system design; power quality; and engineering project management, among many others. Classes last 16 weeks for the fall and spring semesters and 12 weeks for the summer semester. This program costs $857.60 per credit-hour.

11Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School based in Monterrey, CA offers top-quality education to those with a US government affiliation such as military officers, government employees, and contracting employees of the Department of Defense. Students can pursue an ABET-accredited online master of science in electrical engineering (MSEE) or even a doctorate degree while conducting research through a cooperating laboratory.

Some of the past research areas offered in electrical engineering include electric ship power systems, military communication systems, communication systems, radar/EW systems, computer networking, power systems, and signals intelligence. Students can also design their own MSEE focus (e.g., electronic warfare and signal processing/communications). Classes are conducted via real-time video teleconferencing (VTC) and take three to five hours per week.

Please note that this school also has a distance-based master of science in engineering sciences with an electrical engineering concentration, the MSES(EE), and a master of engineering with an electrical engineering focus, the MEng(EE). Each course costs $3,200.

12University of Florida, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

At the University of Florida in Gainesville, graduate students can pursue an online master’s degree in electrical engineering with the option specialize in either communications and networking or electronic materials and semiconductors.

In as few as 24 months, students can complete their degree with instruction in areas such as VLSI circuits and technology; the foundations of digital signal processing; analog IC design; noise in linear systems; image processing and computer vision; and computer architecture. The UF EDGE program lectures are available both through DVDs or streaming (WEBCT/E-learning). UF’s online program costs $501.38 per credit-hour (FL residents) or $725.75 (non-residents).

The College of Engineering was the top-ranked school in Florida and among the top 25 in the nation according to US News & World Report.

Other Online Electrical Engineering Programs

In short, there is a wealth of distance-based electrical engineering programs from which to choose. Here is a list of additional ABET-accredited online programs at the bachelor’s level which may be of interest:

Campus Visitation in Online Electrical Engineering Programs

In some cases, prospective students may be required to visit the campus throughout the year, either to meet with an advisor or to turn in coursework to professors. In general, many highly-respected and accredited online engineering programs—particularly at the graduate-degree level—allow students to pursue a degree without ever visiting the campus.

Hands-on training may be completed through approved laboratories or in a person’s place of work. In short, it’s important to verify these requirements prior to enrollment to ensure eligibility and ease of access to instruction.

Influential Electrical Engineering Professors

For those considering an electrical engineering degree, there are many well-respected educators who teach online. The following electrical engineering professors are influential, well-published in prestigious journals, and have achieved the terminal degree in their discipline.

Venkataramana Ajjarapu, PhD - Iowa State University

Dr. Venkataramana Ajjarapu is the David C. Nicholas Professor of electrical engineering at Iowa State University. He has co-authored numerous publications and his core research areas include electric power; energy systems; wind and solar energy integration; power system security; and voltage stability. Additionally, he’s involved in strategic planning of energy infrastructure.

Dr. Keren Bergman, PhD - Columbia University

Dr. Keren Bergman is the Charles Batchelor professor and chair of electrical engineering at Columbia University. She also directs the Lightwave Research Lab, where she heads numerous research programs that focus on optical interconnection networks for advanced computing systems, data centers, optical packet switched routers, and other subjects. She received her PhD from MIT and is both an IEEE and Optical Society of America (OSA) fellow. She received the 2008 IBM Faculty Award and the 1997 CalTech President’s Award. Additionally, she’s the co-editor-in-chief of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking.

Degang Chen, PhD - Iowa State University

Dr. Degang Chen is the Jerry R. Junkins chair of electrical engineering at Iowa State University. His list of publications in high-impact journals is extensive and his core research areas include VLSI, systems and controls, and small-scale technology.

Roberto Cristi, PhD - Naval Postgraduate School

Dr. Roberto Cristi is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he teaches applied digital signal processing, image and video processing, and signals and systems, among other subjects. His current research areas include control systems, digital signal processing, and distributed learning and multimedia. His research and professional interests focus on adaptive optics; adaptive control and signal processing; compressive sensing; multirate digital signal processing and wireless communications; and web-based education.

Dr. Ralph Etienne-Cummings, PhD - Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Ralph Etienne-Cummings is a professor and chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University. He was the founding director of the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering, and has served as chairman of various IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Technical Committees. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed articles; 11 books (or chapters); and holds 10 patents (or applications) on his work. His research interests include computational sensors; computer vision; neuromorphic engineering; legged locomotion; and smart structures, among other areas of focus.

Robert M. Fox, PhD - University of Florida

Dr. Robert Fox is an associate professor of electrical engineering, as well as the associate chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Florida. His research focuses on analog integrated circuit design and electronics, and he has authored numerous publications in influential scholarly journals.

Don Gruenbacher, PhD - Kansas State University

Dr. Don Gruenbacher is the department head and associate professor of electrical engineering at Kansas State University. Along with his numerous publications in over 45 scholarly journals, he has received awards as an outstanding faculty member and teacher. His research focuses on computer networks, communications, and digital design. He’s also made notable contributions to Software Defined Networks, creating protocols for secure communications in systems such as smart grids.

Jack W. Judy, PhD - University of Florida

Dr. Jack Judy is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Florida, as well as the director of the Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technologies. He has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar award, NSF Career Award, and an Okawa Foundation Award. His primary research area is devices, and he states that he focuses on “the development of novel microscale and nanoscale systems technologies and their use in a wide variety of engineering, scientific, biological, and medical applications.”

Ashfaq A. Khokhar, PhD - Iowa State University

Dr. Ashfaq Khokhar serves as the Palmer department chair of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University. He formerly was a professor and director of graduate studies at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on context-aware wireless networks, computational biology, healthcare data mining, and other fields related to electrical engineering and communications. He has co-authored nine book chapters, contributed to 53 publications in archived journals, and written 158 conference papers. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Department of Homeland Security, among others, have funded his research.

Jelena Kovacevic, PhD - Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Jelena Kovacevic is the Hamerschlag University professor and head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also teaches biomedical engineering. Her recent research has focused on providing signal representation tools to be used primarily in communication and biomedical systems. Her scholarly interests also include multiresolution, wavelets, and frames. She’s a fellow of the IEEE and EUSIPCO, as well as the author of several books and popularly cited journal articles, including her oft-cited paper in the Journal of Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis.

Michael Lightner, PhD - University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Lightner is the chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also serves as the vice president for academic affairs. His research areas include computer engineering and VLSI/CAD. He’s the recipient of numerous awards such as the 2000 IEEE CAS Society Golden Jubilee Medal; the 2000 IEEE CAS Society Third Millennium Medal; and the Max S. Peters Faculty Service Award.

Medhat M. Morcos, PhD - Kansas State University

Dr. Medhat Morcos is a professor and distinguished scholar of electrical engineering at Kansas State University. Formerly an avionics engineer in the Egyptian Air Force, he retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He teaches courses on energy conversion, power electronics, power quality, and other subjects. His research interests include electric machines, power electronics, power quality, and artificial intelligence in power systems. He’s the recipient of numerous awards, including KSU’s 2012 Charles H. Scholer Outstanding Faculty Award, as well as seven Eta Kappa Nu Distinguished Faculty Awards.

Giovanna Oriti, PhD - Naval Postgraduate School

Dr. Giovanna Oriti is an associate professor within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. After graduating with honors from her PhD program in Italy, she worked at United Technology Research Center, where she developed power-converting topologies and control systems. She later started her own consulting business, developing models for Electromagnetic Interface (EMI) analysis, finally joining NPS in 2008. She has received numerous awards and has co-authored 40 papers in IEEE transactions or conference proceedings.

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