While each program varies in its requirements for admissions, there are enough commonalities to provide a loose checklist for potential applicants to online graduate level power systems engineering programs:
However, it bears repeating that every program's requirements are different. And, within those specific requirements, opportunities for exemption and substitution often exist. Applicants should carefully research the guidelines for each program they're interested in, and contact a program representative for further information.
University of Michigan, College of Engineering (Integrative Systems + Design)
Based at one of the top engineering schools in the nation, this online ESE (master of energy systems engineering) program has been designed by faculty spread throughout the University of Michigan's graduate programs—from the schools of business, architecture, urban planning, literature, public policy, and environment and sustainability—to present a holistic vision of how innovation can impact various fields.
All students start with a set of core classes that detail advanced energy solutions, policies, and infrastructure. Then they select from a block of engineering analysis classes with topics such as sustainable design, greenhouse gas control, battery systems, and modeling analysis of hybrid electric vehicles. Students may specialize in one of the following: energy generation, distribution and usage, transportation power, or sustainable chemical conversation. A final capstone project asks the student to apply their new knowledge to solve a real world problem with industry or government participation. In total, students complete 30 credits of classes, and this can be done entirely online campus, or exclusively online, or a combination of each.
Washington State University, Electric Power Engineering PSM
The WSU electric power engineering PSM (power science manager) master's degree combines an in-depth knowledge of advanced engineering with the managerial skills needed to implement solutions and lead in the industry. Students begin with three core engineering classes on power system analysis, high-voltage overhead transmission lines, and power system economics. Then, they choose power engineering electives (e.g., renewable energy sources, high-voltage engineering) and pair them with professional courses that range from law and finance to ethics and strategy. In total, students complete 27 credits of coursework and one three-credit internship. The program is entirely online, and no campus visits are required.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master of Science: Electrical Engineering
As one of the top online engineering programs in the nation, UW-Madison provides students with a technology-based curriculum that incorporates future-focused interdisciplinary courses like advanced automation, robotics, and computer control of machines and processes. In addition to the provided curriculum, students must choose between a final course option or thesis/project option. The full program consists of 30 credits, as well as one mandatory on-campus three-week summer lab.
UW-Madison is also home to WEMPEC (Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium), where the stated mission is "to be the lifelong hub of a worldwide network of engineers who are active in all facets of power electronics and electromechanical power conversion and their applications."
Michigan Tech, Electrical Engineering Power Systems
Michigan Tech's electrical engineering department boasts strong ties to both government and industry. Several faculty are on the editorial boards of premier academic journals, and departmental research is funded by entities such as the US Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and Intelligent Automation. In pursuing an electrical engineering power systems master's degree, students take courses in subjects such as power system dynamics, energy storage systems, transient analysis methods, and cybersecurity in automotive systems. In total, the program consists of 30 credits, 21 of which focus on electric power. The entire program may be completed exclusively online, with a customizable curriculum, and at a flexible pace.
University of Houston, Cullen College of Engineering
Students pursuing this industrial power systems specialization can benefit from the unique industrial and technological landscape of the Houston area, one of the world's energy capitals, while maintaining a global focus and a market-application mindset.
A set of core courses is complemented by electives that explore topics such as smart grid systems, high-voltage substation architecture, power system protection, and advanced power converters. The degree consists of 30 credits, 21 of which focus on power energy systems, and the remainder being selected from other programs. All students are required to attend an on-campus orientation, as well as take all exams on campus, but students living outside of Houston may work with their instructors to make special arrangements for proctored off-site testing.
University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering
One of the very best online engineering programs in the nation, USC's master of science in electrical engineering (electric power) uses a blended delivery model that offers online learners full access and engagement with the on-campus classroom. All students take required courses in power systems, power systems technology, power systems analysis and design, and sustainable infrastructure systems. Students then choose five elective courses, with at least one from each of the following three concentrations: transmission, distribution, and planning; high-voltage equipment and design; power system control and the smart grid.
The program totals 27 credits, with 12 of those coming from required courses, and the remaining 15 coming from approved electives. The program is completely online with the option to visit campus.
North Carolina State University, College of Engineering
North Carolina State University has been offering distance learning for engineering since 1978, and its online master's degree in electrical power systems engineering is rated among the top ten in the nation. Students interact fluidly and frequently with their instructors and peers through NC State's WolfWare website, with the goal being to prepare for the real-world applications of an advanced technical education.
Students must take five courses in electrical and computer engineering, three courses in the power engineering sub-specialization, and as the capstone component, two courses in professional skills development. The program consists of 30 credit-hours and requires neither a thesis nor any campus visits.
University of Arkansas, College of Engineering
The University of Arkansas's master's program with a focus in electric power engineering offers a top 50 online engineering program at an in-state tuition rate. Coming into the program with a working knowledge of electrical engineering, students specialize in power engineering topics and learn about future electric energy systems. Courses are offered in the design of advanced power distribution systems, electric power quality, nonlinear systems analysis and control, communication theory, and optimal control systems. The program consists of 30 credit-hours with thesis and non-thesis options available, and it can be completed exclusively online.
Dr. Petros A. Ioannou holds the A.V. Balakrishnan Chair at USC, where he serves as a professor of electrical engineering systems, aerospace and mechanical engineering, and industrial and systems engineering. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 1982. As a fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), he's co-authored eight books and over 300 research papers on controls, neural networks, nonlinear dynamical systems, and intelligent transportation systems. Notably, he's also a fellow of IFAC, IET, and AAAS. With a wide-ranging set of research interests and a plethora of awards to match, he has served and continues to serve on the editorial boards of multiple elite journals in the industry.
Dr. Anna Stefanopoulou is the William Clay Ford professor of manufacturing at the University of Michigan, where she serves on the Energy Systems Engineering Committee. She received her PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan in 1996. She has co-authored over 250 publications and holds 20 US patents on estimation and control of internal combustion engines and electrochemical processes such as fuel cells and batteries. A perennial keynote speaker, she's served on dozens of committees and received all manner of awards, including the recent Rackham Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, which is presented to a member of the faculty who supports their students "in intellectual, creative, scholarly, and professional growth, and foster[s] a culture of intellectual engagement in which they thrive."
Dr. Giri Venkataramanan is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at his doctoral alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as a faculty member in the power engineering program. Dr. Venkataramanan has been academically cited over 3,000 times in the last five years alone. Following what is, in his words, the same evolutionary pathway that developed the horseshoe, the water wheel, the windmill, and the steam engine, Dr. Venkataramanan’s work at the Wisconsin Energy Institute focuses on innovative methods of energy transport and power conversion systems. He received the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.
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Electrical engineers bring a range of electronic equipment to life. Through research, design, development, testing, and manufacturing supervision, electrical engineers are the humans behind all the systems and devices that produce, use, or conduct electricity.
Electrical engineering is a field where professionals research, develop, and design various electrical components and systems. An online master’s degree can be valuable to students who wish to take up advanced positions in their career.
Power systems engineering focuses on generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity as well as building and repairing the various electrical devices involved in these processes, such as transformers, motors, and generators.