Before considering taking on an online program, it’s important to determine if it's the best option for you.
An online program can benefit anyone interested in pursuing higher education, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. Sometimes, some or all of the coursework is available through distance-based learning.
Online programs take away the commitment to commuting to campus, allowing students to do their coursework and assignments on time. However, as with campus-based programs, students must complete assignments as papers.
But at the same time, there's plenty of flexibility in how you structure your learning. If someone is employed full-time, they may be able to squeeze in-class work on lunch breaks, after work, or on the weekends.
Anyone enrolling in an online power systems engineering degree program must understand its campus visitation requirements. Some schools ask that you attend an on-campus orientation. Others ask that you attend an on-campus intensive at regular intervals. Still, others may ask that you present your capstone project on campus. Be sure to inquire about specific campus visitation requirements for the program you're considering.
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.
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.
For admission to the program, students must have an undergraduate degree in chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics, or biology, two letters of recommendation, a current resume, a statement of purpose, official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a personal statement, and MELAB, TOEFL, IELTS, or ECPE for applicants whose native language is not English.
All students start with core classes detailing 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 chemical energy conversation. A final capstone project asks the student to apply their new knowledge to solve a real-world problem with industry or government participation. Students complete 30 credits of classes, which can be done online, on-campus, exclusively online, or a combination of each.
Graduates of the program have career opportunities in various fields of engineering and science, investment, consulting, energy, and public policy sectors.
The WSU electric power engineering PSM (professional science master’s) master's degree combines an in-depth knowledge of advanced engineering with the managerial skills needed to implement solutions and lead in the industry. The program's faculty includes recognized industry experts from power engineering. Apart from training students in an advanced scientific field, the program also teaches them the skills needed for becoming managers and leaders in a professional environment.
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, and high-voltage engineering) and pair them with professional courses that range from law and finance to management. In total, students complete 27 credits of coursework and one three-credit internship. The program is entirely online, and no campus visits are required.
Admission requirements include a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering or its equivalent from an accredited school, a cumulative GPA of 3.0, a complete application, a letter of intent, three original letters of recommendation, official copies of transcripts, and an official TOEFL score for international students. The GRE is not required for admission.
The University of Wisconsin’s online “master of science in electrical engineering: power program” prepares students for leading positions in the industry in areas such as electric power, motor drives, electric machines, and power electronics. Taught by distinguished faculty members, the program provides students with an engaging experience that is accessible from anywhere.
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 electric power systems; solid state power conversion; advanced computer control of machines and processes; dynamics of controlled systems; and advanced robotics. In addition to the provided curriculum, students must choose between a final course option or a thesis/project option. The full program consists of 30 credits and 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."
Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree (electrical engineering major is preferred) from a program accredited by the ABET or the equivalent, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, completion of the capstone certificate in power conversion and control, and TOEFL scores for applicants whose native language is not English. GRE scores are not required but are highly recommended.
Michigan Technological University offers an online master’s in electrical and computer engineering, focusing on 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 electric energy systems; power electronics; power system analysis; transient analysis methods; and power system dynamics and stability. 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.
The major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution, two letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students. GRE scores are not required for admission.
Students pursuing this power and energy systems specialization master of science in electrical engineering 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. This master’s degree provides students with advanced instruction giving them the level of business and technical expertise needed to meet the industry demand for skilled professionals.
A set of core courses is complemented by electives that explore topics such as smart grid systems; adjustable speed motor drive systems; protection and monitoring of power system infrastructure; and power system operations and modeling. The degree consists of 30 credits, 18 focusing on power energy systems, and the remainder are selected from other programs. All students are required to attend an on-campus orientation and take all exams on campus, but students outside of Houston may work with their instructors to make special arrangements for proctored off-site testing.
To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a bachelor of science degree in electrical or computer engineering or a closely related field, a GPA above or equal to 3.0, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students.
One of the nation's best online engineering programs, 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. This online program is ideal for students who are looking for a career in the electric power industry.
Admission requirements for the program include an undergraduate degree in math, hard science, or engineering from a regionally accredited university, a satisfactory undergraduate GPA, a completed application, electronic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, a current resume, a personal statement, satisfactory GRE test scores, and English language proficiency for international students whose first language is not English.
All students take required courses in power systems; power systems technology; power systems analysis and design; and sustainable infrastructure systems. Students then choose four 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 28 credits, with 15 of those coming from required courses, and the remaining 13 coming from approved electives. The program is completely online with the option to visit campus.
Upon completion, graduates will have various career opportunities in areas such as systems design, professional communications, power engineering, nanotechnology, computer networks, microelectronics, multimedia processing, computer architecture, and industrial and power electronics.
North Carolina State University has offered 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 advanced technical education. Students in this program will be provided with a thorough understanding of the methods, tools, and practices involved in electric power engineering.
For admission to the program, students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in electrical engineering, an overall grade point average of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants. GRE scores are required but can be waived off.
Students must take five courses in electrical and computer engineering, three courses in the power engineering sub-specialization, and two courses in professional skills development as the capstone component. The program consists of 30 credits and requires neither a thesis nor any campus visits. Sample some of the courses in the curriculum: electric motor drives, electric power system protection; the business of the electric utility industry; power management integrated circuits; power system stability and control; computational methods for power systems; and power system operation and control.
The program opens up several opportunities for graduates. They can take up roles such as power electronics engineers, electrical design engineers, forensic electrical engineers, facilities electrical engineers, electrical test engineers, utilities & power distribution engineers, and electrical project engineers, to name a few.
The University of Arkansas's master's program focusing on electric power engineering offers a top 50 online engineering program at an in-state tuition rate. Coming into the program with a working electrical engineering knowledge, students specialize in power engineering topics and learn about future electric energy systems.
The major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, GRE scores (can be waived), and English language proficiency for applicants whose first language is not English.
Courses are offered in the design of advanced electric power distribution systems; electric power quality; control systems; power system operation and control; power electronics and motor drives; and power system analysis. The program consists of 30 credit hours with thesis and non-thesis options available, and it can be completed exclusively online.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an online master of engineering program in power systems engineering, preparing electrical engineers for professional practice in the electric utility industry. This program is also ideal for experienced engineers or those who wish to reshape their careers. Applicants to the program must have a relevant bachelor’s degree from a highly accredited university, preferably ABET accredited with a GPA of 3.0.
Made up of 30 credits, the program includes courses such as power electronics; power system analysis; electromechanical energy conversion; power system dynamics; transients in power systems; power distribution; and protective relaying.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute also offers an online graduate certificate in power systems and an online master of science program in power systems management.
New Jersey Institute of Technology offers an online master of science program in power and energy systems which is a unique interdisciplinary program that draws upon the full resources of New Jersey’s science and technology university and includes courses from chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and management. NJIT also has an online certificate in power systems and engineering.
NJIT has strong ties with leading power industries, such as ASCO Power Technologies and PSE&G. The MS program comprises 30 credits and includes courses such as linear systems; power system steady-state analysis; power electronics; renewable energy systems; transients in power systems; protection of power systems; economic control of interconnected power systems; and discrete event dynamic systems.
Petros A. Ioannou, PhD University of Southern California
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.
As a fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), he's co-authored five books and over 150 research papers on controls, neural networks, nonlinear dynamical systems, and intelligent transportation systems. Notably, he's also a fellow of IFAC and IET.
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. He completed his BS from the University of London and an MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Bruce A. Mork, PhD Michigan Technological University
Dr. Bruce A. Mork is a electrical and computer engineering professor at Michigan Technological University. He teaches or has taught courses such as electric energy systems; advanced methods in power system analysis; power systems analysis; power system protection; transient analysis of electrical power systems; and computer modeling of power systems.
His areas of interest include power system protection, smart grid, transients in electrical power systems, power quality, and nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, among others. Professor Mork completed his PhD, MS, and BS from North Dakota State University.
Giri Venkataramanan, PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Giri Venkataramanan is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at his doctoral alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as a faculty member in the power engineering program. His areas of expertise include applications of power electronics in climate conditioning, building lighting, electric generation, industrial motor control, transportation systems, and transmission and distribution; operation and control of microgrids and smart grids; and renewable power generation systems.
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. He teaches or has taught courses such as introductory experience in electrical engineering; feedback amplifiers; power electronics; electric machines and drives; and power electronics in power systems.
Meet 25 top professors of electrical engineering, and learn more about their areas of expertise, their achievements, and their contributions to both engineering and their respective programs.
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. Specializations in electrical engineering tend to be incredibly multidisciplinary.
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.