Are you ready to move forward in your engineering career? Maybe you’re tired of moving laterally in your current company. Maybe you just earned your bachelor’s degree and are ready to push to the next level.
Whatever the reason is, you will want to take note of these schools. Because they all meet a criteria that everyone’s looking for these days: affordability and flexibility.
A tight budget and a busy schedule should not keep you from meeting career goals. Believe me, you’re not the only one who is caught in this bind! That’s why some of the best educational options these days are offered online.
If this scenario fits your situation, look no further. You’ll find an affordable program that considers both your budget and your lifestyle with this list of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Electrical Engineering!
What kind of Online Masters in Electrical Engineering should you get?
Electrical engineers keep our world in motion. Everything in your home (and beyond!) that uses electricity was likely designed or developed by an electrical engineer. That covers a lot of ground! From car engines to stereo systems to satellites, electrical engineer are the masterminds at work behind the scenes. Since this field is so vast, it’s natural that your selection of master’s program is varied too.
You’ll find a number of common areas of focus within these schools. Some, like the University of California at Riverside (#3) and the University of Arkansas (#15) specialize in power systems. Others, like Missouri University of Science & Technology (#8), emphasize electrical engineering research. A number of the schools give you the choice of a thesis track or a non-thesis track.
Clearly, you have options! One great way to start is to identify the area of electrical engineering that interests you the most. Then, find a school that features those areas. One great thing about all of these programs is that they share a common feature: affordability! No matter which school you choose, you know it’s one of the best “bang for your buck” programs in the nation.
If you’re looking for other affordable graduate programs, take a look at our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Graduate Colleges.
How much money do people make with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering?
If your budget is tight now, you’ll be happy to hear that it won’t be that way forever. Electrical engineers make an impressive median annual salary of $94,210, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You probably know by now that you can use your skills as an electrical engineer in practically any industry. The top-5 annual earning areas for electrical engineers are in the following sectors:
- Federal government: $107,510/year
- Navigational/measuring/electromedical manufacturing: $105,880/year
- Semiconductor and electronic manufacturing: $99,760/year
- Engineering services: $99,160/year
- Telecommunications: $92,380/year
Even more, with a global push toward technology and automation, the demand for innovative electrical engineers is on the rise. Employment rates are projected to increase by 7 percent in the next 10 years.
What can you do with an Online Masters in Electrical Engineering?
Electrical engineers are situated at the forefront of modern society. They are innovators, creators, and big thinkers. Have you ever wondered who dreamed up smart phones, GPS, or hybrid cars? Electrical engineers!
You’re not only dealing with electrical circuit boards and computer systems; you’re saving the world! Here are a few (of the many) places to envision yourself in the working world:
- Developing biomedical equipment to help fight diseases
- Designing solar panels or hybrid cars to help save our environment
- Creating intricate systems of defense for our military
- Optimizing telecommunication systems to span the globe
What are the requirements for an Online Masters in Electrical Engineering?
Distance learning makes education accessible and affordable. Once you find the master’s program that fits your needs, you shouldn’t have much trouble jumping into the program.
You’ll encounter some common curriculum features, however. All of the program lengths tend to range from 19-24 months. This varies, of course, with whether or not you’re attending as a full-time or part-time student. As is common with a master’s degree, most of these schools include a curriculum that requires 30+ total credit hours.
Hands down, the biggest requirement is the completion of a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university.
What are the best Online Masters in Electrical Engineering?
While some of these programs specialize in telecommunications or power systems, and others emphasize nanotechnology or digital sound, all of these schools share one thing one common: affordability and flexibility. You’ll be able to launch (or re-launch) your career in electrical engineering without breaking the bank.
Here at College Choice, we’ve crunched the data. We started first with the net cost of each program in the nation and then factored in graduation rates, retention rates, and the early salaries of graduates.
Our final list offers the 15 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Electrical Engineering in the nation. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Average Net Price: $11,322
Located just west of Detroit, the University of Michigan-Dearborn ranks at the top of our list for its affordable online Master’s in Electrical Engineering. As one of two satellite campuses of the University of Michigan, UM-Dearborn enjoys all the same access to the faculty, resources, and technology of the main campus.
Featuring ultimate flexibility and a strong academic reputation (and not to mention affordability!), the MSE in Electrical Engineering at UM-Dearborn is offered completely online, completely on-campus, or in a hybrid combination of the two. This 30-credit-hour program blends a variety of core classes with technical electives. A selection of classes could include:
- Neural Networks
- Modern Control Theory
- Intelligent Vehicles
- Data Mining
The UM-Dearborn program is unique in offering a number of specialty focus areas. For example, you can hone your skills in areas like Control Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Intelligent Systems, or Vehicle Electronics. A specialty goes a long way in marketing your skills!
The University of Texas at Arlington
Average Net Price: $11,952
The fourth largest university in the state, The University of Texas at Arlington is a touchstone for academic research in the area. U.S. News & World Report included its College of Engineering as one of the top 100 programs in the country. We here at College Choice agree!
The University of Texas at Arlington is a strong contender in the world of engineering. The College of Engineering offers a highly affordable online MS in Electrical Engineering. You’ll gain solid experience in both research and hands-on application in areas like:
- Digital Sound and Image Processing
- Optical Devices and Systems
- Nanotechnology and MEMS
- Renewable Energy Systems and Vehicular Technology
This program is set up to give you both a broad and specific approach to electrical engineering. You’ll take three courses in three of the focus areas above. From there, you can specialize in your area of interest. You’ll also have the choice between a thesis option and a non-thesis track.
University of California at Riverside
Average Net Price: $12,841
A diverse and quickly growing school, the University of California at Riverside is a public research university. One of the ten schools in the University of California system, UC Riverside specializes in biology, agriculture, and the sciences. Of its total student body of over 21,500 students, close to 3,000 of them are graduate students.
At the University of California at Riverside, you’ll be able to graduate with an MSE in Electrical Engineering in just 13 months. This program focuses specifically on power systems. Using the online format, you’ll take courses in subjects like:
- Power Electronics
- Power Systems Analysis
- Power Systems Steady State and Market Analysis
- Smart Grid
UC Riverside has a streamlined, unique approach to online learning. You’ll find a program that is not only affordable but a leader in engineering. If you’re still on the fence about electrical engineering, but excited about UC Riverside’s other features, you can check out its other online MS degrees. This includes bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and more.
Arizona State University
Average Net Price: $13,007
An online powerhouse, Arizona State University is equipped to meet all of your academic needs. ASU is one of the largest public research universities in the nation, with branches throughout the state. Its distance-learning branch, ASU Online, enrolls over 25,000 students at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Arizona State University offers its MSE in Electrical Engineering through ASU Online. You’ll study everything from mixed-signal integrated circuit design to solid-state electronics, and more. This program only requires ten classes, each lasting fifteen weeks. Within this 30-credit-hour program you’ll take classes like:
- Nuclear Power Operations
- Digital Signal Process
- Electrical Power Plant
- Wireless Communications
As one of the largest online learning programs in the country, you can be sure that you’ll find a quality and affordable education at ASU. We’re not the only ones who have taken notice; U.S. News & World Report recently listed it as the #4 Best Online Degree Program in the nation.
North Carolina State University
Average Net Price: $13,066
One of the three corners of North Carolina’s “Research Triangle,” North Carolina State University is the largest university in the state. It ranks in the top 100 national universities for both its quality education (92nd) and its overall affordability (62nd).
North Carolina State University provides a competitive online MS in Electrical Engineering. You’ll find possible concentration areas in power electronics, photonics, and signal processing. You can complete this 30-credit-hour program as a part-time student or a full-time student. Some highlight electives include:
- Cloud Computing Technology
- Computer Control of Robots
- Thermal Energy Harvesting
- Pattern Recognition
NC State University is known on a global scale for its excellence in engineering. In 2015, Academic Ranking of World Universities listed it as the 32nd best university in the world for its engineering degrees.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Average Net Price: $13,340
Based in Atlanta, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is a well-respected research institution. It is ranked 7th in the nation among other public universities. It began in 1885 to boost technology in the area; true to its early beginnings, Georgia Tech continues to excel in its engineering, STEM, and business programs.
The online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology gives you room to breathe. You can choose classes from eleven speciality areas, some of which include microsystems, optics, electromagnetics, and digital signal processing. You can look forward to dynamic classes like:
- Wind Engineering
- Radiation Detection
- Satellite Communication and Navigation Systems
- Aircraft Design
Since Georgia Tech is devoted specifically to engineering and technology, you’ll find a vast network of quality faculty members. In fact, you’ll have over 110 faculty to choose from! Georgia Tech also boasts one of the largest electrical engineering graduate programs in the nation.
Iowa State University
Average Net Price: $13,623
A public research institution based in central Iowa, Iowa State University is the largest in the state. Last fall, it enrolled over 36,000 students. Known as a “high research activity” university, Iowa State is home to many institutes and laboratories. One to take notice of is the Engineering Teaching and Research Complex.
Iowa State University offers a 100 percent online Master’s in Electrical Engineering. Because the lectures are delivered through digital streaming, you can take your classes at any time. The program features four areas of specialized study. You can arrange your class schedule around the following:
- Communications and Signal Processing
- Systems and Controls
- Electric Power and Energy Systems
- Electromagnetics, Microwave, and Nondestructive Evaluation
Iowa State University has a long history of scientific research. In fact, it was the only national university that hosted a laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s work on the Manhattan Project. It’s no surprise, then, that its engineering programs often rank among the top 30 in the nation.
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Average Net Price: $13,874
Missouri University of Science & Technology (commonly known as Missouri S&T) is located in Rolla, Missouri. It specializes in engineering education, which shows in its rankings across the board. In 2016, USA Today listed among the “top 10 schools to get an engineering degree in the U.S.” (Missouri S&T ranked 3rd!).
At Missouri S&T, you’ll know the value of research. This Master of Science in Electrical Engineering program requires six credits of completed research regardless of whether you’re doing a thesis or non-thesis track. You’ll fill up your remaining twenty-six credit hours with classes like:
- Fuzzy Logic Control
- Machine Vision
- Surge Phenomena in Power Systems
- Nondestructive Testing
Missouri University of Science & Technology excels at student-led initiatives. The Student Design & Experiential Learning Center is a unique feature of the school. Student-led teams have been involved in creating aero-vehicles, robotics, solar cars, and more.
Oklahoma State University
Average Net Price: $13,951
The flagship school of the Oklahoma State University system, the Stillwater campus is a landmark public research university. The school is known primarily for its agricultural sciences and engineering programs. Forbes recently ranked it as the #23 “Best Value College.”
The MS in Electrical Engineering program at Oklahoma State melds together elements from electrical and computer technology. The curriculum takes you through 33 credits of related coursework that systematically build on each other. You can either choose the professional track or the thesis track. Regardless, you can look forward to classes like:
- Design of Lasers and Systems
- Power Electronics
- Stochastic Systems
- Ultrafast Optoelectronics
Oklahoma State University is unique in its requirement of a Creative Component course at the end of your degree. This gives you the creative license to think outside the box and come up with a project that is totally you. This could include developing a software, designing a manual, or delivering a presentation.
University of California Los Angeles
Average Net Price: $14,236
The University of California Los Angeles (known as UCLA) is a public research university in the Westwood district of Los Angeles. Beyond its top-10 global ranking, UCLA is the front-runner in terms of online sciences. U.S. News & World Report named it the #1 Online Engineering Program in both 2015 and 2017.
Designed to be completed in just two years, UCLA’s online MS in Electrical Engineering is both affordable and manageable for working students. You’ll master a number of engineering tools and processes. You’ll also get the chance to specialize in areas like signal processing and communication. Some core coursework includes:
- Digital Signal Processing
- Digital Communication Systems
- Fracture of Structure Materials
- Non Destructive Evaluations
One thing to note is that only the professional track option is offered online. If you’re interested in the thesis option, you’ll need to attend classes on UCLA’s campus. If you’re attending online, however, you’ll be able to access your classes from multiple platforms—a computer, a smart phone, or a tablet.
University of Florida
Average Net Price: $14,761
The University of Florida main campus is based in Gainesville. The campus encompasses dozens of historic sites, libraries, museums, research centers and institutes. Approximately 54,000 students attend the University of Florida. While it offers hundreds of different majors, engineering is among the most popular.
One of the largest graduate programs in the country, University of Florida’s online MS in Electrical Engineering provides some of the most varied and specialized degree components in our list. Over 80 courses are offered each term. Some of those classes include topics like:
- VLSI Circuits and Technology
- Noise in Linear Systems
- MOS Analog IC Design
- Virtual Computers
Across the board, The University of Florida is ranked as among the best fifty universities in the country. Even more, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering as the 43rd best in the nation.
University of Idaho
Average Net Price: $14,787
The oldest university in the state, the University of Idaho (UI) was founded in 1889. It is located in Moscow, which borders Washington state. UI is organized into ten different academic colleges and is by far the leading research institution in Idaho. Around 11,000 students attend annually.
Within the Electrical Engineering department, you can pursue two different masters degrees online: a non-thesis Master of Engineering or a thesis-track Master of Science. Both degrees require 30 credits to graduate. You’ll dive right into circuit design, control systems, and more with classes like:
- Fault-Tolerant Systems
- Antenna Theory
- Induction Machines
Similar to other programs on this list, UI features a number of areas of concentration. Most students gravitate to the following specialties: Analog, Communication & Control Systems, Digital, Electromagnetics, and Power.
Old Dominion University
Average Net Price: $15,218
Old Dominion University is a large research institute in Norfolk, Virginia known for its contributions to the fields of engineering, climate change, and energy studies. Its distance-learning program, ODU Online, accounts for around one-third of its student population.
You have two options at Old Dominion University: a research-focused MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, or a generalized Masters of Engineering. The tracks require between eight and ten courses, along with either a research component or a comprehensive exam. You can look forward to taking classes like:
- Statistical Analysis and Simulation
- Solid State Electronics
- Cyber Defense Fundamentals
- Multivariable Control Systems
One perk of attending Old Dominion’s online program is that you’ll essentially get the same training as the on-campus experience. The online programs are taught by ODU faculty who teach on-campus. In a recent survey, 96 percent of students reported being very satisfied with the online ODU experience.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Average Net Price: $15,406
A public research university based in Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was originally founded around the study of engineering. Not only is NJIT an affordable school for engineering, it ranks 28th in the nation for salary potential among other research universities.
This MS in Electrical Engineering program puts you on the fast-track to a rewarding career. You can complete NJIT’s program in just 19 months. The 30-credit, 10-course curriculum is designed around five semesters. You’ll take industry-relevant classes like:
- Advanced Microprocessor Systems
- Discrete Event Dynamic Systems
- Transients in Power Systems
- Renewable Energy Systems
The online master’s at NJIT designs its curriculum around the demands of the industry. For that reason, you get to choose between three core specialties: 1) Communications, Signal Processing, and Microwave, 2) Power and Energy Systems, or 3) Mechatronics.
University of Arkansas
Average Net Price: $15,411
The University of Arkansas is the largest university in the state. This flagship school is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is known for its high research activity and its sustainability efforts on campus. The College of Engineering is one of its bedrock academic colleges, being founded in 1912.
The online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas highlights power engineering as their main speciality area. This program has been in existence for over a century! Students can choose between a thesis option and a non-thesis option, though you’ll have some overlapping classes like:
- Semiconductor Devices
- Nonlinear Systems Analysis
- Electric Power Quality
- Communication Theory
Since we’re all here for affordability, one thing to note about the University of Arkansas is its generous tuition rates. All out-of-state students who attend online receive the in-state tuition rate. This school is also known for its accommodations and tuition deals for veterans.