Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering Programs Guide

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So you want to change the world? Become an Electrical Engineer.

Electrical Engineering (EE) is a very large umbrella—it is, in fact, the largest technical profession—and the work done by electrical engineers has a deep and broad impact on our lives.

From the every day to the yet-to-be-imagined, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering can prepare you for a rewarding future of innovation.

Electrical Engineering (EE) is a very large umbrella—it is, in fact, the largest technical profession—and the work done by electrical engineers has a deep and broad impact on our lives.

Electrical engineering encompasses numerous disciplines such as microelectronics, photonics, computer engineering, signal processing, control systems, and communications.

And a degree in Electrical Engineering prepares you for a multitude of career opportunities. EE programs are usually flexible and broad-based, providing a rigorous grounding in the analytical and experimental foundations of engineering.

Graduates from Electrical Engineering programs go on to work in almost every industry imaginable, including health-care, the space industry, gaming, renewable and other forms of energy, and national security.

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What kind of Electrical Engineering degree should you get?

There are numerous options to consider. B.A. or B.S.? Tech School or Liberal Arts University? And then the big question: online or campus-based program?

Most of us imagine the college experience taking place in brick and mortar buildings. But if that is not a feasible option for you, be sure to check out our list of the Best Online Electrical Engineering Degrees.

Getting a degree online is no longer the shady proposition it may have seemed a decade or two ago. There are now many high-quality, accredited programs that are designed to be flexible for nontraditional students. You’ll get the same credentials without having to uproot your entire life to attend school.

How much money do people make with an Electrical Engineering degree?

Like all technology and science careers, education and experience make a huge difference in salary and job opportunities. However, the reality is that Electrical Engineers can command a pretty healthy salary right out of college. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the median pay for 2016 at $96 270 per year. But even with no experience, BSEE-holding electrical engineers average a starting salary of $61,420.

What can you do with a degree in Electrical Engineering?

Electrical Engineers are problem solvers working at the frontier of technology innovation. They work in industry, government, and academic settings. They are involved in leading-edge research—creating new ideas and designing and developing new products and technologies. Here are a few ways electrical engineers really do change the world:

  • They help preserve the environment by developing alternate energy sources. Hybrid vehicles, smart houses, clean energy—all in the purview of electrical engineers.
  • They help save lives by designing new medical technologies physicians rely on. Look around your doctor’s office and see the work of EEs.
  • Smartphones, GPS, cars, and even national security...need we continue?

What are the requirements for a degree in Electrical Engineering?

You’ll notice, as you peruse our ranking of the Best Electrical Engineering degrees, that the schools on our list are some of the most prestigious universities in the country—even the world.

That means that entrance requirements will be highly competitive.

You’ll need an excellent overall GPA for admittance to these programs. Once you’re accepted to the university you want, some majors programs will have separate requirements for acceptance to the EE major (this usually includes prerequisite courses and minimum GPA).

What are the best Electrical Engineering degrees?

If you’ve already begun your search, you’ll have noticed that there are a lot of Electrical Engineering programs out there. And slogging through hundreds of program websites really isn’t an effective use of your time. So we’ve done the work for you.

These are the 25 best programs laid out in a readable format. But what makes the best program? Our research methodology takes into account institutional reputation, return on investment, and student satisfaction.

At College Choice, we take data seriously. We collect the numbers—reputation scores, tuition costs, early career earnings, and peer assessments—from a variety of sources. We then weigh the data to come up with a composite score that balances academic excellence with the return on your tuition investment.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Stanford University

    Stanford, CA



    Overview At the top of our list is a school that hardly needs an introduction—it’s never surprising to see Stanford’s name on any “Best Of” list. Located in the Bay Area of California, Stanford consistently ranks among the top 5 national universities, with its School of Engineering (including the EE program) sitting at #2 nationally (US News and World Report). And as a student, you’ll live on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.Program Features Stanford University offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in Electrical Engineering that will prepare you to contribute to the scientific community. With opportunities for research and experimental projects, Stanford Engineering students are ready to take on careers in a variety of sectors—be it corporate, government, or further academic study. This is a broad, flexible major with lots of room for student choice. Students choose one of three disciplinary areas to focus on:

    • Hardware and Software Systems
    • Information Systems and Science
    • Physical Technology and Science
    Notables Stanford’s Electrical Engineering major is a 180-credit program, largely divided between courses in Math, Science, Technology in Society, and Engineering Topics. There are also elective classes which allow students to delve into topics of their own interest. And each summer, students have the opportunity to take part in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program which allows you to work directly with faculty and other students on an in-depth research project.

  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Cambridge, MA



    Overview Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a prestigious private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school was originally founded in 1861, with a world-class commitment to problem-solving in math, science, and engineering. Their dedication has paid off, and their School of Engineering currently ranks as the best in the nation (U.S. News and World Report).Program Features MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department is the largest undergraduate program at MIT and is renowned for its rigor and innovation. The program features a curriculum that is both flexible and intensive. As a student, you’ll experience laboratory subjects, teamwork, independent projects, and research that will equip you with the principles and techniques of analysis, design, and experimentation in a variety of EECS areas. The two undergraduate Electrical Engineering programs are:

    • Electrical Science and Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Notables All EECS students at MIT begin with a choice of an introductory subject and explore electrical engineering and computer science fundamentals by working on concrete systems like robots and cell phone networks and systems. And you’ll graduate with plenty of real-world experience. The department offers numerous programs that enable students to gain practical experience, ranging from collaborative industrial projects done on campus to term-long experiences at partner companies.

  3. Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA



    Overview Also located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University— the iconic, ivy-league research university, was first established in 1636. The name of Harvard is synonymous worldwide for excellence in academics, making it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Comprised of 13 schools and institutes, Harvard is home to a top School of Engineering and Applied Science which produces pioneering work in Electrical Engineering.Program Features Studying Electrical Engineering as an undergraduate at Harvard will expose you to a range of research areas from devices (such as lasers and robotics) to systems (such as computer architecture and the human brain). Harvard’s program emphasizes both breadth and depth in the sub-disciplines of EE. All students specialize in electronic circuits and devices while being provided the opportunity explore multiple other areas, including:

    • Signals and systems theory
    • Control systems
    • Robotics
    Notables At the undergraduate level, Harvard offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Students in both programs take many of the same upper-level EE courses, but those in the B.A. program (or A.B. in Harvard parlance) have more flexibility to pursue studies in other disciplines. The B.S. program offers a broader foundation in engineering fundamentals, but less flexibility.

  4. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Atlanta, GA



    Overview Ranking among the top 35 national universities in the country, Georgia Institute of Technology is a technology-focused public research university located in Atlanta, Georgia. The school is part of the University System of Georgia and is home to one of the top ten schools of Engineering in the U.S. Their Electrical Engineering program also ranks in the top 10 (U.S. News and World Report), consistently contributing vital research and innovation to the field.Program Features Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) refer to their students and faculty as “the tinkerers, creators, and magic makers that make it happen.” That’s a whimsical invitation to future students that want to participate in their rigorous and innovative Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering program. The program aims to produce students who can dream, design, and complete complex projects. Research opportunities include:

    • Opportunity Research Scholars Program
    • The Vertically Integrated Projects Program
    • ECE’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
    Notables Georgia Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering offers plenty of opportunities for students to engage in innovative projects. The year-long senior design project gives all students the opportunity to develop technology across disciplines. And all EE students can choose to participate in programs like the International Plan, Cooperative Education Program or the Research Option, three unique academic initiatives at Georgia Tech.

  5. Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY



    Overview Situated in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is a unique institution, being both a private Ivy League university as well as a partner of the State University of New York. Cornell ranks among the best national universities in the country, with world-class faculty in over 100 fields of study. And among their several prestigious colleges, Cornell Engineering ranks in the top 15 nationally (U.S. News and World Report.Program Features Cornell’s historic electrical engineering department (it was first started in 1883) offers a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The program will train you to break problems down into solvable sub-problems in a methodological and efficient way. These versatile skills will prepare for a career as an electrical engineer as well as any other career you may find yourself in. Cornell’s EE program has three technical foundations:

    • Physics: circuits, semiconductor devices, and optical systems
    • Computers: microprocessors and computing devices
    • Math: information, networks, and systems
    Notables Cornell’s EE program offers students plenty of room to delve deeply into research projects. More than half of our faculty regularly include undergraduates in their research groups. Many of these students co-author papers and attend international technical conference where they can meet leaders in the field. And Cornell has a great placement rate. Over 41% of their undergraduate class goes on to pursue advanced graduate degrees, while 59% find employment at companies ranging from large-scale multinational engineering corporations to innovative start-up companies.

  6. California Institute of Technology

    Pasadena, CA



    Overview Located in Pasadena, California, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research university that sits among the top ten national universities in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Caltech (which is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities) is also home to one of the highest ranking Engineering Schools in the country— and generous financial aid ensures that the school remains accessible to all students.Program Features Caltech’s Department of Electrical Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science program that prepares students for leadership in a variety of sectors—from higher education to industry and government. All students build on a rigorous and broad core curriculum that exposes them to the fundamentals of EE. And Caltech’s program offers a balance of classroom lectures and laboratory and design experience. Courses include:

    • Electromagnetic Engineering
    • Signals, Systems, and Transforms
    • Analog Electronics Project Lab
    Notables Caltech’s B.S. in Electrical Engineering program will expose you to problem formulation, system-design, and solving skills that are essential to any engineering discipline. And as a student, you’ll benefit from state-of-the-art experimental laboratory facilities, housed mainly in the Moore Laboratory of Engineering. Students also have the opportunity to take a broader course of studies with the Engineering and Applied Science option.

  7. Colorado School of Mines

    Golden, CO



    Overview With an electrical engineering program that ranks among the best in the country, Colorado School of Mines is a nationally-ranked public research university located in the historic gold mining town of Golden, Colorado. Originally founded to serve the local mining industry, the school today has a commitment to responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources through its nationally recognized programs. Program Features The Department of Electrical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines offers a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering that prepares students to solve real-world challenges related to earth, energy, information and the environment. Students learn in an environment rich with opportunities for research and professional development. In addition to high-caliber faculty, EE students have access to cutting-edge technology and advanced laboratories—including a student-run lab (the Outlet). Courses include:

    • Introduction to Feedback Control Systems
    • Information Systems Science
    • Electronic Devices and Circuits
    Notables Colorado School of Mines’ B.S. in Electrical Engineering offers research and teaching programs that are enhanced by strong ties to research institutes and centers such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. And students have plenty of opportunity to collaborate with their peers on engineering projects, both academic and extracurricular, outside of the traditional classroom.

  8. University of Illinois - Urbana-​Champaign

    Champaign, IL



    Overview Originally founded in 1867 as a state-supported, land-grant institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large public research university that ranks among the top 50 national universities in the country. The school has a reputation for excellence in research, teaching, and public engagement that extends to their engineering programs which rank among the very best nationally.Program Features U of I’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering which will prepare students with a multidisciplinary foundation in EE principles. All students begin with a set of core courses and progress to a comprehensive array of specialized courses and laboratories. An important part of the EE program is the Senior Design Project Lab which gives students hands-on experience in the field. Courses include:

    • Analog Signal Processing
    • Fields and Waves
    • Digital Systems Laboratory
    Notables Students in U of I’s Electrical Engineering undergraduate program can also complete a minor such as the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP). This is a campus wide undergraduate minor that prepares students for pursuing careers in the corporate sector, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and environmental advocacy groups. The Department of Electrical Engineering also offers a joint B.S. / M.Eng. degree for students who wish to earn both degrees while on campus.

  9. Duke University

    Durham, NC



    Overview Founded by Methodist Quakers in 1838, Duke University is now a renowned private research university in Durham, NC. Consistently ranked among the best universities nationally and internationally, the school is a center for advancing innovative research and teaching methods. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering is no exception, home to groundbreaking research and advancing knowledge in the field. Program Features As a graduate from Duke’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering program, you’ll be equally prepared for further graduate study and a career as an electrical or computer engineer. With a curriculum that emphasizes analytical thinking, problem solving, and technology, Duke’s ECE department boasts one of the most flexible ECE programs available. Students choose from five areas of concentration, all of which include high-level computer languages:

    • Computer Engineering and Digital Systems
    • Signal Processing, Communications, and Control Systems
    • Solid-State Devices and Integrated Circuits
    • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Photonics
    Notables Duke’s B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering includes mathematics and basic sciences, fundamentals, and applications in several engineering sciences. Students also participate in team-based experiences in the process of design—applying learned theory in the context of real needs and limitations. And in terms of return on investment, ranks Duke among the 10 Best Schools for Engineering Majors by salary potential.

  10. Columbia University

    New York, NY



    Overview If you’ve ever dreamt of living in New York City, this might be your chance. Columbia University, which is located in Upper Manhattan, is a private ivy league research university that sits in the upper echelon of national universities. Among Columbia’s top-ranking graduate schools, Columbia Engineering is a revered institution, offering some of the top Electrical Engineering programs in the country.Program Features As a student in Columbia’s Electrical Engineering program, you’ll be studying in one of the oldest EE departments in the U.S. Columbia’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering provides a comprehensive background in electrical engineering, while providing elective coursework that delves into topics that lie within students’ own area of interest. The program prepares students for work in engineering, as well as careers in related mathematically-intensive fields, and further professional or graduate education. Courses include:

    • Signals and Systems
    • Electromagnetics
    • Digital Systems
    Notables Columbia’s B.S. in Electrical Engineering requires both Breadth and Depth Technical Electives which ensures that students gain a comprehensive grounding in key topics within the field. Columbia Engineering is also home to the Student Research Involvement Program, which helps facilitate student involvement in research that faculty are conducting. In all areas, Columbia Engineering stresses a hands-on approach, with theory strongly motivated by practical necessities.

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