Getting a graduate degree in electrical engineering requires a significant amount of time, effort, and financing, but this can be rewarded with high salary potential and a career that is often satisfying for those with an interest in electronics and electrical systems. The following draws a picture of what to expect when it comes to the cost of pursuing such a degree.
Evaluating the Average Cost for Electrical Engineering Graduate School
There are many factors involved in determining the cost of an electrical engineering graduate program. Some of these include:
- Degree level (master's or doctoral)
- Program length
- Student's state of residence
- School type
Additionally, a tuition figure alone doesn't reflect the full cost of a program, since electrical engineering education programs often require extra technology fees.
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Electrical Engineering Master's Degree Costs
Because there isn't readily available data out there that gives an overall, country-wide average for the tuition cost of electrical engineering programs, looking at examples for specific schools can be helpful. Here we explore the cost of tuition for several master's and doctorate electrical engineering programs.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, a public school, offers a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.). The program requires a minimum of 33 semester hours beyond a bachelor's degree and offers both a thesis and a non-thesis option. During the 2016-2017 academic year, in-state students paid $626 for the first semester hour of coursework and $396 per semester hour $396 afterwards, while out-of-state students paid $1,167 for the first hour and $935 per hour for the rest.
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a private school, also offers an M.S.E.E. The program includes at least 45 units of coursework and does not require a thesis, although students can receive up to nine units of credit if they choose to complete one. Tuition was $928 per quarterly unit for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students must also pay an annual student association fee of $150.
University of Pennsylvania
The electrical engineering master's degree program at this private university requires ten course units, with each course counting as one unit. This program has a thesis option that confers two units to students who complete a research project in lieu of other elective courses. The estimated tuition, for the 2017-2018 school year, per course unit (equivalent to three credit hours) is $6,750, which includes general and technology fees.
Electrical Engineering Ph.D. Costs
University of Louisville
The electrical engineering Ph.D. program at the University of Louisville requires a minimum of 60 credits, including 30 credits of approved master's-level courses, 15-30 credits of technical electives and up to 15 credits of dissertation research. Tuition for Ph.D. candidates at this public school is estimated to be $6,123 per semester for residents and $12,743 for non-residents in 2017-2018.
Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Students with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field can earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from NYU's Polytechnic Institute after completing 75 credits. Students holding a Master of Science can earn their Ph.D. with 45 credits. This private school requires 21 credits of dissertation research. In 2016-2017, graduate tuition for engineering students was $1,646 per credit. The school also charges service and registration fees of $85 per credit.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania offers a doctoral program in electrical and systems engineering. The program requires 20 course units in addition to a research proposal exam and dissertation defense. Full tuition, general fees and technology fees for engineering Ph.D. candidates totaled $35,866 in 2016-2017. However, the school reports that many of the Ph.D. students receive scholarships and living stipends.
There is a significant range in the cost of tuition for electrical engineering graduate degrees. Some of the biggest contributing factors are in-state versus out-of-state residency, private versus public schools, and master's degree versus doctorate.