A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is the minimum educational requirement to become an electrical engineer. A master's or a doctoral degree program in electrical engineering provides further study in the field and often allows a student to choose an area of concentration.
Top 10 Electrical Engineering Schools
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition* (2015-16)|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$46,704|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Post-graduate Certificate||$46,320|
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,431 in-state, $38,139 out-of-state|
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$15,054 in-state, $30,214 out-of-state|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$45,390|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,204 in-state, $32,396 out-of-state|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Postgraduate Certificate||$13,856 in-state, $43,476 out-of-state|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$50,665|
|Princeton University||Princeton, NJ||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$43,450|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,116|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Some important considerations that students should keep in mind when selecting a program include:
- Students should keep in mind their research and professional interests and ensure that the school they choose offers concentrations and research opportunities that match their goals.
- Schools that employ professors who are widely published and have had distinguished academic careers may be more attractive to students looking for a quality education.
- Students interested in doctoral programs should ensure their master's program has a thesis option.
Bachelor of Science Degree Program
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering have the academic credentials and background necessary for entry-level positions. Some of the core courses required to complete the degree include linear electrical circuits, statistics, graphical communication, electronics and distributed networks. During the final year of study, students may also be required to complete a senior design project along with elective courses that focus on a particular area of interest within electrical engineering.
Master of Science Degree Program
A master's degree program in electrical engineering can be completed in two years of full-time study following undergraduate study. Many master's degree programs allow students to choose an area of concentration from common emphasis areas including solid state physics and electronics, power engineering, computer engineering, signal processing or telecommunications engineering. A master's thesis option is often available for students who are planning to continue their studies in a doctoral program.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
The terminal degree in electrical engineering, a doctoral program allows students to conduct original research and prepare a dissertation. Doctoral programs typically take four years to complete but can continue for longer depending on the speed of the research. Once a dissertation is submitted, students must successfully pass an oral and written defense.
Prospective electrical engineering students choose a school based in part on which of three degree options they wish to pursue. While all schools listed in this article offer programs from bachelor level to doctoral, taking a closer look at each school's program at your level of interest can help you make a smarter choice.