Electricity Engineering Degree Program Information

Electrical engineering involves the study of electronics, electromagnetic fields and electrical control. There are various degree levels available in the field of electrical engineering. These include the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

Essential Information

Electrical engineering deals with the study of electronics, electromagnetic fields and electrical control systems. Degrees available in the field are at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. A bachelor's degree is typically enough to prepare graduates for entry-level work in the electrical engineering field, though a master's or doctoral degree can also prepare graduates to work in academia, research, development or management.

  • Program Levels in Electrical Engineering: Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees, doctoral degrees
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED for the bachelor's program; bachelor's degree for the master's program; master's degree and a passing score on the Electrical Engineering Qualifying Examination for the doctoral program
  • Other Requirements: A dissertation is required for the doctoral program

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering primarily uses math and physics concepts to develop electrical systems and devices. Some of these systems include power generation, fiber optic data transmission, radar and medical image processing. Some students in electricity engineering degree programs may specialize in areas such as computer technology, integrated media systems, telecommunications or aerospace systems. Students need a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll in a bachelor's degree program.

Electrical engineering courses cover math, physics and engineering. Most universities also require undergraduates to complete general education requirements. Coursework covers topics including:

  • Data processing logic
  • Electrical systems
  • Linear technology
  • Probability, statistics and probabilistic systems
  • Calculus and differential equations
  • Feedback control systems

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Master's degree students typically specialize in a single area of electrical engineering, studying the topic more in-depth and preparing for upper-level jobs. Specializations include photonics or signal processing and communications.

Coursework will vary according to the specialization chosen. Courses may cover:

  • Advanced probability and statistics
  • Stochastic processes in engineering
  • Computational techniques in electrical engineering
  • Semiconductor sensors and actuators
  • Mobile communications, optical communications and satellite communications
  • Quantum electronics

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering

Engineering Ph.D. students work closely with an advisor and tailor a program of study to meet students' goals. A variety of specializations may be pursued. Concentrations include communications, robotics, photonics, electromagnetics and VLSI design. Many graduates of doctoral degree programs look for work as professors of electrical engineering.

Most coursework in a Ph.D. program consists of independent study, research and a dissertation. Any actual coursework will cover specific engineering topics in-depth and may be in seminar format. Some possible courses are:

  • Antenna analysis and design
  • Transform methods
  • Advanced semiconductor devices
  • Image processing
  • Optimal estimation for control
  • Neural networks

Popular Career Options

Although graduates of bachelor's programs in electrical engineering can become electrical engineers, they can also work as:

  • Application engineers
  • Engineering construction specialists
  • Radio frequency engineers
  • Systems engineers

Graduates of master's programs in electrical engineering can find upper-level jobs as:

  • Systems design engineers
  • Software engineers
  • Reliability engineers
  • Project engineers
  • Development engineers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an employment growth of 4% for electrical and electronics engineers for the years 2012 through 2022. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for electrical engineers was $91,410 in 2014.

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