How Long Is a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering?

The time it takes to complete a master's degree in electrical engineering can vary. The length of a program depends upon the curriculum, institution, and delivery format. View article »

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  • 1:06 Curriculum
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Video Transcript

Program Length

Let's review the typical length of a master's degree program in electrical engineering. We'll also discuss common coursework, employment outlook, salary, and alternative career options. The two types of master's degrees in electrical engineering are the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) and the Master of Electrical Engineering (MEE).

Most programs take one to two years to complete, but for students who are interested in performing extended research or taking part-time classes, it may take over two years to finish the degree. Some programs allow students to take up to five years to complete the program, but students must continue to show progress throughout the degree program.

Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Non-thesis programs require students to complete a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of a program. Non-thesis programs typically require more hours of coursework than a thesis option, but thesis programs may take just as long or longer to complete due to thesis research.

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Curriculum

Students in the program often choose an area of concentration. These areas may include telecommunications engineering, photonics, wireless communications, electromagnetics, communications systems, microelectronic circuits, and systems biology. Some general course topics in the master's program include information theory, computer networks, wireless networking, circuit analysis and design, semiconductors, digital electronics, electromagnetic fields, and electronic packaging design.

Employment Outlook & Salary Information

Employment of electrical engineers was predicted to show little to no change between 2014 and 2024, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This projection was due to the slowed growth in manufacturing jobs that were relevant for electrical engineers.

Electrical engineers work in a variety of settings, including IT consulting firms, electric companies, and the semiconductor and aerospace industries. According to the BLS, as of May 2016, the median salary reported for electrical engineers was $94,210. Other possible job opportunities for graduates include researcher, associate professor, network engineer, systems engineer, project engineer, and design engineer.

A master's degree program in electrical engineering is usually one to two years in length, but can be longer. Graduates may find work as electrical, network, systems, or design engineers.

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