How Long Is a Master's in Computer Engineering Degree Program?

Mar 06, 2020

Holding a master's degree in computer engineering may open the door to job opportunities, higher-than-average wages, and career advancement. Find out how long it takes to complete this degree program, and check out career information.

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  • 0:05 Program Length
  • 0:46 Curriculum
  • 1:14 Admission Requirements
  • 1:53 Career Outlook

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Program Length

Individuals who are interested in master's-level computer engineering studies can enroll in a Master of Science program in the field. Interested students can benefit from information about the curriculum and application requirements for this degree, as well as future career possibilities. Like most master's degree programs, a Master of Science in Computer Engineering takes about two years of full-time study to complete. Many schools offer the master's degree program through distance learning. In some cases, this allows students to study at their own pace and set their own schedules, but they must ultimately fulfill the same curriculum requirements as on-campus students.


Students typically have to complete core required courses. Most programs offer the chance to specialize in fields like analytics and data, web engineering, or cloud and mobile systems. A project or thesis typically rounds out the program. Common essential courses include:

  • Computer architecture
  • Algorithms
  • Operating system design
  • Programming language
  • Networking
  • Software engineering

Admission Requirements

The minimum admissions requirement for an M.S. in Computer Engineering program is a bachelor's degree. Students may also be required to have majored in engineering, math, or one of the hard sciences. Some schools also require applicants to meet minimum overall GPA requirements and/or minimum GPA requirements for courses in engineering-related subjects. In addition, applicants must submit specific application materials. Often, these include:

  • Official undergraduate transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose

Career Outlook

There are several career options for those who graduate with a master's degree in computer engineering, including work as a software developer, computer programmer, and a computer hardware engineer. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that open positions for software developers were expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 17% between 2014 and 2024. During that same date range, the BLS predicted that job growth for computer programmers would decline by 8%, and open positions for computer hardware engineers would increase by 3%.

The BLS also gathers and posts national salary statistics for many careers. For example, as of May 2016, records from the BLS indicated that the average annual salary for software developers who specialize in applications was $104,300, and those who specialized in system software earned a slightly higher annual salary of $110,590. Data from that same year pointed out that the average annual salary earned by computer programmers was $85,180, and computer hardware engineers earned an average of $118,700.

Master's degree programs in computer engineering generally take two years to complete and include advanced coursework in the field. There are several relevant job options for graduates.

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