Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical Engineering programs are offered in fully online and hybrid formats. Students may be able to concentrate in a particular field, such as energy sources, circuit design and nanotechnology. Many programs offer a thesis option, which requires more credit hours, as well as the research, writing and defense of a paper. Word processing software, media players and speakers may be needed. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in a related field or meet prerequisite course stipulations. Individuals may need to earn licensure to work as electrical engineers, depending on their particular job and location.
M.S. in Electrical Engineering
Online electrical engineering programs explore power systems, signal processing and nanoelectronics. Students investigate engineering techniques and theories, as well as develop an understanding of new trends in the field. Programs require students to have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or an engineering, science or mathematics discipline. However, students with a degree in something other than electrical engineering may be required to complete prerequisite courses.
Program Information and Requirements
Electrical engineering program lengths vary; some programs allow students to take time off between courses provided they complete their degree within six years. Online courses are typically self-paced and may include streaming video. Students access assignments, syllabi and reading material through online learning platforms, such as Moodle. Students interact with professors and classmates through instant messenger, discussion boards and email.
Online learning typically requires an up-to-date computer and operating system, as well as a high-speed internet connection with a current web browser. Students typically need speakers, DVD/CD players and word processing software. Some classes may require specific media players, such as Windows Media Player or Real One Player Basic.
List of Common Electrical Engineering Courses
Online master's degree programs in electrical engineering typically offer foundational coursework in communications, control systems and electronics, as well as advanced courses in specific areas. Students may choose specializations that include controls, energy systems, optics, circuit design and nanotechnology.
Students learn about AC and DC power converters, including methods of design and control. They explore power devices, along with how to use simulation tools to analyze power converters.
Signal and Image Processing
Possible topics include discrete signals, linear transforms, resolution conversion and image processing. Students may conduct online laboratory experiments using software to simulate digital signal or image processing algorithms.
Students learn about local and wide area networking, protocol layering, controlling flow and avoiding congestion. They discuss Web services architecture, network security and quality-of-service mechanisms.
Graduates of online master's degree programs in electrical engineering may pursue a leadership position with a small engineering firm, electrical equipment supplier or government agency. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, there were 178,580 electrical engineers working in the U.S. and making a mean annual salary of $97,340 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, architectural and engineering managers were making an average of $141,650 per year during this time, stated the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Students may decide to earn a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Some schools offer online courses, but in most cases, there are residency requirements.
Becoming a licensed professional engineer enables an electrical engineer to provide services to the public. Licensure requires educational credentials, work experience and a passing score on a 2-part engineering examination. Additionally, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) offers professional certification for electrical engineers in software development and wireless communication.
Online master's programs in electrical engineering provide students with a foundational education in theories and techniques in the field. Specialization choices are available with core courses in computer networking and power electronics.