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2023 Best Online Degrees in Electrical Engineering

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 11/8/2023
2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Electrical Engineering Badge

Electrical engineers are professionals who study and design electricity, electromagnetics, and electronics systems. An online bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, or any engineering degree, covers the knowledge students need for entry-level positions in the field. In an electrical engineering degree, students are given coursework that requires a strong background in mathematics and science, including classes that delve into the principles, theories, and practices related to electrical systems, electronics, and electromagnetism. Graduates strive to become electrical engineers, which involves designing, developing, testing, and maintaining electrical and electronic systems and devices.

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2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Electrical Engineering Badge
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Online Electrical Engineering Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In

Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $29,438
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University (ASU) is a large, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Applicants must meet the general admission requirements for ASU, including high SAT or ACT scores and either a minimum 3.0 GPA or a class ranking in the top 25%. This program, totaling 120 credit hours, introduces students to the fundamentals of electrical engineering. Graduates are prepared for careers in computing, robotics, energy, and more. Sample courses include Digital Design Fundamentals, Introduction to Engineering, and Fundamentals of Electromagnetics.

At ASU, most courses are delivered in an asynchronous format through Canvas. In addition, ASU’s online students can access disability support, counseling, success coaching, tech help, and military support services.

American Public University System

  • Annual Tuition: $7,360
  • Locations: Charles Town (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC

American Public University System (APU) is a private, for-profit institution offering an online Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. Graduating requires completing 128 credit hours, which may take four years of full-time attendance. However, some students may finish faster if taking accelerated courses and transferring credits. Classes start monthly and last from 8 to 16 weeks. It's important to note that APU's engineering courses incur an additional $100 per credit hour technology fee. APU has a 100% acceptance rate and an 18% graduation rate.

APU delivers its online curriculum via Canvas. Students in the online electrical engineering program take courses such as Embedded Systems Design, Advanced Power Electronics, Mechatronics, and Analog Circuit Theory. Besides required classes, they must also complete a senior seminar design and a senior seminar project to graduate.

Excelsior University

  • Annual Tuition: NA
  • Locations: Albany (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Excelsior University (formerly known as Excelsior College) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology with concentrations in Electronics and Power Systems. This 124-credit degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Full-time students generally take around four years to finish, but they can transfer up to 117 credits to save time and money. Excelsior accepts 100% of applicants, and 35% of students graduate with degrees.

Excelsior uses Canvas to deliver online coursework and instruction. Distance learners in the online electrical engineering technology program take classes such as Microprocessors, Computer Programming, Project Management, and Digital Electronics — depending on the concentration chosen. Completing an Integrated Technology Assessment capstone is also required to graduate.

Florida International University

  • Annual Tuition: $18,963
  • Locations: Miami (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

A medium-sized, public institution, Florida International University (FIU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The 128-credit-hour program exposes students to different areas of electrical engineering, such as nanotechnology, bio-engineering, and electromagnetism. Sample courses from the program include Applied Software Techniques in Engineering, Signals and Systems, Introduction to Fields and Waves, and Power Systems.

At FIU, online coursework, which is facilitated through Canvas, must be completed at set deadlines. Resources for online students at FIU include tutoring, success coaching, and academic advising. As part of FIU’s general admission requirements, applicants must complete MAC 2311 (Calculus I) or its equivalent with a “C” or higher before enrollment.

Thomas Edison State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,342
  • Locations: Trenton (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Technology designed for electricians and electrical power or machinery workers. This 120-credit program takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Students may earn credits for prior learning and work experience, eliminating the need to complete specific courses and saving time and money. Alternatively, TESU offers a similar online degree: a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Systems Engineering Technology. The university has a 100% acceptance rate and a 48% graduation rate.

TESU delivers its online curriculum via Moodle. Online students access Moodle to participate in courses in the electrical technology program, such as Digital Electronics, AC Circuits, Applied Quality Management, and Occupational Safety and Health. Students must also complete a senior capstone project in order to graduate.

Old Dominion University

  • Annual Tuition: $30,960
  • Locations: Norfolk (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Old Dominion University (ODU) — a large, public institution — offers several specializations within its online Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology program: (1) Communications Systems Technology (Electrical Engineering Technology), (2) Computer Engineering Technology (Electrical Engineering Technology), (3) Embedded Systems Technology (Electrical Engineering Technology), (4) Mechatronics Systems Technology (Electrical Engineering Technology), and (5) Power Systems Technology (Electrical Engineering Technology). Each specialization requires completing 127-128 credit hours. Prospective jobs include working in energy, field operations, power systems, and other industries.

At ODU, students complete online coursework, which is delivered synchronously and asynchronously, in Canvas. ODU’s online support includes academic help, tech, career development, and free software. Prospective students must submit ACT or SAT scores and official transcripts.

University of Arizona

  • Annual Tuition: $11,800
  • Locations: Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

At the University of Arizona (UA) — a large, public institution — prospective students can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Totaling 128 credit hours, the program integrates the two disciplines to give students flexibility in their career options. At UA, students engage in real-world projects and research experiences with faculty that can benefit them in their future careers. Graduates may enter a variety of fields: robotics, software, medical imaging, and communication networks, to name a few.

UA online students complete all coursework asynchronously through the learning management system, D2L. Online student resources include tutoring, academic success coaching, librarian consultations, and disability support. This program requires submitting an online application, unofficial transcripts, and taking the ALEKS math placement exam.

University of North Dakota

  • Annual Tuition: $15,037
  • Locations: Grand Forks (ND)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a medium-sized, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering requiring 125 credit hours. Students gain skills in C++, Python, MATLAB, and other languages throughout the program. High school or college transcripts, a minimum 2.75 GPA, and ACT or SAT scores are required for admission. Some of the courses include Circuit Analysis, Electric & Magnetic Fields, Engineering Data Analysis, and Embedded Systems.

At UND, students complete online coursework either asynchronously or synchronously through the Blackboard platform. Online student support services at UND include tutoring, academic advising, and tech help.

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

  • Annual Tuition: $15,240
  • Locations: Carbondale (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIU) — a medium-sized, public institution — offers an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. Totaling 120 credit hours, the program provides students with foundational skills in electrical engineering. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, technical background, and official transcripts to enroll in the program. Sample courses include Digital System Fundamentals, Manufacturing Process Laboratory, Technology Design, and Cost Estimating. Prospective jobs for graduates include service engineers, application engineers, and sales engineers.

All coursework at SIU is offered in a synchronous format and facilitated on the digital learning platform, MyCourses. In addition, SIU's online student support services include academic advising, career development, disability support, counseling, tutoring, and many others.

Stony Brook University

  • Annual Tuition: $28,375
  • Locations: Stony Brook (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

A large, public institution, Stony Brook University (Stony Brook) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering that requires 120 credit hours to complete. Prospective students can expect to take the following core courses: Technical Communications for Electrical Engineers, Random Signals, Electromagnetics, and Digital Signal Processing. Admission requirements include having a minimum 3.0 GPA in high-level math courses and a minimum grade of C from Stony Brook’s General Education Courses.

This online program is designed for full-time students who desire flexibility in their schedules. At Stony Brook, online students complete coursework asynchronously through Blackboard. In addition, Stony Brook offers technical support and their Student Accessibility Support Center to online students.

List Of Accredited Online Electrical Engineering Schools

School Online Enrollment Annual Tuition
Arizona State University 46,764 46,764 $29,438 $29,438
American Public University System 38,969 $7,360
Excelsior University 15,260 NA
Florida International University 12,256 $18,963
Thomas Edison State University 8,678 $9,342
Old Dominion University 6,609 $30,960
ECPI University Online 6,192 $17,479
University of Arizona 5,539 $11,800
National University 4,801 $13,320
University of Arkansas Grantham 4,498 $8,280
Daytona State College 4,369 $11,994
University of North Dakota 2,118 $15,037
Indiana State University 1,930 $20,862
Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus 1,916 $8,688
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 1,358 $15,240
Stony Brook University 1,176 $28,375
Bluefield State College 388 $15,982
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What Is a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Degree?

Electrical engineering bachelor's students learn the properties and behavior of electricity so they can design processes and machines that use it safely. This field has evolved significantly since its 19th-century origins to include modern electronics and computer systems.

As with most other engineering degrees, these programs require high-level knowledge of mathematics and physics, specifically through lessons on circuits, logic design, energy conversion, and linear systems. A bachelor's degree is the minimum education needed to become an electrical engineer. 

Online degrees in this field usually feature asynchronous courses, which means they have no live class meetings. But some online programs will have synchronous elements, such as live lectures over video conferencing apps. In addition, a school may require you to complete some assignments in a college laboratory.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering typically contain 120-128 credit hours of coursework. Administrators design programs to last four years at a full-time pace, but most undergraduates take more than four years to finish.

Conducting scientific experiments is an important part of an electrical engineering degree, so several courses will include lab work. As an online student, your school may send you the necessary lab equipment or ask you to buy it separately, and you'll typically work with some interactive simulation software. But you might also need to attend a campus at regular intervals to perform in-person lab work; ask admissions counselors or program administrators what the college expects.

Some programs require an internship, externship, or other field placement to give engineering students practical experience. Others make internships optional or don't offer them at all.

Electrical Engineering Concentrations

Concentrations are fairly uncommon in electrical engineering bachelor's degree programs, but some schools do offer them. Here are a few of the available focus areas you might elect:

Electronics Engineering covers how to design and test electronic components for a variety of purposes.

Energy Systems focuses on generating and moving it to where it's needed, whether through traditional or more modern renewable methods.

Engineering Management seeks to prepare students to lead projects and teams of employees.

Electrical Engineering Courses

Besides general education classes, an electrical engineering curriculum is heavy on practical math, chemistry, and physics. Some programs may feature optional concentrations in specialties such as engineering management or electronics engineering.

Read on for examples of common courses in an electrical engineering bachelor's program: 

Automated Instrumentation

This class covers how to use computers in order to control electronic systems. In addition to learning programming languages, students work with specialized equipment and software used to interface between humans and computers.

Circuit Analysis and Theory

Professors focus on the crucial role of circuits in electrical theory. Lessons generally cover resistance, inductance, and voltage, along with their associated diagram symbols.

Electrical Fields and Waves

Topics in this course include electric charges, magnetic poles, and the nature and behavior of waves. Most sections of this course include a lab component. 

Engineering Data Analysis

Engineers need to understand how to assess the effects of their work, which is the focus of this class. Students usually learn applied statistics and probability theory while gaining experience with data analysis software applications. 

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Degree?

As an electrical engineering graduate, you'll most likely apply for jobs as an electrical or electronics engineer so you can harness electricity to power homes, design telecommunications grids, or test consumer electronics. But you may instead go into a related field that your education can help you qualify for.

For example, you may become a computer hardware engineer who creates physical components to make computers run. You might also choose an industrial engineer role to design processes and factory layouts to make manufacturing as smooth and efficient as possible, or a mechanical engineering job to design and build machines. Each of these careers has a median yearly salary greater than $95,000.

It's no surprise that electrical engineering professors aim to create the next generation of electrical engineers. But there is some variety within the field, and electrical engineers can specialize in certain types of work.

Faculty also emphasize important soft skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, so it may be possible to pursue another type of engineering once you've earned your online bachelor's degree.

Other Engineering Specializations

Engineering occupations are generally well-paid careers that require only a bachelor's degree to enter. There is a good deal of crossover between the disciplines, but some are distinct enough to warrant their own degrees. Review the list below to discover if any of these fields intrigue you more than electrical engineering.

Aerospace Engineering

An aerospace engineering degree trains prospective aerospace engineers in how to design, test, and build airframes. They tend to specialize in either aeronautical engineering (planes and helicopters) or astronautical engineering (spacecraft).

Chemical Engineering

These professionals with a chemical engineering degree design and use chemicals in new ways. They most often work in research and development for industrial and pharmaceutical firms.

Civil Engineering

These engineers create the infrastructure we use to travel and contain our important resources, such as water. Because of their work for the general public, this is the only type of engineering that requires a license in nearly every state. The first step, though, is a civil engineering degree.

Computer Engineering

Those with computer engineering degrees are experts in computer hardware and components. Their work is more specialized than general computer science occupations.

Industrial Engineering

These employees with industrial engineering degrees work to improve physical layouts, equipment, and workflow processes in heavy industry. In the U.S., the largest number of them work for manufacturers of transportation equipment.

Mechanical Engineering

A team of mechanical engineers designed every machine in your home. But despite their usefulness, increased efficiency and automation will cause relatively slow job growth for this profession in the near future. Mechanical engineering degrees are available for those who want to pursue this niche. 

Software Engineering

Just as computer engineers design the hardware, professionals who have obtained software engineering degrees design the applications that you use on your computer, phone, or tablet. Software developers and software engineers have related but distinct jobs, with engineers playing a more conceptual and project-management role.

Further Education

Although it's not a guarantee, more education tends to lead to higher salaries and lower rates of unemployment. The analytics company Lightcast reports that in the last 12 months, employers offered salaries an average of $12,000 higher for electrical engineers with master's degrees compared to those with bachelor's degrees. A master's degree in electrical engineering covers advanced concepts in the discipline, often through a specialization, such as analog and mixed signals, electromagnetics, or nanotechnology. 

Electrical engineering doctorates are mainly intended for learners who want to conduct cutting-edge research or teach at the college level. According to Lightcast, the software industry posted the most job ads for electrical engineering PhDs in the 2017-2022 period, but they tended to earn only marginally higher salaries than master's-level engineers.


You can typically apply to a bachelor's program between November and February in order to start the following autumn. Some online schools might let you start during a different term, so contact an admissions officer for details.

Bachelor's degree programs require, at minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply for an online degree. Most colleges also ask for a personal statement and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Some schools want to see scores from an entrance exam either — the ACT or SAT — but they're increasingly dropping this requirement

GPA requirements differ, but most admissions officers want to see that your best grades are in math and science courses when considering you for an engineering program. Extracurricular activities may help boost your chances if they're related to engineering and technology.

FAQs About Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Programs

What Can You Do With an Electrical Engineering Degree?

You can become an electrical engineer once you have a bachelor's degree in this major. You can also potentially land an engineering job in a related field, such as mechanical, industrial, or computer engineering. Another option is enrolling in a graduate program in engineering or engineering management.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrical Engineering Degree?

Electrical engineering bachelor's programs often take four years if you study full time. It's possible to graduate college early, but in reality, about 55% of students take longer than four years to finish.

Is Electrical Engineering Hard?

Electrical engineering programs are STEM degrees that most students find challenging. Even if they excel at math and science, they might be new to the specific technological tools used in the profession, as well as the critical soft skills that electrical engineers need.

What Is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a profession for people who use electricity to build things and who build things that use electricity. These engineers design and test projects as wide-ranging as power grids, telecommunications networks, manufacturing machinery, and electronics components.

What Else Should You Consider?

A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is usually needed to become an electrical engineer, which can be a relatively high-paying and stable career. Students learn about the power and promise of electricity, along with how to harness it and minimize its danger. Several schools offer fully online or hybrid degree programs that let students learn with maximum convenience.

It's important to set goals and think through what you want from your education. To help you, we listed the questions below:

Is this school accredited? What about its online electrical engineering program?

You should only consider institutionally accredited schools, which are regularly reviewed by an independent agency for academic and administrative quality. You can usually find a school's accreditation status on its website or through the U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Electrical engineering program faculty often seek programmatic accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET has a searchable database of both online and on-campus programs.

Do I want to study online?

Starting an online education may feel very different from the schooling you're used to: You have the freedom to make your own hours, but it can also feel unstructured and disconnected from colleagues and professors. Be sure to consider the possible benefits and drawbacks of each degree path.

What other factors matter to me?

You may want a college with well-reviewed tutoring and writing services, an active network of engineering alumni, or a diverse student body and established inclusion policies. You have a unique set of preferences and personal circumstances, so the answer is ultimately up to you.

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