2022 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Electrical Engineering

By the OnlineU team | Updated 6/14/2022

An online bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering covers the knowledge students need for entry-level positions in the field. Students are given coursework that requires a strong background in mathematics and science, including classes in computer science, communications systems, electric circuits, and others. 

Electrical engineers are professionals who study and design electricity, electromagnetics, and electronics systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary in 2021 for electrical and electronics engineers was $101,780 per year or $48.93 an hour. Additional career paths for graduates include aerospace engineer, embedded systems engineer, and analysis engineer.

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List Of Accredited Online Schools

School Online Enrollment Salary Score Median Starting Salary
American Public University System 45,249 45,249 NA NA NA NA
Arizona State University 44,253 55 $70,595
Excelsior College 25,245 NA NA
Florida International University 13,671 47 $69,120
Thomas Edison State University 10,130 NA NA
University of Arkansas Grantham 7,079 NA NA
ECPI University Online 6,270 NA NA
Old Dominion University 6,154 25 $64,709
National University 6,014 NA NA
University of Arizona 5,073 68 $73,122
Daytona State College 3,656 NA NA
University of North Dakota 3,351 82 $76,521
Indiana State University 2,774 NA NA
Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus 2,431 NA NA
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 2,086 27 $65,138
Stony Brook University 1,444 13 $61,334
Bluefield State College 220 NA NA

University of North Dakota

  • Salary Score: 82
  • Median Starting Salary: $76,521
  • 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.

University of Arizona

  • Salary Score: 68
  • Median Starting Salary: $73,122
  • Locations: Tucson (AZ)
  • 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.

Arizona State University

  • Salary Score: 55
  • Median Starting Salary: $70,595
  • 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.

Florida International University

  • Salary Score: 47
  • Median Starting Salary: $69,120
  • 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.

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

  • Salary Score: 27
  • Median Starting Salary: $65,138
  • 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.

Old Dominion University

  • Salary Score: 25
  • Median Starting Salary: $64,709
  • 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.

Stony Brook University

  • Salary Score: 13
  • Median Starting Salary: $61,334
  • 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.

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Overview of Online Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering Degrees

An electrical engineering bachelor's degree (BSEE) introduces students to the science and theory of designing, testing, and manufacturing complex electrical equipment. Distance education has grown increasingly popular, and electrical engineering students can choose to pursue a degree exclusively online. According to our internal analysis of 10 schools, the median annual tuition for an online BSEE is $17,148. Additionally, some programs expect students to purchase equipment — such as oscilloscopes — to conduct labs remotely. This technology typically costs $150-$400.

Students interested in pursuing this degree should make sure they enroll in an online program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Students interested in pursuing this degree should make sure they enroll in an online program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Accreditation from ABET ensures that an electrical engineering program meets the established criteria for academic excellence, and it allows students to apply for financial aid and transfer college credits from other accredited institutions.

How Long Are Online Electrical Engineering Programs?

An online electrical engineering program is designed to take 4-5 years of full-time study to achieve. Students are expected to complete 120-125 credits, including general education courses, electives, and core classes for the major.

Are you unsure about pursuing an electrical engineering degree? Consider exploring other engineering programs, including mechanical, aerospace, and civil engineering.

Applying to an Online Electrical Engineering Program

Students must meet specific prerequisites and provide certain application materials to enroll in an online electrical engineering program. These may include the following:

  • A high school diploma with a minimum 3.0 GPA (though many programs will accept a GED as a substitute)
  • SAT and ACT scores in the 75th-80th percentile
  • Prerequisite science and advanced math courses completed during the first and second years
  • High school transcript
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A personal essay describing the student's interest in an electrical engineering degree

Additionally, applicants with an associate degree will need to ensure their completed credits meet coursework requirements for a bachelor's degree in this field.

What Courses Can I Expect to Take?

Electrical engineering students study everything from circuits, electromagnetics, and control systems to robotics and theories of electrical engineering design. They typically spend the first few semesters taking advanced math, chemistry, and physics classes before completing major-specific coursework in electronics and engineering. To gain practical experience, students must also complete labs in electrical construction, where they learn techniques for wiring, fabricating, and installing electrical systems. These labs can be completed exclusively online via software that simulates the experience of interacting with hardware.

Below are some examples of online courses in a BSEE.

Introduction to Engineering

This required course helps students develop a foundational knowledge of electronic engineering. In addition to introducing various construction and application techniques for electrical design, this course familiarizes students with techniques, such as soldering and wire-wrapping.

Automated Instrumentation

This class covers how students can use computers to control electronic systems. In addition to learning high-level programming languages, students gain experience with specific equipment and software used to facilitate interactions between humans and computers.

Circuit Theory

This fundamental class focuses on the crucial role of circuits in electrical theory. Students learn about theoretical concepts, such as resistance, inductance, and voltage, while familiarizing themselves with the symbols conveying different connections in electrical diagrams.

Digital System Fundamentals

Students taking this class learn how electrical hardware components are used when constructing computers. Topics covered include electronic design, hardware design languages, and memory circuits. This class also involves a lab component for students to gain hands-on experience.

Random Signals

This class provides students with an understanding of probability theory as it relates to electrical engineering. Faculty teach mathematical concepts concerning random events, and they explain how to apply this theory in order to troubleshoot problems that may arise in electrical systems.

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Potential Career Paths for Electrical Engineering Graduates

Electrical engineers design, develop, and manage the production of a wide variety of electrical devices. They work on large-scale technologies, such as GPS navigation and power generation equipment, as well as everyday items, including portable music players, smartphones, and home entertainment systems. As such, electronic engineers may find careers in government, transport services, healthcare provision, product manufacturing, and technology, to name a few.

Perhaps reflecting the diverse nature of their work, 85% of electrical engineers reported being satisfied in their jobs.

Entry-level jobs in electrical engineering require a bachelor's degree, with professionals earning a median annual income of $103,390. Graduates may also find lucrative positions in manufacturing. For instance, computer hardware engineers earn a median salary of $119,560 per year designing and testing PCs and laptops. It's important to note that a majority of electrical engineers hold a master's degree, which — with specialization in an area such as computing — can potentially qualify a worker in the field to make a median salary of $126,830 as a computer and information research scientist.

Due to the pace of technological innovation, some jobs in electrical engineering have become obsolete, but the field as a whole remains relevant. These professionals continue to play a role in designing efficient electrical components in a wide variety of technologies and products. In fact, the BLS predicts a 7% increase in entry-level positions for electrical engineers through 2030 — the average growth across all occupations.

Licensure and Certification Requirements

Electrical engineers don't require licensure or certification to gain employment. However, earning a license may open up more job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming licensed professional engineers must meet a rigorous set of qualifications. While each state has unique licensing requirements, candidates must typically complete an approved bachelor’s or master's degree program in engineering and four years of relevant work experience. They must also pass two exams administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Additionally, electrical engineers may choose to earn voluntary certifications in specific areas through a trade organization, such as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies.

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