Best Electrical Engineering colleges in the U.S.

Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Expert review by Tien Rooney

If you're interested in entering a STEM-based field that's bolstered by competitive salaries and an expanding job market, pursuing an electrical engineering degree is a solid academic choice. Often a popular choice for students with a knack for math and science, electrical engineering students hone the theoretical and technical knowledge essential to our interconnected, digital world.

Whether you want to pursue a career in Silicon Valley or dedicate your time to combating climate change through green energy technologies, electrical engineering may be right for you.

Best Electrical Engineering colleges in the U.S. for 2023

The University of Southern California (USC) is a large, private research institution that offers various undergraduate and graduate-level electrical engineering programs. Based in Los Angeles, USC is home to nearly 50,000 students. Undergraduates pursuing an electrical and computer engineering degree focus on areas like computer engineering, systems engineering, and electrical sciences.

Purdue University-Main Campus
West Lafayette, IN
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Established in 1869, Indiana's Purdue University is home to nearly 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Prospective electrical engineering students can access various bachelor's, master's, and doctoral tracks as on-campus and online options. In addition to traditional academic tracks, Purdue offers a 4+1 electrical engineering program where students can complete their bachelor's and master's degrees in just five years.

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The Georgia Institute of Technology—more commonly known as Georgia Tech—is a public research institution based in Atlanta. This elite STEM-centric school offers undergraduate and graduate-level electrical engineering degrees. In addition to more traditional electrical engineering degrees, Georgia Tech students also have access to a joint BS/MS track that offers an accelerated path towards a master's degree.

The University of California at Berkeley is an elite public institution that was founded in 1868 as the first campus of the state's university system. UC Berkeley is home to more than 45,000 students and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral electrical engineering degrees. This Bay Area institution also highlights an undergraduate path where students can complete electrical engineering and business degrees simultaneously.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research institution that's located in Worcester, Massachusetts. This STEM-centric New England school has an enrollment of over 6,000 students and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering. In addition to standard on-campus programs, master's and graduate certificate students can complete their coursework online.

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Whether completed on-campus or as part of Arizona State University's (ASU) deep catalog of online degrees, this large public institution offers multiple undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering degrees. Online and on-campus students complete an ABET-accredited curriculum and often gain hands-on experience through internships.

Situated in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Michigan Technological University (MTU) was founded in 1885 and is home to more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  MTU's electrical engineering degrees boast accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Undergraduate electrical engineering students can choose from academic concentrations like electrical power, environmental applications, and photonics.

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Columbia University in the City of New York offers 5 Electrical Engineering degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 288 Electrical Engineering students graduated with students earning 182 Master's degrees, 45 Bachelor's degrees, 33 Doctoral degrees, and 28 Certificates.

Stanford University
Stanford, CA
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Stanford University is home to multiple electrical engineering degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Often acting as a career pipeline for tech-centric Silicon Valley, Stanford was established in 1885 and has an enrollment of over 17,000 students. This California-based school confers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering.

The University of Michigan's (UM) Ann Arbor campus is the state's flagship institution and is home to more than 48,000 students. This large public research university was founded in 1817 and offers several undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering degrees. UM's electrical engineering programs consistently rank among the best in the country and offer specialized research areas like small electronics, communication, and automation and robotics.

What is Electrical Engineering?

Similar to other STEM-based degrees, electrical engineering students focus most of their academic energy on various math and science topics. Electrical engineering deals with the intricacies and technical aspects of electricity and associated technologies. Whether working with microchips or gigantic power plants, this academic field applies to a wide range of industries.

A bachelor's in electrical engineering is the traditional way students begin their careers. While some community colleges offer an associate degree in electrical engineering, most employers look for applicants with at least a bachelor's degree.

Whether they're pursuing an undergraduate or graduate-level degree, electrical engineering students have solid foundational knowledge in calculus, physics, and chemistry. Additionally, students tackle focused electrical engineering coursework in topics spanning from electromagnetic power systems to nanotechnology. 

Continue reading to review the various types of electrical engineering degrees, professional certifications, and what you can do with your degree in electrical engineering.

Electrical Engineering Degree Overview

An undergraduate degree in electrical engineering prepares students for a profession in designing electronics, building electrical systems, and generating power. The curriculum is oriented towards math and physics and focuses on specific engineering and automation technologies, as well as on important skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and project management.

Those who go on to pursue graduate level electrical engineering degrees will gain more in-depth expertise in areas of operational planning, circuit design, programming, instrumentation and measurements, and may also explore communication and organization to prepare them for positions in leadership.

Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering

A Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering is the traditional path students take to jumpstart their engineering careers. These programs usually require students to complete 120 credits before graduation. Throughout their 4-5 year undergraduate experience, students complete core electrical engineering classes such as object-oriented programming, logic design, and applied software techniques.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, prospective students submit an online application along with a personal statement and letters of recommendation. Some programs may consider standardized test scores alongside high school academic performance.

Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering

In addition to core electrical engineering knowledge, master's students gain the skills they need to take on managerial and leadership roles. These programs typically require students to complete about 30 credits of coursework over 2-3 years. Common master's coursework includes topics such as advanced digital systems, power electronics, and embedded systems. Additionally, students can pursue academic specializations in areas like digital signal processing and computer engineering.

Prospective master's students must hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Applicants typically have a minimum cumulative GPA of about 3.0 and submit letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and GRE test scores.

Certification and Licensure in Electrical Engineering

In addition to essential electrical engineering coursework, as their degree culminates undergraduate students can prepare for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. This exam covers topics like circuit analysis, engineering economics, and ethics and professional practice. 

After several years of working alongside licensed electrical engineers, professionals can prepare and sit for the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam which covers topics like control systems fundamentals and general engineering knowledge.

Electrical engineering professionals can also boost their resumes and skillsets through various certificate programs. Often an online option, students can hone both technical knowledge and managerial skills.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Electrical Engineering?

While electrical engineering degrees provide students with a focused set of theoretical and technical skills, an expansive list of industries and organizations rely on electrical engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical engineers can anticipate their field to grow by 7% between 2020-2030. Additionally, electrical engineers earn a median salary that exceeds $100,000 per year.

In addition to working in various engineering fields, electrical engineering grads work in fields like manufacturing, electric power generation, and various research and development roles. Students graduating with a master's degree in electrical engineering gain the training and experience they need to take on various leadership and managerial roles—electrical engineering managers earn an average salary over $123,000 per year.

Earning an Online Electrical Engineering Degree

Students interested in pursuing an online degree in electrical engineering can anticipate a curriculum that mirrors on-campus options. The best programs strive to create a collaborative environment through digital platforms and engaging students through online forums, live and recorded lectures, and various group projects. 

Undergraduate degree-seekers often cut costs by completing general education requirements through a community college-based associate degree program. Those tackling a graduate degree traditionally choose between a master of science (MS) in electrical engineering or a master of engineering (M.Eng.)—the MS degree often prepares students for careers in research and instruction while an M.Eng. degree leans on career-advancing technical skills.

Whether the degree is offered as an online or on-campus option, the best electrical engineering programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Electrical Engineering FAQ

  • Is electrical engineering a good career?
    • Students graduating with an electrical engineering degree can expect to earn robust salaries while entering a field that is projected to grow over the next decade. In addition to salaries that exceed $100,000 per year, electrical engineers hone a valuable set of skills that are applicable to an expansive list of career opportunities.
  • How long does it take to become an electrical engineer?
    • Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's in electrical engineering typically complete about 120 credits over 4-5 years. During their undergraduate tenure, students complete a mix of general education requirements, core electrical engineering coursework, and various hands-on learning opportunities. Before graduation, many students complete an internship in a professional environment.
  • Is electrical engineering an in-demand degree?
    • In addition to the 7% projected growth that electrical engineering can expect when entering the workforce, the degree applies to a long list of potential career fields. During their coursework, electrical engineering students can tackle academic and technical specializations in topics like computer engineering, microelectronics, and signal processing and communications.

List of all Electrical Engineering colleges in the U.S.

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
University of Southern California Logo University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
22 : 1 46,287
Purdue University-Main Campus Logo Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
23 : 1 46,655
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Logo Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA
35 : 1 39,771
University of California-Berkeley Logo University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
23 : 1 42,327
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Logo Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA
17 : 1 6,920