MS in Electrical Engineering

University of Colorado Boulder - Graduate Distance Education

Online Boulder, CO Public ACCREDITED

Program at a Glance

Electrical And Electronics Engineering Computer Engineering
Yes 100% online
$835 Per credit hour for tuition
30 credit hours required for graduation
total estimated cost
Yes transfer credits accepted
No 100% flexible class times
16 weeks average course length
No minimum
min. completion time


Online Master of Science (MS) in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder), the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system, is globally recognized for its world-class research and a faculty that includes multiple Nobel Prize laureates. An innovator and leader in distance education for more than four decades, CU Boulder connects students to its Boulder campus from anywhere in the world 24/7 through its distance education delivery platform.

The distance education delivery platform gives students access to a variety of graduate programs, including master's degrees, certificates, and individual courses, allowing CU Boulder online distance education students to earn the same degrees and have the same resources as on-campus students. The electrical engineering master's degree program at CU Boulder is one of seven online graduate degrees available to working professionals.

Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering program overview

The Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (ECEE) in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder was established in the 1890s. Its Electrical Engineering program is ranked 38th overall and 25th among public graduate programs by "U.S. News and World Report" (Best Graduate Schools 2017). Faculty comprises some 40 tenured and tenure-track professors, 14 professors, 14 associate professors, and eight assistant professors. The department also has two research professors, one associate professor, four senior research associates, 12 research associates, two senior instructors and more than 15 adjunct professors, instructors, and lecturers.

On the ECEE faculty are 14 IEEE Fellows (Institute of Electrical and Electronics (Engineers); three OSA Fellows (Optical Society of America), three SPIE Fellows (International Society for Optics and Photonics), and two members of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Research support is approximately $17.3M per year sourced from a variety of public and private institutions.

Students with diverse backgrounds and interests will find a vibrant, intellectually stimulating program based on building a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in electrical engineering and information technologies.

Focus areas, certificates, and dual degrees

Distance students may select a focus area from Biomedical Engineering; Computer Engineering; Digital Signal Processing Communication; Dynamics and Controls; Electromagnetics, RF, and Microwaves; Embedded Systems Engineering; Nanostructures and Devices; Optics and Photonics; Power Electronics; and Power Systems and Renewable Energy.

Graduate certificates are offered in Electric Drivetrain Technology, Embedded Systems Engineering, and Power Electronics.

Students interested in leadership and management have the option of pursuing a dual master's degree combining the MS in electrical engineering with a Master of Engineering (ME) in Engineering Management. This option requires admission to both master's programs. Some courses may count toward degree requirements in both programs.

Electrical Engineering Curriculum

The MS in Electrical Engineering offers a thesis track and a non-thesis track. The thesis option requires 30 semester hours of coursework, of which 4 to 6 hours are applied toward thesis credit. The remaining hours are technical courses in ECEE or approved science, engineering, and math courses. Under the supervision of a graduate faculty member, students develop their thesis topics on a subject of substantial significance in their field of interest. Students defend their thesis before a final examination committee. The non-thesis curriculum is the same, but with thesis hours replaced with coursework.

Courses in the curriculum include Programmable Systems on a Chip; Optical Electronics; Computer and Machine Vision Systems; Mobile Computing and IoT Security; Adjustable Speed AC Drives; Fundamental Concepts of Programming Languages; Introduction to Power Electronics, and many more.

Course delivery

All students have automatic access to online course lectures (streaming or downloading) beginning the first day until the last day of the semester. Recorded lectures are uploaded to the portal within 24 hours after the lecture has been taught on campus. Students have the option to participate live from a distance in the real-time classroom experience and/or view the lectures asynchronously as it fits their schedule.

Library Courses, those that have been recorded in previous semesters, are available to take for academic credit with the instructor's approval.

World-class faculty

CU Boulder faculty includes five Nobel Laureates (four in physics and one in chemistry), eight MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellows, two U.S. Professors of the Year and four National Medal of Science winners. CU Boulder faculty members contributed valuable data to the international climate change report that shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Among the notable faculty in the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering department at CU Boulder are Lucy Pao, whose research has been primarily in the area of control systems, with applications ranging from atomic force microscopy to disk drives, digital tape drives, and megawatt wind turbines and wind farms. She is a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) and the founding scientific director of the Center for Research Education in Wind (CREW).

David Meyer is an award-winning scholar with research interests in feedback control of dynamic systems with particular emphasis on materials processing. Robert Erickson is the co-director and founder of the Colorado Power Electronics Center. Professor Erickson is a Fellow of the IEEE, and is the author of the textbook "Fundamentals of Power Electronics," now in its second edition.

Financial Assistance

CU Boulder offers a variety of financial assistance options for online distance graduate students. These include loans, grants, and military and company tuition assistance programs.

Connect with this school


Prerequisites & Transfer Credits

Minimum GPA

Out of 4.0

Standardized Tests


requiredfor admission

Transfer Credits Accepted?


Credits must be from from a four-year college or university of recognized standing.

Additional Admission Requirements

TOEFL or IELTS test scores for applicants who did not attend an institution where the native language is English.


Services, Schedule, Reputation, Instructors and Student Info

Services Offered

Online Office Hours
Online Chat
Mobile App
Social Discussion Forums
On-Campus Graduation Ceremony
Digital Textbooks
Online Management of Coursework


100% Online Yes
Minimum Completion Time No minimum
Class Times Both
Average Course Length 16 Weeks


  • School Type:
  • School Accreditation:
    Regional Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
  • Program Accreditation:

Instructors & Students

  • Instructors:
    Teach both online and on-campus
  • Students:
    Students worldwide


Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    $835 per credit hour
  • Required for Completion
    30 credit hours
  • Total Estimated Cost*
*Additional Fees


  • In-State/Province: $1050
  • Out-of-State/Province: $1350
  • International: $1350

Location & Contact

Student Contact

Graduate Distance Education

Head of Distance Learning

Lawrence Stephen Director 303-492-6331
Graduate Distance Education Graduate School - Program Development 1111 Engineering Drive, ECOT 126 Boulder CO 80309-0435


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