Think you don’t have the time or money to earn your graduate degree in Computer Engineering? Think again.
The average starting salary for someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering is $65,717. For graduates with a Master’s degree, the typical starting salary is $77,813. Clearly, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering can be a wise investment. Here's what you need to know about this academic path.
What kind of Computer Engineering degree should you get?
Earning a master’s degree used to mean attending on-campus classes on a consistent schedule. While many students still prefer face-to-face courses, you do have other options.
An online degree is more flexible, and often more affordable, than an in-person program. Are you interested in learning more about programs that offer distance education? Visit our Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees ranking.
How much money do people make with a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering?
According to PayScale, one of the most common job titles for graduates with an M.S. in Computer Engineering is Software Engineer. The average pay for this job is $89,989 per year. Move up to Senior Software Engineer, and you’ll be looking at an average salary of $112,457.
What can you do with a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering?
Computer engineering is, by its nature, interdisciplinary. It requires a strong foundation in computer science, mathematics, and hardware engineering. This combination of skills can be applied in a variety of ways.
With a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, you may find work as a:
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Network Analyst
- Database Administrator
- Software Systems Engineer
- Systems Security Administrator
- Information Security Analyst
- Software Developer
What are the requirements for a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering?
Each program has unique admissions requirements. Many schools will require applicants to have earned an undergraduate degree in an engineering or computer science discipline. The most competitive programs will require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or 3.25.
Once you find a program that interests you, be sure to speak with an admissions counselor at that school about any specific requirements you need to meet.
What are the most affordable online Master’s degrees in Computer Engineering?
This list of the most affordable online Master’s degrees in Computer Engineering is based on published tuition rates and on average financial aid packages at each school. Our data for this ranking comes from the IPEDS database and U.S. News & World Report, as well as the websites of individual colleges.
Good luck on the search for your perfect school!
1. University of New Mexico
The University of New Mexico is the state’s flagship institution and one of the leading universities in the Southwest. UNM is the nation's only Carnegie Research University with Very High Activity that has also been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The award-winning School of Engineering at UNM offers nine undergraduate programs and 12 graduate programs, including an innovative Computer Engineering in the Internet of Things degree.
The online Master of Computer Engineering in the Internet of Things (IoT) requires a total of 31 credit hours. Students can earn the degree in as little as 18 months. The curriculum includes five required courses and six elective courses. Available electives for this program include the following:
- Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust
- Introduction to Digital Signal Processing
- Nonlinear and Adaptive Control
- Hardware Software Codesign with FPGAs
Applicants for this program must have earned their bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or a closely related field. As of the 2017-2018 school year, the tuition rate for the Computer Engineering in the Internet of Things program is $362.92 per credit hour. The Master of Science from UNM is also available with a specialization in either Optical Science and Engineering or in Electrical Engineering.
2. University of Michigan–Dearborn
The student body of the University of Michigan–Dearborn includes over 7,000 undergraduates and almost 2,000 graduate students. Founded in 1959, UM-Dearborn has quickly grown into a top-tier institution of higher learning. U.S. News & World Report named UM-Dearborn sixth in the Midwest among master’s-level public universities. Through the College of Engineering and Computer Science, UM-Dearborn graduate students can pursue degrees in Data Science, Engineering Management, Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, and much more.
The Rackham School of Graduate Studies, in collaboration with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, offers an intensive and flexible M.S.E. in Computer Engineering. This degree offers four available specializations: Computer Architecture and Design, Networks and Communications, Intelligent Systems, and Multimedia Engineering. The online Computer Engineering graduate degree requires a total of 30 credit hours, which may be earned through courses such as:
- Reconfigurable Computing
- High-Speed and Advanced Networks
- Multimedia Data Storage and Retrieval
- VLSI Design
The coursework for this program is available both on campus and online. The on-campus courses are offered during the late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate the schedules of students who are also working professionals. UM-Dearborn was named a "Best Bang for the Buck" university by Washington Monthly. The University also appeared on Money Magazine’s Best Colleges list.
3. North Carolina State University
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked North Carolina State University ninth in its list of the Best Values for In-State Students Among Public Colleges, and seventh in Best Values for Out-of-State Students Among Public Colleges. NC State operates 10 schools and colleges, representing a comprehensive array of academic fields. Many of NC State’s graduate programs are ranked among the best in the nation, including the online graduate programs in engineering (ninth in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report).
The Master of Science in Computer Engineering program at NC State is available exclusively online. Students who are employed full-time while pursuing their degree may enroll in a maximum of two courses per semester. The curriculum for this degree consists of 30 credit hours and may include courses such as:
- Embedded Systems Architectures
- Internet of Things: Application and Implementation
- Advanced Parallel Computer Architecture
- Introduction to Computer Performance Modeling
Applicants to the Computer Engineering program must submit GRE scores. To qualify for this program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to engineering with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale. Students with a 3.0 GPA may be admitted on a provisional basis.
4. Georgia Institute of Technology
With a main campus in Atlanta and international campuses in Metz, France and Shenzhen, China, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a truly global institution. Georgia Tech enrolls over 29,000 students in nationally distinguished bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. All of the graduate engineering programs at Georgia Tech have been ranked among the top 10 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.
The renowned Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering is available as a distance learning program. Although the majority of Computational Science and Engineering courses are available online through Georgia Tech Professional Education, there are some specialization courses that may be offered exclusively on campus. Students cannot take on-campus classes and online classes during the same semester. While earning this degree, candidates may take courses such as:
- Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms
- Modeling and Simulation: Fundamentals and Implementation
- Computational Data Analysis
- High-Performance Computing
The Georgia Institute of Technology also offers an online M.S. in Analytics and an online M.S. in Computer Science. Additionally, on-campus students have the option of an M.S. in Bioengineering, in Human-Computer Interaction, and in Cybersecurity. PayScale ranked Georgia Tech number five in its 2017 College ROI Report: Best Value Colleges (annual, in-state).
5. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers 98 degrees in 39 areas of study. More than 8,800 students attend Missouri S&T, representing all 50 states and 60 countries worldwide. Ranked by Newsweek as the best investment among public universities for out-of-state students, Missouri S&T offers an exceptional Computer Engineering program through its Distance Education division.
The online Master of Science in Computer Engineering is available as both a thesis and non-thesis track. For both tracks, candidates will complete 30 credit hours. Through this program, students will gain a strong understanding of the relationships among different engineering disciplines. Coursework for this degree may include:
- Introduction to Neural Networks and Applications
- Adaptive Dynamic Programming
- Mobile and Sensor Data Management
- Markov Decision Processes
Students may choose to enroll in an online graduate certificate program to begin earning credit toward their master’s degree. If the student completes all the core coursework for the certificate with a grade of B or better, they may be accepted into the corresponding master’s degree program without taking the GRE (which is required for students applying directly to a degree track). The current rate for distance learning programs is $1,200 per credit hour, regardless of state residency. Eligible military service members and their family will receive a discounted tuition rate of $734.94 per credit hour.
6. University of Florida
The main campus of the University of Florida is located in Gainesville, roughly 90 minutes southwest of Jacksonville. The University also operates facilities in all 67 counties in Florida, demonstrating the institution’s vital importance to the economic and technological growth of the region. UF ranks number one among the member institutions of the elite Association of American Universities for the number of master’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students. The top-ranked programs at UF include online Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Biostatistics, Computer Engineering, and much more.
The Master of Science in Computer Engineering offers an optional concentration in Bioinformatics. The curriculum requires 30 credit hours and does not include a thesis. Students can earn the online M.S. in as little as 24 months. Available coursework for this degree includes:
- Future of Microelectronics Technology
- Fundamentals of Biometric Identification
- Image Processing and Computer Vision
- Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems
No campus visits are ever required for UF’s online degree programs. The University’s College of Engineering is ranked among the top 25 engineering colleges in the nation and number one in the state of Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report. Approximately 56 percent of UF students start their degree at the University and graduate with no student loan debt.
7. Old Dominion University
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University is home to seven academic colleges, an honors college, and a graduate school. In addition to an extensive range of traditional degree programs, the University also offers over 100 online programs through ODU Online. Graduates of the ODU Online Electrical and Computer Engineering program have been hired in manufacturing, the automotive industry, telecommunication, aerospace, and numerous other industries.
The flexible degree path for the Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) requires 10 courses, totaling 30 credit hours. Students can choose from a variety of available ECE courses, at least one of which must be a math-intensive course. All candidates for this degree will take a comprehensive exam as their culminating experience. An ECE graduate student may take classes such as:
- Introduction to Medical Image Processing
- Wireless Communications Networks
- Cyber Physical System Security
- Fundamentals of Solar Cells
The tuition rates for ODU Online, as of Fall 2017, are $496 per credit hour for Virginia residents and $538 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Active duty military members in Virginia may qualify for the in-state tuition rate. Numerous scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available to graduate engineering students, such as the BBG Incorporated Endowed Scholarship in Engineering.
8. Texas A&M University
Offering more than 170 master's degree programs, Texas A&M University is a world-class institution for graduate education. U.S. News & World Report placed Texas A&M at number 25 in its 2018 Top Public Schools ranking. Through the University's distance learning programs, students can earn a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering or a Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering.
The unique online programs at Texas A&M closely mirror the traditional programs. On-campus class lectures will be recorded and added to the course website each day. Like residential students, online students will have access to lecture notes, software tools, and tutoring from highly qualified teaching assistants. Graduate-level coursework in computer engineering includes the following:
- Object-Oriented Programming, Development, and Software Engineering
- Applied Networks and Distributed Processing
- Introduction to Hardware Design Verification
- Language, Library, and Program Design Using C++
To qualify for the graduate program in Computer Engineering, students must have earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related discipline. While the distance learning programs at Texas A&M are currently available only to U.S. residents, the University plans to offer these programs to international students in the near future. Distance Education Scholarships are available to Texas residents in graduate engineering programs.
9. Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University is a leader in innovation, with research and development expenditures totaling $226.4 million in 2016. The University has won recognition for both its online computer information technology graduate programs and its online engineering graduate programs, both of which have been ranked in the top 20 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. One of the many distance learning programs at Mississippi State culminates in an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering program is available as a thesis track (requiring 24 credit hours of coursework and six credit hours in thesis research) and as a non-thesis track (requiring 30 credit hours of coursework). Students in a non-thesis track must complete an oral, comprehensive examination as their culminating experience. Available coursework for this degree includes:
- Computer-Aided Design of Digital Systems
- Visual Guidance for Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs)
- Principles of VLSI Design
- Information and Computer Security
Applicants to this program must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with lower GPAs may be admitted on a provisional basis, but these instances are rare. For graduate students, the current cost per credit hour is $681. This rate (which includes tuition and fees) is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
10. Colorado State University
According to Kiplinger’s, Colorado State University holds a place among the top 100 values in public colleges and universities. CSU has also earned distinction from the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard for its exceptionally high graduation rates and its commitment to affordability. A dedicated team of about 70 professionals heads Colorado State University Online, the University’s distance learning division. Through CSU Online, graduate students can pursue degrees in business, communications, technology, and engineering.
Online students at CSU can choose between programs leading to a Master of Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering or a Master of Science in Computer Engineering. Both degree tracks require 30 credit hours and are designed to be highly customizable. Students will have the opportunity to choose classes from the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Available coursework includes:
- Signal Processing for Power Systems
- Dynamics of Complex Engineering Systems
- Grid Integration of Wind Energy Systems
- Optical Interferometry and Laser Metrology
Neither the M.S. nor the M.E. degree tracks require a thesis or an oral exam. To qualify for admission, students must have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field related to engineering or computer science. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 is required.
11. University of Arizona
An internationally ranked university and one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars, the University of Arizona has been a leader in higher education since before Arizona was a state. Founded in 1885, UA is one of 62 member institutions of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The award-winning College of Engineering at UA offers a range of fully online graduate programs, with degrees available in Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).
The ECE program offers a wide range of concentrations, allowing students to match their degree path to their career goals. Available specializations include High-Performance Computing, Holography and Diffractive Optics, Simulation Modeling and Heterogeneous Systems Design, and more. Students in this program may choose from coursework such as:
- Computer Architecture and Design
- Probability and Random Processes for Engineering Applications
- Principles of Artificial Intelligence
- Detection and Estimation in Engineering Systems
At the beginning of the program, students will work with a Faculty Advisor to customize a Draft Plan of Study. Candidates must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate with this degree. The cost per credit hour for coursework in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is $995. For all 30 required credits, the total estimated cost for the M.S. program is $29,850.
12. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The College of Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is ranked number nine in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The University’s distance learning division, Virginia Tech Online, offers a number of highly ranked master’s degree and certificate programs through a unique interactive format. Through Virginia Tech Online, students can earn either a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Engineering.
The M.S. track for Computer Engineering requires a thesis, while the Master of Engineering track requires a project and a report. Students who plan to pursue doctoral study are encouraged to choose the thesis track. Both of these degree pathways are available via Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC). The broad curriculum for these degrees may include coursework such as:
- Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing
- Network Architecture and Protocols
- Advanced Software Development for Computer-Aided Engineering
- Testing and Verification of Digital Systems
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a number of scholarships, such as the William A. Blackwell Award and the Rappaport Wireless Communication Scholarship. A number of competitive and highly prestigious fellowships are also available for ECE students. U.S. citizens in an ECE graduate program are automatically considered for the Bradley Graduate Fellowship.
13. Fairleigh Dickinson University
A private nonprofit institution, Fairleigh Dickinson University operates campuses in Madison, New Jersey; Teaneck, New Jersey; Vancouver, Canada; and Wroxton, England. FDU is known for providing a high level of flexibility to its 11,500 students, who are enrolled full- and part-time through day, evening, and weekend classes. The University is also a pioneer of distance education, with an array of graduate programs in fields as diverse as digital marketing, creative writing, sports administration, and electrical engineering.
Students in the fully online M.S. in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) will choose a primary concentration and secondary concentration from three available options: Digital Signal Processing and Communications, Computers, and Devices and Systems. The degree track requires 30 credit hours, and a thesis is optional. Depending on the concentrations that a student chooses, coursework for the MSEE may include:
- Digital Signal Processing with C and DSP Processors
- Neural Networks/Fuzzy Logic Systems
- Integrated Circuit Devices
- Random Processes in Communication
Based on current and projected tuition rates, students at FDU will be able to complete the MSEE program for a total cost of roughly $17,000 to $20,000. Coursework for the MSEE is also offered on campus, and students may take classes in either format. However, courses taken in-person will be charged at the campus tuition rate, which is higher than the rate for online courses.
14. Colorado Technical University
Over the past two decades, Colorado Technical University has established itself as a leader in hybrid and online learning. CTU has garnered recognition from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Elearning! Media Group, and the Department of Homeland Security for scholarly excellence and innovative academic opportunities. The online graduate engineering programs at Colorado Technical University have been ranked among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 publication.
The Master of Science in Computer Engineering requires 40 credit hours in core courses and eight credit hours in computer science and electrical engineering electives. Coursework for this program is offered both fully online and through the Colorado Springs campus. Candidates for the Computer Engineering degree will take the following required classes:
- Computer Systems Security Foundations
- Software Systems Engineering Process
- Modern Solid State Devices
- Leadership and Ethical Decision-Making
Students must hold an undergraduate degree in an engineering discipline to be considered for the M.S. in Computer Engineering. The current tuition rate for the program is $490 per credit hour, for a total estimated degree cost of $23,520. This cost will be lower for active duty military members and for students who are eligible for a Corporate Alliances Grant.
15. Auburn University
Auburn University is the academic home of over 23,000 undergraduate students and 4,700 graduate students. For 25 consecutive years, Auburn has appeared on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the top 50 public universities. The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn offers an array of fully online degrees, including graduate programs in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Engineering Management, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Auburn’s Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering is a non-thesis program requiring 33 credit hours. To ensure a strong foundation across a range of computer engineering topics, students must take at least one course in three of the six research areas: Computer Systems, Electromagnetics, Communications, Control Systems, Power Systems, and Electronics. Available coursework for online students includes:
- Computer-Aided Design of Digital Circuits
- Microwave and RF Engineering
- State Variable Analysis of Systems
- Nonlinear Systems and Control
GRE scores are required for applicants to the Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Once accepted, candidates will work with their major professor and the department chair to create a formal plan of study. Most online graduate students take between three and six credit hours per semester. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, the cost per credit hour for graduate engineering courses is $949.