Design, create, and maintain modern computing systems as a computer engineer. If you’re considering a career in this field, finishing one of the best online master’s in computer engineering degree programs may be the next step. See how you can dive into computer hardware design, hardware and software integration, cybersecurity, and other important roles with a master’s degree program.

What Is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineering combines the technical hardware elements of electrical engineering and aspects of computer science. Instead of working primarily with mechanical or electrical projects, you’ll create computer-based systems, expand network capabilities, or test the next breakthrough in robotics.

As a computer engineer, you can earn a competitive salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2020 median pay for this position was $119,560 per year. While the minimum degree requirement is only a bachelor’s degree, this highly competitive field is expected to grow slower than average. This means that additional training and expertise may be what you need to compete for leading positions successfully.

Why Get a Computer Engineering Degree?

You may be thinking, “Is a master’s in computer engineering worth it?” You may not see this degree as a minimum requirement for many computer engineer roles. However, it’s a competitive option if you’re seeking any of the following in your career:

  • New position at a competitive company
  • Entrepreneurial research opportunities
  • Leadership roles
  • Pay raises

According to PayScale, workers with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering earn a median salary of about $91,000 as of April 2022. The master’s in computer engineering salary is approximately $103,000 per year as of April 2022. Pursue new opportunities in your field with advanced training from a leading university.

How Much Does a Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree Cost?

An online master’s in computer engineering degree doesn’t have to be a costly investment. There are many scholarships, grants, and employer reimbursement opportunities to help you earn your graduate-level degree. According to U.S. News and World Report, the total tuition cost of an online graduate program in computer science is around $15,000 to $72,000. Tuition costs for a computer engineering degree are comparable, but students should explore different programs for specific tuition rates.

10 Master’s in Computer Engineering Online Degree Programs

Before you apply for a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, it’s important to review the program requirements. Some programs require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, while others are more flexible about their entry requirements. It’s possible to receive a master’s in computer engineering without a bachelor’s degree, but you’ll typically need to demonstrate knowledge of the industry. Here are 10 highly rated programs to start your master’s degree journey.

Carnegie Mellon University – Master of Software Engineering

Hone your software skills with this dynamic Carnegie Mellon online degree. This part-time course allows you to continue to work in your career as you take the next step in your profession. Carnegie Mellon offers courses in quality assurance, software management theory, communication for software leaders, agile methods, DevOps, and more.

You can complete this program in just two years as a part-time student. To be eligible, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least two years of experience in software development. The tuition rates, not including additional fees, for the School of Computer Science, are $52,320 for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Colorado State University – Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Earn your online master’s degree in two years at Colorado State University. With 95% of graduates having plans related to their careers, the program offers in-depth training and theoretical knowledge that 93% of graduates would choose again.

The current tuition per credit is $719, and the course requires you to complete at least 30 credits. Explore classes related to your passion, including digital control and digital filters, computer networks, digital signal processing, and power system markets.

Cornell University – Master of Engineering in Computer Science

Dive into computer engineering topics with this flexible online program through Cornell University. After just six courses and a project, or about two semesters, you’ll earn your Master of Engineering in Computer Science degree. The program requires you to complete 30 credits, with no more than 21 taken in the same semester.

Cornell University requires a project to complete the online master’s program. This project could be a stand-alone project, membership in a faculty member’s research group, commercial project, or other significant display of computer engineering skills.

Johns Hopkins – Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Johns Hopkins offers a 100% online course that doesn’t require a GRE score. It takes approximately two to three years to complete the 10 courses required for this master’s degree, at $4,755 per course before financial assistance.

While the program broadly covers both electrical and computer engineering, you can receive an optional master’s degree focus area in computer engineering. This allows you to learn about architecture, advanced data systems, and other computer-related engineering topics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Apply to the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department to explore both Master of Science and Master of Engineering degree opportunities in your field. For a Master of Science degree, you must complete 66 units of coursework and a thesis. This department has around 700 students, making it the largest in the MIT School of Engineering.

As part of your computer science focus, you could have the opportunities to perform research in robotics, computer architecture, computational biology, systems and networking, security and cryptography, or other popular areas. Graduate-level research is conducted in state-of-the-art interdepartmental laboratories and centers.

Purdue University – Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a 30-credit program that can generally be completed in two to three years. Some students complete the program in just one year, though. As a part-time student, you have six years to finish all the required courses.

Purdue University offers this master’s degree with the following areas of specialization:

  • Computer engineering
  • Automatic control
  • Schweitzer power and energy systems
  • Fields and optics
  • Microelectronics and nanotechnology
  • Communications, networking, signal, and image processing
  • VLSI and circuit design

University of Florida – Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Study computer engineering through the Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering (EDGE) program at the University of Florida. You’ll explore fundamentals and advanced theories of computer architecture, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) design, and other areas related to computer and electrical engineering.

Online engineering courses through the University of Florida cost $501.38 per credit hour for Florida residents and $725.75 per credit hour for non-Florida residents. This program is available as both a Master of Science degree and a Master of Engineering degree.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Study fully online with the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Choose between a Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering or a Master of Computer Science online degree to explore your field in greater depth or breadth. You must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field before pursuing either of these degrees.

The Master of Engineering program includes 32 hours of coursework in subjects such as information theory, computer architecture, physics and modeling semiconductor development, and distributed systems. The tuition and fees for a single online student credit hour were $1,110 for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

University of Southern California – Master of Science in Computer Science

The University of Southern California offers this competitive online master’s degree program with the following concentrations:

  • Data science
  • Computer security
  • Software engineering

Study with the same faculty and curriculum as the on-campus version of this program. The estimated cost of tuition in 2022-2023 is $2,309 per unit and $9,236 for a four-unit course, before financial assistance and awards. To graduate, you must complete at least 28 units and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, in addition to other requirements.

University of Washington – Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering

Continue your education at the University of Washington. This fully remote course offers unique opportunities to learn in a flexible environment and receive professional guidance in both computer science and computer engineering.

Explore courses related to machine learning, performance engineering, entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, computability, and related topics. Whether working primarily with hardware or software, this online opportunity is an affordable way to transition to a new area of focus or refine your expertise in your chosen career path.

Common Courses in Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree Programs

Some programs offer a highly flexible model that allows you to select specific courses related to your career. Others offer a straightforward structure that provides you with the same professional courses as other master’s degree graduates. Many master’s degree in computer engineering online degree programs include the following courses:

  • Data structures
  • Computer organization
  • Operating system
  • Cybersecurity
  • Machine learning
  • Programming languages

Other FAQs About Computer Engineering Degrees and Programs

How Much Do Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree Graduates Typically Earn in Salary?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer hardware engineers earned a 2020 median pay of $119,560 per year.

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Computer Engineering Graduates?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 1,000 new computer hardware engineer positions will be created between 2020 and 2030. This means a 2% increase in jobs this decade, which is slower than the average job growth.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree?

Most students earn a master’s degree in computer engineering in about two to three years. Some programs only require one year of study, while others can take up to six years for part-time students.

What GPA Is Required for a Master’s in Computer Engineering Program?

Highly competitive master’s degree programs in computer engineering may require you to have completed bachelor’s degree courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher to apply. They may also require a GPA of 3.0 or higher to earn your master’s degree. Other programs offer more flexible admissions requirements.

Sources:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Hardware Engineer

PayScale, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

PayScale, Master of Science in Computer Engineering

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