The cost of college today can make it challenging to find an affordable degree in electrical engineering, but the editors of Bachelor Degree Center have your back. We’ve ranked electrical engineering programs from some of the world’s leading engineering schools, but that doesn’t make them are prohibitively expensive. Engineering education started at the land-grant universities, and these public institutions are usually committed to keeping their tuition rates reasonable.
Without electrical and electronics engineering, there is no modern world as we know it. You know a degree in electrical engineering is the ticket to a better career, and price shouldn’t stop you. Whether you’re paying your own way, or working while you go to school, these affordable programs will help you get your electrical engineering degree without breaking the bank.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Electrical Engineering Degree Programs
To rank the most affordable electrical engineering degree programs, Bachelor’s Degree Center didn’t just look at price – although that’s how programs are featured. We ranked only accredited, respected programs that are known for academic excellence and real career impact, so students can know their hard work will pay back many returns.
1. University of Washington
The University of Washington offers a BS in Electrical Engineering that is considered among the most affordable electrical engineering degree programs with ABET accreditation. This campus-based baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington offers students two study tracks – a generalist and a study track that emphasizes molecular engineering and nanoscience. Classes for this academic degree program include fundamentals of electrical engineering, signal conditioning, topics in electrical engineering and devices and circuits, to name a few.
The University of Washington (Washington U) is the state’s flagship school. The University of Washington operates multiple campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. Founded in the early 1860s, the University of Washington is now a sea and space-grant school with a student enrollment that exceeds 47,550 graduate and undergraduate students.
What We Like: The University of Washington was founded nearly thirty years before Washington reached statehood.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
2. University of Utah
The University of Utah offers a BS in Electrical Engineering that is among Utah’s most affordable electrical engineering degree programs. Classes for the University of Utah’s undergraduate electrical engineering degree program include semiconductor devices, electronics fundamentals, circuits, engineering probability & statistics, and ethics in engineering, to name a few. In addition, students enrolled in the University of Utah’s electrical engineering bachelor’s degree are required to complete a junior seminar and two senior thesis projects to meet program requirements.
The University of Utah is recognized to be the flagship school of the state of Utah’s higher education system. Founded in 1850, the University of Utah’s campus serves more than 32,650 undergraduate and graduate students.
What We Like: The University of Utah was established prior to Utah becoming a state.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
3. Purdue University
Purdue University’s Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) degree program in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) that is ABET-accredited and available on the university’s West Lafayette campus. Students enrolled in Purdue University’s affordable electrical engineering degree program have the opportunity to conduct research in the areas of automatic control, computers, optics, power & energy systems, VLSI & circuit design, communications, networking, & image processing, and nanotechnology/microelectronics.
Purdue University (Purdue) was established under the Morrill Land Act in the late 1860s. The main campus of Purdue University is situated near the banks of the nearby Wabash River. Additionally, Purdue University is a space and sea-grant institution of higher education with a student enrollment that nears 46,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
What We Like: Purdue University’s living alumni currently exceeds 390,000 members.
Degree: BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
4. University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine’s Engineering Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Electrical Engineering (EE) that is campus-based and accredited by ABET’s EAC – Engineering Accrediting Commission. Degree candidates enrolled in the University of Southern Maine’s affordable electrical engineering degree program must complete a minimum of 128.5 semester units. Engineering core classes include electromechanical energy conversion, microprocessor systems, system dynamics, digital logic, physical electronics, digital signal processing, and circuits, to name a few.
The University of Southern Maine (Southern Maine) is a multi-campus institution of higher education that was founded in the late 1870s as a state-funded normal school. Additionally, this space-grant school is the southernmost campus in the state’s university system that serves about 7,650 undergraduate and graduate students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1.
What We Like: The University of Southern Maine’s campuses are located in Lewiston-Auburn, Gorham, and Portland.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
University of Southern Maine BS in Electrical Engineering
5. Brigham Young University
The Fulton Engineering College at Brigham Young University offers one of the western United States’ most affordable electrical engineering degree programs Degree candidates vying for this Brigham Young University electrical engineering degree must complete coursework in digital systems, circuit analysis, electromagnetic fields, and waves, electricity, and magnetism, and statistics for engineers, plus a capstone project, to name a few. Brigham Young University averages about 400 undergraduate electrical engineering students each year.
Brigham Young University was established in the mid-1870s by the LDS Church. The school’s Provo campus is home to more than 33,450 students. Students attending Brigham Young University must follow the university’s honor code with includes dress standards and abstinence, among other commitments.
What We Like: Brigham Young University is organized into eleven colleges/schools that offer more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Degree: Electrical and Computer Engineering
6. Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering School offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (BSE) with a specialty in electrical engineering that can be completed on the university’s Tempe campus. Additionally, this ABET-accredited, affordable electrical engineering degree program offers technical specialties in circuits, solid-state devices, communication control processes, power, computer engineering, or electromagnetics. Examples of required classes for Arizona State University’s baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering include digital design, intro to engineering design, and fundamentals of electromagnetics, to name a few.
Arizona State University is a postsecondary research school that was established in the mid-1880s as a state-funded normal school to train teachers. The school maintains several campuses in Tempe and Phoenix (and online) that serve more than 145,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
What We Like: Arizona State University was founded several decades before Arizona attained Statehood.
Degree: BSE in Electrical Engineering
7. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University’s Engineering College offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Electrical Engineering degree program that is available on NC State’s Raleigh campus. Students enrolled in North Carolina State University’s affordable electrical engineering degree program must complete a minimum of 122 semester credits in classes that include electromagnetic fields, communication for engineers, physics for engineers, signals, circuits & systems, fundamentals of logic design, microelectronics, and nanoscience & technology, to name a few.
Established as an agriculture & mechanical school in 1887, North Carolina State University (NCSU) now operates as a sea, land, and space-grant university. Currently, North Carolina State University’s urban campus covers more than 2,000 acres and serves a student enrollment that exceeds 36,050 undergraduate and graduate students.
What We Like: North Carolina State University is one of seventeen member schools in the state’s university system.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
8. Iowa State University
Iowa State University offers one of Iowa’s most affordable electrical engineering degree undergraduate programs, with six academic concentrations. These areas of emphasis are large-scale integration, communications, systems and controls, electromagnetics, nano/microelectronics, and electric power/renewable energy systems. Additionally, this campus-based baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering has a professional placement rate of 99% within six months of graduation. Students also have the option and opportunity to enroll in a concurrent BS and BS degree in electrical engineering.
Iowa State University of Science & Technology (Iowa State) was founded as an agricultural college in the late 1850s. This land-grant and flagship institution of higher learning serves approximately 33,350 undergraduate and graduate students vying for academic degrees offered by Iowa State University’s ten colleges/schools.
What We Like: Most of the engineering degree programs from Iowa State University are top-ranked programs by US News and World Report.
Degree: Electrical Engineering
9. University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine’s Samueli Engineering School offers a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Electrical Engineering that provides degree candidates five academic emphases that include communication, semiconductors/optoelectronics, digital signal processing, RF/Antennas/Microwaves, and electronic circuit design. Additionally, the Irvine campus of UC’s affordable electrical engineering degree program requires enrolled students to complete a culminating design experience prior to graduation. Students enrolled in this undergraduate electrical engineering degree program may opt for one of several study abroad international opportunities.
The University of California (UCI) was established in 1965 and is ranked as one of the public ivies in the country. More than 35,150 undergraduate and graduate students are studying on the school’s Irvine campus and on the school’s distance learning platform.
What We Like: The University of California was the first institution of higher education that created the country’s first Earth System Science Department.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
10. Missouri S&T University
Missouri University of Science and Technology University offers a BS in Electrical Engineering that offers a traditional path and an accelerated bachelor’s to graduate degree program. Missouri University of Science and Technology University’s affordable electrical engineering degree program is campus-based and requires the completion of classes in control systems, PLC motion control, mechatronics, control of dynamic systems, plant-wide process control, and problems in manufacturing automation among others.
Missouri University of Science & Technology (MST) is a research institution of higher education that was established in 1870 as a school of mining. Additionally, Missouri S&T is a space-grant school and a member of the state’s university system with a student body that exceeds 8,050 undergraduate and graduate students.
What We Like: Missouri S&T University operates an on-campus nuclear reactor that is used for training, research, and education and was the first operational reactor in the state.
Degree: BS in Electrical Engineering
How Do I Save Money on an Electrical Engineering Degree?
When it comes to pursuing an electrical engineering degree, there are several ways you can go about saving money. Online programs are often cheaper already, but there are other ways to save on an online degree. Some of these methods are:
Community College: Whenever possible, attending community college can be a great way to save money on your degree. While this may only account for the first two years of your degree, this is still an excellent way to keep costs down in terms of pursuing your electrical engineering degree.
Apply for Financial Aid: Another major way to save money on your electrical engineering degree is by applying for financial aid. Most schools accept at least some form of financial aid, and many people are eligible without even knowing it. Make sure you take the time to find out which types of aid are available, which types of aid your college of choice accepts, and which types of aid you are eligible for. From there, be sure you apply to everything you are eligible for and that you submit all requesting documentation to be considered.
Apply for Scholarships: One lesser considered method of saving money on your electrical engineering bachelor’s degree is by applying for scholarships. This is because many scholarships aren’t advertised, which means many don’t apply simply because they don’t know about them. Nevertheless, there are hundreds or even thousands of potential scholarships that students can apply for. There are scholarships you can get based on race, socioeconomic status, being a veteran, and more. There are even some available for pursuing a career as an electrical engineer. Either way, be advised that scholarships have very strict rules and deadlines, so be mindful of that when applying. Moreover, also keep in mind that there is a variety of scholarships available all year-round, so you should be looking for both the spring and fall semesters. And contrary to what many people think, online students can get scholarships too.
Finish Faster: In some cases, you may be able to join accelerated programs, which allow you to finish school faster. In those cases, you should take the opportunity, if possible. This can be an excellent method of saving money on your degree.
Search for Best Value Colleges: Not all colleges are created equal. By searching for the cheapest electrical engineering degree, you are bound to find some of the cheaper options for learning an electrical engineering degree.
When you’re searching for online colleges and online schools, look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This is the standard for quality. Also find out about their admission requirements, because in-state students may pay less than out-of-state students for bachelor’s programs. Internships and credit hours for work experience may help save money as well. Noted online schools like Old Dominion University, American Public University, Arizona State University (ASU), and others are known for their transfer programs.
What Do Electrical Engineers Do?
For those wondering what exactly does an electrical engineer do, that can vary. However, in general, electrical engineers are engineers who are tasked with the design, development, testing, and supervision of the manufacturing of electrical equipment. This equipment includes things such as radar and navigation systems, electric motors, communications systems, power generation equipment, and more.
Those pursuing careers in electrical engineering will have duties such as:
- Analyzing customer needs to determine the design and costs of any given electrical system plan.
- The development of new ways to use existing electrical power systems.
- Executing detailed calculations to be used in the manufacturing realm.
- Investigating customer complaints to determine the best course of action in terms of problematic or faulty electrical equipment.
- The development of testing and maintenance procedures for electrical equipment.
- The inspection of electrical equipment to ensure it meets all existing standards and regulations.
- Working with project managers to ensure that all projects are being completed in a timely fashion.
Moreover, those who are interested in pursuing electrical engineering as a career also have an array of options in terms of the sectors they will be employed in. For instance, they can work for government agencies or directly for companies that are developing products and systems to be deployed to the general public. Either way, they typically work indoors, no matter where they are employed. Nevertheless, if there is a problem in an area other than their office, they are often deployed to these areas to try to fix the problems directly. Also, although they often have a level of flexibility with their jobs, those who choose electrical engineer careers are typically expected to work full-time. Overtime is also often an option.
There are also specializations in the engineering field related to electrical engineering, such as:
- systems engineering
- aerospace engineering
- applied science
- electronic systems
- industrial engineering
- mechanical engineering
How Much Do Electrical Engineers Make?
Those who are interested in careers in electrical engineering are always interested to know: how much do electrical engineers make a year? That is something that obviously varies from person to person. However, the median pay for an electrical engineer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is around $100,830 per year. While the lowest percent earn around $64,870, and the highest percent earn around $159,520 annually.
Professional engineers with an online electrical engineering degree, an online bachelor of science, or another online bachelor’s degree will make more than technicians with a high school diploma, certificate, or associate degree. But an online master can make even more that a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. So if you want to go farther, look into a master’s degree.
Other engineering jobs, like electrical engineering technology or electronics engineering technology, may pay less. The amount you can earn largely depends on your skill sets, the sector you work in, the amount of time you have been working in the field, and more. For instance, those who work in research and development tend to be on the higher end in terms of wages. On the other hand, those working in general engineering services tend to be on the lower end of the pay scale.