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10 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

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Updated: February 16, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

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The field of computer engineering is continuously in need of technically skilled professionals. While a bachelor’s degree can allow students to gain entry-level jobs, the competitive industry opens a wealth of opportunities to those with advanced and specialized skills.

Earning a Master’s in Computer engineering will give students a solid foundation to enhance their credentials and boost their earning potential.

Some of the best online computer engineering programs often involve the study of computer architecture, computer systems, computer communications and networks, hardware testing, and more. It also touches on software development, data science, digital signal processing, and computer languages.


Additional Information:


Overview

Numerous universities and colleges in the country offer online master’s in computer engineering programs, designed to provide flexibility for working professionals pursuing a graduate degree in the field.

Students who wish to advance their computer engineering careers in a lucrative and dynamic industry will find a master’s degree in computer engineering worth it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer engineers can earn a median pay of $132,360 per year.  

Quick audio summary:


Methodology

With the world’s reliance on computer systems, computer communication networks, and other types of digital infrastructure to power its various industries and operations, a degree in Computer Engineering is a good choice for professionals who are seeking advanced knowledge, valuable experience, and ultimately career advancement in this ever-evolving field.

Students looking to enroll in such graduate programs are well-served to carefully choose which colleges or universities they enroll in.

We can help you with that choice! We have put together our picks of graduate schools with the best online Master’s in Computer Engineering degrees, selected based on the following criteria:

The Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

Colorado State University

Colorado State University - Online

Fort Collins, CO

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Colorado State University is spread out across five campuses, including an international campus in Todos Santos, Mexico. It is also known for offering some of the best online master’s programs designed for working professionals. In 2022, the university set the record for enrolling a total of 5,517 freshmen.

Standout Features:

The 30-credit-hour program puts emphasis on essential subjects such as computer design, mobile architecture, network programming, warehouse-scale computers, and internet protocols.

Did You Know?

As a top public Tier 1 research university, Colorado State University was recognized as one of the top research institutions globally in 2022, distinguished for its efforts in contributing to the solution of the COVID epidemic. It was also named one of the country’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars in the U.S.


University of Southern California

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is home to more than 20 academic schools, including the College of Letters and Arts and Sciences. This leading private research university is considered a global center for international business, arts, and technology.

The university is also known for its distinguished faculty, including researchers, mentors, and scholars. In fact, five of them are Nobel laureates.

Standout Features:

The computer engineering program has three main areas where research is focused. This includes the Design and Analysis of Computer Networks and their Protocols, Computer Architecture and Parallel Processing, VLSI Design, Computer-Aided Design, and Verification of VLSI systems.

Did You Know?

The University of Southern California has one of the most abundant financial aid programs in the country. It has provided more than $640 million in financial aid and scholarships.


Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

College Station, TX

Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering

Texas A&M University houses numerous schools and colleges. One of them is the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with its rigorous research activities. It has a research lab space on campus that spans 52,00 square feet. The department also gives access to the Zachary Engineering Education Complex.

Standout Features:

In this online master’s in computer engineering program, students are given both thesis and non-thesis track options. Students who wish to pursue the thesis option will be able to take part in cutting-edge research, preparing them for lucrative careers in the industry or pursuing a doctoral degree.

Did You Know?

Texas A&M University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers around 1,500 bachelor’s degrees, 280 master’s degrees, and 270 doctoral degrees for students who are interested in pursuing electrical and computer engineering.


The University of Arizona

The University of Arizona - College of Engineering

Tucson, AZ

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona has been helping students set on a rich journey of learning and discovery. At present, it has enrolled 46,932 students across more than 150 majors.

This land grant university strives to build sustainable relationships with the Native Nations. This is done by offering accessible and affordable academic offerings and community service.  

Standout Features:

Students in this program are required to submit a Plan of Study to the Graduate College for approval. They are encouraged to include courses under different areas of interest in the study plan to broaden their knowledge and skills and prepare them for a career as computer engineers, web developers, and more.

Did You Know?

The University of Arizona, true to its commitment to making education more affordable and accessible, provides substantial financial aid. In fact, nine out of 10 students receive some form of financial aid to help them fund their college education.


The University of New Mexico

University-of-New-Mexico

Albuquerque, NM

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Considered the flagship institution of New Mexico, the University of New Mexico has been offering comprehensive academic programs since 1889. It takes pride in providing a diverse student body with a place to flourish, whether in cutting-edge research or creative endeavors.

It is home to many outstanding research units, including the Center for Advanced Research Computing and the Center for High Technology Materials.

Standout Features:

As one of the best online master’s in computer engineering degrees, the program’s comprehensive curriculum is designed as a collaboration with the university’s industrial partners, including the Sandia National Laboratories and Netflix, among others.

Students are also in good hands as they can learn from world-renowned computer engineering faculty. In fact, a senior engineering leader at Netflix teaches the program’s Cloud Computing course.

Did You Know?

The University of New Mexico has garnered several distinctions. For one, it was recognized by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic-serving institution. It also has a Gold Rating for a military-friendly school. The University of New Mexico is also a top-tier research university according to the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions.


Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Purdue University is a public, land-grant, research university in the city of West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue was established back in 1869 and is named after John Purdue, a businessman who donated both land and money for its founding. Purdue University currently has a population of over 50,000 students, and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

Standout Features:

Being a research university, students get the academic quality and the prestige that comes with this affordable and highly-ranked program. The program also includes coursework in a number of emerging areas, including big data and data mining, the Internet of Things (IoT), and quantum computing.

Did You Know?

Purdue University also offers other online graduate programs related to Engineering, such as the Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Microelectronics and Semiconductors, the MSE+MBA Dual Degree program, and more.


Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Master’s in Computer Engineering

Syracuse University is a private research university in the city of Syracuse, New York. The University was initially established in 1870, and despite its roots in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the university has been nonsectarian since the 1920s.

As a research university, Syracuse University is currently classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”, and has a student population of over 21,700.

Standout Features:

Syracuse University’s Master’s in Computer Engineering program is highly ranked, and its interactive and challenging design provides comprehensive coverage of advanced topics including security and assurance, network systems, object-oriented design, data structures, computer architecture, and advanced programming.

Did You Know?

Syracuse University also offers MS degree online programs in Computer Science and Cybersecurity.


Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Georgia Institute of Technology, also commonly called Georgia Tech, is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. It was established in 1885 as the Georgia School of Technology and was part of the wave of reconstruction meant to build up the economy of the South after the Civil War.

Georgia Tech is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”, and currently has a population of over 39,000 students.

Standout Features:

Georgia Tech’s MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree program features a rigorous curriculum that maximizes students’ learning experience and gives them a solid base of real-world knowledge and skills.

The program is also authorized by the State of Georgia to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which has benefits for out-of-state students.

Did You Know?

Georgia Tech also offers a Master of Science in Computer Science, and a Professional Master’s in Applied Systems Engineering, among its range of online graduate degree offerings.


North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Master’s in Computer Engineering

North Carolina State University is a public, land-grant, research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded in 1887 as the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, eventually changing its name to its present one in 1962.

At present, it is the largest college in the Carolinas and is part of the University of North Carolina System. NC State currently has over 37,800 students, and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

Standout Features:

NC State’s Master’s in Computer Engineering program is known for its strengths & expertise in VLSI Systems, networking, and computer architecture, among others. Students are assigned their own academic advisor to help them develop their own individual Plan of Graduate Work. This program also does not require completing a thesis for its final project component.

Did You Know?

NC State University also offers a number of related online master’s degree programs, including the Master of Science in Computer Networking and the Master of Computer Science program, which are both online. Computer Engineering is also offered as an online Graduate Certificate.


Florida International University

Florida International University - Online

Miami, FL

Master of Science in Computer Engineering – Network Security

Florida International University is a public research university in Westchester, part of the Greater Miami area. It is a relatively younger institution, having been founded in 1965 by virtue of Senate Bill 711 (introduced by Sen. Haverfield of Florida), and began accepting students in 1972.

FIU currently has a student population of over 55,000 students, making it the third-largest university in Florida, and the 8th largest public university in the country in terms of enrollment. FIU is also classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

Standout Features:

This program is highly ranked among the best Computer Engineering graduate degrees in the country, and is well-placed, with Florida in the top 5 of states that have the most cybersecurity job openings. The program also prepares students to earn a number of in-demand industry certifications, including Network+, Security+, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Certifications.

Did You Know?

FIU has also been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.


Most computer engineering graduates take on advanced roles in in-demand careers in the field. Computer engineering professionals have a wealth of computer engineering careers to choose from.

There are also computer engineering master’s degree programs that offer specializations, allowing students to focus on specific areas of interest. This includes biomedical engineering, software engineering, and electrical engineering, among others.

Many become electrical and electronics engineers, computer hardware engineers, and software engineers. A graduate student can explore the following careers as well:

Information Systems Manager

Knowledgeable in hardware and software, an information systems manager oversees the utilization of technology in businesses and organizations. They are responsible for designing, managing, and monitoring information systems, often overseeing a team that installs hardware and software upgrades.  

Computer Network Architect

Trained to build and customize infrastructures such as communication, internet, and intranet, computer network architect knows their way around various tools that enable the creation of seamless and secure networks.

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts can either work in an in-house capacity or as external consultants. Their job includes designing various computer systems or conducting analysis on their various metrics, with the overall goal of improving efficiency.

Software Developer

 Software Developers’ main tasks involve designing and developing software, either as individual programs or as components in a larger suite of applications. Software developers are also involved in quality assurance and software maintenance tasks.

Online Master's in Computer Engineering - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a computer engineering master’s degree encompass?

Computer engineering covers the application of principles surrounding the basic science of solving problems. It involves the exploration and mastery of computers and computer-based systems.

Typically, this field requires not only the design of hardware but also the building and design of software in computer-based systems. One can expect computer engineers to be able to build computer-based systems in planes, appliances, cars, phones, and electronics, among others.

The best online master’s in computer engineering programs train prospective students in computer system design to prepare them for lucrative computer engineering positions. They may touch on other elements of computer engineering, including data analysis, data engineering, software systems, computing systems, embedded systems architecture, and project management.

How does a Master’s in Computer Engineering differ from a Master’s in Computer Science?

While both degree programs deal directly with various computer-based systems, there are key differences. In the simplest terms, Computer Science, while concerned with all aspects of computers, is largely focused on software (e.g. software development & optimization, algorithms, machine learning, cloud computing, etc.).

Computer Engineering, meanwhile, is centered on both computer hardware and its associated firmware. The nature of their work is different, but both professions necessarily collaborate on projects, as computer systems necessarily need various hardware and software to communicate seamlessly, for example.

Summary Points

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