Electrical Engineering Courses and Degrees

Electrical Engineering Degrees: Attending an Electrical Engineering University

Electrical engineering universities and colleges train students how to design, develop, test and troubleshoot different types of electrical equipment. The field of electrical engineering covers a broad range of disciplines, and many courses and training programs overlap the requirements of a computer engineering or mechanical engineering degree. Students who attend an electrical engineering university can take very specialized courses in the field, complete hands-on training by working with computer models and prototypes, and also learn how to troubleshoot and solve real-world problems. Some colleges offer degree programs online.

Programs Available at Electrical Engineering Schools

Students who are admitted to electrical engineering schools typically have the chance to work with the latest technology and computer applications, and learn about circuits, robotics, communications systems and digital systems. Many programs offer specialized courses in the following areas:

  • Integrated circuits
  • Solid state devices
  • Consumer appliances
  • Power systems
  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Television, radio and telephone technology
  • Laser transmission
  • Microprocessors
  • Computer hardware design
  • Manufacturing

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These universities train students how to design new electronic systems, test equipment using various protocol, solve problems and design circuits to connect different parts of electronic systems successfully. Students may have the opportunity to work with robots, create prototypes for vehicles, put together cell phone systems, and study how radar systems and navigation programs work.

Types of Electrical Engineer Courses

An electrical engineering degree curriculum at the bachelor's degree level typically consists of the following types of courses:

  • Computing for Engineers
  • Differential Equations
  • Introductory Physics
  • Introduction to Signal Processing
  • Digital Design Laboratory
  • Circuit Analysis
  • Microelectronic Circuits
  • Engineering Practice and Professionalism
  • Culminating Design Project

An advanced degree program may include more specialized subjects, including:

  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
  • Electromagnetic Applications
  • Modern Electric Energy Systems
  • Semiconductor Devices for Computer Engineering and Telecommunication Systems
  • Electromechanical and Electromagnetic Energy Conversion
  • Software Fundamentals for Engineering Systems
  • Mechatronics
  • Microprocessor Architecture
  • Signal Processing
  • Programming Environments and Java

Some colleges require students to complete a certain number of credit hours working on a special project or research project. Some colleges give students the option to take an electrical engineering course and related courses online.

Training at Electrical Engineering Colleges

Students who attend an electrical engineering school can take a variety of intensive courses and complete hands-on training in the field. Many programs require students to work on several projects and may also require the student to complete an internship as part of their education. Electrical engineering universities prepare students for careers as electrical engineers, computer engineers, communications engineers and microprocessor specialists, among other career paths.

Students need to have a strong math and science background in order to be successful in their educational and in their careers. Many training programs focus on systems and mechanics of automobiles, planes and other modes of transportation. Others are more focused on computers, generators and digital systems.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most electrical engineers are trained to design, develop, test and oversee the manufacturing process of different types of electrical systems and processes, including machinery controls, lighting systems, wiring systems in building, electric motors, radar and navigation systems, and transmission devices. Electronics engineers are responsible for testing, designing, developing and troubleshooting a wide range of technologies and may specialize in aviation electronics or control systems within the machine manufacturing industry.

Career Options with Electrical Engineering Degrees

In addition to training as an electrical engineer, students can pursue several related occupations with an advanced degree, by taking specialized courses, or by completing on-the-job training. Related careers in this field include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Computer hardware engineering

Most can apply for positions in the field with a bachelor's degree, but many research and supervisory positions require a graduate degree. All 50 States and the District of Columbia require licensure for engineers who will be offering services directly to the public. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electronics engineers, except those that specialize in computers, are expected to experience very little or no employment change through 2018.

As of May 2008, the median annual wages of electronics engineers were $86,370.