Electrical Engineering, Master of Science
The M.S. in Electrical Engineering degree program prepares graduates for careers in a wide variety of areas in the application of electrical engineering to science, engineering, industry, and business. The thesis option of the program is particularly appropriate for preparing graduates to subsequently enter doctoral programs of study.
Common types of electrical engineering applications include cybersecurity, smart buildings, renewable energy, the internet of things, sensors and wearable technologies, intelligent and autonomous systems, system-on-chip design, and wireless systems and networks.
Electrical engineers are employed in a large number of organizations; among the largest are General Motors, Apple, Micron Technology, Intel, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Raytheon. Other more specialized organizations include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Electrical engineers develop a wide range of electrical and electronic components, devices, and systems central to contemporary life. The M.S. in Electrical Engineering enables students to either enter the electrical engineering workforce or continue on to a doctoral program of study.
Individual and team-based assignments will enable students to build mastery of important electrical engineering skills and their practical applications in areas that include analog and digital microelectronics, microprocessor and computer engineering, wireless communication and networking, digital signal processing, electromagnetics and antennas, and power electronics and systems.
The non-thesis option of this program allows students to complete their degree through coursework and project-based learning, while the thesis option is focused on engagement with research projects under the mentorship of a faculty member and culminating in the preparation and defense of a thesis.
The program is strengthened through broad collaborations with a variety of other academic programs, government agencies, and private research organizations, including the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the School of Forestry, the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
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Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Senior electrical engineer
- Engineering project manager
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- University Professor
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To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
- All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
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In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
|Minimum Units for Completion||30|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Additional admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are recommended.|
|Thesis||Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Research||Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
This M.S. in Electrical Engineering will prepare you to either enter the electrical engineering workforce or continue on to a doctoral program of study, building core skills that are widely applicable to many areas of science, engineering, industry, business, and research.
This degree is flexible and allows students to develop a customized program of study that is highly aligned with their professional or research interests. Available coursework allows students to study in many areas of electrical engineering, including analog and digital microelectronics, microprocessor and computer engineering, wireless communication and networking, digital signal processing, and power electronics and systems. While all students will be expected to contribute to a substantive electrical engineering development or research project under the mentorship of a faculty member during the course of their study, thesis option students will have additional opportunities to engage in electrical engineering research and scholarship and prepare a thesis.
This program is designed for students with strong preparation in electrical engineering, gained through successful completion of an undergraduate electrical engineering program or other professional experience. The non-thesis option of the program is designed for students seeking professional preparation, while the thesis option is particularly appropriate for students for considering further graduate study in a doctoral program.
As a graduate, you will be prepared to contribute in a wide variety of electrical engineering areas, including analog and digital microelectronics, microprocessor and computer engineering, wireless communication and networking, digital signal processing, electromagnetics and antennas, and power electronics and systems.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of this program will demonstrate the following competencies and program learning outcomes:
- Identify, explain, and synthesize fundamental concepts of electrical engineering, analog and digital microelectronics, microprocessor and computer engineering, wireless communication and networking, digital signal processing, and power electronics and systems
- Analyze and critically distill scientific literature to identify electrical engineering theories and development and research methods appropriate to relevant science and engineering problems and research areas
- Apply electrical engineering theories and development and research methods to formulate, develop, and assess electrical and computer system solutions to relevant science and engineering problems and research areas
- Compose and engage in highly effective written and oral communication in electrical engineering areas
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Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent.
- Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
- International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy
Individual program admission requirements include:
- GRE® revised General Test
- Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering or completion of program prerequisite courses (see department website for details)
- Personal statement outlining the prospective student’s professional goals in electrical engineering and an indication of interest in either the thesis or non-thesis option
- Two letters of recommendation from recommenders who are familiar with the prospective student’s electrical engineering qualifications
Take the following 30 units:
- Statistics and mathematics:
- Complete 3 units in any graduate-level STA or MAT prefixed course
- Project-based learning:
- Thesis option requirements:
- Thesis: Complete 6 units of EE 699 under the direction of an electrical engineering research advisor.
- Electrical engineering electives: Complete 15 units of graduate-level coursework, with at least 9 of these 15 units in EE prefixed course.
- Non-thesis option requirements:
- Electrical engineering electives: Complete 21 units of graduate-level coursework, with at least 15 of these 21 units in EE prefixed courses.
- Thesis option students are responsible for selecting a research advisor who will act as their thesis committee chair as well as other members of their thesis committee before completing 9 units of coursework in the degree program.
- Thesis option students must successfully complete a thesis and thesis final defense and are responsible for following all applicable NAU Requirements for Theses and Dissertations (policy number 100806).
- Students may use a maximum of two courses, up to 6 units, EE prefixed 400-level courses to satisfy a portion of elective requirements.
- Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet all course prerequisites.
- Statistics and mathematics:
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree. Departments may allow students to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by approving up to 12 units applicable toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.