Electrical engineers drive major advances in a wide range of industries, making our world of constantly evolving technology possible. These professionals design essential systems, supervise manufacturing processes and design infrastructure. Their work enables progress in areas like smart power distribution and global communications.

In the George Washington University electrical engineering master’s program, you’ll apply your knowledge of science and mathematics to solve urgent problems with creative solutions and plan for future needs. You can complete an electrical engineering degree online with a focus area that’s in high demand at technical organizations.

Program Summary

The online electrical engineering master’s program prepares students to excel in a wide range of electrical engineering roles. They explore essential engineering principles and build the skills to design and implement electrical systems that meet the requirements of rapidly advancing technology. Graduates with an electrical engineering online degree from GW are prepared to work at the forefront of today’s technological leaps and adapt to new breakthroughs.

Students can choose from two focus areas featuring specialized electrical engineering online courses:

Electrical Power and Energy

  • Develop and optimize smarter systems to generate and distribute electrical power
  • Courses cover techniques for circuit analysis, energy conversion, power market reliability modeling and power system protection

Communications and Networks

  • Learn how network architecture and topology enable the secure, efficient transmission of information
  • Classes include topics such as the principles of digital communications, layered protocol architectures in computer networks, and modulation and coding techniques for wireless communications


The online Master of Science in electrical engineering program exposes students to cutting-edge topics ranging from the design of next-generation communication networks to the development of smart power grids.

Graduates will be prepared to apply the principles of electrical engineering in a broad range of enterprises and develop the skills they need to achieve technical mastery within their fields.

The curriculum comprises 10 courses, including those that cover core electrical engineering skills. Online students can also choose from one of two areas of focus: Electrical Power and Energy or Communications and Networks. The curriculum was designed with these focus areas because they are not only high-growth areas for the technology sector, but offer considerable potential for electrical engineers to advance their careers.

The online Master of Science in electrical engineering does not require a thesis.

Each course in the curriculum awards three semester hours of graduate credit to yield the 30 credit hours required for the degree.


Introduction to linear systems theory. Topics include linear vector spaces and linear operators, mathematical representation of dynamic linear systems, concept of state and solution of the state equation, controllability and observability, canonical forms of the state equation, state feedback, and state estimation.
Axioms of probability; conditional probability; independent events; sequential experiments. Single and multiple random variables. Discrete-valued and continuous-valued stochastic processes; discrete-time and continuous-time stochastic processes; mean, auto-correlation and autocovariance functions; multiple random processes; stationary stochastic processes and linear time-invariant systems; ergodicity; Markov chains. Examples from engineering applications.
Signal spaces and approximation. Orthogonal functions. Fourier series and transform. Bandpass signals and modulation. Hilbert transform and analytic signals. Time frequency analysis. Short-time Fourier transform. Linear systems properties. Laplace transform. Sampling and discrete-time signals. Discrete-time Fourier transform and z-transform. Wavelets.
Circuit elements and circuit analysis techniques. Circuit theorems for performing such fundamental computations for electrical engineering as sinusoidal steady-state analysis and maximum power or power dissipation calculations. Hands-on experience with CAD tools for designing circuits.
Introduction to linear algebra and vector spaces as applied to networks and electrical systems. Orthogonal bases, projections, and least squares. Fast Fourier transforms. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors with applications. Computations with matrices. Constrained optimization in electrical systems. Network models and applications. Special relativity.
Problems in managing projects; project management as planning, organizing, directing, and monitoring; project and corporate organizations; duties and responsibilities; the project plan; schedule, cost, earned-value and situation analysis; leadership; team building; conflict management; meetings, presentations, and proposals.

The Electrical Power and Energy area explores issues of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. Students will gain hands-on experience with optimization techniques for solving some of the industry's most complex challenges, such as how to optimize power generation and distribution with renewable energy. Graduates of this focus area will be able to design and develop reliable, efficient, secure, and sustainable electric power delivery systems.

Three-phase and single-phase AC rotating machines and transformers, DC machines, rotating machines as circuit elements, power semiconductor converters. Renewable generation, utility grid integration, smart grid applications. May be taken for graduate credit by students in fields other than electrical engineering.
AC power grids, transmission line parameters, load flow, economic dispatch voltage, frequency, and power flow control. Voltage, current, and power limitations. Fault analysis and stability considerations. Effect of independent power producers and variable energy sources and energy storage.
The application of electronics to energy conversion. Principles of operation, analysis, and control of circuits including solid-state electronic switches. Methods of solving power electronic circuits and finding the steady-state values of important quantities. Deriving the linear model of the studied power electronic circuits and designing controllers for these devices. A general knowledge of electric circuits and linear control theory is required.
Overview of probability theory. Overview of basic power market reliability modeling and evaluation. Generation supply reliability techniques, modeling and evaluation. Reliability of transmission system and delivery of supply. Loss of load probability evaluation. Forced and maintenance outages and impact on system reliability. Load forecasting and probability of interconnected systems. Risk evaluation in power system operation. Operating reserve techniques and indices. Distribution system reliability including substations. Composite system reliability modeling. Reliability worth and value.

The Communications and Networks focus area examines the problem of efficient and safe transmission of information. Courses in information theory, stochastic processes, digital communication, networking, data encryption and compression, network protocols and technologies, and security can be applied in the construction and maintenance of local area networks, wide area networks, cellular and satellite communications, wireless networks, and the internet.

Layered protocol architectures. Digital transmission, fundamental limits. Error detection and ARQ protocols. Data link layer and control. Multiple access protocols. Circuit and packet switching. Multiplexing. Routing. Flow and congestion control, queue management. LAN standards. TCP/IP. Next-generation Internet.
Principles of digital communications. Channels, digital modulation; optimum receivers and algorithms in the AWGN; coherent, non-coherent, and fading channels. Correlation detectors, matched filters; diversity. Bounds on performance of communications, comparison of communications systems and implementation issues. Prerequisite: ECE 6015.
Characterization of mobile and wireless channels. Indoor and outdoor path loss models. Multipath propagation. Fading and fading countermeasures: coding, equalization. Power control. Cellular design and frequency reuse. Modulation and coding techniques. Spread Spectrum and OFDM. Random access methods. Code and Space Division Multiple Access, MIMO. Prerequisite: ECE 6510.
Security concerns and best practices for cloud computing and cloud services; cloud computing architectures, risk issues and legal topics; data security; internal and external clouds; information security frameworks and operations guidelines.

Program Learning Objectives

The comprehensive, online M.S. in electrical engineering aims to graduate students who will be able to:

  • Apply mathematics, science, and engineering knowledge to analyze and implement complex interdisciplinary engineering projects
  • Design and conduct engineering experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
  • Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economics, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturing, and sustainability
  • Manage complex engineering projects for, and function on, multidisciplinary technical teams
  • Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • Communicate effectively
  • Leverage state-of-the-art techniques, skills, and tools necessary for engineering practice

Program Walkthrough

Earning an online Master of Science in electrical engineering from the George Washington University prepares students to solve complex problems, apply state-of-the-art tools and lead multidisciplinary teams. Watch this video to hear from admissions counselors Matthew Starr and Terri Ignoffo about what you can expect when you enroll in one of the nation’s top online engineering schools.

The presentation includes the following topics and more:

  • Options for customizing the curriculum with three high-demand focus areas
  • The experience of taking online courses from GW
  • Support services available to online students
  • Admission requirements and the application process

Skip to a chapter: About George Washington University | Program Vision | About the M.S. in E.E. | Focus Areas | Learning Outcomes | Teachers | Course Experience | Support Services | Application Process | Contact Information

MS in Electrical Engineering Program Walkthrough Transcript

Matthew Starr, Admissions Counselor Alright everyone, welcome to our program walk-through for the online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering to the George Washington University. Just to kick things I want to let everyone know our Spring 1 term begins January 7, 2019. My name is Matthew Starr, I’m an admissions counselor here working on this program. I have been with the George Washington University for little over two years now. I will let my college introduce herself.
Terri Ignoffo, Admissions Counselor My name is Terri Ignoffo, I am also an admissions counselor for this program and I have been in higher education for about 17 years, 11 of which I’ve served in various capacities in the admissions department. Thank you all for listening.
Matthew Starr So what we’re going to cover today; we’re going to go through some specifics about the University itself, the vision that we have in place for this specific program and we’re going to cover the curriculum. Then our support services for online students and then we’ll cover the application overview for this program and then go through post-admission steps.

So about the George Washington University; we’ve been around for quite a long time believe it or not. Physical campus located in the DC area. We are one of the nation’s first dedicated programs in the field of engineering. Again, located in the heart of one of the largest and most comprehensive technology centers in the nation. You have a lot of obviously government agencies, government entities here, corporations, lots of small businesses; really at the heart of a lot of engineering on areas. Strong connections to influential institutions that help to deliver a unique combination of research, teaching and public services, which we’re able to provide to our students and our alumni.

So the vision for this program, again the online MS in Electrical Engineering, what it’s really doing is aiming to graduate students who are going to be able to do the following: things like gaining that hands-on experience with state-of-the-art electrical engineering techniques and the tools that you will apply those to, the comprehensive background that electrical engineers are going to need to function within a multidisciplinary team and lead complex engineering progress projects. Also gaining the technical and critical thinking skills in order to compete with the best engineers in the industry.

So the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering again is a fully online program. It’s 30 credit hours which is 10 classes. Average time for completion is probably around that two and a half to three-year timeframe. It all does depend on how many classes you take every 10-week term. So for example if you decide to double up here and there, utilize the optional summer term which we’ll talk about a little later, you could potentially get this done a little bit quicker. The program is broken down into five core classes and then five classes that are specific to one of our focus areas. Those focus areas are electrical power and energy, signal and image processing, and then systems and controls and communications and networks, and we’ll go through the specifically in another slide. The program again is really designed for individuals who are looking at both the core engineering and the specialized technical learning that they need in order to plan, design, implement and also manage sophisticated electrical systems. Our graduates are going to be capable of working in the present technological environment but also of adapting to the profession as it continues to advance. Tuition for our program is $995 per credit hour. Again it’s a 30 credit hour program, so you’re looking at a total cost of just over $29,000. Our textbooks are provided at no additional cost, so all that is bundled into your tuition, your credit hour cost, and we mail those out to you every term.

Terri Ignoffo So let’s touch on the first focus area that individuals can choose from, it is our electrical power and engineering. This allows graduate from this particular area to be able to design and develop reliable, efficient, sustainable and secure electrical power electrical power delivery systems. What it’ll do as well is it’ll explore issues of electrical power generation, distribution, transmission and students really do gain hands-on experience that will optimize techniques for solving some of the industry’s most complex challenges; some of those being how to optimize power generation and distribution with renewable energy.

The second focus area is the signal and image processing systems and controls. Graduates in this focus area will be able to develop the mathematical models that govern the structure and operation of electrical systems. The students will really learn the mathematical techniques for processing and/or transforming the continuous and discrete signals as they apply the signal processing knowledge again, to complex, highly dynamic systems.

And our final third focus area of choice is the Communications and Network. These courses are going to look at information theory, it’s going to look at digital communication networking, touch on that data encryption and compression, look at network protocols and techniques and security as it can be applied in the construction and maintenance of local area networks – wide area networks – cellular and satellite communication. And this focus area as well really dives in and examines the problem of efficient and safe transmission of information.

So total learning outcomes of the entire Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering program; again, it’s to design and conduct engineering experiments, design systems component or a process to meet the desired needs within realistic constraints. Identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. How to communicate effectively, leverage state-of-the-art techniques, skills and tools necessary for engineering practice. And then of course it’ll analyze and implement complex interdisciplinary engineering projects. So with the right education an electrical engineer can become: some examples are a principal electrical engineer, a senior electrical engineer, electrical power project manager – and again, those are just some examples of certain positions that individuals could be skilled to go into, again with the right education.

Matthew Starr So let’s go through who’s actually teaching these classes. The lifeblood of any of our programs is our faculty. It is all GW faculty, we don’t farm it out for lack of a better term. A majority of our professors do hold doctoral degrees; many have their terminal degrees or some of their degrees from the George Washington University, so they’ve experienced the education we offer, they’ve benefited from it and they’ve stuck around to teach other students that are coming through programs. Many are award-winning, published of course, very highly respected members of their respective field. The professors that we have are also unique in that they bring a lot of practical, real-world experience in their respective areas of expertise. These aren’t just academics, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but they’re not just strictly academics. They’re people who have worked in the electrical engineering field or are engineers currently and also teach some classes at GW. So they’re bringing a lot of things into the classroom that is relevant; not just theory based, if you will. They’re incredibly accessible to students in the form of the live classes which will go through, e-mail, scheduled office hours, many will provide their phone numbers; very communicative. You really get an opportunity to build that relationship with your professors.

So in the course experience, let’s go through how we actually structure our online programs. What we have done is blend the online flexibility with the live classroom interaction. What I mean by that is, classes meet live online once a week at 6:30 PM Eastern for three hours for the 10 weeks of the class. Attendance to the live lectures is expected. If you miss one here or there because maybe you’re sick or you’re out for travel or something came up, faculty is usually pretty understanding. But again, attendance to the live lectures is expected. Each of those live sessions are also recorded, so you can go and if you do miss one here there and catch up. You can review it for study purposes, so there is that component of having all of them recorded for you. As I said classes are 10 weeks long, meeting once a week live. The terms that we offer – five per year. Spring 1 which is usually January, that’s the next one coming up. Spring 2 is usually in March. Summer is a five week accelerated term, usually around June or so, and the live classes meet twice a week instead of once a week. Fall 1 which is usually August and then Fall 2 which is October.

Terri Ignoffo Okay so we’ll touch on the support services that are available for our students in this program. We have a very robust center for career services. It offers a wide range of whether it be customized or individual career services that would include a coaching program, a super convenient online resume and interview critique workshop. Certain events, workshops really allows for additional networking opportunities and exposure. Our mentor program is also something widely utilized by our students. So this is in an e-mail forum, where the mentors will provide guidance, coaching, perspective that enhances the mentees, connections at George Washington University, allows them to feel a touch more connected to the community, again also provides itself networking opportunities as well. The writing center; this is where an individual can get feedback from trained writing consultants, who can help with specific research or writing projects. Very, very effective division of information technology – so this is where the students will get support on anything that has to do with their accounts, e-mail and calendar, anything that has to do with network, internet access, web collaboration, software and business applications, communications, backup and storage, research, computing and training. And then Gwiz allows the community members to access self-service knowledge about the technology and assistance within the Division of the IT services. And then last is our Gelman Library, and this offers digital library access. Students can have items sent to their home. Articles can be kept, accessed; books can be renewed up to three times.
Matthew Starr So we are now accepting applications as I said for our Spring 1 2019 term. The application deadline is December 17, so coming up in just about a month or so, and then classes will begin January 7 if you are accepted. So the reason for kind of that early deadline is the University does shut down for the holidays so if you are planning on applying, the quicker you get everything in, the quicker we can submit it for review and hopefully get a favorable decision for you and then you’ll be able to just enjoy the holidays and start classes on January 7.

So let’s go through the admissions requirements. Candidates for this Master’s degree ideally should meet the following requirements: you do need to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in Electrical Engineering or a closely related field. So closely related is again, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, a degree that has a key emphasis in math, physics, computer science etc. And that is a pretty hard requirement just because of what is contained within this program. You need to have a grade of B- or better in two college-level calculus classes as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

So in terms of the application overview and how to apply; it’s a fairly straightforward process. You’ll work with Terri or I on submitting your application. It takes about two minutes electronically. Three letters of recommendation need for be provided from professional and/or academic sources and we provide you a template form for that. A very brief statement of purpose and an updated copy of your resume. And then we need official transcripts from all attended schools whether or not a degree was earned and the reason the word “all” is underlined is because it does need to be every institution that you earned any college credit from, not just where you got your degree even if you transfer credit and those are listed; we are going to need a copy of everything.

Terri Ignoffo Great, so you apply, submit all of the supported enrollment documents and get a favorable admissions decision and are accepted into the program – what’s next? Essentially the accepted students would want to sign and submit the brief reply form that’s essentially accepting the offer of admission. There will be an ethics page that’s required to sign and submit. And there’s a $250 non-fundable tuition deposit. This is a deposit and not a fee, so it is applied to the first semester of tuition. And then to begin classes, there is a very comprehensive online orientation that will be sent out to prepare students to transition into the program smoothly and then they will receive a registration notice from our associate program manager.
Matthew Starr So I want to thank everybody for taking the time and listening today. We’re really excited about this program. Obviously it has a lot of really great potential and we hope that we’ll see some applications from all of you come through. That is my direct contact information but you can work with either Terri or me. Again we are accepting applications until December 17 for the term beginning January 7, so please reach out if this is something that you’re interested in pursuing or if you have any additional questions.