Electrical Engineering Master's Degree

Online Program Overview

Degree Level
Master's Degree
Total Credits
Fully Online
Contact Us
Minimum GPA
Qualifying Exam
GRE Required

Contemporary electrical engineering is a broad discipline that encompasses a wide range of activities. A common theme is the use of electricity and electromagnetism for the generation, transmission, processing, storage, conversion, and control of information and energy. An equally important aspect is the human interface and the role of individuals as the sources and recipients of information. The rates at which information is transmitted today range from megabits per second to gigabits per second and, in some cases, as high as terabits per second. The range of frequencies over which these processes are studied extends from direct current (i.e., zero frequency), to microwave and optical frequencies.

The need for increasingly faster and more sophisticated methods of handling information poses a major challenge to the electrical engineer. New materials, devices, circuits, systems, and networks are needed to build the advanced communications and information-handling systems of the future. Previous innovations in electrical engineering have had a dramatic impact on the way in which we work and live: the transistor, integrated circuits, computers, radio and television, satellite transmission systems, lasers, fiber optic transmission systems, and medical electronics.

Optional concentrations within the MS program allow students to focus on coursework in the following areas: Telecommunications Engineering, Wireless and Mobile Communications, Lightwave (Photonics) Engineering, Integrated Circuits and Systems, Microelectronic Devices, and Multimedia Networking.

NEW! A concentration option in Systems Biology is now available.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the quick response, attention, and patience the professor and TA have given me.
Henry Lin, Lucent

Admissions Requirements

Degree required for admission: Students admitted to the program must possess an undergraduate degree in engineering, science, mathematics, computer science or other related field (subject to the approval of the Electrical Engineering Program) from an accredited academic institution. Applicants should have a strong undergraduate record to be competitive for admission. 

GPA required: Minimum of 3.0 

GRE requirements: General test required 

Other application requirements: 3 recommendation letters, transcripts, resume, and a personal-professional statement are required.  If you have not earned a degree from an undergraduate or graduate institution in which the instructional language was English, you may be required to take the TOEFL/IELTS. All application requirements in the Graduate Application must be completed as specified in the application. 

Students must complete all core courses (described below) and selected electives (described below) for a total of 30 graduate points of academic work via CVN with a GPA of 2.5 or better. All degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of the first course credited toward the degree. This includes courses in the non-degree program. 


Course Requirements:

  • A minimum of 15 points of credit must be at the 6000 level or higher.
  • At least 15 points must be courses in Electrical Engineering, defined as those with an ELEN designator or joint courses that include Electrical Engineering (e.g., with joint designators such as EECS, CSEE, EEME, ECBM, EEBM, & BMEE.
  • Courses to be credited toward the M.S. degree can be taken only upon prior approval of the program advisor.
  • Certain 4000-level courses will not be credited toward the M.S. degree, and no more than 6 points of research may be taken for credit.

Course List

Elective courses:

Up to 3 points of credit for approved graduate courses outside of engineering and science may be allowed.


Students in the M.S. in E.E. program can choose to focus on a particular field below or design their own M.S. program in consultation with an advisor. All students must meet the requirements listed in the EE Master of Science Program Checklist and are expected to include breadth in their program.

CVN students selecting an optional concentration are advised to work closely with an advisor in order to choose a selection of courses that meets their needs.

Concentration in Telecommunications Engineering:

  • Satisfy the basic M.S. degree requirements
  • One basic hardware or software course such as ELEN E4321 VLSI Circuits, ELEN E4411 Fundamentals of Photonics, COMS W4118 Operating Systems, or COMS W4111 Database Systems
  • One basic systems course such as ELEN E4702 Communications Theory, ELEN E4703 Wireless Communications, or CSEE W4119 Computer Networks.
  • At least two approved courses from a focus area such as signal/image processing and telecommunications/multimedia networks

Concentration in Wireless and Mobile Communications:

  • Satisfy the basic M.S. degree requirements
  • One circuits course such as ELEN E4312 Analog Electronic Circuits, ELEN E4314 Communication Circuits, ELEN E6312 Advanced Analog ICs, ELEN E6314 Advanced Communication Circuits
  • Two communications  or networking courses such as CSEE E4119 Computer Networks, ELEN E4702 Communication Theory, ELEN E4703 Wireless Communications, ELEN E4810 Digital Signal Processing, ELEN E6711 Stochastic Signals & Noise, ELEN E6717 Information Theory, ELEN E6950 Wireless & Mobile Networking I, ELEN E6951 Wireless & Mobile Networking II, ELEN E677x: Topics in Telecommunications Networks
  • At least two approved courses in wireless or a related area

Concentration in Lightwave (Photonics) Engineering:

  • Satisfy the basic M.S. degree requirements
  • Both ELEN E4411 Fundamentals of Photonics and ELEN E6412 Lightwave Devices (or an equivalent such as APPH E4300 Applied Electrodynamics)
  • One device/circuits/photonics course such as ELEN E4401 Wave Transmission and Fiber Optics, ELEN E4314: Communication circuits, ELEN E4488 Optical systems, ELEN E6488 Optical interconnects and interconnection networks, ELEN E4193 Modern display science and technology
  • At least two approved courses in photonics or a related area such as APPH E4090 Nanotechnology, APPH E4100 Quantum physics of matter, APPH E4110 Modern optics, CHAP E4120 Statistical mechanics, APPH E4112 Laser physics, APPH E4130 Physics of solar energy, APPH E6081 Solid state physics I, APPH E6082 Solid state physics, II, APPH E6091 Magnetism and magnetic materials, MSAE E4202 Thermodynamics and reactions in solids, MSAE E4206 Electronic and magnetic properties of solids

Concentration in Integrated Circuits and Systems:

  • Satisfy M.S. degree requirements.
  • One digital course from: EECS E4321: Digital VLSI circuits or EECS E6321: Advanced digital electronic circuits.
  • One analog course from: ELEN E4312: Analog electronic circuits; ELEN E6312: Advanced analog integrated circuits; ELEN E6316: Analog circuits and systems in VLSI; ELEN E4314: Communication circuits; ELEN E6314: Advanced communication circuits; ELEN E6320: Millimeter-wave IC design.
  • Two additional courses such as: Other courses from above; ELEN E6304: Topics in electronic circuits; ELEN E6318: Microwave circuit design.

At least one additional approved course in integrated circuits and systems or a related area.

Concentration in Microelectronic Devices:

  • Satisfy the basic M.S. degree requirements
  • One basic course such as ELEN E4301 Semiconductor Devices or ELEN E4411 Fundamental of Photonics
  • One advanced course such as ELEN E4193 Modern Display Science and Technology, ELEN E4944 Principles of Device Microfabrication ELEN E6331 Semiconductor Physics I, ELEN E6332 Semiconductor Physics II, ELEN E6333 Semiconductor Device Physics, ELEN E6945 Nanoscale Fabrication and Devices
  • At least two approved courses in devices or a related area

Concentration in Multimedia Networking:

  • Satisfy the basic M.S. degree requirements
  • Both ELEN E6761: Computer communication networks, I and ELEN E6950: Wireless and mobile networking, I.
  • Either COMS W4118 Operating Systems or COMS W4111 Database Systems
  • COMS E6181: Advanced Internet services or ELEN E6776: Topic: content distribution networks.

Concentration in Systems Biology & Neuroengineering:

Tuition & Fees

2021 - 2022 Tuition & Fees

Please note that all tuition and fees are in U.S. dollars and are estimated. Tuition and most fees are prescribed by statute, and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

CVN Credit Tuition: $2,272 per point (Credit Hour)
CVN Fee: $395 non-refundable fee per course
Transcript Fee: $105 non-refundable one-time fee

Estimated cost of one nondegree course: $7,316
Estimated total cost of certification (four courses): $28,949

Estimated total cost of MS (ten courses): $72,215
*Estimated total cost of DES (ten courses plus a minimum of 12 research credits): $100,269

Graduate Admission Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee
Certification Program Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee

Late Registration Fee: $100 non-refundable fee

CVN Withdrawal Fee: $75, plus prorated tuition and all non-refundable fees
For example: A three-credit course would be $6,816 + transcript fee $105 (one-time) + CVN fee $395 = $7,316

*Assumes DES student enrolls in two six-credit research courses.

For Drop/Withdrawal fees and dates, refer to the Academic Calendar for the current term.

Please note: CVN no longer offers courses for audit.


Payment should be mailed to:

Columbia University
Student Account Payments
P.O. Box 1385
New York, NY 10008-1385

Before you mail your check or money order, please take careful note of the following requirements to ensure the timely processing of your payment:


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