MSE in Electrical Engineering


Program Description

The MSE EE degree is a research- and thesis-based program focused on the application of electrical engineering to sustainable systems and advanced engineering design.

Graduates with this degree possess the advanced expertise and are well-qualified to work as leaders in sustainable design, research labs, and entrepreneurial organizations. This degree also provides research experienced and a strong foundation for further graduate study in an electrical engineering Ph.D. program. Students who are not planning on further graduate study may also be interested in the non-thesis MEng EE program.

We accept students from a broad range of educational backgrounds, but all students are expected to possess the mastery of key foundational electrical engineering areas. If a student's bachelor degree is not in Electrical Engineering, there are additional course requirements that must be completed before a student is admitted.

This program assists students who wish to further their engineering education and acquire the knowledge and skills to tackle important engineering tracks of our time: sustainability and innovation. The plan of study features real-world relevancy and considers how sustainable systems impact economics, design, and usability.

What Can I Do with a Master of Science in Engineering?

The knowledge gained during this program, in the emphasis area of choice, will prepare you for tackling real-world engineering challenges, providing solutions to complex engineering problems, and creating products that will benefit the society. The Master of Science in Engineering will help you enter a satisfying, productive and exciting profession, or continue on to a doctoral degree.

The program will help you understand the application of your profession to sustainability and/or advanced engineering design. The faculty is engaged in research and its creative application to relevant problems, and you will have the opportunity to join them. The methods of design and innovation are necessary to the successful development of sustainable systems. Likewise, the principles of sustainability can foster innovation and economic development. By combining both themes, you will have the opportunity to engineer a brighter future for yourself and for the world.

Students wanting to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously may qualify for our Accelerated Program which allows students to count six units toward both degrees, shortening the time to graduation.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:

  • Sustainability or Design Engineer
  • Engineering Consultant or Entrepreneur
  • Teaching and Research Faculty
  • Research and Development Engineer

University Requirements

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.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Research and Thesis (6 units);
  • Graduate-level mathematics or statistics (3 units);
  • Core Courses in sustainable systems and advanced engineering design (6 units);
  • Electives (15 units).


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.
  • Transcripts.

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:

  • B.S. degree in Engineering or completion of prerequisite courses (see department website for details);
  • GRE® revised General Test;
  • 3 letters of recommendation;
  • Personal statement or essay.

Since the M.S. program emphasizes interdisciplinary topics, students may wish to take courses outside of their primary emphasis area. Some courses may require prior completion of prerequisite courses. Other requirements for Master of Science in Engineering students include the following:

  • You are responsible for choosing the chair and members of your advisory committee before completing 9 units of coursework.
  • You must submit a plan of study that lists all coursework intended to satisfy the M.S. degree requirements by the first month of the semester in which you take your 10th credit.

The elective and math/statistics courses are selected in consultation with and acceptable to the student's graduate committee and its chair.

Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Plan Option

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, which may allow them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by applying 6 units 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/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.

Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Student Learning Outcomes

Engineering M.S. with an Emphasis in Civil and Environmental, Computer Science, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering.

The Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) is a thesis-based/research focused graduate degree program. Students work closely with a faculty advisor to develop a personal research plan within their emphasis area (Civil and Environmental, Computer Science, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering), which allows the student to design and complete an original research study in their area of specialty. This degree program is valuable to engineers interested in pursuing doctoral studies, academic careers, or professional careers in research or product innovation.

Demonstrate the ability to apply graduate-level critical thinking skills to formulate and solve advanced engineering problems in the emphasis area (Civil and Environmental, Computer Science, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering):

  • Acquire knowledge of advanced contemporary engineering topics and computational tools specific to the emphasis area.
  • Develop the ability to identify, formulate, and solve advanced engineering problems relevant to the emphasis area.
  • Develop the ability to synthesize, explain, verify, and justify solutions to complex engineering problems specific to the emphasis area.

Demonstrate the ability to independently and creatively design and conduct research studies:

  • Assess the state of the art in their field of study, including a thorough literature review.
  • Design a research study of personal or professional interest and importance including planning, organizing, scheduling, and executing the project with the guidance and input of their thesis advisor.
  • Apply independently and creatively appropriate engineering theories and tools towards finding a viable solution to the thesis topic.
  • Perform and interpret complex quantitative analyses specific to the thesis.

Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively the results of a comprehensive research study/project through oral presentations and publications:

  • Create a publishable paper reflecting the integration of knowledge acquired through the thesis study.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and the implications of the resulting data
  • Synthesize and present the relevance of the research study in both technical and non-technical terms.
  • Deliver an oral presentation to peers summarizing the work performed on the research study and its outcomes.
  • Conduct a thesis defense to a community of engineering faculty and peers.
Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Northern Arizona University is a public university offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees of high quality and societal value. As a student, you are at the center of the NAU experi ... Read More

Northern Arizona University is a public university offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees of high quality and societal value. As a student, you are at the center of the NAU experience, which is guided by a dedicated and distinguished faculty committed to teaching, individual engagement, and research excellence. Read less