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Online Master’s in Engineering

Online Master’s of Engineering

Pursuing an Online Master’s of Engineering degree can position graduates for careers across the wide range of growing occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that engineering jobs will increase by 4%, 2018 to 2028, adding 113,300 new jobs. Specialized graduate degrees are available in civil, mechanical, electronic, petroleum, biomedical, and chemical engineering among others. This comprehensive page provides a listing of the best online graduate engineering programs across the country. You’ll also find pertinent salaries, job-growth predictions, admission and GRE requirements, career resources, and licensing and certification information. Make an informed decision in choosing the best school for attaining your career goals.

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Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs

Search for the best online master’s in engineering programs. We used our custom mathematical formula to evaluate the academic qualities for ranking the best online programs. Here are the results:

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
$10,77090%
#2
Kansas State University
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
$10,21264%
#3
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Business College Complex 632 Bogue St East Lansing, MI 48824
$23,89092%
#4
University of North Carolina Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223
$4,33759%
#5
University of Virginia
1827 University Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
$16,57894%
#6
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79409
$5,95860%
#7
University of Wisconsin – Madison
500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
$10,728 87%
#8
Oklahoma State University
107 Whitehurst, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078
$5,53161%
#9
Texas A&M University-College Station
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
$6,677 82%
#10
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
14th and R St, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588
$5,97669%
#11
University of Arkansas
Administration Bldg 425, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
$7,75266%
#12
Mississippi State University
Lee Boulevard, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762
$8,80058%
#13
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620-9951
$8,35073%
#14
Cornell University
300 Day Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853
$29,50095%
#15
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820-5711
$14,99784%
#16
Florida International
1200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, Florida 33199
$8,91258%
#17
Louisiana Tech University
1310 West Railroad Avenue, Ruston, Louisiana 71272
$6,59254%
#18
Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332

$14,06487%
#19
Colorado Technical University
4435 N Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907
$13,71029%
#20
California State University-Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, California 92831
$7,17668%
#21
New Mexico State University
2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003
$4,84447%
#22
Purdue University
Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
$9,20881%
#23
Colorado State University
102 Administration Building, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
$10,52071%
#24
Washington State University
French Administration Building, Pullman, Washington 99164
$11,49359%
#25
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,91673%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding an Online Master’s in Engineering Program

Today’s online master’s in engineering programs offer concentrations that prepare students for careers in the many sub-disciplines in engineering. There are common concepts and principles related to all the concentration areas, including advanced research methodology, analytical and statistical modeling, technology essentials, and evidence-based assessments and solutions. Students can earn a generalist online master’s degree or choose a concentration leading to specific careers in the field.

Common Specializations for an Online Master’s in Engineering

The following section explores the specializations and degree sub-disciplines that are available for online master’s in engineering students. The descriptions provide insights into the curriculum and skills offered in the concentrations, along with the careers that graduates can pursue with their degree.

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Online Civil Engineering  MastersA concentration in civil engineering focuses on the skills required for infrastructure development and construction. Studies apply to readiness and employment in structural, transportation, and geotechnical fields.Project managers, public and private sector engineers, engineering consultants, cost estimators, and materials engineers.
Online Masters in Mechanical EngineeringThe mechanical engineering specialization prepares grad students in hard skills applicable to the manufacturing of devices, machine design, and power systems.HVAC designers,  thermodynamics consultants, quality inspectors, design analysts, and production managers.
Masters of Petroleum Engineering OnlineA centration in petroleum engineering focuses on data-driven energy modeling, geochemical analysis, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, fluid dynamics, and core analysis.Geo scientists, environmental engineers, drilling engineers, reservoir engineers, chemists, well production consultants, and fixed equipment specialists.
Online Engineering Management MastersThe graduate concentration in engineering management includes studies in information systems engineering, engineering administration, reliability engineering, strategic technology management, supply chain, and production systems.Technical consultants, software engineering leaders, project managers, principal engineers, professional development managers, application engineering and operations managers.
Electrical Engineering MastersGraduate electrical engineering studies include coursework in physical electronics, electric power, and energy systems, electromagnetics, microwave circuits, communication and signal processingProcess and product managers, plant maintenance managers, network engineers, broadcast technology specialists, project managers, and data engineering managers.
Electronics Engineering Online MastersStudies in the electronics engineering curriculum include power systems, renewable energy, power system protection. high -voltage technology, digital control systems, and systems analysis and design.Firmware developers, manufacturing process engineers, quality engineers, electronics designers, and digital communications specialists.
Biomedical Engineering MastersIn graduate biomedical engineering concentrations, students learn math and statistical methodology, biomaterials, biofluid dynamics, and quantitative systems in biology and disease.Process development engineers, pharmaceutical and medical device product developers, quality engineers, and R&D scientists.
Chemical Engineering MastersCoursework for an online chemical engineering masters includes studies in polymer science, chemical engineering process modeling, enzyme, and microbial kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport phenomena.Process engineers, test engineers, chemical operations managers, R&D specialists, patent analysts, quality control analysts, and micro lab managers.

Online Master’s in Engineering Admission Requirements

Potential students should investigate admission requirements for the online master’s in engineering programs that appeal to their career aspirations. Not all requirements are the same for each university since they’re established by the graduate school and the engineering department. There may be pre-requisites, credit transfer stipulations, and requirements for GRE scores. The following five admission requirements are common to most online engineering master’s programs.

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Degree requirements may vary by online engineering graduate programs. In general,  applicants are expected to hold a baccalaureate or a master’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or a related major from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited institution.
  • Recommendation Letters: Applicants mustprovide two-three recommendation letters from former professors or engineering employers documenting their undergraduate accomplishments, career experience/performance, personality assets, and academic research potential. Depending on the program, recommendations may be submitted electronically.
  • Application Essay: Schools typically require a one-two-page personal statement detailing engineering interests, career plans, and why the university program is well-suited to the student’s education goals. 
  • Transcripts: Applicants must submit official transcripts documenting undergraduate and graduate coursework and accomplishments. They are also used to certify that the applicant has earned an undergraduate degree with the minimum required GPA.
  • GRE scores: All students not graduating from an ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering program located in the U.S. are required to take the GRE® General Test. Average scores required for admission range from 160-164.

Online Engineering Master’s for Non-Engineers

Many online engineering schools require graduate applicants to hold a baccalaureate degree in engineering or a related discipline. But it’s still possible for non-engineers to earn an accredited online master’s degree if they leap through some hoops. Students with undergraduate degrees in technology, mathematics, or biology may satisfy admission requirements. You may be required to complete undergraduate prerequisite courses prior to admission. For example, Boston University’s Late Entry Accelerated Program (LEAP) prepares students with bachelor’s degrees to undertake an engineering degree. Undergrads that majored in Education, Business, Liberal and Fine Arts work with graduate faculty members to design a pre-entry program to build a foundation in engineering.  Non-engineering students will find that an online engineering master’s degree is certainly attainable.

Online Master’s in Engineering: No GRE Requirement

Many online master’s degree programs in engineering do not require applicant’s scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Examine the admissions requirements of prospective programs. Be aware that in order to apply for financial aid, you may need to provide GRE or GMAT scores. Online universities that do not require the GRE or GMAT use other criteria to approve applicants. These can include work experience, undergraduate GPA, the satisfaction of prerequisite requirements, an application essay stating career and educational goals, and letters of recommendation from employers or previous professors. Some require a qualifying interview with department heads and engineering faculty that may be conducted remotely. To understand how non-GRE requirements work, examine these three non-GRE programs:

To get started on your search for non-GRE engineering programs, visit our list of graduate schools on the following page: GRE Resources for Aspiring Master’s Students

Skills Gained in an Online Master’s in Engineering Program

To succeed in their engineering niche, students must develop soft and hard skills applicable to all concentrations in the field. These are learned through multiple avenues, including online courses, internships, and hands-on problem-solving. Whether it’s communicating with peers, solving business problems, or leading a research project, graduate engineering students must hone their skill sets for success. Here are five critical engineering skills to pursue no matter your degree specialization:

  • Analytical thinking: In the workplace or in research, analytical and critical thinking involves the collection and synthesis of data to formulate a solution to an engineering problem. The outcome is evidence-based, not intuitive.
  • Project management: Whether they are conducting their own research or leading a team of engineering professionals, engineers depend upon project management skills to control the scope, planning, and efficiency of the outcome.
  • Communication: Clear communication between an engineer, peers, and administrators is an indispensable skill. Engineers must tailor their communications at the technical level suited for the target audience, including concise communication in oral and written communications.
  • Computer science fundamentals: Engineers must know how to analyze algorithms and data structures related to their examination of probability and statistics.
  • Creativity: The ability to develop unique solutions to engineering and business problems is a skill often overlooked by engineers. Computational and data analysis do not, on their own, adapt findings into a process specifically aimed at the individual project.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Engineering Degrees

Accreditation is an essential factor in choosing an engineering school. The accreditation process is voluntary and involves program evaluation by an independent agency with a specialization in engineering. The accreditation review evaluates the content of a university engineering department and determines if the program meets the quality standards required for the professions, including licensing or certification preparation. If a student is seeking Federal financial aid or planning to advance into another degree program, they must be enrolled in an accredited university.

Accreditation is conferred by national or regional agencies. The main distinction between the two is that while nationally accredited institutions accept transfer credits from regionally accredited schools, regionally accredited universities may not accept credits from nationally accredited schools. There are six regional accreditation agencies in the nation. In engineering, the most-important accreditation is from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). It is the industry standard. Additionally, universities offering online degrees often obtain accreditation from the Distance Education & Training Council (DETC). To learn all you need to know about accreditation and whether your potential program is accredited, visit our Accreditation Guide.

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Scholarships for Online Master’s in Engineering Students

Unlike student loans, scholarships and research grants do not need to be repaid. Students are encouraged to check with their universities to see if there are institutional or departmental scholarships. Better yet, you should explore the array of graduate engineering scholarships from professional associations that help pay for tuition or engineering research. Here are a few to consider:

  • Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research Who Can Apply: Open to graduate students in engineering and computer science. For vision-related research, students receive awards of $2,500. Funding can be used to support research travel and required equipment. Amount:$1,000.
  • George B. Hightower, P.E. Fellowship Who Can Apply: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate engineering program or a graduate of an ABET-accredited program. Prospective recipients must submit a completed application, transcripts, recommendations, and an application essay on career goals. Amount:$3,000
  • Society of Women Engineers Who Can Apply: A total of 233 scholarships are offered each year by the society. Applicants can apply for one or more of them if they are women in graduate programs pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, and technology engineering. Amount:$500 on average
  • (ISC)² Graduate Cyber security Scholarship Who Can Apply: Open to students specializing in cybersecurity or information assurance in their first or second year of a master’s degree program. Applicants may be studying online on a full- or part-time basis. Amount:Up to $5,000
  • Imomoh Scholarship from the Society of Petroleum Engineers Who Can Apply: Applicants must be pursuing a master’s degree in petroleum engineering and hail from a Society of Petroleum Engineers Africa country. The society has an electronic application. Amount: $2,000.
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Career and Salary Outlook for Online Master of Engineering Graduates

Graduates of online Master of Engineering degree programs are qualified for advanced roles in the range of engineering professionals. Based on their experience and specialized learning, they can choose from advanced roles in various engineering fields. Some may choose to prepare for several career pathways. While a graduate degree does not automatically guarantee earnings or specific employment, the following table explores potential earnings, projected employment growth, and professional responsibilities.

OccupationMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (2016-2026)Job Description
Civil Engineers  $87,0606%Civil engineers with graduate degrees take leadership roles in the planning, development, and maintenance of infrastructure projects in the public and private sectors such as highways, bridges, and waterways.  
Electrical and Electronics Engineers$101,2502%Electrical and electronics engineers work in the public and private sector in the design, development, and testing of equipment used in GPS, communication, and power generation systems.
Chemical Engineers  $108,7706%Chemical engineers employ skills in physics, chemistry, and biology to create processes and tools for designing, testing, and deployment of manufacturing processes such as bioengineering polymerization and nanomaterials.  
Petroleum Engineers  $137,7203%Petroleum engineers work in the energy industries to improve the process of the extraction of fossil fuels to increase yield. Roles include completion engineers, drilling engineers, and reservoir engineers.
Mechanical Engineers    $88,4304%Mechanical engineers work across a broad spectrum in the design of mechanical and thermal devices and machinery. They participate in testing, deployment, and troubleshooting of mechanical solutions from power generating systems to medical devices.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Certifications and Licensing for Engineering Professionals

Professional licenses in engineering are required in all 50 states. Voluntary certifications are available to benchmark your skills and knowledge base. Investigate the licensing requirements for the state in which you plan to practice and certifications that can widen your career options. 

Why is it important to be a certified engineering professional?

The benefits of licensing and certifications and multi fold. The National Society of Professional Engineers reports that professionals with a PE typically earn more, have greater career opinions and flexibility, increased authority, and prestige.

How can I stay up-to-date on my engineering certifications?

According to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, engineers are licensed at the state level. Each state creates its own licensing requirements, organizations, and recertification requirements. In general, engineers must complete advanced continuing education to renew certifications.

How do I receive licensure and certification? 

There are varied requirements for obtaining licenses and certifications, but the common denominator is successful testing by professional engineering organizations in the discipline. To sit for the exam, applicants must hold the appropriate degree and a minimum number of years of experience.

What are some examples of certifications and licenses I should consider? For those in entry-level occupations, licensing is not generally required. -The Professional Engineering (PE) license is generally required to advance in the field. The following section provides more detailed information about state licensing and certifications:

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Resources for Online Master’s in Engineering Students

Online masters of engineering students have access to their university’s resource library and reference materials. At the same time, students can broaden their professional expertise, keep up with engineering trends and standards, use online engineering tools, and view white papers and webinars in their specialty. Here are some resources worth exploring:

  • National Society of Professional Engineers: The NSPE provides a comprehensive range of resources for engineering students, including free courses, career advice, a job board, and licensing procedures. The society also offers paid-training courses for the profession.
  • Engineering.com: This online resource offers webinars on engineering best-practices, white papers, eBooks, a job board, and industry news. There are also trade-specific tools such as  Air Flow Conversion Calculators, Air Flow Conversion Calculators, Atmospheric Calculators, and links to articles on online master’s degrees..
  • Born to Engineer:  The British site Born to Engineer provides an exceptional round-up of resources, including listicles and podcasts on topics including engineering products, soft-skills engineering, innovation in engineering, smart infrastructure, and machine learning.
  • ExpressPCB: This manufacturer of free PCB layout and design software has a wealth of tools to help engineers. They include PCB Trace Width Calculator, Tektronix, TDS-1000, Mitutoyo Calipers, Digi-Key, PIC-Servo, AppCAD, and more.
  • Library of Congress Science Reference Services: The Science Division of the Library of Congress is a warehouse for resources including free online engineering courses, Engineering societies and associations, Federal engineering standards, non-governmental resources, national laboratories, and technical information.
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