In earning an Online Mechanical Engineering Masters, grad students can widen their options for building a successful career. While not guaranteed, master’s grads may also earn higher earnings as they advance their expertise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 4 percent job growth for mechanical engineers, 2018-2028. Top employers were in engineering firms, architectural services, machinery manufacturers, and transportation equipment fabricators. This invaluable resource details how to complete and pay for an online master’s in Mechanical Engineering.
20 Most Affordable Online Mechanical Engineering Masters Programs
Our ranking of the 15 most affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering degree programs was based in-part by tuition costs (affordability), the university’s accreditation, the availability of required courses throughout the year, and institutional grants and scholarships. In all, the rankings help you make an informed choice in selecting an ME program.
Our top-ranked online master’s in mechanical engineering programs are evaluated by academic excellence, reputation, opportunities for mentoring and networking, pertinent curriculum, research achievements, faculty expertise, and availability of specializations.
Understanding an Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Program
It takes savviness to navigate an online master’s in mechanical engineering program. How can you meet admissions requirements, complete the required curriculum, and round up support for paying your tuition and fees? This section outlines the path to success.
Common Specializations for an Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering
Students may opt to specialize in a sub-field in their mechanical engineering degree to best-fit their career interests. A concentration may also prepare them to engage in focused post-graduate studies. The following three specializations may not be available at all universities but they’re out there. Often they are not an ME concentration, but rather an engineering program unto themselves.
Area of Focus
Careers This Concentration Prepares For
The concentration in aerospace engineering prepares graduates for a niche role in designing aircraft and spacecraft. Courses cover control systems, fluid dynamics, combustion, and robotics.
Materials and process engineers, systems test engineers, stress analysis engineers.
Industrial engineering is the study of production processes to improve efficiency, cost-control systems, and the integration of workers, materials, energy systems, and machinery. The focus may include supply chain and safety issues.
Financial and operational planners, industrial product engineers, industrial designers.
The concentration in manufacturing engineering focuses on the process of designing and creating cost-efficient manufacturing systems and monitoring their operations. They are called upon to oversee quality management.
Process engineers, manufacturing test engineers, biotech engineers
Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements
Admission requirements are established by the graduate school and the engineering department. They may vary slightly from university to university. Here are some of the more-common application components among the ME programs:
Letters of recommendation: Applicants to accredited must submit three letters of recommendation that attest to their scholarly aptitude, personal character, classroom or workplace performance, and fitness for graduate studies. Letters may come from former or current professors, employers, and research advisors.
Undergraduate transcripts: Graduate applicants are required to submit official transcripts of their undergraduate work. Transcripts are used to determine whether the student must complete prerequisites and verify the student’s undergraduate GPA.
Financial Aid application: Graduate students who are seeking financial aid must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The application evaluates the student’s eligibility for grants, scholarships, and federal loan programs. Results are sent to the student’s desired universities.
Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Online Master’s of Mechanical Engineering programs typically do not require the submission of GRE scores. But the GRE may be required if the candidate did not graduate from an ABET-accredited bachelor program. For more details, read our GRE Guide.
Proof of English proficiency: Grad school applicants for whom English is not their native language must document their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Curriculum for an Online Master of Mechanical Engineering Program
The following courses are a sample of studies covered in a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering online:
Solid Mechanics: This advanced online course focuses on the macro to the micro behavior of plastic, elastic, and time-dependent solid materials. Includes studies on stress and equilibrium, deformation, compatibility, and strain.
Fluid Mechanics: This course is a survey of principal concepts and methods of fluid dynamics. It provides an advanced understanding of mass conservation, the Navier-Stokes equation for viscous flows, boundary layers and separation, momentum, circulation, and vorticity theorems.
Computational Fluid Dynamics: Students undertake advanced studies in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), including topics in control volume analysis, Navier-Stokes equations, finite element methods, and the Lattice-Boltzmann method.
Nanotechnology: Graduate students pursue advanced topics in nanoscale thermal transport, micro- and nano-fluidics, nanomechanical materials, biomolecular detection, heat transfer, combustion, applied physics, and computational nano-dynamics, and simulation methodology.
Fabrication and Testing of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems: Students participate in a group project to design a novel MEMS device applied to the dimension of brain health-related lithium sensors and transcranial magnetic stimulators.
Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Program Length
How much time does it take to complete an online master’s in mechanical engineering degree? That depends largely on the number of credits required for graduation and whether the student commits to full-time attendance or part-time studies. Here are some things to consider:
Why would you want to earn a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering online?
Online ME programs mesh conveniently with the student’s current family or employment obligations. Self-paced courses allow students to accelerate their time to complete the degree.
On average, how many credits does it take to graduate from an online Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering?
Programs usually require 30-33 credit hours for graduation.
What might impact the length of an online degree?
The number of credits a student can complete a semester directly impacts the timeline to graduation. Full-time online programs can be completed from two to four years. Accelerated, self-paced programs can be completed in as little as one and a half years depending on the student’s commitment and stamina.
Careers and Salaries for Online Mechanical Engineering Masters Graduates
Mechanical Engineering a lucrative field with great salaries, even at entry level. The field is very diverse, and it has many branches to that comes with many career titles. Here are some career titles and salaries for graduates of online mechanical engineering master’s programs:
Average, Late Career
How to Pay for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree
Tuition and costs for an online master’s of mechanical engineering program can be daunting. One of the best ways to foot the cost is through scholarships that do not require repayment. There are other great options to finance your education, including loans and grants, university research/teaching assistantships, and employer tuition reimbursements.
Techniques for Financing an Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering
Teaching and Research Assistantships
Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Loans and Grants
University mechanical engineering departments offer a limited number of assistantships to help graduate students pay for tuition or their cost of living. Federal Work-Study (FWS) positions are offered on the basis of financial need, academic proficiency, and research interests.
Engineering employers may agree to reimburse their mechanical engineering workers for tuition toward a graduate degree. In return, the employer gains an engineer with advanced skills. They also may receive a tax break. There may be requirements for the employee to work a set period of time after graduation.
Graduate engineering students can qualify for federal and state grants designated for funding their research. Federal graduate loans backed by the government Direct-PLUS or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. For information on Direct-PLUS programs, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Scholarships for Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Students
ME scholarships pay for full tuition and research costs. They are awarded on the basis of student merit, research projects, and faculty recognition. A few weigh financial need as a criterion. The list below provides a sampling of online master’s in mechanical engineering scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Marjorie Roy Rothermel Scholarship : Who Can Apply: Funded by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Rogthermel Scholarship is open to graduate students pursuing a Master’s of Mechanical Engineering degree on a full-time basis. Amount: $3,000
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships: Who Can Apply: The NDSEG fellowship program is designed for engineering graduate students planning to pursue a doctorate in their field. Applicants can attend the engineering school of their choice and their master’s program. Amount: Three years’ tuition, a monthly stipend, and medical insurance
R.E.D. Foundation Scholarship: Who Can Apply: Open to graduate mechanical engineering students, the scholarship from the Robert E. Dougherty Educational Foundation includes submission of academic achievements to 170 companies in the industry. Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program : Who Can Apply: The NSF graduate research fellowship is offered to early-career students enrolled in an accredited engineering program. Recipients have their choice of project, graduate program, and advisor. Amount:$34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 for tuition.
IFMA Foundation Scholarship : Who Can Apply: Graduate students attending an accredited institution for Facility Management or related fields. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.2. Recipients must attend the IFMA’s annual World Workplace Conference and Exhibition. Amount: $1,500 to $10,000.
Resources for Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Students
Grad mechanical engineering students can vastly increase their reach to educational and research resources. The listings below offer ME libraries, continuing education courses, job boards, discussion forums, scholarship listings, and practical tools for getting the job done.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers: ASMA is the single-largest association for mechanical engineers. Its website provides free webinars, continuing education courses, a detailed professional liability library, and a job board.
iCrank.com: Look no further! iCrank has directories of useful apps and data, links to extensive resources, a technical library, discussion groups, material data lookup tools, a job board, and a list of vendors.
The Engineer’s Reference: Find a wise mechanical engineering blog here. Take tutorials on physics & mathematics, metal manufacturing, quality engineering, and mechanical design. There are video tutorials on creating engineering drawings and GDT rules.
National Society of Professional Engineers: NESP’s vast resources include continuing education courses, a listing of scholarships, ethics learning resources, podcasts, daily designs, blogs, and NESP news. Student memberships are available.
Society of Women Engineers: SWE is home to eXXec, its Executive Leadership Program. Find reviews of research and industry trends, workplace data, and literature reviews. There’s an emphasis on STEM-related topics.
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