Best Online Programs Master’s in EngineeringAcademic Programs

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According to data from the American Society of Engineering Education, nearly 140,000 college students in the United States earned engineering degrees in 2011; the number of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral students that year represented year-over-year growth of 8%, 6%, and 5.6%, respectively. The appeal of engineering is easy to understand; the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists more than two dozen engineering occupations, most of which award median annual salaries in excess of $60,000, and the constant demand for skilled engineers ensures that the employment rate within this sector is always relatively high.

Firms and agencies working in technology, healthcare, security, utilities, agriculture and construction are in need of highly specialized engineers who can develop, design and maintain complex systems. This means that as an engineer, the higher your education and expertise level, the more control you have in determining your own career. Engineers who hold a master's degree often help direct an organization's research and development efforts or manage a team of engineers to meet an organizational goal.

Online master's in engineering programs are a good option for working engineers who wish to bolster their credentials without sacrificing the strides they've made on their current career path. In an effort to address the needs of these individuals, we've identified, ranked and summarized the very best in fully online master's in engineering programs (learn how we calculated the rankings here). Start exploring your options now.

  1. Rank School Location Tuition +
  2. Rank
    1
    School

    Stanford University

    Location
    Stanford, CA
    Tuition
    $1,340 per credit hour online

    Websites

    Address

    Stanford, CA 94305
    (650) 723-2300

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Prospective Stanford online graduate students have the unique opportunity to preview their required courses by exploring Stanford's sample lecture library. Stanford's engineering faculty includes both Kyoto and Nobel Prize winners. Distance learners receive full access to program faculty, databases and support services and can pursue a number of part-time master's degrees in specialty fields like mechanical engineering, engineering leadership and electrical engineering.

  3. Rank
    2
    School

    Columbia University in the City of New York

    Location
    New York, NY
    Tuition
    $1,710 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    West 116 St and Broadway
    New York, NY 10027
    (212) 854-1754

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The U.S. News and World Report ranking names Columbia's distance learning master's program first in the nation due to its unmatchable scores in the "Student Engagement" and "Admissions Selectivity" categories. Like Stanford, prospective Columbia students can preview engineering courses online for free. Columbia University's online academic offerings cater to an impressive breadth of graduate degree specialties, with online MS programs in biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering.

  4. Rank
    3
    School

    Cornell University

    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Tuition
    $29,500 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    300 Day Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853
    (607) 255-2000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    This Ivy League college's Master of Engineering degree is ranked 17th on USNWR list for best online graduate engineering programs. As with their campus-based peers, Cornell engineering students must complete 30 credit hours over the span of two to three years. This program culminates in a capstone design project before graduation. Cornell's prestigious Systems Engineering Department was founded in 1999, and it has built extensive relationships with a number of noteworthy professional organizations, including Intel, the FBI, Google and Boeing.

  5. Rank
    4
    School

    Duke University

    Location
    Durham, NC
    Tuition
    $6,068 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    103 Allen Bldg
    Durham, NC 27708
    (919) 684-8111

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Duke University caters to students who wish to blend technical engineering knowledge with business competencies. The two-year Master of Engineering Management program is the result of a unique collaboration between the Fuqua School of Business, the Duke School of Law and the Pratt School of Engineering. In order to graduate, online students are expected to complete three campus-based residency programs dedicated to student orientation, mid-program relationship building and capstone project presentations. These residency sessions emphasize workshops and networking opportunities that are best delivered in-person, rather than in an online format.

  6. Rank
    5
    School

    University of Virginia

    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Tuition
    $531 per credit in state;
    $874 per credit out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1827 University Avenue
    Charlottesville, VA 22903-2628
    (434) 924-0311

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    UVA's online distance learning program for engineering graduates is known as the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), which blends faculty and academic resources provided by five different colleges: George Mason University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech and University of Virginia. The program actually predates the consumer Internet era; CGEP first began offering distance learning education via broadcast television in 1984. Today, CGEP offers six Master of Engineering degree options online in systems, civil, chemical, mechanical, materials science and electrical engineering.

  7. Rank
    6
    School

    University of Florida

    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Tuition
    $129 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Gainesville, FL 32611
    (352) 392-3261

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    The UF Electronic Delivery of Graduate Engineering (EDGE) program ranked 56th amongst the U.S. News and World Report's list of the best online graduate programs in engineering. Prospective students can explore eight different EDGE master's degree program tracks, including systems, mechanical, aerospace, and electrical engineering. Lecture videos are not recycled from previous semesters. Instead, they are recorded the same day they are delivered to students on campus and then uploaded for online students to view.

  8. Rank
    7
    School

    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Tuition
    $1,628 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    503 Thompson Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    (734) 764-1817

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    This college offers four online Master of Engineering (MEng) programs: manufacturing, global manufacturing, energy systems, and automotive engineering. The University of Michigan delivers learning materials and facilitates discussions through the CTools system, which supports multimedia sharing, chat rooms, assignment uploads, forums, wikis, cloud storage and online grade books. U.S. News and World Report ranked U of M's program as the 9th best in the nation.

  9. Rank
    8
    School

    University of California – Berkeley

    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Tuition
    $48,664 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    200 California Hall
    Berkeley, CA 94720
    (510) 642-6000

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    UC Berkeley's Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department offers a single online degree option for students – the Master of Advanced Study in Integrated Circuits (MAS-IC). This is an industry-oriented degree track that can be completed within two years of part-time study. Applicants to UC Berkeley's program are expected to have work or internship experience in the fields of EE and CS in addition to the typically required coursework.

  10. Rank
    9
    School

    Johns Hopkins University

    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Tuition
    $3,710 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall
    Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
    (410) 516-8000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    JHU provides online students with broad array of master's degree options, including environmental engineering, information systems engineering and computer engineering. Enrolled students gain access to a number of digital support services, such as live academic advising, financial aid, a digital library and career counseling. While course materials are available 24/7, students are encouraged to communicate with faculty members during specific live office hours.

  11. Rank
    10
    School

    University of California – Los Angeles

    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuition
    $33,000 program total
    +

    Websites

    Address

    405 Hilgard Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
    (310) 825-4321

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    Prospective UCLA students can earn a Master of Science in Engineering from the prestigious Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the second for engineering master's degrees in the nation. Students who have graduated from this program have gained employment with companies such as Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Armed Forces, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Future applicant's can learn more about UCLA's competitive online engineering programs by attending one of their global recruitment events.

  12. Rank
    11
    School

    University of Southern California

    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuition
    $1,774 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    University Park
    Los Angeles, CA 90089
    (213) 740-2311

    Accreditation

    WASC/SCUC

    School Description

    USC's online engineering graduate program ranks 4th in U.S. News and World Report rankings. The Distance Education Network (DEN) at the Viterbi School of Engineering is home to one of the most extensive selections of program tracks, offering 12 different engineering degrees. DEN relies on several collaborative tools to foster teamwork and communication between faculty members and students, such as Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans, and Skype.

    Online students have the unique option of watching lectures streamed live from campus or watching footage of these events afterward.

  13. Rank
    12
    School

    University of Texas at Austin

    Location
    Austin, TX
    Tuition
    $40,000 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2400 Inner Campus Drive
    Austin, TX 78712
    (512) 471-3434

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Prospective students can explore the online Master's degree in Engineering Management at UT's College of Lifelong Engineering Education. This degree option can be completed within two years. Both online and campus-based students have access to the faculty resources at the Cockrell School of Engineering, which was ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as the 10th best engineering school in the nation.

  14. Rank
    13
    School

    Lehigh University

    Location
    Bethlehem, PA
    Tuition
    $1,190 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    27 Memorial Drive West
    Bethlehem, PA 18015
    (610) 758-3000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    LU offers several remarkable online engineering degree tracks concentrating on subjects like polymer science, healthcare systems and biological chemical. While most schools rely on pre-recorded lectures, the LU faculty leverages two styles of online learning: Classroom LIVE, which requires that students log on at the same time to collaborate and discuss ideas in real time with instructors, and Classroom Online, which allows students to log on at any time to view academic materials.

    After graduation, LU alumni are welcome to continue their education with free distance learning courses.

  15. Rank
    14
    School

    New York University

    Location
    New York, NY
    Tuition
    $1,452 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    70 Washington Sq South
    New York, NY 10012-1091
    (212) 998-1212

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    NYU's distance learning engineering graduate program, e-Poly, won the 2012 Sloan-C Award for outstanding online programs. Online students gain access to a number of digital resource offices, including the Wasserman Career Services, new student orientation, tutoring, disability resources and advocacy. The School of Engineering offers eight distinct online engineering master's degree tracks, including bioinformatics, cybersecurity, industrial engineering and computer engineering.

  16. Rank
    15
    School

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tuition
    $589 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    5000 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
    (412) 268-2000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The Institute of Software Research and the School of Computer Science at this private university provide prospective graduate students with a single online engineering degree option – the MSE, or Master's of Software Engineering. CMU is ranked as the top computer science school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

    Unlike the other schools listed here, CMU relies on DVD media to distribute filmed lectures instead of streaming online video. Enrolled students can complete the MSE online program within 16 months of study.

  17. Rank
    16
    School

    University of Washington

    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Tuition
    $695 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1400 NE Campus Parkway
    Seattle, WA 98195-4550
    (206) 543-2100

    Accreditation

    NCCU

    School Description

    Prospective civil engineering students can explore several online master's degree options at Washington, with tracks that focus on supply chain logistics, construction engineering and sustainable transportation. These degree programs can be completed in a two to three year time frame.

    UW's Continuing Education YouTube channel features several current students and faculty members as they share their experiences with online learning formats.

  18. Rank
    17
    School

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Tuition
    $1,032 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    225 North Ave
    Atlanta, GA 30332-0530
    (404) 894-2000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Georgia Tech sets itself apart from the majority of national colleges, ranking as the sixth best engineering school in the nation. Students exploring master's programs online can pursue aerospace, applied systems, computational science, industrial or mechanical engineering, which are overseen by several different Georgia Tech departments. Prospective students can preview the online curriculum format by signing into the sample lecture demo website to access class recordings.

  19. Rank
    18
    School

    North Carolina State University

    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Tuition
    $953 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2101 Hillsborough Street
    Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
    (919) 515-2011

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    NCSU is ranked 9th on the U.S. News and World Report list for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and 29th on the Best Engineering Schools list.

    The College of Engineering provides an impressive selection of 15 different master's degrees in fields like materials science, nano-engineering and integrated manufacturing system engineering. The faculty and staff at NCSU have received multiple awards, including an Emmy for plasma display developments and four Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science.

  20. Rank
    19
    School

    University of Maryland-College Park

    Location
    College Park, MD
    Tuition
    $49,000 program total
    +

    Websites

    Address

    College Park, MD 20742
    (301) 405-1000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The Office of Advanced Engineering Education (OAEE) oversees the Professional Master of Engineering program (M.Eng) at the University of Maryland. Students can opt to complete a thesis or non-thesis option with differing credit requirements. Online students can choose from seven master's degree tracks, including energetic concepts, fire protection and reliability engineering. Prospective students can partake in a Virtual Open House to get familiar with admissions requirements, student life and upcoming deadlines.

  21. Rank
    20
    School

    George Washington University

    Location
    Washington, DC
    Tuition
    $1,610 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2121 I Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20052
    (202) 994-1000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The GWU School of Engineering and Applied Science offers two Master of Science degree options for online graduate students: Systems Engineering or Engineering Management. These part-time, 12-course programs are meant to be completed in three years or less. Students must commit to meeting online at prearranged times twice every other week with the online IBM SmartCloud system.

    To apply, prospective students must have earned a 3.0 GPA during the last two years of their bachelor's degree program in engineering, mathematics or other related fields.

  22. Rank
    21
    School

    Texas A&M University

    Location
    College Station, TX
    Tuition
    $3,100 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    805 Rudder Tower
    College Station, TX 77843-1244
    (979) 845-3211

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Students looking for a wide variety of online master's degree designations might want to explore Texas A&M. The Dwight Look College of Engineering offers Master of Engineering (MEng), Master of Science (MS) and Master's of Industrial Distribution (MID) through its distance learning programs. Students can explore seven different degree tracks, including petroleum, safety and agricultural engineering.

    Texas A&M is ranked 11th on the U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Engineering Schools in the nation.

  23. Rank
    22
    School

    Pennsylvania State University

    Location
    University Park, PA
    Tuition
    $1,025 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    201 Old Main
    University Park, PA 16802-1503
    (814) 865-4700

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Penn State's online World Campus provides prospective students with the opportunity to explore engineering degree tracks in mechanical, nuclear, software and system engineering. Business-oriented students can also explore a Master of Engineering Management.

    World Campus students have access to several online student services, including an IT help desk, a digital resource library and a new student orientation. Penn State is ranked 25th on the USNWR's list of Best Engineering Schools

  24. Rank
    23
    School

    University of Illinois at Urbana

    Location
    Champaign, IL
    Tuition
    $1,034 per credit hour online
    +

    Websites

    Address

    601 E John Street
    Champaign, IL 61820-5711
    (217) 333-1000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The Engineering Online department at this university hosts four master's degree tracks in computer science, civil and environmental engineering, aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering. Students and professors collaborate in virtual classroom environments supported by platforms like Echo360 and Adobe Connect. Research at this college isn't underfunded; the University of Illinois has received $299 million annually for engineering research expenditures.

  25. Rank
    24
    School

    United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Location
    Kings Point, NY
    Tuition
    $1,000 per unit
    +

    Websites

    Address

    300 Steamboat Rd
    Kings Point, NY 11024-1699
    (516) 726-5800

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    This federal U.S. military academy is designed to train U.S. Naval midshipmen for officer positions after graduation. The USMMA provides a Master of Science in Marine Engineering (MMarE), a 36-credit program that must be completed in five years or less. The MMarE places a special emphasis on maritime policy. USNWR ranks this program thirty-third on its list of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

  26. Rank
    25
    School

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Location
    Madison, WI
    Tuition
    $455 per credit in state;
    $1,132 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    500 Lincoln Dr
    Madison, WI 53706-1380
    (608) 262-1234

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    A perennial inclusion on the U.S. News & World Report's top ten graduate engineering programs, Wisconsin's prestigious education has successfully translated to the online learning environment. Specific engineering degrees awarded as part of the engineering department's "at a distance" include focuses in environmental engineering, engine systems and polymer engineering. Each program maintains its own faculty, curriculum and outcomes; all of which are tailored to suit the specific demands of an online student body.

Additional Resources

As with any career field, entry-level employees must work to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack ― and in order to do so, many obtain membership with professional organizations, enroll in open courses, peruse trade magazines and open-access journals and otherwise supplement their higher education using online resources. Here we list some of the best websites, publications and organizations that engineering students can explore as they work toward their master's in engineering and beyond.