Best Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Programs
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Mechanical engineers are creative professionals with a breadth of knowledge that covers topics like machine processes, product manufacturing, and energy use and generation. Because of their versatile skill set, mechanical engineers are invaluable members of multidisciplinary teams in fields like healthcare and environmental conservation.
The following guide ranks the best online master's in mechanical engineering programs to help you find a school that fits your schedule, budget, and career goals. Profiles discuss information like a college's admission requirements, tuition, and student resources. Read on to learn more about these programs, including common concentration options and capstone requirements.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||Stanford University Stanford, CA|
|#2||University of Florida Gainesville, FL|
|#3||Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA|
|#4||Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD|
|#5||University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA|
|#6||University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA|
|#7||University of Washington Seattle, WA|
|#8||University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA|
|#9||Boston University Boston, MA|
|#10||North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC|
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Best Accredited Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Program?
The curriculum of a master's in mechanical engineering program generally includes a few required core classes, with the remaining credits dedicated to electives or a concentration.
Most online master's in mechanical engineering programs require at least 30 credits. This process often takes about two years, depending on a student's enrollment status and prior academic/professional experiences. Some online colleges deliver accelerated nonthesis tracks for experienced engineers. These tracks may allow students to graduate within just 12 months.
The curriculum of a master's in mechanical engineering program generally includes a few required core classes, with the remaining credits dedicated to electives or a concentration. Core courses cover topics like mechanical engineering design and finite element analysis. Students may also need to take a foundational math class, such as linear algebra, data science, or computational physics.
Depending on the school, specialization options may include materials manufacturing, controls and mechatronics, vibrations and dynamics, and biomechanics. Internships and other practicum requirements differ based on a program's goals. Many master of science programs culminate in a thesis; however, master of engineering programs may require a portfolio project and/or cumulative exam.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Programs
Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field, like physics or mechanical design. Many programs feature a GPA cutoff, with minimum requirements usually falling between 2.5 and 3.0. Some schools may also have standardized testing requirements, although these are becoming less common.
In addition to transcripts, prospective students typically submit 2-3 recommendation letters, a current resume or CV, and a personal statement that details relevant accomplishments and professional goals. Check out BestColleges' Graduate Admissions Guide for more information about this process.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Program?
Online master's in mechanical engineering programs require students to complete courses covering fundamental topics like applied research methodologies and engineering design and analysis. The remaining curriculum is usually flexible, allowing students to pick advanced classes based on their professional goals and chosen concentration.
Fulfilling a core math requirement, this course introduces engineers to theories, methods, and tools related to applied data science and machine learning. Students engage with open-source data software and canonical machine learning algorithms. They also learn how to analyze data to develop practical applications that improve workflow.
Mechanical Engineering Design
In this foundational class, students learn the design processes behind various engineering systems and components, with an emphasis on mathematical modeling. The course also covers open-ended design problems in contemporary mechanical engineering. Additionally, students gain technical communication and project planning skills centered on collaborative design methodology.
Students are introduced to core concepts in fluid properties and motion, as well as their applications in engineering design. Since fluids exert force, engineers must consider their dynamics when designing objects, including bridges, dams, and buildings. Other covered topics include boundary layers, mass and momentum conservation, and hydrostatics.
This class is usually part of a manufacturing concentration and focuses on the automation of design and development processes. Students delve into the capacities, limitations, and economic considerations of these methods for modern manufacturing facilities. They may explore related topics like material resource planning, information management, and quality control.
This specialized course examines the development of robotic use for surgery and other health services. Students learn the fundamentals of robot design, including acceleration and velocity analysis and forward and backward kinematics. Learners also gain the skills needed to design control and safety systems for medical robots.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Degree?
Technical communication skills and specialized knowledge in areas like computer-aided product design allow mechanical engineers to work in various industries. For example, with the right training, you could pursue a position with a homeland security agency, a warehouse distribution chain, or a nuclear power provider. You might also pursue a career designing robots and the control systems that bring them to life.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% job growth for mechanical engineering occupations between 2019 and 2029. These professionals make a median annual salary of $88,430, with the top 10% of earners taking home more than $138,020 per year. Earning a master's in the field can help set candidates apart on the job market and qualify them for more lucrative salaries.
Learn more about mechanical engineering careers and see where a master's in mechanical engineering degree can take you.
These professionals use biological and medical principles to design healthcare equipment, systems, and software. Due to growing healthcare needs among older Americans, the BLS projects that bioengineering and biomedical engineering positions will grow by 5% between 2019 and 2029. Major employers of these professionals include medical supplies manufacturers and research laboratories.
Mechanical engineers may create machines and manufacturing processes. They also manage how machines generate and use energy. According to the BLS, they earn a median annual salary of $88,430.
Professionals who work in this mechanical engineering speciality design and build robots for a variety of applications, including manufacturing, exploration, and laboratory research. According to PayScale, these engineers make an average annual salary of about $84,000.
Petroleum engineers use their problem-solving and mechanical skills to extract natural resources from the earth. Between 2019-2029, the BLS projects 3% job growth for these professionals, who earn a median annual salary of $137,720.
Aerospace engineers design, build, and troubleshoot airplanes and spaceships. The BLS projects 3% job growth for aerospace engineering positions between 2019-2029. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $116,500.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Mechanical Engineering Programs
Is a master's in mechanical engineering worth it?
The worth of a graduate degree depends on your career goals. Master's in mechanical engineering programs tend to be flexible, allowing students to create individualized degree plans by choosing from electives and concentration options. A graduates' degree type and specialization can have a significant impact on their earning potential.
What can I do with a master's in mechanical engineering?
Mechanical engineering encompasses the motion of systems (like ocean tides) and objects (like a car or the human body). Because of this breadth, mechanical engineers can work in many fields, including information technology, aerospace defense, petroleum extraction, and rail transportation. They may also pursue a bioengineering position, growing organs from tissue or designing state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment.
Are mechanical engineers in demand?
The BLS projects that mechanical engineering occupations will grow by 4% between 2019-2029. This growth translates to the creation of about 12,400 new jobs. Mechanical engineers are often employed by architecture firms, machinery manufacturers, warehousing and transportation providers, and research institutions.
How much money can I make with a master's in mechanical engineering?
According to PayScale, professionals with a master's in mechanical engineering earn an average annual salary of $84,770. However, factors like geographic location, industry, and specific role/occupation can affect a worker's earning potential. Experience also affects wages, with top-earning senior mechanical engineers making more than $133,000 each year.
What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in mechanical engineering?
According to the BLS, architectural and engineering management jobs are among the highest-paying positions in the nation. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $144,830.