Best Online Master’s in Engineering Schools of 2021

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Published on August 13, 2021

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This page outlines what you can expect to encounter while earning an online master's degree in engineering. Below, we highlight the best online master's in engineering programs of 2020, as well as an overview of online opportunities, common courses in the discipline, concentration opportunities, and admission requirements. This guide also introduces common engineering career paths specific to master's degree-holders and other relevant resources for students pursuing a master's degree in engineering.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Engineering Schools of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
#2 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
#3 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
#4 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
#5 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
#6 University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD
#7 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
#8 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
#9 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ
#10 University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Individuals who earn an online master's degree in engineering can look forward to a variety of lucrative and exciting career opportunities in the field. While many job opportunities only require workers to hold a bachelor's degree, a master's degree allows graduates to be more competitive and take advantage of higher salary opportunities in their chosen area. According to PayScale, individuals with a master's in engineering earn an average annual salary of $90,000.

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2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Engineering Programs

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University of California-Los Angeles View School Profile Los Angeles, CA

UCLA offers a fully online master of science in engineering. Specific program tracks include civil engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, aerospace engineering, and engineering management. All applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in engineering, math, computer science, physics, chemistry, or a similar field.

Regardless of their track, all engineering students must complete nine courses of four credits each. Some tracks feature six core courses and three electives, while others feature nine lockstep courses with no elective options. All students must also fulfill a final comprehensive exam requirement.

UCLA is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $4,200 per four-credit course
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years plus one quarter
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum in the last two years of undergraduate coursework
Standardized Tests: GRE required

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North Carolina State University View School Profile Raleigh, NC

Located in Raleigh, NC State offers an online master of science in aerospace engineering. The 18-month program consists of 30 credits but does not require a thesis. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering may need to complete relevant undergraduate courses before admission.

All students select six aerospace engineering courses based on their personal interests and career goals, along with three elective courses in any area of engineering, statistics, or math. In place of a comprehensive exam, all students must complete a project-based capstone course, where participants engage in an individual or group investigation that addresses an issue in the field.

NC State is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $513 per credit (in-state); $1,362 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Wisconsin-Madison View School Profile Madison, WI

UW offers an online master of engineering in engineering management. The 30-credit program, typically completed in 2-3 years, requires students to complete 22 credits of core courses and eight credits of approved electives.

Course topics include the foundations of engineering leadership, technical project management, effective negotiation principles and strategies, and marketing for technical professionals. Students may choose to join an optional three-day residency on campus each August.

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in science or technology or possess at least 16 credits of math and science courses. Applicants also need at least two years of engineering experience, including co-ops or internships.

UW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,300 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years
Format: Online, with optional summer residencies
Instruction Style: Mostly asynchronous, with occasional real-time web conferences

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required over a student's last 60 credits
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Ohio State University View School Profile Columbus, OH

A public university based in Columbus, Ohio State offers an online master's in engineering management (MEM). The program prepares students for leadership positions in government agencies or private corporations.

The program consists of five engineering management courses; four elective courses in business, policy, or engineering; and one capstone course. Depending on their chosen path, students may earn Six Sigma certification concurrently with their MEM degree. This set of skills and techniques can help students compete for the sought-after process improvement positions.

Ohio State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,067 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: As little as 16 months (2-3 years on average)
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required for students not submitting standardized test scores
Standardized Tests: GRE required for students with a GPA below 3.0

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Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile College Station, TX

Located in College Station, Texas A&M offers an online master of science in interdisciplinary engineering with a specialization in subsea engineering. This unique program gives students the highly specialized skill set required to design, build, install, and operate deep-sea equipment.

All students take three core courses, one math course, and four subsea courses. Students must also complete six credits of research.

Applicants without an undergraduate degree in engineering or a closely related field may need to pass several prerequisite courses before being admitted. Texas A&M is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering (Subsea Engineering Specialization)
School Status: Public
Tuition: $710 per credit (in-state); $1,221 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE required

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University of Maryland-College Park View School Profile College Park, MD

UMD offers an online master of engineering in bioengineering. Designed to prepare students for research and innovation careers in the health sector, the program teaches participants to merge biological systems and engineering principles.

All students take four core courses, including biomedical device development, physiology for bioengineers, applied mathematics in bioengineering, and regulatory affairs in medical product development. Students then select six elective courses, choosing from options like bioinformatics and tissue engineering. The program does not require a thesis or individual research project.

Applicants must either hold a bachelor's degree in a technical field or demonstrate successful coursework in higher-level math and science, such as linear algebra and thermodynamics. UMD is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering in Bioengineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,028 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE recommended

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Louisiana Tech University View School Profile Ruston, LA

Located in Ruston, Louisiana Tech offers an online master of science in engineering with a concentration in industrial engineering. The program prepares students for leadership careers that involve optimizing systems and processes. Many graduates go on to fill research or consulting positions.

The two-year program offers both thesis and nonthesis options. In general, students moving toward research careers choose the thesis track, while those interested in more hands-on leadership positions select the nonthesis option. Both tracks require students to take a variety of core courses and elective classes, including engineering administration and theory of probability.

Louisiana Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Engineering (Industrial Engineering Concentration)
School Status: Public
Tuition: $774 per three-credit course
Credit Requirements: 30 credits (thesis track); 36 credits (nonthesis track)
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: GRE required

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Case Western Reserve University View School Profile Cleveland, OH

A private research university located in Cleveland, Ohio, CWRU offers an online master's in engineering. Focused more on practical applications rather than research, the program offers concentrations in biomedical engineering, systems and control engineering, mechanical engineering, and engineering management.

Regardless of their concentration, all students must take five core courses that provide a broad background in engineering principles. Learners also complete a final capstone project. Applicants without an engineering undergraduate degree must show proficiency in differential equations and calculus.

CWRU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering
School Status: Private
Tuition: $39,000 per academic year
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 16-20 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE optional

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Arizona State University View School Profile Scottsdale, AZ

Located in Scottsdale, ASU offers an online master of engineering in engineering management. The program blends a strong foundation in engineering with core business principles to prepare students for engineering leadership positions. Graduates may pursue positions like architectural managers, strategic technology developers, and senior lead analysts.

Students may choose a concentration in entrepreneurship and innovation, quality management, supply chain management, or systems and software management. All participants take the same core courses in areas such as engineering administration and strategic technology management before moving on to their chosen track.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in science, math, or engineering and have completed a calculus sequence and a calculus-based statistics course. ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: Sliding scale based on number of credits per semester, starting at $1,022 for one credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18-36 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required over a student's last 60 credits
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of California-Riverside View School Profile Riverside, CA

A public research university, UC Riverside offers a fully online master's in engineering. Students may choose from six concentrations: bioengineering, data science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, materials at the nanoscale, and mechanical engineering. The program requires applicants to possess a significant professional background in engineering.

Regardless of concentration, all students take the same four core courses, including engineering in the global environment and principles of engineering management. They then select four courses within their area of concentration. Students also participate in four one-credit capstone projects throughout their program.

UC Riverside is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $3,333 per four-credit course
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 13 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE required

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University of Arkansas View School Profile Fayetteville, AR

A public university located in Fayetteville, U of A offers a master of science in engineering online. Rather than focusing on a single aspect of engineering, the multidisciplinary program draws from various fields, including industrial engineering, civil engineering, and operations management.

Students take core courses in math, computer applications, management, and technical communications. They then determine their own path by selecting elective courses from multiple engineering fields of study. Classes are delivered through eight-week terms. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering.

U of A is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $304 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1.5-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required for unrestricted admission; 2.5 minimum for possible conditional admission
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Rowan University View School Profile Glassboro, NJ

Located in Glassboro, New Jersey, Rowan offers an online master's in engineering management. The program combines engineering and business principles to prepare students for roles such as cost systems analyst, industrial management engineer, or engineering project manager.

Students may choose one of four concentrations: construction management, combat systems engineering, project management, or engineering analytics and quality control. All students take six foundational courses in topics such as strategic risk management, engineering law and ethics, and managing engineering teams. They then move on to complete four courses in their chosen concentration.

Rowan is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $832 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: Less than 24 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum recommended
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Mississippi State University View School Profile Mississippi State, MS

A public research university in Starkville, MSU offers a fully online master's in engineering with an optional concentration in military engineering. The flexible program requires just three core courses, with the remainder of courses chosen according to a student's interest. Besides military engineering, students may take courses in aeronautics, materials and fluids, and engineering management.

The program offers both thesis and nonthesis options. Nonthesis students must complete a capstone course that includes a literature review and defense but requires much less research than a full thesis.

Students without an undergraduate degree in engineering or a closely related field must show proof of satisfactory completion of a calculus series, physics, chemistry, and at least two engineering courses.

MSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $489 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous (some synchronous options available)

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE requirement waived through fall 2021

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University of Wisconsin-Platteville View School Profile Platteville, WI

A public research university, UW-Platteville offers an online master of science in engineering. This technical program draws on students' existing knowledge and experience in the field of engineering. Therefore, all applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in engineering or a closely related field.

Students choose an area of concentration in engineering design, structural and geotechnical engineering, engineering management, or control systems. All students complete a set of core courses in areas like linear algebra, simulation modeling, and applied statistics before moving on to their chosen area of interest.

UW-Platteville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $695 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum overall or 2.9 minimum over a student's last 60 credits
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Colorado Denver View School Profile Denver, CO

A public research university, CU Denver offers an online master's in construction engineering and management. Students can pursue a master of engineering or a master of science degree, depending on their career goals. This program is overseen by the schools civil engineering department.

Courses are designed with input from industry experts, focusing on best practices in the field. Participants complete classes like project management systems, construction materials and methods, and building information modeling. Graduates can pursue leadership roles in engineering, construction, and architecture.

CU Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Engineering or Master of Science With a Specialization in Construction Engineering and Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $626 per credit (in-state); $731 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: GRE waived during COVID-19 pandemic

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Online Master's in Engineering Program Overview

The exact curriculum encountered while earning a master's degree in engineering varies depending on the college or university. However, students can expect to complete similar core requirements across engineering programs. Additionally many master's programs provide thesis and non-thesis options for learners to consider.

Master's-level curricula for engineering programs typically include core and concentration coursework. For instance, students explore foundational knowledge and then specialize in more advanced concepts and theories that are pertinent to their specific career interests and goals. Additionally, programs with a thesis component require learners to apply and demonstrate what they learned throughout the program.

Common Master's in Engineering Courses

Information Systems Engineering

During this course, degree-seekers cover information systems found in various organizations. They explore information management techniques and learn how to implement various information systems.

Engineering Writing

Engineering writing courses teach students to develop their ability to think critically as professional communicators. Individuals learn to ask questions that can help them understand and develop productive communication, focusing on topics like information sources and needs, inferences and conclusions, points of view, underlying assumptions, purpose, and implications and consequences.

Engineering Law

Students enrolled in engineering law courses explore the legal system as it relates to engineering. Learners examine trademarks, trade secrets, patents, and copyrights; contracts and problems related to contractual relationships; torts law; and employment laws.

Foundations of Engineering Management

In this course, students develop management skills they can apply in leadership roles throughout their careers. The course introduces various theories, such as the concept of globalization, to help learners understand how cultural differences can affect engineering management.

Accounting and Finance for Engineering Management

Degree-seekers in this class explore concepts and techniques related to finance, accounting, decision-making, and performance measures in engineering management environments. Specific topics include the relationships between cost, profit, and volume. Students also review financial statements and cash flows to assess financial aspects of engineering organizations.

Related Master's in Engineering Degree Concentrations

Energy and Sustainability

Students following an energy and sustainability concentration complete technical coursework related to energy and technology topics. They also learn about the policy, laws, and economics of energy. Course topics cover concepts such as heat transfer, thermal energy systems design, and organic geochemistry.

Robotics and Control

During a robotics and control concentration, degree-seekers pursue intensive, hands-on courses that allow them to learn about various aspects of automatic control theory and practice. Courses explore topics including robotic manipulation, nonlinear optimization, and the design and analysis of algorithms.

Nanotechnology

This concentration features hands-on coursework where learners conduct nanoscale research, modeling, and experimentation. Learners explore topics such as micromanufacturing, advanced tribology, and molecular modeling.

Simulation-driven Engineering

Degree-seekers focused on a simulation-driven engineering concentration develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue careers in manufacturing, design, biomedical, structural, geotechnical, and mechanical engineering. Coursework allows learners to explore various simulation methods — including discrete and particle methods — as well as thermal and fluid dynamics.

Biology and Bio-Inspired Engineering

A bio-inspired engineering concentration allows degree-seekers to explore the relationship between engineering and the study of biological systems. Learners focus on concepts including biologically inspired sensors and sensing, robotics for rehabilitation and surgical assistance, nanoscale biotic-abiotic systems, neurobiology, and biomechanics.

Online Master's in Engineering Admission Requirements

Master's programs in engineering typically require applicants to meet minimum GPA requirements to gain admission. GPA requirements vary depending on the institution, although students typically must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA between 3.0 and 3.5.

Many master's programs in engineering require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, although some programs accept applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline. Applicants must provide official transcripts with their application. This allows the admissions office to review an applicant's completed coursework and GPA.

Most master's programs ask applicants to submit letters of recommendation. You typically need to include 1-3 letters with your application. Recommendations should come from professional and/or educational contacts.

Applicants to engineering master's programs are typically required to provide GRE test scores, although some colleges and universities do not require these scores. Some programs may also offer waivers. Schools that require these scores outline the minimum score requirements, and learners can have their scores sent directly to their prospective colleges.

Students are often required to complete an essay or statement of purpose detailing why they want to pursue a master's degree in engineering. These allow applicants to describe what plans they have for their careers, as well as how earning a master's degree will help them reach their goals.


Online Master's in Engineering Career Paths

The engineering field is vast and boasts a variety of specialized career opportunities, allowing graduates with a master's in engineering to explore careers specific to their area of interest. Most careers in the field require professionals to hold at least a bachelor's degree, although master's degree-holders can expect higher salaries and more responsibilities within their career path. Common career opportunities for graduates include aerospace engineers, agricultural engineers, biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, civil engineers, computer hardware engineers, and electrical and electronics engineers. Engineering careers feature high salary opportunities, often in excess of $100,000 a year.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

How many years does it take to get a master's in engineering?

The time it takes to earn a master's degree in engineering can vary based on the program and a student's type of enrollment. For instance, students who pursue their master's degree on a full-time basis usually graduate within two years, while those who enroll part time typically take closer to three years to graduate.

Is it worth it to get a master's in engineering?

Earning a master's degree in engineering prepares graduates for a variety of lucrative career opportunities. Across the engineering field, professionals who hold a master's degree can enjoy specialized career opportunities, increased salary potential, and leadership positions.

How much can you make with a master's in engineering?

The salaries of professionals with a master's degree in engineering depend on the specific career they pursue. The average salary for degree-holders in the discipline is $90,000, although some careers boast typical salaries of nearly $120,000.

What type of engineering has the highest salary?

Professionals in the engineering field can pursue a variety of high-paying career opportunities. For instance, big data engineers earn a median annual salary of more than $150,000. Other high-paying types of engineering positions include petroleum engineers, computer hardware engineers, and aerospace engineers, all of which report median annual salaries of more than $100,000.

What can you do with a master's in engineering?

Earning a master's degree in engineering allows professionals to explore a variety of career opportunities across specialty areas of the field. Career opportunities at the master's level include senior mechanical engineers, senior systems engineers, chemical process engineers, senior electrical engineers, and processing engineering managers.

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