The 5 Best Master’s in Engineering Online

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The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that occupations in engineering are on a steady incline, growing about as fast as the average for all employment categories in the United States. Pay for these positions is much higher than average, however. The median annual wage for all architectural and engineering jobs is $77,900, more than double the average for all occupations. An online master’s in engineering program like the ones examined in this ranking can provide engineering students with a convenient and affordable way to advance their credentials in this promising field. For more general information regarding distance learning see our ranking of the top online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $20,000—1 point
  • Under $15,000—2 points
  • Under $10,000—3 points
  • Under $5,000—4 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s Engineering Programs

  • Top 10— 4 points
  • Top 25 —3 points
  • Top 50 —2 points
  • Top 75 —1 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Ranking the Top Master’s in Engineering Degrees Online

To identify the best online masters engineering programs available today, our editors examined the 41 accredited programs offering an engineering degree online for less than $900 per credit hour. To narrow the pool, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above, using information from College Navigator as well as from each school’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable schools were given the higher ranking.

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Featured Online Schools

  • #1 –Kansas State University

    Online Master of Science in Engineering

    Website | Points: 12

    Kansas State University’s College of Engineering offers nine master of engineering online degrees in engineering sub-fields such as civil engineering, software engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and engineering management, for example. Specific course titles include Economics of Design and Construction, Systems Engineering Fundamentals, Engineering Entrepreneurship, and Methods of Operations Research. Graduate certificates in transportation engineering and data analytics are also available as is a stand-alone minor in nuclear engineering.

    In-State Tuition: $9,670

  • #2 –Kennesaw State University

    Online Master of Engineering

    Website | Points: 11

    Kennesaw State University offers six different master’s in engineering online programs through the university’s Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology: a Master of Science in Applied Engineering: Electrical Engineering, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Quality Assurance, and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Coursework is delivered primarily asynchronously, and the curriculum is the same as that of on-campus offerings. KSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

    In-State Tuition: $4,734

  • #3 –University of Alabama

    Online Master of Engineering

    Website | Points: 11

    The master of engineering online program at the University of Alabama offers two fully online degree programs in engineering: a MS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and a MS in Mechanical Engineering. The MS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics program is a 30-credit hour program that features both thesis and non-thesis options. To complete the program, students will take core courses such as Orbital Mechanics, Intermediate Fluid Mechanics, Advanced Dynamics of Flight, and Continuum Mechanics. The online MS in Mechanical Engineering is a highly flexible non-thesis program that offers students nearly two dozen focus options, including Smart Manufacturing, Heat Transfer, Vibrations, and Combustion, for example. These engineering master’s programs online mirror their on-campus counterparts.

    In-State Tuition: $10,470

  • #4 –University of Florida

    Online Master of Science in Engineering

    Website | Points: 11

    The University of Florida offers several different master’s in engineering online programs through its UF EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) Program. These degrees are available through seven of the school’s engineering departments, including the departments of Civil and Coastal Engineering, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering Sciences, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Each program consists of ten 3-credit hour classes and can be completed in as few as 24 months. Master’s in engineering online graduates will receive the same diploma as their on-campus counterparts.

    In-State Tuition: $10,770

  • #5 –Oklahoma State University

    Online Master of Science in Engineering

    Website | Points: 10

    Oklahoma State University offers four distinct engineering master’s programs online through its Engineering Distance Education program: a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECEN), a MS in Engineering and Technology Management (ETM), a MS in Engineering Technology: Fire Safety and Explosion Protection, and a MS in Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM). Sample courses comprising the curriculum for these online graduate engineering programs include titles like Engineering Design with CAD, Introduction to Microcomputer Programming, Cost Control and Analysis for Engineering and Technology Professionals, and Principles of Industrial and Process Safety. Students can opt to complete the coursework for their master’s in engineering online programs either synchronously or asynchronously.

    In-State Tuition: $5,033

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