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Master of Engineering | Context - Context
Master of Engineering
Master of Engineering In Context

The Master of Engineering is designed to equip undergraduates with specialized knowledge through coursework that prepares them for professional fieldwork in specialist areas of engineering. Degree programs typically take 2 years to complete and are designed for individuals who want to hone their area of expertise.

What is a Master of Engineering?

Master of Engineering programs work to equip students with the technical skills necessary for fieldwork. These programs are ideal for individuals who earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, or for professionals who already work in engineering and seek to enhance their expertise to become more competitive for jobs.

Generally, Master of Engineering degrees are not designed for individuals who want to proceed into a Ph.D. program; if this is your aim, an MS of Engineering would be more suitable. Both degrees will be accepted by employers.

Who is an ideal candidate for a Master of Engineering program?

Engineering is generally a male-dominated industry, with 78.5% of engineering degrees reported as awarded to men. [2] However, there are some organizations, such as the Society of Women Engineers and IEEE Women in Engineering geared toward increasing the number of women working in the field by providing scholarships, funding, awards, and support for both those studying engineering and those already working in the industry. Between 2004 and 2014, the percentage of female Master of Engineering students rose from 21% to 24%, indicating an increased interest in the degree by women. [3]

The most common Master of Engineering students are recent undergraduates, or professionals already working in the field who wish to improve their expertise in key areas of engineering to improve their job prospects or follow a specific career path. Currently, 29% of engineering degrees awarded are master’s degrees, with 32% of the workforce comprised of engineers holding a master’s degree.[2] A Master of Engineering is not suited to those who would like to pursue a Ph.D; a Master of Science in Engineering is a more suitable degree for those striving for a doctorate.

Why earn a Master of Engineering degree?

A master’s in engineering degree can help you to achieve a specialization to seek top job opportunities and enjoy more job security. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that individuals working in STEM occupations earn more than double the median salary of all other workers. Plus, engineering occupations tend to be some of the top-paying jobs within the STEM field. [4] This means many can expect a significant return on their investment in a Master of Engineering degree. A master’s in engineering can also prepare you for Professional Engineer (PE) certification. [6]

In what areas can I specialize my Master of Engineering degree?

Choosing a focus for you Master of Engineering helps you transition to work in highly specialized areas of engineering. This can help to make you an expert in your chosen field, which in turn can make your application more attractive to employers. Popular engineering specializations include:

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Chemical
  • Oil and gas
  • Nuclear
  • Aerospace
What jobs can I qualify for after earning my Master of Engineering degree?

A Master of Engineering can help students acquire a competitive edge for available engineering jobs that require more specialist knowledge than a bachelor’s degree provides. Master of Engineering graduates can achieve valuable, field-specific expertise and can qualify for wider variety of positions, including roles in academia or in research and development. [7]

The BLS projects that STEM jobs will grow by 13% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average job growth projected for all other occupations. Engineering positions are among the fastest-growing STEM occupations, with the following specialist areas expected to be the most sought after: [4]

  • Biomedical engineers – 27% expected growth
  • Petroleum engineers – 26% expected growth
  • Civil engineers – 20% expected growth
Master of Engineering Career Advancement

Earning a master’s in engineering can be an excellent means to advance your career, whether you’re an undergraduate thinking about the next step, an engineering professional looking for more opportunities, or a career-changer from a related STEM field eager to break into a specialist engineering field.

Engineering Career Outlook

The BLS projects an estimated 13% job growth in STEM occupations by 2024, which equates to around 2 million new jobs. Not only that, but engineering jobs are the most sought after STEM positions, with biomedical, petroleum, and civil engineers expected to be some of the fastest growing career sectors. [4]

Mechanical engineering is projected to have the highest number of job openings (100,000), with industrial engineers (75,000), architectural engineers (61,000), and electrical engineers (44,000) as the next top three expanding career paths within the STEM field. [8]

In terms of salary, STEM occupations earn a median salary of $76,000, which is more than double the national average earnings, $35,080. [4] In 2015, the average salary of an engineer ranged between $88,000 and $115,000. [9] With such promising rates of job growth, now is the prime time to earn a Master of Engineering to specialize your knowledge and access top-tier jobs.

Where can I work after earning a Master of Engineering?

Engineers are in demand in a variety of industries and work settings. The following represents a selection of industries with some of the best opportunities for Master of Engineering graduates.

Leading technology companies require engineers to develop new tech and create the systems and machinery used to design and manufacture high-tech goods. Electrical engineers are particularly valuable to tech giants, with median pay reported at $95,230 in this field, while industrial engineers, who are key for improving manufacturing processes, can expect average earnings of $83,470. [10]

Government relies on engineers in multiple capacities. Infrastructure such as roads, rail, and bridges require civil engineers, while environmental regulations demand the expertise of environmental and renewables engineers. Civil engineers earn a median salary of $82,220 [11] per year, while environmental engineers can earn a little more at $84,560. [12]

In the biomedical industry, engineers are essential to the development of life-saving and life-improving technologies. Artificial limbs, robotic surgical equipment, and devices such as pacemakers are just a few examples of technologies developed by engineers in the medical field. Job opportunities for biomedical engineers are expected to grow by 23% between 2014 and 2024, and these occupations offer a median salary of $86,220. [13]

Engineers are required within the construction field to help plan, direct, and coordinate projects, as well as develop new technologies and systems. An architectural and engineering manager can expect median pay of $132,800. [14]

Engineers play an important role in the development and maintenance of military defense. Aerospace engineers are particularly valuable and pay rates are high in this field, with a median salary reported at $107,830. [15]

As long as fossil fuels remain a primary source of energy, petroleum companies will have a high demand for engineers. Petroleum engineer is one of the highest paying and fastest growing occupations within the STEM field, with median salary $132,320 and estimated 26% job growth between 2012 and 2022. [4]

Will a Master of Engineering lead to certification?

While earning a Master of Engineering does not lead directly to certification, it can work to prepare you for Professional Engineer licensure. Many graduates report that state licensure was a prime factor in their decision to earn a Master of Engineering. Although PE licensure is not always a requirement for engineering jobs, become a licensed engineer can help you become more competitive in the field.

Some engineering jobs require licensure to fulfill a legal obligation, where only qualified PEs are authorized to perform certain tasks. These include preparing, signing, and sealing engineering plans for public authorities. [16]

How do I become a licensed engineer?

Requirements for achieving PE certification vary from state to state, so it is essential that individuals refer to their local licensing board to understand the specific requirements. [17] However, licensing bodies will generally require the following:

  • A four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree from an ABET-accredited program [18]
  • Successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam [19]
  • Four years of progressive engineering experience working under a PE
  • Successful completion of Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam [20]

Note that in some states earning your master’s degree can eliminate one year of work experience required to sit for the PE exam. Check with your state licensing board for further information.

A Master of Engineering degree program can help students to prepare for PE examinations by providing them with the practical knowledge required for working in the field.

What careers does an Master of Engineering prepare me for?

The type of career you can pursue after achieving a master’s in engineering depends on your focus. Some popular specializations include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, although there are many options, including sub-specializations, which allow you to pursue niche fields.

What roles in the field of engineering require a Master of Engineering degree?

A Master of Engineering can help you prepare for a specialized or senior engineering jobs. Specific roles will vary depending on your concentration.

What is the average salary for an Master of Engineering graduate?

Reported average earnings for master’s graduates with up to four years of experience is $87,429. The average earnings spike to $132,000 for those with 20 years in the field. [26]

What is the career outlook for the engineering field?

The BLS has projected a 13% growth in jobs within the STEM fields between 2014 and 2024, with engineers in the highest demand. In particular, biomedical, petroleum, and civil engineering jobs are showing some of the highest rates of job growth among all STEM fields. [4]

How does a graduate degree in engineering impact salary potential?

Employees with a Master of Engineering degree earn on average $87,429 within their first four years in the field, compared to an average of $65,096 for bachelor’s graduates. [27] Since a master’s in engineering prepares you to develop a highly specialized expertise, it can open doors to specialist positions which tend to offer high salaries.

Master of Engineering Curriculum

Each Master of Engineering degree provides specialization options, which can assist you in narrowing down your program options. Choose a concentration that aligns with your career goals.

Different specialties will yield different salary levels and offer different job opportunities. Once you have some career goals in mind, you can map your specializations accordingly. For more information about curriculums, please visit the relevant engineering specialization pages:

  • Industrial
  • Civil
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical
  • Computer
  • Engineering Management
  • Biomedical
  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural
  • Petroleum
  • Nuclear
  • Manufacturing
Master of Engineering Program Length

The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.

Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.

You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.

How many courses are required?

A master’s in engineering usually requires 36 credit hours. Students can expect full-time programs to be rigorous. A thesis is not usually required, although some programs may require capstone projects that involves a research paper and a presentation, usually towards the end of the degree program. Requirements differ from program to program, and an online engineering program may allow more flexibility in terms of the amount of time demanded week to week.

Master of Engineering Admission Requirements

While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal across all programs. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework; standardized test scores; a personal statement or essay; letters of recommendation; and an overview of relevant work experience.

In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.

For more information about admissions, please visit our admissions requirements page.

Alternative Degree Overview

Undertaking your master’s degree is a big commitment, both academically and financially. It’s important to do your research to make sure your educational plan is a good match for your desired outcome.

The following master’s degrees touch on the same topics and learning outcomes as the Master of Engineering, but they offer a different focus or specialization. As you do your research, consider learning more about these degrees to see whether they might be a better fit for your goals and interests.

Master of Science in Engineering

This degree is more heavily research-based than the Master of Engineering degree. It is best suited to individuals who seek to reach the Ph.D. level. Employers view it in equal stature as the Master of Engineering degree.

Master of Engineering Management

Like the Master of Engineering, this is a professional degree designed to equip students for advanced roles. The difference is the MEM has a focus on business management, instead of an engineering specialization. Graduates from an MEM program emerge with skills to oversee projects, product development, and concept design, as well as provide general leadership.

MBA/Master of Engineering Dual Degree

This combination degree blends engineering with business administration to give students a comprehensive education in the business management of engineering projects. Similar to the MEM program, it differs in that it is a dual degree that provides students with options to choose highly specialized courses from both engineering and business administration fields. This helps students align the curriculum with their career goals.

Master of Engineering Industry Associations Overview

Connecting with associations and organizations within the engineering field could be incredibly valuable. Such organizations could help you to find recommendations for master’s programs that best fit your career aspirations or provide guidance regarding licensure and certification considerations that may further your career.

There are many industry organizations for engineers, and these are highlighted on the specialty pages which provide more thorough information about the various concentrations offered in Master of Engineering degree programs. Use the following links to find your desired specialty page and information on industry organizations:

  • Industrial
  • Civil
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical
  • Computer
  • Engineering Management
  • Biomedical
  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural
  • Petroleum
  • Nuclear
  • Manufacturing
Master of Engineering Accreditation Overview

Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of accreditation that an online or traditional college or university can receive. It is granted only after careful consideration by private, not-for-profit organizations tasked with evaluating educational quality.

Regional accreditation is particularly important if you anticipate that you might want to transfer credits from one online degree program to another or use those credits to pursue another degree. Most regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions of higher learning.

You can learn more on this topic at our regional accreditation page.

Specialized accreditation

ABET is the accrediting body for applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology degree programs. Within ABET are two accreditation bodies, the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC), both of which work to maintain quality standards among schools offering engineering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. [21] ABET ensures that individual programs deliver the level of education necessary to produce highly competent engineering graduates.

The majority of Master of Engineering degrees are ABET-accredited. This is because accreditation is linked with licensure; in order to achieve PE licensure, individuals must have completed a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program, and sometimes, depending on state legislation, an ABET-accredited master’s program. [6] Those with an education from an accredited program may be more appealing to employers because they will be able to apply for PE licensure in future. [22]

How important is the ABET accreditation within the engineering field?

ABET accreditation is typically seen as the industry standard in the engineering field. PE licensure requires individuals have a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited program. Most Master of Engineering programs are ABET-accredited.

How will an online Master of Engineering from an accredited program advance my engineering credentials and career?

Since ABET accreditation is held in strong regard by employers and widely accepted as the industry standard, it could significantly improve your credentials and improve your chances of achieving higher level positions. Plus, ABET accreditation can help with gaining PE licensure, which can also help to boost your credentials and allow you to access top level managerial positions.

How will choosing an online master’s in engineering that is not accredited prohibit me from furthering my engineering career or obtaining certifications/licenses?

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program but have a master’s from an unaccredited online engineering program, you may still be able to achieve PE licensure. Consult your local licensing body for more information. However, since ABET-accredited programs are held in high regard in the engineering field, having a master’s from an unaccredited program may make you less desirable to potential employers, as accreditation demonstrates that your education met certain quality standards.

Can I do anything in the engineering field without earning a degree from an accredited undergraduate or graduate program?

You can still work in the engineering field even if both your master’s and bachelor’s degrees are from unaccredited programs. However, you will not be able to apply for PE licensure, which will prevent you from reaching top-level managerial positions.

It is also possible to work in the engineering field without a degree, simply by undertaking apprenticeships and gaining work experience. However, it is unlikely that those without a degree will have the specialist knowledge necessary to pursue very high-level positions. Not only that, but some engineering fields may be harder to break into than others without a degree. Civil engineering and mechanical engineering may be particularly tough to break into without a degree, for example, whereas electrical engineering could be a suitable career path if you demonstrate significant skill and competency.

If someone earns an online Master of Engineering when the program was accredited but the program loses its accreditation at some point after graduation, what are the repercussions to career, credentials, and licensure?

Generally, if a program was accredited at the time of your graduation, it still stands that you hold a degree from an accredited program. ABET holds records of accredited programs and may be able to provide you with proof of accreditation for your program should you need it for future employers.

Do ABET-accredited online Master of Engineering programs cost more than those that aren’t?

Program costs vary from institution to institution. Generally, ABET-accredited programs can offer you a good return on your investment, due to the credentials they offer throughout your career and the preparation for PE licensure that they provide, and the high salaries attached to those advanced opportunities.

Why is ABET the industry standard?

ABET is seen as the industry standard because ABET-accredited bachelor’s degrees are essential for individuals to achieve PE licensure. [16] ABET accreditation was created to ensure that all graduates are prepared to enter the field of engineering with a strong education and an innovative approach to emerging technologies and the safety needs of the public. [31]

What are the standards ABET uses to evaluate programs?

The accreditation standards of ABET are complex and vary from program to program, but at their core, they cover the following areas:

Students should be consistently monitored to foster success in achieving educational objectives, and they must be advised in regards to both curriculum and career.
Program educational objectives must be published, documented, and periodically reviewed to ensure they remain consistent with the institution, students’ needs and criteria set out by ABET.
Student outcomes must be documented to ensure students can attain the program’s educational objectives.
Programs should have appropriate processes for continually assessing, evaluating, and improving.
Curriculum must cover areas appropriate to engineering and be consistent with the outcomes and objectives of both the program and institution – specific details on curriculum vary between individual programs according to their concentration.
Faculty members should have appropriate qualifications and authority to deliver the program properly and implement successful evaluation, assessment, and improvement of the program.
Classrooms, offices, labs, equipment and other facilities must be able to support students in the attainment of student outcomes.
The institution and its leadership must provide adequate financial and staff support to ensure the quality of the program remains high.

Are all ABET programs created equally?

ABET-accredited programs are all deemed to meet certain standards in quality, but they do still vary greatly in terms of curriculum. Research each program you are considering to ensure that coursework meets your expectations.

Master of Engineering Certification/Licensure Overview

Why would a student pursue a PE rather than just being an engineer?

PE licensure can allow individuals to perform certain tasks that, by law, can only be completed by qualified Professional Engineers. Not only that, but licensure demonstrates commitment and competency and is well-regarded by employers. Generally, the more specialized, higher level and higher salary engineering jobs will demand PE licensure or will be much easier to qualify for with PE certification.

Do all states require a Master of Engineering for licensure?

No. Most states require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some do require a master’s or some other form of advanced graduate education.

What other degrees are acceptable?

Requirements vary from state to state, but some licensing bodies accept degrees from other disciplines aside from engineering, particularly mathematics or physics. Often, licensing bodies will require individuals to complete specific courses to apply, such as calculus, thermodynamics, electrical circuits or computer engineering. Be sure to check the requirements for your local state licensing board. [17]

Does an online Master of Engineering have to be ABET-accredited to obtain licensure?

Generally, an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree is required for licensure. Accredited Master of Engineering degrees can provide further preparation. If your degree lacks essential accreditation, licensing boards may request evaluation of your degree, which could cause you to incur additional costs.

Are other accreditations required or accepted to obtain licensure?

Requirements differ from state to state so be sure to check with your local licensing board, but generally, only an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree is required.

What are the steps required to achieve licensure?

Earn a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
Complete the FE exam
Become an Engineer Intern
Gain 4 years’ professional experience under a qualified Professional Engineer
Learn your local state’s licensure requirements [17]
Complete the PE exam

What benefits and career opportunities are available to industrial engineers with licensure?

PE licensure can qualify you for advanced engineering jobs, either in management or in a specialized role. There are also laws that stipulate key tasks that only licensed PEs are able to perform, such as signing off on engineering plans.

Many government agencies seek engineers with PE licensure, and private companies often appreciate that licensed candidates have demonstrated a high level of competence in their field. Since PEs tend to have greater responsibility and authority, they also tend to earn higher salaries. In addition, PEs can work as independent consultants, often establishing their own business.

What benefits and career opportunities are available to engineers without licensure?

Without PE licensure, you may still be able to achieve good job opportunities, but could be looked over for managerial positions in which you would be required to take control of engineering plans and work. A master’s in engineering prepares you to work in specialized fields, but you may not be offered as much responsibility or authority until you achieve PE licensure.

What are the licensure requirements for all individual states?

As a bare minimum, all states require the following for PE licensure: [32]

  • Bachelor of Engineering degree from an ABET accredited program
  • Successful completion of Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Four years of experience working under a PE
  • Successful completion of Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam
History of the Master’s in Engineering

Degrees in engineering are held in high regard, as engineering is one of the oldest known professions.Today, 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs have an engineering degree. [23]

Although engineering has been studied at the university level for centuries, the Master of Engineering degree is relatively new, created by a university in Germany in 2000. Since then, demand for the program has grown, as engineers turn to the program to specialize or advance their skills.

Tuition and Fees Overview

There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.

For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Master of Engineering (MEng. or M. Eng.) is an advanced technical degree that combines theoretical information with an emphasis on skills in analysis and design for industrial systems. [44]

A Master of Engineering is designed for graduates who aspire to achieve a graduate degree in engineering for advanced professional practice.

If you are looking to further your education beyond a bachelor’s degree in engineering, you may have narrowed down your choice to either a Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering program. [33] While there are many similarities between these two degrees, it’s important to understand some of the key differences before applying for a particular program.

Master of Engineering degrees are terminal degrees that generally focus less on research-based work and more on core coursework. [33] These degrees aim to increase your general knowledge in a specific technical area of engineering, while also covering key business concepts and leadership principles.

Master of Science in Engineering degrees are professional degrees that tend to focus more on research-based work in a specific technical engineering discipline. [33] These degrees aim to provide you with an advanced comprehensive knowledge of a specific technical area of engineering, and are generally prerequisite degrees for engineers looking for a long-term research-based career or Ph.D. pathway.

Earning your master’s in engineering degree has the potential to open up a world of opportunity for you and your career. You may be interested in a Master of Engineering degree if you’re looking to focus in a specific area of engineering, or if you’re interested in international opportunities where competition among candidates is high. [34] A graduate education in engineering may also be necessary if you are looking to work specifically in the engineering research field.

Key attributes to look for in a Master of Engineering degree include:
Accreditation: What accreditation(s) does the program or school hold?
Curriculum: Is the curriculum focused more on practical coursework or research-based work?
Delivery Method: How flexible is the program, and is it offered online, on-campus, or as a hybrid?
Technical Focus: Are there specializations or concentrations offered in the program?
Support Structure: Are there support systems for the students to easily connect and liaise with fellow students and faculty?
Affordability: Can I afford the program?
On-Campus Requirements:What, if any, requirements are there for me to attend on-campus workshops or sessions?
Reputation and Ranking: Is the school known for a specific discipline in engineering, and does it have a good reputation and ranking?
Faculty Experience: Are there faculty with highly technical experience across multiple engineering disciplines?
Thesis Requirement: Is there a thesis requirement for the program?

The cost of a master’s degree ranges from $30,000 to $120,000, depending on the institution, format, and whether the school is public or private. The cost of a program typically includes tuition fees as well as additional fees such as the cost of books, graduation, and technology fees. These additional costs will vary from program to program. [35]

Most Master of Engineering programs can be completed between 18 months and two years.

The largest provider of student financial aid in the nation is the Federal Student Aid office in the U.S. Department of Education. They supply college-level or career school students with loans, grants and work-study funds, as needed. You can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as, FAFSA.
There are numerous other scholarships available, but you will need to research which opportunities you’re qualified to pursue. Many states, associations, websites and businesses award scholarships based on specific criteria. Be sure to do your research and apply for any scholarships you’re qualified to be awarded. [42]

Start with a cost-benefit analysis based on the price of the degree and the potential ROI. Weigh the full cost against the positive outcomes you expect as a graduate, which may include a boost in earning potential, upward mobility, or job satisfaction.

While requirements vary by school, most Master of Engineering programs require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Whether or not you will need to complete the GRE prior to applying for a program will largely depend on what school you have chosen to apply to. There are many programs that do not require a GRE for acceptance into their university. Check the admissions requirements for your particular school before applying.

Admission into a Master of Engineering program may require you to have had some level of work experience. [36] Minimum work experience varies from program to program, however, so be sure to inquire with the school’s enrollment advisor about minimum entry requirement

Based on a survey of several online Master of Engineering degrees, these programs often require you to have attained a Bachelor of Engineering, or related degree from an accredited four-year program. If you don’t meet this criteria, some schools may still accept you if you have specific technical experience in the respective discipline area, or if you have relevant educational experience in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) [37] fields.

Most Master of Engineering programs require you to have attained a Bachelor of Engineering degree, as quite often at a graduate level you are required to have had prerequisite study in statistics, math, and some core engineering courses.

Beyond the specific technical courses offered in a concentration or specialization, most Master of Engineering programs offer the following core courses:
Management and Leadership
Six Sigma
Quality Systems
Information Systems

Depending on your chosen specialization, look for a curriculum that covers both a broad selection of general engineering principles, as well as an advanced focus on your specific area of interest. Depending on whether you have selected a Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering program, make sure you understand whether the program has a specific thesis requirement or not, and select the program based on your interests and needs.

This depends on whether you have chosen a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science in Engineering degree. As the Master of Engineering prepares students for fieldwork, often there is a practicum component to these degree programs. A Master of Science in Engineering program, on the other hand, often requires no fieldwork or practicums, though it will be more focused on research-based coursework and study.

Yes. Many schools offer both the Master of Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering programs online.

Yes. Most universities offer the same curriculum and course offerings to both their on-campus and online students. The key difference between the two delivery formats is how you undertake your study, how you complete the coursework, and how you interact with your fellow students and faculty.

Online synchronous learning happens in real-time or live. There is a required time that you would need to log in or be present to participate. For example, you would log in to watch a faculty presentation at a specific time for a live question and answer session.
In an asynchronous online format, you are not required to be online at a certain time, allowing you to participate according to your schedule. There will still be due dates, but students are solely responsible for their own time management in an asynchronous environment.

A review of several online Master of Engineering programs revealed a variety of specializations or tracks to choose from, including entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and technology in engineering (ELITE), engineering and globalization, robotics and mechatronics, advanced water technologies and process design, sustainable aviation, sustainable energy, advanced manufacturing, and identity, privacy and security.

Concentrations are an excellent way for Master of Engineering students to customize their engineering studies toward their personal and professional goals. By choosing a concentration relative to their career path, students can develop deepened knowledge within their industry or topic of choice.

When seeking a Master of Engineering program, be sure to select a school that holds some form of regional accreditation. [40] While many engineers may have received their bachelor’s from an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.) accredited school, there are few ABET accredited master’s-level engineering programs offered online. As such, be sure that the admission requirements for the program you are looking at requires you to have attained your bachelor’s from an ABET-accredited school.

Accreditations are a strong indication of quality excellence but are also a requirement for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation ensures that your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations, and other accredited institutions of higher education.

Yes. Graduate engineering programs often assist you in obtaining state licensure in both the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exams and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams.[41]

SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) applies only to distance education programs in the United States that crosses state lines. This agreement is made between member states and establishes comparable postsecondary national standards for distance education courses.

Not every state is a SARA member. Through SARA, member states only have to receive authorization in their home state. Without SARA, non-member states would have to receive authorization in their home state and the state of each of their online students. Not impossible, but not as simple.

Every school has a department or team responsible for online education. This department will be able to answer questions regarding compliance for your home state. Additionally, you can locate the school through CCNE or SARA (if they are a SARA institution) to confirm compliance.

Start with a cost-benefit analysis based on the price of the degree and potential ROI. Weigh the full cost against the positive outcomes you expect as a graduate, which may include a boost in earning potential, upward mobility, or job satisfaction.

No — attaining management/senior positions is not guaranteed through the completion of a master’s degree. These positions often require many years of experience and a significant level of career achievement. However, an advanced degree can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for these positions and also prove your dedication to the field.

Many institutions offer Master of Engineering degrees online.

Most institutions do not indicate on the degree that it was earned online.

There are a multitude of career paths for those looking to advance their engineering career with graduate education. [38] Specific career paths will often depend on the respective engineering discipline you work in, but graduate education has the potential to assist you in attaining management and leadership roles in your chosen field.

Job titles and salary levels will depend on the specific engineering discipline you work in. Median salary levels for engineers range from $75,000 to $130,000. [39]

Engineers with graduate education are sought by a wide variety of organizations across government, military, nonprofit, and private enterprise.

Most engineering disciplines have promising industry growth forecasts, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing positive employment growth projected across all of the engineering disciplines it tracks. [34]



FAQ References