Online Engineering Masters Programs & Schools

Online engineering masters programs may appeal to working or post-graduate engineers who need some flexibility when it comes to balancing study with their professional life.

Online masters engineering programs are offered in many specialized areas so that one might expand the depth and breadth of a current skill set, or continue to deepen in an ongoing engineering discipline. Distance learning makes it possible to attend class from your home or wherever you have a computer and Internet, so you don’t have to sacrifice your other responsibilities. Search for accredited online civil engineering masters degrees, online masters in mechanical engineering, online electrical engineering masters programs or look through other options.

Online Engineering Masters Programs: Basics

Online Engineering Masters degree programs build on an undergraduate engineering training and offer the opportunity to cultivate research skills or study engineering management. Some online engineering graduate schools may accept full-time and part-time students which means you might have some options in terms of how long it takes to earn your masters degree. On average, an online masters engineering program takes 2-years to complete (full-time) and requires the completion of about 10 to 15 courses. Note that program lengths and number of courses vary between universities.

Online Masters in Engineering: Potential Admission Requirements

Admission to a graduate engineering school’s online program may mirror those for residential masters in engineering programs. These typically include an ABET-accredited Bachelors degree, GPA, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and GRE scores. These factors may vary between universities. Some schools have application forms that can be filled out completely online or printed, filled out and mailed to them.


About 1 in 4 civil engineers has a master’s degree. Further education after the bachelor’s degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager[i].

Types of Online Engineering Masters Degrees: MEng vs MS

Online Engineering masters programs might be available as Master of Engineering (MEng) or Master of Science in Engineering (MS) options.

Typically the MEng degree is considered a professional and terminal degree. In addition to coursework, students may have a fieldwork or internship component. Individuals who want to advance their technical expertise and learn advanced scientific, mathematical or computer oriented solutions to real world issues, might choose an online Master of Engineering. Those who aspire to teach Engineering, contribute to research and development, might find a Master of Science in Engineering might be suitable. The research-based thesis and analytical orientation of an MS might prepare students for a PhD in Engineering program.

Types of Online Engineering Masters Degree Programs

Online engineering masters programs may be available in some of the major engineering disciplines or sub-disciplines:

Online Masters in Civil Engineering degree programs may prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of structural, and load bearing systems, water resources and environmental safely measures;[ii]

Online Masters in Mechanical Engineering degree programs may prepare individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to prototypes, equipment testing and inspection procedures[iii];

Online Masters in Chemical Engineering degree programs may prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of things like chemical reactors, energy loss and pollution[iv];

Online Masters in Electrical Engineering degree programs may prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of electrical and electronic systems and components, energy storage and electrical power generation systems[v].

Why an Online Masters of Engineering Program?

Much like the process of looking for a traditional campus program, finding an online engineering masters degree program and university may involve some active research (comparison) on your part. Each school may approach their subject differently and certainly format their distance learning program in line with this. Some of the features you might want to look for in an online masters in engineering degree program might include:

  • Look for an engineering school that offers the type of degree (MSE or MENG) or the type of program (e.g. online systems engineering masters) that you are looking for;
  • If you value participation in courses, look for a program that creates opportunities to interact with your instructors and classmates whether through online discussion boards or responsive and accessible faculty;
  • Some engineering school’s online faculty is the same for their residential programs, and they may be trained on how to teach e-learners;
  • Online students typically have access to student services commensurate with campus programs (career counseling, financial aid, support for learning);
  • Programs may incorporate different types of technology (video, MP3, live streaming classes, interactive labs);
  • Some programs are completely online, others may involve some visits to campus (e.g. Conferences, labs, workshops, meetings, live online courses);
  • Online degrees from accredited universities may hold the same weight as a campus degree. In fact your diploma may not even indicate that you completed your degree via distance education.


Applied science, computing, engineering and Engineering technology programs are accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET). Accreditation is important for online engineering masters programs; a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program is a requisite for state licensure (Professional Engineering –PE- license.)[vi]

Employment Trends for Engineering Graduates

Per Data USA, engineers with masters degrees represent 32% of the workforce.[vii] Some of the common industries that employ Engineering Science Majors are[viii]:

  • Architectural, Engineering and Related Services
  • Computer Systems Design
  • Construction
  • Colleges, Universities, & Professional Schools including Junior Colleges
  • Electronic Component & Product Manufacturing, N.E.C.

And, if you are still wondering whether to earn a Masters in Engineering online, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following engineering occupations where workers with their masters degree earned wage premiums over those with their bachelors degree[ix];

  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Engineering Managers

Find an Accredited Online Masters in Engineering Program

Browse our directory of sponsored program listings to find an accredited online Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering degree program. Discover unique features of each prospective school including application deadline by requesting more info straight from our easy to use navigation setting.

Sources:[i] |[ii] |[iii] |[iv][v][vi] |[vii] |[viii][ix]

  • University of Cincinnati

  • Brandeis University

  • Pennsylvania State University

  • Ohio University

  • UMassOnline

  • Norwich University

  • University of Colorado - Boulder

  • University of Illinois at Chicago

  • East Tennessee State University

  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • University of North Dakota

  • University of Maryland Baltimore County

  • Texas A&M University

  • Kansas State University

  • Texas Tech University