Best Online Master’s in Engineering

Find top-ranked online master’s in engineering degree programs to help students wanting to hold highly specialized roles as aerospace engineers, naval architects, computer scientists, and more.

Best Online Master’s in Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Management Degrees

If you’re a working professional, a master’s degree in engineering can provide you with the opportunity to advance in your career and add to your skill set.

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Because the engineering field consists of many subdisciplines and specializations, program requirements may vary greatly. For example, some master’s in engineering degrees require under 30 credits and can be completed in two years, while others may have higher credit requirements and take about four years to complete.

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Most programs, however, offer both online and in-person learning. Coursework will also vary, but master’s in engineering students can expect a combination of hands-on learning, leadership training, and an in-depth examination of current practices in their area of specialization.

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Masters in engineering often go on to hold highly specialized roles as aerospace engineers, naval architects, computer scientists, and more.

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Learn more about what you can do with a mater’s in engineering.

Best Online Master's in Engineering Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online engineering master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Master’s in Engineering Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Cornell University

    #15 institution's historical influence
    #14 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    Ithaca, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Southern California

    #31 institution's historical influence
    #30 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Los Angeles, CA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Aerospace Engineering
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Dynamics and Control
    • Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics Program
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Astronautical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Biomedical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Medical Imaging and Imaging Informatics
    • Required Credits: 29
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Chemical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 28
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Structural Engineering
    • Construction Engineering and Management
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 28
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Scientists and Engineers
    • Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Cyber Security Engineering
    • Required Credits: 28
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Electrical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Computer Networks
    • VLSI Design
    • Electric Power
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Financial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 28
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Materials Engineering
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Energy Conversion
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Operations Research Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Petroleum Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Geoscience Technologies
    • Smart Oilfield Technologies
    • Required Credits: 35
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Petroleum Engineering and Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Product Development Engineering
    • Required Credits: 27
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Systems Architecting and Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Texas at Austin

    #34 institution's historical influence
    #43 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    Austin, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Georgia Tech

    #168 institution's historical influence
    #39 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    31K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/31

    Atlanta, GA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Analytics
    • Computational Science and Engineering
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Medical Physics
    • Operations Research
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 24-36 months
    • Format: Online
    PM in Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Applied Systems Engineering
    • Manufacturing Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    University of Cincinnati

    #170 institution's historical influence
    #1179 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    Cincinnati, OH

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    Online Degrees

    MEng in Mechanical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Robotics
    • Cyber SecurityEngineer using tool.
    • Mechanics
    • Computer-Aided Design
    • Industrial Manufacturing
    • Waste Treatment and Disposal
    • Aerospace and Aviation
    • Biotechnology
    • Automation
    • Energy
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 18 months
    • Format: Online
    MEng in Electrical Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Research and Development
    • Electrical Systems, Components, and Applications
    • Design and Manufacture Various Devices
    • Testing Products and Systems
    • Evaluate Electrical Systems and Components
    • Large Scale Electrical Systems
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Arizona State University

    #131 institution's historical influence
    #1312 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Tempe, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering in Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    University of Arizona

    #88 institution's historical influence
    #605 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30-33
    • Completion time: 1.5-2.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30 or 33
    • Completion time: 1.5- 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Material Sciences and Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS, in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEng in Mining, Geological and Geophysical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 18-24 months
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing in Photonic Communications Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing in Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30 or 33
    • Completion time: 1.5- 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    University of Houston

    #191 institution's historical influence
    #1064 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    37K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/24

    Houston, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Subsea Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Petroleum Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MSE in Electrical Engineering, Power & Energy Systems
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MpetE in Petroleum Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    North Carolina State University

    #218 institution's historical influence
    #176 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    31K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/29

    Raleigh, NC

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    Online Degrees

    MSAE in Aerospace Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: 1.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MBAE in Biological and Agricultural Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSCHE in Chemical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MCE in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSCPE in Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSEPSE in Electric Power Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSEE in Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEng in Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MENE in Environmental Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MIE in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 15
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MMSE in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSME in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MNAE in Nanoengineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MNE in Nuclear Engineering
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Stevens Institute of Technology

    #353 institution's historical influence
    #213 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1420/32

    Hoboken, NJ

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Syracuse University

    #77 institution's historical influence
    #1450 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Syracuse, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  12. #12

    University of Oklahoma

    #194 institution's historical influence
    #1309 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Norman, OK

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: 21 months
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  13. #13

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    #511 institution's historical influence
    #826 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    7K

    Worcester, MA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Systems Engineering Leadership
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Fire Protection Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Material Science and Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Robotics Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Manufacturing Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering For Technical Leaders
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEng in Power Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Texas Tech University

    #396 institution's historical influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MEn in Healthcare Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Petroleum Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 33-36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Manufacturing Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MEn in Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    University of Kentucky

    #195 institution's historical influence
    #541 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Lexington, KY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  16. #16

    University of Missouri

    #108 institution's historical influence
    #1169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Columbia, MO

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Biological Engineering (Non Thesis)
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    University of Alabama

    #180 institution's historical influence
    #94 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/27

    Tuscaloosa, AL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    University of Massachusetts Amherst

    #149 institution's historical influence
    #953 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    29K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/29

    Amherst, MA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    University of Delaware

    #304 institution's historical influence
    #1237 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Newark, DE

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  20. #20

    Florida State University

    #156 institution's historical influence
    #174 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Tallahassee, FL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    University at Buffalo

    #181 institution's historical influence
    #1348 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/26

    Buffalo, NY

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    University of Arkansas

    #317 institution's historical influence
    #1356 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Fayetteville, AR

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    University of Central Florida

    #494 institution's historical influence
    #181 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Orlando, FL

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    MSAE in Aerospace Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSC in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering Smart Cities
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering Structural
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering Transportation
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Civil Engineering Water Resources
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Environmental Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Healthcare Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSI in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSM in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSM in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSSE in Systems Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    Clemson University

    #443 institution's historical influence
    #513 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/29

    Clemson, SC

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    Online Degrees

    MEng in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    New Jersey Institute of Technology

    #863 institution's historical influence
    #1299 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/27

    Newark, NJ

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    MS in Civil Engineering
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Electrical Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Industrial Engineering
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students