Dive into one of the most versatile engineering fields with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. As a student of one of the best online mechanical engineering programs, you’ll learn valuable theoretical and practical knowledge to advance your career. Learn more about this field, top degree programs, and the benefits of choosing to pursue a master’s degree in engineering.

What Is Mechanical Engineering?

From robotics and automation to textile engineering, mechanical engineers work in a broad range of fields. Mechanical engineers use their technical knowledge to analyze specific problems, design solutions, analyze results, and oversee processes.

According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, there are approximately 36 different technical divisions in this role. Here are some examples of divisions that you can specialize in:

  • Design engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Fluids engineering
  • Petroleum
  • Solar energy
  • Safety engineering and risk analysis

Why Get a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Many mechanical engineer positions only require a bachelor’s degree, but there are still significant benefits to choosing an engineering master’s degree. As a master’s degree holder, you may be eligible for research positions, leadership opportunities, or raises.

According to PayScale, the median master’s in mechanical engineering salary is about $89,000 per year as of April 2022. The median salary for a bachelor’s degree holder, however, was about $82,000 per year as of April 2022. Find out how to get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from a leading institution to advance your career.

How Much Does a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree Cost?

The cost of a master’s degree in mechanical engineering varies considerably based on a few factors. Online programs, on average, tend to be more affordable than on-campus options. Similarly, public universities are generally more affordable than private ones. If you’re a resident of the same state as a public university, then you may be eligible for in-state tuition, even if you’re taking your course online.

Is a master’s in mechanical engineering worth it? According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a master’s degree is about $66,340. Master of Science degrees are typically more affordable than Master of Arts degrees. Compare the career and salary opportunities with the cost of your chosen program. Be sure to ask about financial assistance, including grants and scholarships, to reduce the cost of your program.

10 Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Degree Programs

The best master’s in mechanical engineering degree program depends on your personality, career interests, and other factors. If you’re considering a master’s in mechanical engineering online program, review these highly-rated options as you prepare your application materials.

Boston University – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Boston University has been offering distance learning courses for mechanical engineering students since 1991. Many courses are offered asynchronously, but some require synchronous attendance, depending on the discretion of the instructor.

Explore process modeling, the vibration of complex mechanical systems, materials technology for microelectronics, and other advanced courses as you earn your Master of Science degree. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree to apply.

Columbia University – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Study in a department known for making history in the field. Ever since the Mechanical Engineering Department at Columbia was founded in 1897, it’s received many national and international awards in mechanical engineering.

Study robotics, power generation, dynamics, vibration, solids, fluids, and more. Columbia University’s online master’s programs cost $2,272 per credit hour in the 2021 – 2022 academic year.

Johns Hopkins University – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Study under executive-level mechanical engineering professionals at John Hopkins University, like program chair Jaafar El-Awady. Enjoy the flexibility of online study as you explore advanced coursework to help you master modern tools and advanced analytics. At Johns Hopkins, you can specialize in one of the following focus areas:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Biomechanics
  • Robotics and controls
  • Fluid mechanics and thermal science
  • Solids/mechanics of materials

The typical course cost at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University is about $4,920 for graduate-level courses. Most students must complete ten courses to earn a Master of Science degree. According to Johns Hopkins University, 78% of students receive tuition coverage through employer contribution programs.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This online course requires you to complete 30 credit hours for successful completion. There isn’t a thesis required, so the program centers on specialized courses in mechanical engineering. North Carolina State has a long history of providing distance education, with the first distance courses in engineering being offered in 1978.

Take courses in structural vibration, fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, and fracture mechanics. A full-time online student typically takes nine credits per semester, which makes the tuition rate for 2021 – 2022 $4,547.50 per semester.

Pennsylvania State University World Campus – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This Department of Mechanical Engineering course routinely ranks as a highly rated option for Master of Science students. You’ll need to complete undergraduate mechanical engineering core courses in order to apply to this program.

The primary courses are organized into two general fields: mechanical sciences and thermal sciences. From there, you’ll explore research and practical knowledge in more complex subjects, such as heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and systems and controls.

Purdue University – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Take the same highly rated, in-depth mechanical engineering courses as on-campus students at Purdue University. Graduates have gone on to work in the automotive, manufacturing, biotech, and aerospace industries. Courses include basic requirements in mechanical engineering and math, along with electives in your technical focus.

Purdue University offers competitive tuition rates. For both Indiana residents and out-of-state residents, the total degree cost is just $22,500. You may be eligible for federal financial aid, grants, and scholarships to reduce this cost.

University of California, Los Angeles – Master of Science in Engineering

UCLA consistently ranks as a leader among engineering programs in the nation. The online Master of Science in Engineering is a competitive choice for studying aerodynamics, mechanical design, structural analysis, and other specialized areas in the field.

The program cost for an online Master of Science course at UCLA is currently $37,800, before scholarships and other financial aid. The UCLA mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty offer expert industry knowledge and access to cutting-edge scholarship.

University of Illinois – Master of Science in Mechanical Science and Engineering

Prepare to study computational modeling, applied control system design, and other high-level mechanical engineering topics as a part-time or full-time student. The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois offers these and other specialized courses as part of an online degree program. You’ll take the same courses and earn the same degree through this online opportunity.

Tuition rates for online programs at the University of Illinois vary depending on the number of credit hours you take. For example, in 2021 – 2022, the cost of a four-credit course was $4,440, while the cost of a one-credit course was $1,110.

University of Washington – Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Study as a full-time or part-time student with the University of Washington. Like most master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, this program requires you to have previous knowledge in the field, typically from a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Master of Science degrees at the University of Washington requires you to take at least 42 credits. You can choose from all-coursework, project-based, or thesis-track approaches to the degree. Explore computational techniques, finite element analysis, convex optimization, and other advanced courses in the field as part of this program.

University of Wisconsin–Madison – Master of Engineering in Engineering

The University of Wisconsin–Madison focuses on highly interactive online instruction from world-renowned instructors. Explore power engineering, engine systems, management, and other specialties of engineering related to your mechanical engineering career.

Study online at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and pay the same tuition rate whether you’re a resident of Wisconsin or another state. For most students, tuition ranges between $600 and $675 per credit. Connect with the admissions team to find out the specific cost of your program.

Common Courses in Master’s Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

Your specific school and program affect your course options. Here are a few master’s in mechanical engineering specializations and common courses available from leading universities:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Dynamics and vibrations
  • Power generation
  • Biomechanics
  • Robotics
  • Solids and fluids

Other FAQs About Master’s Mechanical Engineering Degrees and Programs

How Much Do Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Graduates Typically Earn in Salary?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2020 median pay for mechanical engineers was $90,160 per year.

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Graduates?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of mechanical engineers is expected to grow by 7% between 2020 and 2030, which is about as fast as the average growth of jobs in the United States. This means an estimated 20,900 jobs will be added throughout the decade.

Are There Specializations Associated With Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Degrees?

Common specializations for a master’s degree program in mechanical engineering include solids and fluids, biomechanics, robotics, power generation, and thermodynamics.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Most students can complete a mechanical engineering master’s degree in about two to three years. Part-time programs take up to five years to complete.


American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Sections and Technical Divisions

PayScale, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

PayScale, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Education Data Initiative, Cost of a Master’s Degree

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