In this article, we profile the top 30 most affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online programs of 2021.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, mechanical engineers are among the highest-paid professionals in the nation. In fact, the top 10 percent of earners for this industry made close to $140,000 per year. So, how do you qualify for a mechanical engineer position? The first step is to acquire the proper education and training. Thankfully, affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering programs are available from some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

30 Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs Methodology

We reviewed approximately 66 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered online master’s in mechanical engineering programs or closely related degrees. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (regional and/or national), institution and/or program rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report, and affordability. We selected schools with a combined graduate tuition cost and fees of less than $28,000 per year. We then listed the top 30 programs according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 most affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online programs of 2021.

#30 – Lehigh University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Website

Lehigh University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
30 credits and fully online! Lehigh University’s master’s in mechanical engineering online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,130

Lehigh University’s master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program is designed for working professional engineers looking to advance their career by gaining new skills and knowledge. This 30-credit-hour program offers four tracks of study, including thesis, project, applied engineering, and interdisciplinary engineering. Required courses are delivered online and taught by Lehigh’s experienced faculty. These courses cover topics like analytical methods in dynamics and vibrations, linear systems and control, and numerical methods in mechanical engineering. To be admitted to the program, applicants must hold an undergraduate engineering degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition to offering high quality and affordable online programs, Lehigh ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best national university.

#29 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Pennsylvania State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Ideal for engineering professionals! Penn State’s online master’s in mechanical engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,186

Penn State University’s World Campus offers an accredited online master’s in mechanical engineering that consists of 32 credits and can be completed entirely online. The MSME online degree is designed for professionals with an undergraduate engineering degree. By taking online courses, students gain advanced knowledge for analysis, design, and research in mechanical engineering. Topics covered include automatic control systems, engineering optimization, the foundations of fluid mechanics, and the principles of turbo-machinery. Both Penn State and its engineering programs have earned national recognition. In fact, recently the school ranked #57 in best national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#28 – Villanova University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Villanova, Pennsylvania

Website

Villanova University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited! Villanova University – top choice for online mechanical engineering programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,606

Villanova University’s online mechanical engineering programs include a graduate degree. The master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program is designed for individuals seeking career advancement as mechanical engineers. Recent program graduates have secured employment with Ford Motor Company, Lockheed Martin, and The Boeing Company. A total of 30 semester credit hours, or ten courses, helps prepare students for high-level jobs in this growing industry. Courses cover topics like control systems engineering, digital control, nonlinear control, and system identification. Villanova is a top-ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #46 in best national universities and #54 in best value schools. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #48 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#27 – University of Virginia

Online Master’s in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Charlottesville, Virginia

Website

University of Virginia - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
No GRE for qualifying students! University of Virginia – online master’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,528

While the University of Virginia does not offer the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering, it certainly offers one of the most recognized. For its fifth year in a row, Virginia’s online engineering programs have ranked among the very best. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Virginia’s online master’s in engineering programs #32 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs. And then there are the school rankings, as Virginia ranks #28 in best national universities. For 35 years, students have received quality engineering instruction. The streamlined application process either requires no GRE or provides a waiver for those who qualify.

#26 – University of Washington

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Seattle, Washington

Website

University of Washington - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Under $20,000 per year! UW’s online MSME degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,293

The University of Washington offers a master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program intended for students with undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering or a closely related field. Since the program builds upon the foundation of mechanical and aerospace engineering, students should enter the program well-prepared by having taken courses in the field of study. Upon entering the program, students take classes that cover topics like fluid dynamics, heat transfer, machine design, manufacturing processes, and materials laboratory. UW ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, UW ranks #62 in best national universities and #134 in best value schools.

#25 – Michigan State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Michigan State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
The online master’s in mechanical engineering program at Michigan State offers two concentrations.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,858

Michigan State University’s online master’s in mechanical engineering program is designed to leverage careers in research and other areas of mechanical engineering. By earning a master’s in mechanical engineering, students graduate prepared to meet their individual career goals. The program offers two tracks of study in mechanics, dynamics, and manufacturing and thermal fluids science and engineering. In addition to selecting from two concentrations, students may tailor their courses toward areas of interest. Courses cover topics like additive manufacturing, fluid mechanics, and theory of vibrations. MSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 84th best national university.

#24 – University of Illinois

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Urbana, Illinois

Website

University of Illinois - online master's in mechanical engineering
Ranked with U.S. News! University of Illinois – online master’s in mechanical engineering program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,083

The University of Illinois offers professionally oriented online mechanical engineering programs, including the master’s in mechanical engineering online degree. With three tracks of study, students may choose how to design their curriculum and customize the classes they take. These tracks of study include controls and manufacturing, design, and energy. To add to the flexible nature of this program, alternate tracks may be pursued with the approval of a faculty advisor. University of Illinois is a fully accredited institution. Also, the school ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #48 in best national universities, #126 in best value schools, and #9 in best online master’s in engineering programs. The online master’s in mechanical engineering program ranks #3 in the country.

#23 – Georgia Institute of Technology

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Atlanta, Georgia

Website

Georgia Institute of Technology - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Georgia Tech’s online master’s in mechanical engineering provides rigor for those seeking a PhD.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,088

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) offers one of the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering degree programs on our list. The program is delivered entirely online with classes taught by Georgia Tech’s esteemed faculty. Courses cover a variety of advanced mechanical engineering topics like designing open engineering systems, engineering design, fluid film lubrication, nonlinear control system, and robotics. While the program is designed to provide students with the skills needed for career advancement, it also offers the rigor needed for admission to PhD engineering programs. Georgia Tech is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 29th best national university and 10th best college for veterans.

#22 – Virginia Commonwealth University

Online Master’s in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Richmond, Virginia

Website

Virginia Commonwealth University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Study mechanical and nuclear engineering online at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,086

In your search for the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University should make the list. This 30-credit online engineering program prepares graduates for careers in business, engineering, and government, or for the pursuit of doctoral degrees. While enrolled in the program, students take classes in both mechanical and nuclear engineering. Topics explored include mechanical and nuclear engineering analysis, mechanical and nuclear engineering continuum mechanics, and nuclear engineering. Virginia Commonwealth is a top-ranked, national university. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #162 in best national universities and #125 in best value schools. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #51 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#21 – University of Cincinnati

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

University of Cincinnati - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
ABET-accredited! University of Cincinnati’s master’s in mechanical engineering online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,468

University of Cincinnati’s master’s in mechanical engineering online program provides curriculum and study that focuses on the practice of engineering that will better serve working professionals. Unlike most programs that culminate in a thesis and research experience, the master’s in mechanical engineering program at University of Cincinnati provides skills and knowledge that contributes directly to the technical workforce. Classes cover topics like applied leadership of project teams, effectiveness in technical organizations, engineering project management, and quality control. Good news for applicants with an earned ABET-accredited undergraduate degree, as there is no GRE requirement. Also, the institution ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 139th best national university and 150th best value school.

#20 – University of California Riverside

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Riverside, California

Website

University of California Riverside - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
University of California Riverside’s online master’s in mechanical engineering can be completed in just 13 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,584

University of California Riverside offers an affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering that costs less than $14,000 per year. Not only is the program affordable, but is also ideal for working students with limited time and access for traditional in-class sessions. The program requires no residency and classes are delivered entirely online. In addition to the program’s flexible online classes, the pacing is expedited. In fact, graduates may earn their degree in as few as 13 months. Students take classes that explore topics like engineering in the global environment, introduction to systems engineering, and principles of engineering management. UC Riverside ranks 91st among best national universities in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – University of Michigan

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Dearborn, Michigan

Website

University of Michigan - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
A top-ranked online master’s in mechanical engineering program – University of Michigan.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,570

One of the oldest and cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list is found at University of Michigan in Dearborn. The online MSE program consists of 30 credits, which may be earned via distance education. All online classes are taught by the same UM professors who instruct on campus. These courses cover topics like advanced dynamics, advanced fluid mechanics, combustion processes, sustainable energy systems, and theory of gearing and applications. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s in engineering degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, the GRE is not required. UM ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 33rd best regional university in the Midwest.

#18 – Old Dominion University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Old Dominion University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Old Dominion University’s online master’s in mechanical engineering is ranked with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,128

Old Dominion University’s online mechanical engineering programs include the MS and ME in mechanical engineering. At a glance, the online master’s in mechanical engineering is a rigorous, fast-paced program designed for busy and working professionals. Students take classes that cover topics like advanced classical thermodynamics, mechanics of composite structures, and robots and manufacturing automation. What makes this program unique is the number of electives in highly specialized topics that allow students to explore their interests even further. Also, ODU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. The online master’s in engineering programs rank #51 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#17 – University of California Los Angeles

Online Master’s in Engineering – Mechanical

Los Angeles, California

Website

University of California Los Angeles - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
UCLA’s online master’s in mechanical engineering ranks #1 with U.S. News!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,953

UCLA’s online master’s in mechanical engineering consistently ranks as one of the top engineering programs in the country. In fact, recent rankings for UCLA’s engineering programs include #1 in best online master’s in engineering programs, #1 in best online master’s in engineering programs for veterans, and #5 in best online master’s in mechanical engineering programs. All rankings examined were published by U.S. News and World Report’s most recent edition of Best Colleges. In addition to offering quality engineering programs, UCLA’s The Samueli School of Engineering delivers asynchronous learning designed for working and busy students. Online engineering programs allow students to take classes while balancing daily life and outside obligations.

#16 – Colorado State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Colorado State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Colorado State University – a top choice for master’s in mechanical engineering online programs!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,871

Colorado State University’s master’s in mechanical engineering online program teaches students how to balance the needs of the industry, paying careful attention to design limitations, environmental impacts, and financial restraints. Students may customize their degree by acquiring skills that can be applied to various engineering disciplines. Specialized courses cover topics in aerospace, automotive design, healthcare, manufacturing materials, and renewable energy. A total of 30 credits of regular coursework are needed to satisfy degree requirements. CSU is a nationally ranked institution. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #37 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#15 – The University of Texas

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Austin, Texas

Website

The University of Texas - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Less than $12,000 per year! UT – affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,998

UT (The University of Texas) offers one of the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list, costing less than $12,000 per year. The Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin offers the two-year, 30-credit program. To be eligible for admission, students must have acquired 12 months of professional experience and hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or closely related discipline. The program’s curriculum focuses on advanced skills in mechanics, thermodynamics, and other related topics. Though the program is delivered entirely online, students have access to an interactive learning environment. From guest lectures to peer reviews, the online program mirrors that of the traditional on-campus program.

#14 – Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Rolla, Missouri

Website

Missouri University of Science and Technology - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Missouri S&T – offers an affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,806

One of the most affordable online mechanical engineering programs on our list is the MSE online degree at Missouri University of Science and Technology. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering, have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and have taken the GRE. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options, adding to its already flexible format. Areas of study include composite materials and structures, control systems, energy conversion, and engineering mechanics and manufacturing automation. In addition to offering quality and flexible online engineering programs, Missouri S&T ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school’s online engineering programs rank #23 in the country.

#13 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
The online MSME program at NC State is highly flexible and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,673

North Carolina State University’s master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program (MSME) addresses the needs of off-campus students who, for whatever reason, do not have access to on-campus study. This flexible and conveniently designed program consists of 30 credits and does not require a thesis, oral examination, or on-campus attendance. To be eligible for admission to the online master’s in mechanical engineering at NC State, prerequisites must be met. An earned bachelor’s in engineering from an accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 are required. NC State ranks with major publications as a top national university. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank 7th and the online master’s in mechanical engineering programs rank 6th in the nation.

#12 – Auburn University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Auburn, Alabama

Website

Auburn University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! Auburn University’s online master’s in mechanical engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,504

The highly affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program at Auburn University is open to those with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited institution. The program is designed for those seeking advanced study in mechanical engineering through online study. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available; however, credit requirements may vary. Both pathways require 30 credits in total to satisfy degree stipulations. Auburn ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, rankings include #104 in best national universities and #164 in best value schools. Also, the online master’s in mechanical engineering programs rank #7 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#11 – Kansas State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Kansas State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Ideal for working students! Kansas State’s online master’s in mechanical engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,277

Kansas State University’s online mechanical engineering programs are designed for working professionals with undergraduate degrees in engineering or closely related disciplines. The online master’s in mechanical engineering consists of 30 credits designed to prepare students for careers in aerospace industries, automotive industries, construction, electronics, and product manufacturing. The school and its engineering programs are fully accredited and have received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #162 in best national universities, #76 in top public schools, and #38 in best online master’s in engineering programs.

#10 – Iowa State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Ames, Iowa

Website

Iowa State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Unique courses and focus opportunities! Iowa State University’s online master’s in mechanical engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,990

Iowa State University’s master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program is based on the research and education provided by ME faculty. The flexible online program consists of 30 credit hours of coursework of which half may be taken outside of the mechanical engineering discipline. Courses cover topics like advanced energy systems and analysis, energy engineering economics and policy, and professional development. Nine credits must be taken in a single focus area like biorenewables, building energy and energy efficiency, or nuclear power. ISU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 121st best national university and 101st best value school.

#9 – The University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

The University of Alabama - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
30 credits! University of Alabama’s online master’s in mechanical engineering.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,780

The University of Alabama offers one of the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list. This 30-credit program helps develop skills needed to advance careers in the mechanical engineering field. The program does not require a thesis; however, students must complete a comprehensive exam. Also, graduate students work alongside faculty in conducting research and study in areas of interest. Some research projects cover focus areas like acoustics and vibration, CAD, combustion, precision engineering, and turbomachinery. University of Alabama ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #55 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#8 – Texas A & M University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

College Station, Texas

Website

Texas A & M University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
A top-ranked online engineering program – Texas A&M University!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,173

The accredited online master’s in mechanical engineering program at Texas A&M University is a 30-credit, non-thesis degree designed for working students. The program builds on the foundation gained in most bachelor’s in mechanical engineering programs and provides instruction of greater depth and scope. Courses, delivered online, cover topics like advanced engineering thermodynamics, advanced product design, control system design, mechanical behavior of materials, mechanics of robot manipulators, and theory of elasticity. Texas A&M ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best national university in the country. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #7 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#7 – Purdue University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

West Lafayette, Indiana

Website

Purdue University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Less than 10K per year! Purdue’s online mechanical engineering programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,992

Purdue University’s online mechanical engineering programs are coursework-based, entirely online, and some of the most affordable on our list. The program consists of 30 credits, with classes taught by the same world-renowned faculty who teach students on campus. Classes cover a wide array of engineering and mechanical engineering topics. Courses you will likely take while enrolled in Purdue’s top-ranked program include design, dynamic systems, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, and thermodynamics. To qualify for admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 3.00 minimum GPA. In addition to offering quality online engineering programs, the school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, the online master’s in mechanical engineering programs rank #1 in the country.

#6 – University of Idaho

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Moscow, Idaho

Website

University of Idaho - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
A top-ranked institution offering an online master’s in mechanical engineering – University of Idaho.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,876

The University of Idaho offers cheap online mechanical engineering programs that cost less than $10,000 per year. The online master’s in mechanical engineering may be completed part-time and fully online through Engineering Outreach, U of I’s distance education department. A thesis is not required for completion of the degree; however, thesis tracks are available to those interested. What makes this program stand out from other online mechanical engineering programs is that completion will count toward eligibility for the Professional Engineer’s License (PE) to practice engineering. U of I ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and the 79th best value school in the country.

#5 – University of Houston

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Houston, Texas

Website

University of Houston - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
A no-thesis online master’s in mechanical engineering! University of Houston.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,372

University of Houston offers some of the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list. Designed to broaden your knowledge of mechanical engineering, the online master’s degree requires no thesis but does require the GRE for admission. The degree is suitable for engineering graduates and working professionals seeking to enhance and build their technical skills, making them marketable in the competitive field of mechanical engineering. All classes can be completed online and are taught by University of Houston’s esteemed faculty. University of Houston is ranked as a top best value school, according to U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #60 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#4 – University of Central Florida

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Orlando, Florida

Website

University of Central Florida - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
UCF offers three tracks of study for their online master’s in mechanical engineering degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,872

The University of Central Florida offers an affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering degree. At a glance, the program consists of 30 credits and offers three tracks of study. Students have the opportunity to follow a track that appeals to their interests or aligns with career goals. These tracks include guidance control and dynamics, mechanical systems, and thermofluids. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. In addition to offering affordable engineering programs, UCF ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Recent rankings include #166 in best national universities and #121 in best colleges for veterans.

#3 – Texas Tech University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Flexible and ideal for working students! Texas Tech’s master’s in mechanical engineering online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,181

Texas Tech University offers a master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program designed for individuals seeking a flexible, distance-learning program. The 36-credit hour degree offers two specialization areas in materials and mechanics and design. Also, the program offers two degree options – report option, or course-only option. Choosing to complete the report or project means completing research in an area of interest. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same faculty who instruct on campus. Texas Tech ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and the 105th top public school in the nation.

#2 – Kennesaw State University

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website

Kennesaw State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
Kennesaw State’s online MSME degree program is one of the most affordable on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,334

Kennesaw State University offers one of the cheapest online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list. The online MSME program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals seeking advanced studies that will benefit their mechanical engineering careers and prepare them to meet professional licensure requirements. Required courses cover topics in advanced engineering heat transfer, advanced engineering thermodynamics, applied engineering mathematics, and project management processes. Kennesaw State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the school recently ranked #72 in most innovative schools.

#1 – University of New Mexico

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Website

University of New Mexico - Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Online Programs 2020
The #1 most affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online program – The University of New Mexico.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,456

The University of New Mexico offers the most affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online degree program on our list. This 34-credit-hour program helps prepare students for technical and engineering careers in areas like mission planning, navigation and structural analysis, and spacecraft design. In fact, graduates of the program have gone on to secure positions at the Department of Defense, NASA, and private sector aerospace companies. Online classes run eight weeks in length and are taught by the school’s esteemed faculty. UNM ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 218th best national university in the country. Also, the online master’s in engineering programs rank #53 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master’s in mechanical engineering online degree?

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering fields. In fact, it is not uncommon for a mechanical engineer to wear many hats and carry out several roles within their career. Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing and overseeing the manufacture of products and equipment within an organization. They analyze problems and propose ways to solve them. They also test devices and oversee the manufacturing process. Like most engineers, mechanical engineers utilize computers and computer technology extensively on the job.

There are several types of mechanical engineers. We’ve listed three types below that show the wide range of career choices available to those who are qualified.

Automobile research engineers:

Automobile engineers, particularly those in research, strive to improve vehicle performance. These highly trained engineers work on specific areas in auto research, such as aerodynamics, new fuel technology, or suspension.

Heating and cooling systems engineers:

Focusing their attention on temperature and humidity, heating and cooling systems engineers work to maintain consistent environmental systems. Such systems are often developed for airplanes, cars, computer rooms, schools, and trains.

Robotic engineers:

Robotic engineers are responsible for building, maintaining, and planning robots. Primarily, their job is to plan how robots utilize sensors for detection, such as light and smell.

Qualifying for any of the above roles requires proper education, such as earning an online master’s in mechanical engineering.

How much money can I earn with a master’s in mechanical engineering online degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for mechanical engineers in May 2019 was $88,430. The overall median annual wage for engineers, regardless of specialty, was $94,500. While earnings in mechanical engineering are slightly lower than the average for all other engineering occupations, the wage depends on the industry one works in. In fact, the highest ten percent of earners made over $138,000 per year.

BLS reports five top-paying industries for mechanical engineers. First, the scientific research and development services industry pays mechanical engineers $101,780 on average and is the highest-paying industry for this specialized type of engineer. Second in pay is computer and electronic product manufacturing, which pays mechanical engineers a median annual wage of $95,260. The third highest-paying industry for mechanical engineers is architectural, engineering, and related services, which pays $90,560. Transportation equipment manufacturing offers mechanical engineers a median annual wage of $90,350. Lastly, the machinery manufacturing industry offers mechanical engineers a median annual wage of $80,720.

To qualify for a top earning position in mechanical engineering, you must offer adequate skills and training. Most master’s in mechanical engineering online programs are designed to prepare students for careers in the field through rigorous curriculum and research project opportunities.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an online master’s in mechanical engineering degree?

Employment of mechanical engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to grow four percent through 2028. This growth rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The employment for all other engineers is expected to grow five percent over the next eight years.

Engineers with training and specialized degrees should have the best job prospects, especially in the field of mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering students who have training in the latest software tools, such as computational design and simulation, will be highly marketable. Also, mechanical engineering students who have learned to create virtual simulations will also be in demand. These skills allow mechanical engineers to create virtual designs and simulations before proceeding to the build or test stage, and as a result, help firms or companies reduce product development cycles. As a result, mechanical engineers with this type of specialty training will be in high demand.

Other skills that are appealing to companies seeking to hire mechanical engineers include training in three-dimensional printing. Engineers with a master’s in mechanical engineering online degree and cutting-edge skills should have the best job prospects.

With an anticipated four percent employment growth over the next several years, the industry should see approximately 12,800 new jobs added.

What are the admission requirements for online master’s in mechanical engineering programs?

The admission requirements for most online master’s in mechanical engineering programs are similar, though vary by institution. Most schools, regardless of ranking and reputation, require that their graduate students hold a bachelor’s degree. And online mechanical engineering programs are no different. In fact, all online master’s in mechanical engineering programs on our list require applicants to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree. Most programs ask that the bachelor’s degree be earned in mechanical engineering or a closely related field and all programs require accreditation. This means graduate programs will not accept applications from individuals without an accredited (regionally or nationally) undergraduate degree.

For most online mechanical engineering programs, your undergraduate GPA also matters. Many programs on our list call for applicants with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Top-ranking institutions and programs may require a higher GPA, such as a 3.3 or 3.5 minimum. And in some cases, the higher the GPA, the less likely you are to have to take the GRE. In fact, some schools on our list will waive the GRE if your undergraduate GPA is high enough. However, GRE stipulations vary by program and institution.

Other admission qualifications for a master’s in mechanical engineering online program include letters of recommendation from former college instructors, a statement of purpose, and work or research experience.

Are there professional associations I can join while earning an online master’s in mechanical engineering?

While earning an online master’s in mechanical engineering, students may join professional associations that provide access to membership benefits. These benefits include resources to certification programs, access to webinars and ongoing education, and career assistance for recent college graduates. Below are three of the most popular professional associations for students earning a graduate degree in mechanical engineering.

ASM International

The ASM International professional association, founded in 1913, connects a network of materials professionals from around the globe. The organization offers its members access the ASM Desk Editions Online, which works as a place where members can find information on properties, processing, and analysis. Also, ASM International offers a career center and access to volunteer opportunities.

SME

SME, formerly the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, has chapters in nearly every state. SME promotes professionalism through education and technology for manufacturing and mechanical engineers. The organization also allows members to expand local networks and make contacts at the SME conference. Other benefits include free publications and webinars, and exclusive, members-only job boards.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

With approximately 130,000 members, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a great source of continuing education for engineering professionals. The association provides digital resources, access to career services, and offers special events and publications for college students.

BCO Staff
August 2020

Related:

What is the Difference Between Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Classes?

How Exactly Do Online College Classes Work?

Are Online Degrees Worth It?

This concludes our list of the 30 most affordable master’s in mechanical engineering online programs of 2021.