Mechanical engineering is the most expansive engineering field globally. In 2020, the US generated over $421 billion in revenue from mechanical engineering projects, according to Statista. The best mechanical engineering master’s degrees will help engineers benefit from the industry’s growth over the next few decades.
A Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering can help you start building a satisfying professional career. This article also discusses mechanical engineering master’s degree jobs for professionals with a mechanical engineering master’s degree.
Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
Some of the best schools to get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering include Arizona State University, Vanderbilt University, Purdue University Northwest, and Stanford University. These schools offer cutting-edge research opportunities to mechanical engineering students who want to achieve a wide array of career goals.
What Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degrees?
- North Carolina State University
- Arizona State University
- Purdue University-Northwest
- Vanderbilt University
- Stanford University
What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
A key admission requirement for a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is that prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in engineering or comparable fields. Applicants must also submit copies of official transcripts with a specified minimum grade point average (GPA) during the application process.
International students must submit TOEFL results, and all prospective students must submit letters of recommendation, personal statements, and copies of their resumes.
Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Admission Requirements
- A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Physics, or a comparable field
- A minimum GPA
- A copy of your resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Copies of official transcripts
- Official TOEFL results (if applicable)
How to Get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering
You can get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering by meeting the mechanical engineering program’s admissions requirements and then its graduation requirements. Graduation requirements for graduate school students include completion of a specified number of credit hours and thesis submissions where applicable.
How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
You’ll need to obtain a minimum of 30 credit hours to obtain a master’s degree. However, some schools require current students to complete between 42 and 48 credit hours of coursework to complete the degree program.
Mechanical Engineering Degree Requirements
- Capstone courses (3 credit hours)
- Elective courses (6 or 9 credit hours)
- Mathematics courses (6 credit hours)
- Core concentration courses (12 credit hours)
- Thesis (where applicable) (6 credit hours)
Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Arizona State University||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||North Central Association Higher Learning Commission|
|Cornell University||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|Johns Hopkins University||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|North Carolina State University||Master of Science in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|Purdue University Northwest||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|Stanford University||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|University of California, Berkeley||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|University of Michigan||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET|
Best Schools for Mechanical Engineering: Top Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs
Getting an advanced degree to further your professional goals is an intelligent decision as an engineer. Fortunately, some of America’s top private and public universities offer excellent master’s degree programs with advanced courses in this field. The section below further details the best schools for Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
What Is a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
A mechanical engineering master’s degree is an advanced degree in mechanical engineering that you can obtain from a private research university or public college. It involves completing at least 30 credit hours of coursework and a thesis, although there are non-thesis class options.
The program often takes two years to complete, and it covers subjects like engineering design and computational fluid dynamics. It is a great degree to have as it boosts your employability, compared to a simple Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or a related field.
How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
It is important to get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering if you have lofty career goals, as it can help you progress faster in your career and boost your annual income. Many employers recognize the value of having employees with an advanced degree in a specialization.
What Types of Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Mechanical Engineering?
The types of Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering you can get include a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with specialties including control systems, solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, nanoengineering, and transportation systems. You can also get a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, though this will be less comprehensive.
Is It Better to Get a Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering?
It is better to get a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, as it offers you more flexible options and teaches you more about your field. It also allows you to continue on to obtain a doctorate degree, and employers value the experience you gain during the program.
Conversely, a Master of Engineering degree is a one-year program that you can take to learn industry-specific skills. It is an excellent option for professionals who want to join the mechanical engineering profession as soon as they graduate.
What Is the Difference Between a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree and a Mechanical Engineering Certificate?
The difference between a mechanical engineering master’s degree and a mechanical engineering certificate is that a master’s degree is an academic program you undergo for 12 to 24 months at an accredited university, whereas a mechanical engineering graduate certificate is a document proving that you have specific skills in certain areas or aspects of mechanical engineering.
A mechanical engineering graduate certificate is a document that you can get from an institution showing that you have completed in-depth study within a specialized mechanical engineering field that is usually covered within graduate-level courses. Certifications may improve your candidacy for open engineering positions as a mechanical engineer.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it costs about $19,792 to obtain a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from a university in the US, as of 2020. However, the specific amount you’ll pay varies depending on the institution and how much financial aid you can get.
Getting a degree from a private research institution costs about $26,000 annually, while a public research university may cost only $12,000, according to NCES.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
It takes 12 to 24 months to get a master’s degree if you are a full-time student. If you enroll part-time in the program, it will take longer to obtain the degree.
However, you can opt to take an accelerated option if the school offers it. The accelerated program allows you to take more credits per semester and finish the program faster. Your academic advisor can help you make the best decision on what option to use.
How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
Getting a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is hard, as the program requires significant amounts of time and commitment and covers topics in advanced engineering for professionals. However, there are several accessible and affordable options now, and many schools offer online class options.
Why Should You Get a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
You should get a mechanical engineering master’s degree to develop your skills and knowledge. A master’s degree in this field benefits you by helping you stand out from the competition in the job market. With a master’s in mechanical engineering, you can earn a median average income of $1,574 per week, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?
You need to take advanced engineering mathematics and engineering design optimization courses during a master’s degree program in mechanical engineering. Other courses you’ll take include fluid mechanics, nanomedicine, and waves and optics. Below, we discuss some of these courses.
Advanced Engineering Mathematics
Prospective students in graduate engineering programs will be offered a variant of an advanced engineering mathematics course, especially at the master’s degree level. This course applies advanced mathematical tools to solve various engineering problems, and it is one of the core courses all students must pass to complete the degree program.
Advanced Fluid Dynamics
This course discusses boundary-layer theory, a key element of aerodynamic design. It also sheds light on sensor systems and instrumentation, which have broad applications across engineering, especially fluid dynamics. Students will also learn about data acquisition and gain the analysis skills that engineers need to work with both current and future technologies.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
This course uses digital computers to predict fluid-flow phenomena based on conservation laws, quantitatively. It also makes it possible to use fluid motion equations for an extensive range of complex situations.
Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics
Students who take this course will learn about the classical thermodynamics of a general reactive system, energy conservation, and increased entropy principles. Other topics include Legendre transformations, phase transitions, and critical phenomena.
Engineering Design Optimization
This course discusses optimization’s mathematical and algorithmic fundamentals, including derivative and derivative-free approaches for linear systems and non-linear problems. While the knowledge gained from the course applies across several industries, the main focus is on multidisciplinary design optimization.
Continuing Education Paths for Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates
A typical continuing education path for graduate students who complete a master’s degree program in mechanical engineering is obtaining a doctoral degree, after which they can pursue academic careers. Others may work as senior-level professionals in the automotive, aeronautical, and biomechanics spaces, enjoying a high median income.
Related Mechanical Engineering Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs
The things to look for in the best mechanical engineering master’s degree programs include the curriculum and the university’s accreditation status or program. You should also consider the program length and the mode of instruction. Below are five of the top qualities to look for, when choosing a mechanical engineering master’s degree program.
You should only apply to programs from accredited universities. Schools receive accreditation for their mechanical engineering programs from organizations like the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC), whose members are distinguished academics and professionals.
If you enroll in a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering program, you may have to submit a thesis, although this depends on your course option. Some schools require current students to complete 30 credit hours of coursework to complete the program, while others may have 42 or 48-credit requirements.
30-credit or higher master’s degree programs generally take two years or less to complete, especially if you’re a full-time student. If you enroll part-time, it may take between three and five years to obtain the degree, and this option may be more suitable for working professionals.
According to the NCES, the average program cost for obtaining a master’s degree from a public university is $12,000. For a private research university, prospective students of these competitive programs will pay around $27,000 in tuition costs across the duration of the program.
Some institutions allow students to take accelerated master’s degrees, so they can finish the programs faster. Others provide online options for students who prefer remote learning to in-person instruction, so you can decide which option you’re more comfortable using.
What Is the Most Affordable Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
The most affordable mechanical engineering master’s degree is offered by Purdue University Northwest. Full tuition costs around $11,000, and you’ll get an excellent education in engineering for professionals.
Salary and Job Outlook for Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates
Graduate students who obtain a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering can rest assured that their futures look bright. Current and future job prospects in the field are strong, and professionals will enjoy excellent financial rewards with a high average income.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
It is not hard to get a job with a mechanical engineering master’s degree because you can work in various industries. Companies in the aeronautical, biomechanical, and nanomechanical fields need professionals with specialist knowledge and skills in mechanical engineering. You can learn these skills while completing a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
What’s the Average Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Salary?
The average annual salary for someone with a mechanical engineering master’s degree is $87,000, according to PayScale. However, you can earn considerably more or less for your annual income, depending on your skillset, professional position, and specialty area.
What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree?
You types of jobs you can get with a mechanical engineering master’s degree include careers as an aerospace engineer, automotive engineer, or instrumentation engineer. You can also become an electrical engineer or a civil engineer. Below, we discuss some of these jobs and their career prospects.
Mechanical Engineering Degree Jobs
- Aerospace Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- CAD Technician
- Contracting Civil Engineer
- Control and Instrumentation Engineer
Potential Careers With a Mechanical Engineering Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?
You can make between $60,750 and $136,210 annually with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The specific amount you make depends on your skillset, the role you work in, and your level of professional experience.
The table below shows some of the highest-paying jobs you can get with an advanced degree in any mechanical engineering field. The sections after the table also discuss the job descriptions, job growth figures, and other relevant statistics.
Highest-Paying Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
Best Jobs for Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Grads
The best mechanical engineering master’s degree jobs include aerospace engineering, process engineering, and mechanical engineering. These roles require professionals with extensive knowledge of mechanical systems, and they are very financially rewarding.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?
Yes, a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is worth it if you want an engineering career with a high median salary. While you can get a good, well-paying job with an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree will help you access more career opportunities and achieve your professional goals.
It’s now easier than ever to get a master’s degree. You may use an online format to complete your program with a lowered tuition rate, or go the conventional route and attend an in-person engineering school to receive experiential learning opportunities.
Additional Reading About Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree FAQ
Yes, you can apply for a doctoral degree without holding a master’s degree. Your application, undergraduate degree experience, and academic records will determine whether a school admits you. In some cases, you may opt for a dual degree track where you obtain a master’s degree during your doctoral degree program.
Yes, you can work in the tech industry with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Working in the tech industry requires discipline, effective communication, and project management skills. You can learn these skills during your master’s degree program, plus you can take additional classes or attend coding bootcamps to upskill.
Google, Apple, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Volkswagen are some of the world’s largest employers of mechanical engineers, and you can work at any of them with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Your role may involve project management, software development, automation, and robotics.
One of the disadvantages of getting a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering is that it is expensive, and so you may have to take out massive loans and incur debt to fund the cost of tuition. You may also spend valuable time working in an academic setting, and you won’t get the experience you need to thrive in the workplace environment.
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