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Best Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Joshua Adegoke - May 18, 2022


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.

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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

School Program Accreditation
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.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

This public research university is home to 63,000 students and offers dual degree and online programs to students across several disciplines. Its Department of Mechanical Engineering is renowned for its excellent Master of Engineering program that focuses on mechanical systems and industrial engineering applications, with both thesis and non-thesis options.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Arizona State University’s master’s degree program prepares mechanical engineering students for doctoral study or engineering careers. The program emphasizes research and project management while providing current students with a solid foundation in technical fundamentals. Core courses include system dynamics and control, thermodynamics, and energy.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: North Central Association Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,135/credit (in-state), $1,606/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • Arizona State University Graduation Rate: 66%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 preferred, applicants with lower GPAs considered
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, GRE scores preferred
  • Application Fee: $70 (US citizens), $115 (non-US citizens)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Create an account on the university website
  2. Log in to the account
  3. Fill in the online application form
  4. Upload the requested documents
  5. Submit the application form and receive your six-digit application ID
  6. Send your GRE score using the institution code 4007 for Arizona State University. A GRE score is not required but it will boost your application.
  7. Send electronic education transcripts through E-Scrip, Parchment, Credentials Inc., or National Student Clearinghouse. Otherwise, mail an official transcript to the university with your six-digit application ID on the envelope.
2

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

This private research university ranks 17th on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best National Universities, and it boasts several hundred student organizations on campus. As a flagship institution with strong academic rigor, Cornell University also has an esteemed College of Engineering, and the academic and social opportunities for degree students are tremendous.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This two-year MS program combines academic rigor with a vital research component. Class sizes are small, and current students work closely with faculty advisors to tailor their studies to their particular interests and backgrounds, incorporating core mechanical engineering courses and challenging courses in aerospace engineering.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $29,500 per year
  • Required Credits: 48 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • Cornell University Graduation Rate: 95%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.6 is standard for applicants
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $105
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume or CV preferred, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency

Applying to Cornell University

  1. Create an account on the university website
  2. Log in to the account
  3. Fill in the online application form and select the mechanical engineering concentration
  4. Upload the requested documents within your application, such as electronic academic transcripts
  5. Fill in the names and email addresses of your recommendees. Cornell University will send electronic recommendation requests to the addresses you provide.
  6. Submit the application form
  7. Send your GRE score using Cornell University code 2098 and Department Code 1599 for mechanical engineering.
3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University is one of America's most famous private universities, and its award-winning faculty are the toast of academia. The school has, among other things, excellent science and engineering courses, and it offers these to domestic and international students.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Whiting School of Engineering provides this degree which consists of ten courses in topics like fluid mechanics, materials science, solid mechanics, and biomechanical engineering. Plus, incoming students can specialize in fields like thermal and fluid sciences. This is a hybrid program with in-person and online courses, plus a fully online learning option.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $1,640/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid, online
  • Johns Hopkins University Graduation Rate: 94%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: At least 3.0 is typical
  • Standardized Tests: Not required; GRE preferred
  • Application Fee: $75, possible discount to $25
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume or CV preferred, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency (if applicable)

Applying to Johns Hopkins University

  1. Create an account on the university website
  2. Log in to the account
  3. Fill in the online application form
  4. Upload the requested documents
  5. Send your GRE score directly through ETS using the Johns Hopkins University code 4655
  6. Submit the application form and pay the $75 fee or $25 if eligible for the discount
  7. Once you have received an offer and accepted it, you must submit official education transcripts by the end of your first term enrolled to continue with the program
4

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University is a public land-grant institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, and it is the largest institution in the Carolinas region. Students at the university can choose to learn engineering mechanics and linear systems courses online or offline, confident that an experienced faculty and extensive career resources are available to assist them.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

A student pursuing the MS degree must complete at least 30 credit hours of coursework. Core classes in the program include solid mechanics, additive manufacturing, and engineering modeling and simulation. Additional class options are available, too, and the career opportunities for students who complete a master's degree in any mechanical engineering specialization are extensive.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation:  Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $9,095 yearly (North Carolina residents), $27,082 yearly (non-residents)
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid, online
  • North Carolina State University Graduation Rate: 84%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE, requirement temporarily waived during 2022
  • Application Fee: $75 (US citizens/residents), $85 (international students)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency for international students

Applying to North Carolina State University

  1. Log in to the school website
  2. Select the program
  3. Review application deadlines
  4. Prepare all application materials, such as your personal statement and school transcripts
  5. Submit your application and pay the $75 fee, or $85 if you are an international student
5

Purdue University Northwest

Hammond, IN

As a public college that started operating in 2016, this institution has done well for itself. It ranks 112 on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Regional Universities Midwest, and it is ideal for advanced studies. Purdue University Northwest’s most popular graduate degree programs in engineering specializations are manufacturing engineering, thermal sciences, and computational fluid dynamics.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This 30-credit-hour program is suitable for professionals who want to work as network engineers or in other mechanical and aerospace engineering roles. Core classes include advanced topics such as engineering mathematics, modeling and simulation, and engineering mechanics. An impressive faculty runs the program, and class sizes are small.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition (and Fees): $330.95/credit (in-state), $486.45/credit (out-of-state), $706.10 (international)
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • Purdue University Northwest Graduation Rate: 42%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0, lower scores for consideration
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (optional)
  • Application Fee: $60 (domestic), $75 (international)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency for international students

Applying to Purdue University Northwest

  1. Create an application account
  2. Submit required test results, if applicable
  3. Review the school's list of required admission documents
  4. Prepare any additional documents
  5. Pay the $60 application fee, or $75 if you are an international student, to submit your application and receive consideration for admission into this public university
6

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

This flagship institution is a beacon of global academic excellence in tertiary education. It offers several world-class science and engineering programs, and it has multiple class options for students. Members of Standford University’s award-winning faculty across all programs come from across the world, and on-campus and online students can enjoy top-class instruction in advanced topics.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This degree program focuses on solid mechanics, thermal and fluid sciences, and other science and engineering courses. It is an excellent source of practical knowledge in engineering for professionals, and the class options, educational facilities, and career resources enable students to apply their skills in real-world situations.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $13,040/quarter
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • Stanford University Graduation Rate: 95%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements, 3.5 preferred
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $125
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, personal statement, statement of purpose, MS Supplementary Information form, resume or CV, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency if English is not your first language

Applying to Stanford University

  1. Create a Stanford University account
  2. Fill out your application, including your answers to the MS Supplementary Information Form and three letters of recommendation, with two preferably coming from an academic source
  3. Review the school's list of required admission documents
  4. Prepare and submit any additional documents
  5. Pay the $125 application fee and submit your application
7

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

University of California–Berkeley ranks 22nd on the Best National Universities list by U.S. News & World Report. UC Berkeley is a public research university with excellent mechanical engineering degree programs and top-notch campus research facilities, and it sits on a stretch of land overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This degree involves over 30 credit hours of coursework in subjects like engineering mathematics and advanced computational fluid dynamics. Graduate students often receive an activity designation when enrolling in the program, and the career resources, engineering facilities, and campus research facilities are beneficial.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,353.64/credit (resident), $1559.76/credit (non-resident)
  • Required Credits: 20 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • University of California, Berkeley Graduation Rate: 92%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum preferred
  • Standardized Tests: Not required for Fall 2022 school year
  • Application Fee: $120 (US citizens), $140 (international applicants)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal history statement, statement of purpose, resume or CV preferred, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency

Applying to the University of California, Berkeley

  1. Explore and choose your program
  2. Create an online UC Berkeley account to begin your application
  3. Review all the application requirements and gather the necessary documents
  4. Send your three recommenders notifications through the online application system before applying, so that they can submit their recommendations before the deadline
  5. Apply online through the Berkeley campus online application form, filling in a personal history statement, statement of purpose, employment history with your current career information, and other details
  6. Upload unofficial transcripts or academic records in PDF format
  7. Pay the $120 application fee, or $140 if you are an international applicant, to submit your application
8

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

This land-grant institution houses an impressive faculty across its undergraduate, certificate, and graduate programs. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign boasts a College of Engineering with competitive programs in thermal sciences, electromechanical systems, and classical mechanics. Plus, students can take classes in person or study online engineering programs.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This program focuses on engineering for professionals, and a degree in any mechanical engineering specialization is a massive boost for prospective students. The Engineering Accreditation Commission ratifies its university status, and students learn and work with distinguished academics within state-of-the-art engineering facilities during the program.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition (and Fees): $18,998 per year (resident), $36,150 per year (non-resident/international)
  • Required Credits: 24 credits plus 8 credit hours of research (thesis), 32 credits (non-thesis)
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Graduation Rate: 86%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: GRE, currently suspended
  • Application Fee: $70 (domestic), $90 (international)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume or CV, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency if English is not your first language

Applying to the University of Illinois

  1. Log in to the school website
  2. Select the program you would like to study
  3. Review application deadlines
  4. Prepare all application materials, such as PDF or Microsoft Word document copies of scanned unofficial academic transcripts, and upload these within your application
  5. Fill out the application form and pay a $70 domestic or $90 international application fee to submit your application before the rolling application deadline
9

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan is a public research university that offers courses to on-campus and online students across three campuses. It contains a College of Engineering and other colleges, has several museums, and maintains astronomical research observatories in Michigan, Arizona, and Chile.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

This program caters to domestic and international students and includes thermal sciences and manufacturing engineering courses. The school's Department of Mechanical Engineering offers prospective students two class options for the program, one with a thesis requirement and the other with no thesis requirement.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $1,964/credit (resident), $3,349/credit (non-resident)
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • University of Michigan Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 preferred
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (optional)
  • Application Fee: $75 (US citizens and residents), $90 (non-US citizens)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume or CV, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency

Applying to the University of Michigan

  1. Create an ApplyWeb Account
  2. Receive a University of Michigan ID (U-M ID) Number
  3. Upload the required files and submit your application by paying the $75 or $90 application fee
  4. Order any required test scores for consideration for admission and submit your letters of recommendation
  5. Complete all other additional steps
10

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University is a private research university with 6,900 undergraduates and over 6,200 graduate and professional students. Science and engineering programs are two primary areas the university teaches, and classes for graduate engineering students include advanced engineering mathematics and computational fluid dynamics.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Engineering Accreditation Commission approves this program, and students work with eminent academics to craft excellent research in areas like classical mechanics, electromechanical systems, and dynamic systems. While online students can’t enroll in this program, they may take additional classes like fluid mechanics and linear systems for standalone credit.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Tuition: $2,150/semester hour
  • Required Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • Vanderbilt University Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.2
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $95
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement, resume or CV preferred, graduate admission application, proof of English proficiency if English is not your first language

Applying to Vanderbilt University

  1. Log in to the school website
  2. Select the program
  3. Review application deadlines
  4. Prepare all application materials and submit unofficial academic transcripts in the Academics section of the online application
  5. Use the Vanderbilt institutional code of 1871 to send GRE and TOEFL scores if required.
  6. Submit your application with the $95 application fee
  7. Upload any additional documents on the Applicant Status page after submitting your application
  8. Check your online Application Status page to see your application’s progress and check if you need to submit any other documentation

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.

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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.

Accreditation

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.

Curricular Content

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.

Program Length

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.

Cost

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.

Acceleration Options

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

A pair of hands holding tools with colored lines on a monitor and electrical equipment
A Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from a flagship institution can help you grow faster professionally.

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

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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
Aerospace Engineer $122,270
Software Engineer $110,140
Process Engineer $105,550
Sales Engineer $103,710
Mechanical Engineer $95,300

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.

1

Aerospace Engineer

Average Salary: $122,270

Aerospace engineers are often experts in fluid dynamics and mechanical and aerospace engineering processes. Their work revolves around designing, building, and testing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they also create propulsion systems and evaluate the aerodynamic performance of aircraft.

2

Software Engineer

Average Salary: $110,140

Software engineers apply their knowledge of computer systems and digital processes to design and create computer applications to solve real-world problems. They are also referred to as software developers and develop computer software and applications.

3

Process Engineer

Average Salary: $105,550

Process engineers are also known as chemical engineers, and they may work across industries like pharmaceuticals, food processing, and energy. They apply the principles of engineering mechanics, engineering design, and modeling and simulation in these sectors, and they mostly work in offices and laboratories.

4

Sales Engineer

Average Salary: $103,710

The main function of this role is selling technologically and scientifically advanced products to potential customers. Consequently, graduate students who want to work as sales engineers can work across several engineering fields. They must be innovative, technically sound, and have strong sales skills.

5

Mechanical Engineer

Average Salary: $95,300

As a mechanical engineer, you will work with teams of professionals to develop and build products. Depending on your specialty, you may apply materials science, structural mechanics, and advanced manufacturing techniques to design and implement various production processes.

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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.

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Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree FAQ

Can I apply for a doctoral degree program without a master’s degree?

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.

Can I work in the tech industry with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?

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.

What companies hire mechanical engineers with a master’s degree?

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.

What are the disadvantages of getting a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?

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.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Joshua Adegoke

About the author: Joshua is an expert in project management, copywriting, and ArchiCAD. His experience includes leadership roles and writing technical reports, and he is interested in pursuing UI design. Joshua is working on his Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

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