The Cheapest Online Mechanical Engineering Degree in the United States

An online mechanical engineering degree is an affordable and flexible way to advance your career while continuing to work. Follow along! Since the evolution of distance education, there has been a call to make an online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree available to professionals already in the field.

Because the field continues to grow and evolve, bringing new advancements in technology to the forefront, there has been a concerted effort on the part of employers to search for candidates who hold a graduate degree in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineers are interested in a graduate degree. However, some cannot justify leaving their careers to attend a traditional program.

Methodology

This ranking was made possible by the research that was conducted using the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database. An initial group of 30 schools was identified simply by searching for “accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering” degrees. From there, each school was reviewed and compared on factors such as tuition cost and degree completion timelines. The final 25 schools, which are listed below, were chosen based on the total estimated in-state graduate tuition cost for the program.

25. Stevens Institute of Technology

Website

Tuition: $44,950

Stevens Institute of Technology is home to an excellent accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that focuses on techniques that will help professionals succeed in the field. This program is offered online and comes with the option to complete a one-year online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering when students meet the requirements. This program comes with seven different concentrations, including Medical Devices, Robotics and Control, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, and Product Design.

Students will complete all of their coursework online through the school’s learning management system; most courses are held as live sessions and are offered during the evenings to accommodate working adults. This program has a variety of sessions lengths, ranging from eight weeks to 16 weeks. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer, Manufacturing and Packaging of Pharmaceutical Oral Solid Dosage Products, and Advanced Mechanics of Solids. This field can lead you in several directions such as electrical engineering, software engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, engineering technology management, electrical engineering technology, computer engineering, civil engineering, and much more.

24. Johns Hopkins University

johns-hopkins-university

Website

Tuition: $42,500

Students at Johns Hopkins University will be able to graduate with an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree in two years or less. This is a wholly online course of study that has four concentrations: Manufacturing, Robotics and Controls, Thermofluids, and Solids and Mechanics of Materials.

This program is delivered asynchronously and synchronously through the school’s virtual portal and requires that students complete all their coursework through the platform and in 16-week sessions. Students who take three courses every term will graduate in two years. This degree requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Topics in Data Analysis, Intermediate Vibrations, and Theory and Applications of Structural Analysis.This field can lead you in several directions such as electrical engineering, software engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, engineering technology management, electrical engineering technology, computer engineering, civil engineering, and much more.

23. Villanova University

CHEAPEST ONLINE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DEGREE

Website

Tuition: $42,500

Villanova University is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that will prepare professionals to take on careers with the military and major aircraft and military contractors. The program comes with the ability for students to earn a graduate certificate in five areas, including Thermofluid Systems, Modeling and Simulation, and Machinery Dynamics. This degree was built to be taken entirely online; it is possible to graduate within two years when students choose to study full-time.

Students will complete all of their coursework online through the school’s learning management system; courses are offered live or on-demand and follow the traditional 16-week academic term schedule. Students who take three courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or master’s project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Dynamics of Rotating Machinery, Continuum Mechanics, and Operations Research. This field can lead you in several directions such as electrical engineering, software engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, engineering technology management, computer engineering, and much more.

22. Missouri University of Science and Technology

Website

Tuition: $36,000

Students at Missouri University of Science and Technology will find that the accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that is available to them will provide them with an excellent education that takes only two years to complete. This program is offered online; there are no residency requirements. Students will complete all of their coursework as live sessions that are attended during the evening to be convenient for working students.

This program follows the standard 16-week academic term format, meaning that students who complete three courses every term will be eligible to complete the degree in two years. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or additional coursework, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Students interested in learning more about the program and its course offerings are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor. This field can lead you in several directions such as electrical engineering, software engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, engineering technology management, computer engineering, and much more.

21. Penn State World Campus

Website

Tuition: $35,200

Penn State World Campus is an exceptional distance education destination, a tradition that continues with the school’s accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree offering. This program is offered online and will prepare students to take jobs in a variety of sectors. The degree was built to be completed in two years; part-time students who take summer courses will graduate in this timeframe.

Students will complete all of their coursework online. Live courses are delivered through the school’s online learning management system. Sessions are held in 16-week sessions and all assignments are delivered through the platform. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 32 credit hours of coursework, two colloquiums, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Finite Elements in Engineering, Engineering Optimization, and Automatic Control Systems, electrical engineering, and engineering technology

20. The University of Illinois

Website

Tuition: $34,688

The one-year online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering that is available from the University of Illinois is one of the best choices for professionals in the field. This degree will prepare students for the workforce as well as doctoral study. The program is open to part-time and full-time students and can be completed wholly online with no campus residency requirements. Courses are offered in eight-week sessions, making it possible for a student who takes two courses every term to graduate in two years.

As a coursework-online degree, students will be required to complete 32 credit hours of coursework, professional development seminars, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Students interested in learning more about the program, and engineering technology and who want to view a list of course offerings are strongly encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor.

19. Georgia Tech University

Website

Tuition: $34,605

Georgia Tech University is home to an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that is perfect for working professionals who have an undergraduate degree in the field. This program can be found entirely online and has no residency requirements. Students will instead complete all of their coursework requirements online through the school’s learning management system.

Engineering degrees on the platform are offered asynchronously or synchronously and in sessions that run in 16 weeks. Students who complete three courses every term will graduate in two years. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project or thesis, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Flight Dynamics, Wind Engineering, electrical engineering, engineering technology, and Optimal Estimation.

18. Michigan Technological University

Website

Tuition: $34,290

The accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree at Michigan Tech University was designed to be completed by in-service professionals who are interested in applied mechanical engineering. This degree is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The program is delivered entirely online with no residency requirements; courses are offered as live or on-demand sessions that take 16 weeks to complete.

Students who take three courses every term will graduate within two years. The industrial engineering technology program has three options for the culminating experience: Thesis, Report, or Coursework Only. All three options require a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Students who are interested in learning more about engineering technology, and the program and its course offerings are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor.

17. Purdue University

Website

Tuition: $34,170

Purdue University confers an affordable online Engineering degree that is currently nationally ranked as one of the top 10 best affordable online engineering degrees by U.S. News and World Report. This degree is offered 100 percent online, has no residency requirements, and comes with a thesis or coursework-only option for the culminating experience. Students will find all of their coursework online through the school’s learning management system.

The Online courses are in 16-week sessions. Students who complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, electrical engineering, engineering technology, and Design and Computer-Aided Design.

16. The University of California at Riverside

Website

Tuition: $29,988

Students at the University of California at Riverside can graduate with an accelerated Master’s in Mechanical online Engineering degree in just 13 months. This program is offered 100 percent online with no residency requirements. There are six specializations available with this degree, including Electronics, Transportation Equipment, and Computers. All courses are available asynchronously or synchronously through the school’s virtual portal.

The Industrial engineering technology program follows the traditional 16-week academic term format, meaning that students who complete three courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree requires students to complete 30 credit hours, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Secure and Reliable Control Systems, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments.

15. Colorado State University

Website

Tuition: $28,080

Colorado State University offers students the chance to earn an accelerated Master’s in Mechanical online Engineering degree that has a specialization in materials engineering. This program is offered to students entirely online with no residency requirements. Students will be able to graduate from this program in two years or less when they decide to study full-time. The Online courses are in 16-week sessions.

This program requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Simulation Modeling and Experimentation, engineering technology, Applied Engineering Economy, and Advanced Composite Materials.

14. Iowa State University

Website

Tuition: $24,510

The accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree from Iowa State University was created for in-service professionals who need access to an entirely online course of study that could be completed in just two years. This program has no residency requirements; all courses are delivered online through the school’s virtual portal.

The Online courses are in 16-week sessions. So, students who take three courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree is a coursework-only option that requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Students interested in learning more about this program are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor.

13. The University of Cincinnati

Website

Tuition: $22,830

The University of Cincinnati is home to a practical, non-research program that results in an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree. This program was built to be completed by in-service professionals and is presented as a wholly online course of study that has no residency requirements. Students will instead complete all of their coursework online through the school’s learning management system.

Engineering degrees are offered asynchronously or synchronously and in seven-week terms. Students who study full-time may graduate with a 12-month accelerated online Master in Mechanical Engineering. This degree requires that all students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, the Master of Engineering Capstone Project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Occupational Safety Engineering, engineering technology, electrical engineering, Intelligent Systems Theory, and Applied Leadership for Project Teams.

12. The University of Washington

Website

Tuition: $22,470

Students enrolled at the University of Washington are offered the chance to complete an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that can be completed in two years or less. This program can be taken as a part-time or full-time plan of study and does not require any residencies for graduation. Students will take all of their courses online instead; this is done through the school’s virtual portal and consists of live and on-demand courses that are held in 16-week sessions.

Requirements for this online engineering degree include 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Finite Element Methods in Structural Mechanics, Applied Linear Algebra and Introductory Numerical Analysis, and Convex Optimization.

11. Texas A&M University

Website

Tuition: $17,280

Texas A&M University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that can be completed in two years or less. This is a thesis-only course of study that is offered 100 percent online with no residency requirements. This program was designed for in-service professionals and features asynchronous and synchronous courses in 16-week sessions that are delivered through the school’s online learning management system.

Students who successfully complete three courses every term will graduate within two years. This online engineering degree requires a minimum of 32 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and an oral defense of that thesis. Sample courses include Intermediate Heat Transfer, engineering technology, Control System Design, electrical engineering, and Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics.

10. Texas Tech University

Website

Tuition: $16,311

Students at Texas Tech University will be pleased to find that their affordable online Engineering degree is unique in a variety of ways. This online program has no residency requirements, meaning that students complete all of their coursework online through the school’s virtual portal. This includes labs, which are designed as simulated labs and are also available through the portal. All other courses, including lectures, are available as either asynchronous or synchronous courses that are delivered in the standard 16-week academic term schedule.

This online engineering degree requires that students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, a report or capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Computational Mechanics, engineering technology, electrical engineering, Advanced Engineering Design, and Digital Human Modeling.

9. Old Dominion University

Website

Tuition: $15,690

Old Dominion University is home to a great affordable online Engineering degree that will be of great service to in-service professionals who are looking for a two-year degree. This program has a stated focus in PLM, or Product Lifecycle Management, solutions. This is an online-only exclusive program that can only be completed by engaging in coursework that is available through the school’s learning management system.

Courses are offered asynchronously or synchronously and hold to 16-week terms. Students who take three courses every term will graduate in two years or less. This online engineering degree requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and an oral defense of that thesis. Students who are interested in learning more about this program and its course offerings are encouraged to speak to a graduate admissions advisor.

8. The University of Idaho

Website

Tuition: $15,587

Students will find the accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that is available from the University of Idaho to be a great choice for a two-year degree. This is a non-thesis course of study that is available fully online and without residency requirements. Students who have experience in the field will benefit the most from this degree. All courses for the program are available as live or on-demand sessions through the school’s virtual portal.

Engineering degrees run in 16-week academic term format, meaning that students who take two courses every term, including one summer term, will graduate in two years. This online engineering degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Mechanical Engineering Thermodynamics, engineering technology, electrical engineering, Engineering Acoustics, and Advanced Mechanics of Materials.

7. North Carolina State University

Website

Tuition: $15,107

North Carolina State University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree to students who already have an undergraduate degree in the field. This program was designed to be completed entirely online; there are no residency requirements. Students will find that all courses are identical to those taught on campus; the only difference is that online students will complete their program online through the use of the school’s learning management system.

Engineering degrees are offered as live or on-demand sessions and run in 16-week terms. Students who take three courses every term will graduate within two years. This program requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework; there are no culminating experience or exam requirements. Students are encouraged to have a bachelor’s degree and to speak with an admissions advisor to learn more about the program and course offerings.

6. The University of Florida

Website

Tuition: $15,041

Students at the University of Florida are offered the chance to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in two years or less. This engineering technology degree is delivered entirely online with no residency requirements. Students who study full-time will graduate within two years, provided they take summer courses during their first year.

This online engineering degree programs all of its coursework online through live and on-demand sessions through the school’s virtual portal. Sessions last for 16 weeks and follow the traditional academic schedule, and reguires a bachelor’s degree. Sample courses include Analytical Dynamics, Robot Geometry, engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and Control System Theory.

5. The University of Houston

Website

Tuition: $14,550

The University of Houston confers an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that can be completed in two years or less. This program was designed for in-service professionals and features online coursework to ensure that the curriculum accommodates professionals. Students will find that there are no residency requirements. All courses are instead completed on the school’s online learning management system and are offered in live or on-demand sessions.

Courses run in 16-week sessions and it’s possible to complete this degree in two years or less when students study full-time. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam and reguires a bachelor’s degree. Students should contact the graduate admissions office to learn more about this degree and to view a list of sample course offerings.

4. Mississippi State University

Website

Tuition: $13,680

The affordable online Engineering degree that is available from Mississippi State University is offered to in-service professionals who are interested in completing a 100 percent online course of study. This degree comes with several concentrations, including Energy Systems, Solid Mechanics, and Mechanical Design. The coursework for this engineering technology degree is available 100 percent online through the school’s virtual portal.

Sessions are asynchronous or synchronous and follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. All students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a seminar or thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. A list of sample course offerings such as electrical engineering and engineering technology can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

3. New Mexico Tech University

Website

Tuition: $13,430

New Mexico Tech University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree. This program has four areas of specialization: Explosives Engineering, Fluid and Thermal Sciences, Solid Mechanics, and Mechatronics Systems Engineering. All four specializations are found online and can be completed in two years or less.

This industrial engineering technology program is delivered wholly online through the use of live and on-demand courses that follow the standard 16-week academic term format. This program requires that all students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Finite Element Method, Theory of Elasticity, engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and Advanced Mechanics of Materials.

2. The University of Michigan at Dearborn

Website

Tuition: $11,310

Students at the University of Michigan at Dearborn are honored to complete the accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree in two years or less. This program is one of the oldest in the school and was recently revamped as a wholly online course of study. This degree was built for in-service professionals and utilizes the school’s virtual portal to dispense courses.

All engineering degrees are delivered either asynchronously or synchronously and in a 16-week academic term format. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and an oral defense of that thesis. Sample courses include Advanced Stress Analysis, Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, and Theory of Gearing and Applications.

1. The University of Central Florida

Website

Tuition: $11,310

The University of Central Florida offers students an accelerated online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degree that can be completed in two years or less. This program has two tracks: Mechanical Systems and Thermofluids. Both tracks can be completed online through the school’s learning management system. Courses are available asynchronously or synchronously and are designed to be completed in 16-week terms.

Students who take three courses every term will graduate within two years with strong project management skills. Mechanical engineering majors require that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Students interested in this degree are encouraged to speak to an admissions advisor about sample course offerings.

Can Professionals In The Field Also Get A Online Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Professionals in the field need to find programs that fit their needs, while they work in various engineering occupations. That means accessible programs that enable students to study anywhere, including at home or on the road. It also means programs that have a window to completion that is two years or less. And if these programs come with the option to become professionally certified or specialize in a cognate area, so much the better for these professionals.

What are the Career Options for an Online Mechanical Engineering Degree?

There are several engineering occupations for those interested in this degree. Engineering jobs for mechanical engineers with affordable online engineering degrees are available in many sectors. We have listed several choices below to consider.

  • Water Engineer
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Chemical Process Engineer
  • Senior Electrical Engineer
  • Control and Instrumentation Engineer
  • Mining Engineer
  • Senior Chemical Engineer
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Contracting Civil Engineer
  • Processing Engineering Manager
  • Technical Sales Engineer
  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Design Engineering
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Aeronautical Science
  • Industrial Technology
  • Materials Engineers
  • Quality Assurance
  • electrical engineers
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineers
  • electronics engineers
  • computer engineering
  • industrial engineering
  • systems engineering
  • mechanical engineers

How Much Can You Earn with an Online Mechanical Engineering Degree?

The starting salary for a mechanical engineer with an online degree is around $61,000. With experience and a master’s degree this number can go up to $100,000. Mechanical engineers are paid $85,000 to $120,000 a year. Some with and associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree may make less. This is dependent on whether they are working in the private or public sector and what industry they work in. Senior-level executives tend to make much more than practitioners, but with a projected growth rate of nine percent through 2026, there will be no shortage of jobs available.

What are the Various Disciplines of Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the oldest and broadest field of engineering. It is one in which students will learn about engineering, physics, mathematics, materials science, technology, and manufacturing. The field encompasses a variety of research areas as well, including biomechanics, composites, and finite element analysis, project management, systems engineering, chemical engineering.

Like other branches of engineering, mechanical engineering has its own disciplines. The most well-known are robotics, mechanics, and thermodynamics. However, other disciplines also exist, including Design and Drafting, Structural Analysis, and Thermo-Science. Students will generally pick one sub-discipline for the duration of their careers.

Is A Online Mechanical Engineering Degree Worth it?

Mechanical engineering remains one of the most important branches of engineering in society because it is the field in which things such as weapons, aircraft, and watercraft were designed and built. Since the Industrial Revolution, when mechanical engineering became a known field, it has informed much of America’s infrastructure.

Students in the field understand the necessity of earning an affordable online Engineering degree in the field. To Start with a bachelor’s degree then move up from there is smart. It is the only way to keep evolving the technology that is at the disposal of society. So, many colleges and universities now have online programs to meet the needs of today’s students.

Related: