Best Online Engineering Degrees 2020

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Choosing an Online Engineering Degree

Engineering is a thriving profession that is always in-demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts three percent growth over the next eight years with a median wage of $76,870.

There may not be a better time to consider an online engineering degree. Perhaps it’s time to make the jump.

There are many online options to choose from and selecting the right engineering program can be a complicated task.

Students can enjoy flexibility and challenging courses as they work toward finishing a degree. Learners achieve connectivity to their professors and peers through collaborative assignments and videos in project-based learning tools.

College Choice is here to help with an aggregated, easy-to-understand ranking of the best engineering degrees online. And if you’re interested in other online degree options, check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

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Top 10 Best Online Engineering Degrees

As forms of adaptive digital learning become prominent, the gap between on-campus and virtual classrooms is narrowing. It’s good to check a few important variables before signing on the dotted line.

When searching for an online degree, be sure you’re asking the right questions. Do you know the level of interaction you will receive from faculty, staff, and peers?

Understand the level of educational and technical support offered by the school, as well as what the faculty population offers in terms of digital learning platforms.

Not only do many online programs have practicum or residency components, but accredited online universities make student-to-student and student-to-instructor engagement a priority. Be sure you understand how this is accomplished.

Lastly, do you know the actual cost of taking online classes? When looking for online degree programs, be aware that the sticker price isn’t always accurate. Technology and resource fees for online platforms can quickly add up, be sure you get to the actual cost and budget accordingly.

Best Online Engineering Badge

What are the best online engineering degrees?

This ranking for the best online engineering schools is compiled from a variety of resources. Results are determined by three factors, accreditation, student reviews, and graduate success. Accreditation depends on student/faculty ratio, entrance exams, endowment, reputation, and graduation rate.

Student reviews come from a variety of online sources covering topics including campus, faculty relations, and course selection. Graduate success is based on financial cost, including aid, weighed against the average salary of graduates. Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, Payscale, individual college websites, and U.S. News and World Report.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Columbia University is one of the best universities in the country, consistently ranking high on the national and international level. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is commonly praised for its online engineering degree programs.

    Online presence

    Columbia offers over 20 engineering degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. This large selection of degrees have varying requirements, all sustaining the high standard of the school. Some of the most interesting degrees offered by Columbia include:

    • Earth and Environmental Engineering Doctorate Degree
    • Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering
    • Construction Engineering and Management
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    Notes

    Online Columbia degree that shows no distinction on whether the student earned their degree on-campus or remotely. The school’s lofty expectations for all guarantees that online students are more than capable of fulfilling roles as leaders in their chosen field.

  2. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Duke University is well known for offering online engineering educations. The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Working professionals compete for a place in the school’s Distributed Master of Engineering Management Program, an exciting twist on a traditional engineering education.

    Online presence

    The school utilizes a hybrid cohort model, a rare teaching model in the engineering world. Students begin and end their degrees with the same classmates they spend time with during the residencies, strengthening relationships with faculty and peers. Online programs require students to:

    • Attend three one-week residencies at Duke’s campus
    • Take part in leadership workshops
    • Connect with students and faculty
    • Learn more about the profession
    Notes

    Students engage in the core curriculum through discussion forums, study groups in Google Hangout, and group projects. The multi-platform approach is a fantastic way for students to feel as though they are part of the Duke family.

  3. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Cornell University knows the strong value of an online education particularly in the field of engineering. The school takes pride in providing students a Master of Engineering degree with over 15 different specialties. Those pursuing the program will learn not only about their chosen specialty but other factors affecting the industry.

    Online presence

    Cornell’s Master of Engineering is a 30-credit hour degree that is professional in nature. Students should expect to be held up to the same ambitious standards, perhaps rising above harder. This is quite a commitment, but the esteem that comes with a Cornell degree is irreplaceable. Specializations in the program include:

    • Materials Science and Engineering
    • Engineering Management
    • Biological
    • Environmental Engineering
    Notes

    Courses are taught both as asynchronous and synchronous courses involving virtual labs, group projects, and frequently a thesis or research project requirement.

  4. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Georgia Institute of Technology offers a variety of engineering degree programs through its Department of Professional Education. This online suite of engineering degrees was created specifically for students already working in the professional field in need of a flexible way to continue education. This university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Online presence

    Georgia Tech consistently ranks in the top ten of the U.S. News and World Reports of online graduate engineering school. It gives students the choice of when, how, and where they study by providing classroom materials online and in a school-specific smartphone app.

    • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
    • Master of Science in Operations Research
    • Master of Science in Medical Physics
    Notes

    Internationally unique degrees such as Professional Masters in Applied Systems Engineering and the Professional Masters make this an extraordinary place to start for almost any student.

  5. University of Virginia-Main Campus
    Location

    Charlottsville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Catering remote learners for over 30-years, the University of Virginia is a leader in online engineering education. The school consistently ranks in the top five of graduate engineering programs year-to-year. This university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Online presence

    Students can complete 30-credit hour degrees can be finished in 18 months given enough flexibility. All courses are downloadable, making classes available anytime. The professional degree for engineers, A Master of Engineering, available in six areas:

    • Chemical Engineering
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Systems Engineering
    • Materials Science and Engineering
    • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Notes

    Students can even take online classes at other UV institutions to complete the requirements. Ongoing tech support and online-only student services desk are standard, leaving no question or concern unanswered.

  6. Ohio State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    One of the rarest types of graduate engineering degrees to be found online OSU’s Master of Science in Welding Engineering. One of five schools in the entire nation to hold this degree, Ohio State is one of the first places working professionals in this field turn to for an online education. This university is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Online presence

    Master of Science in Welding Engineering program is for working professionals who wish to learn more about welding engineering or who need extra training. The school currently offers one online program but has plans to launch more innovative programs this year. The program requires 36 credit hours, virtual labs, and a research project for completion. Ohio State online offers the following:

    • Master of Science in Welding Engineering
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Hundreds of engineering courses are available online
    • Elective and non-credit options
    Notes

    Online engineering students receive in-state online tuition rate, making it one of the most affordable degrees on this list. Asynchronous courses and proctored exams make the degree possible within in as little as 18 months with part-time study.

  7. University of California-Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California at Los Angeles has ranked in the top three of U.S. News and World Report online engineering programs for the last three years. This school offers M.S. degrees in a variety of engineering fields. It is the perfect fit for students who want an incredible education from a world-class institution at their fingertips. This school is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Online presence

    UCLA strives to give students every possible avenue through all types of technology available. 17 different degrees and international partnerships make this an ideal online engineering program. The school has created a smartphone and tablet app that will allow students to download lectures and activities right to their devices. Interesting programs include:

    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
    Notes

    Students find the high UCLA academic standard in all online courses that prepare them to become active and knowledgeable professions in their fields. Learners connect with other classmates and faculty members using Google Hangouts or Skype.

  8. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
    Location

    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo is one of only three programs in the nation to provide a graduate degree in fire protection. This selective degree is only available online to working professionals who are interested in specializing in the field. This school is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Online presence

    The Master of Engineering in Fire Protection Engineering is an exciting and new program growing in demand. As researchers find out more about fires and how engineering can help solve those issues surrounding fire prevention to protection. The school’s Master of Engineering in Fire Protection Engineering includes:

    • Synchronous degree plans
    • An intuitive platform perfect for learners of all backgrounds
    • Degree requirements are same for on-campus students
    Notes

    There is only one on-campus residency requirement that takes place at the end of their degree. Students are required to present their thesis after earning the 33 credit hours needed to apply for graduation.

  9. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    George Washington University is known for many things including one of the best places for students to get an engineering degree online. The school offers a Master of Science in Engineering Management and the Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Courses are available exclusively online with no on-campus residency requirements. This university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    Online presence

    This university takes pride in its online offerings, and for good reason. The school has trained experienced professionals and faculty in the art of online education, ensuring that each student is surrounded by people who understand the complexities of virtual learning. Degrees have their own specific requirements, but most students will find that each requires a minimum of:

    • 30 credit hours
    • Research project
    • 18 months of part-time study
    Notes

    Students can move quickly through the program to begin their new careers as soon as possible. In fact, many of the online instructors teach the same courses on-campus.

  10. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
    Location

    State College, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Pennsylvania State University’s online portal has a great reputation amongst remote learners. Penn State’s Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering is one of the most consistently ranked online engineering programs in the country. This university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school is home to three online programs that are professional in nature and designed to help working professionals in the field.

    Online presence

    Students to work together on projects, paralleling the real world. Each program is taught in the cohort model, allowing students to get to know one another and their instructors in an intimate way. It’s also This, along with A massive support services provided by the dedicated staff at World Campus puts Penn State on top of online engineering studies. The dynamics between management, leadership, economics, and engineering are taught in 36-credit hour degrees including:

    • Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering
    • Master of Science in Software Engineering
    • Master of Science in Engineering Management
    Notes

    Programs can be completed within 18 months; however, students have up to three years to fulfill the requirements. Courses are taught in accelerated seven-week terms, enabling them to go through material much faster and in a sequenced format.

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