Why This Matters


    Mechanical engineering is a far-reaching field that offers many opportunities for specialization. Your master’s degree can prepare you to work in areas like thermodynamics, robotics, product design, and more.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 12,800 MORE OF YOU BY 2028

    Employment of mechanical engineers is expected to continue to grow at an average pace, with the highest job growth predicted in the automotive industry, due to the continued development of electric and hybrid cars.


    The average annual salary for mechanical engineering technicians, who only need an associate’s degree, is $56,250. Mechanical engineers with an advanced degree earn an average salary of $87,370 per year.

Our Research

We focused our research on evaluating the top master’s in mechanical engineering degrees. This list includes Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees. Both types of degrees give students in-depth training in advanced mechanical engineering skills.

We concentrated on programs that are delivered online to ensure maximum flexibility for working students. Many programs also have on-campus counterparts, and some give students the option to complete their degree with a combination of online and in-person classes.

The programs listed are all offered by regionally accredited schools, guaranteeing that they meet high standards of quality for post-secondary education. ABET also accredits many of these programs.

Each program was reviewed for flexibility, cost, outcomes, reputation, and faculty. We then calculated an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100 for each program. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 72 hours to write this article
  • 144 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 394 education programs we compared

The Top 38 Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Programs

Best Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Most mechanical engineering jobs only require a bachelor’s degree. However, earning a master’s degree can help you hone advanced skills or prepare you for management positions. It can also be used as a transitional degree for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but want to become a mechanical engineer.

Mechanical engineers who want to move into leadership roles or run their own engineering firm must have a Professional Engineer (PE) license awarded by the licensing board in the state in which they work. One of the standard requirements for licensure is a degree from an ABET-accredited program. If you did not attend an ABET-accredited program for your undergraduate degree, obtaining your master’s from a program with this accreditation fulfills the requirement. Consult with your state’s licensing board for other requirements and procedures for obtaining professional licensure and to confirm that you are enrolling in a program that meets their educational standards.

If you are looking to advance your career into management roles, you may want to consider a degree that focuses on business and management skills, like a Master of Business Administration or a master’s in project management. While these programs won’t cover advanced mechanical engineering skills, they will help you develop leadership, communication, and entrepreneurial aptitudes.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering programs:

  • Are there in-person requirements for this program? While most programs deliver all coursework online, some may have in-person requirements for experiential learning, research, or special classes. It’s important to review a program’s curriculum carefully to learn about any in-person requirements they have and confirm that they will fit into your schedule and budget.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Because master’s programs tend to build upon knowledge and skills that students already possess, many programs require students to have an undergraduate degree or professional experience in the field. As you research programs, check their eligibility requirements to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications for admission.

Another key step in this process is reviewing application deadlines and gathering the required application materials. Every school has different deadlines and requirements, so review their websites or contact the admissions department to determine exactly what you need.

This is also the time to start thinking about financing your master’s degree. If you are currently working, find out if your job offers employee tuition benefits. You should also research and apply for any available scholarships, assistantships, loans, and grants.