One of the biggest advantages of pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering does not come from having a higher level of income, but from increased opportunities in the field. It’s not that a master’s in mechanical engineering online is necessary to launch into the career field of mechanical engineering once a bachelor’s degree is completed, but rather that it can generate greater opportunities regarding innovative industries, coveted research scholarships, or leadership positions.

The objective of most of these programs is to show the theory, analysis, design, and practice of engineering that is usually described under the headings of mechanics, kinematics, and dynamics of machinery. It focuses on dimensional analysis and machine design. This program teaches you to be innovative and technically competent in mechanical design and troubleshooting. You will have so many more options to find a desirable career in this field.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Best Master’s Programs editors want working professionals and other nontraditional students to find the best online programs for their needs. That’s why BMP features only accredited institutions, ranked by practical factors including tuition rate, student satisfaction, and potential salary. Data is drawn from IPEDS and Niche.

1. Stanford University

Stanford University School of Engineering offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Mechanical Engineering that is recognized as one of the nation’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Students enrolled in Stanford University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program typically complete the 45 credit unit requirement in three to five years but must finish in five years. It is noted that some on-campus visits are required, depending on the student’s focus area and the academic classes offered during that semester.

Stanford University was founded as a junior college in 1891. Stanford’s 8,000+ suburban campus in central California is home to approximately 17,150 students served by more than 2,100 members of the academic staff. Stanford University’s alumni include a president of the United States, billionaires, Nobel laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and seventeen astronauts.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

2. Lehigh University

Lehigh University’s Rossin School of Engineering & Applied Science offers a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering that is considered among Pennsylvania’s University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. Lehigh’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program offers candidates four academic tracks – the interdisciplinary engineering track, the applied engineering track, the project track, or the thesis track. The master’s in mechanical engineering program from Lehigh University requires students to complete a minimum of 30 credit units to graduate.

Lehigh University was established as a private research school in 1865. Lehigh’s 2,000+ acre campus (with three contiguous campuses) is about an hour from downtown Philadelphia and about 90 minutes from the Big Apple, with nearly 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Lehigh University is recognized as one of the country’s best value schools and best colleges by several ranking authorities.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

3. Purdue University

Purdue University offers a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering that can be completed 100% online, with the same faculty on Purdue’s campus. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Purdue University’s graduate mechanical engineering program as the best online masters in mechanical engineering degree program in the country. Students enrolled in Purdue University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program must complete the 30 credit hours in one to four years – split among applied math, mechanical engineering classes, and technical electives like design, heat, sustainable energy, robotics, or solid mechanics, among others.

Purdue University was established by John Purdue, a businessman, in 1869. Purdue holds the distinction of being a land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant institution of higher education with a student enrollment that nears 44,000 students. Purdue University also has the 4th largest population of international students at all universities in the nation.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

4. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles’ Samueli School of Engineering offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Mechanical Engineering that is recognized as one of the country’s best online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs. UCLA’s online mechanical engineering degree is consistently recognized as one of the United States’ best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Most students enrolled in this degree continue to work full time as they complete the required 36 credit units to graduate.

The University of California, Los Angeles can trace its humble roots to a state-run teacher’s school in the mid 1880s. UCLA is the second oldest of all member schools within the state’s university system. UCLA is a space-grant higher learning institution with a student enrollment that nears 46,000 students. The University of California, Los Angeles is globally recognized as one of the public ivy leagues institutions of higher education in the U.S.

Degree: MS in Engineering – Mechanical

5. Missouri University of Science & Technology

Missouri University of Science & Technology offers an MS in Mechanical Engineering that is recognized as one of Missouri’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. Missouri University of Science & Technology’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program is customizable and offers a wide field of related tracks in manufacturing, aerospace, petroleum, communications, or food processing, among others. This 30 credit unit program from Missouri S & T can be completed with or without a thesis requirement.

Missouri University of Science & Technology was established in 1870 as a school of mines. The university’s rural campus in Rolla is home to more than 7,950 students, who most study business, engineering, math, and science. Missouri University of Science & Technology holds the distinction of being the first technological school located to the west of the great Mississippi River.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

6. University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Material Science and Engineering (MMSE) that is recognized as one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. The University of Virginia’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program requires degree candidates to complete 30 credit units; however, the student’s program must be approved by the graduate director of the MSE program.

The University of Virginia (Virginia) was established in 1819 by the U.S. Constitution’s author, Thomas Jefferson. The university’s Charlottesville campus covers more than 1,000 suburban acres and serves more than 24,950 students. The site for this quality higher learning institution was chosen at a meeting attended by James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Marshall, and another two dozen dignitaries.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science

7. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University offers one of the state’s best online master’s in mechanical engineering programs with its Master of Science in Materials Science/Engineering or its Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Both of North Carolina State University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs require the completion of 30 credits without a thesis. Note, applicants are not required for admission but are encouraged if available.

North Carolina State University was established as the result of the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1887. N.C. State is one of the member schools that make up the state’s university’s system and is also a sea-grant & space-grant higher learning institution. North Carolina State University serves more than 36,150 students and defines one of the three angles in the N.C. research triangle – with UNC Chapel Hill and Duke in Durham.

Degree: MS in Materials Science or Mechanical Engineering

8. Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University College of Engineering offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Mechanical Engineering (with a focus in engineering mechanics) that is recognized as one of Michigan’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. Students enrolled in Michigan Technological University’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program complete a research-intensive, rigorous academic program that can be finished in three semesters. The program offers students four curricular areas in energy, manufacturing/industry, design/dynamic systems, and solid mechanics.

Michigan Technological University is a research higher learning institution that was established in 1885. As a space-grant public higher learning institution, MTU is home to approximately 7,150 students. The school’s 500 + acre campus is situated on the Keweenaw peninsula and overlooks a waterway that leads to the nearby Lake Superior. Michigan Technological University holds the distinction of being the first post-secondary school situated on Michigan’s upper peninsula.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

9. University of Southern California

The Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC Online) offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Mechanical Engineering that is recognized as one of California’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. USC Online’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program offers three academic tracks to its degree candidates – mechanics and materials, thermal and fluid sciences, and engineering design. Students who graduate from USC’s mechanical engineering graduate degree program enter the workforce in the fields of robotics, biomedical design, transportation, refrigeration systems, automotive, or dynamics/control, to name a few.

The University of Southern California, recognized as the oldest of all private higher learning institutions dedicated to research, was established in 1880. The university’s main campus in L.A. serves approximately 48,150 students on a 300-acre urban campus. The tuition for the first term of students attending classes at the University of Southern California was $15.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an MS in Mechanical Engineering that is considered as one of New England’s best online mechanical engineering mastersdegree programs. All levels of the best online masters in mechanical engineering programs offered by Worcester Polytechnic Institute have received ABET accreditation. Classes for this graduate degree in mechanical engineering include applied analytical methods in engineering, renewable energy, biomedical robotics, and fiber optical sensors, to name a few. Additionally, this project-based graduate degree offers students special topics coursework from time to time-related to the degree.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) was established in 1865 in central Massachusetts. WPI’s suburban campus serves about 4,200 graduate and undergraduate students. Worcester Polytechnic Institute holds the distinction of being among the first of all technology/engineering institutions of higher education located in the nation.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

11. Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus offers an MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) that is considered among the nation’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Penn State World Campus’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program requires students to complete 32 graduate credit units to meet the mechanical engineering program’s requirements. The curriculum for P.S. World Campus’s graduate degree in mechanical engineering includes classes in heat transfer, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, and the principles of turbo-machinery, among others.

Penn State World Campus operates as the distance learning platform for the Pennsylvania State University – a world-class public school. P.S. World Campus’ virtual campus serves approximately 15,000 post and undergraduate students. Pennsylvania State University is considered a pioneer in distance education, having created the country’s first academic correspondence course in the 1890s.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

12. Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers one of Kansas’ best online masters in mechanical engineering programs with its Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. All classes for Kansas State University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program are offered online, with one visit required to the campus to complete a degree-completing oral exam. Classes for K State Online mechanical engineering degree include finite elements, thermodynamics of modern power cycles, intermediate dynamics, and thermal systems design, to name a few.

Kansas State University (K State) was established as a land-grant higher learning institution under the Morrill Land Act in 1863, during the American Civil War. KSU’s campuses are located in college-town Manhattan, Olathe, and Salina, with a student enrollment than nears 21,000 students. Kansas State University is recognized as the oldest of higher learning institutions in the state of Kansas.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

13. Villanova University

Villanova University’s College of Engineering offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Mechanical Engineering (M.E.) that is recognized among the best online masters in mechanical engineering programs in Pennsylvania and beyond. Villanova University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs offer several academic emphases in dynamics & controls, mechanics & materials, and thermal fluid systems. Research opportunities for Villanova’s degree candidates enrolled in the school’s graduate mechanical engineering program include swarm robotics, biomimetic materials, and novel nanomaterials, to name a few.

Villanova University was established as Augustinian College in 1842. Villanova University’s campus is about a dozen miles from Philadelphia and boasts more than 1,500 trees as it was once an arboretum. Villanova University holds the honor of being the oldest of all Catholic higher learning institutions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

14. University of Houston

The University of Houston offers a Master’s of Mechanical Engineering (MME) that is considered among the best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs in Texas. The University of Houston’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs requires students to complete 30 graduate credit units to meet the master’s program requirements. This non-thesis best online masters in mechanical engineering program from the University of Houston offers a broad swarth of topics related to mechanical engineering in business, law, and science. ABET accredits these graduate degree programs offered by the University of Houston.

The University of Houston (U Houston) is a public university that was established in 1927 as a junior college to train teachers during evening programs. The university’s campus is the third-largest in the Lone Star State, with more than 46,050 students attending classes. The University of Houston offers nearly 300-degree programs from its fourteen colleges/schools. The University of Houston is often ranked atop of many college rankings, including social mobility by PayScale.

Degree: MME

15. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University’s Whiteacre College of Engineering offers a Master of Engineering degree that is ranked among one of the state of Texas’ best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Texas Tech University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program requires degree candidates to complete 36 credit units of graduate coursework (without a thesis requirement) to meet the program’s criteria. This graduate degree in mechanical engineering offers a standard track and healthcare engineering track to each student.

Texas Tech University was established as a public college in 1923. Texas Tech University’s urban campus in Lubbock serves approximately 40,150 students vying for more than 135 academic degrees provided by Texas Tech’s thirteen schools/colleges. Texas Tech University is recognized as the 7th largest of higher learning institutions in the Lone Star State and the largest in the western Texas area.

Degree: Master of Engineering

16. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina offers two of the state’s best online mechanical engineering master’s degree programs with its Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical (MEng) or its Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Mechanical Engineering (M.E.). These best online masters in mechanical engineering programs from the University of South Carolina include four fundamental engineering requirements -thermodynamics/heat transfer, continuum mechanics, mechanics of materials/intermediate dynamics, or finite element analysis.

The University of South Carolina (USC) is currently the state’s flagship higher learning institution that was founded in 1801. The University of South Carolina operates as a sea-grant school that serves approximately 52,550 students from its multiple campuses across South Carolina. The University of South Carolina holds the distinction of being the largest of all institutions of higher education in the state.

Degree: MEng or MS in Mechanical Engineering

17. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama offers an MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) that is among Alabama’s best online mechanical engineering mastersdegree programs. Students enrolled in the University of Alabama’s best online masters in mechanical engineeringprogram can complete the 30 required graduate credit units entirely online. Students have the option of customizing the program to meet their career aspirations in the many fields that include acoustics, combustion, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, robotics, HVAC, or sustainable manufacturing, among many others.

The University of Alabama (‘Bama) was established in 1820 and is Alabama’s flagship campus. The school’s small-city campus in Tuscaloosa is home to approximately 38,150 students. The University of Alabama holds the distinction of being the largest/oldest of all higher learning schools located in the state of Alabama.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

18. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers an MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) that is considered among Arizona’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Arizona Online’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program can be completed 100% online and is designed for working learners and professional engineers. Students enrolled in the University of Arizona’s graduate mechanical engineering degree can customize their degree in design & optimization or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Additionally, students can finish the degree with a thesis, non-thesis, or master’s report option.

The University of Arizona is a state school that was established under the Morrill Land Act in 1885 before Arizona reached statehood. The university’s 300+ acre urban campus in Tucson is home to approximately 46,150 students. In addition to being a land-grant school, the University of Arizona is also the flagship school and space-grant higher learning institution.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

19. Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree that is considered as one of the country’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report. Degree candidates enrolled in Colorado State University’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program can opt for advanced training in materials engineering in the areas of mechanical design, manufacturing, advanced composite materials, and metals/alloys. This graduate degree from Colorado State University is also available on the Fort Collins campus.

Colorado State University was established as an agricultural college in 1870 under the Land Grant Act when Colorado was still a territory. The university’s Fort Collins (and other) campuses are home to approximately 28,550 students, with another 5,000+ students attending classes online. Colorado State University, through its eight colleges/schools offer more than 140 academic degree and programs of study.

Degree: MEng in Mechanical Engineering

20. University of California, Riverside

The University of California, Riverside’s Bourns Engineering College offers a Master of Engineering degree (MEng) that is ranked among California’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. UCR’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree program offers degree candidates six academic concentrations from which to choose – data science, bioengineering, environmental engineering systems, materials at the nanoscale, electrical engineering/power systems, and mechanical engineering. Students can complete some of these concentrations at the graduate level in only fourteen months.

The University of California, located in Riverside, was established as a Land-grant school in 1907. U.C. Riverside’s dual campuses are home to more than 25,450 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of California, which is also a space-grant school and a recognized military-friendly higher learning institution, is ranked consistently among the top public schools in the nation.

Degree: Mechanical

21. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota’s Mechanical Engineering Department offers two of North Dakota’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs with either a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.) or its Master of Engineering degree (MEng). Each of these best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs can be completed with a thesis (for 30 graduate credit units) or a non-thesis option (for 32 graduate credit units). The average completion time for these masters mechanical engineering degree programs is approximately 24 months. The MS in engineering degree program is the more popular of the two degrees offered by the University of North Dakota.

The University of North Dakota (North Dakota) is the flagship campus for the state of North Dakota. Established in 1883 and operating as a space-grant university, UND serves more than 13,250 students online and from its urban campus in Grand forks. The University of North Dakota holds the distinction of being the first school to offer a degree program dedicated to unmanned aircraft systems.

Degree: MEng in Mechanical Engineering

22. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers a Master in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering that is recognized as one of Ohio’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. Students enrolled in the University of Cincinnati’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program must finish 30 credit units, including one culminating capstone project. Classes for U.C.’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs in mechanical engineering include intro to artificial intelligence, intro to robotics, intelligent systems theory, and design for additive manufacturing, to name a few.

The University of Cincinnati was founded as a public college in 1819. The school operates multiple campuses in the Cincinnati area that are home to more than 46,150 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Cincinnati holds the distinction of being the second-largest higher learning institutions in Ohio in terms of enrollment.

Degree: MEng in Mechanical Engineering

23. Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Engineering offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering that is recognized as one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Each of these best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs from VCU offers a thesis option, with directed research, or a non-thesis option, which offers more options in technical classes and credits.

Virginia Commonwealth University is a sea-grant higher learning institution that was established in 1838. VCU began as a satellite facility for the Hampden Sydney College but became an independent institution in 1854. The school’s campus in Richmond is home to nearly 30,000 students. Virginia Commonwealth University offers more than 200 degree programs from the university’s 14 colleges/schools.

Degree: MS in Mechanical Engineering

24. University of Wisconsin-Stout

The University of Wisconsin-Stout offers an MS in Manufacturing Engineering that is recognized as one of Wisconsin’s best online masters in mechanical engineering programs. Students enrolled in UW Stout’s best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs can select from three tracks – a thesis track, a field project track, or a non-thesis (only coursework) track. Graduates from this UW Stout graduate degree in mechanical engineering program are eligible and qualified to receive a 6 Sigma Black Belt certificate. UW Stout holds the distinction of being the first school in the state to be certified in distance education learning.

The University of Wisconsin—Stout was established as a state university in 1891. The university’s rural campus in Menomonie is home to approximately 8,150 undergraduate or graduate students. The University of Wisconsin, at Stout, is named to honor a state senator from Wisconsin and a training school founder.

Degree: MS in Manufacturing Engineering

25. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University’s offers a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering Design/Manufacturing engineering that is ranked among the southern United States’ best online mechanical engineering masters degree programs. Degree candidates enrolled in ODU’s best online masters in mechanical engineering program must complete 30 graduate credit units in classes like mechanics of fluids, thermodynamics, mechanical engineering design, modern control theory, concurrent engineering, computational methods in mechanical engineering, and ordinary differential equations, to name a few.

Old Dominion University was established as a divisional satellite facility for the College of William and Mary in 1930. The university is also a space-grant and a sea-grant institution of higher education that serves more than 24,950 undergraduate and graduate students. Old Dominion University’s distance learning platform offers some of the most comprehensive numbers of degree programs in the nation.

Degree: Mechanical Engineering

How Do I Choose an Online Mechanical Engineering Program?

An accredited online mechanical engineering degree may be a combination of two branches of engineering: mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. This means that the most important aspects of both engineering are incorporated into the same program. That is why this career focuses on automation and the development of specialized machines.

One of the objectives of this career, after you graduate with an accredited online mechanical engineering degree and you start working in the field, is to innovate and improve mechanical and electrical devices for the benefit of a company or industry. Mechanical engineers work to optimize the operation of the productive systems of companies and organizations dedicated to production and research.

It is a career that combines two engineering degrees, which allows you to deepen your knowledge in more areas, in addition to being better prepared for the labor field. The field is very broad and typically very well paid. In general, a master’s in engineering makes graduates more employable in many sectors, since the graduates have knowledge not only of their speciality, but also of economics and administration. Accredited online mechanical engineering degrees accept students with backgrounds in other engineering disciplines, as well as math, science, and physics. This type of program allows the student to expand their skill set, which can increase opportunities with employers.

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering?

The master’s in mechanical engineering salary is going to depend on where you work and the experience you have; whether it is from the public or private sector. It will also depend on the area in which you decide to grow and develop yourself. For example, an experienced mechanical engineer in managerial positions can earn between $111,000 and $138,000 per year. Don’t rule out looking for work outside of the United States where mechanical engineers are in high demand.

When you become a mechanical engineer and you have completed your master’s degree in the field, like 75% of other employees with the same degree, you can expect to earn a starting salary in excess of $82,900. 25% of mechanical engineers accepting entry level jobs can stand to start earning $59,600

As with any career, mechanical engineer masters degree salary vary by location. Mechanical engineers in the Pacific Southwest earn some of the highest salaries, averaging more than $104,00 per year. Those working in the south-central region earn roughly $ 101,000, while mechanical engineers from the Mid-Atlantic States earn about $ 95,000 per year. The lowest wages reported were in the Upper Mountain states where the median wage was a little less than $81,000 per year. The most lucrative mechanical engineering positions can be found in the industrial and commercial machinery sector, in software or in design in the oil and gas industry.

What are Some Other Master’s of Engineering Degrees I Can Learn Online?

Electrical Engineer: An electrical engineer mostly works on applying electric power within certain products. Electrical engineers conduct the role of producing, designing, and testing systems that power products, such as electric motors, consumer electronics, navigation systems, and a variety of communications.
Biomedical Engineer: This is one of the master in mechanical engineering jobs that focuses on healthcare-related goods, such as healthcare software, IT infrastructure, and medical equipment and devices. This is best suited for those who have an interest in the healthcare industry or backgrounds in life sciences.

Chemical Engineer: A chemical engineer is involved with chemicals and works in industrial environments, including refineries or plants, where they apply their expertise and offer assistance where it’s needed. Chemicals play an important role in pharmaceuticals, the production of foods, household products, and fuel. Some of the tasks include testing, safety evaluations, and research to aid in improving the manufacturing process and chemical production.

Software Engineer: A software engineer is a profession that’s in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 24 percent growth in positions related to software development. This profession involves collecting and analyzing data for certain purposes, including improving software development and gaining a deeper understanding of trends within a business. There are many master of engineering jobs and opportunities in this field.

Environmental Engineer: An environmental engineer has the duty of dealing with environmental issues that affect the land, water, and air. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth of 8 percent until 2026.

Related Rankings:

25 Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs

25 Best Online Master’s in Civil Engineering

25 Best Online Master’s in Construction Management

Top 25 Master’s in UX and Interaction Design

Top 25 Best AI, Robotics, and Machine Learning Master’s