5 Best Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in 2024

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: April 16, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

mechanical engineering students checking the gear design

Find your perfect college degree

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Mechanical Engineering has experienced an unprecedented surge in interest due to its vast avenues of exploration. This field of Engineering offers graduates lucrative career opportunities across a myriad of industries.

While a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering will help you jumpstart a career in the field, it often won’t suffice for career advancement. Given the rapid evolution of technology and industry demands, this is especially true if your bachelor’s degree was earned several years ago.

mechanical engineering student in action

In such a dynamic field, pursuing a master’s degree will be a strategic move to deepen your expertise, stay updated with the latest advancements, open doors to higher-level positions, and increase your earning potential.

Here’s an overview of the top Master’s in Mechanical Engineering degrees from the country’s top-rated schools:

SchoolOnline ProgramTuitionAcceptance RateStandout Program feature/s
Purdue UniversityMaster’s in Mechanical Engineering$833.33 per credit hour37%– Features various specializations 
– Allows up to 10 years of graduation time
Johns Hopkins UniversityMaster’s in Mechanical Engineering$64,700 total cost38%– Taught by executive-level instructors
– Offers unique specializations and electives
Georgia Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Mechanical Engineering$1,100 per credit hour21%– Features unique advanced courses
– Follows a selective admission process
Stanford UniversityMaster of Science in Mechanical Engineering$1,456 per unit19%– Offers a research-intensive curriculum
– Completed in a hybrid learning format
Pennsylvania State University – World CampusMaster of Science in Mechanical Engineering$1,132 per credit hour24%Requires students to write a paper for publication
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

5 Best Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Tuition$833.33 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

The online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University is one of the best programs offering various specialization options and featuring a flexible format. Online engineering graduate students access courses asynchronously and view lectures and materials weekly. 

Among the specializations you can choose from include:

Purdue is also lauded for its generous financial aid services for graduate students. The school’s financial officers provide online students with full guidance and support in finding the most suitable federal aid.

Online MSME completion time is 1 to 4 years, with up to 10 years. Inactive status requires reapplying after two consecutive semesters and at least one credit hour of registration.

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Tuition$64,700 total cost
Credit Hours30

Johns Hopkins University’s online Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, despite being slightly expensive, is one of the most applied programs. This is mainly due to its unique specialization offerings and the choice between a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering program. 

As an online student, you’ll have access to on-campus instructors with executive-level professional experiences within the field. Specializations available are: 

Each focus will have a set of electives from which you can choose from. This gives you more opportunity to customize your degree and align it with your professional goals. You can find a new specialization or build on your current one. 

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA 

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Tuition$1,100 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

Georgia Tech is notably one of the best schools for engineering degrees, with its online MS in Mechanical Engineering being a selective online program. The MSME’s core curriculum teaches students advanced analysis methods, innovative techniques, and research skills. 

The program aims to enhance students’ overall abilities for problem formulation, information synthesis, collaboration, and effective communication in complex problem domains. Among the advanced courses featured in the program include: 

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Online/Hybrid Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Tuition$1,456 per unit
Credit Hours45

Stanford University’s MS in Mechanical Engineering is one of the most demanding and selective ME programs, with 45 required credit hours and some on-campus courses. The curriculum prepares students for various industries focused on advancing Mechanical Engineering.

Moreover, it offers various specialized areas such as:

This program is research-intensive, so you must visit the campus to complete some face-to-face classes to prepare you for your research. 

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

University Park, PA

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Tuition$1,132 per credit hour
Credit Hours32

PSU-World Campus offers a 100% online MS in Mechanical Engineering program with flexible course selection and pacing. The curriculum offers courses anchored in the principles of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, particularly in the areas of thermal and mechanical sciences. It also covers various topics, from heat transfer and fluid mechanics to advanced materials and computational methods.

The online courses are flexible enough to accommodate individual requirements and academic standards, but they also promote cooperation, connections, and the acquisition of viewpoints from diverse disciplines. Additionally, the program necessitates writing a paper on a topic the student and their faculty adviser agreed upon for publication.

mechanical engineering student checking machinery

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering?

A master’s in Mechanical Engineering is an advanced program that explores the intricacies of the field through course-based (MEngr) or research-based (MS) learning. Whether you choose an MEngr or pursue an MS degree in Engineering, you will have the opportunity to delve extensively into one of the many specialties in the area. 

The average required credit hours for a master’s in Mechanical Engineering is 30, with some programs requiring up to 36 hours (mostly those that require a thesis). Full-time students can typically complete degree requirements in 24 months. On the other hand, part-time students often have up to 4 years to graduate. Some graduate schools offer an accelerated master’s program coursework, allowing students to graduate in as few as three semesters. 

Mechanical Engineering graduate programs offer diverse classes, allowing students to choose a specialization area. This opportunity enables students to personalize their learning experience based on their interests. However, chosen specializations are often not reflected on the diploma. 

Common Mechanical Engineering specializations include:

Although there are two types of master’s in Mechanical Engineering programs and many specialization options, there will be topics that will remain as core components in most programs. Here are some of the main topics that you typically master in a graduate-level Mechanical Engineering degree: 

What can you do with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering?

Thanks to the advanced abilities and increased in-depth knowledge gained through a master’s in Mechanical Engineering, you will have numerous career options available. Some example opportunities open to master’s holders include:

TitleJob DutiesAverage Annual Salary
Director of Data and Connectivity Innovation– Collaborate with cross-functional teams to leverage data and connectivity for innovation and business growth
– Oversee data system design and deployment to support business objectives
Lead Mechanical Principal Engineer– Lead a team of mechanical engineers
– Design and develop systems
– Conduct feasibility studies
– Mentor junior engineers for professional development
Manufacturing Engineer– Optimize manufacturing processes, design and implement fixtures
– Collaborate with design and production teams
– Conduct root cause analysis
– Support continuous improvement initiatives to enhance quality and productivity
Mechanical Design Engineer– Utilize CAD software to create detailed mechanical designs
– Conduct feasibility studies
– Analyze concepts
– Perform tolerance analysis
– Generate documentation for manufacturing and assembly
Mechanical Engineers for Biotech– Design mechanical systems for biotech application
– Ensure regulatory compliance
– Conduct risk assessments and validation testing for biotech mechanical designs
Structural Analysis Engineer– Perform structural analysis and simulation of mechanical components using FEA software
– Identify optimization areas
– Generate reports and recommendations

What does a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering prepare you for?

In addition to preparing students for higher-level roles, a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering will also prepare them for further educational opportunities, such as:

Certified Automation Professional

The Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification, administered by the International Society of Automation (ISA), validates industrial automation and control systems engineering expertise. CAPs are skilled in feasibility studies, defining customer requirements, system design, software development, deployment, and operation/maintenance of automation systems.

Certified Systems Engineering Professional

The certified systems engineering professional program acknowledges experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in various engineering disciplines, requiring them to perform tasks across various domains.

Certified Technology Manager

The certified technology manager program, focusing on technology, requires a multi-subject exam and ongoing annual payments. Maintaining CTM status requires annual payments and continuing education.

IAPMO Mechanical Plans Examiner Certification

IAPMO’s national personnel certification program assesses construction code knowledge for inspectors, plans examiners, and code administrators, promoting competency and professionalism across all occupations and technical disciplines.

Additional Resources:

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.