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50 Best Online Master of Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

online masters mechanical engineeringWere you the kid who always took toys apart in order to see how they worked? Consider yourself enterprising and good with machines? Do you excel at fixing issues with existing processes and creating news ways of making things work more efficiently? If you answered affirmatively to these questions, chances are you would be a good mechanical engineer. Wondering how you could get that advanced degree while still working and taking care of all of your current commitments? Online! This article will help you find your online mechanical engineering program, because we have culled through the available information on current master’s programs to bring you details on the best online Master of Mechanical Engineering degrees. We discovered that this online degree is not only one of the 50 most popular online master’s degrees, but also a great financial investment (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mechanical Engineers make more per hour than others in similar professions). Additionally, most online programs boast the same rigorous curriculum and experienced faculty as the on-campus programs, just offered entirely online, making the convenience hard to beat.

A field for professionals who like to make things work, mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineering really begin to thrive during the Industrial Revolution when new manufacturing practices were being developed on a larger scale than ever before. Now, mechanical engineers utilize principles of engineering, mathematics, science, and physics to scrutinize, plan, construct, and improve upon machinery and mechanical systems and structures. A very exciting field, mechanical engineering professionals can specialize in a multitude of research areas. Additionally, there is a great deal of diversity in potential employment, for there are many other fields in which mechanical engineering can intersect, such as aerospace or nuclear engineering, biomechanics, or nanotechnology.

We have examined many programs offered online, and by focusing on the history behind the degree, we have assurance that all of the programs listed in our ranking are reputable and from schools that have been perfecting both the content and the delivery for decades (and some for more than a century!). Many good programs are offered online, and you’ll see that we offer you a list of the best of the best. To find one that fits your needs, read on to discover the best online mechanical engineering graduate programs currently available!

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

In addition to the Master’s Programs Guide Core Methodology, this criteria helped develop this ranking:

  • Program history– the extent to which the subject matter or degree has been offered historically, determined by the founding of the school or college of engineering, the mechanical engineering department, the point in the university’s history that the ME program was established, or the year specific engineering classes were first offered

See Also: Aerospace Engineering Master’s Programs 

#1. Purdue University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Purdue Online College of Engineering offers both a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program and an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering (MSE/MS) with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering completely online. Both degrees are 30-credit hours and allow students to craft a Plan of Study with their advisor in order to customize the degree—and there are twelve research areas from which to choose for a great deal of flexibility and customization. The MSME and the MSE/MS degrees are housed within the School of Mechanical Engineering, which was founded in 1882 and the first of the engineering schools at Purdue. In addition to the experienced faculty, Mechanical Engineering students benefit from a dedicated Office for Industrial Experience. This Office provides a “connection to industry” for students, with career resources through a Center for Career Opportunities, project design help, and other services. Two Mechanical Engineering graduate certificates are also offered online: Noise Control or Applied Heat Transfer.

Admissions website

Purdue University is known as “Indiana’s Land-Grant University,” meaning that the school was founded in part with assistance from the federal Morrill Act of 1862. Another component that aided the establishment of this public research university was the support of John Purdue and Tippecanoe County residents—they provided additional funds and land to serve as the campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. John Purdue was the major benefactor of the school and stipulated that it be named in his honor, thus the ground was broken for Purdue University in 1871. Three years later the first classes were held with 39 students in attendance. Now over 40,000 students are enrolled in more than 250 academic degree programs that are offered through Purdue’s ten colleges and online. The original campus in West Lafayette is the flagship of the Purdue University System, and this institution of higher education also has designation as a sea- and space-grant university. Regional accreditation is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2. University of Southern California

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is provided entirely online through the online delivery method DEN@Viterbi. Requiring a minimum of 27-credit hours and offering a thesis or non-thesis option, as well as several concentration tracks (Thermal and Fluid Sciences, Engineering Design, and Mechanics and Materials), the MSME program dates back to the earliest days of engineering classes first held at USC in 1905. Award-winning faculty head up the MSME program’s coursework, and provide additional mechanical engineering degrees online as well—such as the MS in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics). Distance education has been provided by USC Viterbi for nearly half a century, and the attention to online students’ needs are reflected int the comprehensive “student services and IT services in wide ranging areas of advisement, homework and exams, technical support, and more.”

Admissions website

A local judge in Southern California in the late 1800s advocated for an institution of higher education, which would become the University of Southern California (USC). Judge Robert Maclay Widney also recruited the financial support of three businessmen who supplied acreage in Los Angeles for the school. USC was officially established in 1880, and the doors opened to 53 students and ten instructors. Now this private research university enjoys an enrollment of over 45,000 students—it is the oldest university in the state of California. The seventeen colleges of USC provide more than 200 academic degree programs, and the school has designation as both a sea-grant and a space-grant institution. A member of the elite Association of American Universities, USC’s motto—“let whoever earns the palm bear it”—speaks to the triumphant nature of the school and its students. USC has regional accreditation provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#3. Stanford University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Stanford’s comprehensive, part-time Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree is provided online program through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. The 45-unit degree is housed within Stanford’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, the roots of which were present when the first three mechanical engineering professors came on board when Stanford was founded in 1891. The faculty today is comprised of respected and knowledgeable professionals, and students choose from a specific research group or “depth” to construct their customized course of study. There are fourteen pre-approved depth areas from which students can choose, ranging from Automatic Controls to Fluid Mechanics to Dynamics to Robotics and Kinematics, just to name a few. The degree can be completed in about three years and some on-campus requirements must be met. A dedicated Mechanical Engineering Student Services Office provides support, and many complimentary webinars, course previews, and archived lectures are provided to prospective students.

Admissions website

Leland Stanford Junior University—more commonly known as Stanford University—was established as a tribute to a child lost to typhoid fever in 1884. Wealthy California senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, lost their only child just before his sixteenth birthday. They determined to build something positive and beneficial out of their grief, and so developed the school with their fortune and livestock farm of over 8,000 acres, in what is now Stanford, California. The school opened in 1891 with more than 550 students. Due to the growth of technological entrepreneurialism in the area that was fostered and advanced by Stanford faculty and graduates, Silicon Valley was developed and the school has become one of the top universities in the nation. A private research university, Stanford now serves more than 16,000 students with over 65 undergraduate majors and nearly 100 graduate programs in the seven academic schools and colleges, and regional accreditation comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Through the College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Engineering Online provides both a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (M.Eng.ME) degree and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree completely online. Housed with the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (now known as MechSE but first referenced at the school in 1870), both degrees have coursework taught by esteemed faculty members “who are all active in research and publish in high-impact journals.” The two degrees match their on-campus counterparts in terms of rigorous coursework and student expectations. The M.Eng.ME is a non-thesis, coursework-based degree requiring 32-credit hours and can be completed in just two semesters on a full-time basis. The 32-credit hour MSME program offers both a thesis and a non-thesis option, and students generally complete the degree in eighteen months to two years. Regardless of the program chosen, all online MechSE students have access to dedicated engineering student resources.

Admissions website

One of the first schools to be established in response to the passage of the Morrill Act of 1862, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (University of Illinois or UIUC) was founded in 1867 as the Illinois Industrial University. Located in the twin Illinois cities of Champaign and Urbana, the institution welcomed 77 students to the first classes in 1868. A tension between the first president, John Milton (who wanted a liberal arts institution) and other school leaders, (who desired an industrial arts and agricultural approach), led to Milton resigning in 1880. His influence remains, however, as the school has strong liberal arts leanings in addition to being a research university. The flagship campus in the University of Illinois System, UIUC has over 45,000 students enrolled in more than 250 academic degree programs in the sixteen schools and colleges. A public land-, sea-, and space-grant school, the Higher Learning Commission grants full regional accreditation.

#5. The Pennsylvania State University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) online degree program at Penn State is delivered entirely online through Penn State World Campus. The 32-credit hour program promotes a “collaborative” academic experience in which students “build strong ties with other students and gain perspectives from other disciplines and industries” for a comprehensive, advantageous degree. Students work with advisors to craft the degree to fit their needs and professional goals, and can choose from a wide selection of classes such as “Engineering Optimization,” “Principles of Turbomachinery,” and “Finite Elements in Engineering.” Student testimonials and praise dot the program website, and the program and faculty credentials speak for themselves. Mechanical engineering was one of the earliest offerings of Penn State (the first classes being offered in 1868), and Penn State has pioneered online education through the World Campus since 1998, so students have assurance that the discipline and the delivery of their education is teeming with quality.

Admissions website

Known most commonly as Penn State, the school officially named “The Pennsylvania State University” was originally established as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania in 1855. With a location in Centre County, Pennsylvania, the school was instrumental in the development of the Morrill Act of 1862. Evan Pugh, Penn State’s first president, advocated for the Morrill Act, also known as the Land-Grant Act, which enabled state schools to be developed with funds from the selling of federal lands. When the Act passed in 1862, Penn State became a land-grant university, and still remains the only one in the state of Pennsylvania (as well as also being a space-, sun-, and sea-grant school). The main campus in University Park is the flagship of the 24 campuses across the state and enrolls nearly 50,000 students. Penn State (as named since 1953) is a public research university with regional accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6. University of Virginia

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Program Details: Virginia Engineering Online (VEO) provides the Master of Engineering (ME) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree program from the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). It’s the same degree earned as in the on-campus program, and students enrolled in the online format offered through this first engineering school in the South (established as the School of Civil Engineering in 1836) are connected to a long history of “engineering excellence.” Additionally, UVA is part of the Online Graduate Engineering Consortium, allowing online students to take up to half of their 30-credit hours from five other excellent universities. The award-winning MAE faculty honors “a tradition of excellence and a pioneering spirit of entrepreneurship in both education and research” through the coursework offered in two tracks: Mechanics and Thermofluids. Students construct a plan of study with guidance from dedicated Virginia Engineering Online Student Academic Advisors and Graduate Coordinators.

Admissions website

Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as “a public university designed to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry,” the University of Virginia (UVA) held its first classes in 1825. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, the school very intentionally did not affiliate with any religious denomination at its inception and has remained nonsectarian. UVA is comprised of eleven academic schools and the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia, and is the first southern university elected to membership in the elite Association of American Universities. Classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having very high research activity, UVA is a public research institution with nearly 25,000 students enrolled in over 120 academic degree programs. The scenic and iconic campus covers almost 1,700 acres and is designated as a World Heritage site. Recognized for its secret societies and history, UVA is the flagship university of the state and has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#7. University of South Carolina

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The University of South Carolina (which was reestablished in 1880 as the South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts and offered engineering classes since the beginning) offers both a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Engineering (ME) in Mechanical Engineering degree entirely online (the ME degree provides a non-thesis option, and students in the MS program culminate the degree with a thesis). Both degree programs require 30-credit hours and are available in the College of Engineering and Computing Mechanical Engineering Department. Seven specialization areas are provided specifically in mechanical engineering, such as Thermo-fluids, Mechanics of Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation, and Nanotechnology. Typical coursework includes classes such as “Intro to Finite Elements Analysis in Mechanical Engineering” and “Advanced Mechanics of Materials,” and the curriculum is presented online by the research-focused and dedicated faculty. The department employees “forerunners” in the field, evidenced by the department doubling in the last decade to become the largest in the college.

Admissions website

The University of South Carolina began as South Carolina College in 1801 in Columbia, South Carolina. Classes for the nine students began in 1805, and there were just two professors on staff. The institution was very successful until the financial devastation suffered by the state after the Civil War forced it to close briefly. Reopening in 1873 as the University of South Carolina (USC), the school was quite progressive, admitting women and students of color. Closing and reopening again as a segregated college, the school grew to become the USC of today and is now the flagship of the University of South Carolina System. A public coeducational sea-grant university with high research activity, USC serves more than 34,000 students at the main campus, with sixteen academic schools and colleges offering degree programs. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission provides the regional accreditation for USC.

#8. Texas A&M University

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Texas A&M J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Master of Engineering (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering degree program can be completed entirely online, and students are allowed up to seven years to finish the 30-credit hour program. Housed within the College of Engineering (the largest college at Texas A&M and one which has been in existence since the school opened in 1876), the degree has core courses that are offered as options and not required, covering topics such as “Theory of Elasticity,” “Advanced Product Design,” and “Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics.” All students will compile a final portfolio (prepared during the duration of study) to showcase what has been learned and how well the student has incorporated the learning outcomes. Faculty members head up many research opportunities for students and have a wide range of publications and awards to prove their experience, and students benefit from the field-specific student resources offered by Engineering Online.

Admissions website

Founded under the name Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, Texas A&M University (Texas A&M) was established in 1871 and benefited from the Morrill Act of 1862. Classes began in 1876, and the campus was located in Brazos County on more than 2,400 acres of donated land. Gaining its current name in 1963, Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas has doubled in size and is supplemented by another campus in Galveston. Along with the land-grant designation, Texas A&M is also a sea- and space-grant university, and this public research institution of higher education enrolls more than 66,000 students currently, making it the largest campus by student enrollment in the Texas A&M University System as well as nationally. There are nineteen schools and colleges within Texas A&M, which provide nearly 400 academic degree programs. Regional accreditation is granted through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#9. University of Texas at Austin

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The fully online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree through UT Austin’s Texas Engineering Executive Education is housed within the Cockrell School of Engineering, which can trace its roots to the day the cornerstone was laid for the university in 1882. The “industry-relevant and immediately applicable” 30-credit hour curriculum does not require a thesis and is rich with courses such as “Statistical Methods for Process Control and Manufacturing,”Materials Science and Engineering,” and “Applied Thermodynamics.” Students progress through the program as a cohort, which provides them with built-in community support. The faculty members are readily available, and their collection of publications and patents is impressive. The unique and thoughtful online learning model is ideal for working professionals who have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (or related degree) and at least one year of relevant work experience. Student support is provided, with resources such as the Cockrell School’s Engineering Career Assistance Center to help students be successful.

Admissions website

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is the flagship school of the University of Texas System, and its establishment was put into motion by the state legislature in 1876. The first brick was laid in Austin, Texas in 1882, and just a year later in 1883 221 students were welcomed to class in the year of the school’s founding. A public research university, more than 51,000 currently enrolled students participate in nearly 400 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs offered in the eighteen colleges and schools that comprise UT Austin. With the desire to “transform lives for the benefit of society,” UT Austin has a mission to “achieve excellence in the interrelated areas of undergraduate education, graduate education, research and public service.” Considered a Public Ivy school, UT Austin is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10. University of Florida

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program at UF is housed within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering (which was one of the four colleges of UF when it moved to the Gainesville campus in 1909). Provided entirely online through the UF Electronic Delivery of Graduate Engineering (EDGE) distance learning delivery method, the 30-credit hour program offers a thesis and a non-thesis option. Students follow one of three plans of study (“Dynamics, Systems, and Control,” “Solid Mechanics, Design, and Manufacturing,” or “Thermal Science and Fluid Dynamics”), and an External Advisory Board supports the expert faculty and provides guidance and “continuous improvement” to the programs and MAE Department. In addition, the MAE Department presents six online graduate certificates via EDGE for professionals who don’t desire a full master’s degree. All certificates are made up of three courses, which are available to students asynchronously.

Admissions website

With a history that can be traced to several schools in areas of Florida, the University of Florida (UF) has grown to become a doctoral university with the highest research activity (as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education). Located in Gainesville, Florida, UF had a clear start when the Florida Legislature passed an Act that consolidated the state’s public institutions of higher education and the State University System of Florida was instituted. This was in 1905, and the University of the State of Florida opened the doors to over 100 students for the first classes in 1906. Becoming simply “university of Florida” in 1909, UF now enrolls almost 55,000 students and is a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution. Over 300 programs are offered in sixteen academic schools and colleges, and UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11. John Hopkins University

Online Master of Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Johns Hopkins University part-time online Master of Mechanical Engineering degree program is called Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals. Through the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, the 30-credit hour program provides four focus areas to customize the degree: Manufacturing, Robotics and Controls, Solids/Mechanics of Materials, or Thermofluids. The required core course “Mathematical Methods for Engineers” is taken the first semester, and classes based on the students’ focus then follow. Mechanical Engineering was one of the first concentrations offered by Johns Hopkins in the 1900s, and online programming has been offered by Johns Hopkins Engineering since 2001—students can therefore be assured of both the reputation and the quality of the online program. Additionally, the faculty’s expertise and the available student services guarantee a highly-rewarding and supportive environment. Online Information Sessions are held periodically to introduce prospective students to faculty and current students and learn about the program.

Admissions website

Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, was named for the man who helped finance the establishment of the institution of higher education (as well as The Johns Hopkins Hospital). The Quaker, known for his philanthropy and for being an abolitionist, was a bachelor without any heirs when he passed away in 1873. The legendary amount he left in his will for the school and medical center was an outrageously large amount ($7 million) by late-19th century standards, and thus Johns Hopkins will be forever remembered for his philanthropy. The doors opened to students in 1876, and the university is one of the founding members of the American Association of Universities. The ten academic schools provide programs to over 24,000 currently enrolled students, and Johns Hopkins is a private university with a Carnegie Classification of doctoral university with the highest research activity. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides regional accreditation.

#12. University of California Los Angeles

Online Master of Science in Engineering – Mechanical

Program Details: The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science (HSSEAS) Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) – Mechanical degree at UCLA is provided as a Master of Science Online (MSOL) program. The MSE degree is located in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and open to students who do not have an undergraduate degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering (but who must take two additional classes:Aerodynamics” and “Advanced Strength of Materials”), several focus areas are provided for customization (such as the multidisciplinary Mechanical Engineering in Medicine). A coursework-based, 27-credit hour program, the impressive “research experience of . . . faculty is reflected in the classroom experience, enabling . . . ME students and graduates to go out and address the world’s grand challenges.” Students are required to complete the program in three years, but the comprehensive resources and services provided help students achieve that goal successfully.

Admissions website

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was begun as the University of California’s “Southern Branch” in 1919 and originally offered two-year undergraduate programs. The programs were so successful that the school quickly outgrew its initial name and location, becoming the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927 and moving to a new campus in the Westwood district of Los Angeles in 1929. Over 5,000 students attended classes the first year in the new location, and the school would officially replace the “at” in the name with a comma in 1953. A public research university (with the highest research activity as recognized by the Carnegie Foundation) within the University of California System, UCLA offers over 300 academic degree programs to the nearly 45,000 enrolled students through seventeen schools and colleges. A land-grant university and member of the Association of American Universities, UCLA is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#13. University of Delaware

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The UD College of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program in the Department of Engineering. The 30-credit hour program, which is the same as the on-campus program, can trace its roots back to 1891 when the first mechanical engineering degree was provided at UD. The broad mechanical engineering discipline can be customized through the five areas of research focus offered by the Department (Biomechanical Engineering, Clean Energy and Environment, Composites and Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology, and Robotics and Control). The curriculum is provided online by the award-winning faculty, who are “recognized as global leaders in research and education,” and includes classes such as “Intermediate Solid Mechanics,” “Linear Systems,” and “Orthopedic Biomechanics.” Resources at every level are provided to online students to help them succeed, and for professionals who do not desire a full master’s program, an online Graduate Certificate in Composites Manufacturing & Engineering is available.

Admissions website

Established in 1743 as the Free School in New London, Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware (UD) would grow to become classifed by the Carnegie Foundation as a very high research institution of higher education. The school was founded by Presbyterian minister Reverend Dr. Francis Alison, and it would go through name and location changes before settling in Newark, Delaware as the Academy of Newark in 1769 (Delaware was part of Pennsylvania until 1776). Several more name changes would occur before the institution merged with the Women’s College of Delaware in 1921, and finally UD was born. More than 300 academic degree programs are provided through seven colleges that comprise the university, and UD enrolls over 23,000 students currently. As its mission, UD “exists to cultivate learning, develop knowledge and foster the free exchange of ideas,” and is a land-, sea-, and space-grant university with regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#14. Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Missouri S&T, recently celebrating the centennial (established in 1916 as the Department of Mechanical Engineering), provides an online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree with both a thesis and a non-thesis option. Both options require 30-credit hours, and all coursework is delivered online synchronously through streaming video (although archived for students to review). Classes offered include varied topics such as “Advanced Fractured Mechanics,” “Viscous Fluid Flow,” and “Compliant Mechanism Design.” The faculty provide expertise in many research areas, and online students have support through Missouri S&T’s Global Learning – Distance Education Student Support Services. For students who do not wish to pursue a full degree (or who would like to start with a certificate before pursuing the MS), five online graduate certificates are offered through the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: Composite Materials and Structures, Control Systems, Energy Conversion & Transport, Engineering Mechanics, and Manufacturing Automation.

Admissions website

Claiming distinction as “as one of the first technological institutions west of the Mississippi,” Missouri University of Science and Technology (“Missouri S&T”) was established in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. A Morrill Act of 1862 land-grant university located in Rollo, Missouri, Missouri S&T welcomed 28 students to class for the first time in 1871. Now, nearly 9,000 students are currently enrolled in just under 100 academic degree programs, and Missouri S&T offers all students the unique opportunity to conduct research in one of four “Signature Research Areas” (Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure, Enabling Materials for Extreme Environments, or Smart Living) regardless of their major or academic program choice. A member of the University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T is also a space-grant institution of higher education, and regional accreditation for this coeducational public university is granted by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15. Iowa State University

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Engineering (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering degree program at Iowa State University is provided online through Engineering-LAS Online Learning (the online delivery hub for College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences programs). The coursework-only MEng degree is located in one of the “University’s crown jewels,” the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), which has been an important part of Iowa State since the school first classes were offered in 1869 (in fact, the first degree ever awarded was in mechanical engineering). The curriculum is constructed of 30-credit hours and the core coursework is clustered into four discipline areas for students to choose an emphasis (Design and Optimization, Dynamic Systems and Controls, Materials Processing and Mechanics, and Thermo-Fluid Sciences). The extensive ME faculty is impressive and has experience in many research areas and collectively many publications between them. Students are provided with resources and services through online and engineering-specific student support.

Admissions website

Iowa State University (officially named “Iowa State University of Science and Technology” in 1959, but known most commonly as Iowa State) was established in 1858 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The first graduating class of 26 coeducational students would be welcomed to class for the first time in 1869, and since the Morrill Act of 1862 was passed while campus was being constructed, Iowa State became a land-grant university. Located in Ames, Iowa, campus originally covered 650 acres but has now grown to more than 1,800 acres, and the current student enrollment has increased to more than 35,000 students. This public university is also a space-grant institution, and nearly 300 academic degree programs are offered through the ten schools and colleges that make up Iowa State. The largest university in the state and Carnegie Foundation classified as having the highest research activity, Iowa State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#16. Auburn University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Auburn Engineering Online and Continuing Education, provided through the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering offers a non-thesis MS in Mechanical Engineering degree program. The 30-credit hour program, in the historic Department of Mechanical Engineering (established in 1885), gives “students opportunities to obtain the skills necessary to define, formulate and solve novel problems” in a convenient, online format. Designed for students with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (or a bachelor’s in a similar, relevant field), the MS degree allows for a great deal of customization—students choose all of the coursework to construct the degree. The “ever-increasing list of faculty patents and inventions” should serve as confirmation that the program is strong and will be rigorous, but the student services provided should provide reassurance that online ME students will receive the support they need. For students who do not desire to pursue a full degree, the ME Department also provides a Tribology Engineering graduate certificate online.

Admissions website

Chartered in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school, Auburn University was originally affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The school became a public institution when it became a land-grant school in 1872 and was renamed Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (it would change names again in 1899 and then became Auburn University in 1960). The first school in the South to participate in the benefits of the Morrill Act of 1862, Auburn is additionally designated as a sea- and space-grant university. One of the two flagships of the state of Alabama, Auburn is located in Auburn, Alabama and is comprised of twelve academic schools and colleges. Just under 30,000 students are currently enrolled in over 140 programs, and the Carnegie Classification states the coeducational school is at a “higher research activity” level. Regional accreditation for Auburn comes from the Higher Learning Commission.

#17. University of Arizona

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) at the University of Arizona’s College of Engineering (established when UA was founded in 1885) provides an entirely online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree program. The 32-credit  program offers four core focus areas (dynamics and control systems, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and dynamics, and thermal sciences) from which students can choose an emphasis, and students can opt between a Master’s Thesis, a Master’s Report, or a Coursework-only plan of study. Additionally, students “learn from and work alongside professors internationally renowned for their research” just as their on-campus counterparts, with coursework in subjects such as mechanics of deformable solids, thermodynamics and radiation, and engineering mathematics. Student support is comprehensive—online students receive a personal Student Academic Success Specialist and have access to an enrollment team, tutoring, alumni career mentorships, and other resources to help them succeed (prospective students can even participate in a sample online course).

Admissions website

Prior to Arizona becoming a state in 1912, the Arizona Territory Legislative Assembly voted in 1885 to institute a state university as a response to the federal Morrill Act of 1862. Tucson was chosen as the campus location, and construction on the University of Arizona (UA or “Arizona”) began in 1887. The oldest institution of higher education in the state, UA offered the first classes to the initial enrollment of 32 students in 1891. Now the school boasts an enrollment of over 44,000 students and more than 350 academic degree programs. Twenty schools and colleges provide the programs to students either on-campus in Tucson (on a 380-acre main campus) on one of three other campus locations, or online, and Arizona has designation as very high research university from the Carnegie Foundation. A public land-grant university, the University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#18. Georgia Institute of Technology

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program is provided entirely online through Georgia Tech Professional Education. Located within the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering (the oldest at Georgia Tech, with classes being offered for the first time in 1888), the degree is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or similar discipline. Requiring a minimum of 30-credit hours, the degree offers twelve research areas, such as Mechanics of Materials, Automation, Robotics & Control, and Manufacturing. Students choose between a thesis and a non-thesis option and participate in classes like “Computer-Aided Design,” “Vibration-Mechanical System,” and “Combustion.” In addition to the online learning support and the array of student support services, the renowned faculty at the School of Mechanical Engineering is a collection of full-time, tenure-track professors (nearly 100) who have many years of research experience and publications to attest to their knowledge and skill in the field.

Admissions website

Established to provide an opportunity to promote technological education in an area that was mostly agricultural, the predecessor to Georgia Tech was founded in 1885 in Atlanta, Georgia. Known as the Georgia School of Technology, the institution opened its doors in 1888 to 84 male students. Mechanical Engineering was the only degree offered at first, but throughout the years more programs were added and in 1948 the name of the school was changed to highlight the broader academic focus: Georgia Institute of Technology (known largely as Georgia Tech). A member of the University of Georgia System, Georgia Tech has additional satellite campuses domestically and overseas. This public research university has a current student enrollment of nearly 30,000 and is comprised of six academic colleges. With “very high research activity” as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Georgia Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#19. North Carolina State University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) at NC State is provided entirely online through Engineering Online. The 30-credit hour MSME program is rooted in a rich history since NC State was started as an Agriculture and Mechanic Arts school and engineering distance programs have been offered since 1978. Housed within the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), six research areas are provided for students to pursue their particular area of interest (such as “Nanoscale Science and Engineering,” “Thermal Sciences and Energy Systems,” and “Structural Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing”). Extensive, field-specific student resources are available through the NC State Online and Distance Education engineering department, and many tips and guides are provided to help MSME students succeed. The faculty members are not only highly experienced and reputable, but also exceedingly adept at online instruction. In addition, Engineering Online provides news and information for current and prospective students.

Admissions website

North Carolina State University (NC State or NCSU) was founded as the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1887. The land-grant institution welcomed 72 students in 1889 with one building and six professors that first year. NCSU sent representatives to remote areas of the state to train farmers in best agriculture practices, which helped the school grow. Officially renamed in the 1960s, North Carolina State University at Raleigh (“at Raleigh” is not often used, even in official settings) is the flagship member of the University of North Carolina System and the largest institution of higher education in the state. Offering over 250 academic degree programs through twelve colleges to more than 35,000 currently enrolled students, NCSU is also a sea- and space-grant school and has earned the Carnegie Foundation classification of highest research activity. Regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#20. Stevens Institute of Technology

Online Master of Engineering – Mechanical

Program Details: Offering the first mechanical engineering degree in the history of the United States (available since the school was founded in 1870), Stevens provides a Master of Engineering – Mechanical degree program that can be accessed online. There are only two required core courses in the 30-credit hour program (“Modeling and Simulation” and “Engineering Analysis I”); the remaining classes can be customized based on the student’s choice in concentration (Product Design; Manufacturing; Thermal, Fluids, Energy; Pharmaceutical Manufacturing; Medical Devices; Robotics & Control; Micro/Nano Systems) and elective choices. The degree is located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (the oldest and largest department at Stevens) in the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science, and students can opt to make it a thesis or a non-thesis degree. The faculty are experienced, currently holding patents, serving on task forces, and participating in cutting-edge research. Online students benefit from resources such as the Continuing and Professional Student Care Center to help them “flourish.”

Admissions website

In 1868 in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Stevens family had proven themselves to be adept at engineering, innovation, and philanthropy. The natural outgrowth of these qualities and talents led to the creation of the Stevens Institute of Technology (Edwin A. Stevens had passed away and bequeathed money specifically to establish the school). With a distinct focus on mechanical engineering, Stevens opened as a private institution of higher education in 1870 and has grown to consist of four schools and colleges: Schaefer School of Engineering & Science, School of Systems & Enterprises, School of Business, and College of Arts & Letters. More than 100 academic degree programs are offered to nearly 7,000 students currently, and the Carnegie Foundation recognizes Stevens as having a higher research activity level. The main campus is still located in Hoboken, but is joined by an additional location in Washington, D.C. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides regional accreditation.

#21. Columbia University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Housed within the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and offered entirely online though the Columbia Video Network (CVN), the MS in Mechanical Engineering degree at Columbia is a reputable, well-established (the department came into being in 1897) program. Requiring a minimum of 30-credit hours, the degree can be shaped by the student along with their advisor from among classes such as “Thermofluid Systems Design,” “Manufacturing Enterprise,” and “Intro to Control Theory.” Created for students with a bachelor’s of engineering background, the coursework is provided by faculty engineers with impressive credentials replete with publications and patents. Students services and resources through both the School of Engineering and the CVN are available to students, and for individuals who do not wish to pursue a full MS in Mechanical Engineering degree, two fully online twelve-credit hour certificate options are provided: Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering—Sustainable Energy.

Admissions website

Established as King’s College by a royal charter from King George II of England in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest university in the state of New York and the fifth oldest nationally. The school was affiliated with the Anglican church and set up residence in New York, New York; eight students were the first in attendance. After the American Revolution, the school reopened in 1784 as Columbia College and gained university status in 1896 (the official name is Columbia University in the City of New York). In 1897 Columbia moved to its permanent campus in Morningside Heights, and it has grown to become one of the most selective and competitive schools in the country. Twenty academic colleges provide the programs for nearly 30,000 currently enrolled student, and this private Ivy league school has the Carnegie Foundation’s highest research activity classification. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits Columbia.

#22. University of Arkansas

Online Master of Science in Engineering

Program Details: U of A Online offers a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) degree through the College of Engineering for students who desire a comprehensive, multi-discipline program (engineering has always been an important field at the University of Arkansas—the first mechanical engineering degree was awarded in 1891). Providing the foundational basics in core requirements of mathematics, computer applications, technical communications, and management, the 30-credit MSE degree integrates other traditional engineering discipline coursework along with mechanical engineering for a well-rounded program (students can choose mechanical engineering as their emphasis and focus nine credit hours towards it). The impressive faculty cover a wide range of research areas, and mechanical engineering emphasis classes include “Fundamentals of Aerodynamics,” “Thermal Systems Analysis and Design,” and “Advanced Fracture Mechanics and Structural Integrity.” Students typically complete the degree in under two years and are provided with specific engineering resources to help the find success.

Admissions website

The University of Arkansas (“U of A”) was founded in 1871 in Fayetteville, Arkansas in order to benefit from the federal Morrill Act of 1862. Originally named The Arkansas Industrial University, this land-grant university established a campus on a former farm site and opened its doors in 1872 to eight students. Though the first classes were held in an old barn, the school grew its curricular focus and became the University of Arkansas in 1899 due to a student-led petition. Over 27,000 students are currently enrolled, and eleven schools and colleges provide more than 200 academic degree programs. In addition to being a land-grant institution, U of A is also a space-grant university, as well as the flagship in the University of Arkansas System. A public doctoral research university with the highest research activity designation from the Carnegie Foundation, U of A is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#23. University of Alabama

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Identical to the on-campus program, the online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree from The University of Alabama is a non-thesis, 30-credit hour program offered through the renowned Bama By Distance. Housed within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the historic College of Engineering (founded in 1909), the MSME degree program provides a wide array of focus areas, ranging from Additive Manufacturing to Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer to Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics to Mechatronics. The faculty have impressive research experience and provide the environment that allows students to be “vital to the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s research efforts.” Specific courses include “Classical Thermodynamics,” “Nonlinear Control Systems,” and “Intermediate Gas Dynamics,” just to name a few, and the distance program requires a comprehensive exam in lieu of a thesis. Online students have the same student services and resources provided to residential students, as well as their own dedicated Student Services Team.

Admissions website

Prior to becoming a state, the Alabama Territory lobbied the United States Congress in 1818 to provide township designation for the area so a university could be established. Two years later in 1820, The University of the State of Alabama was founded—and it would be located in Tuscaloosa. The first classes were held in 1831, and 52 enrolled students graced the school in its first year. After the devastation of the Civil War, the university had to regroup and reorganize. Reopening as The University of Alabama (Alabama, “Bama,” or UA) in 1872, this institution of higher education is the oldest public university in the state and the flagship of the University of Alabama System. Over 38,000 students are currently enrolled within the thirteen academic colleges, and UA is both a sea- and space-grant school. Granted by the Carnegie Foundation with higher research activity designation, Alabama is provided with regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#24. Texas Tech University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Whitacre College of Engineering Distance Learning Program at Texas Tech offers a fully online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program. Provided through the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), the roots of which were established when Texas Tech was founded in 1925, the MSME degree requires 36-credit hours, and students can choose between a coursework only option or a Master’s Report. Students also can customize the degree through their choice in advanced mathematics classes, electives, and Concentration and Breadth requirements, in the areas of Dynamics and Controls, Thermal Sciences and Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics and Materials, and Design. Support is provided from the beginning with a Distance Student Orientation, and continues with advising services and career resources. The credentials of the ME faculty are impressive, and online students receive the same academic benefits and attention as their on-campus counterparts.

Admissions website

Texas Tech University was established by the Texas Legislature as the Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas in 1923. Two years later classes began, and there were over 900 coeducational undergraduate students enrolled that first year (graduate classes were added two years later in 1927). The name changed to Texas Tech University (Texas Tech or TTU) in 1969, and Texas Tech is the flagship in the Texas Tech University System. The sixth-largest institution of higher education in the state, the campus covers almost 2,000 acres and over 36,000 students are currently enrolled. More than 300 academic degree programs are offered in the twelve schools and colleges that comprise Texas Tech, and the Carnegie Foundation has classified this public research university as having the highest research activity (one of only 115 schools to receive that designation). Regional accreditation for Texas Tech is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#25. Colorado State University

Online Master of Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering Specialization

Program Details: The CSU Master of Engineering (ME) degree with a Mechanical Engineering Specialization is offered completely online asynchronously through the Canvas online learning platform. Housed within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the 30-credit hour program is comprised of fifteen core courses focusing on topics such as “Metals and Alloys,” “Advanced Composite Materials,” and “Manufacturing Engineering.” Students choose from a wide range of electives to customize the degree, and all classes are taught by the same on-campus professors—faculty members who are inventors and innovators at the “forefront of mechanical engineering technology.” The program is located in the renowned and highly-selective Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering (which offered the first engineering program in the state), and students experience a coursework-based, “practitioner-oriented mechanical engineering degree” program. Student resources and services are comprehensive, ranging from academic advising to conflict resolution services to IT support.

Admissions website

Six years before Colorado became a state, the Morrill Act of 1862 incentivized the Territory to establish the Colorado Agricultural College in 1870. The land-grant school that would become Colorado State University (CSU) was located in the future city of Fort Collins, Colorado, and classes began for the first time in 1879. The flagship institution of the Colorado State University System, CSU currently enrolls more than 30,000 students and offers over 150 academic degree programs through eight academic colleges. A culture of environmental sustainability permeates the campus and the ideology of CSU—the school received the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™) Platinum rating in 2015, the first such ranking a school has ever been awarded. A public coeducational institution of higher education, CSU is also granted with the Carnegie Foundation classification of having the highest research activity. Regional accreditation for CSU comes from the Higher Learning Commission.

#26. Case Western Reserve University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The practice-based, completely online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree from Case Western Reserve offers “a rich and engaging curriculum in a convenient digital environment.” The 30-credit hour program is open to students who have may not have an undergraduate engineering degree but who meet the admissions requirements, and it can be completed through the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in just a year and a half. The department is located in the Case School of Engineering, which boasts a history traced back to the 1880 establishment of one of CWRU’s predecessor schools, the degree program presents a curriculum “designed by the best for the best,” with online classes such as “Advanced Engineering Analysis,” Fatigue of Materials,” “Vibration Problems in Engineering,” and “Applied Engineering Statistics.” The faculty boast impressive achievements, and online students benefit from their expertise through small class sizes and a hands-on research approach. An online engineering blog provides information for both current and prospective students as well.

Admissions website

Hudson, Ohio was the initial location of the school that would grow to become Case Western Reserve University. Founded as Western Reserve College in 1826, the institution moved in 1882 to Cleveland, Ohio. Finances provided by Amasa Stone (railroad mogul) encouraged the move, but five years before this, philanthropic Leonard Case Jr. made plans to endow a polytechnic school, also in Cleveland. Shortly after Case’s death in 1880, the Case School of Applied Science was established. Stone had made a caveat in his financial gift to Western Reserve—the school and Case would share adjoining properties. This was the beginning of a mutual relationship that would culminate in the formation of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 1967. Nearly 12,000 students are currently enrolled in the academic programs of nine schools and colleges, and the Carnegie Foundation classification for this private doctorate-granting university is the highest research activity level. CWRU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#27. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Online Master of Mechanical Engineering: Polymer Science

Program Details: Through the Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD), students can participate in UW-Madison’s renowned Master of Mechanical Engineering: Polymer Science degree program. A 30-credit hour program with the backing of a strong mechanical engineering history (having first been offered at the school in 1875), most students are working professionals and can complete the degree entirely online in just two to four years. Two required courses (“Transport Phenomena in Polymer Processing” and “Engineering Design with Polymers”) are followed by the student’s choice of several required class topics and electives (such as “Fundamentals of Injection Molding” and “Experimental Mechanics”). Students and alumni benefit from the dedicated EPD Community & Support, which offers resources specific to engineering, advising, technical support, and other services. The faculty are experts in the field of polymer science, and the curriculum is constructed by an institution that is “internationally recognized for its research and teaching in polymer engineering and science.”

Admissions website

The idea for a university was present before the territory became a state, and when Wisconsin became the 30th state in 1848, the University of Wisconsin was established. Classes began the next year in Madison, Wisconsin, and seventeen students were in attendance—the main campus now covers nearly 1,000 acres. Known as University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) since 1971, UW-Madison is the oldest in the state, the flagship in the University of Wisconsin System, and the official state university of Wisconsin. Nearly 44,000 students are currently enrolled in this land- and sea-grant institution of higher education, and over 400 academic degree programs are offered through the 20 schools and college. A Public Ivy university, UW-Madison is a doctoral research institution with the highest research activity as classified by the Carnegie Foundation. One of the founding members of the Association of American Universities, UW-Madison is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#28. University of New Mexico

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Space Systems Engineering

Program Details: One of the first of its kind, the UNM Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program with a concentration in Space Systems Engineering “was developed with input from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate.” The 34-credit hour, coursework only MSME program is offered entirely online through UNM’s Mechanical Engineering Department in the School of Engineering, which “opened in 1906 with a faculty of two and a single classroom” and has grown to be a leader in engineering innovation. The courses are taught by the “nationally recognized faculty” who meet the Quality Matters (QM) standards of online education excellence, and cover topics such as “Orbital Mechanics,” “Numerical Methods in Mechanical Engineering,” and “Introduction to Space Situational Awareness.” Student services are extensive, including Enrollment Coaching and Online Student Support, and student testimonials are provided to speak to the positive experiences and high-quality academics imparted through UNM Online.

Admissions website

Founded in 1889, before New Mexico was officially a state, the University of New Mexico (UNM) was voted into existence by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of New Mexico. The school would be a state university once New Mexico joined the union, and classes began on the Albuquerque, New Mexico campus within a few years. Buildings were constructed utilizing a Pueblo Revival style of architecture, and campus now covers 600 acres. Proudly designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, UNM enrolls nearly 35,000 students across the main campus, branch campuses, and education extension centers. A public research university with the highest research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation, UNM is the flagship institution of the state, and twelve schools and colleges provide over 200 academic degree programs. With a mission to share “resources and strategies that encourage students to reach ambitious academic goals and exceed their own expectations,” UNM is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#29. University of Cincinnati

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Master of Engineering (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering online degree at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science is an accelerated program that can be completed in just eighteen months. Six start dates are offered for this 30-credit hour, non-thesis program, and the curriculum is constructed of courses such as “Effectiveness in Technical Organizations,” “Intelligent Systems Theory,” and “Design for Manufacturability and Assembly,” and all students complete the degree with the Master of Engineering Capstone Project. Based in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME), the degree offers an “industry-focused and practice-oriented approach” and has a long history at UC—the original College of Engineering was established when the school was founded in 1870. The mechanical engineering faculty are well-regarded and knowledgeable (one professor literally wrote the book on engineering education), and graduates of the MEng program testify that the program helped them achieve career opportunities through the skills they gained.

Admissions website

In the early 1800s, two schools were established in Ohio that would lead to the creation of the University of Cincinnati (UC). Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio merged in 1870 to form Cincinnati College (although there had been a plan in the works since 1858 when a wealthy resident of Cincinnati, Charles McMicken, bequeathed funds to the city in his will for the establishment of an institution of higher education). Expanding and achieving full university status, UC is a public research institution with multiple campuses throughout Cincinnati, Ohio and almost 45,000 enrolled students. Fourteen schools and colleges offer 350 academic degree programs, and the Carnegie Foundation bestows a classification of highest research activity on UC. One of the largest universities in the nation, UC is a member of the University System of Ohio and a space-grant institution. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to UC.

#30. Michigan Technological University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Through Michigan Tech Online Learning, the Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) provides an online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree program. A 30-credit hour program, the degree provides three options to customize; students choose from a research-based Thesis option, an Independent Study Project Report option, or a Coursework-only option. Multiple courses are delivered online, and additional classes are added with ample student interest (potential classes include “Nanoscale Science and Technology,” “Nonlinear System Analysis & Control,” and “Advanced Engineering Mathematics with Applications”). The extensive ME-EM faculty have a wealth of research and published works between them, and the decades of Michigan Tech mechanical engineering program experience (first offered in the 1920s) is evidenced by the current projects being conducted in the department. Online student resources are provided to mechanical engineering students from the moment they are admitted past graduation, and includes services such as a Multiliteracies Center for current students and Financial Tools and Resources for alumni.

Admissions website

Started as the Michigan Mining School in Houghton, Michigan in 1885, Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) was established by the state in order to provide best practices training to mining engineers who oversaw the local copper mines. The first classes were led by four faculty members, and the first student enrollment included 23 students. The school would find a permanent location (the original classroom is now a restaurant and club), and the main campus now encompasses 925 acres. Programs have expanded, and now over 130 academic degree programs are offered through five schools and colleges, and student enrollment has surpassed 7,000. The Carnegie Foundation has declared Michigan Tech promotes higher research activity through its College of Engineering, College of Sciences and Arts, School of Business and Economics, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and School of Technology, and regional accreditation is granted from the Higher Learning Commission.

#31. Villanova University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Villanova University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (held in high regard ever since it was established in 1908) offers a “modern, relevant and comprehensive” 30-credit hour Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program online through the College of Engineering E-Learning program. The “highly distinguished and dedicated faculty who are nationally recognized leaders in their disciplines” provide coursework in the established areas of thermal sciences, mechanics and materials, and dynamics and controls, as well as in newer fields such as bioengineering and nanotechnology. Additionally, the College of Engineering presents five mechanical engineering graduate certificates via E-Learning for students who do not desire a full master’s degree. The certificates all require four or five courses for completion, and options include: Mechanics and Material, Machinery Dynamics, Modeling and Simulation (with tracks in Dynamics & Systems and Mechanics & Manufacturing), Thermofluid Systems, and Electro-Mechanical Systems.

Admissions website

Named for Saint Thomas of Villanova, Villanova University started out as Augustinian College of Villanova and is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The school was established by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842, making it the oldest Catholic university in the state of Pennsylvania. An all-male school in the beginning (though nuns were allowed to start taking classes in 1918), Villanova became completely coeducational in 1968 and now enrolls nearly 11,000 students, both residentially on the 250-plus acre campus and online. Six schools and colleges provide over 100 academic degree programs, and this private research university, though firmly rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, “welcomes and respects members of all faiths who seek to nurture a concern for the common good and who share an enthusiasm for the challenge of responsible and productive citizenship in order to build a just and peaceful world.” Regional accreditation comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#32. Lehigh University

Online Master of Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Offered through the Office of Distance Learning, Lehigh University’s online Master of Mechanical Engineering degree program is housed within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The 30-credit hour program is a non-thesis degree (students who want to pursue the MS in Mechanical Engineering degree must get departmental approval and write a thesis) and benefits from a history that began with the first class requirements when Lehigh was founded in 1866 (the School of Mechanical Engineering was established in 1876). Students can pursue the Master’s degree as a gateway to a PhD program, taking five required core courses (such as “Advanced Fluid Mechanics” and “Heat and Mass Transfer”) or opt not to take the required core courses but construct the degree with their chosen coursework. Award-winning faculty provide the entirely online curriculum, and students’ research projects contributed to a blog serve as testaments to the program.

Admissions website

Lehigh University was founded in 1865 in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Asa Packer, the man who established the Lehigh Valley Railroad, provided the funding and land to create an institution of higher education that would foster the “intellectual and moral improvement” of the young men in the area. Located on South Mountain in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the institution’s first classes were a year later, and 39 students were in attendance when the doors first opened. By the 1970s women were allowed full admittance, and now more than 7,000 students are currently enrolled. The university’s four academic colleges (the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education) provide nearly 200 academic degree programs, and this private research university is recognized as having higher research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits Lehigh.

#33. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) in the RPI School of Engineering (one of the first schools of engineering, established in 1824) provides a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Mechanical Engineering degree program in a blended online format. The “Education for Working Professionals” program requires 30-credit hours and provides four topical research areas (Mechanics and Materials, Thermal and Fluids Engineering, Design and Manufacturing, and Dynamics and Control). The curriculum provides coursework such as “Advanced Engineering Mathematics,” “Introduction to Finite Elements,” and “Analysis of Manufacturing Processes.” Classes are presented by Rensselaer’s “outstanding and highly-ranked engineering faculty,” and all students complete the degree with a Professional Project.  Student resources that are tailored to the graduate mechanical engineering student are made available from the beginning of the educational journey, and even before admittance  online information sessions and webinars are provided for prospective students to learn more about the program and the blended online delivery.

Admissions website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was founded in 1824 in Troy, New York as the Rensselaer School by Stephen Van Rensselaer, and the school attracted students from other states due to its academic rigor and affordable price ($40 per semester). Incorporated by the state of New York in 1826 and renamed the Rensselaer Institute in 1834, the school awarded the very first civil engineering degree in the United States the following year. In 1861 the institute was renamed a final time, and RPI now enrolls over 7,500 students in five schools: the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Lally School of Management & Technology, and the School of Science. More than 145 degree programs are provided by this historic private research institution with higher research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation. Also a space-grant school, Rensselaer is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#34. Mississippi State University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Mechanical Engineering has a long history at MSU—the institution having begun as an A&M college in 1878 and the College of Engineering being established in 1902. The Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department, the largest academic department at the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU, provides an online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree with both a thesis and a non-thesis option. Requiring 31-credit hours for both options, the degree allows students to construct a program of study with advisor guidance. Coursework options are diverse, providing class options such as “Mechanical Metallurgy,” “Energy Systems Design,” “Introduction to Vibrations and Controls,” and “Finite Elements in Mechanical Engineering.” The award-winning faculty provides the same rigorous studies both on-campus and online, and easily accessible resources, services, current student stories and program information assures that the online academic experience is rewarding for online ME graduate students.

Admissions website

Founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi in 1878, Mississippi State University (MSU) welcomed the first students to class in 1880. Main campus was located in and near Starkville, Mississippi, and main campus is still in this area of Oktibbeha County that remains unincorporated. It is a public land-, space-, and sea-grant institution with higher research activity (as Classified by the Carnegie Foundation), and is the flagship university of the state. Since 1958 the official name has been Mississippi State University for Agriculture and Applied Science, but it is mostly known as simply “Mississippi State University.” Over 21,000 students are enrolled in the main campus alone (there are additional campus locations in Meridian, Biloxi and Vicksburg), making it the largest university in the state per enrollment, and over 175 academic degree programs are provided through twelve colleges and schools. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides regional accreditation.

#35. Old Dominion University

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Utilizing a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) focus, ODU provides “an integrated, information-driven” approach in the fully online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering degree program with an emphasis in Design and Manufacturing. The 30-credit hour program is housed within the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering in the Frank Batten College of Engineering & Technology (the College was established in 1962, but as part of the history of ODU, engineering classes were offered since 1931 as a collaboration between Virginia Tech and William & Mary). Coursework for this non-thesis program includes the student’s choice of twelve hours of core requirements, with class options such as “Engineering Mathematics,” “Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamics,” and “Advanced Mechanics of Solids.” The experienced faculty enhance the curriculum with their expertise and research area interests, and students are provided with “a dedicated advisor from the Batten College of Engineering & Technology” as well as online student resources.

Admissions website

Old Dominion University (ODU), founded in Norfolk, Virginia as an extension known as the Norfolk Division of The College of William and Mary in 1930, has been a full, independent institution since 1962 (university status was achieved in 1969). This public doctoral research university is recognized as having higher research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Six colleges (College of Arts and Letters, Strome College of Business, Darden College of Education, Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health Sciences, and College of Sciences) provide over 200 academic degree programs to 25,000 currently enrolled students. Old Dominion is also a space- and sea-grant institution and is very active in offering online degree programs. The vision of Old Dominion is to utilize the school’s “exceptional strengths and leadership . . .  to provide practical solutions to complex, real world problems,” and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#36. University of Central Florida

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program offered through UCF Online is housed within the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering in the innovative  College of Engineering and Computer Science (approved as one of the four original academic colleges by the State University System of Florida’s Board of Regents in 1966, two years before UCF opened in 1968). The 30-credit hour degree program provides three tracks from which students can choose: Mechanical Engineering (MSME) – Mechanical Systems, Mechanical Engineering (MSME) – Thermofluids, and an accelerated Bachelor of Science to Master of Science program for undergraduates. All tracks provide a thesis or non-thesis option, and can be completed entirely online, and the experience is enriched by partnerships with major technology -focused organizations, “including NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Siemens and Walt Disney World.” The faculty are innovators in their own right, and online students are fully supported.

Admissions website

In 1962, President Kennedy gave a moving speech on space travel (“We choose to go to the Moon”). This speech was part of the impetus in the creation of the University of Central Florida (UCF), which was founded in 1963 in Orlando, Florida. The name of the school was Florida Technological University until it became UCF in 1978, and originally the academics focused primarily on space and technology. The school was intentionally diverse, admitting coeducational students and students of color from the inception, and almost 2,000 students enrolled the first year. Now, over 66,000 students make UCF the largest school in Florida and the second largest in the nation. More than 200 academic degree programs are provided through the thirteen colleges on the 1,400-plus acre campus, and there are several regional campus locations and many online programs available. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges grants UCF with regional accreditation, and the Carnegie Foundation classifies it as having highest research activity.

#37. University of Idaho

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Provided online through Engineering Outreach, the Master of Engineering (M. Engr.) in Mechanical Engineering degree program at U of I is a 30-credit hour program within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The ME department is located in the century-and-a-quarter old College of Engineering, and the coursework fulfills the original vision of this prestigious land-grant school—a focus on the mechanical arts. The online class offerings are plentiful (with choices such as “Engineering Acoustics,” “Computational Fluid Dynamics,” and “Finite Element Applications in Engineering,” just to name a few), and the faculty members have a long history of experience and cover many research areas. Student success is important at U of I—the College of Engineering Student Services office provides many resources and support services to engineering students, and a page dedicated to all manner of engineering news relevant to the school is available for all to access.

Admissions website

The University of Idaho (UI or U of I) was founded in 1889, one year before Idaho joined the union as the 43rd state. A public university and the flagship of the state, UI was located in Moscow, Idaho, and classes began in 1892 for 40 coeducational students. Also the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Idaho, UI is designated as a land- and space-grant university with a higher research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation. Main campus in Moscow is almost 1,600 acres, and branch campuses are located across the state. UI is organized into ten schools, and nearly 200 academic degree programs are currently offered to the more than 11,000 enrolled students. The mission of UI is to “enhance the scientific, economic, social, legal and cultural assets of our state and to develop solutions for complex problems facing our society,” and regional accreditation comes from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#38. University of California, Riverside

Online Master of Sciemce in Engineering with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The UCR online MS in Engineering with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering is offered entirely online through the Bourns College of Engineering. This convenient, flexible program is located within the relatively young but highly regarded Department of Mechanical Engineering and can be completed in as few as thirteen months. The faculty members and professors are “thought leaders and industry experts” who care about their students and offer the same rigorous coursework online as they do on-campus. The 36-credit hour curriculum includes sixteen credits of an engineering core and sixteen credits towards the mechanical engineering specialization, with classes such asTechnology Innovation and Strategy for Engineers,” “Plasma-aided Manufacturing and Materials Processing,” and “Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments,” and four one-credit Capstone courses. The current students and graduates of the program give it high praises, and prospective students can be assured that available student support specialists “are dedicated to helping students successfully navigate their educational journey.”

Admissions website

The University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside or UCR) was founded in 1954 but traces its roots to the University of California Citrus Experiment Station (CES), which was established in 1907. The Station moved to a larger location, and by the 1940s a push for a college in the area led to UC Riverside. Opening with 127 students, UCR quickly grew, and this public research university (one of the ten campuses in the University of California system), currently enrolls over 23,000 students. The nearly 1,200-acre campus houses three colleges and four schools, which offer over 180 academic degree programs. A land-grant school, diversity is proudly embraced at UC Riverside—the mission is to “transform the lives of the diverse people of California, the nation, and the world.” The Carnegie Foundation designates the school with a highest research activity classification, and regional accreditation comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#39. Kansas State University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Through the Kansas State University Global Campus and the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering (officially established in 1922, but classes in “mechanic arts” were offered as early as the foundation of K-State), students can pursue an online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree. Requiring 30-credit hours, the degree program curriculum is made up of classes such as “Indoor Environmental Engineering,” “Thermodynamics of Modern Power Cycles,” and “Finite Element Applications in Mechanical Engineering.” All coursework is available online; the only on-campus requirement is the final oral exam at the end of the program. Ideal for individuals who have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (or closely related field), the curriculum is taught by faculty members who have won teaching awards and published many books, chapters, papers, and articles collectively. Online students are fully supported with services and resources—K-State Global Campus has been providing distance education since 1966.

Admissions website

Though officially established in 1863 as the Kansas State Agricultural College, Kansas State University (Kansas State or K-State) began when the Bluemont Central College was founded in 1858; that school was converted into the land-grant state university. Kansas had entered the union in 1861, and the school located in Manhattan, Kansas benefited from the Morrill Act of 1862. Only the second institution of higher education in the nation that admitted coeducational students without any stipulation, Kansas State had 26 male and 26 female students enrolled in the first year. Renamed Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science in 1959, the school is known as Kansas State University in most settings. One of the 115 universities with the Carnegie Foundation classification of highest research activity, Kansas State is organized into nine colleges and has two branch campuses in Salina and Olathe. Nearly 25,000 students are now enrolled at K-State, and regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.

#40. University of Michigan-Dearborn

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The College of Engineering and Computer Science Distance Learning Network at UM-Dearborn provides an online Master of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (MSE-ME) degree program that “combines engineering practice with analysis.” A 30-credit hour program that can be completed entirely online, the MSE-ME presents two emphasis areas in which students can choose to focus: Mechanical Science or Thermal/Fluid Science. Located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (and one of the first degree programs offered by the school when it was established in 1959), the degree program is continuously improved upon with up-to-the-minute input from the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board, which is made up of “industry professionals who provide input . . .  and a perspective on future challenges requiring collaboration.” Coursework such as “Mechanical Behavior of Materials” and “Statistical Thermodynamics” are provided by the impressive faculty, and students can opt to complete the degree with a thesis and independent study.

Admissions website

Dearborn, a city in Michigan, benefited from being in the larger metropolitan of Detroit when the Ford Motor Company donated six million dollars and 200 acres to the city to finance a public university. An act that was both altruistic and practical, Ford Motor Company was providing funding to create a highly-educated and capable pool of engineers from which they could recruit. The school was founded in 1956, and the University of Michigan–Dearborn (UM–Dearborn) is one of two regional campuses for the flagship University of Michigan, which is located in Ann Arbor. UM-Dearborn opened its doors for the first classes in 1959, and 34 students were enrolled. Only offering degrees in Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Business Administration at that time, the school has grown to provide over 100 academic degree programs through four colleges. Over 10,000 students are now enrolled, and the Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation.

#41. Southern Methodist University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Mechanical Engineering Department at SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering provides a 30-credit hour MS in Mechanical Engineering degree online through the Lyle Distance Education Program. The program is at the forefront of distance education (the Lyle School of Engineering having provided “50 years of proven . . . engineering education-at-a-distance” since first offering it in 1967), and students can opt for a thesis or non-thesis track and from three concentration areas (Design and Dynamic Systems and Controls, Mechanics and Manufacturing, or Thermal and Fluid Sciences). Theexceptionally qualified faculty members are continuously engaged in cutting-edge research projects” and pass their knowledge and the benefits of their experience on to the students. Engineering services are provided to students, and a specific Distance Education Help Desk is a resource for distance students. As an additional benefit to students, the Lyle School Executive Board furnishes guidance to the school and a liaison to industry.

Admissions website

Chartered in 1911 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Southern Methodist University (SMU) welcomed students for the first time in 1915 in the first building constructed on the campus located in Dallas, Texas: Davis Hall. Three campuses now make up the university and cover nearly 625-acres collectively: the main campus in Highland Park/University Park (Dallas), a campus in Taos, New Mexico, and another Texas campus in Plano. Seven academic school comprise SMU and serve almost 12,000 students with more than 260 academic degree programs. Even though the school has a strong tie to the United Methodist church, it is a private research university that is “nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry” and has a higher research activity classification from the Carnegie Foundation. The university’s regional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#42. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Only the third private college established in the U.S. dedicated to science and technology, WPI’s online MS in Mechanical Engineering degree has roots in the first classes offered at the school when it opened in 1868 (making WPI one of the first schools in the nation to offer mechanical engineering coursework). The 30-credit hour program is available entirely online through the ABET-accredited Mechanical Engineering department, and students can choose from five specialization areas to customize the degree. The research-intensive faculty provides coursework such as “Applied Numerical Methods In Engineering” and “Fundamentals In Surface Metrology,” and online student support is provided through interactions with Student Support Team members. Also offered entirely online by WPI, the Mechanical Engineering for Technical Leaders (METL) graduate certificate is an eighteen-credit program that provides students with “a combination of the technical skills that create innovation solutions, and the managerial skills that bring these solutions to bear.”

Admissions website

The rich history of the engineering and technology that Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has produced first began when the school was established in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1865 (classes would begin three years later). The Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science, as it was known then, had two key financial founders: John Boynton and Ichabod Washburn. Both men had different ideas about the school, but their vision helped create a private research institution that now houses fourteen academic departments offering over 50 degree programs to the nearly 5,000 currently enrolled students. WPI has the vision “to create, to discover, and to convey knowledge at the frontiers of academic inquiry for the betterment of society” and is classified as having higher research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. Over 225 student organizations are offered by WPI, and regional accreditation is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

#43. University of Houston

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) in the UH Cullen College of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree program through Online & Special Programs (OSP). The same 30-credit hour degree program as on-campus, but conveniently offered online and with no time limit to complete the degree, the same innovative faculty members provide the coursework, with classes such as “Functional Engineering Materials and Applications,” “Intelligent Structural Systems,” and “Control System Analysis and Design” presented online. The list of specific engineering online student resources includes services, technological assistance with the online delivery system, a FAQ page, and a sample course for prospective students to view. A young university when viewed through historical lenses, UH’s College of Engineering, though established in 1941, has quickly jumped to national recognition and has nearly 20,000 alumni to speak to the quality of the school.

Admissions website

The University of Houston began simply as evening classes offered at the local high school in 1927. Known as the Houston Junior College at that time, the institution quickly grew to become University of Houston (UH) in 1934. That first year, almost 700 students were enrolled, and by 1939 the school had moved from the high school and found its permanent location. Becoming a state university in 1963, UH became a member of the University of Houston System in 1977. Organized into fourteen schools and colleges, this public research institution offers over 250 academic degree programs to over 45,000 currently enrolled students. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has awarded UH the classification of highest research activity, and UH is also the flagship institution of the UH System and the third largest university in the state of Texas. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides regional accreditation.

#44. University of Washington

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The UW Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program can be pursued entirely online on a full- or part-time basis. Designed for current mechanical engineer professionals with a strong undergraduate background in mechanical engineering or similar field, the 42-credit hour program can be pursued by others (such as physics majors) if they complete the undergraduate work required of MSME students. Located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) in the College of Engineering (which was established in 1901), the UW MSME is one of the largest in the nation and offers six concentration options (such as Dynamics & Vibrations or Mechanics, Materials & Manufacturing). In addition to the mechanical engineering resources and student services provided, the ME faculty members have many honors and a wealth of experience and expertise in the field. Prospective students can read the stories of current ME students and alums to visualize the experience of the program.

Admissions website

One of the goals of establishing the University of Washington was to help the city of Seattle prosper and grow. When it was founded in 1861, Washington was still a territory, and the institution was named the Territorial University of Washington. By 1889 (the year Washington entered the union) the school and the city began to thrive, and the school outgrew its original location and moved to the current main campus in 1895. Sixteen schools and colleges comprise the University of Washington (UW), and the institution of higher education is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having highest research activity. A public university, UW is also a land-, space-, and sea-grant institution and the flagship of the six public universities in the state. A member of the Association of American Universities, UW enrolls almost 47,000 students currently. UW is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#45. New Mexico Tech

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: New Mexico Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering presents a MS in Mechanical Engineering degree that students can access entirely online through the Center for Graduate Studies via distance education. The program requires 30 credit hours to graduate and provides four specialization areas: Specialization in Explosives Engineering, Specialization in Fluid and Thermal Sciences, Specialization in Mechatronics Systems Engineering, and Specialization in Solid Mechanics. Students participate in twelve-credit hours of their specialization core and complete the degree with electives and either a Thesis or Independent Study course. Although Mechanical Engineering is the newest academic department at NMT, it is the largest in terms of enrollment and enjoys a strong reputation. The faculty are actively involved in cutting-edge research, and since classes are offered in real-time through the Adobe Connect platform, online students are immersed in the class discussion as if they were present in the classroom.

Admissions website

Established as the New Mexico School of Mines in 1889 by the New Mexico Territorial Legislature, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (known most commonly as New Mexico Tech) is a public university in the Rio Grande valley. Growing out of a desire to boast the economy of one of the mining town Socorro, the first classes began in 1893 for the two instructors and seven students. As the school grew and added more programs (the original classes were in chemistry and metallurgy), the name was change to reflect that growth in 1951. Now New Mexico Tech educates over 2,000 students and offers nearly 50 academic degree programs. Known for engineering, science, and technology, New Mexico Tech houses over a dozen research divisions, such as the Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and the Energetic Materials Research & Testing Center. New Mexico Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

#46. Clarkson University

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: Through Distance Learning at Clarkson University, students can pursue both a ME degree and MS degree in Mechanical Engineering. Both degrees are 30-credit hours—the ME is a professional degree requiring a final project, and the MS is research-based with a thesis requirement. Located within the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering (the largest department at CU) in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering and provided online through the Graduate School, the programs both have a selection of courses from which students can choose in order to customize their degree (some of the courses offered online include “Particle Transport,” “Advanced Modeling & Simulation of Dynamic Systems,” and “Additive Manufacturing”). Technology has been an important component of CU since its founding in 1896, and students are well supported with resources that continue even beyond graduation—such as a Career Center available to online students and alumni.

Admissions website

Clarkson University was established as the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology in 1896. Located in Potsdam, New York, the school was founded by the family of local businessman Thomas Clarkson, who had died heroically saving the life of one of the workers in his sandstone quarry. Seventeen coeducational students were enrolled the first year, and now over 4,300 students are enrolled in more than 95 academic degree programs in one of four schools (The Clarkson School, the Graduate School, the School of Arts & Sciences, the David D. Reh School of Business, and the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering) or three institutes (the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the Institute for STEM Education, and the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries). A private research university with moderate research activity (as determined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), Clarkson is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#47. Kennesaw State University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: With a history that predates the university’s founding, the KSU Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (created as The Technical Institute in 1948 and as established as an academic college of KSU in 2015) provides an entirely online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree program ideal for working professionals. The 30-credit hour program is offered through the Department of Mechanical Engineering and requires eight core courses such as “Advanced Dynamics and Vibrations” and “Applied Engineering Design.” Two electives are chosen by the student from diverse classes such as “Project Management Processes,” “Introduction to Systems Engineering,” and “Total Quality,” and students have the option to complete a Master’s Project for credit. The curriculum is provided for online programs by “the same exceptional faculty that teach on-campus courses,” and these KSU professors have been recognized nationally for excellence in their online training. A comprehensive collection of Student Support Resources are also available to all online MSME students.

Admissions website

Kennesaw State University (KSU) was established as Kennesaw Junior College in 1964, and over 1,000 students were in attendance in its first year. Located in Cobb County, Georgia, KSU has two campus locations: Kennesaw and Marietta. Together the campuses are nearly 600 acres, and now more than 35,000 students are enrolled. The public research university is organized into thirteen colleges, and more than 150 academic degree programs are provided. Part of the University System of Georgia, KSU is the third largest institution of higher education in the state. Merging with the Southern Polytechnic State University in 2015, KSU is classified as having moderate research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. A vision of imparting an experience that will empower “the university community to have the vision, ability, and courage to transform the future,” KSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#48. Virginia Commonwealth University

Online Master of Science in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Program Details: Virginia Commonwealth University provides an entirely online MS in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering degree program through Online@VCU. A 30-credit hour program with a mission “to provide graduate students with learning opportunities for acquiring a broad foundation of engineering knowledge including business and manufacturing aspects,” the degree is housed within the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in the College of Engineering. Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are available, and the same nine credits of core courses are required for each (“Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Analysis,” “Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Continuum Mechanics,” and “Topics in Nuclear Engineering”). The remaining credits are comprised of electives, chosen with adviser guidance, from a variety of subject areas, and in the case of the thesis option, six credits of Directed Research in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. The faculty have an impressive collection of media appearances and publications along with their research, and online students have access to resources and services.

Admissions website

Founded as the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), a medical department of the Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has grown to become a comprehensive public research university. Established in 1838 in Richmond, Virginia the school obtained its own charter in 1844 to become the independent MCV. In 1968, the Medical College of Virginia merged with the Richmond Professional Institute, and now more than 31,000 students are currently enrolled. The VCU main campus encompasses almost 175 acres in downtown Richmond, and there are branch and satellite locations throughout the state and overseas. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education designates VCU with the highest research activity level, and over 200 academic degree programs are provided through the fourteen schools and colleges of this institution of higher education. Regional accreditation for VCU is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#49. Indiana State University

Online Master of Science in Technology Management with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Program Details: The College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Indiana State University provides an online Master of Science in Technology Management (MSTM) degree with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering Technology. A 33-credit hour program that can be completed in two years (but allows students up to seven years) and “provides a strong graduate education by integrating teaching with applied research in an engaging, challenging and supportive learning environment to prepare leaders.” The Technology Management Core includes fifteen-credits of coursework such as “Systems in Manufacturing” and “Economic Analysis for Engineering and Technology,” and the Mechanical Engineering Technology concentration offers nine credits towards “Engineering Design and Management,” “Application of Simulation Modeling and Analysis,” and “Computer Aided Graphics Software.” Electives and either a Major Project or Master’s Thesis culminate the program. This unique degree is offered through the College of Technology and located in the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology Management.

Admissions website

Established as the Indiana State Normal School by the Indiana General Assembly in 1865, Indiana State University was originally a school to train teachers for the area. Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, the institution of higher education opened its doors in 1870 for the first classes, and 23 students were enrolled. Going through several expansions and name changes, the school became Indiana State University in 1965. Organized into seven colleges, Indiana State is a doctoral research university with a moderate research activity level designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Providing almost 200 academic degree programs to the more than 13,500 currently enrolled students, Indiana State has a mission to “integrate teaching, research, and creative activity in an engaging, challenging, and supportive learning environment to prepare productive citizens for Indiana and the world.” Regional accreditation has been provided by the Higher Learning Commission since 1915.

#50. Boston University

Online Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

Program Details: The BU Master of Engineering (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering degree program is offered online through the Mechanical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering (which was founded in 1950). A 32-credit hour professional degree ideal for recent graduates, professionals who are at a mid-point in their career, and industry workers who want to expand their engineering and management knowledge. Classes are varied and cover topics like “Probability and Statistics for Mechanical Engineers,” “Atmospheric Flight Mechanics and Control,” and “Dynamics and Control of Mechanical Systems,” and all students culminate the degree by fulfilling a Practicum Requirement (in which students should be prepared to devote more than 50 hours to successfully complete). Seven research areas provide opportunities for students, and the award-winning faculty are available to offer their expertise and guidance. The College of Engineering houses a Graduate Programs Office to provide an orientation for new students, as well as other resources.

Admissions website

Boston University can claim a rich history of predecessors. The earliest school that contributed to the creation of Boston University was the Newbury Bible Institute, which was founded in 1839. The school was established in Newbury, Vermont by delegates of the United Methodist Church from Boston, and would be given a new charter in 1867 to move to Massachusetts and become the Boston Theological Institute. A newly-established Boston University merged with the institution in 1871 to become closer to the Boston University of today, and by the end of the 19th century all locations of the school came together on the campus on the banks of the Charles River. Now organized into seventeen schools and colleges, Boston University (BU) enrolls over 33,000 students currently, and this private nonsectarian research university is classified with the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges regionally accredits BU.

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Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Master’s in Strategy Online

10 Best Master’s Programs in Strategy

Earning an MBA is one of the smartest educational choices you can make to improve your salary and employment security.

These strategic management programs are versatile. They are perfect for a variety of modern positions. In addition, all MBAs prepare students for administrative or managerial roles. These often pay more than regular or middle-management jobs at the same company.

But many MBAs require that you choose one specialization over others. We’re making the process a little easier for you with our list of the best online master’s in Strategy. You can learn on your own time, on your own couch. Earning a strategic management credential has never been easier. 

Of all the specializations out there, a masters in strategy is one of the most valuable. You can also choose to pursue a master’s degree in strategy itself. This is often presented as a Master of Science in Strategy. A Master of Strategy is one of the top degree choices if you’re interested in developing a business in a broad, long-term sense. But what does an MBA in Strategy or a master’s degree in strategy prepare you to do? Strategic management specializations teach online students about big-picture management strategies in business or economic contexts. 

These strategic management programs will prepare you to make decisions about various aspects of a company’s internal structure or business strategy. You’ll take classes incorporating subjects about:

  • Finance
  • Psychology
  • Communication
  • Business education
  • Organizational behavior
  • Business leadership
  • Leadership.
  • Human resources management

An MBA in Strategy focuses on broader business education and business theory. That is rather than the nitty-gritty aspects of running a business day to day. Strategic management is a valuable degree for individuals who want to take the reins of a business or organization rather than settle for middle management. 

Many master’s-level strategy courses involve case studies. These are historical records of actual business decisions made by executives. Online students study these decisions. They then attempt to determine if the right course of action was taken. They develop their own philosophies and strategies for business. 

A master’s degree in strategy requires such a broad course list. Therefore, it is often considered to be interdisciplinary. It incorporates more hard STEM ideas or courses than many other business-focused paths. This versatility is part of the strategy degree’s strength. It’s designed for high-level decision-making and business strategy in a broader context. The strategic management major itself is general enough that you could get any business position. 

In many ways, strategy is one of the best concentrations you could pursue for an MBA. It keeps many doors open and doesn’t lock you into a particular career path like more niche specializations (such as healthcare management) often do. 

Attending an MBA program with an emphasis on strategy will afford you multiple networking opportunities in your business education. The best strategy masters incorporate a cohort structure. You’ll progress through the curriculum with the same group of students. You will learn from each other, forging bonds that can last for a lifetime. In the business world, personal connections are just as important as academic knowledge and business theory. If not more!

MBAs in Strategy often place you on an upper-level executive career trajectory. This often leads to a great salary. The exact earnings of your position can vary from those of your peers. Most professionals with master’s degrees in strategy are paid well for their efforts. 

All in all, an online masters in strategy is versatile. It offers exceptional growth opportunities. It prepares you for multiple business-oriented jobs. Those in a managerial or strategic context are common. It’s an excellent degree choice for future business professionals or executives.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

To be considered for a master’s in strategy online program, you’ll need to meet typical program admission requirements typical of most universities. The most common application or admission requirements are:

  • Work experience
  • GPA minimums
  • GRE scores

The exact GPA requirements for any program in strategy can vary from university to university. Most strategic management programs do not accept applicants without at least a 2.5 GPA. 

This is the minimum GPA to be considered for a program in strategic management. However, these programs are competitive. Therefore, it’s recommended that you aim for a 3.0 GPA or higher. If your GPA is not yet at this level, you can always take a few bachelor’s level courses to boost your GPA. 

Many master’s in strategy will require some previous work experience in business or economics. That is due to the program’s emphasis on managerial aspects and business strategy. Some programs accept people straight out of a bachelor’s program. Often this is just if it is related to strategy or business. Students who hold bachelor’s degrees in an unrelated field, such as liberal arts or science, will often need to submit a resume. This should detail their business experience. 

You must next consider their GRE scores. Your Graduate Record Examination scores are critical entry requirements for the majority of masters in strategy online programs. That is regardless of major. The GRE is a series of in-depth tests that examine your quantitative and verbal reasoning skills. That is as well as your critical writing and thinking capabilities. The GRE is taken on a computer. It can be repeated up to five times within one 12-month period. The GRE can be taken once every 21 days within that period, as well. Most master’s  have specific GRE thresholds for suitable applicants. Be sure to check admission requirements before applying. They may have higher or lower scores than your last GRE test. 

Many top master’s programs in strategy also require one or more letters of recommendation from your former teachers or employers. These letters act as character references. They help the university determine if you’re a good fit for their program. Be sure to pay attention to their application periods. Some universities often have a single application window for their master’s. Others may have various windows throughout the year. There is no universal mandate across universities.

See Also: 20 Best Online MBA in Strategy

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?

Anyone interested in going back to school for any reason should begin their financial aid efforts with the FAFSA. The Federal Application for Student Aid must be filled out at the beginning of every academic year. Be sure to tackle the financial aid process as soon as possible. That is regardless of whether you’ve taken a break from education or are pursuing master’s straight out of your bachelor’s program. 

The FAFSA is valuable. It allows you to take advantage of certain government-funded scholarships or loans. Several types of financial aid awards, like the Pell Grant, are accessible only through the FAFSA. You can also subsidize the loans you receive through this application. This makes them easier to pay off once you complete your education. Your financial aid is determined by your economic needs. If you are in need of more financial assistance, you will be eligible for greater help. 

Any students looking to pursue a master’s degree in strategy should also investigate school-specific scholarships and financial aid. A masters in business strategy is often awarded by a university’s school of business or business administration. There are often several grants or scholarships available throughout the year. This kind of financial aid is funded by the alumni of the university, many of whom are successful business people. These alumni networks often award scholarships to a large portion of the incoming class. Be aware that these grants also often have competitive requirements. There are a high number of applicants. You have to jump on these possible awards as fast as you can. That way you can give yourself the best chance to receive them. 

Investigate teaching assistantships. Many of the best schools for business or business administration will offer teaching assistantships to students. These agreements require you to dedicate 15 to 20 hours of your week to grading or similar tasks for a teacher. In exchange, you’ll receive paid tuition. Often you will receive a small stipend for any other expenses you may incur. Teaching assistantships are quite difficult to get for most master’s in strategy. They’re well worth the effort. They can make your graduate studies a much more lucrative prospect. 

If you have work experience, you should contact your advisor or administrator. Ask how your work experience could count toward program credit. A masters degree in strategy deals with business and economics subjects. Therefore, your prior work experience may be close enough to what’s covered in one or more of your strategic management courses. This pathway can lead you to an early graduation. It can also save you money since you won’t have to pay for extra credit hours learning what you already know. Not every program allows you to exchange work experience for credit, however.

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN STRATEGY?

A master’s degree in strategy—or an MBA with a strategy specialization—is such a versatile degree. The possible professions you could hold with the strategic management curriculum can lead to a wide range of potential salaries. Experience plays a huge factor, as well. When you estimate your potential earnings with this strategic management program, remember that a Master of Business Administration is suitable for high-level positions in business or corporations. Oftentimes that is in managerial or administrative capacities.

Most individuals with MBAs in strategy end up in supervisory or managerial roles. This may necessitate a higher salary than middle-management roles. Exact salary levels can vary. 

General management occupations can earn a median wage of $104,000. They are growing at a rate of about 7% per year. Most managerial professions require a bachelor’s level of education. Earning a master’s degree in strategic management shows greater dedication to the job in question. It allows you to demand a higher salary than your peers. Those with a master’s degree in any managerial profession should expect a higher salary than the above figure. 

Still, your initial salary may be as low as $73,000 a year. For example, if you become some kind of project manager and don’t have any work experience right out the gate. The potential for salary growth is quite high as you gain experience. Those with MBAs in Strategy are well-equipped to bolster the growth of their home company or business. They may receive accolades and salary increases as their business performs better. 

It’s even possible to become a top executive, such as a CEO or CFO. These jobs are growing at about 6% per year. They have a median salary of $104,000 per year. This figure can be much greater. Many famous CEOs earn tens of millions of dollars per year or more. It all depends on the business you choose to run and your experience level. You could also adopt a freelance lifestyle and become a management analyst, according to U.S. News and World Report

Companies hire management analysts to improve their organizational efficiency. They might change their managing style to afford better returns. An MBA in Strategy, according to U.S. News and World Report, prepares you well for this kind of work. You’ll know how to look at things in a big-picture format to see what works and what doesn’t. Management analyst jobs are growing at about 14% per year. They earn a median annual salary of $83,000 per year

The potential earnings for an individual with a masters in strategic management online are determined by their market or business focus. It is also determined by their own drive and ambition. Some individuals  achieve salaries upwards of $140,000 per year. Others earn median annual salaries closer to $60,000. This variation doesn’t have to be worrisome. Many successful businesspeople with MBAs in strategy enjoy this aspect of their field. It indicates that their salaries are more affected by their performance and ambition than in many other professional fields.

OUR RANKING CRITERIA

We have a time-tested four-part formula designed to rank the nation’s best colleges that we’d love to share with you. We prioritize four major factors:

  • Earnings Potential
  • Affordability
  • Student Satisfaction
  • Selectivity

Reliable research and well-harvested data are the main ingredients in our recipe for success. We don’t make recommendations based on personal opinions, or financial incentives. Our revenue and content are separate. Sponsored schools have no impact on our rankings. The only way to make it onto one of our lists is to have an incredible academic program. Want to know more? We encourage you to check out our methodology page. 

Check out our ranking of the ten best master’s programs in strategy. 

#1. STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT

Stevens-Institute-of-TechnologyYou will find one of the best strategic management programs at Stevens Institute of Technology. Stevens Institute of Technology’s online Master of Science in Management program is one of eight different graduate degree programs offered 100% online. The Master’s in Management in the College of Business uses analytical techniques and new technologies. This is done to bring top educational courses right to your computer. It’s a perfect program, even for students with low business exposure. It relies on practical instruction. It has strategic management courses focusing on economics, strategy, leadership, and innovation. This program has an interdisciplinary curriculum. It focuses on collaboration and practical application of accumulated knowledge. It’s a fantastic online MS in Management program. It provides all students with everything they need to know to succeed in the business sphere. 

The program incorporates a core of eight classes. Six of these can be taken during the shorter summer semester instead of the spring or fall semester. This structure allows you to fast-track your graduation. You can earn your master’s degree in strategy in less than two years. This particular program is designed to be completed in 12 months. It’s an ideal choice for working professionals. It’s a 30-credit program in total. There are three application cycles. This program is difficult to get into compared to other strategy programs. You must submit a resume that demonstrates your leadership capabilities. 

You may be interviewed prior to receiving your admissions decision. This interview is similar to what you might experience when you apply for a regular job. Despite Stevens’ rigorous acceptance standards, you can rest assured that the program is worth it. Your faculty and peers are also guaranteed to be of a high caliber. They offer exceptional networking opportunities and collaboration in the future.

There are also several excellent graduate certificate programs. You can complete these programs at the same time as your main curriculum. This will bolster your credentials and make yourself more attractive to employers. This MBA in strategic management will help you gain serious strategic leadership skills. 

Any credits you take in pursuit of a graduate certificate in the College of Business can be used for the MBA core itself.  Stevens is a fantastic university anyone would be lucky to attend. 

This program has small class sizes of just 10 each, according to U.S. News and World Report. You’ll receive full-time attention from your instructors. Stevens enlists a small army of career placement professionals. They can help you find employment or an internship after graduation. This school is ranked seventh in the nation by The Princeton Review for career placement. It is also highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Add to that its extensive alumni network of successful businesspeople. It’s a great university for any aspiring company manager or executive.

#2. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS

ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

University of Texas at DallasThe strategic management program at the University of Texas is another one of the best online master degrees. University of Texas at Dallas has an excellent strategic management masters degree online in the College of Business, according to U.S. News and World Report. It has maximum flexibility to allow you to pursue other career goals, or continue working while you complete your education. There are no on-campus requirements. Not even for orientation or graduation! You can observe classes to see how things are done on the main campus. UT Dallas accepts a broad student body with diverse backgrounds and experience levels. The MBA in Strategic Management is a perfect choice. That’s regardless of your prior business experience. You need a bachelor’s degree and a decent GPA to be eligible for acceptance. There are even GRE waivers available. 

The UT Dallas MBA curriculum in the College of Business can be completed in as little as 16 months. You have 72 months to fulfill all of the curriculum requirements. The program is known for its academic excellence. It’s ranked as the #6 Best Online Program. That’s according to U.S. News and World Report. It’s no wonder that it’s ranked so high. You will have access to some of the best faculty in the nation. There are also dedicated career management services. Even from afar as an online student, you can access the dedicated MBA program office. It helps place graduates in careers after completing the program. The main curriculum is comprised of 32 spring and fall semester credit hours of required core strategic management courses. There are 21 extra spring and fall semester credit hours for electives. You’ll gain hands on experience to build your strategic leadership skills.

You’ll join a cohort of fellow students. That’s regardless of whether you pursue this MBA as a full-time student or a part-time student. You won’t lose any networking or collaborative opportunities with students of your age range and experience level. Not even if you can’t devote a full amount of time to your studies at the moment! UT Dallas offers combined MBA/MS degrees. There are several additional concentrations in the college of business that you can add to further your credentials and qualifications. The double MS/MBA option in the college of business is robust. It can be completed in less than two years if you choose. 

It’s a fantastic program that affords you lots of opportunities to personalize your experience. It’s even affordable for most. It is ranked as the #1 Best Value Public University in Texas according to Forbes. It’s also top-ranked by U.S. News and World Report. It has a diverse student body and capable faculty. You’ll always be able to receive help when you need it. You will feel surrounded by fellow ambitious professionals who raise the bar of your program. When you attend this program, you’ve got both the tools and the time needed to make the most of the opportunity.

#3. EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY-WORLDWIDE

ONLINE MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University is home to a top strategic management online master program. This school is famous for its bachelor’s degree programs in aeronautics. Yet it offers a compelling Master of Science in Management, too. The MS in strategy is well-suited for individuals who want to take charge of aviation companies or subsidiary industries. 

The aviation industry is an interesting sphere by itself. It’s a quite lucrative one if you can manage to master its intricacies, according to U.S. News and World Report. You don’t have to go into aviation with this program. It’s robust and general enough to compete with other master’s business programs for strategy across the nation. This program in the College of Business emphasizes the scientific and statistical side of things. That is reflected with its science specialty. It emphasizes management and operations. That is more so than communications or socialization like a traditional MBA. All courses are taught in a practical and hands-on manner. Each class’s curriculum offers multiple research opportunities. 

This program in strategy is a great choice for students pursuing a more research-oriented field. The program’s core curriculum emphasizes major management fundamentals and strategic leadership skills. It also allows you to specialize in one of five different pathways:

  • Human resources management
  • Global management
  • Leadership
  • Operations management
  • Project management. 

This strategic management option is suitable for future business executives who will lead the charge. This is valuable in the aviation industry and in other spheres as well. The curriculum is comprised of 30 credit hours. It offers many opportunities for credit transfers. This schools is one of the best to attend if you’re a military veteran. There are special tuition and credit opportunities available to accelerate your timeline.

Embry-Riddle also partners with various aerospace and security companies. It can be difficult to acquire a job after graduating from any  program. Yet this university is connected to various federal and private aerospace companies. Locating a lucrative job is much easier. Both NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration are known to pursue graduates from Embry-Riddle. You can also utilize Embry-Riddle’s career services to prepare you for work right out of graduation.

This university’s pathway to success speaks for itself. It’s a phenomenal choice for young professionals who want to pursue a Master’s in Strategy. Yet it’s worthwhile due to its company connections and possibilities for networking. It is top ranked by U.S. News and World Report

#4. VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MBA STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Villanova UniversityAnother top strategic management option can be found at Villanova. This online master degree is one of the newest around. The Villanova School of Business has just begun offering an online MBA degree, though it has offered a bachelor’s degree in business for quite some time.

Since the move, they have allowed thousands of students to pursue professional career goals from the comfort and flexibility of their own home. This MBA program in the College of Business is based on the on-campus curriculum. It incorporates different strategies and courses to create a unique experience. However, the same faculty teach both the on-campus and online courses. You’ll get a top-tier education even if you don’t attend Villanova in-person. Villanova’s faculty have first-hand experience in business and leadership. They forge meaningful bonds with their students. They also impart wisdom that non-specialized faculty cannot provide. 

Villanova’s MBA program in the College of Business consists of 21 courses taken over six semesters. Each of these are split into two terms. You can complete the program in a minimum of two years. That makes it an ideal choice for both full- and part-time students. At the beginning of the program, you’ll attend a community-building campus residency. You can choose to push it to your second spring or fall semester. There are also two required practicum experiences at the middle and end of the program. Be prepared to travel to Villanova’s physical campus if you are some distance away. The rest of the program is online. That’s despite its emphasis on leadership and collaboration. You’ll meet and web-chat with your fellow students and faculty. This will allow you to work together on assigned graduate coursework and projects as you build strategic leadership skills.  

The program ends with a final capstone course. There is an optional seven-day international immersion experience. This allows students to travel abroad and visit companies in emerging economies. It’s valuable for building connections and  experience in the business sphere. This experience takes place in developing economies. Therefore, you will gain real strategic insight to bring to future businesses. Furthermore, the middle of the program involves the Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum. 

This top-tier course has you work in teams with your fellow students for a single client. It’ll teach you what you need to know to become a successful top executive. It will prepare you to become a strategic mastermind and give back to the community at the same time. 

Villanova’s strategic MBA program is perfect for business beginners. It is also ideal for those who are coming into graduate school right after receiving a bachelor’s degree. Its emphasis on real-world experience and practical education provide more value than other online graduate business programs. It is more difficult to complete due to physical requirements. Yet this program is well worth the effort. It may result in an extensive network of collaborators and associates you can call upon through your professional career.

#5. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – DENTON, TEXAS

ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

University of North TexasYou’ll find another leading strategic management online master at UNT’s college of business. The University of North Texas offers an accelerated online MBA program in the College of Business. You can complete it in as little as 12 months. That depends on how many courses you need to complete and your studying intensity. The strategic management variation of the primary MBA program consists of 12 total classes and 36 credit hours. It offers multiple start dates throughout the year. The curriculum will provide you with a broad exposure to the skills you’ll need to manage and strategize the operations of companies. 

It’s an MBA with a minor concentration in strategic management. Therefore, most of the strategic management core courses are generalized. They don’t emphasize strategy over other management aspects. Still, it can be helpful for some young professionals. 

This MBA program provides you with the knowledge necessary to sustain business growth around dips and peaks in the economy. UNT offers all graduates access to their Department of Management. This can help you find career opportunities or internships after graduation. You do need a substantial background in business to take advantage of this accelerated program. There is no other relaxed timeline you can pursue. 

The business School of Business background classes you need under your belt include:

  • Micro and macroeconomics
  • Statistics
  • Finance
  • Strategic thinking and emotional intelligence
  • Business leadership
  • Strategic leadership
  • Business law.

Therefore, this online MBA is best pursued by those who already have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. UNT does allow you to make up these deficiencies with its own online software. This adds time to your overall graduation track. 

Because of its accelerated pace, this program is great to pursue if your schedule allows you to finish your education full-time. Each class is administered in an asynchronous and flexible forma. It is delivered over an eight-week period. The program continues through the fall and spring, and over the summer. You can jump into the program with six start dates every year. 

The accelerated format doesn’t make use of as much collaboration or teamwork with your fellow students as many other master’s business programs in strategy. But it does afford you plenty of opportunity to connect with your faculty. There are over 4600 faculty members dedicated to the success of UNT’s students. All of the faculty have real-world business experience. 

The University of North Texas also has several historical accomplishments. It was the location of the first jazz studies program. It also had the first retail program and the first graduate applied anthropology program offered online. Firsts are a way of life at UNT. So consider attending if you want to supercharge your career and graduate with an online master’s degree in strategy in as short a period of time as possible.

#6. INDIANA UNIVERSITY-BLOOMINGTON

ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Indiana University BloomingtonIndiana University has a superior strategic management online master in the College of Business.  It is offered by one of the top business schools. The business school offers a Master of Science in Strategic Management. The Master of Science is more or less the same as a graduate degree in general strategy. The curriculum focuses on improving your problem-solving skills and developing leadership abilities. Both of these are necessary to lead a business in any economy. This curriculum encompasses topics such as:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Operations management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Strategic leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organizational development and change

The broad scope of this Master of Science seems heavy at first glance. That’s because this strategic leadership program is designed for professionals who already have two or more years of manager-level experience. It’s not a great fit for students coming straight out of a bachelor’s program. However, it’s exceptional for working professionals who want to bolster their academic experience and credentials. It’s a 30-credit hour strategic management curriculum program in the College of Business. It can be completed in as little as 15 months. Or you can take as long as three years. 

There is a great degree of flexibility to let you study on your own terms and schedule in this Master of Science graduate school. However, there’s just a single application window each year. It closes on Aug. 1 for the fall semester. All of the students in the program proceed at a similar pace. This allows for exceptional collaborative and networking career opportunities. While it’s not a true cohort structure, you will work with your fellow students and faculty as you investigate case studies.  You’ll learn the strategic processes real business executives use every day in the market. 

Later courses in the Master of Science emphasize the role that technology and innovation play in the development of any business or economy. They are useful for professionals working in techy spheres. This strategic management program is already sufficient for most professionals seeking academic excellence. You can also pursue a dual degree and earn extra credentials without compromising your schedule. It does take longer than the 15 required months. But it may be worthwhile.

Regardless of whether you choose to obtain a single or a dual degree, you’ll be required to attend Kelley Connect Weeks like all other online students. These intense weeks are held at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Here, you’ll build real relationships with your faculty and peers.  You will also take on a live business case while working alongside a team. Plus, you’ll get lots of exposure to various academic business disciplines. The first connect week begins  prior to your main classes. The second takes place at the beginning of your second year of the program. 

Indiana University also offers you the opportunity to study abroad. This can be fun for students who want to see more of the world before settling down into a career. Overall, Indiana University’s online master’s in strategy program provides lots of value. It’s one of the best programs to choose if you already have manager-level experience under your belt.

#7. HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MBA WITH A CONCENTRATION IN STRATEGIC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Hofstra UniversityHofstra University offers an MBA with a Strategic Business Management concentration. The strategic management concentration is part of one of the best online master programs you will find. This online MBA program isn’t as in-depth as master’s degrees with strategy-based curriculum. However, it is still quite dense and robust. It has a general focus on how strategy applies to upper-level management and long-term decision-making. That makes this program a valuable choice if you want to keep your options open. You’ll have the ability to float between executive positions at a company or in a freelance, advisory role. 

This 38-credit hour program’s admission criteria are relaxed compared to many other online Master’s in strategy programs. There are GRE waivers for certain conditions in the College of Business. These are often based on your professional experience. It’s a great program if you already have some executive business experience or you’re coming straight from school. All courses are taught by full-time faculty members that have real-world business experience. You’ll gain massive strategic leadership skills.

Even though this program is online, the faculty will have many opportunities to assess your leadership. They can provide individualized executive coaching. This opportunity is fantastic for all students who want to become successful executives. You’ll receive personalized feedback on your leadership and management style. This type of feedback is often ignored in many online MBA programs. That’s due to the distance between students and faculty. 

Hofstra goes even further to bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar programs. The online MBA program has many initiatives to let you network and pursue academic excellence. You can find internship opportunities during or after graduation. It also incorporates an online cohort program option. You can choose this pathway to complete the strategic management degree within two years. You will progress with a collection of fellow students. This can provide a sense of camaraderie often missing from many online programs. 

You can also follow a more flexible path that allows you to complete the strategic management degree within a few years. It’s a perfect choice if you have a hectic work and life schedule. If you do select the two-year cohort program option, you’ll have to attend two four-day residencies where you’ll meet the fellow students of your cohort. You’ll make connections at the university. The first residency is at the beginning of the program in the College of Business. The last is at the end. 

Overall, this online MBA program is a perfect balance of rigor and flexibility. Its academic merits are well-known and recognized. It holds the #16 spot for the best online MBA program according to The Princeton Review. If you’re still not sure, you can attend in-person or online information sessions whenever you like. This will allow you to discover whether the program is a good fit for you to achieve academic excellence. 

#8. QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Quinnipiac UniversityAnother top strategic management online master is at Quinnipiac. This online program is relevant to long-term business strategy in a more specific way than other programs. It’s a great degree if you want to become a management analyst or another kind of freelance business advisor. 

As a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, you’ll be well-equipped to both recognize good leadership. You can bring those same qualities to your own business endeavors. The curriculum focuses on communication, analysis, ethics, and organizational leadership. These are its primary pillars in the College of Business throughout the entirety of its 100% online course load. There are no in-person residencies required for this strategic leadership degree. It’s one of the easier programs to complete if you can’t leave your job or have to complete all your education in a remote setting. You’re sure to achieve academic excellence! 

It is a Master of Science degree. However, this program has a surprising amount of focus on contemporary understandings of social and emotional intelligence. Leadership is such an abstract and humanitarian part of doing business. Therefore, much of the focus of the program incorporates social responsibility, cultural diversity, and performance improvement. This is done through data-driven models and statistical analysis. It’s quite an interdisciplinary program and provides a unique learning challenge. 

There are multiple start dates throughout the year. It’s a great program to jump into even if you missed the traditional fall deadline. The core classes emphasize leadership strategy in interpersonal and broader business levels. This allows you to make small and large decisions with the same strategic concepts. 

This strategic management program is one of the best for learning how to deal with the social elements inherent in every business. It also affords you the expertise necessary to look into a business from the outside. You’ll learn how to determine what might be going wrong on an interpersonal level, or with higher decision-making. You can specialize in one of four professional focus tracks:

  • Health care management
  • Human resource leadership
  • Public service for nonprofit leadership
  • Strategic leadership and strategic thinking

Each specialization is well-tailored for specific career paths and professional career goals. You will receive all the benefits of a general degree in business and organizational strategy while still showcasing your expertise to employers and meeting your career goals for career advancement.

 Quinnipiac has several accolades that help with career advancement. It’s listed as one of the best business schools by both U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review. In addition, it has one of the best accreditations for business schools. The AACSB accreditation is held by less than 10% of all business schools. 

Quinnipiac’s online master’s degree in strategy is one of the best on the market. It’s well worth your time if you want to double down on the managerial and leadership aspects of strategic decision-making in the workplace.

#9. NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES – HENNIKER, NEW HAMPSHIRE

ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Looking for a strategic management program that’s not too overcrowded? You will find a top strategic management online master at New England College. Not all of the best schools to earn a master’s degree in strategy have thousands of students all attending at once. New England College is a much smaller school with an intimate atmosphere. That’s true even across its online interface. This diverse school has about 900 graduate students from all over the world. There’s a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13:1. This allows instructors to forge personal relationships with each student. This university is great for learners that require a personalized approach. 

NEC’s broad network of partners allows it to provide thousands of internship opportunities. There are few universities better suited for new graduate students than NEC. It’s a lot easier to find professional experience during or after graduation through this strategic leadership professional network. NEC’s MBA with an emphasis on strategic leadership is the perfect choice for professionals who want to master the difficulties of running a business. 

The curriculum capitalizes on strategic opportunities. It focuses on global environment and global economy. It also has lots of material for entrepreneurs. It teaches you to solve problems in practical yet creative ways. It’s a curriculum designed for both full- and part-time working professionals. You can complete it in as few as 20 months. 

There is one track available for all students in the strategic management program. Be prepared to give it your all once you get accepted. There is no slower track if you need to lighten the course load. This strategic management program with a global environment focus might be harder than the courses you took in your bachelor’s degree! Applying to this strategic management program is intense, too. It’s quite a competitive scene. It requires a resume with professional work experience. 

Once you’ve been accepted to this strategic management degree, you’ll proceed through seven four-credit core courses. Then there are three more four-credit courses that focus on strategic leadership rather than general business administration. The core  encompasses the entirety of broad business administration subjects. These range from finance to economics to managerial accounting. But all of these courses are presented through the lens of leadership. These prepare students for an executive spot at whatever business they apply for next. 

The last core course is a capstone project. In it, you will solve a real-world business problem either as an individual or with a team. This is depending on your scheduling needs. Still, you can do all of this 100% online without the need for residency. The focused strategic leadership classes cover:

  • Relationship selling strategies
  • Project management
  • Organizational communication.
  • Strategic thinking

This last class is useful for future managers, since it focuses on negotiation and conflict resolution in the workplace.

As a whole, NEC’s MBA in Strategic Leadership is a great choice to gain the tools you need to succeed as a strategic leader on both a small and large scale.

#10. HARVARD UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MASTER OF LIBERAL ARTS MANAGEMENT

HarvardLast but not least is the online master degree in strategic management at Harvard University. Harvard University has a long history. It is well-known for the quality of its academic programs, including the Master of Liberal Arts Management. Unlike the vast majority of other master’s degrees in strategy, this strategic management degree emphasizes management techniques and understanding through a liberal arts lens. It’s a unique program that is well-suited for any future professionals in a liberal arts business. It can open up greater professional opportunities than a regular MBA. 

This program’s curriculum doesn’t skimp on the main administrative or dry subjects:

  • Accounting
  • Economic theory
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategic thinking
  • Organizational behavior

All of these subjects are accounted for in the core classes. You’ll investigate plenty of case studies. These will help you develop your own management theories and practices. You’ll also attend group projects and active learning experiences. This program does require some on-campus presence. 

There are two graduation paths for this strategic leadership program. The capstone track is perfect for future entrepreneurs. It involves a final capstone project. You’ll have to attend two three-week summer courses on the main campus in order to complete all of the requirements. 

The capstone project is intense and exciting. You’ll work with faculty and mentors on a real-world project for an actual business client. The alternative path eschews the capstone project. It does require that you take four of the classes on site. Some weekend options are available for professionals with limited free time.

Think of this program as a hybrid online/on-campus course. This isn’t  a negative. Much of Harvard’s value comes from making connections with your peers and faculty. Some of the most powerful and influential businesspeople in the world have connections to the university. You’ll also have to attend the annual Harvard commencement in order to receive your strategic management degree. 

Due to its prestige and financial position, Harvard offers a plethora of benefits that other universities cannot. There are multiple opportunities for admission. An example is the Harvard Business School Online CORE pathway. To accommodate those in need of a flexible schedule, there are several start dates for this program. Harvard further offers lots of financial aid opportunities to current attendees of the program. Once you are accepted, your financial burdens will be at least somewhat reduced by tuition scholarships or subsidized loans. 

All of these benefits are included along with some of the more important and wonderful aspects of Harvard’s business schools. There is a beautiful campus, an excellent school spirit, and access to a diverse strategic leadership alumni network you’ll be able to call on for the rest of your life. It’s no exaggeration to say that networking is the true advantage of Harvard. It’s safe to say that earning a master’s degree in strategy at Harvard is one of the best steps you can take for your professional future.

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS

#11. Amberton University

Location: Garland, Texas

Degree: Online MBA in Strategic Leadership

Net Price: N/A

Website

#12. National University

Location: San Diego, California

Degree: Online Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership 

Net Price: N/A

Website

#13. Messiah College

Location: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Degree: Online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Leadership

Net Price: $27,976

Website

#14. Ottawa University Angell Synder School of Business

Location: Ottawa

Degree: Online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Innovation

Net Price: $25,583

Website

#15. University of St. Francis

Location: Joliet, Illinois

Degree: Online Master’s of Science in Management

Net Price: $19,418

Website

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT, THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MBA DEGREE PROGRAMS & 50 BEST NO GRE ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Computer Science Masters Programs

best cs masters programs

The computer science industry is booming. More businesses than ever are developing online spaces. More businesses are shifting more of their business to the digital world.

There’s no better time to earn a master’s in computer science.

The world is more connected to the growing web of computers, mobile devices, and cloud networks. The need for skilled programmers and computer experts is growing, too. Master’s degrees are essential.

Computer science is now a standard field at most major universities. You can accomplish a lot with a bachelor’s degree in the subject. But acquiring a Master of Science in computer science is still valuable. It can lead to a higher salary ceiling and more interesting job opportunities. It’s not often intended as a degree for further research pursuits or as a stepping stone to a PhD.

Ready to get started? The first step is to take a look at our list of the best computer science programs.

This master’s degree in computer science is a terminal degree. It prepares you for specialized work in the computer science field. 

Plus, it is more important than ever before to stand out from the high number of computer science majors entering the workforce. A Master’s degree is a perfect way to do just that. Do you enjoy solving mathematical or logic problems? Do you like completing projects through quantitative reasoning? Then you will be a great fit for a Master’s in computer science.

A Master of Science in CS allows you to do lots of things for a career. You won’t be limited to data crunching or programming.

Computer science majors can enter dynamic and interesting fields. Examples include cyber-security, data analytics, or digital design.

With a master’s in computer science, you’ll be able to:

  • Design and develop software
  • Make existing software more efficient
  • Help businesses secure themselves against growing malware threats

You aren’t limited to one sector when you earn a Master of Science in Computer Science, either. Both the government and private companies need skilled computer science experts. This variety demonstrates the multitude of positions available for those with the right skills.

Keep reading to learn more about the best computer science masters programs!

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

The exact admissions criteria for any Master’s program will vary by university. But most computer science programs have a few common requirements to be aware of.

For one, almost all computer science programs ask that applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. An acceptable bachelor’s degree will deal with math, statistics, programming, or computer engineering.

Of course, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is the logical degree to pursue, too. Most computer science programs also have a preferred programming language, such as C++ or JavaScript. Not having a computer science background in a specific language does not often disqualify you from acceptance.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject, you may have to take additional prerequisite courses to qualify for a CS Master’s program. There are a few Master’s computer science programs that may accept graduate students without a bachelor’s degree. In most cases, these are joint BS/MS degree pathways where students enter a fast-track program. In this program, you will be able to complete both a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years. That’s from start to finish for this fifth year master’s program!

Most Master’s computer science programs have a minimum GPA requirement. This is usually around 3.0 or above. This number can vary from school to school. It’s always a good idea to target a higher than required GPA. In addition, all Master’s students must take the Graduate Record Examinations or GRE.

These computer tests measure your aptitude in a number of areas. It includes verbal reasoning, critical thinking, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. All of these are important for graduate work in any field. Computer science Master’s programs may have high GRE minimums or thresholds that must be met.

Students who have some level of professional experience will be given a higher priority for acceptance. Lots of Master’s computer science  programs want at least two letters of recommendation. These should be from the faculty of your previous school or your employers. 

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

What Do Computer Science Students Learn?

In your degree, you will cover the following topics and computer science courses:

  • Theoretical computer science
  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Machine learning
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer systems
  • Computational science
  • Computer networks
  • Artificial intelligence/biocomputation computer science
  • Intelligent systems
  • Real world computing
  • Computer and information technology
  • Human computer interaction
  • Computer security
  • Operating systems
  • Computer science and engineering

Other topics and areas of specialization for a degree in computer science include:

  • Computer graphics
  • Software development
  • Database systems
  • New programming languages/older programming language
  • Data structures
  • Data analytics
  • Computer science theory and theoretical foundations
  • Scientific computing
  • Software systems
  • Distributed systems/networked systems/embedded systems
  • Creative technologies
  • Advanced algorithms and computer design
  • Computational biology
  • Information security
  • Database management systems
  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Computer and network security
  • Computational systems
  • High performance computing
  • Intelligent robotics
  • Software theory
  • Information science
  • Computer programming
  • Applied science
  • Computer and information research

Of course, there is some variability here. Many computer science students choose to add specializations to their professional master’s program as well. In this way, a degree in computer science prepares students for just about any career, including the coveted positions of information research scientists. With a degree in computer science, graduate students are well equipped to tackle any research project.

After earning a master’s in computer science, you could work in the following information technology occupations:

  • Information research scientists (added bonus – information research scientists can work just about anywhere!)
  • Computer scientists
  • Computer security specialist
  • Information systems managers and other information management positions
  • Web developer
  • Computer and information research
  • Computer sciences professors
  • Software publishers
  • Information science
  • Software development engineers
  • Software developers/software development
  • Computer and electrical engineering

…or any other area related to computer sciences and computing professionals. You’re sure to have a fruitful academic career and meet any career goals you might have!

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS?

Any pursuit of financial aid should start with the FAFSA. This application allows you to petition the federal government for aid. It’s the only way you can access excellent government grants, like the Pell Grant, or receive subsidized federal loans.

The FAFSA has to be completed before you pursue any other type of aid. It’s best to knock this out early. You also have to fill out the FAFSA every academic year.  FAFSA aid is based on your economic situation. Students without much of an income stand to benefit the most from its awards. Earning an MS in Computer Science can be affordable!

The rising popularity of many computer science programs has caused lots of universities to begin CS-specific scholarship programs and grant committees. These are funded by local university organizations. Applications can be found on school websites. Such scholarships or grants have individual requirements. They may need a personal essay or demonstration of your prior work. These financial aid programs are typically quite competitive.

Any students completing a MS in Computer Science on campus should investigate computer science assistantships and/or fellowships. Many assistantships will provide you with a small stipend to cover any living expenses along with your tuition expenses. In exchange, you’ll perform teaching assistant work for one of the professors. It usually requires between 15 and 20 hours of work each week. Assistantships are excellent opportunities.

Fellowships are another method of lowering tuition. Computer science fellowships are best thought of as prizes that you and your fellow program peers will compete for. Whoever wins the fellowship will have some or all of their tuition covered. Winners are usually determined based on potential for furthering the computer science field. These fellowships sometimes come with certain requirements or strings attached. But they’re very valuable, just like assistantships. Both fellowships and assistantships are competitive. Only a few students are accepted at a time.

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE?

The earnings for individuals with a MS in Computer Science range across a broad spectrum. General pay is higher than average for an MS in Computer Science compared to other fields. Those with more experience or with a MS in Computer Science are in a better position to obtain higher-paying positions. They can also take more interesting jobs than less-skilled programming jobs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. News & World Report, computer science positions offer excellent salaries right off the bat.

For instance, standard computer programmers have a median annual wage of about $84,280. Work in the finance industry and you can earn salaries between $80,000 and $103,000. It’s easier to progress as a programmer with more experience and a MS in Computer Science degree.

Database administrators are people who oversee vast amounts of data into a responsible for larger networks or collections of software. They earn a higher median salary of about $90,070. These jobs are  important to many businesses or government organizations. Those who hold them are responsible for presenting large amounts of data to those without the expertise to understand it. In other words, database administrators are those who give information to executives for decision-making purposes. This position also only requires a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Having a MS in Computer Science will make you a more competitive hire for any company.

There are also computer science jobs that require a Master’s degree for the initial hire. One such job is that of a computer and information research scientist. These computer science experts design new computing technologies. They discover how to integrate new developments with existing digital architecture. They’re capable of understanding and creating new digital tools and software for others to use.

As a result, they’re paid very well. The median pay is around $118,370 per year. This isn’t even the cap. Higher earners among CS scientists earn wages around $140,000 per year. Even scientists who do more research work can easily attain salaries of around $130,000 per year. It’s quite lucrative to snag a position as a CS scientist of some kind. This position always requires a professional Master’s degree.

These ultimate highs aren’t what you’ll experience immediately upon graduating. The BLS indicates that the median salary for most computer occupations is around $86,320 per year. This is still nothing to sneeze at.

A Master’s degree in computer science is clearly a worthwhile investment. The BLS clearly indicates that those in STEM fields with a MS in Computer Science earn a wage premium over their bachelor’s degree peers. Network and computer systems administrators have a wage premium amount of about $18,000. Web developers have a wage premium amount of about $14,000. Even miscellaneous mathematical or science occupations prefer MS in Computer Science holders. They award a premium salary amount of around $20,000 over those with just a bachelor’s degree. The data is clear. A CS Master’s degree is very worthwhile.

OUR RANKING CRITERIA 

We have a time-tested four-part formula designed for ranking the best colleges in the nation. We’d love to share it with you. We prioritize four major factors:

  • Earnings Potential
  • Affordability
  • Student Satisfaction
  • Selectivity.

Reliable research and well-harvested data are the main ingredients in our recipe for success. We don’t make recommendations based on personal opinions, or financial incentives. Our revenue and content are separate. Sponsored schools have no impact on our rankings. The only way to make it onto one of our lists is to have an incredible academic program! 

WHAT ARE THE BEST COMPUTER SCIENCE MASTER’S PROGRAMS?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue. You may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and National Accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at editor@collegerank.net.

Check out our list of the 10 best computer science master’s programs! 

#1. GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Georgia TechYou will find one of the best masters in computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology. The Georgia Institute of Technology began as a trade school. After its first 50 years, it transitioned to a recognized technological university with cutting edge computer science programs. They’re ranked as 8th overall for U.S. Graduate computer science programs by U.S. News and World Report. They are 16th for ranked Global Universities for CS by the same organization.

There is a high reported starting salary of $156,000 for spring 2016 computer science graduates. It’s clear that this MS in Computer Science degree holds tremendous value. In fact, the  College of Computing has the highest job placement rate of any major at Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in computer science degree is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science. They do accept applicants from other backgrounds or fields. They prefer that applicants have a strong background in computer science.

In your professional master’s program, you will take core courses and conduct cutting edge research in subjects like:

  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Computer engineering and electrical engineering
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Computer networks
  • Computational biology
  • Computer and information science
  • Real world computing
  • Software systems and computer systems design
  • High performance computing
  • Big data
  • Game development
  • Information science and information systems
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Human computer interaction
  • Computer security and network security
  • Journalism and computer science
  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

Applicants should have a strong background in C programming. The application to the degree in computer science is also  limited by the deadline. February 1 is the only application deadline each year. You will enter during the fall semester. Students from the Georgia Tech College of Computer BS program have the option to be admitted under the Fast-Track system. This is an alternative route to the Master’s degree program. Applicants for either pathway must have a GPA of 3.4.

Students have three options to pursue the Master of Science in computer science. The first master’s degree is a coursework-only option. It doesn’t require the completion of a capstone project or thesis. It consists of 30 credit hours of coursework. This master’s degree is an ideal choice for students with busy schedules.

The second option for the MS in Computer Science consists of 21 credit hours of coursework and a nine-hour project. The project has to be approved by their advisor and the CS coordinator. The project is an ideal opportunity for the student to showcase their qualifications. It can be used on their resume when seeking employment after graduation.

Finally, the thesis master’s degree option entails 18 credit hours of coursework. There is also a 12 credit hour thesis. Advance acceptance of the thesis concept is needed. Regardless of which path you choose to take, you’ll get to specialize in one of 11 distinct areas.

These master’s degree specializations include:

  • Computational Perception and Robotics
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computing Systems
  • Human Centered Computing

Each master’s degree specialization has  three to four core classes. These are shared with at least one other focus. The remainder of your credit hours center on specific classes unique to that branch.

#2. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

StanfordAnother one of the best CS masters programs can be found at Stanford University. Stanford’s Master of Science in computer science has 45 units of study. Each Stanford unit equates to about three hours of work per week. This program is quite rigorous compared to others. Most students who qualify for this program complete it in six quarters because of the overall difficulty of each class. Completing the Stanford program will prepare you for any job. This private research university is one of the best in the nation. 

All students must complete five foundational courses as part of the master’s degree:

  • Probability
  • Algorithms
  • Computer Organization and Systems
  • Principles of Computer Systems
  • Logic, Automata and Computability.

A sixth course that implements educational techniques for software implementation is needed as well. You can complete a computer science degree online in some cases too. You will take extensive courses in programming languages. 

Students can then choose from 10 different specializations. Students can hyper specialize with a single-depth path that requires 27 units in a single area of specialization to be completed before graduation. This pathway is perfect for students who know exactly what field they want to go into.

Another option is a dual-depth pathway. In this, a student can select both a primary and secondary area of specialization. You’ll complete twenty-one units in the primary area. The remaining units are in the secondary area. This pathway is a great choice for students who don’t have a single overriding interest. It’s also great for those who wish to diversify their qualifications.

Stanford allows students to acquire a distinction in research. The first step is to identify a faculty advisor who can supervise and support their research topic. Then, students can develop the topic and accumulate significant research hours over three academic quarters. Additional supervised writing and research will be completed. These hours count as independent research program. They take the place of other courses.

Other breadth courses include:

  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Computer and information science
  • Real world computing
  • Data structures
  • Software systems
  • Information science and information systems
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Human computer interaction
  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

This Master of Science degree program is intense. Yet Stanford’s education cannot be undersold. U.S. News and World Report ranks it as No. 6 overall for National Universities in general. That’s not just in computer science. It shares the No. 1 slot for the Best Computer Science Schools with Carnegie Mellon University. Plus, Stanford is close to the historic Silicon Valley.

Its value is clear. There’s lots of potential in this Master of Science in Computer Science for employment, internships, and networking opportunities.

#3. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of Texas AustinThe University of Texas at Austin has one of the best grad schools for computer science.

Although it was founded in 1883, the University of Texas at Austin is a modern, well-developed school. It has an exceptional graduate computer science program. It is the No. 7th best U.S. Public College according to Business First. UT Austin is known for its value and affordable tuition. It’s also No. 8 for Best-Value Public Colleges, according to Kiplinger in 2018. UT Austin has a student-faculty ratio of 19:1, too. You don’t need to worry about classes being too crowded to concentrate. You will get the support you need!

UT Austin does allow for those without undergraduate computer science degrees or an equivalent focus to apply for their Master of Science in computer science program. That said, it’s a particularly selective program with a very limited number of openings.

It has two on-campus Master’s in Computer Science degree options. There is one with a thesis and one without. Both master’s degrees have 30 credit hours of coursework. The non-thesis option has a more structured and organized coursework catalog. The thesis path for master’s degrees requires that students take two thesis classes. One is for research and the other for thesis development. The non-thesis option is also offered as an online option. The online master is ideal for aspiring information systems managers who don’t want to leave their current jobs. It is ideal for those who can’t attend school in person.

This Master of Science program does not offer specific areas of specialization. UT Austin’s program has both thesis and non-thesis graduate students take courses from their main CS catalog as part of their master’s degrees. That is as well as nine hours of “diversity” courses. These nine credit hours are taken from three areas:

  • theory
  • systems
  • application.

These diversify the master of computer science degrees beyond general computer science understanding. Although there are only three areas for these diversity courses, each area has a significant number of distinct classes for students to choose from. There’s a lot of personalization possible in the program. You should expect to take two years to finish. It’s rare that students complete UT Austin’s program in less time. But you can shave it down to one and a half years. This can be done if you take an additional course each semester.

UT Austin also boasts an extensive alumni network. There are many computer science graduates spread across national and local businesses. There are over 10,000 people in the computer science major alone. This group has a special email forwarding service and digital groups.

UT Austin also has a scholarship matching program. It is updated often for new master’s degree in computer science graduate students. These scholarships are generous. They can boost your graduate prospects by covering most or all of your tuition. Be sure to investigate all of these benefits if you want to attend UT Austin.

#4. CORNELL UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM

Cornell UniversityYou will find another one of the best graduate computer science programs
at Cornell University. This private research university is second to none.

Cornell’s computer science Master’s program is a four-semester program. It emphasizes advanced coursework and research. It is a terminal degree. Yet it is much more research-focused than other Master’s in Computer Science degrees. The biggest value that Cornell’s program offers is the added teaching assistant position. This is a position that all applicants receive upon admission.

You don’t need to apply for this position. It’s yours so long as you are admitted into the program. This does mean that the program is extremely competitive. It has a very small pool of positions. The value of the assistantship can’t be understated. It pays for the full costs of your tuition. It also awards you a stipend for any living expenses.

The computer science major has 34 credit hours. Six to 12 of those credit hours relate to your thesis research. There is no non-thesis option for this graduate program. The remaining non-thesis credit hours consist of six or eight graduate-level courses. In addition, Cornell requires that all graduate students have an outside minor, such as artificial intelligence, as part of the graduate program. The thesis for the graduate program must be accompanied by an oral presentation 

The full-time teaching assistant position that each student receives lasts for four semesters. This is the entire length of the computer science Master of Science program. It consists of 15 hours of work per week. It is dedicated to teaching assistant duties. All teaching assistantships come with a health insurance option. Summer internships and research assistantships are also available to Cornell students. They are not guaranteed.

As you can see, Cornell’s program has a lot of value. It is tough to enter. This adherence to high standards and fantastic rewards is typical of Cornell as a whole. It has a 9:1 student to faculty ratio. It is one of the most student-focused universities in the world. Such a learning environment also produced the notable scientist and entertainer Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”.

You will take core and elective courses in subjects like:

  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Computer and information science
  • Software systems
  • Information science and information systems
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Human computer interaction
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

Its campus in Ithaca, New York, is beautiful and engaging. All students can take advantage of the natural splendor. There is a nearby lake, lots of natural waterfalls and gardens, and plenty of delicious eateries. It’s an excellent campus for engaging the mind and spirit in rigorous academic pursuits. 

#5. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA, CHAMPAIGN

MASTER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUIUC offers another one of the top computer science masters programs
in the nation. The MS in Computer Science offers students the rare opportunity to earn a professional Master’s in Computer Science degree in just three to four semesters. These semesters are taken over a single year. This is shorter than the majority of other Master’s in Computer Science programs.

Any students accepted into this program must complete all MS in Computer Science requirements within that single year. This is an accelerated way to get your Master’s in Computer Science degree. It is an ideal choice for computer science professionals who don’t want to take too much time away from their careers. But you should be certain that you have the time and energy to focus on the program. You won’t get several years to finish a few remaining courses like with other universities.

They accept anyone with enough coursework in computer science-related fields. Those with experience in computer science will receive priority acceptance.  UIUC doesn’t require any GRE scores for its graduate programs. Their computer science program does not require any letters of recommendation.

It requires 32 credit hours of coursework to finish. Four of those courses selected from a core bracket of computer science classes. Each of these four “breadth” classes must be chosen from a different core area. This is to ensure that each graduate has significant experience in a variety of different computer science aspects. These core areas are:

  • Graphics
  • Scientific Computing
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence.

The remaining coursework can be selected from other computer science courses. It can also be taken from the core areas.

UIUC offers several financial assistance options. These include teaching assistantships. Over 69% of students at UIUC receive some kind of financial aid from the university. Your chances of finding some kind of aid are good.

UIUC is a fantastic school to attend for its vibrant campus life and culture. The main campus has several museums and parks or recreational centers. You’ll always have something to do or a place to relax. UIUC also has a well-developed athletics component. It includes wheelchair and adapted sports programs. Plus, it’s an excellent campus for computer science enthusiasts. 100% of classrooms have wireless access. The majority of the buildings on campus – 367, in fact – also feature solid Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s a modern school for a modern era. It moved well into the digital age long after its initial founding in 1867.

#6. HARVARD UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

HarvardHarvard University has one of the top CS masters programs in the world. It provides a one-year Master’s computational science and engineering program. It was developed by the Institute for Applied Computational Science. It provides training in the core mathematical and computing aspects of computer science. It includes independent research projects and several elective courses. These focus on how computation affects one or more distinct domains.

It is a deep-dive master of computer science program. It’s a great choice for students that want to get into the nitty-gritty aspects of computation. This private research university is regarded as one of the world’s best.

It has only a single application period for the fall semester. The application window occurs about a year prior to the actual program. Applications for the fall of 2020 must be completed in the fall of 2019. Harvard’s program is distinct from similar Master’s in Computer Science programs. It lacks specific application requirements. They will consider anyone who applies with an undergrad degree. They don’t require a specific major or certain scores on the GRE. They welcome those without academic work experience or interests. The program is a terminal type. It is meant to prepare an individual for work in an industrial or hands-on career.

Each plan of study for accepted students will include a single required class called Numerical Methods. Plus,  graduate students must take two of three possible core courses. All students must have at least one research experience by graduation. This requirement can be fulfilled with a capstone project or a semester-length independent study project.

The rest of the credits are electives from computer science and applied math.

You can take technical courses and optional thesis coursework such as:

  • Data science
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer and information technology
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

You can also take domain electives for these graduate programs that are essentially specializations. Domains for electives include:

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Systems
  • Data Science
  • Visualization.

By the end of the graduate programs, all students will have completed eight classes or the equivalent.

All of these aspects reflect Harvard’s devotion to rigor and excellence. Its accolades are well known across the world. U.S. News and World Report ranks it as No. 2 overall for its National Universities category. It is No. 2 for its Best Value in Schools category.

This is due to the quality of its education in the graduate programs. But it’s also because of its other factors. For example, there is a low student-to-faculty ratio at this top computer science graduate school.

With six students for every teacher, class sizes are rarely over 20 in these computer science degree programs.  This affords each student a chance for a more personalized education. You’ll get plenty of face-to-face time with their instructors. Harvard has a beautiful campus just outside the Boston metropolitan area. It mixes natural beauty with the convenience and bustle of a city environment. It also hosts the largest private collection of books in the world. There is an extensive library system. Its athletic teams compete in the Ivy League.

#7. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Carnegie Mellon UniversityCarnegie Mellon University offers one of the best graduate schools for computer science. This school shares the No. 1 ranking for Best Computer Science schools with Stanford according to U.S. News and World Report. This school emphasizes student choice and program flexibility. Their Master of Science in computer science program comes in three distinct varieties.

The largest and most common Master’s in computer science option is the standard Master of Science in computer science pathway. This is developed for students who already possess a bachelor’s degree. They’ll accept anyone with a bachelor’s degree. They prefer those with computer science or related degrees. You won’t rely on a fixed course of study. Instead, students in this program will construct their own personalized study plan. There’s no thesis track or research component for these computer science degrees. Most programs are coursework only. Students can complete this in three semesters. Students coming from a non-technical/computer science background can sometimes complete it in four. The first semester coves any prerequisites needed to understand later material.

The second Master’s in Computer Science option is the Fifth Year Master’s in Computer Science Program. It was designed for students  attending CMU earning a BS or a double major with computer science. The program incorporates a research component. The program lasts 12 months from start to finish. It includes a summer semester. It uses sections of your senior year to accelerate the learning. Work on your research project will begin during the summer after your senior year. It continues into your fifth year of school. This program is excellent for its ability to truncate costs and time spent at school. It’s competitive and requires evidence of research potential from your faculty supervisors. Letters of recommendation or proof of research and work experience are recommended. 

Students can also pursue an accelerated MBA program. In this, they can earn a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Computer Science at the same time. This MBA degree has a business component. It is suitable for computer science students who wish to emphasize the field’s role in business and economics. It’s also great for those who wish to become software entrepreneurs.

You can even take classes in subjects like:

  • Data science
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

CMU is a university dedicated to the quality of its education. There are over 109,000 alumni spread across the globe. Those who’ve passed through its programs are always equipped for success. Its academics are reflective of its drive for exceptional quality. It also boasts an interesting and invigorating student life on campus. The campus hosts a Spring Carnival every year. There’s a “buggy” race that has competitors challenge each other using student-designed vehicles. CMU’s musical and athletic teams are among the best. They allow students to engage with a rich culture and the social lives of others in addition to focusing on academics.

#8. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE

MASTER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of California irvineYou will find another one of the best computer science graduate schools at the University of California, Irvine. UCI’s Master of Computer Science degree is perfect for students who want to jump straight into the technology workforce. The program spans 16 months in total. There are four academic quarters and a summer component. In this, students must either complete additional coursework or complete an internship. You’ll study from the fall of one year to the fall of the next year in these computer science programs. You can finish everything in less than two years.

These computer science programs are intense. It has a restrictive selection process. The program does admit some students without computer science backgrounds. This is the exception rather than the norm. All applicants must have a year of programming in Python, Java, or C++. Equivalent professional work experience may be accepted as an adequate substitute. This work experience must be approved by the application team. All students must be proficient in C/C++ . You’ll also need to complete an introductory statistics course. Three letters of recommendation and high GRE scores are also needed.

Getting into UCI is a worthwhile goal. It’s well known for its academic achievements and premier research facilities. It has produced three Nobel laureates since its founding in 1965. The Irvine campus is particularly beautiful. It rests in California’s temperate Orange County. It has year-round excellent weather. The campus is only a short while from the beach and other recreational hotspots.

The program is taught by world-renowned faculty from UCI’s Computer Science Department. The MCS program integrates a computer science writing and communication course. Most programs don’t focus on this subject. Yet this course can be beneficial for your professional career going forward. You’ll learn how to apply your writing and analytical skills. This can be a huge advantage when you need to present material to your superiors, ask for grants, or make design plans.

You can take three foundational courses in subjects like:

  • Data science
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence

All MCS students must complete a capstone design course. This includes professional writing, development and design components. These classes let you show off your skills. You can prove your expertise when coming up with your own computer science work.

You’ll have access to a dedicated career counseling team. This counseling team is ideal for students who aren’t 100% sure what type of job they should pursue. Given the wide variety of possible careers that any computer science specialist can hold, being able to speak with career placement computer science professionals is a huge bonus. This benefit even includes one-on-one personalized career coaching and professional development workshops.

#9. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCES

University of Wisconsin-MadisonLooking for the best masters degree for computer science? You will find a great option at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This computer science master is truly second to none. 

UW-Madison was founded in 1848 as a small university. It has since expanded into a campus with 936 acres. Lots of research takes place at this university. It is ranked No. 6 for total research expenditures among US universities by U.S. News and World Report. Its overall academic value is easy to see. It’s ranked No. 15 for America’s Best Colleges among public universities by the same organization. Lots of amazing innovations and industry “firsts” have happened here. This includes the first national stem cell bank, the first cultivation of embryonic stem cells in the lab. It was home to the first space-based weather camera. It’s also home to the first bone marrow transplant. There’s a lot of history and possibility within these walls. UW-Madison’s faculty will provide you with the education you need to make your own contribution to computer science.

UW-Madison offers two pathways to attain a Master’s degree in computer science. The first traditional program allows students to pursue a Master’s in Computer Science degree with the option of continuing on to a PhD. . This program accepts students from all kinds of backgrounds. It does request that applicants have some programming experience. The program consists of 30 credit hours. 24 of these must be for CS courses. 15 of them are from a curated selection of core classes. The remaining three to six credits for the degree will be made up of a project and report or a Master’s in Computer Science thesis track.

Some required courses and capstone courses include:

  • Data science
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

Students can pursue the professional Master’s in Computer Science that is designed for working computer scientists. It’s also ideal for those in the technology industry. It allows you to complete the program within two years. Yes, even with a busy job schedule. It only admits students once a year for enrollment during the fall semester. Keep the application deadline of March 15 in mind if this pathway appeals to you. The program is very similar to the traditional Master’s in Computer Science. It only requires 15 credits of core graduate-level master of computer science classes. The remaining courses can be taken from CS-related subjects at the 400 level or higher. All students must complete both a Master’s research class and Master’s thesis track class. Both of these count toward the 15 credit requirement described above. Independent study credits are available. That is, provided the student can show proof of their professional experience. They must receive approval from their faculty or advisors.

UW-Madison’s faculty and research experience are outstanding. You’ll be able to network with top CS professionals in research and engineering contexts. UW-Madison is home to plenty of research groups focused on computer science. Many of these researchers are published in top journals. They attend important conferences. 

#10. NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY AT RALEIGH

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

NC StateYou will find another one of the best schools for masters in computer science at North Carolina State University. NC State is one of the leading research universities in the country. It has an excellent student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1. It’s no surprise that their Master of Science in computer science is a research-oriented degree. That is as opposed to an industry-focused one. It requires a thesis track plus the completion of a structured curriculum. The only non-thesis track option is for students interested in PhD computer science programs. The Master’s in Computer Science track with the thesis consists of 31 credit hours. Six of these are dedicated to your thesis research and development. All incoming Master students have to register. They must take an orientation course regardless of work experience.

You must take two courses from each category: theory and systems. The theory collection of classes emphasizes algorithmic and numerical knowledge. It is particularly useful for computer scientists who are interested in the developmental side of the subject. The systems class bracket emphasizes large data groups, graphics, and software engineering. It also covers the integration of computers with various types of networks. Both class groups are important. You are free to switch between them once you’ve fulfilled the requirements of one from each. This allows you to specialize.

Sample courses include:

  • Data science
  • Computer architecture and machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Operating systems  and computer systems

Be aware that NC-State has a continuous enrollment policy. You have to be registered every fall and spring semester until you graduate. It’s not possible to take any break semesters in the middle of your studies without requesting an official leave of absence. This program is more suitable for students who can dedicate up to two years of full-time study to their Master of Science in Computer Science pursuits. The school does allow you to complete your degree within six years if you only take one or two classes per semester. NC-State’s computer science path also offers many internship opportunities. These are in either full-time or part-time varieties. Most of the part-time internships take place during the school year. The full-time opportunities are during the summer. You have to have completed two semesters of study. You must be in good academic standing to qualify for either type of internship.

If you currently are or will soon attend NC-State, and haven’t yet completed your bachelor’s degree, you have one more option. You can take advantage of the Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s (ABM) degree. It combines the curricula for both computer science programs. It can help you earn your Master’s in Computer Science  in just two semesters. This program is particularly intense. Every applicant must be reviewed and recommended by the computer science department Undergraduate Advisor. There are a lot of other preparations to be made as well with the computer science department. Consider this well ahead of time if you think it’ll be a good choice for your schedule.

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS

#11. University of Virginia, Main Campus

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $17,845

Website

#12. Texas A & M University, College Station

Location: College Station, Texas

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $19,118

Website

#13. Columbia University of the City of New York

Location: New York City, New York

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $21,220

Website

#14. Duke University

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $19,785

Website

#15. University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, California

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $36,161

Website

#16. University of Washington, Seattle Campus

Location: Seattle, Washington

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $9,765

Website

#17. Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $18,748

Website

#18. George Washington University

Location: Washington, D.C.

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $39,600

Website

#19. Arizona State University, Tempe

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $13,731

Website

#20. University of Colorado Boulder

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $21,466

Website

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON DID YOU TRY TURNING IT OFF AND ON (AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN THE FIELD OF COMPUTER SCIENCE)? & DO YOU NEED A MASTER’S DEGREE TO WORK IN COMPUTER SCIENCE?

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Best Online Masters in Statistics No GRE

online masters in statistics no gre

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once wrote: “While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant.” 

It’s below the surface of virtually everything we see and do. Complex sets of data. It touches on business aspects of our lives just as much as social aspects. As we computerize our world even more, it only elevates the amount of data collected. 

This data is fascinating. It takes sharp skills to analyze the numbers and translate them into something more meaningful. That’s where our list of the best online Master of Science in Applied Statistics comes in handy. 

Individuals attracted to a career in applied statistics are particularly adept in math. Admission committees for an applied statistics degree look for core statistics coursework along with upper level math courses. Calculus, linear algebra, and probability are all important. Statisticians use this and Hadoop software utilities to look at various sets of data at the same time. Plenty of additional data languages are also essential aspects of these roles. These include SAS, R, C/C++, Perl, and Java.

There’s a lot to learn. It all starts with your bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in statistical models or statistics. A bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in statistical models can set the stage for this type of knowledge and training. You can get a bachelor’s degree in any topic within the framework of statistics. Many qualified students earn their bachelor’s degree in economics, business analysis, or calculus. The key is to create the strong basis in mathematics and statistical interference in the bachelor’s degree. This is necessary to advance to the online master’s degree level. 

A Master of Science in Applied Statistics can help you present these mathematical understandings on a bigger stage. A good example is the annual World Health Statistics report. This  is presented by the World Health Organization. It offers valuable insights into the status of health across the globe. It takes a granular look into:

  • Birth rates
  • Death expectancy
  • Global health trends
  • Sustainable development goals

WHO is a globally recognized organization. Yet there are plenty more opportunities for master’s level statisticians. Careers within:

  • research
  • academia
  • sports
  • environmental research
  • government
  • health care
  • manufacturing

Statisticians help organizations optimize effectiveness and profitability. These professionals are essential to every industry. 

If you’ve already earned an undergraduate degree, the next step is to take the high dive. Earn a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. You can even achieve this feat online. An online master’s in statistics or statistical computing (or even earning a data science online degree) can be huge. 

Don’t worry. You don’t have to take tons of tests. Earning an online masters in statistics no GRE required is possible!

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

Admissions processes vary by institution. You can expect some definitive aspects when you apply for a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. You’ll need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Undergraduate programs in physics, mathematics, IT, or computer science fit the bill.

A bachelor’s degree in any of these topics is the first box that should be ticked. From there, you’ll have to present a transcript evidencing your bachelor’s degree. This proves that you are well-prepared for the rigors of mathematics and data analysis. 

Calculus and linear algebra are two staple prerequisite courses for any applied statistics program. You should complete these as part of your bachelor’s degree. The completion of these prerequisite courses illustrates  that you have the base knowledge to move into more advanced concepts.

This is master’s level work. So some colleges also expect you to be in a master’s level of life. That means you have achieved some sort of professional experience aside from just earning a bachelor’s degree.  Having a role in the applied statistics field means you already have a strong base knowledge to perform at the professional level. A master’s will only enhance your existing skills in applied statistics.

Don’t happen to have an undergraduate degree in an applied statistics-related field? But still want to get in on the need for data scientists? That’s okay, but you have some work to do. You need this math and science foundation to prepare for the mountain of data. College math and data programming prerequisite courses are essential. Calculus, probability, and linear algebra are must-have prerequisite courses.

For online Master of Science in Applied Statistics, the admission process might look a little different. You won’t report to campus. Most programs do not call for an interview.

Classroom experience is the only area that helps prove your potential. Your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores provide universities with this information. It will show that your prerequisite courses have adequately prepared you for a master’s degree.

Other materials you’ll have to prepare include a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Your statement of purpose should touch on a few key topics:

  • long- and short-term career goals
  • professional development strategy
  • passion for the field. 

Letters of recommendation can come from previous professors, internship supervisors, or other reputable voices. These recommendations can touch on instances of:

  • motivation
  • achievements
  • work experience
  • your vision for success once admitted to the program.

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?

Finding the time to obtain a Master’s is one thing. Finding the money is another. The good news is that even online degrees offer financial aid and scholarships.

One of the biggest blessings of online master’s degrees is that many of them afford out-of-state students the same tuition as in-state students. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is standard. Many programs still cater to their home-state students. They may ask out-of-state students to pick up a bulkier tab.

Step one? Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA also offers Federal Work-Study. These jobs can be done on- or off-campus. This is an important aspect of a distance learning program. It can help you chip away at some of the tuition and fees.

The pace at which you learn can affect how much aid you receive. The beauty of earning an online degree is that you can go at your own pace. You may have to learn full time to earn full support.

For master’s-level students, these two solutions may present bigger problems. At this stage in your career—and your life—you may not have time in your schedule for a full-time workload. You may not have time for an additional part-time job. In these cases, you can turn to scholarships. These offer you a reward for your educational commitment.

PROGRAM-SPECIFIC SCHOLARSHIPS

If you have a program in mind, you can always search their internal database for scholarship opportunities. Arizona State University is a great example. It has a built-in scholarship database. You can search it for degree-specific awards. GRE scores aren’t always required.

Your specific qualifications may entitle you to apply for Merit Aid Scholarships. These scholarships often involve submitting an essay. This is much like your statement of purpose. It should be submitted to an organization that’s willing to help. Some notable ones within Data Science include:

American universities are also indebted to servicemen and women. It’s common to come across military scholarships. These scholarships, like the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award are a way of saying thank you. They reduce the cost of tuition by a percentage.  That is, so long as you meet the specifications and remain in good academic standing.

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN STATISTICS? 

Our world is becoming more digitized. There are sets of data from decades past. These are combined with a tidal wave of new data points that need to be put to use. The Bureau of Labor Statistics charts industry growth at 30%. This is much faster than the average for any field. 

The BLS is not the only one with their fingers on the pulse. Forbes anticipates close to 700,000 roles for data scientists, developers, and engineers. These are jobs that are open and ready to be filled across the country this year. 

This is great news when you’re searching for the best online master’s. The annual demand for data statisticians is rising. There’s a high demand for individuals with graduate studies needed to analyze data. So, too, is the earning potential for incoming professionals. BLS pins the median salary of mathematicians and statisticians at $88,190 per year. The top 10% of professionals earn $140,000. This is just an estimate for the broad spectrum of math and stat professionals.

When you consider related fields, like actuaries, the median salary sits above the line of six-digits. The top 10% earning close to $200,000 a year. That’s not a bad check when you consider that statistician is considered the second-best job to have behind software developer. It is the #1 Best Business job. Mathematicians are in second place. That’s according to the U.S. News and World Report.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN STATISTICS?

Career opportunities are broad and exist in every state. Statisticians are most often employed in California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas. Colorado and Washington DC offer high concentrations of opportunities. This data doesn’t need an analyst to figure out one very striking conclusion. In states big or small, there is a high demand for these roles.

When it comes to earning potential, the tune changes slightly. The states with the highest annual median wage are:

  • Massachusetts
  • Washington DC
  • Maryland
  • Idaho
  • New Jersey. 

Other career opportunities with an online master’s in applied statistics include:

  • Software developer
  • Database administrator
  • Computer network architect
  • Information security analyst
  • Data scientists and other data professionals
  • Statistical consulting

You could work with government agencies or in graduate education. The computing skills you’ll gain with these graduate programs will be indispensable. These roles offer a promising job placement and earning potential. Software developers, on average, make $50 an hour. That’s $105,590 annually. These roles are expected to grow at a face and consistent pace. 

Computer network architects fall in the same range. There is a much lower projection for overall career growth. Database administrators make slightly less on average. They also have a higher job outlook than the average industry. If earning and job potential are your top priorities, a role as an information security analyst is among the most promising. There’s a 32% job growth outlook and a median salary of $100,000.

A bachelor’s degree in statistics or statistical computing is a great place to start. But being a top applicant in any of these career roles begins with one of the best online master’s in statistics.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN STATISTICS?

We know that you have educational goals you’re itching to pursue. You may not know where to start. The editors of the online Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology. It is based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and national accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one. We want to help you reach your goals. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at editor@collegerank.net.

Check out our ranking of the 10 Best Online Master’s in Statistics! 

#1. Texas A&M-College Station

Master of Science in Statistics

Texas A&MYou will find one of the best online masters in statistics at Texas A&M University. This accredited institution has a rich history on the front lines of innovation. It secured the state’s only land, sea, and space grant. This public research university also boasts one of the largest student bodies in Texas. The Wall Street Journal touts Texas A&M. It says it is one of the “most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions.” Given what we know about careers in applied statistics and mathematics, it’s safe to say the online Master of Science in Statistics is a strong program to consider for data-mining prospects. No GRE scores are required. 

This program is one of the most flexible. Even as an online option! Start dates occur every semester. There is no need to report to campus. This flexibility enables you to hold a job. But you will receive the same education as qualified students who report to campus. The curriculum also offers the same resources and opportunities for on- and off-campus learners. Even the pre-recorded lessons provide live Q&A sessions. 

Need to meet with an advisor? You can access office hours online. You can have a face-to-face conversation from a distance. There’s also the opportunity to get real-world experience through applicable coursework. The Consulting Course will present you with a client who has a statistical issue that needs solving. You will create a professional practice experience. 

This program isn’t presented on one track. There are plenty of opportunities to gear your degree toward your own interests. The degree plan maps out your own unique goals within the framework of four universal requirements:

  • required courses
  • emphasis courses
  • electives
  • a final project.

This is a non-thesis program. It uses the final project in place of a dissertation. 

One other requirement of the program is the Diagnostic Exam. You are unable to receive your degree without passing it. This exam assesses your basic statistical understanding after passing five applied statistics courses. These include:

  • R/SAS Introduction
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • two levels of Methods of Statistics. 

In this online master’s in statistics, you can take electives in:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Statistical interference
  • Data Mining
  • Computer programming
  • Bayesian Methods
  • Time Series

Emphasis courses in this online master’s in statistics don’t move outside of the major’s core. These include:

  • Biostats
  • Business Analytics
  • Applied courses.
  • Financial statistics

Your true unique abilities shine through the final project in this online master’s in statistics. This lets you develop yourself as an enabled professional. You’ll showcase your written and verbal skills for analyzing data and presenting your findings.

Don’t have time for the full program? Already have a degree and want to supplement your knowledge? You can still earn a Texas A&M Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate. This graduate certificate requires 12 semester credits. Instead of a final project, you’ll present a five- to ten-page data analysis report. Applied Statistics required courses in Calculus, Biostatistics, and SAS are suggested for this graduate certificate.

#2. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Statistics

NC StateAnother one of the best online masters statistics programs can be found at North Carolina State University. For some, North Carolina State is recognizable as the alma mater of athletes like:

  • Cullen Jones
  • Russell Wilson

Politicians like:

  • Jim Hunt
  • John Edwards
  • Robert Gibbs

For the data-minded? CEO and co-founder of SAS Institute, James Goodnight, was once part of the Wolfpack. He, along with fellow NC State alumni Anthony James Barr, John Sall, and Jane Helwig, began on the track of a 3.27 billion dollar company. That was all while they were still students. Why can’t the same opportunity be afforded to you?

The online Master of Statistics program teaches you the ropes. The online statistics masters provides a solid education in methodology, programming language, and effective communication. It is delivered through pre-recorded courses. There are live-streaming presentations. It doesn’t matter whether you are on- or off-campus. The courses are exactly the same. The only minor set-back is in the electives. Some of these are restricted to students on campus. 

Otherwise, the core is the same. Statistical consulting, methods, and theory are all part of the core requirements for the online master’s in statistics. You’ll also learn some pertinent computer skills. These will teach you to process, analyze, and distribute large quantities of data. It’s all through the industry standard of statistical practice (and close-to-home organization), SAS.

SAS is part of many different courses in this program. You might learn Bayesian Analysis (related statistical inference) and applied statistics for management and social science. SAS is still used. Some other software languages like R and SQL are also used throughout the program. Minimal prior exposure is needed to take those courses.  

Electives offer you the chance to dive into what interests you most. Your options include:

  • Applied Time Series
  • Applied Bayesian Analysis
  • Statistical Programming in SAS
  • Data Science for Statisticians
  • Data Mining with SAS Enterprise Miner.

There is always a teaching assistant available to help. Faculty members also hold specific office hours.  You can schedule time to talk about whatever you need.

The application process for this mathematical statistics program requires:

  • a personal statement
  • transcript
  • prior coursework in calculus and linear algebra

GRE scores aren’t mandatory. At this time, just North American-based students can apply. It is an online program. In-state and out-of-state tuition rates apply. This online program remains the #2 Top Public University in the state by Niche.

The applied statistics program allows you to work at your own pace in your own space. If you take even one course per semester, you can complete the 30 required credit hours of the applied statistics program in less than four years. Should your life have other priorities—be it work, family, or travel—you can take up to six years to arrive at the finish line.

#3. University Of Maryland Global Campus

Online Master’s in Analytics

University of MarylandThe University of Maryland at University College has another one of the best online statistics masters. This accredited institution is one of U.S. News and World Report’s 20 Most Innovative Schools. It’s easy to see why. Just this past year, the school moved from University College to Global Campus. This inspired a renewed belief in boundless education. The name “University College” was meant to signify flexibility for students with time, location, and affordability. Now it’s known as a Global Campus. It introduces even more opportunities for students around the globe. They lack campus fees and offer the second-lowest tuition in the state. This online master’s in statistics will help you gain an edge without going into debt. No GRE scores are required. 

Practical skills, business intelligence, data management, and real world experience. These are just a few choice avenues that lead to a Master’s. The goal of this program is to transform you into a marketable professional. You will be able to visualize and translate data to influence business outcomes. The designers tapped industry experts and leading employers for insights into what makes a graduate student best fit for the workplace. They used this information to create the program. 

You’ll learn the language of programming. You can then translate it into plain language for others to use. You’ll learn to mine, clean, and transform data. You will create your own program in your own chosen industry. You’ll also learn how to think ahead of computers by evaluating the accuracy of predictive technology. And you’ll do it all on your own time. 

All courses are offered online. Courses aren’t presented within strict time slots. Instead, you can access the material when the time is right for you. If you prefer the classroom experience, the opportunity is also there. That’s not just for students living in Maryland. Hybrid classes are taught in over 20 locations around the country. There are several locations in Hawaii, California, Texas, and New York. 

You also won’t have to wait for predetermined start dates. Admissions occurs on a rolling basis. You can start when the time is right for you after the admissions committee has reviewed your application. Open Educational Resources (OERs) swap expensive and cumbersome textbooks for online educational content. It’s a digitized curriculum. 

The full online master’s in statistics involves 36 credits. 30 of them are core coursework. There are 6 devoted to the capstone. Core work is completed in a sequence. Courses include:

  • Decision Management Systems
  • Data Management and Visualization
  • Predictive Modeling 
  • Statistical Theory
  • Complex Data
  • Statistical Methods
  • Probability Theory
  • Statistical Analysis and Statistical Interference

Each applied statistics course is worth 6 credits. The final capstone serves to integrate this knowledge into an analytics experience. You’ll display your skills through a final report and presentation. 

To enter the program, you must have a background in applied statistics and computer programming. You must also provide a transcript or an industry certification. This confirms you’re well-prepared to meet and succeed in all program requirements.

#4. Arizona State University

Master of Science in Data Analytics 

Arizona StateBuild your tool kit with the online master’s in statistics at Arizona State. Join one of the fastest growing industries. All from a university renowned for innovation. Arizona State University is one of the first names in online degree programs. It is U.S. News and World Report’s Most Innovative University, before Stanford and MIT. And for three years running! 

The online master’s in statistics here is ranked in the top ten online MBAs by the Princeton Review. It came in at #6 on the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of online graduate business programs and online MBAs. It also ranked third for online graduate business programs for veterans. 

It’s not just accolades. It also has numbers. The W.P. Carey School of Business boasts 1,800 graduate students. There are 300 faculty members. It is one of the largest programs in the country. This translates into a large alumni network of  60,000 graduates around the world.

The program consists of a total of 11 classes. Each is five weeks in length. You’ll take a total of 30 credit hours. You can take one course at a time. This is helpful if you are trying to balance other work and life fulfillments as you work toward your degree. The 24 core credit hours cover:

  • Enterprise Analytics
  • Data Mining
  • Analytics Strategy
  • Data-Driven Quality Management
  • Analytical Decision Modeling.
  • Statistical Theory
  • Statistical Methods

It’s important to have a base knowledge of calculus, applied statistics, and coding.

The application process includes transcripts from your bachelor’s degree. These should detail your past experiences in collegiate-level math. This program also calls for GMAT or GRE test scores. It only requires one letter of recommendation and a current resume. The resume should detail your experience within the field and your readiness for academic progression. You do not need a  purpose statement. Instead, you’ll submit short-answer question responses. You may also need to submit proof of english proficiency.

It’s common for graduates to pursue data analyst roles with their newfound statistical knowledge. There are also other opportunities for those with a degree. These include:

  • Data analysts and managers
  • IT specialists
  • Network security analysts.
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Online Merchant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Business Operations. 

Part of ASU’s innovation comes from recognizing the rise of data analysts. Their online program in MS Program Evaluation and Data Analytics accepts students outside of a STEM background. The purpose is to create managers and leaders who can access and interpret data. This will improve the performance of any organization.

#5. University of Houston

Master of Science in Statistics and Data Analysis (MSDS)

University of HoustonThe University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Statistics and Data Analysis. The program is designed for STEM students . It is for those who hope to enter professional roles in data science and applied statistics. You’ll build on foundational skills as you push into more advanced level principles. These include statistical inference. You will also improve your overall programming ability. Some sort of literacy in program language, R, SAS, Matlab, Python, is advised. It is not a concrete necessity. It’s also important to be prepared for the program with calculus and linear algebra courses. No GRE scores are required. 

It isn’t all classwork. There are also plenty of opportunities to get into the meat of industrial, commercial, or biomedical careers. This is often done through research internships.

The format is blended. It calls for some on-campus courses. Many are offered online. In total, you’ll complete 30 credit hours spanning the course of one year. That is inclusive of a summer semester. The program is held full-time. It calls for four courses (three credits each) in fall and spring semester. The final six credits take place in the summer session. 

You will work closely with faculty members. Core courses include:

  • Statistical Learning and Data Mining
  • Linear Models and Design of Experiments
  • Probability Models and Statistical Computing
  • Probability Statistics II
  • Information Visualization
  • Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks,
  • Genome Data Analysis (also uses R programming language and builds on linear algebra and statistics)
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Differential and integral calculus
  • Information Visualization 
  • Applied Statistics and Multivariate Analysis
  • Data Clustering
  • Case Studies in Data Science
  • Statistical Methods

You’ll also learn:

  • Python and R programming languages
  • machine learning
  • analysis of financial and economic data.

The final semester is the most hands-on. It’s organized to be taken in summer. The very last stage of the program is referred to as the “Master’s Tutorial.” It is an internship in function. This internship is where you can farm your knowledge and interests. It’s the time for you to study a real-world problem. This should be one related to your own professional work. 

Admissions calls for all of the typical materials, and then some. UH asks for three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. The program is also quite affordable.

#6. University of Idaho

Master in Statistical Science

University of IdahoUncovering truth in sets of data is the role of a statistician. The University of Idaho is a great place to become a force of truth to be reckoned with. It has one of the best online master of statistics degrees.

In fact, one of their most infamous alumni hid under a guide for decades. This was after dismantling a particularly scandalous presidential event you may recognize as “Watergate.” Mark Felt, better known as Deep Throat, himself, was one of U of I’s vandals. 

Today, the university maintains a low profile. Yet it is the home of a Division I basketball team and top-notch education programs. The Master of Science in Statistical Science is an example of this strong education with flexible access.

The Master Statistical Science is online. The applied statistics degree is designed for students who have a knack for unearthing influential data. It is perfect for those who want to pursue a career in applied statistics. This type of degree doesn’t follow a single track. They open up opportunities within:

  • industry
  • business
  • agriculture
  • government
  • biomedical fields

It doesn’t matter where you choose to take it. You’ll leave this program with a strong understanding of the fundamentals of statistics. You’ll also learn the techniques to practice it.

This online program provides flexibility in other check-points of your professional life. That’s even while you’re still at school. It allows you to choose how you want to end. This end-goal can either be a thesis or non-thesis track.

Even if you choose the non-thesis track, there will still be some sort of capstone requirement. In this case, it’s an internship for the statistics degree. The internship requirements 8 weeks of hands-on work. Each week, you’ll log reports that will aid in the final summary report. This summary will be presented for supervisor evaluation. This report helps you to get familiar with industry roles. It encourages its students to find people to engage with while on the job. It requires them to log daily to help keep on top of the most valuable insights. They must also take pictures that can be used for a later portfolio.

Both tracks still involve 30 credits. The core work is presented through 3-credit courses. There is a single credit seminar and a 2-credit consulting practicum. The consistent core courses are in:

  • Sample Survey Methods
  • Probability Theory
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Experimental Design
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Statistical Methods
  • Regression
  • Computer Intensive Statistics.

Applied statistics isn’t just a sideshow at the University of Idaho. They remain very committed to understanding, promoting, and engaging in the field. This is done by coordinating with other universities. You’ll present a Statistics Newsletter. Of course, you’ll collaborate with faculty in other departments. 

Graduate certificate programs, like online graduate statistics programs, allow graduate students to widen their scope of statistical applications.

Certificates and graduate program elective courses can be obtained in:

  • Graduate Data Analytics Certificate
  • Graduate Academic Certificate of Completion in Statistical Science
  • Graduate Certificate of Completion in Enterprise-wide Process & Performance Excellence.

In some cases, these statistics degree options can be used as a standalone graduate certificate. They’ll always call for an individual application process.

#7. West Virginia University

Master in Business Data Analytics

West VirginiaHere comes another hybrid in the list of the top online statistics masters degree programs.

West Virginia University offers a Master of Business online. In this online masters statistics, there is still a residency requirement. When you consider the coursework you’ll embark on with this program, it’s definitely for the best. 

You’ll use statistical techniques and analytical tools to uncover trends and competitive drivers. You’ll sort through big data to enhance decision making. You’ll become a valued professional in a growing field. You’ll have a degree from one of U.S. News and World Report’s best online graduate programs. That’s all without breaking the bank. Niche considers WVU to be the second Best Valued College in the state. 

It takes 30 credit hours throughout only ten courses. Applied statistics courses will cover many of the same aspects as other programs. You’ll learn data mining and program language. Much of the coursework is based in business.

Other courses you’ll cover with an industry scope include:

  • Simulation modeling
  • Data visualization
  • Statistical interference and statistical analysis
  • Statistical methods
  • Applied statistics
  • Computer programming
  • Statistical theory
  • Linear algebra
  • Hypothesis Testing

You’ll also gain perspective into the ethical principles of collecting and storing data. This is a topic all too prevalent in today’s world.

The hands-on experience comes through the analytics practicum. This course is a cumulative examination into what you’ve learned. You’ll present a final project displaying your competency for:

  • data mining collection
  • management
  • predictive modeling
  • regression analysis
  • statistical analysis
  • visualization.

All of this can be presented as it would to a business employer. These statistics master’s degrees are meant to encompass the ethical principles necessary for work in computer programming and applied statistics.

There are several applied statistics careers that fit the framework of the statistics master’s degrees here. Some examples of where graduates have landed in the past (and those with the brightest outlook) include:

  • quality control analysts
  • business continuity planners
  • business operations specialists
  • database administrators
  • statisticians
  • university professors

Admissions into the program is contingent on adequate proper training and experience in applied statistics, analytics, and programming. No particular programming language is required. An easy way to prove your knowledge is through work experience. Part of the application process is submission of a resume. If you can display five or more years, there won’t be a need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

You’ll also be asked to submit letters of recommendation. These letters will outline your most redeeming qualities as a professional, teammate, and leader. You can submit up to three letters. If you think you have a true standout example then only one is necessary. 

Proving you’re ready for the program doesn’t just come from previous education or successful teamwork. It also comes from you. Your statement purpose will outline your personal ambitions within the program and your career. It will explain why you will represent WVU well. Financial aid is available for this applied statistics program as well.

#8. Iowa State University

Master of Business Analytics

Iowa StateIowa State University has another best online statistics degree.

This accredited institution opened in 1858 as a land and space-grant university. Today, it remains a recognizable feat of education as the state’s flagship university. It has had years of commitment to science and technology. It earns a ranking in the top 20 Best Statistics Programs. It’s tied with Cornell University, by the U.S. News and World Report.

Analytics for business is the focus. Yet elements of computer science, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, applied statistics all play a role in the program. The shared foundations surround:

  • data reporting and analytics
  • statistical modeling
  • data mining
  • visualization.

The program is heavy on data. It welcomes industry diversity. Internationally known faculty from a wide range of departments including marketing, computer science, and engineering help to round out this program. You’ll become a marketable and hirable professional.

The program is a  21-month program. It is all online except for three campus visits in the beginning, middle, and end of the program. The curriculum involves 30 credits hours. Eighteen of these are core courses. Twelve are elective. Your three campus visits double as one-week seminars to each complete one of the core courses. 

The core begins with your first campus visit. This is when you’ll take the Teams, Projects and BA Leadership course. It will prepare you to tackle the online coursework ahead. Once you go home, you’ll get to take the next phase of the core completely online. This includes applied statistics modeling.

The next trip to campus will be one of those courses that calls on the help of another department. The course marketing analytics with big data is taught then. This is sometime in the middle of the curriculum timeframe. The last course you’ll complete online is in advanced analytics .The last trip you’ll take to campus will be to achieve the analytics capstone. This lineup accounts for your 18-credits of core work. 

What remains are 12 credits in electives. Electives help to give you a sense of control and individualization for your education and subsequent career. Some examples include:

  • Knowledge discovery and data mining
  • data visualization and analytics
  • applied time series
  • algorithms for large data sets
  • applied modern multivariate statistical learning 

No matter which electives you choose, you remain on track with the rest of your classmates and competitive in the field. They all will help you provide knowledge and insights to any given organization which analyzes big data. In today’s business landscape, that can be just about anyone. 

Admissions does not require GMAT or GRE scores. It does, however, ask for letters of recommendation. This program has cohort beginning once a year. It accepts applications year-round. To secure a spot in the earliest fall-start day, there is a July 1 application deadline.

#9. University Missouri

Online Master’s in Data Science and Analytics

 There are also some great online statistics programs at Mizzou.

Mizzou’s online Master in Data Science and Analytics will prepare you to “turn big data into smart data.” It will teach you online with a mere two required campus visits. This is a blended program that prepares you for roles in any industry. The breadth of the coursework helps you to learn database systems and design. You’ll also learn the latest methods and tools while gaining real-world experience. Built into the core are other topics like:

  • Translation and visualization of data
  • Ethics of protecting private or critical information
  • Applied statistics

This is one of the few programs that offers you an opportunity to specialize. The areas of emphasis cover five different disciplines of data science. These include:

  • biotechnology
  • high performance computing
  • human centered design for data
  • strategic communications
  • data journalism and the newly implemented area of geospatial.

Biotechnology can offer students who hope to enter medical or healthcare fields a chance to mine genomic data and process it on a large scale. Is your interest in IT-focused companies and roles? Then the High-Performance Computing track is for you.

Human-centered Design for Data helps to put a little personality behind the machine. You’ll study advanced visualization and communication in two parts. This will  help you better understand and guide decision-making that stems from data. 

Data Journalism/Strategic Communication also helps to enhance data visualization. It’s on a larger scale. These data scientists are true story-tellers. They also are highly adaptable, and recognize the constant flux that this industry is in. Social networks, customer behavior patterns, and a strong understanding of open-records law serve as the back-bone of this emphasis. 

The Geospatial track is the newest of the five. It was developed as a response to the industry’s demand for remote sensing data. This is an exciting branch of data that involves varied tools and techniques. You’ll explore sensors of various kinds of geolocation sensors and diverse data sets that feed location-aware applications.

Nineteen credit hours are in universal core curriculum. This covers essentials of data science through courses in:

  • Statistical and Mathematical Foundations
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Ethics.
  • Applied Statistics

You can expect to devote two years to this applied statistics program. A campus visit is required each year. These visits function as core-work intensives. The first is an introduction and the second is a capstone. 

Admissions into the program requires some elements of knowledge and experience. If you’re coming fresh from a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to enroll in up to 12 credit hours within Mizzou. In addition to the bachelor’s degree in applied statistics, you’ll also be asked to submit a resume, statement of purpose and transcripts from your bachelor’s degree. GRE scores are not required. It’s also important you know which specialization you intend to pursue. Your designation will be prompted in the online application process. 

#10. Emporia State University

Master of Science in Mathematics

You’ll find another one of the best online masters in statistics at Emporia. Emporia State University is as old as Kansas. It dates back to 1861. The rural campus was given the title of a “College of Distinction” three years running. It a student body harboring the nation’s lowest debt rate. There is a 97% of success in a job or higher education within 6 months. It’s an accredited institution offering a solid foundation on which to grow.

The Emporia State University Master of Science in Mathematics was brought online to allow students to learn with a little flexibility. In fact, none of this program’s requirements call for campus visits to the accredited institution. The only difference in the programs is that the online option calls for a seminar presentation. That’s instead of a thesis as a pre-graduation capstone.

It’s based in mathematics. Yet you can develop the framework. This helps to invite a diverse group of applicants. Students of this program are often those with a background in math teaching. But it’s flexible nature expands to the student body. An array of backgrounds, from engineering to computer science, can find success in this program. To apply, you need to submit transcripts of your bachelor’s degree. No GRE scores are requested.

Those with these backgrounds are often equipped for the rigors of graduate-level mathematics. Emporia State now allows you to take as many courses per semester as you can handle. The online format is inviting to those with a full-time job already. Just one course per semester is the accepted norm. 

There are a few guiding factors to course schedule. All students are required to complete Mathematical Proofs. They must also complete six credit hours each in analysis, algebra, and applied statistics, and a one-credit seminar in Mathematics.

Fulfilling the analysis, algebra, and applied statistics requirements gives you a bit of freedom to play to your strengths. Of the three, Analysis requirements are the most limited. It offers topology, complex variables, and two levels of calculus. Under the category of algebra, you can choose from a wider selection of courses. Most of these explore diverse theories including number, group, ring, or field. There are also opportunities to explore Vector Spaces or Computational Algebraic Geometry.

For Applied Statistics and Applied Mathematics (the area exceedingly pertinent to aspiring statisticians) there are various options for learning more about analysis and technique.

Course options for these statistics master’s degrees include:

  • Categorical Data Analysis
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Numeric Linear Algebra
  • Statistical Consulting
  • Regression Analysis

The total curriculum is completed in 34 credits. An exam within each area is required.

Electives also help to guide your statistics degree to your ideal career outcome after your graduate education has finished. You can choose from the following statistics degree options: 

  • Knot Theory
  • projective geometry
  • applied mathematics
  • combinatory logic
  • game theory
  • technology in mathematics.

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS

#11. University of Oklahoma

Location: Norman, OK

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Data Science and Analytics

Net Price: $21,158

Website 

#12. Dakota State University

Location: Madison, SD

Master’s Degree: Master of Science in Analytics (MSA)

Net Price: $16,863

Website      

#13. Saint Louis University

Location: St. Louis, MO

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Applied Analytics

Net Price: $31,460

Website

#14. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, OK

Master’s Degree: Master of Science in Applied Statistics

Net Price: $15,009

Website

#15. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Location: Brownsville, TX

Master’s Degree: Master of Science in Mathematics

Net Price: $4,319

Website       

#16. Indiana University Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, IN

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Business Analytics

Net Price: $11,931

Website  

#17. Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, OR

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Data Analytics

Net Price: $18,625

Website

#18.  University of Kentucky

Location: Lexington, KY

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Applied Statistics

Net Price: $19,762

Website

#19.  Southern New Hampshire University

Location: Manchester, NH

Degree: Master’s in Data Analytics

Net Price: $43,038

Website

#20. Bellevue University

Location: Bellevue, NE

Master’s Degree: Master’s in Business Analytics

Net Price: $9,635

Website 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE THE GRE & BEST ONLINE MASTER OF CYBERSECURITY!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Affordable Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Master's in Industrial EngineeringIs a master’s in industrial engineering worth it?

Let the figures speak for themselves. 

With an average salary of $88,950 per year for bachelor’s degree holders (a figure that increases dramatically upon earning a master’s degree), there’s an excellent return on investment for this kind of degree. 

Plus, jobs in this industry are expected to grow by about 10% before 2029, a surge that’s fueled by its versatility. Industrial engineering is a field that’s not quite as specialized as other areas of engineering. 

Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and operation of manufacturing systems. Industrial engineers are responsible for designing everything from assembly lines to new products and processes in order to make them more efficient.

Because of this versatility, you’ll be able to find work in a wide variety of industries, from major manufacturing, consulting, and research and development. Even healthcare companies employ industrial engineers! As new technologies come onto the market to automate production processes in various industries, those who have an intimate knowledge of industrial and manufacturing engineering will be in high demand for some of the best-paying jobs. 

While any engineering degree is worth the cost of tuition, even with today’s high tuition rates, a degree in industrial engineering is the way to go. You’ll be able to work outside of traditional manufacturing industries and find employment just about anywhere, including for government agencies.

Like all other kinds of engineers, industrial engineers have low unemployment rates and enjoy some of the highest salaries among other degree holders in the United States. 

When you’re looking for a master’s in industrial engineering, know that your program will be either a master of science or a master of engineering. When it comes right down to it, there usually isn’t’ much of a difference in cost or credit hours. 

It’s the format of the two programs that differs. A Master of Science tends to be more academic, often requiring research or the completion of a thesis, while a Master of Engineering is perfect for the student who wants to dive right into the workforce after completing more hands-on learning.

Of course, many programs offer both of these experiences to students.

Depending on your needs and where you live, you may be able to choose between taking classes in-person or online. This is a great way to save money, for many students. By its very nature, online learning tends to be more affordable because many of the costs of attending a traditional on-campus program, such as transportation, room and board, and even parking, are eliminated. 

Naturally, an online degree might be the preferred way to study for students who are already working and find it difficult to fit classes into their already jam-packed schedules. When you complete an online degree, you’ll be able to complete classes on your own time or even on a part-time basis. 

Earning a degree can be a daunting process due to the sheer complexity and difficulty of your courses alone. Industrial engineering is not known for being one of the easiest subjects to major in, so it’s normal to have some anxiety about the coursework you’ll encounter. Chances are, though, your undergraduate coursework has already prepared you for the rigors of graduate study. 

One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about, though, is how you’ll pay for your degree. It’s true that earning a master’s degree can be expensive, but the good news is that there are more financial aid opportunities than ever before.

What is the best affordable master’s in industrial engineering? How do you choose the right school for you when it comes to this degree?

If you’re looking for the top universities for masters in industrial engineering, look no further. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. 

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

What Are the Best Industrial Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

#1. Texas A & M University

Texas A&MMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering

One of the best master’s in industrial engineering and management can be found at Texas A&M University. Located in College Station, TX, this school offers a master’s in industrial engineering online that consists of 30 credit hours of study. 

Meant to serve as a terminal degree, this program is practitioner-oriented, helping to provide you with the hands-on skills you need for career success. You’ll be able to take courses covering topics like:

  • simulation models and tools
  • logistics and inventory control
  • data analytics models and tools
  • optimization models and tools 

The degree features specializations in multiple areas, such as data science, operations research, manufacturing, and health and human systems engineering. It includes both a thesis and non-thesis option for maximum flexibility. 

A highly affordable program, it features low tuition rates along with generous financial aid. There are all kinds of scholarships available, including College of Engineering scholarships, the Craig Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award, and many more. Plus, you can apply for graduate funding such as fellowships and research assistantships.

#2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia TechMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering

You will find one of the best M.Sc. in industrial engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Located in Atlanta, GA, this school also features tuition rates that are some of the lowest in the country. You’ll pay less than $20,000 in graduate tuition and fees, which is just one reason among many why this school is repeatedly ranked among the best public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report

This affordable master’s in engineering includes 30 credits of courses, all of which are offered by the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. You will take courses that focus on analysis, modeling, and solution of problems that arise in the traditional domains of supply chain systems, warehousing, and manufacturing. 

You will learn from accomplished faculty who are actively engaged in research as you learn about the latest developments in industrial engineering. The program serves as an excellent pathway for doctoral candidates as well as for students who want to dive directly into the workplace. Graduates have gone on to work for companies like Boeing, Apple, Intel, Nike, Google, and more.

Applying for this program is easy. You’ll need to have an undergraduate degree in science or engineering but a specific major in industrial engineering is not required. There’s also no minimum GPA cut-off or test score requirements. Even work experience isn’t required, though it can be an asset to your application. 

#3. North Carolina State University

NC State UniversityMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University is a public land-grant research university that is the largest school in the Carolinas. It has a reputation for academic excellence and its commitment to research. Along with Duke University in Durham, NC, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it forms one of the corners of the famed Research Triangle. 

Located in Raleigh, NC, North Carolina State University has one of the most affordable industrial engineering master’s program options around. You’ll pay less than $12,000 and have access to some of the best hands-on learning opportunities you can imagine, allowing you to gain crucial hands-on experience that will help improve your likelihood of finding a high-paying job.

Ranked as one of the best Top Value schools by U.S. News & World Report, North Carolina State University offers an online degree that will teach you how to improve systems and make them workable for any kind of industry. Designed for the working professional, the degree is practitioner-based and focuses on applications in the workplace rather than on theoretical research. 

Because of this, you won’t need to complete a thesis or comprehensive oral examination in order to graduate from this professional degree. Instead, you’ll complete 33 credit hours of courses in topics like Bayesian decision analysis for engineers and managers, multi-attribute decision analysis, and human factors in systems design.  You will also be able to participate in project work that you can use as part of your portfolio when you apply for jobs later on. 

#4. Oregon State University

Oregon State UniversityMasters in Industrial Engineering

Oregon State also has an affordable master of science in industrial engineering. The degree is available as both a master of engineering as well as a master of science. There’s even a minor in this field and a doctoral studies plan, depending on your career goals. 

This public university, located in Corvallis, OR, has tuition rates that are lower than $15,000 for graduate students. There’s plenty of financial aid that you can apply for, too. Because of this affordability and the school’s superb academic quality, it is ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Value Schools. 

You don’t have to be a graduate of an industrial engineering program in order to apply. As long as you have some sort of background in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) discipline, you’ll have all the expertise you need to submit an application. You can choose to complete classes 100% online or on-campus, depending on your lifestyle and preferences. 

Regardless of the options you choose, you’ll take classes in subjects like:

  • Spreadsheet Skills for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers
  • Product Planning and Control
  • Computational Methods for Industrial Engineering
  • Work Systems Engineering

Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared for a vast array of positions in management engineering, particularly those requiring skills in technical leadership. 

#5. University of Illinois

University of IllinoisMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering 

A public land-grant research university, the University of Illinois is the flagship institution of the state university system and was founded in 1867. It’s home to 16 separate schools and colleges and offers an impressive 250-plus area of study. These programs are highly research-focused, with the school home to a famous Research Park that includes innovation centers for more than 90 different start-up companies and multinational corporations. 

The University of Illinois has one of top industrial engineering graduate programs. With the main campus in Champaign, IL, the school is ranked as a top public school, a best national university, and a best value school by U.S. News & World Report. You can’t beat those accolades!

Here, you’ll find graduate tuition rates that are lower than $20,000 per year along with a curriculum in industrial engineering that will stand the test of time. The curriculum is constantly being updated to make sure its students receive an education that holds its value and is relevant in the modern workplace. Plus, you can apply for financial assistance in the form of graduate/teaching/research assistantships, grants, fellowships, and tuition waiver scholarships. 

You’ll complete 32 credit hours of study along with four hours of independent study with no thesis required (though there is an optional thesis pathway available). You’ll take classes in topics like algorithms for data analytics, big graphs and social networks, apple nonlinear programming, and analysis of network data. 

#6. University of Arizona

University of ArizonaMasters in Industrial Engineering

The University of Arizona is a public university located in Tucson, AZ. Founded in 1885, this school was the first to be established in the Arizona Territory and remains a groundbreaking institution to this day. It consists of 19 separate colleges and schools and is affiliated with multiple research centers, academic medical centers, and more.

It is at the University of Arizona where you will find a top master’s of industrial engineering online. This program, located in Tucson, AZ, is also one of the most affordable. The College of Engineering has received top marks for its academic quality by U.S. News & World Report and with low tuition that comes in at less than $14,000 for graduate students, the university has also been ranked a best value school. 

In the industrial engineering program, you’ll gain the skills you need as a working professional to master advanced engineering planning and design skills and theory. That way, you can create and manage systems in just about any kind of industry. This program is unique in that it will also teach you the leadership skills and business fundamentals you need to succeed as an innovator and leader in engineering.

Your courses will cover topics like:

  • advanced quality engineering
  • advanced concepts in systems engineering
  • integer and combinatorial optimization
  • distributed multi-paradigm simulation systems

You can choose to take courses online or on-campus in Lima or Tucson.

#7. Binghamton University

Binghamton UniversityMasters in Industrial Engineering

Located in Vestal, NY, Binghamton University has one of the best master’s degrees for industrial engineers. This school is a public research university that is considered one of the four prestigious university centers in the SUNY system, home to more than 18,000 students.

This school is ranked a top public school and a best value school by the U.S. News & World Report and offers a master’s in industrial engineering that’s tailored toward working professionals. It features courses that are taught both in Vestal as well as in Manhattan, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in courses that are offered at the location that best suits your needs.

You’ll be able to take classes primarily online as you study topics like applied probability and statistics, enterprise systems, and modeling. You’ll be prepared for a management position upon graduation but if you want to specialize even further, you can tack on a certificate in healthcare systems, too. These courses are taught by internationally recognized instructors who will provide you with the best opportunities for research and transdisciplinary learning.

With bonus specialization areas in health systems executive health systems, you’ll be able to pursue research in topics like:

  • supply chain modeling and management
  • system optimization
  • electronics packaging and manufacturing
  • artificial intelligence and expert systems

Admission to this program occurs on a rolling basis so you can apply whenever it’s most convenient for you. 

#8. Missouri University of Science and Technology

S&T MissouriMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering 

Missouri University of Science and Technology, also referred to as simply Missouri S&T, is a public research university located in Rolla, MO. A member of the large University of Missouri System, this school is home to more than 8,000 students studying primarily in:

  • mathematics
  • sciences
  • business
  • engineering disciplines

This school is classified among R2: Doctoral Universities-High Research Activity, offering an academic quality that cannot be surpassed. Nevertheless, the Master of Science in Industrial Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology is also one of the most affordable in the nation. Here, you’ll enjoy generous financial aid opportunities along with graduate tuition and fees that come in at less than $12,000. 

The degree has an excellent return on investment because you will be able to fully customize your program to meet your career goals. You can choose from a variety of concentrations including those in risk modeling and assessment, complex adaptive systems, model-based engineering, and more. You’ll be able to add both depth and breadth to your degree by choosing a specialty that is related to your personal interests. 

As you work on your degree, you’ll work alongside faculty who are conducting innovative research in a variety of areas. You’ll learn how to solve complex problems that can improve functions within industries, society, and government organizations in your coursework and research. 

However, you can further improve upon your experience by joining student organizations, including competition teams like the Steel Bridge Team, general interest groups like Engineers Without Borders, or even mechanical and aerospace organizations like the MU Association of Energy Engineers. You can even study abroad!

#9. Arizona State University

Arizona StateMasters in Industrial Engineering

The master’s in industrial engineering online at Arizona State University isn’t just affordable, but it’s also ranked among the top ten best online graduate engineering degrees by U.S. News & World Report for 2020. It is also listed as one of the best for veterans, recognized again for its affordability, accessibility, and high academic quality.

After completing this degree, you’ll have the skills you need to solve complex systems issues that might arise within an organization. It’s a research-heavy program that will provide you with the skills necessary to integrate, analyze, and develop solutions. In this online program, you’ll learn from the same world-class faculty who teach on-campus. 

The 350+ faculty members who teach at Arizona State’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering has been recognized with the highest accolades in the field from organizations like the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. You’ll be able to network heavily with professors, students, and industry partners as you take courses in things like:

  • web-enabled decision support systems
  • information systems engineering
  • applied stochastic operations research models
  • applied deterministic operations research

The program emphasizes three core areas of study in operations research and production systems, quality and reliability engineering, and information systems engineering and management systems engineering. You can even pursue a specialty program in international logistics if you choose!

#10. Western New England University

WNEMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering

Western New England University is a private school located in Springfield, MA. Founded in 1919, its first classes held fewer than 20 students, but the school has grown rapidly and currently is home to more than 7,000 students. 

The university is known for its accomplished doctoral and master’s degrees, which are offered by:

  • the School of Law
  • the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • the College of Business
  • the College of Arts and Sciences
  • the College of Engineering

In the College of Engineering, you will find a top M.S. in manufacturing engineering that is available completely online. 

The online industrial engineering master’s program can be completed in less than two years, even when you choose to study on a part-time basis. It is meant to provide working professionals with an accelerated program of study that will grant you skills in systems, optimization, cost analysis, and much more. All in all, you will take nine credits of core courses in topics ranging from Advanced Engineering Statistics to Inventory Modeling. You will also complete three credits in a core concentration and up to 15 credits of electives.

For the remainder of your courses, you’ll choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to study at your own pace and enjoy a curriculum that is designed for the real world. Classes are small, averaging fewer than 20 students, so you can immerse yourself fully in the course content while enjoying individualized support from your instructors. Core concentration areas cover topics like:

  • Design of Experiments
  • Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Systems
  • Discrete Event Simulation

Frequently Asked Questions

What will you learn with an industrial engineering degree?

Each industrial engineering degree is a bit different in terms of which courses are required and how many credit hours you will need to complete. Most of the time, you’ll take core engineering classes along with a series of electives. You may be able to use your elective course choices to help you specialize in a certain area. 

Usually, about 30 to 36 credit hours are required, with a thesis or non-thesis track typically available. You may be required to complete a residency, internship, or capstone, generally graduating in about two to three years depending on whether you study on a full- or part-time basis. 

Course requirements vary widely depending on the university and your ultimate career goals. At Columbia University, for example, you will complete 30 credit hours of study with a concentration in systems engineering, regulated industries, or healthcare management. 

You’ll take a set of required core courses in things like:

  • Stochastic Models
  • Supply Chain Analytics
  • Optimization Models and Methods

You will then move on to electives in various schools (you can even take courses in the famed Law School or the School of International and Public Affairs for a truly one-of-a-kind degree!).

What are the master’s in industrial engineering requirements? 

Typically, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in order to apply for a master’s in industrial engineering. This doesn’t always need to be in industrial engineering but usually should be in a related field in engineering, mathematics, or science. You may be asked to have a minimum GPA (3.0 on a 4.0 scale is a common cut-off for applicants). In some cases, scores from the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) might also be required.

It’s important to look at the individual admission requirements for the schools to which you are applying, however, as they can vary. Arizona State University’s program in industrial engineering consists of just nine classes, each of which lasts just 7.5 to 15 weeks for a total of 30 credit hours. You’ll need to submit an application along with a statement of purpose, GRE scores, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. 

You can also look at the admissions requirements of the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign to give you an idea of what you might need to submit. This school requires you to rank your research preferences when you apply but you don’t need to meet GRE score cut-offs. You don’t even need to send in official transcripts until you are admitted!

What can I do with a master’s in industrial engineering? 

Once you earn a degree in industrial engineering, you’ll have a wide variety of career opportunities to choose from. In fact, this is one of the most versatile engineering disciplines you can pursue. 

When you’re first getting started, you’ll likely work under a senior engineer at a production or manufacturing company, perhaps working to collect and analyze data. After you have a few years of experience, you will be able to get more involved in the problem-solving and decision-making processes of your company and perhaps move into a management position as a senior engineer yourself.

The most successful industrial engineering will become the owners or presidents of consulting firms or perhaps even senior associates. Regardless, you’ll find job opportunities in both the public and private sector with titles including:

  • quality engineering
  • operations analyst
  • industrial engineer
  • management engineer
  • ergonomist

Is financial aid available for industrial engineering degrees?

If the cost of earning a degree in industrial engineering has you stressing, don’t panic. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available.

Just take a look at Georgia Tech University as an example. This school offers external fellowships for American students from federal agencies like the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. As a graduate assistant, you’ll receive a stipend and tuition waiver in exchange for 16 hours per week of work. You could also be eligible for Georgia Tech and ISE Fellowships.

Georgia Tech isn’t alone in its affordability. Many schools offer these kinds of assistantships and fellowships, along with other kinds of financial aid like scholarships, grants, and student loans. Be sure to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to find out what kind of assistance you might qualify for!

How much does an industrial engineer with a master’s make? 

The potential master’s in industrial engineering salary is excellent. 

Graduates of bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering at the University of Miami earn the #1 highest-paid spots on most lists, according to College Factual. Of course, master’s candidates earn much more all-around than individuals who have just earned bachelor’s degrees, making this degree a worthwhile investment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2020, the average annual wage for industrial engineers was $88,950. 

The highest 10% of earners brought in more than $136,930, with the best-paid workers employed in professional, scientific, and technical services as well as in computer and electronic product manufacturing. You might also find high-paying jobs in transportation equipment manufacturing, where workers bring in an average annual salary of $91,790. 

Which master’s degree is the cheapest?

When you’re looking for the most affordable master’s in industrial engineering, it’s important to consider all aspects of a schools’ total price, including its tuition and fees along with available financial aid.

The cheapest school for you might not be the cheapest school for every other student, as there are lots of factors that go into determining a school’s overall affordability. However, some of the best values in your education can be found at the schools we’ve mentioned above in our rankings along with at universities such as the University of Washington, Purdue University, and the University of Florida.

What is the shortest master’s program in industrial engineering?

Most programs in industrial engineering are similar in their time to completion. Graduate degrees tend to be more self-paced than bachelor’s degrees, allowing you to complete courses on a full- or part-time basis, studying either online, on-campus, or in a hybrid combination of the two

Typically, you will be expected to complete around 30 credit hours of study. In many cases, you can do this in just a year or two, although if you’re studying part-time it might take three or four years for you to complete your studies. Adding on options like an internship, study abroad, or cooperative learning experience can add some time on to your degree, but these are worth it in the long run as they can help you land a job after you graduate. 

Is a master’s in industrial engineering worth it? 

The long and short of it? Absolutely. Industrial engineering is a field worth majoring in, particularly if you want to embark on a rewarding, high-paying career and have strong aptitudes in mathematics and science. 

Industrial engineering is a difficult major. There’s no doubt about it. However, compared to other engineering degrees, industrial engineering has far fewer mathematics and technical engineering courses that you will need to conquer. It also has a high return on investment.

Just look at Lehigh University as an example! In 2020, 95% of its graduating class found employment within just a few short months of graduation, with more than 96% of all students completing at least one internship or similar experiential learning opportunity. 

Related:

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

20 Best Master’s in Software Engineering

20 Best Master’s in Software Engineering

The software development and computer science industries are exploding. Not only are they excellent places to start and continue a career, but they don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Over the next 10 years, software developers and engineers will be needed in greater capacities, with a particular necessity for creators and innovators. After all, everyone uses software to one degree or another these days, whether it’s at their place of work or for their social media or device.

Those with degrees in software engineering are like craftsmen in digital spaces. Software engineers produce the programs and applications that we all enjoy or need for our day-to-day lives. But they also have a hand in government technology and in the big data corporations that are driving societal and cultural change. In a way, software engineering is the premier art of our time, and those who know how to develop and manage software projects will have a multitude of career opportunities.

While being a software developer only requires a bachelor’s degree, many are opting for graduate-level education. A master’s degree in software engineering will prepare you particularly well to work in a fast-paced and constantly evolving field of software development. Furthermore, software engineers with master’s degrees can demand higher pay and better positions in the same company. 

Greater expertise means you’ll be able to handle harder projects and take command of others in the same sphere. Software development managers often have master’s degrees in the field. Because the subject requires such technical expertise, business majors aren’t as effective in these positions as they would be for other areas. 

But you can also pursue a master’s in software engineering for Ph.D. studies in the future. Most of these degrees are Masters of Science, meaning they incorporate heavy research components into their curriculums. They’ll also usually have you complete a thesis, which is the first major stepping stone on your path to earning your Ph.D. Anyone looking to drive the software engineering field forward on the theoretical level will need a master’s degree in this subject to start.

However, master’s in software engineering degrees are not easy to get. Even when you take into account the rigor of their programs, most programs are highly competitive. Software engineering jobs pay well and offer great job security, so anyone with the STEM skills necessary to excel in this field will likely be jockeying for the limited positions available each year. That’s why you need to know which master’s in software engineering programs are worth your time and money.

Let’s dive deeper into this degree option, see what it offers, then find out what colleges offer the best master’s in software engineering programs around.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Common Application and Admissions Questions

As with virtually all master’s level programs, a master’s in software engineering program will require that you have a bachelor’s degree before being considered for acceptance. Unlike several other program types or majors, a master’s in software engineering normally requires that all applicants have significant experience both in the software engineering field and in their prior academic education.

This means you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree in either software engineering or another computer science field. As such, the potential prerequisite degrees you can hold before applying to a master’s program of this type are somewhat varied; as long as your prior schooling is at least tangentially related to software engineering, you’ll be considered for acceptance.

However, as with all programs, those applicants with degrees in software engineering specifically will likely be given higher priority by the admissions team of any given school. Your prior college should also be accompanied by a GPA of 3.0 or above, although a few select programs have lower minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements doesn’t necessarily make you an attractive candidate, however. 

Furthermore, prior work experience in software engineering is also recommended for most programs. It’s not usually necessary, but it helps to make your application stand out among the competitive crowd. Software engineering, as a STEM degree, will be flooded with qualified applicants, so anything to make your application more engaging or appealing for an admissions team is a great bonus. You’ll also likely need at least two letters of recommendation, with more letters usually helpful. These letters can come from either your former teachers or your direct superiors at your software engineering/computer science job.

Because of the need for prior experience and a degree in a related field, it’s no surprise that all master’s in software engineering programs need applicants to have a strong aptitude in both mathematics and physics. As a result, virtually all programs require students to take the GRE, or Graduate Record Examination.

This test is slightly different from the SAT or ACT in that it tests your critical thinking skills more than any other intellectual aspect. Most programs will list their GRE score threshold on their program website, allowing you to target a particular score when you sit down for the GRE. You can take the GRE up to five times in a 12 month period, so there’s ample opportunity to take the test multiple times and grab a higher score before sending in your application.

Finally, don’t forget to take the application window into account when browsing potential schools. Some software engineering programs only allow applicants for a single application window every year, while others have multiple start dates. These windows are often dictated by whether or not the program uses a cohort model (in which students accompany one another through the program in a more regimented pattern) or not. If you’re applying to schools with narrow application windows, be prepared well ahead of time to ensure that you have everything in order, as there won’t be time to correct your application after submission.

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

What About Financial Aid & Scholarships?

Any master’s student should begin their financial aid searching with the FAFSA, or Federal Application for Student Aid. This is also standard practice for anyone looking for a bachelor’s degree, so graduate students should already be familiar with this process. Filling out the FAFSA lets you know if you qualify for certain government-funded scholarships or grants, as well as rare subsidized loans. These can be excellent financial benefits and relieve a huge amount of the economic burden from your future schooling. Students with more economic need will be more likely to receive more help, making it one of the few financial aid options that isn’t dependent on GPA or similar metrics.

After the FAFSA, heading to the school or program’s page is the next step. Here, you can usually find software engineering related scholarships or grant opportunities that are funded by the university in question or by former alumni. The wealthy graduates of many top universities often give back to the school that helped them jumpstart their professional careers by funding scholarships and other financial aid opportunities for students. These scholarships or grants will probably be quite competitive and fiercely fought over, but it always helps to apply for as many as possible.

You can also look at software engineering related companies or organizations for potential scholarship opportunities. For instance, companies like Apple and Microsoft often provide financial aid options for future graduate students in computer science fields. These companies have a vested interest in producing new software engineering workers, so they’ll often help boost students with good grades and a bright future by providing a cash infusion. Again, these scholarship opportunities are usually competitive, but googling such scholarships with phrases like, “Apple computer science scholarship” will get you a lot of results.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of teaching assistantships or internships. Many top universities allow software engineering or other graduate students to work with one of their professors on a part-time basis, usually 20 to 25 hours per week. During this time, teaching assistants will help their professors with standard grading or organizational work and will receive a small stipend as compensation. Even better, teaching assistantships usually come with reductions in overall tuition. Internships operate similarly, though without the opportunity for actual pay during your time working for a company. Either of these options can be extremely valuable, but they’re often only offered to top-tier students in academics.

Finally, don’t forget that any active duty or former service members for the United States military (or their spouses) will often receive discounts in their tuition from the majority of universities. These can be huge financial bonuses and help you complete your schooling on a much tighter budget. Some scholarships are also only available to veterans or their families.

How Much Can I Make With a Master’s in Software Engineering?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that software developers – the main type of job that software engineering majors will hold over their professional careers – earn a median salary of about $105,590 per year. This is well over the median salary for all occupations of around $39,000 per year and even other computer occupations, around $86,000 per year. In short, software developers make lots of money and there’s tons of opportunity for rising through the ranks.

The top 10% of software developers earn over $167,000 per year—and that’s some serious cash! Even software developers on the lower end of the spectrum earn a respectable $66,740 per year. No matter what software developer position you hold, you’ll definitely be able to pay for your former schooling and save some money for retirement over time.

Other jobs requiring this degree have similar pay scales. Software publishers make about $114,000 per year, whereas software workers in the finance and insurance industries make around $108,000 yearly. Additionally, the majority of software developers work full-time or 40 hours a week and there’s lots of opportunity for overtime pay. Dedicated software developers will be able to boost their earnings even further.

However, a software developer position only requires a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree allows you to demand higher pay from a position and take on additional responsibilities in the software field. In a nutshell, a master’s degree in this subject marks you as even more specialized than bachelor’s degree holders and enables you to take more lucrative positions in the same company.

Many managerial positions require that the position be filled with someone with a master’s degree, as graduate degrees often incorporate business or management classes depending on the subject. Some software promotions can only be earned through graduate-level education, as well.

Earning a master’s degree in software engineering is also helpful because of the job outlook. According to the BLS, software developers and related positions are projected to grow by about 21% over the next 10 years. All told, this will result in about an additional 284,000 jobs over the next decade. This means that, while the software development field is already competitive, there should be lots of room for prospective developers to earn their way to a great life. It’s a much better job environment compared to tighter fields, which are often accompanied by employers lowering salaries. It’s much better to be a skill seller in a seller’s market like this.

This growth rate dwarfs the 5% growth rate on average from all other occupations. Even general computer occupations are only growing at an additional 12% over the next 10 years. Software developers are becoming more important, as the need for new applications for smartphones and tablets is drastically increasing the demand for these positions. Indeed, the world is rapidly becoming more digital and more companies are focused on application development than ever before. Virtually every business uses computers to a great extent.

Additionally, software development is a constantly fluctuating field that’s always changing and evolving. Software developers who focus on mobile apps and code will be particularly well-positioned for new chances for success—including the possibility to create new technological developments and the opportunity to capitalize on those developments. Innovative or creative graduate students in software engineering may be able to carve out a special niche for themselves in the business. The next big software hero is likely somewhere in the next few graduating classes. 

What Are the Best Master’s in Software Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

Check out our ranking of the 20 best master’s in software engineering programs!

#1. East Carolina University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

East Carolina University is one of the most successful higher education institutions in North Carolina, with a full student body nearing 30,000. It’s among the most affordable colleges in the region, making it particularly attractive for a STEM subject like software engineering. The campus boasts beautiful architecture and stunning green spaces, along with over 500 official student clubs and organizations. Anyone enrolled here will benefit not only from a rigorous academic curriculum but also a vibrant student body and social life.

ECU currently offers the first master’s in software engineering degree in the state, both in face-to-face and online formats. It also includes several specializations to let you tailor the degree according to your interests or better prepare you for a particular job in the software engineering field. To make things better for all of its students, class sizes are typically quite small, affording each individual more time with their professor for questions or personalized educational needs.

In a nutshell, ECU’s software engineering program combines several interdisciplinary classes and focuses on preparing students to manage and create large software projects. As a graduate-level program, it’s exceptionally good for those wanting to move into management positions within the software engineering field or who want additional responsibilities as a software developer.

As a result of its emphasis on modern software development practices, many of the classes are updated regularly and professors always aim to prepare students for the professional needs of the workplaces of the future. Classes include Software Engineering; Construction, Architecture and Design; and Verification and Validation.

Over the course of the curriculum, students will gather the practical knowledge and practice needed to excel in the rapidly evolving software engineering industry. As an M.S., it’s also a suitable degree if you want to pursue graduate work afterward. This versatility makes it a great program for software engineering students that aren’t sure if they prefer a terminal degree or want something that leads to a Ph.D. Regardless of goals, each student will need to complete either a capstone project or thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

ECU offers two pathways to entry: traditional and nontraditional. Traditional pathways are best for students who already have bachelor’s degrees in the computer science field or who have lots of experience working with information technology and software engineering. This track requires 30 semester hours for degree completion.

Meanwhile, the nontraditional pathway is best for those with bachelor’s degrees in engineering, mathematics, or similar subjects without a focus on computers or software. This program includes two additional courses during the first semester to bring students up to speed and enable them to complete the program with high grades. This pathway totals 38 semester hours to account for these additional classes.

ECU is a great choice of school for other reasons as well. Their computer science department offers several internships for software engineering degree students, providing additional work experience and networking opportunities if they have the time to spare. This could potentially make finding employment after graduation a lot easier.

#2.  DePaul University

MS in Software Engineering

DePaul University is a modern and technology-oriented school, as well as the largest Catholic University in the United States. Located in the heart of Chicago, DePaul’s campus places students in the heart of a bustling metropolitan area, which is great both for student social life and for employment or networking opportunities throughout graduate school. All students benefit from class sizes of less than 40 per class (with about a 15:1 student to faculty ratio), as well as a diverse faculty base, all of whom are expert researchers in their field of study.

Their M.S. in software engineering program is designed to provide any student attending with widely applicable and highly in-demand skills in the software field. Their curriculum has an intrinsic focus on process required to excel when writing and analyzing software; many of their classes focus on current methodologies and the best modern software engineering practices. In essence, many aspects of the curriculum are concerned with teaching students how to think about software engineering rather than giving them things to memorize by rote.

Additionally, DePaul’s program includes several classes or elements that emphasize communication and presentation skills. Many software engineering positions, especially for Fortune 500 or similarly successful companies, require that all software developers be team players. The inclusion of these aspects in the curriculum means that graduates will be well-equipped to work on a larger software development team. It’s also great for preparing graduates to lead smaller teams of software engineers.

Beyond this, the curriculum incorporates many standard features and subjects, ranging from software architecture design, to software testing and quality assurance, and software maintenance.

The program’s success can’t be understated. Ninety-three percent of master’s graduates from this program were employed within six months of graduation as of 2017. This showcases the value and network opportunities inherent in this school and its academic offerings. Even better, DePaul has a vibrant research base among its faculty; software engineering faculty members at the school have been awarded over $4 million in grants over the past five years. Software engineering students looking to dive deeper into research and theory in this subject will find multiple opportunities for internships and networking.

There are start dates in every season of the year, but the program can also be completed online, as every bit of the curriculum is captured using audio and video tools. There’s no difference between the online and on-campus programs. However, even when online, students will benefit from a team-oriented education and work well with their peers through group projects. Four concentrations are available for students in this program: software development, software architecture, real-time game systems, and entrepreneurship and technology leadership. Two of these emphases are relatively unique compared to other concentrations available at other universities, making DePaul a great choice for focused software engineering students who know what they want to do for their professional careers.

#3. Stevens Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Stevens Institute of Technology is a revolutionary university that’s produced fantastic graduates in the field of artificial intelligence, finance, nanotech and many more. It’s a smaller institute of higher education, with around 7000 students and 300 faculty for a student to faculty ratio of about 11:1. The campus is located right across the river from New York City, affording stunning views, many social opportunities, and several places to work after you’ve graduated. They have a relatively low acceptance rate of about 40%, but that ensures the quality and rigor of their academic programs. 

Their master’s in software engineering program is ranked No. 21 for its online variants according to U.S. News and World Report. Diving deeper, we can see that the program places a big priority on teaching students how to build reliable, safe, and secure software systems for multiple kinds of industries or needs.

The curriculum teaches all students about the lifecycle process of software, granting all graduates a deeper understanding of both how software comes into the economy and how it’s eventually phased out. Additionally, all students will benefit from classes that teach them how to design, test, build, and maintain their own software systems, as well as learn to manage multiple software projects simultaneously and with great efficiency.

The student body is typically made up of learners from varied backgrounds, including business in the liberal arts along with typical subject focuses like computer science or mathematics. As a result, students will benefit from having multiple viewpoints in each classroom, helping everyone see problems from other perspectives. The curriculum already pushes concepts like software architecture, technical planning, risk management, and software assurance, all of which are valuable in the fast-paced software development market.

There’s a lot to like from the financial aid perspective, too. The National Science Foundation selects students in this master’s in software engineering program every year for funding. It’s designed to help those without lots of financial assistance to complete their education and reach their professional goals. When combined with more typical financial aid options, you should have several avenues to lighten the burden of educational debt.

The program is available in three formats: on-campus, online, and corporate. The first two options are easily understandable and comparable to most other programs across universities. The online program is also great because it’s exactly the same as the on-campus option with additional asynchronous schedule flexibility. But the corporate option enables students to continue working at their software firm or computer science position while finishing their education. The degree will be completed at a slightly slower pace, but will still have students finish with a degree by the three-year mark. This pathway also offers opportunities for certain discounts depending on where the student works. It’s a fantastic option for current software engineering workers who don’t want to give up their position at their company to get a graduate degree.

#4.  Kennesaw State University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Kennesaw State University is one of the largest public institutions in the United States and features many programs that incorporate innovative teaching approaches. Its main campuses are located northwest of metropolitan Atlanta. They feature many high-quality majors in schools ranging from nursing to management to computer science. But the school also provides its students with a fantastic campus experience across both locations in Kennesaw and Marietta. Both campuses combined take up 587 acres and include dozens of modern buildings and facilities for both academics and recreation. Over 250 student organizations ensure that the student body enjoys a vibrant Greek life and plenty of opportunities for social activity and networking.

They offer start dates for spring, summer, and fall semesters, allowing students to jump into the program whenever it works best for their unique schedules. The program itself relies heavily on real-time strategies and procedures used in the current software development market. This guarantees that all the graduates from this program will have up-to-date information and be more competitive once they dip their toes in the job market. Both online and face-to-face variations of this program are available, though the curriculums are identical. You can also do a hybrid version of this program if that works best for your schedule and you’d like some face-to-face interactions with your professors and classmates.

Each pathway is comprised of seven required courses and several electives. At the end of the program, students can complete either a thesis or an engineering capstone project. The thesis option includes three additional elective courses in conjunction with their thesis research. Additionally, the program is open to students with any bachelor’s degree, although students with an undergraduate degree in any area other than computer science must complete several foundational courses before they can move into the advanced material. Your advisor will be able to tell you how many foundational courses you’ll need to complete (up to five).

Kennesaw also provides opportunities to earn several graduate certificates in either software engineering or the foundation courses mentioned above. Certificates can make you an attractive hire for software engineering positions or allow you to obtain a computer science position in a company without earning the full degree. It’s a great additional option.

The program in total is 36 credit hours and has a slightly lower than average GPA requirement for acceptance. You should still try to make your GPA the highest possible in order to have the best chance of being accepted, of course. Once in the program, you’ll complete classes such as Software Project Planning Management, Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, and Software Testing and Verification.

Those students who’ve completed a bachelor’s degree at Kennesaw either in computer game design and development or in software engineering may have the opportunity to complete the master’s program on an accelerated basis. In less than six years, students can complete both degrees by taking several compressed or combination courses or by taking classes over summer semesters.

#5. Nova Southeastern University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Nova Southeastern University is an institution that is rapidly gaining in reputation thanks to the quality of its programs and the success of its graduates. It features a worldwide alumni network and has a research body dedicated to preserving and investigating oceans and aquatic life. It also includes a 314-acre main campus; a virtual tour is available if you want to check out the space for yourself before applying to the program. 

Their master’s in software engineering program is 36 credit hours and has a limited application window once per year, meaning anyone interested in the program should have their stuff in order well before the deadline. The program is offered both online and on-campus in South Florida, and both variations of the program contain the same focus on foundational software engineering.

In this way, it’s a lot like a natural extension of a bachelor’s degree in the same field. Classes include subjects like Software Design and Development and Software Verification Testing, and even more specialized classes like Human-Computer Interaction. This last focus will help students understand how humans interact with computers and why certain types of software are more popular than others. It’s a great class and program as a whole for those future software developers interested in user-friendly coding and creation.

Across all the courses, the program blends theory and practice so that students are well prepared for the job market upon graduation. The online program has an asynchronous format, making it ideal for those who need to work or balance a family life at the same time as they complete their education. On-campus classes meet once per week for 16 weeks in the fall and winter terms or 12 weeks in the summer term. As such, it’s a more relaxed graduate program than many accelerated options that have students complete eight-week classes.

In total, there are six core courses and six elective courses required for program completion. Unlike the vast majority of master’s programs in software engineering, neither a thesis nor a capstone project is required for completion. This may make it a favorite for students interested in a terminal degree; that is, a degree designed to help them attain a higher professional position rather than prepare them for research in the future. It’s a very digestible program that doesn’t require lots of long-term investment beyond understanding the material and completing everything on time. NSU arguably provides one of the more schedule friendly programs in this field as a result.

While NSU does accept applicants without strong backgrounds in computer science or software engineering, such applicants will be required to take one or more graduate courses during the first two terms in order to catch up on the material. 

#6.  Villanova University

MS in Software Engineering

Villanova University is one of the most successful universities in modern times for several reasons. For one, they have very competitive tuition rates and several sources of funding, including tuition reduction for educators. Additionally, it’s a very busy research institution; students looking to delve deeper into the theoretical field of software engineering will find many peers and professors to network with, as well as opportunities to perform their own research.

It’s also located near Philadelphia, allowing students to enjoy a bustling metropolitan life just 12 miles east of the campus. The combined suburban and city setting provides a variety of opportunities and lots of chances for networking. Students from all walks of life attend the beautiful campus, which is highly focused on renewable resources and green energy.

Their program is an M.S. in Software Engineering, marking it as a suitable degree either for terminal education or as a stepping stone to a Ph.D. As a result of its versatility, it combines both theoretical knowledge with practical know-how and experience to produce well-rounded graduates and excellent software creators. The degree as a whole requires 30 credits comprised of 10 courses, ranging from Database Systems to Software Engineering and Software Design and Evolution. The courses aren’t very specific compared to the ones offered by some other programs, but they are great for generalized software engineering and can help ready you for a wide variety of development positions.

Additionally, a thesis course must be completed unless students opt for a practicum track; this adds an additional one-credit course to the curriculum and requires work experience in a related field. Thus, students who already have a job in a software engineering position may opt for this pathway, both to graduate slightly earlier than their peers and because it’ll be a little cheaper in the long run.

However, all students will have the opportunity to undertake a Grand Challenges Project. This can be one of the last courses you take, as it builds upon the material you learned in other courses. This is basically Villanova’s spin on a capstone course, as you work independently or with guidance from an advisor on the topic that both you and the advisor have determined beforehand. This project can take the place of the thesis, be used to bolster your degree credentials or earn you notoriety within the school. It’s a great tactic if you want to proceed to a Ph.D. program in a related field, at Villanova or another school.

When it comes to finances, Villanova offers affordably priced programs for all of its majors. But even better, students can also compete for two merit-based fellowships for full-time students. These tuition scholarships and graduate assistantships provide stipends as well as tuition coverage for your program. The tuition scholarship is a little easier as it doesn’t require the work of assisting a professor, but a graduate assistantship is a little easier to earn since fewer students apply for it. Additional loans or payment plans are also available, all of which combine to make Villanova one of the more affordable schools offering a master’s in software engineering degree.

#7.  University of Southern California

Master of Science in Software Engineering

The University of Southern California is one of the leading private research institutions in the entire state, and it’s well known for several reasons. It has an extremely high student retention rate of around 96% on average, with an average 92% graduation rate over six years. This speaks to both the skill and quality of the faculty along with the manageability of the academic programs. All graduates will benefit from an alumni network of 375,000 strong, with over half of alumni living in California. Beyond these benefits, students will also enjoy sunny southern California weather and close proximity to Los Angeles—a city of opportunity if ever there was one.

Their M.S. in computer science focuses on software engineering rather than being a dedicated degree in the field. This provides students with a broader foundational understanding of computer science as a whole and might be valuable for software engineering students who might want to swap career tracks in the future to something related to development. Either way, the curriculum includes education not just for software development skills but also for systems engineering as well as customer collaboration and management. It’s one of the most well-rounded degrees in the field.

Indeed, many of its courses focus on emerging trends like software-intensive systems or COTS integration. Students who take courses here will be up-to-date on modern software development and engineering trends or topics. This will make them more attractive hires and help them integrate into a workplace environment relatively easily. Even better, most of the classes incorporate real client case class projects or evaluation assignments. Students will get hands-on opportunities to try out their software engineering skills and see how current engineers handle the problems they’ll be facing when they’re in the workforce.

Ultimately, the curriculum prepares students for industrial leadership careers in the software engineering field. But beyond its value as a terminal degree, it can also help students who want to pursue advanced research leading to a Ph.D. There’s no cumulative examination required for graduation, and the curriculum as a whole is 32 credits. Students will have to complete some directed research in their last semester, though this is not necessarily focused around a research paper the same way a thesis would.

USC does include a thesis program option for those interested, of course. Anyone interested in a Ph.D. program would be wise to take this pathway. Furthermore, particularly advanced or academically successful students can apply for the honors program. This highly selective opportunity allows a student to apply for a teaching assistantship position (with an associated stipend and tuition coverage) as well as multiple extra opportunities to meet with faculty and Ph.D. students at social events.

These honor students will even be able to participate in research presentations and selective career fair activities; it’s no stretch to say that those in the honors program will benefit from many more advantages compared to their regular classmates. Even early class registration is included as a perk!

If you don’t get into the honors program, you can also benefit from occasional internship opportunities. These are often for nearby companies or for groups at USC itself, but they can offer you great chances to network or possible employment opportunities after graduation. 

#8.  Auburn University

Master of Science – Computer Science and Software Engineering

Auburn University was originally founded in 1856 as a male-only college but has evolved into an interdisciplinary and diverse institution with a large campus totaling over 1800 acres. It features a low student to faculty ratio of about 19:1, as well as over 300 student clubs and organizations that any student can join. A well-developed international presence also allows Auburn to provide students with international studying opportunities and is part of why the school has such a diverse, experienced faculty body.

Their M.S. is in both computer science and software engineering, and the curriculum reflects both this focus on general computer science knowledge and more specialized classes. It’s also available online, with both programs including traditional instructional and research-oriented classes. On-campus students have a little more flexibility as they can choose either a thesis or non-thesis option, allowing them to pursue Ph.D. studies in the future. Online students can only complete the non-thesis pathway unless they receive special permission from the school’s computer science department. Each path is 30 semester hours regardless of whether the student pursues a thesis.

Both on-campus and online students will be able to specialize in several concentrations, including computer networks, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, machine learning, human-computer interaction, or databases and data science. This wide variety of class options allows students to tailor the degree according to their interests and really make it their own. Auburn’s enjoyment of variety is also reflected in their encouragement that applicants with degrees in other fields apply to the program, even if acceptance is offered on a case-by-case basis.

One final bonus that online students can enjoy is that GRE requirements are waived for that path. Only on-campus students must take the GRE and meet a certain score threshold.

Auburn also provides opportunities to earn several different engineering certificates, which may be valuable depending on the position you want to hold in your company or future career. Graduate certificates span subjects like automotive manufacturing systems to cybersecurity engineering to power engineering. These can also be combined with a specialized degree. In total, Auburn students have lots of ways to make their own mark and control their educational destiny. 

Auburn’s engineering school has an alumni network of over 40,000 engineering graduates that currently span the globe. This alumni network is arguably one of the best advantages in the whole university, as future graduates will be able to network and rely on this collection of professionals for employment opportunities or possibly even grants.

#9.  Carnegie Mellon University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University is one of the most world-renowned private research universities. Many of its alumni have won Nobel or Turing prizes or created innovative technologies like driverless cars. With over 14,000 students and 1300 faculty, there are plenty of diverse viewpoints to encourage original thinking, but not enough students that students feel crowded while in a classroom. In fact, Carnegie Mellon is ranked as No. 1 among computer science schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

Their program is designed from the ground up to create the next wave of top-tier software engineers and developers as well as technical project leaders and software development managers. The curriculum deliberately mirrors the energy and adaptability of Silicon Valley’s software industry. As a result, many of the classes and general research attitudes reflect product development and a focus on what works for people.

The M.S. in software engineering program includes a rigorous foundation in the principles of software engineering in relation to general computer engineering. As a result, graduates will come out with an understanding of both the software and hardware aspects of development, more balanced than other software engineering graduates.

The class list is interestingly varied and diverse, covering subjects like Mobile Computing, Related Domains, and Connected Embedded Systems. Most of the faculty teaching the subjects also perform research in those fields, allowing students interested in pursuing a Ph.D.-level education to get their start at this university with the faculty as their tutors. While several classes focus on things like cyber-physical systems or machine learning, most of the courses focus on software engineering.

Many of the classes will also incorporate team learning or collaborative elements. Many software developers must work on teams in order to complete projects on time, so several of the classes in this curriculum reflects this necessity. You’ll often complete group projects for a single grade, which tests your communication and leadership skills.

Additionally, Carnegie Mellon includes many deep ties to local or international software companies, like Google, Apple, or even Facebook and Microsoft. Indeed, one of Carnegie Mellon’s greatest bonuses for all students is that they can participate in Silicon Valley culture through many sponsored projects, internships, hackathons, and more.

If you’ve been looking to get into software development and engineering in the same way that Mark Zuckerberg did, there are few schools as appropriate for that goal than this one. The curriculum is specifically integrated alongside networking opportunities to help students find employment after graduation and maximize their chances for innovation and success.

Many of Carnegie Mellon’s graduates are consistently recruited by small and large companies alike. It’s no wonder that the majority of their alum end up having a job less than six months after graduation, if they weren’t already hired while in school. The ultimate value of this program lies in its competitive academic rigor and the access it gives to so many different employment avenues.

Of course, all these benefits come with strict admissions requirements. In addition to high test scores and a degree in computer science or related field, Carnegie Mellon also demands that all students have familiarity with software development technologies, as well as several programming languages and other computer science methods or standards. The class listings are always competitive, and spots are limited, so anyone interested in the school should apply as early as possible and with as robust a portfolio as they can manage.

#10.  North Dakota State University

Master of Science in Software Engineering

North Dakota State University is a land-grant research university that’s one of the highest performing in several areas including agricultural sciences and computer sciences. The main campus is located in Fargo, North Dakota, and residents of North Dakota can enjoy extremely affordable tuition rates. All students regardless of origin will benefit from a low student to faculty ratio of 16:1. Even better, the college is located on a large campus with beautiful scenery and several high-quality research institutions. Recreational facilities and outdoor sports dominate the social side of things, and most of the school gets together for football games every year. Ultimately, it’s a great school both for its student life and the ultimate quality and rigor of its academic programs.

This software engineering program dives straight into the nitty-gritty details of the field, emphasizing the application of quantifiable and systematic approaches to the development and maintenance of software systems. While many of its classes include computer programming, the curriculum goes beyond the basics by a long shot.

Classes will include modern tools and technologies that help you learn to manage the entire software lifecycle. You’ll learn about the development of software requirements and specifications, along with proper design and testing routines. Even project development and management are included in the skills you can expect from this curriculum.

The classes tend to be fairly specific, covering topics like Software Construction or Software Complexity Metrics. You’ll also have to complete a graduate seminar in various software engineering areas, each of which will be approved by your advisor. These seminars allow you to complete projects and collaborate with your fellow students, gaining valuable real-world working experience.

Furthermore, students can pursue a specialization in cybersecurity. This involves taking nine credits from a list of electives and includes classes like Computer Crime and Forensics or Network Security. At the end of the curriculum, students will either complete a thesis or a comprehensive study paper based on a significant software development project. It’s essentially a capstone project with a little more writing, but it must be approved by your advisor in the same way. Those interested in pursuing a doctorate will want to pursue the thesis pathway.

Additionally, any students in related programs can pursue a graduate certificate in software engineering. This may allow you to obtain a software engineering or development post at a company if you have a related degree, like general computer science or programming.

Regardless of goals, all students interested in this program will want to get their portfolio together in preparation for only two application deadlines each year. There is no summer semester, extending the program a little because students can’t take summer classes. Application requirements are fairly intense, with a relatively low GPA minimum (though 3.0 or above will still be needed for most accepted applicants). But they also require a specialty in a specific programming skill and a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. 

Other Notable Programs

#11. University of California-Irvine

Location: Irvine, California

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $15,014

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#12. Illinois Institute of Technology

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Degree: Master of Computer Science with an Emphasis in Software Engineering

Net Price: $25,814

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#13. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $44,063

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#14. The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $15,437

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#15. Mercer University

Location: Macon, Georgia

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $21,202

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#16. Arizona State University-Tempe

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $13,731

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#17. Southern Methodist University

Location: Dallas, Texas

Degree: Master of Science in Software Engineering

Net Price: $38,562

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#18. Florida Institute of Technology

Location: Melbourne, Florida

Degree: M.S. in Software Engineering

Net Price: $34,139

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#19. Drexel University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Degree: M.S. in Software Engineering

Net Price: $36,727

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#20. Regis University

Location: Denver, Colorado

Degree: M.S. in Software Engineering

Net Price: $26,273

Website

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 MOST POPULAR ONLINE  MASTER’S DEGREES  & THE TOP 10 REASONS TO EARN YOUR MASTER’S DEGREE!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 2022

Do you have outstanding attention to detail? Do you love investigating bugs, glitches, and tiny parts in computer software and hardware systems?

If so, a master’s degree in computer engineering might be the right choice for you. As a computer engineer, you need to have a knack for finding tiny details along with patience and persistence when it comes to solving challenging problems.

For many students, the biggest problem in earning a master’s degree has nothing to do with the technical issues they might investigate as a computer engineer. The biggest problem is one of convenience. 

Getting an online degree can solve that problem since it will allow you to pursue your education from the comfort of your own home. 

How do you know if an online master’s in computer engineering is right for you—and if it’s a quality program?

An online program is a perfect choice for just about anyone. If you crave the convenience and flexibility of an online program, whether that’s because you’re a single parent trying to navigate childcare options for your kids, a busy working professional, or just someone who would prefer to study at home, then an online degree is right for you.

Now, how to find the perfect fit?

In the past, online degrees had a reputation for being somehow “less than.” Critics argued that the quality of education wasn’t as high as if you were receiving your training on-campus. They said that online education providers were shoddy and didn’t provide students with the proper caliber of career training.

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. As they rise in popularity across all disciplines, online degrees are not only just as good but are often better than their on-campus counterparts. They offer convenience and often are more affordable, too. After all, even if tuition rates are the same for online and on-campus learners, you won’t have to pay for “hidden” expenses like transportation, room and board, and student activity fees.

While online programs are no different (in terms of their quality) than on-campus degrees, that’s not to say that they are all made alike. There are a few tips you should follow to make sure you get the best possible education for your time and money. 

When applying to college degrees of any level, major, or type, always look for a degree that is accredited. Accreditation is essential because it means you can receive federal and state financial aid, transfer credits in and out, and will be getting a quality education. Regional accreditation is something to keep an eye out for. If you can’t find information about this on a school’s website, call to confirm. 

 For computer engineering, you need to get even more specific in your search. Look for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and TEchnology. If you can, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to campus or do a virtual tour (even though you know you’ll never set foot there as an actual student).

Taking some time to investigate and research everything you can about the school and the program, from the instructors to the student organizations to the financial aid that is available, will help you make an informed decision. That way, you can find the best possible online masters in computer engineering to help you meet your goals!  

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

What Are the Best Computer Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

UF

#1. University of Florida

Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Located in Gainesville, FL, the University of Florida was founded in 1853. Just a couple of miles from the downtown area, the physical campus has a lot to offer prospective students. However, the online campus is just as vibrant.

The University of Florida offers the best online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering through the unique EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) portal. Here, you will be taught by the same talented instructors who work on-campus, but all of your courses will be delivered exclusively online.

You’ll take 30 credit hours (or ten three-credit courses) but you can choose your own path. You can take up to three classes per semester, take just one class at a time, or even take a full semester off with no penalties. You can take additional online courses to supplement your degree, choosing from pathways in fields like computer science, innovation, entrepreneurship, and other engineering departments.

And if you decide that studying on-campus is right for you, you can “hybridize” your degree and take classes in a traditional format, too. Whichever avenue you choose to pursue, you will take core classes in topics like:

  • Foundations of Digital Signal Processing
  • Stochastic Methods for Engineering
  • VLSI Circuits and Technology
  • Principles of Computer System Design

You can also choose to tack on an additional certificate to your degree. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida offers such certificate programs as:

  • Hardware and Systems Security
  • Microsystem Technology
  • Machine Learning

For all of this, you might expect tuition rates to be astronomical. That’s not the case. In fact, Florida residents pay just $448.73 per credit hour, while non-residents pay just a couple hundred dollars more. You’ll be charged a distance learning fee but don’t have to worry about things like activity and service fees, transportation, and health fees, as you might on-campus. Plus, there’s plenty of financial aid to go around!

#2.  Texas A&M University 

Texas A&M

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Are you ready to become an Aggie? When you enroll at Texas A&M University, even if you are studying online, that is what you’ll be! 

The school spirit and pride are strong at Texas A&M University, located in College Station, TX. Here, you can join more than 1000 different student organizations or stick to your coursework in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, the Mays Business School, or the College of Education and Human Development.

A major research institution, Texas A&M University offers a variety of programs online as well as abroad, including in places like Qatar. 

You will take 30 semester credit hours of approved courses in this non-thesis degree. You’ll be able to choose from one of seven focus areas as you complete your degree requirements and final project. Options include:

  • analog and mixed signal
  • device science and nanotechnology
  • information science and systems
  • electromagnetics and microwaves
  • computer engineering systems
  • biomedical imaging, sensing, and genomic signal processing

As you complete your courses, you will be able to conduct cutting-edge research in your area of interest. Your courses will prepare you both for research and development careers in industry or to pursue a doctoral degree. 

While you study, even in a distance learning format, you’ll be able to tap into all kinds of resources offered by this department. You can receive free tutoring or join student organizations. There are countless options to choose from, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Eta Kappa Nu—the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society, and the IEEE PELS/IAS/PES Joint Student Chapter. These activities will help you network with other majors and alumni and gain valuable real-world experience. 

#3.  Florida International University 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 

Florida International University

A public university founded in 1972, Florida International University isn’t the oldest university on this list by far—but it’s one of the best. This school in Miami, FL has a reputation as one of the Best Value Schools, top National Universities, and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report

Offered by the College of Engineering and Computing, the online Master’s in Computer Engineering at Florida International University is one of the best in the country. The curriculum focuses heavily on leadership development and will enable you to earn a degree in as little as 10 months. That means less time in the classroom and more time doing what you love!

Although the Master’s in Computer Engineering here is available with multiple concentrations, it is only the specialty in Network Security that is available exclusively online. It will teach you how to protect and defend networks from attacks and cybercrime while also giving you the leadership skills you need to take on a managerial role.

You’ll be taught by faculty members who are leaders in the field and possess years of experience as computer engineers themselves. You’ll benefit from feedback and personal guidance every step of the way. Plus, you can acquire the most in-demand certifications, with options including:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker
  • Network+
  • Security+ 

Even if you decide not to pursue these certifications, this degree is one to watch. It contains a highly relevant and constantly evolving curriculum that includes courses in key topics like ethical hacking, network security, malware analysis, and forensics. You’ll have all the skills you need to work alongside some of the most highly-regarded professionals in the industry.

All courses are offered within six eight-week terms. You’ll take 12 credits each semester, with core classes including:

  • Random Signal Principles
  • Advanced Malware Reverse Engineering
  • Computer Communication Networks

A total of 30 credit hours are required. 

This school is one of the few in the United States that has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Because of the specialization, you will be equipped to work not only as a computer engineer (and in ancillary fields) but also as a network security specialist. 

Let’s not forget how affordable this program is, either. With a total tuition cost of $25,000, it offers an excellent return on investment. Plus, you can access Career Engage and associated scholarships to help you get ahead without having to take on student loans.

#4.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

NC State University

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University, often referred to simply as NC State, is the largest four-year college in the state. As a result, you’ll have plenty of academic offerings to choose from.

This top Master of Science in Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University at Raleigh is one of the best online computer engineering master’s in the world. It is designed for individuals who already have undergraduate degrees in engineering disciplines and want to pursue graduate work specifically in computer engineering.

This is a program that does require the GRE, so give yourself plenty of time to take the test. That said, know that this degree is worth the extra effort. IT will prepare you in in-demand topics such as very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) systems, computer architecture and systems, networking, and more. It does not require a thesis. 

It’s offered by Engineering Online, a department at NC State that is ranked sixth in the country among online engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report. The school has offered distance education in engineering since 1978 (more than 40 years!) and now has sixteen online graduate and certificate programs. 

You will complete 30 credit hours of study, or up to nine credit hours per semester. Most students complete their degrees in less than two years, but you have up to six to finish your degree if you’d rather progress your degree requirements more slowly. When you enroll, you will be assigned a personal academic advisor to help guide you in these sorts of decisions. 

In addition to the work you do in the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to work with partnering organizations to get hands-on experience in the field. Not only that, but you’ll enjoy affordable tuition. You’ll be billed at the on-campus rates and can apply for generous financial aid. 

#5.  Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885. Referred to as Georgia Tech, this school is dedicated to research and career-oriented majors in things like the physical sciences, engineering, and business. 

With a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1, it’s easy to see that you’ll get unparalleled attention from faculty and staff as a student here. However, it’s not just the quality of instruction that’s outstanding—it’s the quality of the courses you’ll take, too. The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech has a phenomenal Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering that can be completed entirely online. 

You’ll be able to choose from two start dates each year and enjoy low tuition rates of just $1,100 per credit hour. In addition to education loans, you can also benefit from veterans and employers’ tuition reimbursement benefits to help lower the cost of attendance. 

You will take core classes such as:

  • Digital Image Processing
  • Numerical Linear Algebra
  • Computational Data Analysis
  • Unsteady Aerodynamics

You’ll be able to choose from dozens of different electives to help you specialize and customize your degree. 

While you study, you will have access to all kinds of essential resources. You can tap into all the resources of the Georgia Tech library and download tools for collaboration like WebEx and Skype, often for free. Of course, the hands-on Student Services Team is always there to help with any questions or problems you might have, too. 

#6.  Iowa State University 

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Iowa State

Iowa State University is a public university located in the small midwest town of Ames, IA. Despite the town’s pint-sized population, this school is one of the largest in the state. 

If you have a bachelor’s in computer engineering, you may want to consider the online computer engineering degree at Iowa State University. This master’s program is offered 100% online and is perfectly suited to working professionals who want to advance their careers. You only need to take one class per semester, letting you finish your degree in just five years.


Although the program is designed for students who already have a background in computer engineering, you can apply if you have skills and experience in other areas, too. You may have to take some prerequisite courses to catch up.

All in all, you’ll take at least 30 credit hours of coursework, 18 of which must be in electrical engineering or computer engineering. 

You can also complete up to three credit hours of independent study. Core classes include:

  • Network Protocols and Security
  • Real-Time Systems
  • Information System Security
  • Computer and Network Forensics
  • Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling

In addition to your core courses, you can pursue a graduate certificate in topics like computer networking, cybersecurity, energy systems engineering, human-computer interaction, or embedded systems. These courses make it possible for you to earn graduate credits that can be applied toward the parallel master’s degree program. 

#7.  The University of Texas at Austin 

University of Texas Austin

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

The University of Texas at Austin offers multiple pathways for students to earn their degrees in electrical and computer engineering. There is an integrated Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering that can be completed at the same time (helping you save both time and money) or you can pursue a stand-alone Master of Science in Engineering.

The Master of Science in Engineering at Texas ECE offers eight different academic tracks. These include:

  • architecture computer systems, and embedded systems
  • bioECE, decision, information, and communications engineering
  • electromagnetics and acoustics
  • electronics, photonics, and quantum systems
  • integrated circuits and systems
  • power electronics and power systems
  • software engineering and systems

Of course, you can always design your own track, too, benefiting from the immense variety of resources there are for interdisciplinary work at this university. You will be able to participate in state-of-the-art research institutions and projects with faculty researchers. You’ll be able to complete your studies in just four semesters of study, after which most graduates go on directly to work in the field or to apply to the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas.

While you work, you’ll be able to participate in all kinds of opportunities and organizations. The Cockrell School of Engineering has a well-established honors program along with a variety of major-specific student organizations. Some examples include the Electrical Longhorn Ladies in Engineering, Eta Kappa Nu, Graduate ECE, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

No matter which of these opportunities you choose to pursue, know that you will be supported in your endeavors by talented, engaged faculty. You won’t have to break the bank for that kind of service, either. Tuition rates are low and you can supplement your financial aid with things like graduate research assistantships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships. There are additional departmental scholarships you can apply for, too. 

#8.  Florida Atlantic University 

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, located in Boca Raton, FL, has an outstanding Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This program can be completed by itself or in conjunction with the Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology if you want to graduate more quickly.

The Master of Science will prepare you for leadership roles in hardware engineering, network engineering, embedded systems engineering, and more. You can complete your studies entirely on campus, completely online, or in a combination of the two. 

Whichever you choose, you’ll take core classes like:

  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Multiprocessor Architecture
  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Structured VLSI Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Multimedia programming

You’ll take at least three core courses and seven electives for the non-thesis option, or three core courses, five electives, and six thesis credits if you select the thesis pathway. In total, you’ll complete about 30 credit hours of study. 

You can join as many student organizations and societies as you’d like. These groups plan special exhibits and activities, arrange social activities, tour companies, network with professional speakers and industry experts, and participate in national competitions. Some of the most popular include:

  • Data Science and Machine Learning Club
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Engineering Student Council

Not only that, but you can choose to tack on additional certificates if you’d like to make your degree even more marketable. Available graduate certificate options include:

  • cybersecurity
  • energy resilience
  • biomedical engineering
  • big data analytics
  • artificial intelligence

When you become a student here, you will enjoy low tuition rates and access to all kinds of financial aid. Each year, the department also provides generous graduate assistantships to new students. These cover a significant portion of tuition and offer a stipend along with teaching and research experience.

#9.  University of South Carolina-Columbia

Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering 

University of South Carolina-Columbia

If you want to take your understanding of computer engineering outside of the box, you’ve got to consider the online Master of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of South Carolina-Columbia.

The fully online MS Computer Engineering here will prepare you to work in the application, development, design, and testing of new computer hardware (and its integration with software). You’ll be able to advance the field of computing through our studies as well as through the research projects and initiatives you carry out on campus, many of which are supported by collaborative efforts with local industries and government agencies. 

Your studies will allow you to take an in-depth look at the core topics of computer software algorithms, and compilers. There are both thesis- and non-thesis options available, allowing you to complete around 30 credit hours of study.

You can choose from multiple areas of specialization, including:

  • the internet of things
  • neuromorphic computing
  • robotics and autonomous systems
  • nanoscale electronics
  • computer vision
  • computer architecture and microarchitecture

The opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of South Carolina-Columbia are extensive. You will be able to network with alumni and other industry professionals and pursue hands-on research opportunities, a dedicated career center, and plenty of student organizations. 

Tuition is affordable, with the primary academic costs consisting of university tuition and fees. You can apply for a graduate fellowship to offset the cost of attendance. In fact, fellowships often provide all or part of a student’s funding, making it possible for some students to earn their degrees for practically free! 

#10.  University of Michigan-Dearborn

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Engineering 

University of Michigan Dearborn

The University of Michigan-Dearborn, located in Dearborn, MI, offers another one of the best online master’s programs in computer engineering. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes required core courses along with technical electives meant to expose you to hands-on experience with computers, microprocessor-based systems, high-[performance workstations, and more.

It can be completed entirely on campus, entirely online, or through a combination of the two. If you choose to study on campus as an alternative (or complement) to your online study, you’ll likely appreciate the fact that on-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening hours.

However, you will get everything you need from studying online, too. It will provide you with a strong foundation in the theoretical techniques and principles of science, engineering, and mathematics that you need for advanced engineering development and design. You’ll also learn how to use all the tools that might be necessary in the modern computer engineering workforce. 

You will take core courses such as:

  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Architecture
  • Embedded Systems
  • Advanced Operating Systems

In addition, you can choose a concentration area to further customize your degree. Options include networks and communications, multimedia engineering, intelligent systems, and computer architecture and design.

As a student in this program, you’ll benefit from access to quality instructors, extensive opportunities for hands-on learning, and low tuition rates. There are dozens of scholarship opportunities available for new and returning students, along with fellowships, grants, and student loans. 

FAQs

How do you apply to a computer engineering degree?

Now that you’ve determined that a computer engineering degree might be right for you, it’s time to apply! 

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, ideally one in computer engineering. While you can sometimes apply for a master’s in computer engineering with a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you may be asked to complete additional prerequisite courses to help you “catch up” to your classmates. 

You will need to complete an online application and often, submit an application fee. You’ll typically be asked to submit transcripts from your undergraduate degree showing a minimum GPA of around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. GRE scores are often required, as are essays that might detail your goals, background, or challenges you’ve overcome.

Finally, you may be asked to submit supplemental documents like letters of recommendation or a resume, too. 

What sorts of jobs are available to graduates of master’s programs in computer engineering? 

You can pursue just about any kind of computer engineering job with just a bachelor’s degree in this field. However, if you go the extra mile and earn a master’s degree, your opportunities will be much more plentiful. 

One of the most common jobs pursued by master’s in computer engineering graduates is that of a hardware engineer. As a hardware engineer, you’ll be able to design, research, develop, and test computer systems and their components. You will typically work in a research laboratory and specialize in manufacturing. 

Another common job is as a software developer. In this kind of job, you’ll work to design computer programs and applications. One position that is similar to this is as a software quality analyst and tester. In this role, you’ll identify problems with programs and applications, report defects, and recommend solutions. 

Is a master’s in computer engineering worth it?

Absolutely. Prospective computer engineers might wonder if the investment in an online degree—even an online degree—is worth the cost, both in terms of the time and money involved. The average salaries for computer engineers tend to be quite high. Here are some examples, but know that nine times out of ten, the average pay is well into the six figures range!

As a computer hardware engineer, the average salary is more than $119,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for 2020. That’s more than $57 per hour. You Can increase this salary even more by pursuing additional certifications as part of your master’s degree or by working in more specialized fields like computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.

Your pay won’t be too shabby as a software developer, either. You could earn an average salary of $110,140 per year (or nearly $53 per hour), according to the 2020 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, these jobs are expected to grow rapidly with an anticipated growth of 22% by 2030! 

Can you do computer engineering online?

You can! In fact, if you earn an online degree, you’ll not only be able to save some money, but you can complete your courses in an asynchronous fashion most of the time, too. This means you can study wherever and whenever it’s most convenient for you. 

You’ll take classes in topics like:

  • Solid State Devices
  • Systems Engineering
  • Modern COmputer Architecture
  • Electronic Design

What is the best online master’s engineering—no GRE required?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a common admissions requirement for many master’s in engineering. This requirement serves as a way for admissions officials to weigh individuals against each other, particularly individuals from different universities. 


Fortunately, there are several schools that do not have GRE requirements. These include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Penn State

What is the cheapest online computer engineering degree?

It’s difficult to say which online computer engineering degree is the cheapest since it doesn’t always come down to basic dollars and cents. The cheapest school for one student may not be the cheapest for the next, since you might receive a different financial aid package depending on where you choose to attend.

However, all of the schools in this ranking are affordable options for you to consider, including NC State, Florida International, and Georgia Tech. A few other schools to consider in your search include Mississippi State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of New Mexico. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS & BEST MASTER’S IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Best Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

Best Affordable Online Master's in Computer Engineering

Technology is advancing—and it’s doing so faster than we can keep up with it, in fact. 

If you’re a computer engineer, you know the challenges that this rapid growth can present. Each day, computer engineers are faced with new problems to solve. Often, these problems are ones for which technological solutions have yet to be invented.

Because of this exponential growth, companies in just about every industry are hard at work trying to develop and integrate unique technologies that can revolutionize the way they do business. Professionals with skills and formal education in computer engineering are in great demand.

The best way to push your resume to the top of the pile?

You need to earn a master’s in computer engineering. 

While a bachelor’s degree serves as a wonderful entry point to this field, a master’s degree will help you learn the advanced skills necessary to boost your career trajectory. Not only will you develop skills in machine learning, computer hardware, computer architecture, cybersecurity, and more, but you may be able to specialize your learning in one particular area.

The benefit of this is that you can focus your studies on an area of interest that you perhaps did not have enough time to explore while you were an undergraduate. You will be able to conduct significant amounts of research in this field, too, with many graduate students going on to publish their research in academic journals. 

If you have specific career ambitions, earning a master’s degree in computer engineering is one of the best ways to do so. You will be able to concentrate on your degree and your course of study so that you can be the best-prepared candidate for any job. 

Unfortunately, many students—perhaps you are one of them?—are deterred from pursuing graduate studies because they think they can’t afford them. 

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Today, there are plenty of ways that you can earn a master’s in computer engineering both online and on-campus. An online degree tends to be one of the most affordable and convenient options for students who want to save a bit of money. It’s also a great pathway for a student who is already employed in the industry.

Most online computer engineering programs are self-paced, letting you complete your courses at your own speed. Some provide course credit for material you already know, letting you breeze through the course requirements and only sit through lectures on what you haven’t already learned.

Plus, online degrees tend to be more affordable. Many are offered at in-state tuition rates, letting out-of-state learners pay rock-bottom tuition prices in exchange for top-notch instruction. 

So what are you waiting for? There are plenty of reasons to consider pursuing one of these best affordable online master’s in computer engineering—it’s up to you to decide which program will be right for you.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Common Application and Admission Questions

Each university has different requirements when it comes to the enrollment process. Always check in with your college of choice to make sure your application will measure up and meet all of the listed requirements. This can save you some serious headaches later on down the road!

To start with, you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree. Often, this degree must be in a related area, such as computer science or software engineering. That’s not always the case, though, as some programs include a few prerequisites, entry-level classes that will acquaint beginners with the basics they need to understand more advanced course materials. 

There are other programs that do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry because they are what is known as “4+1” programs. In this kind of program, you will begin your classes as a college freshman with the ultimate goal of completing a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in computer engineering, all within five short years. 

These programs tend to be highly competitive, and you’ll need to have a high GPA in order to qualify. However, they can save you a ton of time and money and are often available in an online form. Check with your school of choice to see if this might be an option for you!

When it comes to GPA, you will often need to meet minimum GPA requirements. Usually, this hovers around a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, but that can vary depending on the school to which you are applying. Sometimes, you may be able to make up for shortcomings in your GPA by meeting or exceeding other benchmarks elsewhere in your application.

In your application (or in an application essay), you may be asked about your specific career ambitions. It’s important that you be as detailed as possible in this essay, as well as honest. Not only can this essay help the admissions team get a snapshot of who you are as a candidate, but it will also give them a clear picture of how the university can help you meet your goals.

Plus, many schools offer unique program specializations to allow you to hone your skills in a particular field of study. You may be able to specialize in topics like networking and communications, systems design, cybersecurity, and more. This will give you some leverage when it comes to finding a job. 

Some schools may also require test scores from the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE. This test is used to assess your verbal and quantitative skills and is used as an admissions requirement for many, though not all, graduate-level programs. Often, this test will need to have been completed within the last five years in order to be eligible. 

You may have to supply things like letters of recommendation and a resume, too. These are generally needed so that you can demonstrate your work experience and your proficiency and motivation in computer engineering. 

Typically, a master’s degree in computer engineering will consist of 30 to 36 credits and can be completed in two years or less. If you choose to complete your classes on a part-time basis, you may be able to extend the timeline and complete your degree in four or five years.

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

What About Financial Aid & Scholarships?

If you’re planning on applying to a graduate program in computer engineering, it’s important that you start thinking about how you will pay for it early on. Likely, you already are thinking about it—which is how you stumbled upon this article!

The good news is that many online universities offer tuition at a lower price than what is billed on campus. If you’re attending a public school, you will likely be billed at the in-state rate (although this isn’t always the case, so be sure to check). You may also pay a lower “distance learner” tuition rate. 

At any rate, keep in mind that your expenses will automatically be lower because there are several costs that you simply don’t need to factor in at all. For example, you probably aren’t going to have to pay for things like commuting costs or on-campus parking fees. You won’t need to pay for room and board, either, which many times, is just as costly (if not more so!) than tuition.

Don’t let a school’s broadcasted tuition rate blindside you, though. It’s important that you consider the full package when it comes to financial aid, and not just the “sticker price.” Many private schools end up being just as affordable—if not more so—than public schools because they make more financial aid and scholarships available to students. 

Start thinking about financial aid early, ideally long before you need to apply. Put together a list of all of your accomplishments, career goals, and supporting documents, because you may have to submit these for scholarships at the university to which you are applying.

You will also want to have your financial documents in order, including tax returns for the last few years. In order to qualify for any need-based financial aid (which would include federal and state grants along with federal loans) you will need to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

This document is available on January 1 of the year in which you intend to apply to college. Even if you don’t plan on starting classes until September, you’ll want to complete the FAFSA as soon as you can so that you can put your application at the front of the line for any grants and scholarships that might be available only on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to grants, some universities offer program-specific scholarships. There are others that offer merit-based awards that take your grades and other past accomplishments into consideration. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that financial aid ends at your university’s financial aid office, either. There are lots of outside scholarships you can apply for, too, most of which are offered by nonprofit organizations and industry leaders. The key here is in applying for scholarships early and being aware of how they will mesh with your background, career goals, and financial needs.

Finally, don’t forget the power of elbow grease when it comes to financing your college education. Many universities include work-study or graduate assistantships as part of the financial aid package. Not only will you be able to finance your education with one of these work programs, but you’ll gain some valuable experience in the process, too.

How Much Can I Make With a Master’s in Computer Engineering? 

Once you start researching financial aid and scholarship opportunities, you might wonder if the overall cost of a computer engineering degree is truly worth it. After all, even with financial aid factored in, a computer engineering degree can be expensive. On average, you’ll be charged about $700 to $1500 per credit hour, which can be $21,000 to $45,000 or more, depending on the length and cost of your degree. 

However, earning a degree in computer engineering is worth it. Besides the intrinsic benefits you’ll gain from advancing your education, there are some great reasons to obtain one of these degrees even from only a “dollars and cents” perspective.

Computer engineers earn much higher salaries than most other professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates this job to be one of the fastest-growing of its kind, with employment expected to grow by at least 6% between 2018 and 2028. 

Demand for people who have the skills necessary to work in these jobs is high. It’s expected to only continue to grow as newer, faster technology and mobile networks continue to be in-demand by companies all over the world. 

You’ll earn a high annual salary, too. Median pay in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranges from a low of $53,470 to a high of $118,370, with computer and information research scientists earning the highest salaries in this group. Professionals who work for private companies, as well as those who work for the federal government or in design-related services, tend to earn the highest salaries on average. 

While you can get many of these positions—like a job as a computer programmer or systems analyst—with just a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree will make you more competitive. Not only that, but you’ll be eligible for more promotions and pay raises once you gain employment, too. 

There are some jobs—like the aforementioned computer and information research scientists—for which a master’s degree is an entry-level requirement. Pursuing advanced training really pays off, doesn’t it? 

Another benefit of earning one of these degrees? You will be able to work from virtually anywhere in the world. Not only are computer engineers in-demand everywhere, but their skills and job duties are as such that they can often be completed from home. 

Not only that, but your job opportunities will be virtually limitless. You could work as a computer programmer or analyst. You may choose to work instead as a software developer, network architect, or hardware engineer, too. 

Just about every industry requires computer engineers in order to be successful. Whether you plan on working in manufacturing, defense, aerospace, telecommunications, or even the automotive industry, you’re sure to find a job once you have a solid education in computer engineering to back you up. 

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. Texas A&M University

Master of Engineering-Computer Engineering

If you want to enhance your career prospects by adding some solid research to your resume, you might want to consider studying at Texas A&M University. 

This large public research university has a main campus in College Station, TX. However, you don’t have to be studying on campus to benefit from this institution’s broad research offerings. 

Texas A&M is home to a large body of more than half a million students and alumni, many of whom study or studied online. The school has the largest student body in the United States and is designated as a land, sea, and space grant institution. It is the only school of its kind to hold such a designation and is a proud reflection of the school’s strong research capabilities.

In the computer engineering program at Texas A&M, you’ll be required to take at least 30 credit hours, most of which will be in the College of Engineering, the College of Science, and the College of Business.

When you study in this program, you’ll be able to get a strong foundation in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. You’ll take classes in electrical circuits, digital circuits, electronics, computer architecture, operating systems, and more. You can choose from two tracks: electrical engineering or computer science.

The electrical engineering track of this program uniquely focuses on the involvement of large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits and systems along with computer design. The degree offers the best of both worlds in that you’ll meet all the core requirements of an electrical engineering degree along with those from the world of computing. 

In the computer science track, you’ll take classes in topics like computer architecture, computer networks, real-time computing, robotics, computer graphics, and more. Both concentrations embrace multiple specialty areas, including analog and mixed-signal, energy and power, and information science and systems. To say this is a diverse, research-focused degree is an understatement, to say the least.

The graduate programs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M are consistently ranked among the top 15 public universities in the United States. The apartment is home to more than 70 tenured/tenure track faculty and just 750 graduate students, allowing all students to access a high-quality research program even when studying from afar. 

Tuition rates are low and financial assistance is available to each and every student. This is typically offered in the form of research assistantships, teaching assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships. Many of these are administered by the department and some are offered by individual faculty members in unique areas of research.

The department offers external fellowships, too, along with a range of scholarships. In fact, each year, the department offers several $1,000 scholarships to incoming students. These are competitive, but can also qualify you to pay the in-state tuition rate—it’s definitely worth submitting an application!

#2. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Known simply as “Tech” to many students, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a hub for students seeking some of the best technologically-focused degrees in the country.

The Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus is just one degree among many that are offered fully online. Not only can you choose to pursue the stand-alone Master of Science, but the school also has a joint B.S./M.S., an online Master of Science, a Master of Science in bioengineering, and a Master of Science in cybersecurity.

No matter which pathway you select, you’re sure to be blown away by the curricular opportunities. In the online Master of Science, you’ll be able to pursue a major in either electrical and computer engineering or cybersecurity. Both of these programs are administered by Georgia Tech Professional Education. 

Designed for working professionals, the program lets you complete your class on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to sacrifice your career in order to do this, either, as you can interact with your instructors and the course material by using multi-platform digital learning tools and taking classes when it’s most convenient for you. 

You will be able to pursue a wide variety of specialty options, including those in electrical energy systems and controls, computer engineering, and telecommunications/digital signal processing. The cybersecurity degree has a unique specialization in energy systems as well. 

Your experiences in the classroom at Georgia Tech will be accentuated by those outside of the classroom. There are numerous study abroad programs available to graduate students so that they can broaden their professional and personal horizons. Not only are international learning experiences offered in Lorraine and Shenzhen, but the university also sponsors a Global Internship Program.

This Global Internship Program is a goldmine for finding internship opportunities at companies all around the world. You’ll not only be able to experience life-changing international travel, but you can engage in some practical training and cross-cultural learning that will take your graduate-level training to the next level. 

There are plenty of student organizations for you to check out, too, even as an online student. These organizations can enhance your learning as they allow you to network with peers and professionals in the industry. It’s a great way to meet people and to outreach in your local community—as well as build your resume. 

In addition to the more than 300 different student organizations that are offered around the larger Georgia Tech institution, there are several organizations specific to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, too. These include ECE Ambassadors, The Hive, Georgia Tech Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Eta Kappa NU (the honor society for the department).

The computer engineering program at Georgia Tech is highly affordable. Graduate students can qualify for substantial financial aid packages to cover tuition along with a stipend for living expenses. Financial aid includes scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and internship positions. 

#3. Colorado State University

Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering

Despite being one of the largest public research universities in the state of Colorado, Colorado State University is known for its innovative, student-centered approach.

Ranked as one of the top National Universities—as well as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans—by U.S. News & World Report, Colorado State University has small class sizes, even for online learners. You’ll enjoy a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 16:1, allowing you to get to know all of your peers and faculty members in your chosen major.

The online master’s in computer engineering at Colorado State University is an excellent program for students who want to increase their earning potential, work on higher-level projects, or simply enhance their skills in the discipline. The curriculum is highly customizable and can be tailored to meet just about any student’s needs and career goals. 

This coursework-only degree is perfect for students with interests in disciplines such as artificial intelligence, robotics, data science management, and machine learning. You’ll focus on a variety of software and hardware applications, with a heavy emphasis on network programming, internet protocols, and computer system design.

You’ll also learn some of the most pressing industry trends and benefit from innovative faculty research. You’ll become part of a close-knit academic community when you enroll, even when you’re studying from afar. 

The department of electrical and computer engineering at Colorado State is one of the university’s most impressive. In fact, faculty here are responsible for more than a third of the university’s issued patents since 2015. These patents, in most cases, were researched and formulated with serious input from graduate students studying both on-campus as well as online. 

If you want to get involved in research while you’re pursuing your master’s degree, there’s no better place to do it than at Colorado State. Faculty research interests run the gamut, covering everything from satellites inside hurricanes to the creation of new technologies for non-invasive medical biopsies. 

Colorado State puts its money where its mouth is. It not only is the headquarters for the Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, but it’s also home to the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere and a handful of other research facilities. 

Best yet, this degree is identical to the one offered on campus. You’ll learn from the same qualified faculty. These faculty are experts in their fields and incorporate their internationally recognized research projects and industry experience into their teaching on a daily basis. 

You’ll be able to explore all kinds of career enhancement opportunities, too. Not only can you engage in research, but you’ll be able to network with industry professionals from all over the world. 

#4. University of Florida

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Florida has a pretty colorful history. This school can be traced back to 1853, when it first opened its doors as the East Florida Seminary and three other predecessor institutions, all located in Ocala, FL. 

The college has been reorganized several times—most notably in the post- World War II era—and is today a leading public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university in Gainesville, FL. With a large population of 56,079 students studying on campus, you might be curious about what this school has to offer online students.

The short answer? A lot.

The university has a booming population of nearly 4,000 online learners, many of whom take classes exclusively online. It is not only ranked as a top National University, but it’s also received the accolade of being a Best Value School, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Classes here are small and close-knit, taught by faculty members who are dedicated to student success. The average student-to-faculty ratio is just 18:1. 

The University of Florida offers its dynamic Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering through its innovative EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) platform. Through this platform, you will not only earn the same degree that students studying on campus will, but you’ll also get access to traditional and novel career tracks.

With EDGE, you can follow a preset pathway or choose your own. Take up to three classes per semester, or take an entire semester—the choice is yours. You’ll be able to build your own curriculum, choosing only the courses that matter most to you. Ultimately, you’ll take 30 credits or ten 3-credit courses. 

You aren’t limited to classes within the department, either. You can take up to three classes outside of the department, including those in subjects such as entrepreneurship, computer science, innovation, and more. There are hybrid options if you don’t want to take all of your classes online, either. 

Curious about what kinds of classes you’ll take? Sample titles include VLSI Circuits and Technology, Noise in Linear Systems, and Foundations of Digital Signal and Processing. Courses are offered during the summer, fall, and spring semesters.

To be eligible for admission, you will need to have completed coursework in subjects like digital logic, electronic circuits, and microprocessor applications, to name a few. You should have a B or higher in core computer engineering classes at the undergraduate level, too.

Enrolling online at the University of Florida presents several benefits. Not only will you be able to take classes at the times that make the most sense for you, but you’ll also be eligible for super low tuition rates. On average, you’ll pay about $448 per credit hour. Financial aid is available, too, but this tuition rate reflects in-state tuition—even for out of state students. 

#5. Iowa State University

Master of Engineering (MEng) Degree in Computer Engineering

With more than $19.64 million in research expenditures each year and 11 different research centers and institutes, it would be easy to assume that things are all work and no play at Iowa State University. 

Lucky for you, that’s simply not the case. Although this public university is located in a sleepy Midwest town, Iowa State University offers more than 800 student organizations. Many of these are available to online learners as well as those studying on-campus.

A 100% online program, the Master of Engineering in computer engineering at Iowa State University is designed with working professionals in mind. It is perfect for aspiring computer engineering professionals who wish to advance their careers, and can generally be completed in just five years. That’s with taking just one class each semester!

In order to apply, you will need to have undergraduate training in computer engineering. You may be eligible for admission if you have a bachelor’s degree in a related area, too. You should hold a GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and you’ll also need to submit GRE test scores, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation.

You can apply for spring or fall admission. 

This coursework-only degree is incredibly flexible, requiring no creative component or thesis for completion. You will instead complete just 30 credit hours of study, 18 of which must be in electrical or computer engineering.

You can also complete up to three credit hours of independent study. This will allow you to further explore and area of interest while studying conveniently on your own terms. Some of the most popular classes you can take include Network Protocol and Security, Special Topics in Computer Engineering, and Concurrent Systems.

Earning a degree with Iowa State University’s online platform is more than just a convenient choice—it’s also a smart career move. Not only will you enjoy a small program with an enrollment of fewer than 250 master’s-level students, but you’ll be highly likely to get a job after graduation, too. In fact, 90% of graduates have accepted job offers within just six months of graduation! Learners in this program are driven to succeed by a close-knit faculty body that is 55 members strong.

This program boasts low tuition and is highly affordable. The department alone awards more than $740,000 in scholarships each year, making it a good choice for cash-strapped graduate students. The electrical and computer engineering programs are ranked among the top 25 in comparison to other public programs by the U.S. News & World Report

Not only that, but Iowa State receives high marks across the institution’s departmental walls. It’s ranked a Best Value School and a Best College for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report as well.

#6. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

With more than 100 programs to choose from, it’s easy to say that North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to preparing students for the workforce.

As the largest four-year college in the state, the school has hundreds of potential majors along with nearly 600 different clubs and student organizations. With a small student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, the school is ranked as a top National University by U.S. News & World Report, too. This is not only a testament to the outstanding level of faculty expertise at this school, but also to its personalized instruction.

The Master of Science in computer engineering at North Carolina State is designed for students with previous undergraduate training in engineering—particularly those who want to expand their technical skills. It includes core content areas in networking, computer architecture and systems, and VLSI systems. 

With 30 credit hours required, this program does not require a thesis. To apply, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer or electrical engineering with an overall GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale. You will also need three letters of recommendation and GRE test scores. 

This flexible program allows you to take up to nine credit hours of coursework, although you can take as few as three if you are trying to juggle work with school. You’ll have a generous six years to complete your course requirements. When you are admitted, you will work closely with an academic advisor to develop a detailed plan of study. 

The program is one of sixteen different online graduate programs at North Carolina State—nearly all of which are nationally ranked. You’ll receive the same high-quality education in computer science and engineering that you would receive on campus, but with the flexibility and convenience of online learning to help you meet your goals.

The computer engineering degree emphasizes the practical components of engineering along with soft skills like management and communication. The curriculum serves as a “bridge” to industry, connecting students with employers and alumni from around the world. Courses are carefully designed to include complex projects, real-world skills, and demonstrable knowledge. 

It’s available as a thesis and non-thesis program. You will be able to choose from areas of specialization like networking, software, VLSI systems, and computer architecture.

Graduates of this program are highly sought-after by employers in a variety of industries. You’ll have the advanced learning and specialized training necessary to work in just about any industry. In addition to hands-on courses and research opportunities, you’ll also engage in regular workshops and panels on research skills, Ph.D. programs, job hunting, communication, and more. 

You won’t have to pay out the nose for quality workforce preparation, either. Tuition starts at just $446 per credit hour for resident students, with tuition discounts for taking more courses per semester. Significant financial aid is available, too.

#7. University of Arizona 

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

At the University of Arizona, one of the state’s largest institutions of higher education, some of the most popular majors include management, business, marketing, biology, and health sciences.

Yet the school offers a hidden gem to aspiring computer engineers— its master’s degree in computer engineering. Available online, this program is just one of more than 100 different majors offered online and on-campus at this exceptional public institution.

The Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona’s College of Engineering is taught by expert faculty. The curriculum was designed with the input of industry leaders and continues to be redesigned to reflect the latest trends in the workforce, too.

The degree is the ideal fit for engineers who are already hard at work but wish to enter more design-oriented roles in their careers. It provides learners with the skills necessary to play pivotal roles in the creation and planning aspects of new technologies.

This program’s curriculum is highly customizable and incredibly flexible. You won’t have to waste time taking classes that don’t matter much to your ultimate career goals. Instead, you can take classes in the areas of engineering that interest you most, like advanced computer systems and networks of communications and signal processing.

The program includes several options for specialization. Choices include holography and diffractive optics, wireless communications, computer networks, high-performance computing, and more.

Regardless of the specialty you choose, you’ll be able to take classes in a 100% online format. While some classes offer live lectures that were recorded in the classroom and uploaded to the digital learning platform within the same day, others allow you to complete work in an asynchronous format on your own time. 

This means you can pursue your program on your own schedule, when it makes the most sense to you. You can work full-time while completing classes on a part-time basis. 

You will take up to 30 credit hours of study. By the time your first semester is complete, you will submit a draft plan of study that will outline your plan for completing your coursework. You’ll be able to work closely with a faculty advisor and mentor to complete this draft. Sample classes you can take include Advanced Linear Systems Theory, Digital Communications Systems, and Radar Signal Processing. 

The tuition for this program is highly affordable. You’ll pay up to $995 per credit hour, with lower tuition costs available for taking more than seven units of credit each term. 

Arizona State has a phenomenal reputation in the industry and among current students and alumni. It’s ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans as well as one of the top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report

#8. Auburn University

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

First established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, Auburn University was established only 20 years after the city of Auburn itself was founded. It was the first land-grant college in the South, later renamed twice to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama and then later the Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

Despite all of these confusing changes in identity and moniker, Auburn University has come to be one of the most prestigious universities in the south. It has the varied academic offerings and curricula of a large university with the attention and dedication of a small liberal arts institution. 

More than 90% of all faculty at Auburn hold the highest degrees in their field. With 1330 full-time faculty members and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1, the attention to student success cannot be overlooked.

Auburn University offers more than 140 majors and 300 clubs and organizations for students to get involved in. Of these, the computer engineering program and its related clubs and student activities reign supreme.

The curriculum at Auburn University’s Master of Science in computer engineering is incredibly diverse. You’ll take basic prerequisites that build upon your expertise in science and mathematics. However, you’ll also take more detailed classes that build your expertise in topics that are more advanced.

You will cover topics such as control systems and robotics, wireless engineering, magnetic resonance imaging, digital systems, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to test your new skills out in hands-on projects in class, along with research outside of the classroom. 

The university offers pathways to complete individualized programs. You don’t need to follow a preset curriculum but can instead choose classes that complement your career goals. You will take roughly 33 credit hours, depending on whether you choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis option. It’s important to note that the non-thesis option includes a few more credit hours than its thesis counterpart.

To be eligible for admission, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related topic. In some cases, you may be eligible for admission if you have a background in science or mathematics. 

Either way, you will need to submit Graduate Record Examination Scores. You may also have to supply a resume, a statement of purpose, and three recommendation letters from professionals who know you well. 

Auburn University is well-known for its prowess in preparing students for the modern global economy. Each year, students are granted access to things like study abroad, internship, and alumni networking opportunities. These programs help expand students’ access to high-quality, high-paying jobs upon graduation. 

Tuition rates are low at Auburn, too, with in-state rates starting at just $11,276 per year.

#9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Online Master of Computer Science

The motto of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is “Learning and Labor.”

Dig a little deeper into what this school has to offer, and you will see that, without a doubt, that motto holds true in all of the university’s programs.

Not only is this school one of the best places to go if you’re looking for extensive research opportunities at the graduate level, but it’s also one of the best at providing students with access to plenty of hands-on work experiences. The university has the second-largest university library in the country (surpassed only by Harvard University) and is also home to the prestigious Research Park.

Research Park is home to innovation centers for more than 90 different start-up companies and corporations, including Yahoo, State Farm, Dow, Capital One, and more. This provides the university with a stellar reputation and positions it perfectly to provide all kinds of valuable training experiences for its students.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers its online master’s in computer science in a unique format. The curriculum is delivered in partnership with Coursera, a massive open online course platform that delivers coursework in a more flexible, affordable, and convenient way. 

Not only is this degree convenient, but it’s easy to complete. Learners can complete their studies in as little as one year or as many as five years. It’s delivered as a coursework-only, non-thesis program; it requires 32 credit hours of graduate coursework, which are completed through eight separate graduate-level courses. Four of these classes must be from the core areas of computer science, while the rest must be at the advanced graduate level.

Core courses are offered in areas such as software engineering, high-performance computing, scientific computing, human-computer interaction, databases, and artificial intelligence. You will also complete an advanced data mining capstone that will provide you with extensive hands-on work experience, too.

If you’re looking for a program that works with your life’s hectic schedule instead of against it, this is the one. You’ll be able to access all lectures through Coursera’s large open-online course platform, but your assignments will be assessed by Illinois faculty and teaching assistants, as will your projects and exams. You’ll also be granted a faculty advisor to mentor you as you progress, just as you would on campus. 

You’re eligible to apply if you have a minimum of a four-year degree. You don’t necessarily have to have a background in computer science, but you will need to take a few prerequisite courses if you don’t have this kind of degree. You should have a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale. No GRE scores are required, nor are letters of recommendation (although they can be helpful, especially if your GPA isn’t quite up to snuff). 

As one of the most affordable online master’s in computer engineering, this degree features low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students alike. You’ll pay a flat rate of $670 per credit hour for a total of $21,440 for the entire degree. You may have to pay a few fees for proctored exams, which are billed directly to you when your exams are scheduled.

Significant financial aid is available, too. While teaching and research assistantships are not available to online learners, other financial aid—like grants and loans—are available.

#10. Florida International University

Master of Science in Computer Engineering: Network Security

As the largest university in the Greater Miami region, Florida International University offers distance learners a close-knit community at a university with a broad global reach.

If you want to become a leader in computer engineering, you’ve got to consider the master’s of computer engineering at Florida International University. It empathizes with the importance of network security as it relates to computer engineering, and provides learners with the advanced skills necessary to pursue a leadership role in network defense.

This ten-month, fully-online program requires 30 credit hours of study. It produces computer engineers who have advanced training that’s in high demand, and it graduates information security analysts who earn more than $135,000 each year! The degree is also ranked as one of the best online graduate engineering programs by the U.S. News & World Report

Upon graduation from this program, you will be able to pursue the most valuable professional certifications. Not only can you pursue certification as a Certified Ethical Hacker, but you can also pursue certification in Network+ and Security+. The program also includes classes in network security, forensics, malware analysis, and ethical hacking. 

In this program, you’ll learn from the best of the best. You’ll benefit from instructors who have years of experience as computer engineers in the private, public, and government sectors. You’ll get quality feedback every step of the way and gain the skills necessary to protect any kind of computer network system. 

Florida International University is one of the few schools in the country that has received a special designation from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. You’ll have access to some of the most exclusive and relevant research opportunities around because of this. 

To be eligible to apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related STEM field. You will need an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, too. You do not need to submit GRE test scores, but you will be expected to supply a detailed resume, a statement of your objectives, and letters of recommendation from professionals who know you well. 

The tuition for this program is incredibly low. Not only will you only pay a flat rate of $25,000 for the entire program, but you’ll also enjoy access to some of the best financial aid around. Florida International offers an initial academic merit scholarship just for online students. This award requires a GPA of 3.25 and a formal application but provides up to $2,500 per year in tuition reimbursement.

Not only that, but the attentive financial aid staff at Florida International work hard to connect students with potential opportunities. For example, the school runs Academic Works, an online scholarship application tool through which students can apply for more than 100 scholarships that are funded by Florida international alumni, industry partners, and community friends. 

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS 

#11. Villanova University

Location: Villanova, PA

Degree:  Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $36,958

Website

#12. Old Dominion University

Location: Norfolk, VA

Degree:  Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering Online

Net Price: $15,917

Website

#13. Mississippi State University

Location: Mississippi State, MS

Degree:  MS in Computational Engineering Online

Net Price: $16,670

Website

#14. Missouri University of Science and Technology

Location: Rolla, MO

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $13,994

Website

#15. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Degree:  MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Net Price: $27,868

Website

#16. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Location: Worcester, MA

Degree:  MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $43,815

Website

#17. Purdue University-Main Campus

Location: West Lafayette, IN

Degree:  MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $11,898

Website

#18. University of Idaho

Location: Moscow, ID

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $15,061

Website

#19. Illinois Institute of Technology

Location: Chicago, IL

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $25,814

Website

#20. University of Michigan Dearborn

Location: Dearborn, MI

Degree:  MS in Engineering in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $10,533

Website

#21. Kansas State University

Location: Manhattan, KS

Degree:  MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $18,002

Website

#22. Arizona State University-Tempe

Location: Tempe, AZ

Degree:  Master’s in Engineering – Software Engineering

Net Price: $13,731

Website

#23. University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering – Internet of Things

Net Price: $11,620

Website

#24. University of Delaware

Location: Newark, DE

Degree:  Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $15,883

Website

#25. University of Maryland Global Campus

Location: Adelphi, MD

Degree:  Master’s Degree in Software Engineering

Net Price: $13,672

Website

#26. University of Louisville

Location: Louisville, KY

Degree:  Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $17,098

Website

#27. The University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX

Degree:  MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $14,156

Website

#28. University of Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Degree:  MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $13,460

Website

#29. Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, NY

Degree:  Master’s in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $39,005

Website

#30. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering Online

Net Price: $15,478

Website   

#31. New York University

Location: New York, NY

Degree:  Master’s in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $39,935

Website    

#32. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Location: University Park, PA

Degree:  Master’s in Software Engineering

Net Price: $21,678

Website

#33. Southern Methodist University

Location: Dallas, TX

Degree:  MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Net Price: $38,562

Website

#34. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Degree:  MS in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $18,349

Website   

#35. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus

Location: Teaneck, NJ

Degree:  MS in Electrical Engineering, Computers Specialization

Net Price: $13,974

Website

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 MOST POPULAR ONLINE  MASTER’S DEGREES  & THE TOP 10 REASONS TO EARN YOUR MASTER’S DEGREE!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Master’s Degrees in Computer Engineering 2021

Whether you’re interested in becoming a programmer or a software developer or anything in between, a master’s in computer engineering is the first step you need to take to help you meet your goals. 

Although it can be a challenging, demanding field, a career in computer engineering is a smart choice if you want to enjoy a high earning potential and access to competitive jobs. 

Computer engineers have been in demand since the computer was first invented—and the demand isn’t expected to die down any time soon. It’s not the oldest form of engineering out there, but it’s often considered one of the most relevant and important for the future.

Can’t you work in this field with just a bachelor’s degree?

You can—but getting a master’s degree is a wiser choice.

A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or even software engineering will prepare you for an entry-level position in the field. However, earning a graduate degree will allow you to become more competitive and potentially earn a higher salary. A master’s might also equip you with the leadership skills you need to earn a higher-level, management-style position.

Of course, many graduate programs in computer science are also rich in research opportunities. Because of this, pursuing a master’s is a smart choice if you think you might want to dive into a position in academia or potentially earn a doctoral degree one day, too. 

Earning an MS computer engineering degree is a smart choice regardless of what your current background and experience might be. Most programs like these last for around one to three years, though some can be accelerated so you can finish up even faster than that. Some can even be completed online, allowing you to study in the comfort of your own home!

The very best programs in computer engineering will teach you the specifics about how a computer is constructed. You may be able to focus on a specific topic, like information technology, software engineering, or networking, allowing you to really hone in on your career goals and personal strengths.

In most cases, the top programs in computer engineering will also allow you to embark on original research opportunities and study abroad experiences with experienced, accomplished faculty members. You could even participate in cooperative learning or internship experiences. Many schools offer graduate students teaching assistantships or fellowships so that they can really learn by doing hands-on work and teaching—and get paid for their hard work in the process, too.

Once you graduate from one of these computer engineering master’s programs, you’ll be able to work in a variety of fields, including:

  • telecommunications
  • aerospace
  • biomedicine
  • government agency

This is a highly interdisciplinary field that is constantly evolving—and the best way you can keep up is to keep learning and evolving right along with it. 

So without further ado, it’s time to dive into our list of the best master’s degrees in computer engineering. You’re sure to find the perfect program to help you meet your goals!

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

What Are the Best Master’s Degrees in Computer Engineering?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

See Also: 10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

#1. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Georgia Tech

Master of Science in Computer Science

Located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, Georgia Institute of Technology, often referred to as Georgia Tech, has been known since its inception for its dedication to offering quality technical-based programs to its students. Founded in 1885, the school has highly ranked graduate schools including the College of Engineering and the Scheller College of Business.

This best Master of Science in Computer Science is a terminal degree program for students who are interested in jumping right into their work as computer science professionals. There are three different options for completing this degree, which are open to students both with and without formal computer science backgrounds.

You can choose from a coursework-only option, a project-based option, or a thesis option. All require 30 credit hours of study and will allow you to pursue a variety of electives and specialization options. In fact, students in this program have eleven different areas of specialization to choose from, including:

  • computational perception and robotics
  • computer graphics
  • computing systems
  • human-centered computing

Your courses will cover everything from machine learning to computer vision, graph algorithms to video game design. This diverse program MS program is an excellent choice to suit students of all backgrounds, ability levels, and career goals.

#2. University Of Illinois – Urbana-​Champaign

Master of Computer Science MCS

U of I Urbana- Champaign

Although the name might be a bit of a mouthful, it’s easy to see that the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign has plenty to offer prospective students. A public university comprising 15 schools and colleges, this university was founded in 1867 and is located just a few hours from major cities such as St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Chicago.

With the School of Information Sciences, College of Engineering, and Department of Psychology being ranked among the best schools in the country, this university is also one with the highest level of research activity according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

It’s also accessible to learners of all backgrounds, having been the first school in the country to provide disability access to each and every university service. The average student-to-faculty ratio here is just 20:1, meaning you’ll enjoy a highly personalized education when you enroll in the hands-on Master of Science in Computer Science.

This program is a non-thesis pathway that requires 32 credit hours of graduate coursework. Four courses must be chosen from a unique core area of computer science while an additional 12 must be undertaken at the advanced graduate level. 

You can take courses on campus or online, but whichever you choose, it’s important to note that GRE scores are not required. This easy-to-apply-to program includes core courses such as:

  • Database and Information Systems
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Formal Methods, Programming Languages, Software Engineering

Although this top master’s program does not offer students research or teaching assistantships, it is an affordable degree with tuition rates starting at just $670 per credit hour. 

#3. University of California, Los Angeles 

Master of Science in Computer Science

The University of California-Los Angeles has one of the best campus locations in the world. It’s situated in the historic Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, just five miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, you can study in one of the school’s many highly-ranked colleges and schools and spend your spare time with one of the more than 1000 student organizations!

The Samueli School of Engineering offers one of the nation’s best Master of Science in Computer Science degrees. The department is home to 38 faculty members (all of whom are highly accomplished in their respective disciplines) and 31 research labs and centers. 

This top Master of Science degree offers potential concentrations such as:

  • graphics and vision
  • network systems
  • information and data management
  • computational systems biology
  • artificial intelligence

You’ll be required to complete either a thesis or a capstone project that synthesizes all of the information you have learned into one final culminating experience.

Regardless of the concentration you select, you’ll likely take classes such as Principles and Practices of Computing, Variable Topics in Computer Science, and Operating Systems Principles. 

#4. Carnegie Mellon University

M.S. in ECE – Electrical and Computer Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University

Founded by philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie himself, Carnegie Mellon University is located in Pittsburgh, PA. As you might expect, this school has a reputation for ingenuity and innovation – a testament to its founding! 

The school is known for its programs in science and technology. All students here have the opportunity to participate in research with many receiving grants or summer fellowships to finance their research in their respective areas of interest. It’s highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, with accolades listing it as one of the top national universities as well as one of the best colleges for veterans.

Here, you’ll find an outstanding Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. You will gain a solid background in the fundamentals of computer engineering while also being able to specialize in a particular aspect of the field. You can choose from concentrations such as:

  • computer security
  • wireless systems
  • integrated systems design
  • computer security
  • cyber-physical systems

In addition, you can choose to add on a dual degree to your plan of study. Many students tack on a Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Innovation Management, which requires just a few additional courses. There’s a study-abroad program you can participate in as a collaboration with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Thailand. 

Other dual degree options include those in music and technology, energy, science, technology, and policy, and more. Many students also pursue affiliated programs in fields like information networking and security that are offered by the INI, the Information Networking Institute at Carnegie Mellon.

This top MS degree is equipped with plenty of opportunities for you to enrich and enhance your degree. From collaborative projects to dual degrees to study abroad, it truly offers it all!

#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

It’s rare to see a list of the best programs in computer engineering without noticing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the list. Founded in 1861, this school just outside of Boston, MA focuses heavily on scientific and technological research. In fact, the university’s research expenditures have totaled more than $700 million a year for the last few years. 

MIT is funded in part by the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. The massive and prestigious funding source for this school makes it possible for just about every graduate student in every single program to pursue some sort of hands-on research. 

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program is highly competitive but the admissions process is relatively straightforward. You do not need to submit the GRE and can apply directly online. Application requirements include three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement of objectives.

If you are accepted into this prestigious master’s program, you’ll be able to pursue areas of research such as:

  • artificial intelligence
  • computational biology
  • control and decisions systems
  • computer networks
  • communications
  • human-computer interaction

There are multiple interdisciplinary and joint degrees available, including those in technology and policy, system design and management, and computation for design and optimization. 

#6. Stevens Institute of Technology

M.S. and M.Eng. in Computer Science

Another technology-focused institution to add to your list of the best computer engineering schools is Stevens Institute of Technology. A private institution founded in 1870 Stevens University stresses the importance of research, entrepreneurship, and innovation in all of its intensive programs. 

You can get ahead by starting at Stevens as an undergraduate. Here, you can opt for a cooperative education track that will enable you to work in a full-time, paid position while completing your studies. 

Although Stevens was exclusively for male students until 1971, it is now a coeducational institute that is the perfect choice for any student, male or female, who is interested in a career in computer science and engineering. 

The computer science major is available as both a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering. In addition, you can choose to pursue a dual MBA degree with the Stevens School of Business to add even more marketability to your degree. By the time you graduate with any of these options, you’ll have months’ worth of impressive accomplishments in software and hardware development to add to your resume.

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Manhattan, Stevens offers students some of the best opportunities for career networking and internships. Many graduates go directly on to careers at major tech firms or on Wall Street immediately following graduation. 

The degree has a flexible curriculum that will allow you to take courses in other interest areas outside of computer science. You’ll learn the applied skills, fundamental theory, and cutting-edge research skills you need to be successful, going about dozens of hands-on projects as you learn. You’ll even be able to choose a concentration to add to your degree, with options including:

  • artificial intelligence
  • software and data engineering
  • networks and security
  • embedded systems

#7. New York University

New York University

Computer Science, M.S.

If hands-on learning opportunities and the ability to network with the most prominent faces in the computer science industry are what matters most to you, you won’t find a better option for completing your master’s degree than you will at New York University.

This school is located in the heart of the Big Apple, with its campus buildings spread out throughout all of lower Manhattan. Founded in 1831, the school is home to a number of colleges and schools, including the reputable Tandon School of Engineering. 

The adaptive Master of Science in Computer Science is flexible and customizable, allowing you to shape the degree around your unique interest. While there are certain required courses you will need to take, such as Software Engineering, Introduction to Operating Systems, Computer Vision, and Interactive Computer Graphics, you will be free to plug in electives that interest you on a personal level.

You will be able to focus, both through your coursework and your research, on unique concentration areas such as:

  • computer graphics
  • computer and network security
  • web search technology
  • distributed systems and networking

You can even take courses outside of the department if you choose.

As a student at NYU, you will be able to work in a variety of labs and centers as you conduct your research. Graduate students are frequently featured in national and international publications and are the recipients of countless awards for their ingenuity and innovation. NYU is well-respected by industry professionals, with alumni working all over the world for government and corporate organizations.

The school is well regarded by publications such as the U.S. News & World Report, and has received top marks as a best national university, a best college for veterans, and a best value school. With campuses in 15 major cities around the globe and a profound reputation for solid academic preparation, it’s easy to see why NYU is a good pick for the best master’s degrees in computer engineering. 

#8. University of California-Berkeley

University of California Berkeley

Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science

The University of California-Berkeley is so ubiquitous among professionals in the computer science industry that it’s often referred to simply as “Cal.” It has a main location overlooking San Francisco Bay, but chances are, if you become a student here, you’ll be too enthralled with your studies to even notice the view!

This school is ranked as one of the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. It’s ranked as one of the best colleges for veterans as well as a top national university. You can’t go wrong when you choose to take courses in the graduate division here. 

The Master of Science in Computer Science emphasizes research preparation and experience, serving as the perfect foundation for students who are interested in pursuing doctoral work. You will be able to choose from a variety of research areas, including:

  • graphics
  • education
  • artificial intelligence
  • database management systems
  • scientific computing

This collaborative program for an MS in computer science requires no GRE for admission. It is diverse and provides countless opportunities for students to get involved both inside the classroom as well as outside of it. As a student here, you might consider joining student organizations like the Pioneers in Engineering, Women in Computer Science and Engineering, and ANova.

Princeton University

#9. Princeton University

Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Computer Science)

Princeton University is a private institution that was founded in 1746. Located in the sleepy town of the same name in New Jersey, Princeton is one of the oldest colleges in the United States and is a well-known member of the Ivy League.

You’ve likely heard of Princeton’s prestige—but did you know that this school also offers one of the very best Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Science degrees? This degree is an excellent choice both for advanced and novice graduate students who are interested in research in the many areas of computer science. 

A two-year, full-time program, the degree has an optional thesis integrated into the curriculum. Teaching experience is a significant component of this program, with funding often offered for teaching assistantships. You may also choose to pursue an internship or another external opportunity to build experience off-campus. Many students work at national labs, research institutes, and major corporations. 

In addition to this excellent real-world experience, you will also be able to select a subarea of computer science on which to focus your coursework. 

It’s no secret that Princeton University is one of the best schools in the world. In fact, it is ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the number one national university and as the second best value school. Although it’s highly selective, with an acceptance rate of just 6%, the school has a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 5:1 that makes it easy to see why it receives such high praise.

#10. Cornell University

Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science

Cornell University

A private university founded in 1865, Cornell University is perhaps best known for its chilly location in frigid Ithaca, in upstate New York. Despite the chill, Cornell University has a lot to offer its students. The school is known for its seven undergraduate colleges and schools along with its well-known graduate schools. These graduate schools include the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Law School, and the College of Engineering. 

Cornell is widely regarded as one of the best private universities in the Northeast. It’s highly ranked by the U.S. News & World Report, has received accolades as one of the top colleges for veterans and best national universities in 2021. 

The Master of Science in Computer Science is offered by the Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science. It is a small, highly selective four-semester program for students who are interested in enhancing their knowledge of the discipline through research, coursework, teaching, and writing.

Ideal for the self-motivated student, it is interdisciplinary and highly customizable. All students who are accepted into the program will serve as teaching assistants, receiving full tuition plus a generous stipend.

In addition to your obligations as a teaching assistant, you’ll be required to complete 34 credit hours of coursework. Courses include:

  • Choices and Consequences in Computing
  • Introductory Design and Programming for the Web
  • Computing in the Arts
  • Fundamental Programming Concepts
Columbia University

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS 

#11. Columbia University

Location: New York City, NY

Degree: Master of Science (MS) in Computer Engineering

Net Price: $48,390

Website

Purdue

#12. Purdue University-Main Campus

Location: West Lafayette, IN

Degree: MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Net Price: $6,251

Website

University of Texas Austin

#13. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $11,742

Website

Stanford

#14. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA

Degree: Computer Science Master of Science

Net Price: $51,354

Website

#15. University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Net Price: $12,920

Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the master’s in computer engineering requirements for admission?

The admissions requirements for computer engineering degrees vary by institution. Because of this, it’s important to always get in touch with the schools to which you intend to apply before you start putting together materials for an application (or better yet, pay the school a visit so you can see the teachers, facilities, and classrooms firsthand!). 

Generally, to apply for a computer engineering degree, you must first possess a bachelor’s degree. Most of the time, this must be in a computer-related field. There are some schools that will accept applications from students who possess just high school diplomas, admitting them to 4+1 programs in which both a bachelor’s and master’s degree will be earned. However, these tend to be highly competitive.

There are still more programs that will accept students who have a background in a discipline besides computer engineering, provided that they have strong mathematical and technical aptitudes. You may have to complete a few extra credit hours of study once enrolled in order to qualify. 

As part of your application, you will need to submit undergraduate transcripts (typically with a minimum GPA, which is often right around a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale). You will also need a personal statement, standardized test scores (sometimes, though not always) from the Graduate Record Examination, and letters of recommendation. Some schools charge an application fee and others may ask that all applicants have several years of real-world work experience. 

Some universities even require interviews! As you can see, the requirements vary, so it’s extremely important to read the requirements carefully.

What kinds of jobs can I get with a master’s degree in computer engineering?

In today’s high-tech world, you can’t go wrong with a master’s degree in computer engineering. Although it sounds quite specific, computer engineering is a broad discipline that will allow you to explore all kinds of work in networking, digital technology, and computer systems. 

Computer engineers bridge the gap between software and hardware, which means you have the freedom and flexibility to focus on the topics that interest you most. You could work as a computer and information research scientist, a software developer, or even a computer hardware engineer. The only thing that will limit you will be your own personal goals and interests!

What is the average master’s degree computer engineering salary?

Because computer engineering is such a broad field—and one that will open up many doors for you—there’s no average salary that can be cited for all computer engineering graduates.

Instead, you have to take a closer look at individual careers that one might pursue with such a degree. As a computer engineer, you could work as a computer and information research scientist, a computer hardware engineer, or a software developer—these certainly aren’t the only careers you might pursue but are some of the most popular.

As a computer hardware engineer, you’ll work to research, develop, and test computers and computer-related equipment. You could earn an average salary of $119,560 per more! 

Choose to become a computer and information research scientist and the job opportunities are just as promising, albeit more academic in nature. The average pay for these professionals in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was a whopping $126,830. 

And finally, as a software developer, you can expect to earn an average annual salary of $110,140 per year.

Beyond earning a master’s degree, the best way to enhance your salary prospects is to do as much as you can to build your skills and your professional network while you are still in college. Join a professional organization that will allow you to network with other technology professionals at national events and conferences. Examples include the Association for Computing Machinery and IEEE Computer Society. 

What courses are required for a master’s degree in computer engineering?

All computer engineering master’s degrees share common characteristics but the exact nature of your studies will depend on your school and these specific courses you select. While most degrees have a set of core classes that all students in the major must complete, most also allow students a great deal of freedom and flexibility in selecting electives.

For example, many schools include concentration options. You can choose from options like optics and photonics, communications and networking, signal processing, and systems and control, though specialization options vary widely between universities. 

In most cases, you will be expected to complete somewhere between 30 and 50 credit hours of study. A thesis or capstone project might be required. Often, you can complete your studies in two years or less, though some accelerated or part-time programs may be a better fit for you, depending on your schedule and other commitments.

It’s not a bad idea to pursue any additional options offered to you by your university. Some allow students to tack on additional certifications, such as those from the Project Management Institute or in Cisco Networking, to their degrees, while others offer opportunities for dual majors.

What is the difference between computer science and computer engineering?

Are you curious about whether earning a master’s in computer science or computer engineering is the right choice for you?

Truth be told, many schools view these programs interchangeably, and a degree in one will likely prepare you for the same careers as a degree in the other might. 

However, there are some intricacies of each that are worth pointing out. While a degree in computer science focuses primarily on troubleshooting issues at the software level, according to Northeastern University, one in computer engineering will focus more on solving problems and designing both hardware and software interfaces. 

With a computer science degree, you’ll focus more intensely on software, learning how to work with operating systems and with various programming languages so that you can maintain programs and databases of information.

Should I do a master’s in computer engineering?

You might be wondering—is a master’s degree in computer engineering even worth it? The short answer is, absolutely!

If you have strong mathematical, scientific, and technological aptitudes, earning a master’s in computer engineering is a logical choice. 

But what about the cost?

It’s no secret that earning a degree is expensive. The average computer engineering graduate program charges around $700 to $1500 per credit hour, often with additional fees for things like course materials and books thrown in, too. 

Although earning a master’s degree can be expensive, the salaries for computer engineers are high enough to make the cost worthwhile.

Not only that, but there’s plenty of financial aid available for students, too. From grants to scholarships, teaching assistantships to fellowships, there are lots of ways that you can pay for your degree without having to go into serious debt. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION & BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MIS)!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

computer engineering masters programs

There is an ever-growing importance of technology in our world. It’s no surprise that the field of computer engineering is booming. There are now more programs than ever before that cater to those interested in this field.

But with so many options available, how can you choose the right one?

There are all kinds of top computer engineering masters programs out there.

To help you make your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best master’s programs in computer engineering.

We considered factors such as the quality of the faculty, and the breadth of course offerings. Of course, we also considered the strength of the cutting edge research.

So whether you’re looking for a broad-based program or one that’s focused on a specific area of interest, you’re sure to find a match on our list.

WHAT IS COMPUTER ENGINEERING?

Before you start looking at the best computer engineering programs,
let’s get a good understanding of what computer engineering actually is!

Computer engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design and construction of computers and computer-related systems. It encompasses a wide range of topics, from hardware design and architecture to software engineering and programming.

Computer engineers often work on teams with other engineers, scientists, and technicians. They develop new technologies and products.

They may also be involved in testing, deploying, and maintaining these systems. In recent years, computer engineering has become more important. The world is becoming more reliant on computers and other digital devices.

Computer engineers are in high demand in many industries.

What Will I Learn in a Computer Engineering Master’s?

Most computer engineering graduate programs focus on the following subjects:

  • Other fields of engineering, like electrical engineering, software engineering, communications engineering, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering
  • Computer architecture (and computer architecture laboratory)
  • Programming languages
  • Embedded systems
  • Applied science
  • Software systems
  • Parallel processing
  • Computer aided design
  • Operating systems
  • Biomedical imaging and biomedical engineering
  • Physical electronics
  • Systems theory and energy systems
  • Computer networks
  • Signal processing and digital signal processing
  • Data science
  • Analytical skills
  • Electro optics
  • Wireless networks
  • Communication networks
  • Nanoscale devices
  • Artificial intelligence

To earn a graduate degree in computer engineering, you will usually need to take at least 30 credit hours of elective and required courses. Most programs include independent research.

There are more than 250 Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited CE programs throughout the country. Case Western Reserve University was the first American institution ever to award a computer engineering degree. This was in 1971. 

The concept of computer engineering itself emerged in 1939. This was when John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry created the first electronic digital computer. It was known as the Atanasoff-Berry computer

Other early pioneers in the world of hardware include: 

  • Blaise Pascal – the inventor of the mechanical calculator
  • J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly – the builders of UNIVAC, the first commercial computer
  • William Shockley et. al., – inventors of the transistor at Bell Labs
  • Steve Wozniak – the designer of the Apple I and II computers and co-founder of Apple Computer

Computer engineering differs from computer science. It focuses more on hardware and software interfaces than on software-level troubleshooting. There is an overlap between the fields. Both rely on theory and practical applications. Computer engineering blends computer science with the field of electrical engineering. 

All computer engineers must have a solid grasp of science and math. Interpersonal relationships with teams require strong verbal and written communication skills. These are two critical traits that graduate students must also master to be successful in the industry. 

There are countless programs in the country. U.S. News & World Report only ranks 148 computer engineering graduate schools in its annual listing of the Best Computer Engineering Programs.

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

Computer engineering is a challenging field. It’s true at the graduate level for sure. It is perhaps even more challenging to be accepted into a good computer engineering program. The threshold for entry can be competitive. That’s why undergraduate GPAs are so important. Believe it or not, these programs aren’t just interested in your grades. They’re interested in you! 

Finding the Right Program

Computer engineering grad programs are relatively small. The computer engineering departments must ensure the best matches out of all applicants. They look at the whole person. This is done through grades, test scores, personal statements, letters of recommendation, resumes, etc. The departments want to see how an applicant’s background and goals sync up with their current activities. Expectations run high. Admission standards vary. 

Build three lists for the computer engineering graduate schools you’re interested in. Your “dream schools,” “good shot” schools, and “safety” schools.

If you could snap your fingers and be admitted into any computer engineering university, which would be your top picks? Those are your dream computer engineering graduate schools. Perhaps they are also the hardest to get into. Next are the ones you meet every qualification for. You have a good shot of getting in. But there’s no guarantee. Finally, there are the safety computer engineering graduate schools. These are ones you’re most likely to be admitted to. This is based on historical admittance rates and your own qualifications. 

We’ve assembled a shortlist of fantastic Master’s programs at top ranked institutions for computer and software engineering. Our information is based on data from publications like the BLS and U.S. News & World Report. We will help you build your lists. Yes, these schools are all competitive. Depending on your qualifications they may fall into either your “good shot” or “dream school” columns. One thing is certain. A computer engineering degree from any of these computer engineering universities will accelerate your career!

Do Your Research

Read through the descriptions and then head to their individual computer engineering websites. Review the ones that grab your interest. Do your research. Read each requirement (and prerequisite) for admission. Pay attention to any minimum GPA or test scores listed. Ensure you meet them. Understand, too, that to be competitive, you’ll need to exceed the minimums. 

Some programs spell out computer engineering recommendations to applicants. We encourage you to heed that advice. Every academic year is different. These criteria are based on the number of applications received. Since there are only a select number of open seats available in any given program, admission rates vary. This is depending on how many applicants exceed the minimum entry requirements. The minimum may be, for example, a 3.0 GPA. But if the school is able to fill the seats with applicants holding an average GPA of 4.0, they will! 

The barrier for admittance to computer engineering programs is a moving target. There’s no way for any master’s degree to see into the future. There’s no way to know how stiff the competition is going to be. However, they can let you know what to expect based on past trends. 

Additional Requirements

As for letters of recommendation, they must meet the exact requirements the computer engineering school specifies. Don’t take anything for granted by submitting generic letters. The same holds true for statements of purpose and resumes. These should address whatever the program tells you it needs to see. Give schools the data they’re looking for. Tailor the content of each document to each specific program. You might even consider hiring a trained editor to review them for you before you submit them.

International applicants must pay very close attention to English-language proficiency test score criteria. Fluency is crucial for success in a graduate program. 

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?

The only thing tougher than finishing a Master’s degree program in computer engineering is paying for it. Tuition rates for computer engineering are higher than ever. It’s important to be realistic about funding. Tackle the issue sooner rather than later. This holds true for all graduate students in computer and electrical engineering.

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, teaching assistantships, and loans are all viable funding options. Students should take the time to research and apply for everything they qualify for. Sure, it’s time-consuming. But it is always better to find sources that don’t have to be repaid before seeking loans. Need-based grants and merit-based scholarships should be your first considerations.

Filing the FAFSA

Just like undergraduates, computer engineering grad students can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA, to apply for Federal Student Aid opportunities. Federal Student Aid disburses more than $120 billion annually to assist millions of higher ed students. Check out the federal aid website and the Financial Aid for Graduate or Professional Students brochure for details about the various programs available. Examples include:

Not everyone qualifies for aid. Anyone can apply for it. Closely review the eligibility requirements. Pay close attention to application deadlines. Grad students should also take advantage of the helpful Graduate School Preparation Checklist. According to the checklist, grad students are considered “independent students.” They don’t need to provide their parents’ financial information.

SAR

A Student Aid Report is sent to everyone who submits a FAFSA. This outlines any Expected Family Contribution and other information. It is to be forwarded to the financial aid offices of the schools indicated by the applicant. The schools should then submit applicants’ data for any aid they have qualified for. It is important to contact each school to ensure this is done. Make sure they have everything they need. You should also ask financial aid office representatives about Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and any college-based financial awards that might be available. The details for these should also be listed on the individual university or program websites. 

Other Options

There are also state aid and private/non-profit aid opportunities to explore. Computer engineering students have access to several generous scholarships. These are often donated by a range of businesses, associations, and philanthropists. 

Veterans and their eligible dependents can tap into their GI Bill benefits. Contact a Veterans Affairs representative or call the university’s financial aid office. Ask to speak with the VA liaison or program manager. Many universities also take part in the national Yellow Ribbon Program. Post 9/11 GI Bill recipients may have little to no out-of-pocket expenses.   

Students who opt to take on loans can also use Federal Student Aid to apply for an Unsubsidized Loan or a PLUS Loan via StudentLoans.gov. Applicants must sign a master promissory note. This obligates them to repay any loans, interest, and fees to the Department of Education. Your school’s financial aid office can help determine which loans you’re eligible for. Some students also opt to take out private loans from a banking institution. These tend to be more expensive than federal loans. 

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING? 

In today’s high-tech world, most college students can’t go wrong with a Master’s degree in computer engineering. This broad field covers a lot of territory. It deals with constant advances in the realms of digital technology, networking, and systems. It spans the gap between hardware and software. Computer engineers may find themselves more focused on systems and components, microprocessors, routers, and circuits. Or they can opt to lean into the software side of things. They might work on the latest and greatest programs and apps. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook lists several careers suitable for computer engineering majors. Examples include:

Average Salaries

Computer and information research scientists have the highest median income, at $118,370. This is followed by hardware engineers at $114,600 per year. Then there are software developers at $105,590 per year. Of course, under each of these broad categories are several more specific career fields. 

For example, under the umbrella of computer and information research scientists, there are: 

  • Computer systems designers, making $124,220 per year
  • Research and development positions (in the physical, engineering, and life sciences areas), earning up to $128,570
  • Software publishers, earning a median of $140,220.

Hardware engineer areas include: 

  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing – $126,610
  • Federal government fields – $113,430
  • Research and development (in the physical, engineering, and life sciences) – $128,340
  • Semiconductor (and electronic component) manufacturing – $119,540

Software developers work in: 

  • Computer systems design – $100,080
  • Finance and insurance – $107,960
  • Management (of companies) – $104,420
  • Manufacturing – $110,290
  • Software publishing – $114,320

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for computer engineers is $87,001. The high end is $127,000. Salaries in associated fields include computer software engineer, at $103,000. There’s also a computer hardware engineer, at $104,000. 

PayScale lists salaries for workers holding a bachelor’s computer engineering degree as follows: 

  • Embedded software engineer – $76,000
  • Firmware engineer – $82,000
  • Principal software engineer – $$127,000
  • Senior software engineer – $109,000
  • Software developer – $71,000
  • Software engineer – $80,000
  • Senior software engineer/developer – $99,000

Pay is dependent not only on the field of work in computer engineering. It’s also dependent on one’s level of education, years of experience, geographic location, and employer. The BLS predicts significant job growth for computer and information research scientists. It is around 16%, over the next decade. That’s considerably higher than the rate for most jobs. Software developers do even better. They skyrocket to a projected 21% growth rate. Computer hardware engineering is projected to grow by 6%. This is greater than the average for most careers.

State Statistics

The states with the highest number of workers in all of the above computer engineering fields are:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington.

Workers in the field are highly satisfied. A few of the top computer engineering employers cited by the BLS are:

  • Northrop Grumman
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Intel
  • Raytheon
  • Boeing.

Most of these computer engineering businesses are also defense contractors with the federal government!

OUR RANKING CRITERIA 

We have a time-tested four-part formula. It is designed for ranking the best colleges in the nation. We’d love to share it with you. We prioritize four major factors, based on information from U.S. News & World Report:

  • Earnings Potential
  • Affordability 
  • Student Satisfaction
  • Selectivity.

Reliable research and well-harvested data are the main ingredients in our recipe for success. We don’t make recommendations based on personal opinions, or financial incentives. Our revenue and content are completely separate. Sponsored schools have no impact on our computer engineering grad school rankings. The only way to make it onto one of our lists is to have an incredible academic program! If you want to know more we encourage you to check out our methodology page. 

You’ve familiarized yourself with our admission tips, notes on financial support, a few career options, and some interesting stats about computer engineering. Now it’s time to shift gears and dig into the schools on our list of the 10 Best Master’s Programs in Computer Engineering! 

#1. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, ​BERKELEY 

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of California BerkeleyYou’ll find one of the top computer engineering grad schools at UC Berkeley. The University of California has 10 outstanding schools in its state-wide system. The flagship institution is its recognized Berkeley campus. It is just east of San Francisco Bay and only 30 minutes from San Francisco. 

UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) has three grad programs in Computer Science. There is a  (MS) in Computer Science only track. There is a PhD only option. There is also a combined option (MS/PhD). 

The department’s MS is research-intensive. It is considered foundational for further doctoral studies. The two-year computer engineering program can be completed as a Master of Science. It paves the way for graduates to pursue a computer engineering career in industrial research and development. It is important to note that, according to the program’s website, the MS only option is for “exceptional applicants with research experience.” UC Berkeley admits more applicants into the MS/PhD program than the MS only option. It is recommended that students who aren’t sure should go ahead and apply to the MS/PhD program. 

Required Courses

The computer science areas of specialization are: 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Database Management Systems
  • Education
  • Graphics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Operating Systems & Networking
  • Programming Systems
  • Scientific Computing
  • Security
  • Theory

Each specialization area features its own unique curriculum and covered topics. Most area groups have their own research centers and reputable faculty. The AI option covers Learning and Probabilistic Inference, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Search and Information Retrieval, Speech and Language, Vision, and Robotics. The group’s research centers include: 

  • Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab
  • Berkeley Laboratory for Information and System Sciences
  • Center for Human Compatible Artificial Intelligence
  • CITRIS People and Robots
  • FHL Vive Center for Enhanced Reality
  • International Computer Science Institute
  • VeHICaL: Verified Human Interfaces, Control, and Learning for Semi-Autonomous Systems
  • Video and Image Processing Lab

General graduate admission requirements are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 3 letters of recommendation listing goals, accomplishments, skills, and academic work
  • GRE test scores
  • International applicants have a more extensive list of requirements, including proof of English language proficiency

Admission Requirements:

Program-specific requirements for the school of engineering include a few more specifics: 

  • GRE scores in all sections, taken within the last five years 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores from within the last two years, if the applicant’s bachelor’s degree was completed in a non-English speaking country
  • A statement of purpose. This should outline research goals, reasons for wanting to pursue the degree, and intentions after graduation
  • A personal history statement. This should explain what led the applicant to pursue this field of study
  • Letters of recommendation should be from prior professors
  • Unofficial transcripts

UC Berkeley’s computer engineering reputation speaks for itself. It has a storied history. The school is dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives. The EECS graduate program is ranked in a four-way tie for Best Computer Science Program by U.S. News & World Report

In 2018, there were 309 Computer Science grad students. Among alumni, the average starting salaries from the engineering  department are between $110,000 and $119,999!

#2. GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Georgia TechYou’ll find a top master degree for computer engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Computer Science offers a Master of Science in Computer Science (MS CS). It is considered a terminal degree. It is designed to prepare students to launch their careers in the CS industry. The school also offers a 30-hour online version of the degree. This is the Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS). 

Applicants to Georgia Tech should hold a bachelor’s degree in the field. Or they should be ready to take remedial coursework that does not count toward the MS CS degree’s requirements. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation (any classes with a grade below “C” do not count toward the degree). No credit is given for CS courses below CS 4140 – Comp Model Algorithms. See the program rules for a full overview of completion requirements. 

Required Courses

On-campus students at Georgia Institute of Technology select one computer engineering specialization from three options:

  • the coursework
  • project 
  • thesis 

On-campus course offering dates for Georgia Institute of Technology can be found on the Three-Year Course Outline page. 

The Georgia Tech course option has 30 hours. 24 credits of CS and Computer Science Engineering courses must be at the graduate (6000 – 8000) level. 

The project option at Georgia Tech has 21 hours. There must also be a 9-credit hour project (CS 6999). Fifteen credits of CS/CSE courses must be at the graduate (6000 – 8000) level. 

The thesis option at Georgia Tech requires 18 hours of coursework. There’s also a 12-credit hour thesis (CS 7000). Fifteen credits of CS/CSE courses must be at the graduate (6000 – 8000) level. 

On-campus MS CS program students at Georgia Institute of Technology have many areas of specialization to select from. This will allow you to customize the degree to meet your educational goals. These computer engineering options at Georgia Tech are:

  • Computational Perception and Robotics
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computing Systems
  • Signal processing
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Computer Architecture
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Interactive Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Modeling and Simulations
  • Scientific Computing
  • Social Computing
  • Network Engineering
  • Visual Analytics

Online students at Georgia Institute of Technology can view course offerings here. Students gain expertise from the following specializations: 

  • Computational Perception & Robotics
  • Computing Systems
  • Interactive Intelligence
  • Machine Learning

Admission Requirements:

On-campus application requirements for the school of engineering include: 

  • A strong undergraduate background in computer science is highly recommended
  • Three recommendation letters
  • GRE scores of at least 153 in the verbal, 155 in the quantitative, and a 3.0 in the analytical sections 
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA (Note: Admitted candidates usually score higher than this.)
  • TOEFL scores for candidates from non-English speaking countries (Note: The minimum score considered for admission is 100 on the Internet-based exam. Successful applicants usually score higher.)

Online computer engineering program admissions guidelines do not include GRE scores or recommendation letters. 

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Career Development web page lists helpful resources for finding internships and co-op positions. There are also:

  • job boards
  • career fairs
  • work abroad opportunities
  • business start-up connections
  • research portfolio-building
  • lots of student organizations

Georgia Tech’s College of Computing hosted 6,838 Master’s students in 2018. An incredible 6,365 of these were OMS CS students. It holds numerous prestigious rankings, such as the No. 8 Graduate computer engineering program. This is as noted by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. It was No. 16 among Global Universities for CS. It’s No. 7 for Artificial Intelligence programs. It is No. 16 in Programming Languages.

#3. STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY  

COMPUTER ENGINEERING MASTER’S PROGRAM

Stevens-Institute-of-TechnologyStevens Institute of Technology has an outstanding master degree computer engineering. Stevens Tech opened in 1870. It was named after “America’s First Family of Inventors.” Stevens Institute of Technology has a long history of innovation and excellence. It has a close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. It’s also positioned for maximum modern networking opportunities.

There are a variety of hands-on co-op computer engineering programs. Students of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering’s master’s in computer engineering program can garner ample real-world experience in hardware and software development. 

Core and Elective Courses

There are options to specialize in:

  • computer systems
  • real-time and embedded systems
  • data communications and networks
  • digital systems design
  • image processing and multimedia
  • information systems
  • computer architecture
  • information systems security
  • intelligent systems

Graduates are guaranteed to be sought-after subject matter experts.  

The engineering program has two study tracks: Master of Science or Master of Engineering. A third option allows for a dual Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. This is in collaboration with the Stevens School of Business. There’s even an online option through StevensOnline

Concentrations for the degree are: 

  • Embedded Systems
  • Software and Data Engineering
  • Networks and Security
  • Artificial Intelligence

Core classes include: 

  • CPE 517 – Digital and Computer Systems Architecture
  • CPE 555 – Real-Time and Embedded Systems
  • CPE 593 – Applied Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CPE 690 – Introduction to VLSI Design
  • EE 608 – Applied Modeling & Optimization
  • A mathematical foundation course (CPE 602 Applied Discrete Mathematics or EE 605 Probability and Stochastic Processes I)

To graduate, students need a minimum 3.0 GPA in both their major and core courses. Students have up to six years to finish the degree and may transfer in up to nine credits. That is if the grade in each course was at least a “B.” 

Admission Requirements:

The academic catalog features full details of the engineering program’s requirements. General requirements for admission include: 

  • Official transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Optional resume and personal statement
  • Competitive GRE or GMAT scores (for full-time students only)

On-campus students can enjoy working within the department’s advanced modern research centers. There are dedicated labs to: 

  • Analytics and Information Security for Complex Systems
  • Sensing, Machine Learning, and Robotics Technologies
  • Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
  • Hardware Utility Design and Software Optimization Networking

Career opportunities for graduates for the school of engineering include positions as:

  • computer engineers
  • design engineers
  • project engineers
  • systems integration engineers
  • systems engineers
  • field service engineers
  • network engineers.

Stevens graduates have been snatched up by some of the biggest firms in the business. Examples include:

  • AT&T
  • Comcast
  • Facebook
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Microsoft. 

Stevens collects honors and high rankings across the board. That’s from academics to athletics, thanks to its award-winning faculty and top-notch quality of life. The Princeton Review cited it as among the Best Value Colleges in 2019. It was at No. 7 in the nation for Best Career Placement (2019). It was within the Top 25 for Internships (2019). U.S. News & World Report places Stevens at No. 74 among National Universities. 

Other notable rankings include:

  • No. 4 in the nation in CNBC’s “25 Colleges That are Worth the Money” list for 2018
  • No. 5 in Financial Advisor’s “10 Colleges That Offer Students the Best Bang for the Buck”
  • in the Top 25 STEM Colleges, according to Forbes.

As you can see, there’s something big going on at Stevens!

#4. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS – URBANA-​CHAMPAIGN

PROFESSIONAL MASTER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignAnother great master degree in computer engineering can be found at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. The elite Grainger College of Engineering at the University Of Illinois – Urbana-​Champaign has been making research breakthroughs in STEM fields for decades. Through the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science, it’s able to continue that proud tradition. It has a cutting-edge, 32-credit hour Master of Computer Science (MCS) program. 

Esteemed school alumni include business titans from:

  • Match.com
  • Microsoft
  • Netscape
  • PayPal
  • YouTube
  • Yelp

The MCS professional degree sets students up for similar success. This is through a world-class curriculum taught by award-winning faculty. They are devoted to positive student outcomes. In fact, UIUC College of Engineering graduates often receive two or more job offers upon graduation!

The MCS engineering program may be completed either at the school’s campus or online. The on-campus MCS is full-time and competitive. This is due to limited space. It offers the widest range of class selection. The coursework includes four required classes. These cover breadth topics. That, plus advanced courses and electives.

The online MCS is built for students who are working or have other obligations and need to attend classes through distance learning. UIUC uses Coursera to deliver its massive open online courses. This is done via a series of video lectures, assignments, projects, and exams. The platform can also be used for advising and other communications with faculty, staff, and teaching assistants. The online engineering program is self-paced. It can be completed in as little as one year or spread out over up to five years. 

Core and Elective Courses

Four courses from the list below must be completed for the school of engineering  with a grade of “B-” or better:  

  • CS 484 – Parallel Computing 
  • CS 498 – Applied Machine Learning 
  • CS 410 – Text Information Systems 
  • CS 411 – Database Systems 
  • CS 412 – Introduction to Data Mining 
  • CS 421 – Programming Languages and Compilers
  • CS 427 – Software Engineering I 
  • CS 498 – Data Visualization
  • CS 425 – Cloud Computing Concepts
  • CS 498 – Cloud Computing Applications 
  • CS 498 – Cloud Networking 
  • CS 450 – Numerical Analysis 

In addition, three advanced classes and STAT 420 – Methods of Applied Statistics are required. 

The other option for students is the online MCS in Data Science. This allows for a specialization in learning statistical and computational methods. Specific coursework includes:

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Mining
  • Cloud Computing

Admission Requirements:

Admission requirements for the school of engineering are straightforward: 

  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of reference
  • A statement of purpose
  • A resume/CV
  • No GRE tests are needed

In 2018, there were 1,111 grad students enrolled in the school. It awarded 92 on-campus MCS computer engineering degrees and 41 online MCS computer engineering degrees. The engineering program is ranked No. 5 in Best Computer Science Schools in the nation. That’s per U.S. News & World Report. The school also receives a great deal of research funding from the National Science Foundation. It maintains countless multi-million-dollar industry partnerships.  

The engineering department awards incredible graduate fellowships.  Examples include the Computer Science Excellence Fellowship and the Computer Science Gene Golub Fellowship. This is in addition to many other awards to help students. There are also campus, industry-sponsored, and national awards, fellowships, and scholarships to compete for. The University of Illinois – Urbana-​Champaign truly has it all!

#5. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

University of Texas AustinYou will find another one of the best computer engineering graduate schools
at the University of Texas at Austin. The
University of Texas at Austin says it does things bigger. It means it! In the last decade, UT Austin has been awarded more than 786 patents. It has completed over 6,200 externally sponsored projects. It has received more than $652 million each year in research grants and contracts. That’s massive. That kind of money attracts a world-class faculty and students! 

The university’s Department of Computer Science is no exception. The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science. They are prepared to push further into their studies. Applicants without a CS degree are much less likely to be admitted. There are some exceptions for online students. 

Core and Elective Courses

This program is designed to be finished in two years. The 30-credit hour on-campus degree features two options. There is a thesis or no thesis option. The no thesis (coursework only) option has three major requirements. They are: 

  • 1) Meeting all prerequisite courses: 
    • Discrete Math for Computer Science (CS 311)
    • Introduction to Programming (CS 312)
    • Data Structures (CS 314)
    • Algorithms and Complexity (CS 331)
    • Computer Organization and Architecture (CS 429)
    • Principles of Computer Systems (CS 439) 
  • 2) Major coursework for 24 hours (including nine hours of diversity courses and 15 hours of CS graduate courses)
  • 3) Six hours of minor coursework in a “supporting subject” 

The thesis option features the same criteria for completion as the no thesis option. Instead of 15 hours of CS graduate courses, students complete nine hours plus the thesis courses. 

The new online MSCS degree also calls for 30 credit hours. These cover foundational coursework plus electives. These electives are focused on in-demand industry specialties. Students have up to three years to complete the online program. It can also be done in half that time. 

Admission Requirements:

Admissions requirements for the school of engineering are as follows: 

  • Official transcripts
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science with a 3.0 or higher GPA (Note: Online students may hold a degree in another field if all undergraduate program prerequisites are met.) 
  • GRE general test scores (no waivers are available, but there is no minimum required score); competitive applicants should have high quantitative and math scores from the undergraduate program
  • An optional CV, personal statement, and up to three letters of recommendation

For international applicants:

  • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test, or 
  • IELTS: an overall band of 6.5 on the academic test

The numerous areas of research in CS include:

  • artificial intelligence
  • bioinformatics and computational biology
  • computer architecture
  • data mining, machine learning, and natural computation
  • formal methods
  • graphics and visualization
  • model-driven engineering
  • programming languages and implementation
  • scientific computing
  • security
  • theoretical computer science.

Leading all of these programs are:

The department’s Friends of Computer Science (FoCS) program ensures close ties between a wide roster of industry partners and CS students and faculty. The program impacts the regional economy with a breathtaking $8.7 billion economic impact per year. U.S. News & World Report ranked UT Austin at No. 10 in Computer Science. It is right under its Ivy League counterpart, Princeton. 

Here’s some interesting trivia! UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center is home to the fastest academic supercomputer in the world!

#6. CORNELL UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE (MSCS)

Cornell UniversityAnother one of the best graduate programs in computer engineering is at Cornell University.

Cornell University is nestled in the rolling hills of Ithaca, NY, in the Finger Lakes region. Cornell University has a relatively small campus (745 acres). It has a massive reputation! It is an elite member of the Ivy League. Competition for admission is fierce. Gaining acceptance into the Computing and Information Science Computer Science grad program is even tougher! 

The engineering department opened in 1965. It is one of the oldest of its type in the nation. The engineering schools are home to just 14 Master of Science students. This makes it one of the most selective programs on our list. The program at Cornell University admits about seven or eight students each year.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is designed to be finished in four semesters. The master’s degree is geared toward students wanting to enhance their understanding of the field. This is done at Cornell University via advanced courses, intense research, writing, and teaching practice as teaching assistants (during which time they receive full tuition and a stipend). 

Core  Courses

A summary of MSCS degree requirements is: 

  • A total of 34 credit hours are required
  • Six to 12 credit hours tied to thesis research (CS 7999)
  • Six to eight grad-level courses, of which four must be CS courses at the 5000 level or above and one at the 6000 level
  • An outside minor involving two or three grad-level courses
  • A thesis and oral presentation

Please see the List of CS Courses to review the dozens of course offerings and their full descriptions. 

When it comes to research, Cornell is in a league of its own. The master’s degree is recognized as an industry leader. The school’s current projects include transformational research in areas such as:

  • artificial intelligence
  • computational biology
  • database systems
  • human interaction
  • programming languages
  • robotics
  • scientific computing
  • theories of computing

Admission Requirements:

It goes without saying that applications for any Ivy League institution should be stellar. Cornell’s CS program requires: 

  • Transcripts of all college-level work
  • Three letters of recommendation 
    • One should address the student’s expository skills and capacity for working in a classroom setting
  • An essay discussing how the program and thesis are connected to the applicant’s career goals 
  • GRE general test scores (recommended, except for Cornell undergraduates) 
  • Non-native English speakers must submit IELTS or TOEFL scores

Note:  Cornell’s MS program only admits students who have not only excelled as undergraduate teaching assistants. They must also show an aptitude for independent research. 

This selectivity extends to the school’s faculty as well. The engineering department reaps awards from around the world. The engineering schools include:

  • Turing Award honorees
  • National Academy of Engineering members
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows
  • Guggenheim Fellows
  • MacArthur Fellows
  • Fulbright Scholars
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigators

An Oral History of Computer Science at Cornell University is an insightful look at the program’s founding. This is as told by 12 senior faculty members who played roles in shepherding this field of study into the institution. The school hosts several events, such as BigRed//Hacks, a three-day, student-run hackathon of epic proportions! 

Students in the engineering schools also enjoy participating in Computer Science Hockey and the camaraderie of the EGSA (Engineering Graduate Student Association). All of them benefit from the school’s architectural wonder. This is Bill & Melinda Gates Hall. It is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification winner. The light-filled, 100,000-square foot building is home to the Computing and Information Science department’s numerous projects and office spaces.  

#7. PURDUE UNIVERSITY WEST LAFAYETTE

MASTER’S IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING

PurdueYou will find a top masters degree in computer engineering at Purdue University West Lafayette. Purdue is in West Lafayette, IN. The beautiful campus attracts engineering students from around the world. It is the No. 1 destination for international students in STEM disciplines. That’s per the Department of Homeland Security. It is home to cultural centers like the:

  • Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center
  • Black Cultural Center
  • Latino Cultural Center
  • LGBTQ Center
  • Native American Educational and Cultural Center

Purdue offers a welcoming educational atmosphere for people from all walks of life. the school of engineering is proof.  

Engineering students in Purdue’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department may elect to pursue a Master’s in computer engineering degree. The master’s degree is one of the seven Electrical and Computer Engineering Primary Areas. There is an option for thesis or non-thesis programs. There is also an MS-only and MS/PhD track. 

Curriculum

Requirements for the program’s Plan of Study include:

  • Completing 30 credit hours of coursework approved by the advisory committee, with 15 credit hours of graduate-level Electrical and Computer Engineering and two core courses covering the student’s research area
  • At least six approved math credit hours for non-thesis engineering students and three for thesis engineering students (see Appendix A of the Master’s Program Handbook for approved courses)
  • Research credit is not necessary for MS-only track engineering students pursuing the non-thesis option, but engineering students can choose to include three credit hours of Electrical and Computer Engineering 69600 (Advanced Projects) or Electrical and Computer Engineering 69700 (Directed Reading)
  • Research credit hours are necessary for all other tracks, and the rules governing them are moderately extensive
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written English 
  • A graduate seminar – Electrical and Computer Engineering 69400
  • At least half of all credits must be earned in residence. Courses completed via distance learning are considered to be “in residence” ones. Please review the department’s website for full details. 

Want to see an overview of requirements for the MS-only (thesis or non-thesis options) and the MS/PhD (thesis or non-thesis) programs? The master’s degree information is available on the program’s page

This is one of the best computer engineering programs around. 

Admission Requirements:

Criteria for admission for the school of engineering include: 

  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • A statement of purpose 
  • A resume
  • A fellowship essay (for engineering students who attended a U.S. high school)
  • Average GPA of 3.60 or higher for U.S. applicants (the minimum is typically 3.25); international applicants are usually in the top 5% of their graduating class
  • GRE scores that meet or exceed:
    • 152 – Verbal
    • 166 – Quantitative
    • 3.6 – Analytical writing
  • International engineering students are required to submit: 
    • TOEFL: iBT overall minimum score of 80, with minimums: Writing = 18 for grad school admissions and 22 for Electrical and Computer Engineering admissions, Speaking = 18, Listening = 14, and Reading = 19
    • IELTS minimum score = 6.5, with minimums: Reading = 6.5, Listening = 6.0, Speaking = 6.0, and Writing = 5.5
    • Note: There are some exceptions

Computer engineering students and faculty stay busy with cutting-edge research. It is conducted in multiple labs and groups, such as: 

  • Computer Architecture
  • Dependable Computing Systems Lab (DCSL)
  • Haptic Interface Research Lab (HIRL)
  • High-Efficiency, Low-Power Systems Group (HELPS)
  • Internet Systems Lab (ISL)
  • Machine Learning, Planning, and Reasoning
  • Purdue Programming Languages Research Group
  • Robot Vision Lab

Purdue comes in at No. 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s Computer Science rankings. It is No. 14 in Programming Languages. The master’s degree is No. 15 in Systems. The program is the largest master’s degree program at Purdue. There are 258 MS students and more than 100 faculty and related staff. It has over $41 million in annual research expenditures. The department is able to fund projects other computer engineering graduate schools can only dream of. 

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department maintains strong corporate partnerships. This ensures that engineering students in the computer engineering master’s degrees are armed with the in-demand skills needed by today’s industry professionals. From recruitment to career fairs, and other means of hiring outreach. Companies are lining up to hire Purdue grads for lucrative new careers!

#8. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

COMPUTER SCIENCE MS DEGREE

StanfordThe Stanford Center for Professional Development has a great Computer Science Master of Science (MSCS). It is for full- and part-time students wanting to take advantage of online learning opportunities. The terminal, 45-unit program takes three to five years to finish. Most classes are available online. This depends on the exact program of study and the school’s calendar of online course offerings. 

Core and Elective Courses

There are four broad requirements for degree completion. The first is the basic foundations requirement. Students must finish the courses listed below, or their equivalents. Engineering students must earn a final grade of “B” or higher in these courses. Those who completed these courses as undergraduates may request a waiver. The areas computer engineering graduates can study are: 

  • Logic, Automata, and Complexity 
  • Probability 
  • Algorithmic Analysis 
  • Computer Organ & Systems
  • Principles of Computer Systems 

Visit the program page for a full list of courses. 

Stanford has a significant implementation requirement. This means students must demonstrate a capacity for software development. They must finish an SI class as part of either their breadth, depth, or elective credits in computer science and engineering.

The third program requirement is the breadth requirement. It means students must take classes that expose them to topics outside of their depth area. Students may focus on a single depth or dual depths. For the single depth track, students gain a specialization through 27 units in a certain area of study. In the dual depth option, students complete 21 units in a primary area and 15 in a secondary one. 

The fourth program requirement is the selection of a specialization. The options for the school of engineering are: 

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biocomputation
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Human-Computer Interactions
  • Information Management and Analytics
  • Mobile and Internet Computing
  • Real-World Computing
  • Software Theory
  • Systems

The program page offers a complete listing of the dozens of courses in computer science and engineering. To graduate, at least 36 credits must be completed with a GPA of 3.0 or more. 

Admission Requirements:

Admission requirements for the school of engineering include submission of: 

  • A statement of purpose detailing the reasons for applying to the program, preparation, research interests, career plans, and other background information 
  • Three recommendation letters, preferably two from academic sources
  • A resume, listing all publications
  • A supplemental form also listing publications and websites, if applicable  
  • Official copies of all transcripts 
  • GRE scores, dated within the last five years
  • TOEFL scores, from applicants whose native language isn’t English

Stanford is ranked No. 1 in a four-way tie for Best Computer Science/ Computer Engineering Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report. It also ranked the school at No. 1 in Computer Science programs and No. 3 in Artificial Intelligence. It was No. 3 in Programming Language and No. 4 in Systems. Consider the prestige of a Stanford degree combined with the flexibility of an online learning option. What more can a person ask for? This is one of the best computer engineering programs around. 

#9. CORNELL UNIVERSITY – CORNELL TECH

MASTER IN ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Cornell UniversityCornell Tech is the progeny of a partnership between Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. This institute of technology has a one-of-a-kind graduate school model. It blends the academic prowess of Cornell’s faculty member body with industry experts and entrepreneurs to explore visionary new technologies for the business world. Make no mistake. The emphasis on research and education is designed to power the commercialization of digital age innovations. Graduate students are an integral part of that mission. 

Cornell Tech has a cutting-edge, one-year Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Students work with the latest prototype hardware, advanced algorithms, innovative lab projects, and cross-disciplinary teams and ventures. Grads have unprecedented opportunities to link with industry leaders. They can work with start-ups in the heart of New York City as they complete courses at the institute of technology, one of the top computer engineering schools around.

Curriculum

This degree falls under the Master of Engineering category. At this computer engineering school, courses in computer science and engineering cover:

  • principles and practices of analog/digital devices
  • ASIC design
  • machine learning
  • data science
  • signal processing
  • communications
  • robotics/autonomous systems

There’s also an integral Studio course component. This allows students to create solutions for real corporations. The studio culture focuses on:

  • entrepreneurship
  • product design
  • management
  • prototyping

It is considered a defining experience of the computer engineering major. 

The fall and spring semester credit breakdown includes: 

  • Twelve technical credits per semester
  • Three to four project & interdisciplinary credits
  • Semester totals of 15 – 16 credits

Tech courses for the computer engineering school could include: 

  • Fall: 
    • Applied Digital ASIC Design
    • Embedded Systems
    • Applied Machine Learning
    • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Spring: 
    • Intelligent Autonomous Systems
    • Applied Digital Signal Processing and Communications
    • Introduction to Computer Vision
    • Deep Learning

Project and Interdisciplinary credits for the computer engineering major could include: 

  • Product Studio
  • Becoming a Leader in the Digital World
  • Classes that are taken with other Cornell Tech Master’s students
  • Startup Studio
  • Product Management

Admission Requirements:

To apply, applicants should submit to the school of engineering : 

  • A resume
  • A personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in the program, as well as experiences demonstrating their creativity, leadership, and technical abilities
  • Two letters of recommendation (suggested) 
  • GRE scores (no waivers are available) 
  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges 
  • For international applicants, a certified English translation of transcripts, if needed
  • A valid TOEFL or IELTS score

Cornell Tech also offers a Master of Engineering in Computer Science degree. Courses in computer science and engineering cover topics such as:

  • Algorithms and Data Structures for Applications
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Blockchains & Cryptocurrencies
  • Networking
  • Computer Vision
  • Cryptography
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Mining
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Natural Language Processing. 

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering program was once housed at Google’s New York City-based Chelsea Building. It relocated to Roosevelt Island in 2017. It is a new branch of the esteemed Ivy League institution. Cornell Tech’s buildings are modern. They are built with sustainability in mind. The inspiring, four-story Bloomberg Center is Cornell Tech’s educational nexus. The Tata Innovation Center is the place where academics and industry merge into a beehive of creativity and ideas. 

The campus also includes 12 acres on Roosevelt Island. It has stunning views of the New York City skyline, the Verizon Executive Ed Center, and the 270” residential high-rise known as The House. Courses are taught by a diverse faculty of experts. They are dedicated to impactful research and the creation of technological breakthroughs. 

As Business Insider put it, Cornell Tech is minting the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs. As of early 2018, it had already helped 40 start-ups amass $32 million in funding! Cornell ranks among the top 1% of universities in the world. It holds the No. 6 spot in Computer Science. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report

#10. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

MASTER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

UCLAThe University of California, Los Angeles has a great master’s degree computer engineering.

The University of California has always been a pioneer at the forefront of the information revolution. It opened in 1947. The University of California’s Institute for Numerical Analysis began researching mathematics relevant to developing high-speed automatic digital computing machinery. Twenty-one years later, the University of California Computer Science Department was born. 

It operates under the purview of the Samueli School of Engineering. the University of California has a distinguished Computer Science Graduate Program that draws graduate students from around the globe.

Core and Elective Courses

The school’s Master in Computer Science is an MS degree at the University of California. The computer engineering school features a wide selection of courses in computer science and engineering for the graduate degree. You’ll take classes in fields such as: 

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Theory
  • Computer System Architecture
  • Computational Systems Biology
  • Databases (Information and Data Management)
  • Graphics and Vision
  • Network Systems
  • Programming Languages and Systems

The bulk of applicants at the University of California have a strong background in computer science. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another major will still be considered. All applicants should have two years of calculus, one year of physics, and a statistics course.

The degree at the University of California can be completed within five to six quarters. Course requirements include breadth courses and a completed Program of Study. There are options for a thesis or capstone project during the second year. Then, students are assigned “Advanced to Candidacy” status.  

Admission Requirements:

Basic requirements for admission into the computer and electrical engineering program for the school of engineering  include: 

  • Holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, with at least a 3.0 GPA (3.5 is considered competitive, and the average for admitted students is 3.6) 
  • A necessary academic foundation for graduate CS coursework
  • Competitive GRE scores

An MS degree in computer or electrical engineering at the University of California prepares students for careers in the computer science and engineering industry. MS applicants also demonstrate an interest in developing and applying technical skills and translational knowledge in computer science and engineering. 

Admission requirements include submission of:

  • At least three letters of recommendation from prior professors from the applicant’s undergraduate engineering majors
  • Official transcripts from all colleges ever attended
  • A statement of purpose, following instructions on the application (Note: The statement will also suffice as a writing sample.) 
  • GRE scores

For the Fall 2018 term, the Computer Science program at the University of California had 2,219 applicants.  It admitted 240 of them, of which 128 students enrolled. According to the department’s FAQ page, the average GPA of the applicants was 3.5. That of admittees was 3.7. Meanwhile, the average GRE percentiles for these graduate programs at the computer engineering school were: 

  • Domestic applicants: V: 74; Q: 85; AW: 58
  • Domestic admittees: V: 83; Q: 91; AW: 71
  • International applicants: V: 62; Q: 92; AW: 36
  • International admittees: V: 72; Q:96; AW: 52

UCLA’s computer science program attracts many international applicants. The demographics for the MS computer science program show that 41% of MS students hold Chinese citizenship. 25% come from India. The remaining students cat the University of California computer science programs come from the United States or another country. 

This is one of the best computer engineering programs around. 

The University of California operates many exciting research labs. It is ranked No. 13 in Computer Science by U.S. News & World Report. UCLA itself was ranked as the No. 2 Public University in the United States in the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities! Its graduate programs are some of the best. 

OTHER NOTABLE GRADUATE PROGRAMS

#11. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania‎

Carnegie Mellon University Degree: M.S. in Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University Net Price: $30,847

Website          

#12. Texas A&M University College Station

Texas A&M University Location: College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University Degree: Master’s in Computer Engineering

Texas A&M University Net Price: $19,118

Website

#13. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Degree: Master of Science in Engineering in Computer & Information Science (CIS/MSE)

University of Pennsylvania Net Price: $26,266

Website

#14. University of California, ​Irvine

University of California, ​Irvine Location: Irvine, California

University of California, ​Irvine Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

University of California, ​Irvine Net Price: $15,014

Website

#15. University of Washington

University of Washington Location: Seattle, Washington

University of Washington Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

University of Washington Net Price: $9,765

Website

#16. The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University Location: Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio State University Degree: MS in Computer Science and Engineering

The Ohio State University Net Price: $18,694

Website   

#17. University of Virginia

University of Virginia Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

University of Virginia Degree: MS Computer Engineering

University of Virginia Net Price: $17,845

Website

#18. University of Southern California

University of Southern California Location: Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

University of Southern California Net Price: $36,161

Website      

#19. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Degree: Master of Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Net Price: $18,971

Website

#20. University of Michigan Ann Arbor

University of Michigan Ann Arbor Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan Ann Arbor Degree: MS EECS

University of Michigan Ann Arbor Net Price: $16,856

Website

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING & BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

is an online masters degree respected

Many students see the appeal of pursuing an online degree program.

These programs are more convenient than their face to face counterparts. Just see our list of the 50 Fastest Online Master’s Degree Programs for proof!

But students worry if their decision will affect their employment. Online programs vary in quality and reputation. Yet the same isn’t always true for face to face colleges.

The key to success in the professional world is choosing the right school. This should be a school that will give you the valuable experience you need to do the job you want to do.

So are online masters degrees respected? Let’s take a closer look.

Are Online Masters Respected? The Future is Now!

Are Online Masters Respected?Online learning is nothing new. In 2011, about 6.7 million people took at least one online class. That’s a third of all college students!

But is an online master’s degree respected?

Many traditional residential colleges now have online courses. About a third of them offer full degree programs via the Internet. As online degrees grow more common, employers are forced to embrace them. They are realizing that distance learning can be just as effective as sitting in a classroom. See our list of the Top Paying Master’s Degree Programs to learn more!

Are online graduate degrees respected? That depends. Some employers are behind the times. They do not understand distance learning.

The good news? There is no need to point out that you completed your degree online when applying for jobs. That said, should the issue come up during an interview, you should be honest about why an online option was the best decision for you. The quality and reputation of the school is more important than whether you attended physical classes or not.

Choosing a Reputable Online Master’s Degree Program

Choosing a Reputable Online Master's Degree ProgramThe most important factor in choosing an online degree is to make sure it is coming from an accredited college. Research their relationship with the Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Schools with regional accreditation are often better respected. That’s over  those with just national accreditation. Some universities do not recognize degrees and credits from colleges that are just nationally accredited. Consider that fact if you plan to pursue a doctoral degree later on.

Types of Online Degrees and Programs

Earning an online master has become much more popular. Prospective students seek the flexibility and convenience that distance learning can provide.

There are a variety of online degrees and programs available. Each online learning experience caters to students with a wide range of interests and career goals.

For example, those interested in pursuing a career in human resource management may opt for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This could be in business administration with a concentration in HR.

Those interested in a more creative field may choose to study for an online program in graphic design or web development. No matter what your goals, there is a degree online that can help you achieve them.

Employers respect online instruction just as much as traditional learning. Now is the perfect time to pursue your education from home.

How Does an Online Degree Look on a Resume?

How Does an Online Degree Look on a Resume?An online degree can look good on a resume, depending on the hiring practices. Some potential employers might not think an online degree is as credible as a degree earned from attending a brick-and-mortar institution. Many credible schools, including Indiana University, Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global, and more all offer online degree programs.

However,  employers are starting to see the value in online degrees as they become more and more common.

When it comes time to apply for jobs, having an online degree can be a huge part of getting your foot in the door with a potential employer. In many cases, an online degree can give you the same level of education and training as a traditional degree, making it a strong addition to your resume.

How Credible is an Online Master’s Degree?

Are online masters degrees credible?

The online education landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years.

So are online masters programs respected?

Generally speaking, an online degree is just as credible as a traditional degree. The key is to make sure that you choose an accredited online program from an accredited institution.

Of course, there are some advantages and disadvantages to getting an online master’s degree. One thing important to note is that you can study at your own pace and in your own time. This can be a great option for adults working full time who want to go back to school but can’t commit to attending classes full-time in a traditional classroom.

On the downside, you may miss out on some of the social aspects of traditional degrees. These include interacting with professors and other students in person.

Do People Look Down on Online Master’s?

There has been a recent boom in graduate students seeking online master’s degrees.

This is largely due to the flexibility and convenience that online programs offer.

However, there is a perception among some that online master’s degrees are not as respected as their traditional counterparts.

This could not be further from the truth. In reality, hiring practices have evolved. They now keep pace with the increasing popularity of online master’s degrees.

Many employers now place equal value on online and traditional degrees. In fact, some employers even prefer candidates with online degrees. They often have more experience working remotely and are comfortable with new technologies.

What Do Employers Think About Online Degrees?

Research shows that some employers view schools that are 100% virtual as “less rigorous.” This perception doesn’t always reflect reality. Most online students complete classes at the highest level possible, even compared to college graduates at a physical campus. This misconception of online degree holders may soon change.

Are online degrees respected? Let’s look at what the data says to see the level at which online master’s degrees respected.

A recent meta-analysis of multiple studies compared learning outcomes. These were from face-to-face classes with those from online classes had interesting results. It found that online students had a better understanding of class material at the end of online courses.

The report issued by the Department of Education attributed online learners’ better performances to a few specific traits:

  • Excellent time management
  • Self-motivation
  • Superior online communication skills.

Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

So are online universities respected? And is an online master’s degree worth it? Most online students and most employers would say yes. Even U.S. News & World Report says that these degree programs offer the highest level of education.

Some studies suggest that online programs are more difficult. That’s because they need more discipline. Most jobs use the Internet now. Mastering telecommunication is also a valuable skill. It can increase your value on the job market.

[Check out our ranking of the best Online Graduate Programs.]

Is an online masters respected? Yes, but be careful when you start looking at online offerings compared to traditional on campus degree programs.

Be wary of “diploma mills.” These schools claim to issue master’s degrees based just on work experience. Some companies will send you a certificate that looks like a real diploma. This is often in exchange for your faxed resume and a large sum of money. Many don’t offer the highest level of education for these master’s programs earned online.

Some reputable colleges award limited course credit based on professional experience. A legitimate degree always has classwork.

So is an online degree respected? It all comes down to which program and school you choose.

If you choose a program that challenges you and prepares you to thrive in your field, employers will see that. They will not be so concerned with how you got your degree.

See our list of the 50 Most Popular Master’s Degree Programs.

Online Learning vs. Traditional Master’s Degree Statistics

According to a recent study, more and more students are choosing to earn their degrees online.

In fact, over six million students were taking at least one online course in 2017, an increase of almost three million from just five years earlier.

Many online programs offer courses at the same level as those offered at brick-and-mortar schools. These include graduate-level courses. With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that online education is on the rise.

How to Market Your Online Education to Employers

How to Market Your Online Education to EmployersThe highest level education (master’s degree) has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people have realized the benefits of online learning. While many employers are still hesitant to hire candidates with an online degree, the tide is gradually turning in favor of these programs. Here are a few ways to market your online education to potential employers.

First, be sure to list your online master’s degree and programs on your resume. Many hiring managers are now familiar with the concept of online learning, and will give your application extra consideration if they see that you have pursued this type of education.

Second, highlight the skills that you have acquired through your online degree programs. A prospective employer will value the self-discipline and time-management skills that are necessary for successful online learning. Be sure to emphasize these skills in both your resume and cover letter.

Finally, take advantage of the many networking opportunities available through online education forums and social media platforms. These platforms can be a great way to connect with potential employers and learn about new job openings. By using these tools effectively, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Are Online Universities Respected?

Let’s recap. Are online colleges respected? And more importantly, is an online masters degree respected by an employer?

Yes. Advanced degrees completed online have just the same value as if you were to attend class in person. Just look for one that’s verified by one of the many accrediting agencies out there and backed up by U.S. News & World Report’s highest level higher education rankings.

An online master’s degree worth is just as high as degrees earned on campus. Start the search today and earn a degree at your own convenience!

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Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

What Employers Think of Your Online MBA

is an online mba worth itImage source

Graduates of online MBA degree programs are on to something smart. With starting salaries for Master of Business Administration degree recipients at six figures and continuing to grow, there’s no denying that if financial security is one of your top goals, an MBA degree is a must. Despite all the benefits of choosing one of the best online MBA programs for a distance education, some seekers may experience some hesitation when picking an online school. This hesitation most likely stems from uncertainty about what future employers might think of an online MBA degree. Rest assured, if you look over our list of the best MBA programs online, you will find a multitude of respected, reputable schools that will impress any potential employer you encounter.

What the Employers are Saying

Even though all degrees from online MBA programs simply state that the degree was received from their institution and not an online version of the program, you may need to be prepared to discuss your decision to study through a distance learning program as opposed to a more traditional on-campus program. Regardless, most employers admit that as long as the program itself is of high quality it shouldn’t be a deterrent that the degree was earned online. Most employers also are well aware of the online learning trend, and as long as the business schools are reputable, have a physical campus, and have appropriate accreditation through The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), employers seem to be more concerned with what you can do for their company than how you completed your MBA degree program’s coursework. And as more and more well-known and respected schools are offering online MBA degrees, any hesitation a potential employer may have should be short-lived.

In addition, having an online MBA degree might actually be a draw for some employers. Completing coursework online proves that a graduate is technologically savvy, because obviously one would have to understand how to navigate online in order to be able to complete the online program requirements. Online learning also showcases that a student is self-motivated, driven and has good time-management skills, especially if the degree was earned while still working full-time.

See Also: Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

Pick the Right School

So to sum up, if you are ready to take the next step towards your online MBA degree, make sure you pick a quality school with a good reputation, a physical campus, and AACSB accreditation. We’ve compiled a ranking of the 50 best online MBA degree programs, and they are all AACSB-accredited. Check out our list to find the school that will help you not only land that big interview, but also excel during it!

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Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Master’s Online Programs

After having earned that bachelor’s degree and made the decision to go back to school for a master’s degree, you’re likely feeling motivated and excited to get back to school. However, you may soon realize it won’t be as easy as it used to be. The thought of trying to go back to school on campus while managing a hectic work schedule can lead to nightmares and make anyone wonder if they can pull it off. Are there even classes that will be offered when you aren’t working, or will they all conflict with your personal responsibilities, which are a big part of your life? You may begin to feel stressed out thinking this was a bad idea, that is, until you realize that you can study for a degree online. That allows you the luxury of hardly having to set foot on a campus at all, if at all, and completing all your coursework from the luxury of your own couch. 

Studying for a graduate degree online has become the new way to go to school, and it’s made things much easier for the average student. It allows students to work at their own pace and study when they want to, not necessarily study when they have to. Of course, some classes may require meeting with professors at certain times and taking part in virtual lessons and sessions, but for the most part, students have the freedom to work when they choose. This saves them a lot of stress and can make learning more enjoyable and relaxing. This new way of learning has changed schooling forever and plays a big role in why so many more students today are trying to earning a master’s degree. According to the latest U.S. Census data, more than 21 million people in the U.S. hold a master’s degree. That’s 21% of the adult population (25 years or older) and a 22% increase from 2000. In 1970, just 200,000 Americans held a master’s degree. Today, master’s degrees are just as common as bachelor’s degrees were in the 1960s. With more corporations requiring graduate degrees as part of the hiring process, and given the fact that students can earn the degree in a much more convenient way online, the numbers are increasing by the year. 

Studying at one of the 10 Best Master’s Degree Online programs listed below can give you a big edge over other candidates in the job market. You will receive great knowledge from experienced and highly respected professors who can share their skills with you and let you know what to expect of the future. Earning a graduate degree can no doubt be stressful, but hey, nothing in life comes easy. You need to put in the hard work to reap the benefits. Most programs on our list allow students to complete their program in just one or two years, depending on the pace of enrollment, and with online schooling, that really is the truth – studying is at each student’s own pace. Studying for a couple of years, despite the rigorous coursework, is a small sacrifice for the big rewards that await after earning the degree. 

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

Once you’ve decided to go online to study for a master’s degree and take your career to the next level, you’ll need to decide what to study and where to study. Many of the programs on our list will give you the chance to study at one of the best online MBA, engineering, or computer science programs in the world, where graduates’ annual salaries are very lucrative. But what are you passionate about? You’ll want to study something that you have a particular interest in, to make the process more meaningful for you. If you love working with technology, doing something in computer science could be a great career to consider. If you enjoy working with children and educating them, there are online master’s programs out there for education and educational leadership. Even teachers with a master’s degree receive a bigger paycheck than those with only a bachelor’s.

After you’ve decided what you want to get your degree in, and which school you want to apply to, the next step is contacting the admissions office or going to the school’s application requirements web page to see what prerequisites are needed prior to applying. For many degrees, certain courses are specified before a student is eligible to begin the program. Along with an application, many universities require the submission of transcripts, resumes, an essay that showcases your writing ability and usually involves an anecdote, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose that details your future ambitions and why you want to pursue a master’s degree. When writing this essay, it’s important to stand out and to make it more of a story, not just a statement. Make the essay engaging and personable. Make it anecdotal, containing a story that will intrigue the reader and make you more likely to be seen in a positive light. Also, be sure to describe why you would be an asset to the university. Showcase yourself and make the university believe they are gaining someone who will do whatever it takes to make a positive difference in society. Admissions officers want to see human interest and passion in your writing.

Once you begin your studies, you have to understand the coursework will be rigorous, and you will need to devote a lot of time to your studies. Classes at the graduate level are more challenging than those at the undergraduate level, but since you are studying your passion, they will be extremely rewarding and allow you to engage more with the content given to you. Motivation is important and something you can never lose while in graduate school. Most online programs have accelerated programs that allow students to earn a master’s degree in one to two years, but they also have more flexible programs where students can go slower and take up to five or six years to complete all the courses required, if needed. It all depends on your out-of-school schedule and how much you can fit in. The great thing about studying online is that you can learn whenever you want during the day and during the week, so long as you meet the deadlines required of you. 

See Also: Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

The average master’s program requires 32 to 36 credit hours, according to U.S. News & World Report. Some programs require less, though there are some more rigorous programs that require up to 60 semester hours to complete the degree. Within the major itself, you will take classes that focus specifically on the emphasis or concentration you choose, as well as other courses that focus on the principles of the major, ones you will need in the working world. You will also have opportunities to pursue elective courses that focus on what you want to do in the future. You’ll also likely apply for internships and complete practicums that will give you extra hands-on practice in the field. Internships are great because they provide students with invaluable opportunities to make contacts in the field and accumulate work experience that will help showcase expertise on a resume. By gaining contacts and references, you open yourself up for both the job and the future you want.

Another part of many online graduate programs is a thesis, which is typically a 6-credit hour project. However, some programs allow students to opt out of the thesis and complete a non-thesis track. These often call upon students to complete a comprehensive examination instead. Most online courses also offer virtual seminars and workshops for students to take part in while they study.

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?

All universities understand the struggles of trying to pay for an education. It’s not cheap. According to GetEducated.com, $8,000 per year is on the low end for the cost of a master’s degree, while many top programs cost more than $20,000. Many people work full-time just to stay above water, and the thought of a graduate education may be overwhelming to their bank accounts. If this describes you, be sure to look into financial aid. Apply for it, and depending on your financial status, there’s a chance the university will help pay for your education. 

If you already have a job in your chosen field, ask your company about any tuition assistance programs that may be available to you. Many employers provide assistance for employees who want to attend graduate school, if they see true potential in them for the future. According to U.S. News & World Report, one of its Top Five Strategies to Finance a Master’s Degree is approaching one’s current employer for help in paying for the degree. Many employers are willing to help pay tuition, so long as the degree will benefit the employee and the firm in the long run.

Scholarships are also something you will want to look into. If you have outstanding grades from your undergraduate studies, see if you can apply for a scholarship for the major you wish to study in graduate school. There are lots of scholarships out there, and they can help cover many of the costs you’ll face. According to Top10OnlineColleges.com, the best scholarship for a master’s degree is the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation Graduate Scholarship, which offers full-time students $2,500 annually. All you need to apply are a 3.0 GPA, community service involvement, and three strong letters of recommendation. 

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE? 

Jobs that require a master’s degree are the fastest-growing segment of the economy for workers at all levels, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the next 10 years, entry-level jobs requiring a master’s degree are expected to grow by 17%. That number is expected to continue to rise. Thirty years from now, we could be talking about doctorate degrees instead of master’s degrees as essential for obtaining a good position with a company.

One major reason why there has been such an increase in graduate students is the increase in the resulting salaries. According to U.S. News & World Report, more than 70% of those who have decided to pursue a master’s degree have done so because of the potential increase in pay. After all, who doesn’t want a better life with a bigger paycheck? According to The National Association of Colleges and Employers, employees who have an MBA make $27,000 per year more than in their starting salary than those who have just a bachelor’s degree. Other majors and professions have different numbers, of course, but for the most part, almost all majors and professions pay employees with a master’s degree more than those who hold only a bachelor’s degree. According to Monster.com, the most well-paid professions for people with a master’s degree are nurse anesthesia CRNA, at $156,000 per year; telecommunications engineer, at $141,000 per year; and financer and senior financial analyst, at $134,000 per year. Those salaries are only expected to rise in the coming years. The median salary for someone with a master’s degree is just shy of $70,000 per year, according to GetEducated.com. That’s a $20,000 increase compared to 20 years ago.

It’s time to take the plunge, but unlike the old days, the plunge is now quite convenient. Technology has given students the opportunity to study and earn a degree on their own time and at their own place. It just takes a little ambition, aggressiveness, and confidence to get to that next level and have you an edge in the world. By studying for a master’s degree, students sacrifice just a short amount of time to set themselves up for a future of high aspirations and more rewarding paychecks. Always think of the future and how good life will be once you have met your educational goals. Below, we present the top 10 best online master’s degree schools to consider. We provide you with some information on the top degrees each school offers and some of the major benefits of attending the university, whether you live near the campus or opt for its distance education program. Hopefully, one of the schools below matches your interests and starts you on the path to pursuing your master’s degree.

Check out our ranking of the 10 Best Master’s Online Programs!

#1. CAPITOL TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

Located just eight miles northeast of Washington, D.C., Capitol Technology University offers 12 online graduate programs that integrate scientific theory with hands-on experience. CTU ranks No. 15 for Best Engineering Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students have the opportunity to study for Master of Science degrees in Aviation, Aviation Cybersecurity, Computer Science, Construction Safety, Cyber Analytics, Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure, Engineering Technology, and Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Policy and Risk Management. Also offered are Master of Business degrees in Business Administration, Administration Cybersecurity, and Business Analytics and Data Science. All students need is an internet connection and the ability to communicate with professors, download coursework, and upload assignments. CTU strives to provide high-quality academic programs that are industry-focused and responsive to emerging needs. All programs also provide virtual labs and a state-of-the-art delivery platform that allows students to be interactive in their classes, both online and through hands-on work, to maximize their potential. Students work with faculty mentors on capstone projects that demonstrate their mastery of the curriculum. All programs require between 30 and 60 credits, with most being on the lower end of that scale, and they include research projects. Students can also choose to pursue internships that may count toward certain programs’ course credits. These master’s degrees can be completed in as little as 18 months on a full-time schedule, or students may take up to six years, if on a part-time schedule. On an accelerated schedule, students complete courses in 8 weeks, whereas the regular schedule requires 16 weeks to complete each course.

Applications are submitted directly through CTU’s website. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit all official transcripts. For all other documentation needed, contact the school’s admissions office for details. CTU’s motto is to “Learn. Build. Succeed.” It stresses that every job in 2019 is a technology job, and the university works hard to integrate technology into its coursework as much as possible, so students stay on top of current tech trends. Living near or on the CTU campus has its advantages. Given its short distance from Washington, D.C., there are plenty of job and internship opportunities nearby where students can get extra hands-on practice. The on-campus Student Success Center employs peers and scholarly experts to assist students with any problems they may encounter with their online coursework. Holding a degree from CTU gives students a great advantage over the general population, in terms of educational technology, and sets them up to secure a promising position with a beneficial annual salary.

#2. MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

When it comes to online schooling in engineering and computing, there are not many that can top the Missouri University of Science and Technology. MUST’s engineering program ranks No. 2 on the list of Top Engineering Programs for Non-traditional Students, according to College Factual. It also ranks No. 15 on the list of Public Colleges with the Highest-Earning Graduates, according to Forbes. Students can earn a master’s degree without having to meet any residency requirements, meaning they can study from anywhere in the world, even in the middle of the night, if they want. MUST offers regular webinars on its website for all those interested in learning more about the school’s online programs and online education itself. It has 15 nationally ranked graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Some of the graduate programs MUST offers online include Engineering, Business Administration, Computer Engineering, Technical Communications, Geotechnics, Psychology, Explosives Technology, and Computer Science. The faculty is flexible when it comes to coursework, as they know that most students work full-time, and they are willing to arrange in advance specific times to hold live sessions or conferences with students during the semester. Students have up to six years to complete a graduate degree once enrolled; most students take one to two classes per semester, which gives them an average completion time of three to four years. Transcripts and diplomas for online students are identical to those who attend classes on campus. In addition to MUST’s 17 master’s degree programs, there are more than 50 graduate certificate programs available. A majority of MUST’s online students are adult learners over the age of 22 looking to enhance their professional careers.

All master’s degree applicants must submit an application, along with official transcripts, a statement of purpose, GRE or GMAT test scores, three letters of recommendation, and a professional resume. Applicants should also hold a bachelor’s degree from either MUST or another regionally accredited institution. MUST has over 8,000 students and was recently ranked by Newsweek as one of the country’s Best Investments among public universities. As part of its mission, MUST strives to integrate education, research, and application in an effort to create and convey knowledge that can serve others and help solve the world’s greatest challenges. The campus, in Rolla, MO, is just one hour away from downtown St. Louis, where the Stanley Cup champion Blues play. For students who live on or near campus, there are many great student life opportunities to take advantage of, including more than 200 student organizations, such as a running club; a Call of Duty Club; and a Food Club, for those who like to eat at different restaurants. MUST also operates a student recreation center with a gym and has opportunities to get involved in intramural and club sports. Some of the more prominent MUST graduates include engineer and astronaut Sandra Magnus, astronaut Thomas Akers, physicist Clyde Cowan, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 

#3. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

Located just a few miles from downtown San Francisco, the University of California, Berkeley is the home of the Free Speech Movement, which started in 1964 and played a big role in the American protests during the Vietnam War. One of the most well-respected universities in the nation, UC Berkeley offers a variety of degrees that students can study online to receive a master’s degree. UC Berkeley ranks No. 1 on the list of Top Public Schools Worldwide, according to U.S. News & World Report. It also ranks in the top 10 for its graduate programs in Business, Engineering, History, Law School, Chemistry, Physics, Clinical Psychology, Public Health, Social Work, Statistics, Public Affairs, Mathematics, and Earth Sciences. Also ranked at No. 1 are its graduate programs in Psychology, English, Economics, Computer Science, Sociology, and Biological Sciences. The UC Berkeley Extension is the name of the online school that students enroll with before beginning coursework. Overall, UC Berkeley has more than 100 graduate programs to choose from, and its Public Health degree is offered 100% online. For information on other master’s degrees that are offered completely online, contact the university. In all programs, at least part, if not all, of the curriculum can be completed through the UC Berkeley Extension. Berkeley’s top professors teach its online courses; the school is home to 20 Nobel Prize winners, 30 National Medal of Science recipients, and 250 professors who are also the founders of their own companies. It has a number of multidisciplinary labs, research centers, museums, and institutes all located on campus.

To begin the admissions process, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA to be eligible for consideration. All programs require additional documentation, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT test scores, and a personal statement. In addition to the ability to gain an education online from one of the world’s top universities, there are also many other reasons to love Berkeley. School spirit is always present, especially at football games, which see sellouts at every home game. Students who live near or on campus can check out 4.0 Hill. If you have a 4.0 GPA, you can roll down the hill with other outstanding achieving students. Berkeley also is home to the third-largest bell and clock tower in the world, the Campanile. The campus offers beautiful views; at 1,200 feet above sea level, it’s possible to glimpse San Francisco in the distance, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Ninety-two countries are represented among UC Berkeley’s student body, including students from all 50 states. According to its website, 95% of graduates say they would choose Berkeley again if they had a chance to choose their top school. Famous alumni include soccer player Alex Morgan, inventor and engineer Steve Wozniak, former California governor Jerry Brown, and actress Ashley Judd.

#4. SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

As part of its mission, San Jose State University has the goal of enriching its students with knowledge and helping them to use the skills they’ve learned to make a positive difference with service to society. By studying with SJSU’s online eCampus, students can enjoy a high-quality education from their own home and not have to worry about rushing to classes and trying to adjust work schedules to coincide with class schedules. SJSU ranks No. 7 on the list of Top Public Schools and No. 10 on the list of Most Innovative Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. It offers several hybrid master’s degrees that can be completed 100% online; among them are a Master of Arts in Music Education, a Master of Science in Medical Product Development Management, a Master of Public Health, a Master of Science in Software Engineering, and a Master of Social Work. Most all of the master’s degrees can be completed in two years and offer a fast-paced program to obtain a degree in a short amount of time. Some of the learning tools that are used in the eCampus online coursework include Canvas, Adobe CC, Zoom, iClicker, Qualtrics, ProctorU, Studio, and Portfolium. Faculty expect students to have software that can support video and web conferencing (Zoom) as well as virtual and augmented reality education, which is part of the newest technology being used in online learning. Professors occasionally hold live sessions with students, in addition to uploading lectures and lessons, all of which students must be able to access.

To gain admission for graduate studies at SJSU, applicants follow a two-step application process. First, they must apply to the university itself, and then they must apply to the specific graduate school of interest. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and be in good academic standing. Contact the graduate school you are interested in to find out which additional documents must be submitted. Deadlines are listed on the university’s website in the admissions section. Students near the campus in San Jose, CA can take part in any of the more than 450 student organizations that the school offers. SJSU is also just a short distance from Campus Village, a student-centered community within walking distance of downtown San Jose and a number of shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to hang out and work online. San Jose is also within easy driving distance of San Francisco and relatively near the Pacific Ocean. SJSU is a highly diverse campus, with a majority of students being from international, ethnic, and/or minority backgrounds. SJSU has many familiar names among its alumni, including writer Amy Tan, singer Stevie Nicks, four-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Walsh, and software developer Ed Oates. 

#5. ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE

ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

There are 493 classrooms spread across the Arizona State University’s campuses, but by studying for an MBA online, you can take courses in the “494th classroom,” your own home. ASU’s online MBA is one of 80 available graduate programs. ASU ranks No. 6 in the nation for Best Online MBA Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is also ranked No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools, as it uses technology as an asset and a growth point in coursework. The 24-month program includes 17 courses and 49 semester credits; each class is 7.5 weeks long. The award-winning faculty at ASU makes a point of conveying leadership skills and improving students’ knowledge of advanced business strategies. Students also learn cutting-edge techniques and methods for strategic management and operational functions. The program includes emphases in finance, international business, marketing, and supply chain management. Courses that make up this online program include Statistics for Managers, Operations and Supply Management, Financial Performance Reporting, Ethical Issues for Managers, and a Strategic Management Capstone. Among the faculty teaching these online courses are one Nobel laureate and several National Academy of Science members. With an MBA, students can set themselves up for a career as a chief executive, financial manager, marketing manager, or business operations manager. According to ASU’s website, most graduates in the major move on to careers in technology, financial services, manufacturing, marketing/sales, and health care products and services. 

All applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit all relevant documentation, along with an application, which includes official transcripts, GRE or GMAT test scores, a current resume, professional references, a personal statement, and short-answer questions from the application. For students who live near or on the campus and wish to be a part of the ASU community while they study, there are more than 1,100 clubs and organizations to join and be a part of. When students want a break from studying at home, ASU has seven on-campus libraries with 275 research databases. The school is within driving distance of Arizona’s capital city, Phoenix, where students can take part in a number of activities and enjoy many night-life social spots. The area is home to four major professional sports teams, and ASU’s football team is a regular Pac-12 contender. Some of ASU’s graduates are comedian Jimmy Kimmel, NBA star James Harden, golfer Phil Mickelson, and Hall of Fame baseball player Reggie Jackson. With its mission of being innovative and creating the next generation of leaders, ASU is one of the best schools to attend online for an MBA.

#6. NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

North Carolina State University was founded with the purpose of providing students a liberal and practical education while focusing on military tactics/science, agriculture, and the mechanical arts. With the growth of technology and the rise of business, it has put a new emphasis on business administration and training students to become leaders of industry. With an Online MBA from NCSU, students can study at their own pace and take control of their futures. NCSU’s MBA Online Program is ranked No. 9 in the nation, according to The Princeton Review. The university is also ranked No. 6 on the list of Best Value Among Public Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Taught by award-winning faculty, students can opt to take the Accelerated Program, if they want to finish their studies in as few as 21 months, or they can choose the Flexible Program, a part-time degree pathway that allows up to six years to complete all requirements. Programs can be started in the fall or spring, and work can be completed where students are most comfortable, at home, on campus, on the beach somewhere, even in another country! There are two 3-day residencies required on campus in Raleigh, but outside of those, all learning can be completed from a distance. As part of the 40-credit curriculum, students complete a combination of core, elective, and practicum courses. They must also meet the proper technological requirements for online coursework, which includes having the ability to meet face-to-face online with instructors during parts of each class. Lectures are mixed with virtual simulations and team-based projects.

To be eligible for admission, applicants need to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and provide NCSU with official transcripts, GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. As part of the prerequisites, applicants must also have completed one course in statistics with a grade of “C” or higher and have at least two years of full-time employment. Forty-seven full-time MBA students were recently admitted with an average GRE score of 318.5 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.35. The MBA has a large focus on technology, business processes, and practical applications. The school, whose teams are known as The Wolfpack, has a campus with many clubs and athletic opportunities. Football and basketball are the most popular sports on campus. Raleigh, NC is ranked No. 13 among the Best Places To Live, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school has many famous alumni, such as NFL quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Phillip Rivers, country singer Scotty McCreery, and famous composer John Tesh. NCSU strives to push its students and faculty to think and do the extraordinary every day. Students who earn an online MBA from NC State are ready to take the next step to become a leader in the business world. 

#7. VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

Founded in 1842, Villanova University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in America and one of the most highly respected. VU’s Online School of Business ranks No. 2 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, and its Online MBA Program ranks No. 13. With technology revolutionizing America, Villanova has revolutionized the way business education can be delivered to students. It provides its online students the same rigorous and quality curriculum taught by the same expert faculty that serves its on-campus students. Villanova makes online learning flexible and convenient by allowing students to continue working, so they can come home at night, open their laptops, and attend class from their own couch. The program is interactive and includes a lot of hands-on lessons. The six-semester program can be completed in two years, with a full-time schedule, and requires the completion of 48 semester credits. The program is considered rigorous and is taught by business professionals, many of whom work in the industry and teach part-time. The MBA includes the option to choose a specialization in Finance, Marketing, Strategic Management, Analytics, or International Business. The fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long, while the summer is slightly shorter, at 14 weeks. MBA students also have the opportunity to travel abroad for credit; according to Villanova’s website, 60% of MBA students travel globally with the program. Also of note is that typical Villanova students report a 25% increase in their salary after earning an MBA. With this degree, students can pursue leadership positions that give them more control over their firm’s actions and a higher annual salary. 

In addition to submitting the online application, interested applicants should provide an updated resume and official transcripts from all previous institutions. The admissions office also requires two essays, two letters of recommendation from either professional or academic sources, and GRE scores. All international applicants must provide TOEFL scores and complete an interview with the university. Villanova has been ranked No. 3 for Best Economic Value by The Economist. Villanova has 36 honors societies and 44 clubs and intramural sports leagues. It also provides over 249,000 hours of community service available for students. The campus also has award-winning dining services and an abundance of coffee shops. In athletics, Villanova is known for its men’s college basketball team, which has won two national championships since 2015 and sells out every home game. Among Villanova’s most prominent alumni are former football player Howie Long, actor Bradley Cooper, former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, and country singer Toby Keith. Villanova is only 12 miles from downtown Philadelphia, where students can watch Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers games all throughout the year. As part of its mission statement, Villanova welcomes students of all faiths who are committed to excellence and motivated to intellectual growth. 

#8. AUBURN UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

Auburn University, located in Alabama, is one of the most popular schools in the Southeast, with over 100 countries represented in its student body and more than 400 on-campus student organizations. With an online MBA, students can study at a school ranked No. 9 among the Best Online MBA Programs in the Country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Auburn’s MBA program gives students the competitive edge they need to succeed in what has become an increasingly competitive business environment. Using the online system Canvas, students can easily navigate through modules, submit lessons and homework, communicate with their professors and classmates, and access all course materials from the luxury of their own homes. The online MBA program requires the completion of nine core courses and four electives. The degree takes an average of two years to complete, although by studying online, students can work at their own pace and take courses on either a full- or part-time basis. Some of the courses online MBA students take include Financial Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Organizational Leadership and Change, Marketing and Consumer Theory, Cost Analysis and Systems, Integrated Business Project and Case Analysis, and Operations Excellence. Along with an MBA, students can pursue a dual Master of Science degree in Information Systems, Finance, or Industrial and Systems Engineering. Students can also choose a concentration in Finance or Information Systems. After earning the degree, students can join one of Auburn’s 93 alumni clubs, which are spread throughout the nation and represent more than 250,000 graduates. 

The admissions process for the online MBA program includes the submission of GRE scores, along with official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions, an updated professional resume, and three letters of recommendation from past professors and supervisors who can speak to the applicant’s character. Each fall and spring semester, the Harbert College of Business MBA program admits between 40 and 50 new students to its online graduate cohort. Students who choose to study online but near the campus will find there are many benefits associated with being an Auburn Tiger. Auburn has been the sixth-fastest growing city in the U.S. since 2010 and, according to the Princeton Review, has the fourth-best quality of on-campus life. With a college football team that is considered one of the best in the nation each season and a men’s college basketball team that went to the Final Four in 2019, the university gives its students a lot to take pride in and be excited about. Some of the school’s most famous alumni are former athletes Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson, astronauts Jan Davis and Ken Mattingly, singers Lionel Richie and Jimmy Buffett, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. With an online MBA from Auburn, you will be a Tiger for life, and the sky’s the limit for what you can accomplish! 

#9. TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

Founded in 1876, Texas A&M University, in College Station, TX, is the state’s oldest higher education institution and is well-known for its student organizations, particularly the Corp of Cadets, which is a part of the university’s famous ROTC program. Its online master’s degree programs offer the same level of education as their on-campus counterparts and provide working students the chance to study at their own pace and receive an education from one of the nation’s top-ranked schools. Through Texas A&M’s distance education programs, students can earn a degree without having to relocate or attend classes on campus throughout the week. In 2018 Texas A&M was ranked No. 18 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of Top Public Universities. The university also ranks No. 7 among the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Master of Engineering Program is the school’s most popular online program, with 10 online master’s degrees, in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Technical Management, Safety Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Subsea Engineering, Engineering Systems Management, Industrial Distribution, and Petroleum Engineering. Programs offered online will provide students with all the relevant software tools they need to navigate through the coursework. Students also have access to class lecture notes; virtual networking, should they need to meet with professors or classmates in private sessions; and qualified teaching assistants who offer assistance when needed. Courses are taught by well-trained and experienced faculty who provide students with rigorous coursework to maximize their potential learning and prepare them for the working world following graduation.

In addition to engineering, Texas A&M offers distance degrees in Geosciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Education and Human Development, Government and Public Service, Nursing, Medicine, Science, and Law. All schools that offer master’s programs require official transcripts and GRE scores; some mandate additional documentation, depending on the degree being sought. It’s best to contact a Texas A&M admissions counselor to confirm all admissions application details before applying. For those who study online near or on campus, Texas A&M offers great student life opportunities. The school’s participation in the Southeastern Conference means football is a big deal, and attending a football game at Kyle Field is one of the most exciting atmospheres in college sports. The crowd is known as the “12th man” because of its ability and tradition of helping the football team get the energy it needs to win. Texas A&M’s mission is to provide students with the discovery, development, communication, and application of knowledge in a variety of professional and academic fields. Some of the nation’s most famous figures hold degrees from Texas A&M, including American Idol’s Jason Castro, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett, and engineer and astronaut Steven Swanson. With an education from Texas A&M University, students walk away with a degree from one of the nation’s top universities and are well on their way to a successful future.  

#10. GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

ONLINE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM

If you want to be a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech, you can be a heck of an engineer… or definitely something else. Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia Tech has graduated notables such as former President Jimmy Carter, pro golfer Bobby Jones, entrepreneur Dean Kamen, and astronaut William McArthur. Earning an online master’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most rewarding achievements in academia. Georgia Tech ranks in the top 10 in many categories. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is No. 4 on the list of Most Innovative Schools, No. 5 on the list of Top Public Schools, and No. 5 for Co-Ops and Internships. As far as its programs go, it ranks No. 7 among Best Graduate Programs in Engineering, No. 8 among the Best Graduate Programs in Computer Science, and No. 8 among the Best Graduate Programs in Information Systems, according to U.S. News & World Report. Almost all of its engineering concentrations rank in the top 10, and the school is well-known for having one of the best, if not the best, engineering schools and faculty in the nation. By studying at Georgia Tech online, students reap the benefits of its rigorous and high-quality coursework, are taught by world-class faculty, and get to learn using the latest state-of-the-art technology using media-rich and digital learning tools that many other universities don’t yet have. Those in the area may enjoy the school’s traditionally strong football and basketball teams, and the campus is just a few miles from the stadiums and arenas for the Falcons, Hawks, FC United, and Braves, Atlanta’s professional sports teams.

Georgia Tech offers 10 Master of Science degrees that can be earned fully online; all are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. More than 6,000 students are enrolled in master’s programs at Georgia Tech, and engineering programs have the highest enrollment rates. The six colleges in which students can enroll and explore a graduate degree include Business, Design, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Design. To apply, the university requires students to submit an application along with letters of recommendation, a strong and detailed resume, a personal statement, and an essay. Details on which programs require GRE scores are available from the admissions office’s website. As part of its mission statement, Georgia Tech acknowledges its goal of being a leader in technology and its focus on “Progress and Service” through effectiveness and innovation in teaching and learning. Though studying online, most graduate programs either encourage or require students to get hands-on work in their courses and to work in internships to enhance their skills and prepare them for life after they have earned a master’s degree. Getting a master’s degree from Georgia Tech gives students an edge over many other candidates, because of the respect the school commands and the quality of education its students receive. Most online students earn a degree in two years.

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS

#11. Indiana University-Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, IN

Degree: Online MBA Programs

Net Price: $1,700

Website         

#12. University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Location: Lowell, MA

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $8,625

Website     

#13. George Washington University

Location: Washington, D.C.

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $14,620

Website     

#14. Lehigh University

Location: Bethlehem, PA

Degree: Online MBA Programs

Net Price: $49,577

Website

#15. The University of Texas at Dallas

Location: Dallas, TX

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $30,992

Website

#16. Golden Gate University

Location: San Francisco, CA

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $15,225

Website       

#17. University of Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Degree: Online MBA Programs

Net Price: $19,869

Website

#18. Stanford University

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $50,703

Website      

#19. University of Alabama

Location: Huntsville, AL

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $10,714

Website

#20. Purdue University

Location: Lafayette, IN

Degree: Online Master Degree Programs

Net Price: $19,530

Website              

If you enjoyed that, then check out our articles on the 50 MOST POPULAR ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES 2020 & MOST POPULAR MASTER’S DEGREES.

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

What do Employers Really Think of Your Online Master’s Degree?

what do employers think of online degreesImage source

Earning an online master’s degree can be no less challenging and rewarding then earning that same degree on-campus. Very often the same curricula and faculty are available to both online and traditional students, and the piece of paper you hold at the end of your studies is identical to the one your on-campus peer has earned. You’re doing your homework, you’re researching the top online master’s degree programs to broaden your mind, elevate your potential, hone your skills and further your career, but you may wonder if you will be able to access the same job opportunities that your campus-bound counterparts are privy to. The short answer is yes—read on to understand what employers really think about that online master’s degree.

See Also: Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

Good News

Online learning is becoming the new normal. In 2015, over a quarter (28%) of all students participated in at least one online learning course. As the number of online students, degree programs, and schools offering online options continues to increase, employers are seeing that this trend is not going away. These employers are also seeing that the quality of an education is not diminished by being imparted partially or even solely online. Any reservations an employer may have can be assuaged by picking a reputable, appropriately accredited school.

The Importance of Choosing Your School

Because reputation and accreditation are so important in picking a college or university’s online program, make sure you do your research.  Unfortunately, there are degree mills and accreditation mills that appear credible, so it is very important to check with The U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to learn the accrediting entity for your chosen field of study.  Another safeguard is picking a school that is regionally accredited and has an actual campus. If it sounds too good to be true–being granted a higher education degree based on previous work or life experience for a lump sum “tuition” and not having to take actual classes–chances are it isn’t legitimate.

What Will Employers Think of Your Online Degree?

Even though traditional colleges have been educating students for centuries and online learning is still somewhat nascent, if your online degree is from a reputable, regionally-accredited college that also has a physical campus, chances are your future employer will be more concerned with your accomplishments and work history than from where you have received your master’s degree. And even if there are some old-school employers out there who are still unfamiliar with online degrees, that will probably cease to be the case in the very near future. More and more employers are becoming aware of and interacting with graduates of online learning programs, and most state that they find the degrees just as credible as traditional degrees if the online program is recognized as being from a quality, accredited, established school. Thankfully, many of the most popular online master’s degree programs are now widely available from reputable schools. So rest assured, if you choose to obtain your master’s degree online, your prospects with employers should be bright as your future.

Related Rankings

50 Best Online Masters Programs
40 Online Masters That Don’t Ask for the GMAT
50 Best Online Graduate Programs

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Most Popular Affordable Online Master’s Degree

Are you thinking about going back to school and considering a popular affordable online master’s degree?

If so, that’s a wise choice. 

Earning a master’s degree will expose you to a variety of career opportunities—in most cases, you’ll be able to earn a salary that’s significantly higher and find that it’s much easier to move up the career ladder to a leadership position.

However, it can be hard to justify the high cost of college, especially when you consider that unemployment rates are high and so, too, unfortunately, is student loan debt.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to take on a pile of debt in order to earn a degree. You just need to shop wisely. You wouldn’t spend $500 on a pair of shoes when a $50 pair would look just as nice and do the job just as well—so why would you splurge on a fancy diploma without really needing to?

Fortunately, there are all kinds of popular, affordable online master’s degrees out there. Depending on what you want to study, you can find just about any major entirely online. You’ll be able to gain the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a new career or to advance in the one you already have. 

Figuring out the cost of a program, online or not, depends on many factors. These include the school and program type, the program length, the services and facilities available to students, and the delivery method. 

In most cases, choosing a program that offers asynchronous delivery is your best bet. When you choose this type of program, you can study on your own terms without having to worry about how you’ll fit a busy course schedule into your already jam-packed itinerary. These programs also tend to be more affordable because you can complete them in an accelerated fashion, often paying less per course than you would if you spread them out. 

Some schools offer tuition discounts for in-state learners while others might accept transfer credits or prior learning assessments, which will allow you to get course credit for work experience, military service, or other life experiences. This can decrease the number of credits you need to graduate and help you save a ton of money.

Of course, beyond looking at the “sticker” price of a university, you should also consider what kinds of financial aid opportunities are available. Can you apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other types of financial aid? This can dramatically reduce your overall costs so you have little to no debt when you graduate. 

It’s not all just about money, though–so how do you choose the right major? Start by thinking carefully about your professional and personal aspirations. What are your goals and what kind of background do you already have? How can you leverage your existing skills and the ones you’ll acquire through graduate study to propel you into a successful, rewarding career?

While it’s important to consider how much work will go into earning a master’s degree, you should also consider how rewarding the experience will be. Aside from the opportunity to improve your skills and increase your salary potential, earning a master’s degree offers more abstract benefits, too, such as being able to interact and network with alumni, classmates, faculty, and experts in your field. 

So how do you find the perfect program to meet your needs and preferences? Look no further—we have everything you need to find the most popular affordable online master’s degree in this post.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

What Are the Best Affordable Online Master’s Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

See Also: Are Online Master’s Degrees Respected?

#1. Texas Tech University 

A public university founded in 1923, Texas Tech University is a large research university with a main campus located in Lubbock, TX. It has partnerships with other satellite campuses around the state and also runs a  variety of research centers and institutes. Despite its size, the school maintains a close-knit feel with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 21:1. 

Texas Tech offers a variety of affordable undergraduate programs online, including in-demand degrees in fields like:

  • early child care
  • human sciences
  • restaurant, hotel, and institutional management

However, you’ll also find all kinds of popular and affordable online master’s here. 

Some of the most popular choices include those in computer information technology, engineering, business, and education. The online non-MBA programs ranked 17th in the country by U.S. News & World Report while the computer information technology degree is ranked number 36. 

In total, Texas Tech’s Worldwide eLearning platform offers more than 80 fully online degrees, certification preparation, and certification programs. You’ll have access to on-site tools, technology, and instructors from nine regional teaching sites around the state, including those in:

  • Austin
  • Highland Lakes
  • Hill College
  • Waco
  • Rockwall
  • Junction
  • Fredericksburg
  • Collin
  • El Paso

These degrees are identical to the ones you would earn on campus in Lubbock. You’ll learn from qualified instructors and be able to tap into the same resources you would have access to on-campus, such as career advising and academic support services. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying an arm and a leg. If you plan on taking online classes, you’ll pay resident rates at this public college regardless of your residency (typically less than $12,000 per year, depending on your major and credit load). There are lots of financial aid opportunities available, too, including grants and fellowships. 

#2.  Texas A&M University 

Texas A&M

Texas A&M University is a public university that was founded in 1876. As a student here, you’ll become an Aggie, a nickname that’s borne proudly by hundreds of thousands of Texas A&M graduates, alumni, current students, and faculty. That’s true regardless of whether you choose to study on the main campus in College Station, at one of the school’s other locations (it even has a campus in Qatar!), or online. 

When you study online at Texas A&M University, you can choose to take classes at any of this university’s well-respected graduate schools, including:

  • the College of Nursing
  • the School of Public Health
  • the College of Education and Human Development
  • the College of Engineering.

For the most part, all online degree programs offer the same experience as degrees you might earn on-campus—only the delivery method is different!

Texas A&M University has a number of online programs that are ranked as some of the best in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. Some of the most popular majors include those in nursing, education and educational administration, curriculum and instruction, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, and instructional media. It has also been acclaimed for its programs for veterans.

Tuition and fees for online students will vary depending on the program and your residency. On average, you’ll pay less than $8,000 as a resident student for every nine credit hours of study. You’ll also be able to tap into extensive financial resources such as grants and fellowships. Online course fees include electronic textbooks, too!

#3.  Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State

Sam Houston State University, founded in 1879, is a public university located in Huntsville, TX. It’s ranked as one of the top public schools and top performers on social mobility by U.S. News & World Report. This second ranking, in particular, is a testament to the progress this university has made in terms of advancing opportunities for distance learners and other traditionally underserved populations. 

This school offers some of the most affordable graduate programs online. You will apply just as you might apply to an on-campus program, with popular master’s degrees including:

  • technical communication
  • victim service management
  • sustainable agriculture and food environments
  • sociology, school leadership

At Sam Houston State, you’ll benefit from small class sizes and around-the-clock support. The university has a unique credits policy in which you accumulate credit by accumulating course credit hours. This is similar to what other schools offer—accept all credits are equal. A credit that you transfer in from another university is identical to a credit that you earn (online or on-campus) at Sam Houston State. 

Your degree won’t say “online,”. All SHSU programs are fully accredited both by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as well as separate governing professional bodies, in many cases. 

Tuition is affordable, with scholarships available for all student classification levels. You must be accepted to SHSU in order to apply for scholarships, but once you’re in, you can visit the school’s website to access a portal of hundreds of different awards. In fact, all online students receive $1,000 scholarships! 

#4.  University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, KY, is known for providing graduate programs that are practical and career-oriented. Founded in 1888, this school has graduated scores of successful professionals, including numerous state governors and members of Congress. 

Here, you’ll be able to choose from nearly two dozen fully accredited and fully online degree plans in areas like:

  • counseling
  • criminal justice
  • business
  • health sciences
  • education
  • information technology
  • medical science
  • ministry
  • international executive studies

Many of the programs are taught from a Baptist perspective, reflecting the heritage of the school. These programs have no residency requirement, either. 

You’ll take classes via a cutting-edge e-learning platform that fosters a sense of collaboration between faculty and students. You’ll feel just like you were studying on-campus (minus the commute!). The programs’ curriculum is constantly updated to reflect the latest research and innovations in each respective discipline, making it easy to see why this school’s online degrees are consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

Tuition is highly affordable, with rates starting around $315 per credit hour. Class sizes are small and all programs can be completed at your own pace. Financial aid options include grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study. 

#5.  Fort Hays State University 

FHSU

Located in the heart of Kansas, Fort Hays State University offers some of the most affordable online degree programs. It prides itself on offering programs that are flexible, convenient, and high-quality. 

The school prides itself on being one of the most innovative and “winningest” schools in the nation, having accrued a ton of accolades from ranking publications such as U.S. News & World Report. In fact, it’s regarded as one of the Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities In the Midwest.

With more than 200 online programs and certificate plans, the school offers 17 different master’s degrees with many additional concentrations and certifications. Some of the most popular affordable online master’s programs here include programs in:

  • special education
  • education
  • health and human performance
  • nursing administration
  • business administration

Tuition is incredibly affordable, with most graduate programs charging tuition at rates less than $300 per credit hour (though you’ll pay slightly more for MBA or DNP programs, something that tends to be true at the vast majority of colleges in the country. You’ll be able to tap into numerous financial aid programs and opportunities here, too, letting your dream of earning a master’s degree without getting into tons of debt become a sweet reality. 

#6.  University of Texas-Arlington

University of Texas Arlington

Another top contender in the Lone Star State is the University of Texas-Arlington. This school is home to a global enrollment of nearly 60,000 students, with many of its learners completing their coursework entirely online. In many cases, you’ll be able to complete your studies in just nine months to two years of study!

Can’t decide what kind of online master’s you want to pursue? Don’t worry—at the University of Texas-Arlington, you’ll have plenty of majors to choose from. This school offers dozens of programs for distance learners, including popular options like:

  • nursing education
  • public administration
  • business administration
  • curriculum and instruction

Without a doubt, this school is one of the best to consider if you’re looking for a popular and affordable online master’s. Don’t believe us? You don’t have to take our word for it. The University of Texas-Arlington has racked up tons of awards from outside organizations. It’s ranked as being home to one of the Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report (with sixteen separate graduate programs holding this distinction). 

It also was awarded the “R-1 Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity” from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, receiving this designation from elite institutions like Harvard and MIT. It’s also ranked number one in the country by Military Times for its veterans’ services.

Of course, you can’t overlook its affordability, either. Tuition rates are low, often coming in at less than $10,000 for an entire program of study (or right around $273 per credit hour). If you complete your program without interruption, you can often lock in your tuition rate for the life of the degree, too. 

#7.  Midwestern State University

MSU Texas

The only public liberal arts school in the state of Texas, Midwestern State University offers a variety of online graduate degrees, all of which are firmly rooted in the school’s proud liberal arts tradition. 

That said, they are also professionally focused, helping you network with peers and industry professionals as you learn the ins and outs of your major. 

All courses here are instructor-led—you’ll always have an expert ready to answer your questions, not just a teaching assistant. The courses are highly interactive and often just six to eight weeks long, letting you move quickly through your curriculum so you can jump into the rewarding career you have always dreamed of. Some popular choices include majors in:

  • nursing
  • radiologic sciences
  • special education
  • sports administration
  • human resource development
  • criminal justice 

As an online student at Midwestern State, you’ll also be able to tap into a variety of career training programs. These are complete online certificate programs with individual modules that can prepare you for a career with a set of related job skills. 

You won’t have to worry about how you’ll fund your studies, either. You can pursue a unique, special tuition rate that’s designed for non-Texas residents, paying right around $450 per credit hour. Many fees, such as the student union fee, are waived for distance learners, too. 

#8.  Lamar University

Lamar University

Lamar University, located in Beaumont, TX, is one of the fastest-growing universities in the state. Although its population is rapidly rising to more than 15,000 students, it prioritizes hands-on learning and a close-knit learning environment. Class sizes are kept intentionally small so that you can work closely with faculty and make the most of your online learning experience. 

If you’re looking for a cheap online master’s degree that offers affordable tuition without risking cut-rate education, look no further than Lamar University. This school has a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees that are available fully online. Most are taught primarily through the Blackboard learning platform. 

In addition to the online master’s degree in school counseling, which is ranked among the nation’s best, Lamar has dozens of other affordable online degrees you can choose from. Many can be completed in an accelerated fashion, letting you earn a degree quickly and efficiently.

Some of the top graduate programs available for distance learners include the Master of Business Administration (which hosts multiple one-of-a-kind concentrations, such as those in criminal justice management, enterprise resource planning, business analytics, and more), nursing, health science education, and political science. 

Tuition rates are low, with the average graduate student paying less than $6,500 per year. 

#9.  Valdosta State University

Valdosta

Located in the heart of Georgia, Valdosta State University is home to a faculty that is dedicated to hands-on research and innovative learning. Class sizes here are small and there are more than 28 different online master’s degrees for you to choose from. 

All of these programs offer flexible scheduling and the ability to take classes anywhere in the world—as long as you have an internet connection! You’ll have access to BlazeVIEW technical support to help you troubleshoot any technical issues you may encounter in your quizzes, assignments, and coursework. 

There are also tutorials and guides available to help you get started with multiple learning platforms. As ano online student, you’ll be able to tap into the same student services as you would as an on-campus learner, such as advising and student transitions resources, academic support, military resources, and disability services access. 

Some of the most popular graduate degrees include majors in:

  • criminal justice
  • education leadership
  • adult and career education
  • public administration
  • library and information science
  • special education

There are numerous hybrid, endorsement, and certification pathways you can pursue, too. 

As a student at Valdosta, you won’t pay a fortune. In-state tuition rates are offered to learners from Georgia, of course, but also students in neighboring states like Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida. You’ll typically pay less than $5,000 per year. 

#10.  University of West Georgia

University of West Georgia

A public university founded in 1906, the University of West Georgia has a beautiful campus in rural Carrollton, GA. This school is ranked as one of the top public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

The University of West Georgia offers some of the best online master’s programs. These degrees are affordable accredited, meeting the same rigorous academic standards that must be met by traditional on-campus degrees. You can earn credits from prior learning experiences and transfer in previously earned credits, making it easier than ever to make the most of what you already have tucked away. 

Some of the most popular online majors here include those in:

  • applied computer science
  • criminology
  • elementary education
  • instructional technology
  • sport management
  • public administration

There’s a top-rated online MBA here, too. This school also has a unique Move On When Ready/Dual Enrollment pathway. In this, you can earn credits at UWG even as a high school student! 

As a virtual student at the University of West Georgia, you’ll be able to save significant amounts of time and money. Even if you are an out-of-state learner, you will pay low in-state rates of less than $4,500 per year. Plenty of financial aid opportunities are available, too. 

OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS 

#11. Georgia College & State University

Location: Milledgeville, GA

Net Price: $20,478

Website

#12. California State University-Dominguez Hills

Location: Carson, CA

Net Price: $4,533

Website

#13. The University of Central Missouri

Location: Warrensburg, MO

Net Price: $12,616

Website

#14. Kennesaw State University

Location: Kennesaw, GA

Net Price: $17,618

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#15. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, OK

Net Price: $15,009

Website

FAQ

Why should I earn a master’s degree online?

Without a doubt, a master’s degree is worth it. There are several benefits associated with pursuing your degree entirely online.

For one, earning a degree online will enable you to complete your degree more quickly, in many cases, since you can take classes whenever it’s convenient for you. You won’t have to worry about rearranging your schedule to accommodate evening or weekend classes since in most cases, online classes are available asynchronously. Simply log in and complete your coursework whenever you find the time.

Most online programs also offer programs that accelerate, allowing you to complete your studies in as little as one or two years. 

Online degrees are often more affordable. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average master’s degree for an on-campus program costs between $12,000 and $26,000 in 2019. However, online versions of these programs typically offer tuition rates that are much lower. Even if tuition is charged at the same rate, you’ll save money because you won’t have to worry about things like room and board, parking, or transportation expenses. 

There was once a stigma that online degrees were not as high-quality as their on-campus counterparts. That is no longer the case. Today’s most popular affordable online masters are often taught by the same quality faculty who teach on campus and lead to the same career outcomes. 

What is the most in-demand master’s degree?

If you’re looking for an in-demand master’s degree, there are a few variables you should consider. First, don’t settle on a program of study just because it’s in-demand. While it’s smart to think about the marketability of your degree, you should also look for a program that will be rewarding and make you happy in the long run. 

It should also leverage the existing skills and education that you already have. There’s no point in pursuing a master’s degree if it’s going to take you lots of time and money to get caught up. 

However, if you’re starting fresh, there are a few in-demand master’s degrees to consider. All of these have excellent job opportunities in most parts of the country and are experiencing a surge in the growth of new positions available.

Look for jobs in fields like business administration, engineering, healthcare administration, nursing (particularly in areas like nursing administration and nurse anesthesia), computer and information sciences, and physician assistant. These are all excellent choices that are sure to help you land a job!

What is the easiest master’s degree to get online?

Easy online master’s degree? To some, that might sound like an oxymoron. After all, navigating the ins and outs of online learning software can be complicated.

However, once you get the hang of things logistically, earning a master’s degree online can sometimes be even easier than earning one on campus. That’s because there are few hoops to jump through and less to worry about in terms of flexibility, accessibility, and affordability.

But if you really want to take it easy on yourself, you’ll want to think about how the school you attend caters to online learners. Does it take advantage of technology that is innovative and user-friendly? How easy is the online learning platform to navigate? Can all of your courses be taken 100% online or do some have hybrid components?

Of course, you’ll also want to think about the support you’ll get from faculty members and student services professionals. With all that said and done, you should consider the schools we have mentioned in this ranking of the most popular affordable online master’s. Universities like Sam Houston State University, the University of West Georgia, and Valdosta State all offer programs that are perfect for online learners. 

Aside from that, other good choices for an easy degree for online learners include:

  • Louisiana State University
  • Prescott College
  • Weber State University
  • Wayland Baptist University

Is a cheap online master’s degree respected?

Although there are some employers who prefer to see degrees from traditional brick-and-mortar universities, the vast majority won’t even know that you got your degree online. For the most part, universities don’t print where a degree was conferred on a diploma, instead just listing out the major and type of degree (master’s, bachelor’s, etc).

So an employer finding out this kind of information will be totally up to