Admissions Requirements - To gain admittance to an online bachelor's program in engineering, these are some typical admissions requirements:
- Official transcripts from high school (or college) with a competitive GPA
- Completion of specific coursework (e.g., trigonometry, calculus, physics, computer programming)
- SAT/ACT test scores (SAT Subject Tests in math or science may also be required)
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal/professional statement (two pages about student's personal and professional goals)
- Application fee
- TOEFL test scores (for applicants whose first language isn't English)
Types of Online Bachelor Degrees in Engineering - These are the most common types of bachelor's degrees in engineering awarded in the United States:
- Bachelor's degree in engineering (BE or B.Eng): these degrees typically emphasize more technical or practical aspects of engineering (e.g., circuits, electronics) whereas the BSE (below) may be more theoretically focused
- Bachelor of science in engineering (BSE or BSc Eng)
- BS in electrical engineering (BSEE)
- BS in mechanical engineering (BSME)
Please note that subfields may also be designated by a postnomial (i.e., a parenthetical abbreviation). For example, a bachelor's degree in engineering with an emphasis in aerospace engineering may be designated as a BE(Aero), or for electrical engineering, BE(Elec).
Also, computer science (CS) is a field closely related to computer engineering (CEN). Lewis University
notes that CS focuses predominantly on software, whereas CEN unites CS and electrical engineering with an emphasis on hardware.
Additionally, there is also the bachelor of technology (BTech) degree which differs from other engineering degrees. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
(ABET)- the primary accreditation board for higher education in engineering-reports that while BTech programs focus on implementation and practical applications, other engineering programs (e.g., BSE, BSEE, BSME) hone in on design, planning, theory, and advanced mathematics. Also, the duration and career paths for these degrees may differ.
Top Schools Offering Online Bachelor's Programs in Engineering - There is a growing number of quality bachelor's degrees in engineering offered online. This featured selection has been chosen according to the following criteria:
- Program is accredited by ABET
- University boasts distinguished faculty in engineering, as evidenced by professor profiles below
- Institution or program has received additional recognition from an established source (e.g., Fiske Guide , U.S. News & World Report)
Here are three top online bachelor's programs in engineering:
1. Arizona State University : Arizona State University's (ASU) online bachelor of science in electrical engineering (BSE or BSEE) program prepares students for careers in energy production, healthcare technology, or sustainable development, to name a few fields. With exciting coursework in areas such as electromagnetic fields, microprocessors, and solid-state electronics, ASU's esteemed faculty uses web-based instruction and a variety of digital simulation tools to impart the valued skills of electrical engineering. Furthermore, ASU ranked #8 among U.S. News & World Report's (2016) "best online bachelor's programs" and the reputable Fiske Guide to Colleges (2016) highlighted its outstanding engineering programs (electrical, civil & environmental, and materials science), adding that ASU is a founding member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Finally, ASU is the largest public university in the world with 42,000 students and accepts 80 percent of applicants.
Additional online bachelor's programs offered at ASU:
- BSE in engineering management
- BS in graphic information technology
- BS in information technology
- BS in software engineering
- BS in technological entrepreneurship & management
Featured engineering professors at ASU:
Dr. Jennifer Blain Christen
Dr. Jennifer Blain Christen joined the prestigious ASU faculty in 2008 after receiving her MS in electrical engineering and her PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include bio-compatible integration for CMOS electronics (i.e., low power integrated circuits), microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) devices, and microfluidics. From 2007 to 2010, she received the "Best Paper Award" from Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
-a cutting-edge journal co-sponsored by two branches of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEEE)-as well as from IEEE's Circuits and Systems Society in 2010. Additionally, she has received honors from both the National Science Foundation (2001-2006) and General Electric (1998).
Dr. Umit Ogras
Dr. Umit Ogras completed his PhD in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 2007, and worked at Intel Corporation's CAD Laboratories from 2008 to 2013 as a research scientist. He's interested in digital system design and embedded systems, as well as multi-core architecture and electronic design automation emphasizing multiprocessor systems-on-chip (MPSoC). He has received numerous awards, including the Strategic CAD Labs Research Award; the IEEE Donald O. Pederson Transactions on CAD "Best Paper Award" (2012); the IEEE VLSI Transactions "Best Paper Award" (2011); and the European Design and Automation Association's (EDAA) Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award (2008).
2. University of North Dakota : The University of North Dakota (UND) offers an online bachelor of science (BSE) in mechanical engineering. This 129 credit program comprises online coursework and on-campus labs. These in-person labs take place during the summer in Grand Forks, ND and typically last 5-14 days, depending on the number of class credits. UND assists all students in finding lodging during these brief stays. This convenient online program has boasted employees of companies such as 3M, Boeing, and Intel among its students, who pursued their bachelor's degrees while they continued working. U.S. News & World Report (2016) ranked UND among the top 100 public universities in the nation.
Additional online bachelor's programs offered at UND:
- BSE in chemical engineering
- BSE in electrical engineering (i.e., BSEE)
- BSE in petroleum engineering
Featured engineering professors at UND:
Dr. Matthew Cavalli
Dr. Matthew Cavalli, a popular associate professor and assistant dean for outreach and recruiting, earned his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He's published 20 peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles, and has received project funding from the Department of Energy, LM Windpower (formerly LM Glassfiber), the National Science Foundation, and the Department of the Navy. He typically teaches courses on the behavior of materials and solid mechanics, leveraging not only his command of mechanical engineering theory, but also his empirical experience as a professional engineer
Dr. George Bibel
Dr. George Bibel is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of North Dakota.
Professor Bibel began his engineering career at Standard Oil Co and was eventually promoted to head of the pressure vessel, piping, and tankage group. Bibel also worked with NASA Lewis from 1988 to 1997 as a university researcher or Summer Faculty Fellow. Professor Bibel is author of two books: Beyond the Black Box: The Forensics of Airplane Crashes (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), and Train Wreck: The Forensics of Rail Disasters (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); and is working with a certified Boeing/Airbus pilot on a second book about airplane crashes. Beyond the Black Box was developed into a seminar presented at Boeing. Bibel has introduced an innovated course on engineering disasters and is frequently interviewed on cable news and other national media (New York Times, Popular Science, NPR All Things Considered and Marketplace) about airplane crashes and train wrecks. Professor Bibel has also written "Listen Up and Fly Right (New York Times, 2008); Fasten Your Seat Belt, Yes, YOU (International Herald Tribune, 2008); Why Can’t Modern Technology Prevent Train Wrecks? (Huffingtion Post, 2012) and Train Wreck (Huffington Post, 2014). Professor Bibel received his BS and PhD from Case Western Reserve University and his MS from the University of Michigan.
3. Regis University: Regis University's ABET-accredited online bachelor of science (BS) in computer science imparts the fundamentals of computer engineering-particularly software development-with a combination of web-based coursework and intensive projects. In classes such as data structures, algorithms & analysis, and discrete mathematics, students gain proficiency in multiple computer languages, paradigms, and platforms, putting their newfound skills to practice by creating viable web designs, apps, software, and other business-ready tools. Finally, Regis's BS was rated #58 among U.S. News & World Report's (2016) top online bachelor's programs.
Additional online bachelor's programs at Regis:
- BS in business technology management
- BS in computer information systems
- BS in computer networking
- BS in health information management
- BS in information technology
Featured engineering professors at Regis:
Professor Pamela Smallwood
Professor Pamela Smallwood earned her MS in computer science from Arizona State University before joining Regis University in 2000. She has worked for Park College, the University of Dayton Research Institute, and the U.S. Air Force, as well as with the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC). She's currently a reviewer and co-editor of the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges. Finally, Professor Smallwood has received two teaching accolades at Regis University: a 2004 Special Recognition Award and a 2000 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Finally, there are some online bachelor's degrees which are integrally related to engineering, such as EKU's program below, which provides an interdisciplinary approach with elements from civil and environmental engineering.