Aerospace engineering deals with the mechanics and physics of flight, including the interplay between pressure, temperature, and structural materials.
Purdue Online has an interdisciplinary MSE program that can be specialized towards aeronautics and aerospace engineering (AAE). The curriculum is taught by the same faculty who teach the on-campus MSE program, and the graduate AAE program is ranked sixth in the nation by US News & World Report. Classes towards the AAE specialization cover topics such as aerodynamics; astrodynamics and space applications; aerospace; dynamics and control; propulsion; and structures and materials. The program consists of 30 credits, and costs approximately $1,348 per credit-hour.
Automotive engineering combines mechanical, electrical, software, and safety engineering to design, test, and produce land vehicles.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers an MSE in automotive systems engineering through its online Distance Learning Network. Core classes cover subjects such as automotive powertrains; material selection in automotive design; internal combustion engines; and automotive electronics. Students may use electives to concentrate in one of four areas: automotive materials; mechanical engineering; industrial and manufacturing; or electrical and computer. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $931 per credit.
Combining the fields of engineering and medicine, biomedical engineering is focused on medical technology such as implants, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostic tools.
Purdue Online has an online interdisciplinary MS/MSE degree program that includes a concentration in biomedical engineering. Taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program, the online graduate program is consistently ranked in the top ten by US News & World Report. Courses cover the following areas: biosensors; tissue engineering; preclinical and clinical study design; human motion kinetics; and the neural mechanisms of health and disease. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $1,348 per credit-hour.
With a particular focus on energy and materials, chemical engineering deals with the production, storage, transport, and usage of chemicals.
The University of California, Riverside offers an online MSE degree with a specialization in chemical engineering. Designed to bolster both leadership and subject-specific knowledge in the area, it can be completed in 13 months or more. Specialization courses include advanced engineering computation; transport phenomena; advanced kinetics and reactor design; and advanced chemical engineering thermodynamics. The program consists of 36 credits, and costs approximately $833 per credit.
Civil engineering focuses on the design, production, and maintenance of civil infrastructure such as roads, buildings, and bridges.
Ohio University has an online master of science in civil engineering program that can be completed in as few as five semesters. The core curriculum covers topics such as: applied civil engineering statistics; engineering writing; project management; and construction planning and scheduling. Students may choose their electives based upon one of four concentrations: transportation engineering; structural engineering; construction engineering and management; or environmental engineering. The program consists of 32 credits, and non-resident tuition is approximately $25,583 per year.
A subfield of civil engineering, environmental engineering explores forms of healthy interaction between the natural, built, and lived environments, including areas like water management and public health.
California State University, Fullerton offers an online MS in environmental engineering. The program is structured on a cohort model that sees students move through the two-year curriculum as a unified group. Course subjects include potable water treatment; wastewater treatment and disposal; landfill design; air pollution control engineering; and sustainable development. At the end of the program, students are prepared to sit for the professional engineering exam in environmental engineering. Non-resident tuition is approximately $16,358 per year.
Built upon the foundations of civil and electrical engineering, power systems engineering focuses on the creation, transport, and usage of electric power.
North Carolina State University has an online MS in electric power systems engineering that does not require a thesis, oral exam, or on-campus residency. Core classes cover topics such as power system operation and control; communications and SCADA systems for smart grid; and power electronics and utility applications. Concentration electives include electric motor drives; power system switchgear and protection; the business of the electric utility; and computational methods. The program consists of 30 credits, and tuition is approximately $446 per credit.
A subset of civil engineering sometimes referred to as hydraulic engineering, water systems engineering deals with the movement, storage, and usage of fluids, especially water and sewage.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online MS in civil engineering where students may add a concentration in water resources engineering and science. Concentration course offerings include: the globalization of water; open channel hydraulics; surface hydrology; and water quality engineering. The program consists of 36 credits. Non-resident tuition is approximately $35,458 per year.
Computer engineering focuses on the design and development of both hardware and software.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn has an MSE in computer engineering program that can be completed entirely online. All students take a class in embedded systems, and then choose two from the following list: computer networks; computer architecture; reconfigurable computing; and advanced operating systems. Students may choose to concentrate in one of four areas: computer architecture and design; networks and communications; intelligent systems; or multimedia engineering. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $931 per credit.
Computer science designs and tests algorithms to store, process, and transfer information.
Stanford University offers an MS in computer science that can potentially be completed entirely online. Students must fulfill breadth requirements, including two different areas of depth. Approved specializations include artificial intelligence; biocomputation; computer and network security; human-computer interaction; information management and analytics; mobile and internet computing; real-world computing; software theory; systems; and theoretical computer science. Do note that this degree is generally considered a terminal degree in computer science, but some students do take it before deciding whether or not to pursue doctoral study. The program consists of 45 credits and costs approximately $1,300 per credit. Students generally take three to five years to complete the program.
A subset of computer engineering and computer science, cybersecurity is focused on securing networked systems.
The University of Arizona offers an MS in cybersecurity that can be completed entirely online. Classes include subjects such as information security in public and private sectors; data mining for business intelligence; systems cybersecurity engineering; and business data communications and networking. After completing core courses, students may choose to focus in either information systems or physical systems. The program consists of 33 credits and costs approximately $1,332 per credit.
Data science uses statistics, computer science, and machine learning to search through large quantities of data for meaningful insights.
The University of California, Riverside has an online MSE program that can be specialized in data science. Foundational courses in the core curriculum cover leadership, technology, and systems engineering. For the data science specialization, students may choose courses from a list that includes the following: the foundations of applied machine learning; application of visualization in data science; data mining techniques; information retrieval and web search; and statistical mining methods. The program consists of 36 credits, and costs approximately $833 per credit.
Software engineering deals with the design, development, operation, and maintenance of software applications.
Arizona State University has an online MSE in engineering science program that has a software engineering concentration. The curriculum is based on the IEEE Computer Society’s software engineering body of knowledge. Courses cover the following topics: software analysis and design; software project, process, and quality management; software verification, validation, and testing; and software integration and engineering. The program consists of 30 credits, and costs approximately $2,847 per course.
A large subfield of engineering with numerous applications across industries, electrical engineering revolves around electricity, electrons, and electromagnetism.
Arizona State University has an online MSE in electrical engineering degree that ranks in the top quarter of the nation. Areas of study include physical electronics and photonics; electronic and mixed-signal circuit design; and signal processing and communications. The program consists of 30 credits. Tuition is approximately $944 per credit.
Electrical and computer engineering focuses on the design, development, and testing of machines that contain computers: everything from lasers to robots to vehicles.
Purdue Online has an MSE in electrical and computer engineering that is consistently ranked in the top ten by US News & World Report. Courses cover areas such as automatic controls; fields and optics; VLSI and circuit design; signal and image processing; energy sources and systems; communications and networking; and microelectronics and nanotechnology. Students may pursue both thesis and non-thesis options. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $1,348 per credit-hour.
Engineering management combines business and engineering, focusing on the logistics, administration, and maintenance of technical organizations.
Youngstown State University has an MSE in engineering management program that can be completed entirely online. The program combines both engineering and business courses to prepare graduates for leading technical organizations. Students typically take two years to complete the program. The program consists of 57 credits and costs approximately $18,358 per year.
Geographic information science (GIS) uses software and spatial techniques to visualize geographic data for a variety of industries.
The Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California offers a 28-credit online MS in geographic information science and technology, which includes instruction in spatial analysis, GIS programming and customization, and spatial thinking concepts. There are also four GIS certificate programs with transferable credits. The degree program costs $1,928 per credit-hour.
Industrial engineering focuses on optimizing complex systems such as manufacturing through the analysis and testing of large data sets.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers an MSE in industrial and systems engineering which can be completed entirely online. There are three core courses: design and analysis of experiments; human factors and ergonomics; and production and operations engineering. Students may then choose from five specializations: human factors and ergonomics; operations research and management science; quality systems and manufacturing; information systems; and project management and product development. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $931 per credit.
Materials engineering deals with the discovery, design, and manipulation of solid materials.
The University of Florida offers a master of science (MS) in materials science engineering that can be completed online through the school’s EDGE program. The curriculum is entirely dependent upon one’s interests, and students may choose to focus their research in one of the following areas: metals; polymers; electronic materials; or structural materials. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $30,089 if taken full time.
Nanoengineering involves the design, production, and manipulation of extremely small materials and structures that can be used in medicine, manufacturing, and other industries.
The University of California, Riverside, offers an online MS in engineering with a concentration in materials at the nanoscale. While not as rigorous as other MS/MSE programs, the curriculum offers an introduction for those coming from other subdisciplines of engineering, and can be completed in 13 months. In addition to the foundational courses, students explore topics such as: crystal structure and bonding; nanoscale science and engineering; thermodynamic foundation in materials; and introduction to microelectromechanical systems. The program consists of 36 credits and costs approximately $833 per credit.
Mechanical engineering deals with the design and operation of machines by pulling together the fundamentals of materials science, mechanics, electricity, and thermodynamics.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn has an online MSE in mechanical engineering that can be completed through the school’s Distance Learning Network (DLN). In addition to a course in advanced engineering analysis, students must take two mechanical science courses, two thermal and fluid science courses, one graduate-level mathematics course, and one non-mechanical engineering course. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $931 per credit.
Nuclear engineering focuses on the fission and fusion of atomic particles, with major applications in energy and medicine.
Purdue Online is set to introduce an online master of science in nuclear engineering program (MNE) in 2020. Don’t let the acronym fool you—the program still confers an MS/MSE degree, and is taught by the same faculty that teaches the highly-ranked on-campus nuclear engineering program. Classes cover the following topics: reactor theory and kinetics; computers in reactor analysis; nuclear reactor theory; fast reactor theory; and thermal hydraulics. The program consists of 30 credits, and costs approximately $1,348 per credit.
Robotics engineering covers the design, development, and testing of components included in robots and other semi-autonomous devices.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute created the nation’s first online MS in robotics engineering program. Students may choose to add a specialization in autonomous vehicles (AV). The core curriculum includes classes in the following areas: foundations of robotics; robot dynamics; robot control; project management; and systems engineering. Electives are offered in subjects like deep reinforcement learning, human-computer interaction, and soft robotics. Each student must complete a capstone project that offers a substantive evaluation and application of the program’s coursework. The program consists of 30 credits and costs approximately $1,556 per credit.
Closely related to industrial engineering, safety engineering aims to mitigate the risks surrounding manufacturing, transportation, and other industrial operations.
Texas A&M University offers an MS in safety engineering through with a distance learning option. The non-thesis option consists of 36 credits, 16 which come from the following courses: process safety engineering; industrial safety engineering; quantitative risk analysis; fire protection engineering; and statistics. The remaining 20 credits are filled with electives of the student’s choice and may come from any distance learning option at the university, subject to advisor approval. The program costs approximately $1,279 per credit for non-residents.
Systems engineering focuses on the engineering of specific processes to maximum effect, with particular attention paid to logistics, reliability, and evaluation.
Johns Hopkins University offers both an online MS and an online MSE in systems engineering. Focus areas are available through electives in the following tracks: cybersecurity; human systems; modeling and simulation; project management; software systems; and systems. Required core coursework covers areas such as systems design and integration; systems test and evaluation; systems conceptual design; and management of systems projects. Both the MS and MSE program consist of ten courses, and each course costs approximately $4,440.
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