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Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering in AL

For most engineers, obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the first step toward joining the career. In addition to the wealth of on-campus engineering programs, here are two standout online bachelor’s degrees in engineering (or closely related disciplines) to consider.

Bachelor of Science in Information Systems – University of Alabama at Birmingham

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, aspiring computer or software engineers can pursue an online BS in information systems. This program requires 24 credit-hours of information systems core courses and 21 credit-hours of upper level core courses, along with a number of other classes; overall, students can expect to study subjects such as business programming, database management, enterprise systems, systems analysis, and project management, to name a few. This program can be completed in as few as four years and tuition is set at $437 per semester-hour of classes.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering – University of Alabama

The University of Alabama of Tuscaloosa provides an online BS in mechanical engineering through its College of Continuing Studies. This 128-credit hour program costs approximately $45,440, although this does not include any associated costs or fees. Notably, this program is accredited by ABET and includes courses on statics, mechanics of materials, heat transfer, engineering analysis, and dynamic systems, among a wide array of others. Prospective applicants should note some classes in this program require students to complete weekend labs at locations in Tuscaloosa, Dothan, or Gadsden.

Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering in AL

After obtaining an undergraduate degree, some aspiring engineers begin their career, while others continue on to obtain a master’s degree to enhance their earning, employment, or management prospects.

Master of Science in Engineering in Industrial and Systems Engineering – University of Alabama at Huntsville

At the University of Alabama at Huntsville, aspiring engineers can pursue an online MS in engineering with a focus on industrial and systems engineering. Students have the option to complete a thesis, although all students must take courses on engineering management theory, engineering management structures and systems, and managing challenges in high-tech organizations, among others. This program requires students to complete 30 credit-hours and the total tuition for AL residents is estimated at $10,224 per year, not including fees.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering – University of Alabama

Aspiring engineers looking to hone their skills can pursue an online MS in mechanical engineering through Tuscaloosa’s University of Alabama. This 30-credit-hour program costs $11,250, not including additional fees levied by the institution. Students can tailor their courses to fit a variety of specialties, including acoustics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, HVAC, internal combustion engines, mechatronics, and vibrations, among others. Furthermore, prospective students must complete a minimum of six credit-hours of mathematics in order to graduate.

Other Online Engineering Programs in AL

Prospective engineers should note that there are a number of other online program pathways in engineering, including the following.

Certificate in Management Technology – Athens State University

At Athens State University, aspiring engineers can pursue an online certificate in management technology. This 15-credit-hour program includes courses on project management, technical risk management, and technology transfer and commercialization, and may be an excellent opportunity for an engineering professional interested in moving into a managerial position. Tuition for all graduate students is set at $325 per credit-hour, making the total cost of the program $4,875.

Graduate Certificate in Environmental Health and Safety Management – University of Alabama

The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies allows current environmental or civil engineers to pursue a degree in a complementary discipline to hone one’s leadership potential. This online graduate certificate in environmental health and safety management comprises 15 credit-hours and costs $375 per credit, or $5,625 altogether. It includes courses such as the introduction to environmental health and safety management; occupational health and safety law; health and safety regulations and regulatory compliance; practical statistics for safety professionals; and environmental law. Furthermore, students may apply their completed coursework toward a master of science in environmental health and safety management.

Online Engineering Programs – What to Consider

For many, the prospects of a growing industry and a competitive salary are enough to pursue a career in this field, but all prospective students are advised to thoroughly research their online programs of interest prior to applying. Among other questions, here are some of the most important considerations:

  • Can the program be completed entirely online? Some programs require attendance, while others allow students to complete the entire program from a distance.
  • What is the cost of the program? Prospective students should be aware that some programs charge additional costs and fees on top of tuition.
  • How long does it take to complete the program? Can it be completed part-time? A majority of programs have an expected completion window.
  • Is a thesis required? Those students who have an opinion on writing a thesis should ensure they are fully aware of the requirements before enrolling.
  • What have past graduates accomplished or where have they secured employment? Examining past students’ outcomes is important to determine whether a given program can help enrollees meet their own professional objectives.

Additionally, applicants should search for programs that are accredited and that retain appropriate state authorization status.


In general, attending an accredited engineering program is not necessary to begin working as an engineer; however, many employers only offer positions to those applicants whose program was accredited. Also, students in unaccredited programs may not qualify for financial aid opportunities or professional certification following graduation. As such, prospective students should search for programs that have been accredited by one of the following organizations, which are broken down by national, programmatic, and regional levels:

National accreditation

Regional accreditation

Programmatic accreditation

Furthermore, applicants should note that not all accrediting organizations carry the same weight. Instead, aspiring engineers are encouraged to look for programs that have received accreditation through one of the organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

State Authorization

While searching for an accredited engineering program is highly suggested, finding a program that retains proper state authorization status is necessary. To elaborate, students are only allowed to study at programs that are eligible to operate in their state of residence; this information is typically listed on state authorization pages (e.g., University of Alabama), and for those which don’t, interested students should contact admissions offices to determine eligibility.

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students should be encouraged to learn that admissions requirements are similar across on-campus and distance-based programs, albeit with variations by degree level. Specifically, many online undergraduate engineering degrees will have fairly similar requirements, and the same can be said for graduate and certificate programs.

For example, here are the admissions requirements for online engineering degree programs (undergraduate) at the University of Alabama:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A GPA of 2.5 for those who graduate four years before the enrollment date, or 3.0 for those who graduated within four years
  • ACT or SAT scores for applicants who graduated within four years (SAT or ACT scores are not required for students who graduated more than four years ago)

Additional application requirements may include submitting letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and TOEFL scores (for non-native speakers of English), as well as participating in candidate interviews.

Online Engineering Professors in Alabama

Here are three skilled and renowned professors who are currently working at Alabama-based schools that offer online degrees:

Dr. Ajay Agrawal – University of Alabama

Dr. Ajay Agrawal is a professor and the Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama College of Engineering. He has conducted fundamental and applied research on combustion and fluid flows for NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. He has published more than 100 papers in technical journals and conferences and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. His current research interests lie in combustion and fluid flow in microgravity and in gas turbine systems; lean premixed, hydrogen-rich and alternate fuels; the design of thermal fluid systems; and applied computational fluid dynamics, among a number of others.

Dr. Paul Collopy – University of Alabama at Huntsville

Dr. Paul Collopy is a professor of industrial and systems engineering and engineering management at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where he also serves as the department chair. He has taught classes on engineering economy and decision analysis, and his work has been published in a number of conference proceedings, including the IISE Systems Engineering Conference on multiple occasions. Furthermore, he served as the technical program chair of the 14th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, and is credited as the original developer of economic-based technology value models.