Online Engineering Schools in Arkansas

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Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering in Arkansas

For most engineers, the first step in their career involves the completion of an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, there are no online bachelor’s degrees in engineering within Arkansas; that said, a number of renowned programs exist in neighboring states, one of which is detailed below.

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering – Lamar University

Lamar University of Beaumont, Texas offers an online BS degree in industrial engineering—which can be completed online as long as the student already has a relevant associate degree. This program is specifically designed for students who have taken two years of courses and are looking to finish their degree by studying online. It includes instruction in probability and statistics, production and inventory control, systems design, industrial and product safety, and operations research, among others. Non-residents taking 12 or more credit hours can expect to pay approximately $11,315 per semester in tuition, excluding additional fees.

Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering in Arkansas

For engineers looking to deepen their knowledge and secure even more opportunities into the future—including those in academia or management—there are various online master’s degrees available.

Master of Science in Engineering – University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas of Fayetteville offers an online MS degree in engineering, which includes various eight-week terms. All classes are available online, and students must complete a total of 30 credit-hours to graduate, although the specifics depend on the track they choose: biological, chemical, civil, computer systems, environmental, industrial, mechanical, or transportation. Each three-hour course costs $1,108.23, making the total cost of the tuition $11,082.30, excluding additional fees.

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering – University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas also offers an online master’s in electrical engineering (MSEE) with an emphasis on electrical power engineering. This program covers courses on electric circuits and machines, semiconductor devices, control systems, nonlinear systems analysis and control, and electric power quality, among others. It requires 30 credit-hours to graduate and generally takes two years. The estimated tuition rate was $289.41 per credit-hour (2017), although prospective applicants are advised to contact the school for more information.

Other Online Engineering Programs in Arkansas

Various other online programs exist in neighboring states such as diplomas, associate degrees, and postgraduate certificates. These programs can help enhance an engineer’s employment prospects and leadership potential in select areas.

Graduate Certificate in Energy Efficiency – University of Missouri

The University of Missouri of Columbia offers an online graduate certificate in energy efficiency through the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This 12-credit hour program is delivered 100 percent online and includes four 16-week classes in areas such as industrial energy analysis, energy efficient building design, electrochemical reaction engineering science, electrochemical devices, lighting technology, and drinking water and wastewater systems. The total cost of the program is $8,992.92, although Arkansas residents should reach out to the program administrators directly regarding any additional out-of-state costs.

Graduate Certificate in Manufacturing Systems – Missouri University of Science and Technology

The Missouri University of Science and Technology of Rolla offers an online graduate certificate in manufacturing systems, which consists of four courses, including materials and manufacturing processes; process, assembly, and product engineering; manufacturing competitiveness; and manufacturing systems design. This program can also act as a lead-in to a master’s degree. Tuition for distance-based students is set at $1,200 per credit-hour for the 2017-18 school year.

Online Engineering Programs – What to Consider

Although the promise of a competitive salary and an illustrious career are reasons enough for many aspiring engineers to enroll in an online program, in reality, there are important questions that prospective applicants should ask about their schools prior to the application process:

  • How much does the program cost? Applicants should be fully aware of the entire cost of the program before applying.
  • Can the program be completed on a part-time basis? Part-time studies are often the best option for working professionals.
  • How much access do online students have to professors?
  • How is degree progress assessed and is a thesis required?
  • Is campus attendance required at any point? Some programs require students to visit the campus one or more times per semester, which should be a consideration for all applicants.
  • Will the school assist with job placement upon graduation? In a competitive job market, job placement assistance can valuable.
  • What other student support services exist in distance-based programs?

In addition to the questions above, prospective applicants should also search for programs that are accredited and that retain appropriate state authorization status.


Accreditation shows that a school has met certain quality standards set forth by a specific accrediting agency. The standards include those regarding quality of education, management of finances, provision of student services, and others. While it is not required to attend an accredited program in order to work as an engineer, some employers only hire applicants who have a diploma from an accredited school and those who seek professional certification need to have completed a qualifying program. Additionally, being in an accredited program is often a prerequisite to qualify for financial aid.

Not all accreditation carries the same weight. Prospective applicants are encouraged to search for programs that have received accreditation through one of the organizations approved by the US Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation can be granted at the programmatic, regional, and national levels. Here are five CHEA-approved organizations which accredit programs in Arkansas:

National accreditation

Regional accreditation

Programmatic accreditation

State Authorization

When applying for online programs, students need to search for programs that are authorized to operate in their state of residence—what is referred to as “state authorization.” It only may present an issue when a student based in one area attends an out-of-state online program. Fortunately, most schools list this information on their websites (e.g., University of Arkansas), and for those which don’t, students should contact program coordinators to ensure eligibility.

Admissions Requirements

Prior to beginning the application process for an online engineering program, prospective applicants should thoroughly research all admissions requirements. For example, the online MS in engineering from the University of Arkansas calls for applicants with:

  • 3.0 GPA or higher, or a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses
  • GRE verbal and quantitative combined minimum score of 302
    • GRE score of at least 1100 for tests taken before 11/2012

Other common requirements for online engineering programs include specific course prerequisites, letters of recommendation, candidate interviews, personal statements or essays, and even work or research experience.

Online Engineering Professors in Arkansas

Fortunately for aspiring engineers considering an online program in their discipline, there are some very talented educators and researchers are working in Arkansas institutions with distance-based degrees.

Dr. Samir M. El-Ghazaly – University of Arkansas

Dr. Samir M. El-Ghazaly is a distinguished professor within the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, as well as the 2017 vice president of the Institute of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the chair of the Publication Services and Products Board. His research interests include circuits and devices, wave-device interactions, high frequency and high-seed systems, microwave and RF circuits, and reconfigurable antennas. Notably, he received the Distinguished Educator Award from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society in 2015.

Dr. Juan Carlos Balda – University of Arkansas

At the University of Arkansas, Dr. Juan Carlos Balda serves as a university professor; the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering; and the Twenty-First Century Leadership Chair in Engineering. His research interests include power electronics, electric power distribution, electrical machinery, and motor drives. His work has appeared in a wide array of influential publications and conference proceedings, including IEEE Applied Power Electronics; IEEE’s Power Electronics Magazine; and the IEEE ARGENCON.