In general, the entry-level degree for a career in engineering is a bachelor’s. Here are two standout online bachelor’s programs in engineering from Massachusetts-based institutions.
Northeastern University in Boston offers an online B.S. degree in information technology, which is one pathway to a career in computer or software engineering. This 120-credit hour program covers courses on data structures and algorithms, software engineering, e-commerce systems, data warehousing technologies, and mobile and wireless networking, among other core and elective classes. Total tuition for the program is $60,480 (2016-17).
Students at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus can pursue an online B.S. in information technology, as well. Tuition for this 120-credit hour program is $45,000 (2017), although this may change in future years. Students in this program take courses on Visual Basic; a survey of programming languages; introduction to multimedia; website development; and computer ethics, among others.
For aspiring engineers interested in higher earning prospects or leadership positions in business or academia, pursuing a master’s degree is generally requirement. Here are two distance-based online master’s degrees in MA.
At the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus, students are able to pursue an online M.S. in engineering management. This 10-course program can be completed fully online or in a blended format, depending on a student’s preference. Core courses in this program include the principles of systems engineering; human factors design; and engineering economic decision making. Electives include advanced production planning and control; engineering information and project management; and leadership and organizational behavior; among others. Graduate students pay $2,668.50 for each three-credit hour course (2017), although additional fees may apply.
Students in Massachusetts can earn a distance-based M.S. degree in environmental engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This program requires 30 to 33 credit-hours to complete, including courses on the advanced principles of water treatment, water chemistry, open channel hydraulics, surface water quality monitoring, and industrial waste treatment, among others. The cost of the program for the 2017-18 year is $26,226. Additional fees may apply.
In addition to the online bachelor’s and master’s programs in engineering, here are two other distance-based engineering programs in Massachusetts to consider.
Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley offers an online A.A. degree in various subfields of engineering, including electrical/computer, mechanical, civil, or industrial, all requiring approximately 82 credit-hours. These two-year programs are designed to facilitate students’ transfer to four-year institutions. These and are available in a hybrid format with many courses offered online, although campus attendance is required for some classes. Furthermore, students completing an associate degree in one of the transfer tracks at this school can receive significant tuition discounts and other benefits at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Tuition for this program is $197 per credit-hour.
At the University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus, students can pursue an online certificate in computer assisted manufacturing. This 12-credit program covers subjects such as computer aided drafting, introduction to SolidWorks, and introduction to Pro/ENGINEER, among other topics. Online students must login to their course websites one or more times per week to retrieve lectures or assignments, as well as to participate in web-based discussions. One credit-hour for online students costs $375 and the whole program costs $4,500 (2017).
The lure of a lucrative salary and relative job security into the future attract many people to the field of engineering. Prior to enrolling in an online program, however, aspiring engineers are strongly advised to ask the following questions about their schools of interest:
Additionally, prospective students are advised to apply to programs that are accredited and have appropriate “state authorization” status.
Accreditation—a program- or institution-based approval from a recognized authority—is often used as a proxy for academic quality. Also, graduating from an accredited engineering school has significant benefits. For example, many graduate schools only accept applicants with a degree from an accredited program, and financial aid organizations may offer money only to students who plan on attending a program with proper accreditation.
State authorization status is also an important consideration for individuals interested in applying to an online engineering program in Massachusetts. Online schools based in one state may offer their programs only to students from approved states; sometimes when there’s a mismatch between a student’s state of residence and where the program is located, they’re unable to enroll. Generally, students can find this information on a school’s website (e.g., University of Massachusetts, Amherst). For schools which don’t have their state authorization status readily available, students are encouraged to contact program coordinators to ensure eligibility.
The application process for online engineering programs in Massachusetts is typically identical to an on-campus counterpart. These are the common application requirements for online programs in engineering at different levels.
Please note that some online engineering programs have additional requirements such as school-specific tests, portfolio reviews, or candidate interviews.
Distance-based engineering programs are relatively new, but they still boast a number of talented and prestigious faculty members. Here are three exceptional engineering professors serving in Massachusetts universities with online programs.
Dr. Tahar El-Korchi – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Tahar El-Korchi is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he also serves as the head of the department. His research interests include high-performance concrete, fiber cement composites, pavement engineering, structural composites, and structure testing. He has authored many scholarly journal articles, including those published in the Journal of Vibration Control and the ASTM Journal of Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates. Notably, he received the Presidential Young Investigator award.
Dr. Erin Baker – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Erin Baker is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She studies the application of operations research methods and economics to decision-making under uncertainty, as well as its applications to energy and the environment. She has received numerous awards, including the 2016 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award from the College of Engineering, and the 2009 Campbell Watkins Energy Journal Best Paper Award. Impressively, she has broad-based teaching and research experience. She’s been published in Nature Energy, the Journal of Environmental Management, and Science, among others.
Dr. Frank Tip – Northeastern University
Dr. Frank Tip is a professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, where his research foci include software engineering, programming languages, program analysis, refactoring, test generation, fault localization, automated program repair, and the analysis of web applications, among others. In previous years, Dr. Tip served as the senior principal engineer at Samsung Research America, focusing his work on program analysis to find quality and security problems in mobile applications. He also worked as a research staff member and manager at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center from 1995 to 2012.