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Online Engineering Programs in Minnesota

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Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering in Minnesota

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science is often the first step to obtain entry-level employment. Here are two standout online bachelor’s degrees in engineering programs based at institutions in MN.

St. Cloud State University

Students at St. Cloud State University can pursue a bachelor of science (B.S.) in software engineering online. Courses in this program include those in various math and software engineering-related topics, including computer architecture, computer graphics, data mining, data analytics, game development, and mobile applications, among many others.

This program has been developed under the guidance of industry professionals to ensure that students have the most up-to-date education and are ready to enter the workforce.

  • Location: St. Cloud, MN
  • Duration: Four years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $9,005 per semester

Bemidji State University

At Bemidji State University in Bemidji, students have the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s of applied science (BAS) degree in applied engineering online. The program generally accepts students who currently possess a certificate, diploma, or two-year degree, and transfer students must complete 40 upper-level credits in order to graduate, as well as 30 other credits.

Courses covered in this program include project management methodology, quality assurance, economic and cost analysis, and lean principles and practice, among others.

  • Location: Bemidji, MN
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $4,497 per semester

Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering in Minnesota

After finishing an undergraduate degree, some choose to begin their career, while others go on to pursue a graduate degree in order to develop a more thorough knowledge and expertise in their field. Having a graduate degree can translate into opportunities for leadership positions or higher pay. Here are two of the distance-based master’s programs from engineering schools in MN.

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Aspiring electrical engineers who are interested in enrolling in an online program may wish to consider a master of science in electrical and computer engineering (MSECE) from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Courses can generally be completed at a student’s own pace, although some “synchronous” events may be required, such as exams or quizzes. Students have the option of taking on-campus classes as well, although the degree can be completed entirely online.

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Duration: 1.5 to two years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $1,593 per credit

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

At the University of Minnesota, aspiring computer engineers also have the option to complete an online M.S. in computer science. In this program, students take courses on modern cryptography, animation and planning in games, wireless and sensor networks, and introduction to compilers, among other subjects.

This is a coursework-only program so there are no labs or research requirements. Many of the students in this program are currently working in the industry and have been out of school for several years, so the focus of the coursework is on building new skills.

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Duration: 1.5 to two years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $1,593 per credit

Other Online Engineering Programs in Minnesota

Current or aspiring engineers may choose to pursue additional certificates, diplomas, or degrees in order to enhance their skills. This training may be in addition to an undergraduate or master’s degree in the field, or as a stand-alone introduction to engineering for someone seeking a career change or more knowledge of the discipline.

For anyone considering additional online educational opportunities in engineering, the following programs may be of interest.

North Hennepin Community College

North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park provides a certificate in application programming. Most of the courses are offered online, covering subjects such as programming in C/C++, the structure of computer programming, web programming, and machine architecture and organization. Students must complete 12 credits to obtain this certificate.

Upon completion, graduates will have the skills necessary to write a program to perform a specific task such as control inventory.

  • Location: Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Duration: Less than a year
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $220.10 per credit

Ridgewater College

At Ridgewater College in Willmar and Hutchinson, students can pursue a 29-credit certificate in computer-aided drafting and design. This program is offered entirely online and teaches students about AutoCAD, blueprint reading, manufacturing processes, SolidWorks, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and ASME standard practices, among other subjects. Hands-on collaborative projects with manufacturing programs on campus will give students valuable real-world experience.

  • Location: Willmar, MN
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $203.77 per credit

Century College

The associate of science in engineering at Century College is the perfect stepping stone into a career in engineering or additional education. This program is designed to transfer easily to a bachelor’s degree program, should students choose. Hallmarks of this program include 3-D printing and digital design to invent unique solutions to everyday problems.

Since this program is a general education program students will explore several areas of engineering including chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical. Most courses are offered online, although students can also take classes on campus if that works for their schedule.

  • Location: White Bear Lake, MN
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $206.41 per credit hour

Online Engineering Programs – What to Consider

For many aspiring engineers, the lure of a high salary and a bright job outlook into the future sweeten the prospect of joining this field. Prior to enrolling in a distance-based engineering degree or certificate program, however, students should ensure they can answer the following questions about their program:

  • How long does it take to complete the program? Can the program be completed on a part-time basis while simultaneously working?
  • What is the full tuition cost of the program? Are scholarships available?
  • Does the school assist with job placement after graduation? Can the school provide employment statistics regarding student outcomes?
  • Can practical experience courses be completed in the student’s home community? How many campus visits are required throughout the duration of the program?

Additionally, prospective students are encouraged to determine the accreditation and state authorization statuses of their programs.


To earn accreditation, schools or programs must undergo a voluntary evaluation of their quality. There are varied standards depending on the accrediting organization, but they generally gauge the level of education offered; the services provided to students; the management of finances; and other measures. Having a degree from an accredited institution or program may be a prerequisite to receiving financial aid, securing employment, or qualifying for various credentials (e.g., Professional Engineer or PE).

Prospective students should note that not all accreditation entities carry the same weight; aspiring engineers are encouraged to research programs that have received accreditation from an organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which can be offered at a national, regional, or programmatic level. A handful of accrediting agencies for Minnesota institutions are listed below:

National accreditation

  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Regional accreditation

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Programmatic accreditation

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)

State Authorization Status

Prospective students are also advised to search for programs with proper “state authorization” status. While it’s not an issue when a student lives in the same state as his or her online program, sometimes an out-of-state student may not be eligible to enroll in another state’s program. This information can generally be found directly on a program’s website. For those that don’t, students are encouraged to contact program coordinators to ensure eligibility.

Admissions Requirements for Online Engineering Programs

Prospective online engineering students in Minnesota will likely find the admissions requirements to be the same as their on-campus program counterparts. At the bachelor’s degree level, all applicants typically need to submit proof of a high school diploma or a GED; a strong GPA (e.g., >2.5 or 3.0); letters of recommendation; and a personal essay, among other requirements.

Students applying for a master’s degree generally need to submit proof of a bachelor’s degree (usually in engineering, although some interdisciplinary programs may accept students from other fields); a competitive GPA (e.g., >3.0); two letters of recommendation from professors or employers; and a statement of purpose.

Finally, at the certificate level, applicants will generally be asked to submit proof of a bachelor’s degree with a strong GPA, letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or other qualifying individuals, a CV or resume, and a statement of purpose.

Engineering Professors to Know in Minnesota

With the growing popularity of online degree programs, there’s no lack of prestigious faculty who teach in a distance-based format. In general, online programs are staffed by exceptionally skilled and renowned professors with significant experience in research and teaching.

Here are three exceptional, dedicated professors at institutions offering online programs in engineering or computer science:

Dr. Tim Brockman – Bemidji State University

Dr. Tim Brockman is an associate professor in the Department of Technology, Art and Design at Bemidji State University, where he also coordinates the technology degree programs and teaches construction management and engineering technology.

His current courses include the impact of technology, construction technology, print reading and documentation, project bidding and estimating, construction management, facility management, and sustainability and emerging technology. He also offers consulting services in energy efficiency and remodeling of residential and commercial structures.

Dr. Abhishek Chandra – University of Minnesota

Dr. Abhishek Chandra is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

His research interests include operating systems, distributed systems, resource management, and performance in distributed systems, all with the goal of achieving higher reliability, scalability, and manageability. He also co-leads the Distributed Computing Systems Group at the university and has a wealth of publications credited to his name.

Dr. Sarnath Ramnath – St. Cloud State University

Dr. Sarnath Ramnath is a professor of computer science at St. Cloud State University, where he also serves as a chairperson for the department.

He has written a textbook titled Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, and his research focuses on designing algorithms and data structures. His other research interests include computational geometry and routing signal nets in VLSI chips.