For some engineering fields, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for an entry-level position. It’s important to note that the majority of online engineering programs is concentrated in certain subfields (e.g., computers) and at the graduate-degree level. That said, here are two online undergraduate programs in engineering from institutions based in North Carolina:
At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, students can pursue an online bachelor of science (B.S.) in engineering technology with a focus on electrical engineering. The courses are delivered entirely online, and attendance is only required during summer labs for some face-to-face, on-campus instruction. Courses in this program include linear circuits, digital logic and systems, microprocessors, microcontrollers and embedded systems, electronic circuits and systems, and control and power systems. The cost is $154.90 per credit-hour for North Carolina residents, which amounts to $9,448.90 for the entire program.
Students at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro can pursue an online B.S. in geomatics, which is a broad engineering-related field using complex measurements to determine locations on the earth’s surface. It is the only four-year program in North Carolina that prepares students for professional licensure in this field, thereby leading to careers in hydrographic surveying, geomatics project consulting, or GIS/cartography, among others. The cost for North Carolina residents is $117 per credit-hour, which does not include other fees, including those for distance education.
Although many engineers pursue bachelor’s degrees and gain skills on the job, others seeking to work in leadership or academia may want to take their formal education further. A graduate degree in engineering can lead to higher paying work and greater responsibilities, as well as a more thorough exposure to the graduate’s chosen field. Here are two standout online master’s programs in engineering in NC:
At NC State University in Raleigh, students have the option to pursue a master of science (M.S.) in chemical engineering entirely online. The program requires 30 credit hours of courses on transport phenomena, chemical reaction engineering, thermodynamics, and others. No thesis or on-campus residency is required, and students must maintain an average 3.0 GPA or above to remain enrolled. The cost per credit-hour is $482.56 for North Carolina residents, and the estimated total cost of the program is $14,476.80.
East Carolina University in Greenville provides students with the option to complete an M.S. in software engineering degree online in three distinct tracks: software design and development, software project management and quality assurance, or software testing. Required courses include software engineering foundations, software project management, software construction, and dependable systems and software reliability, as well as related electives. North Carolina residents are charged $228.24 per credit-hour for graduate courses (2016-17), although this may not include other fees associated with distance learning.
Some aspiring engineers take alternative educational routes, completing associate degrees or certificates in lieu of advanced degrees. Here are two online certificate programs in engineering from NC-based schools:
Working professionals who already hold a bachelor’s degree may choose to pursue an online certificate in computer programming at NC State University. This certificate program is designed for people who hope to gain fundamental computing skills. The certificate requires 25 credit-hours in eight different courses, all focused on computing and mathematics. The cost per credit-hour for North Carolina residents is $236.88, and the approximate total cost of the program is $5,922.00.
At East Carolina University, students can achieve a distance-based certificate in website development with 15 credit-hours of study. It typically takes 18 months to complete. The program is delivered entirely online and includes courses on network media services, enterprise web services, website development, internet research methods, and dynamic web services. Residents of North Carolina are charged $244.71 per credit-hour, which does not include fees associated with online learning.
Prior to applying for an online engineering program in North Carolina, there are many variables to examine; these include the reputability of the school, the quality of the education offered, the cost of the program, the time it takes to complete, rates of admissions, and many other factors. Prospective students are encouraged to thoroughly research their institutions of choice, taking into account the following questions:
Furthermore, prospective students should look for two specific items of interest when researching a program: accreditation and state authorization statuses.
Although not required for all employment opportunities, graduation from an accredited institution can be immensely beneficial to an aspiring engineer. To be sure, this may be required when applying for certain jobs, graduate schools, financial aid, or certification exams.
Overall, accreditation status demonstrates a dedication to providing high-quality education. For example, accredited institutions are typically evaluated in their administration of funds; provision of student services; and the quality of program faculty and curricula, among other factors.
Along with accreditation, prospective students should determine their program’s “state authorization” status, as well. While this is not typically an issue for an online student residing in the same state as his or her institution, there may be a conflict when a distance-based student is located out-of-state. Fortunately, many universities display their state authorization status on their website for convenience (e.g., University of North Carolina). For those that don’t, aspiring students located out-of-state are advised to contact program coordinators.
Generally, the admissions requirements for online engineering programs in North Carolina are similar to their on-campus counterparts. Here is an overview of the typical admissions requirements for online engineering programs in North Carolina, broken down by level of study:
Aspiring online engineering students should note that a wide array of highly skilled professors lead distance-based classes. Here are three renowned engineering professors who lead classes at NC institutions with online programs:
Dr. Richard Kim – North Carolina State University
Dr. Richard Kim is the Jimmy D. Clark Distinguished University Professor within the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. He leads courses on materials of construction, bituminous materials, nondestructive evaluation of civil infrastructure, and highway pavement design, among others. He has published over 200 papers in national and international technical journals and proceedings. He is also the editor of the ASCE book Modeling of Asphalt Concrete, and serves as an associate editor for the International Journal of Pavement Engineering.
Dr. Venkat Gudivada – East Carolina University
Dr. Venkat Gudivada both a Professor and the Chair of the Computer Science Department at East Carolina University, where students are able to pursue an online degree in software engineering. Among his teaching and research interests are algorithmic problem solving, data management, information retrieval, and natural language processing. His research has been funded by NASA, the NSF, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Navy, the U.S. Army Research Office, the Marshall University Foundation, and the West Virginia Division of Science and Research. He has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings.
Dr. Hugh Jack – Western Carolina University
At Western Carolina University, where students can pursue an online degree in engineering technology, Dr. Hugh Jack serves as the Cass Ballenger Distinguished Professor and Department Head. He is the author of a number of books, including Dynamic System Modeling and Control (2015), and has published a host of papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also received an array of awards, including the Best Paper Award from ASEE’s Manufacturing Division, the Wadsworth Multimedia Award, and the GVSU Teaching with Technology Award.