Online Engineering Degree Programs in Virginia

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Online Engineering Professors in Virginia

Because many online programs follow the same syllabus and timeline as their on-campus alternatives, courses are generally led or designed by full-time professors who are skilled and renowned. Here are three talented professors who lead classes at Virginia institutions with online degrees in engineering.

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Dr. Ravi Mukkamala – Old Dominion University

Dr. Ravi Mukkamala is the associate dean of the College of Sciences at Old Dominion University, where he also serves as the acting chair for the computer science department. He has published one book—Information Technology: A Tool to Cut Health Care Costs: Final Report—and has numerous authorship credits to his name for book chapters, articles, and conference proceedings. He has received a wealth of honors, including the 2009 Best Paper Award at the First International Conference on Advanced Service Computing, as well as the 2008 Best Paper Award at the Spring Simulation Multiconference.

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Dr. Eric Paterson – Virginia Tech

Dr. Eric Paterson is the head of the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech, which has 37 faculty members and 15 staff members serving 775 students. The faculty conducts a broad-based research program with annual expenditures in excess of $8 million and boasts world-class facilities with high-performance computers, structural testing equipment, water tunnels, and spacecraft simulators. Dr. Paterson is also the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion, and his areas of research expertise include aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and ocean engineering.

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Dr. R. Ryan Nelson – University of Virginia

Dr. R. Ryan Nelson is a professor of commerce at the University of Virginia, where he also serves as the associate dean for the undergraduate program, as well as the director of the Center for the Management of Information Technology. His areas of expertise include information technology, project management, business process management, and digital innovation. He has numerous authorship credits to his name, including a 2015 article titled IT Project Retrospectives: Infamous Failures, Classic Mistakes, and Best Practices. He has also received various awards, including the 2014 All-University Teaching Award from the University of Virginia.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering in VA

A majority of engineering positions require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field, although for some specializations—particularly those related to computers—programming (or other types of) experience may serve as a substitute. For the majority of employment and credentialing opportunities, however, an undergraduate degree in the discipline is necessary. Here are two standout engineering degrees from VA-based institutions which can be pursued online.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Old Dominion University

At Old Dominion University in Norfolk, aspiring computer engineers can pursue a B.S. in computer science entirely online. This 120-credit hour program generally takes four years to complete, and students take courses on computers in society, object-oriented programming, operating systems, principles of programming languages, and software engineering, among other core classes, as well as numerous electives. In-state students pay $335 per credit-hour, bringing the total tuition to $40,200, not including additional fees.

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – George Mason University

Aspiring web developers or computer engineers can earn an online B.S. degree in information technology from George Mason University in Fairfax. Students must complete 120 credit-hours in subjects such as introduction to computing, database fundamentals, modern telecommunications, managing financial resources, and systems analysis and design, among others. Tuition for this program is $488.50 per credit-hour for in-state students (2017-18), bringing the total cost to $58,620, excluding additional fees.

Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering in VA

A master’s degree can help engineers further develop their skills and attain a higher degree of specialization. Graduate studies can also enhance an engineer’s employability, salary prospects, and management opportunities. Here are two online master’s degrees in engineering from VA-based schools.

Master of Science in Ocean Engineering – Virginia Tech Online

At Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, students can pursue an online M.S. degree in ocean engineering. This 30-credit hour program includes four core courses: applied numerical methods, advanced ship structural analysis, advanced aero and hydrodynamics, and advanced ship dynamics. Students pay a fee of between $218 and $435.50 per semester, depending on how many credits they choose to take, and tuition for this program is set at $766.75 for one credit-hour. Interested students should contact the school directly for exact cost estimates.

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering – Old Dominion University

Engineers can also consider an online M.S. (or M.S. in engineering) degree in aerospace engineering from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. This 30-credit hour program also includes four core courses and costs $496 per credit-hour for in-state students, putting the total cost of the program at $14,880. Additional fees may apply.

Other Online Engineering Programs in VA

In addition to Virginia’s online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, there are associate degrees and certificate programs as well. Here are two additional distance-based programs in the state for engineering and IT professionals:

Associate of Science in Computer Science – Northern Virginia Community College

For aspiring computer engineers who want to take a shorter educational path, pursuing an online A.S. in computer science at Northern Virginia Community College may be the right fit. This program includes courses on scientific programming and programming tools, computer organization, assembly language, discrete structures, and a project for a total of 60 credit-hours. Tuition is set at $168.15 per credit-hour for in-state students, excluding additional fees. The estimated cost for the whole program is $10,089.

Certificate in Information Technology – University of Virginia

At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, students can earn an online undergraduate certificate in information technology, which can be an excellent step toward a career in web development or software engineering. The program includes 18 credits (six courses), and estimated tuition for an in-state student is $7,290, not including additional fees. Students can complete this program online, as well as on a part-time basis, taking courses on the basics of web design, programming in Java, strategic business value of information technology, enterprise systems architecture and design, and agile project management, among others.

Accreditation and Other Considerations

While the aforementioned online engineering and computer science-related programs offer high-quality education, aspiring engineers should consider several factors in their program search. They should determine whether or not a program can be completed on a full or part-time basis; how much it costs, including fees; how much campus attendance is required; and whether practical experience credits can be completed in the student’s home community. These are only a handful of questions that applicants should ask before applying. Furthermore, applicants should also verify the accreditation and “state authorization” status of their program of interest.

Accreditation

Accreditation from the right organization is often synonymous with a commitment to quality in terms of faculty, curriculum, and student outcomes, among other considerations. To be sure, pursuing accreditation is entirely voluntarily and it’s important to note that not all accrediting agencies hold the same legitimacy. Students are encouraged to search for programs that have received accreditation from one of the organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Prospective students in Virginia should also note that accreditation can be provided on a regional, national, or programmatic level:

National accreditation

Regional accreditation

Programmatic accreditation

State Authorization

Before applying to a program, prospective students should also determine whether or not they’re eligible to enroll, specifically if a school is located out-of-state. To elaborate, students in Virginia are only eligible to enroll in programs that have been authorized to operate in the state. Many schools display their state authorization status on their webpage (e.g., Old Dominion University), and for those which don’t, students should contact program advisors to ensure eligibility.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to online engineering or computer science programs in Virginia will likely encounter similar admissions processes to on-campus programs.

For example, distance-based undergraduate programs in engineering typically ask for a completed application and fee; official high school transcripts with prerequisite coursework; a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 3.0; SAT scores; letters of recommendation; and a personal essay. Distance-based graduate program in engineering ask for a completed application and fee; official undergraduate transcripts with proof of prerequisite courses; a competitive GPA (typically at least 3.0); GRE scores (sometimes optional); letters of recommendation; and a personal essay.

Overall, applicants are advised to contact program administrators directly for additional information.

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