Average Tuition Costs for Engineering Graduate School

Engineering professionals develop new and innovative products and services designed to simplify and improve everyday activities. Engineering graduate schools provide students opportunities to seek advanced careers and earn higher wages.

What Is the Average Tuition Cost for Engineering Graduate School?

Tuition costs for a graduate degree program in engineering are determined by the type of engineering program, as well as the type of the academic institution. Public colleges, such as state universities, often have lower tuition rates than private universities. Many graduate schools also charge fees, such as application, registration and book fees, which increase the total cost of attendance. Determining average tuition costs is difficult, since rates vary greatly among institutions, and some schools even fluctuate rates per semester.

Graduate Schools' Engineering Tuition Rates

U.S. News & World Report ranks public and private engineering graduate schools annually based on the quality of the program, teachers and student outcomes. The following table shows the 2014 annual in-state, full-time tuition rates, including fees, for the top five graduate schools for engineering programs (www.usnews.com).

University Public or Private Annual Tuition
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Private, not-for-profit $43,210
Stanford University Private, not-for-profit $45,480
University of California - Berkeley Public $11,220 (in-state); $26,322 (out-of-state)
California Institute of Technology Private, not-for-profit $39,990
Carnegie Mellon University Private, not-for-profit $40,000

Tuition and Fee Waivers

Many schools offer graduate students a waiver on fees and may offer partial or full tuition waivers for certain students or programs. Eligibility requirements vary by school. Students should find out if they qualify for any type of waiver with the school's registrar. A few examples of waivers include:

University Waiver Eligibility
University of Missouri Tuition Full semester assistantship or fellowship
Florida State University Tuition State or school employees, graduate assistants
Brown University Application fee Financial need
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Application fee Financial need
University of Central Florida Tuition Graduate teaching, full or part-time assistantship
University of California - Berkeley Tuition Nonresident doctoral candidates

Tuition Assistance - Grants and Fellowships

Several organizations offer grants and other types of free student aid to engineering graduate students. Some provide annual allowances or stipends, while others provide full tuition assistance. Often, students must attend schools affiliated with the granting organization, though there are some that allow a student to choose the institution they wish to attend. Some assistance examples include:

  • The National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship - Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, up to three years of full tuition, fees, insurance and annual stipend are covered for several engineering disciplines at any school in the country (ndseg.asee.org).
  • Environmental Engineers of the Future - Offering up to $10,000 in tuition assistance, students receiving the award must commit to two years of employment with the organization after graduation (www.engineeringmastersfunding.org).
  • National Science Foundation - Graduate students may choose among a variety of grant and fellowship opportunities, including tuition assistance and cultural research project funding (www.nsf.gov).
  • Society of Women Engineers - Women interested in engineering and computer science may qualify for up to $10,000 in scholarships and fellowships (societyofwomenengineers.swe.org).

Engineering Graduate Job and Salary Outlook

The 2013-2014 salary report released by PayScale.com indicated that seven of the ten highest paid college majors were in engineering. While the report based the findings on bachelor's degree holders, further studies on the website found students with an equivalent master's degree earn approximately 17% more than undergraduates, and Ph.D.s made up to 26% higher wages. The following chart lists the 10th to 90th percentile of salaries for these high-ranking majors, as of August 2014:

Rank Engineering job Bachelor's degree Master's degree Doctorate degree
1 Aerospace $55,961 - $106,108 $62,591 - $103,364 $79,463- $148,781
2 Chemical $54,091 - $109,283 $60,055 - $124,098 $69,967 - $139,581
3 Computer $56,311 - $101,098 $70,000- $93,369 No data
4 Electrical $69,902 - $100,706 $59,979- $109,960 $69,902 - $144,178
7 Mechanical $46,976 - $86,500 $60,043 - $108,050 $62,400- $104,456
9 Petroleum $71,726 - $165,646 $72,240- $154,590 $101,736 - $138,000
10 Nuclear $58,875 - $126,195 $59,413 - $103,093 $75,594 - $146,472

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