The two most common graduate engineering programs are the Master of Engineering (MEng) and the Master of Science (MS) in Engineering. The MEng is a general, cross-departmental degree that allows students to take a wide variety of engineering courses, while an MS in Engineering focuses on a specific field of engineering, such as aerospace or mechanical. Entrance into these programs requires a bachelor's degree, GRE scores, previous science, and math education. Related work experience might also be required. Many schools offer online courses for both MEng and MS programs. Some master's programs may require a capstone project, thesis or master's project.
Master's Degrees in Engineering
MEng and MS engineering programs can take around 1-2 years of full-time study to complete. Most of these graduate programs require students to have a bachelor's degree, often in engineering or a related field like physics, chemistry or computer science. Some programs require documented fieldwork experience.
Program coursework will vary, depending on students' area of emphasis. A thesis, master's project or exam is often a requirement for graduation. Some of the courses common to many engineering graduate degree programs include:
- Multidisciplinary design optimization
- Engineering mathematics and statistics
- Principles of dynamics and robotics
- Computational models and techniques
Career Information for Graduates
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the employment outlook for engineers between the years of 2014 and 2024 depends on the specialty. A graduate's engineering field of study also can have a significant impact on an individual's earnings. For example, the BLS reported that, as of May 2015, petroleum and agricultural engineers made median annual earnings of $129,990 and $75,090 respectively.
Licensure is a requirement for engineers who work directly with the general public in all 50 states. This licensure can be obtained by earning a degree from an accredited engineering program, completing at least four years of pertinent on-the-job experience and successful completion of a state exam.
Continuing Education Information
Continuing education opportunities for engineers in the form of professional certifications from organizations like the American Society for Engineering Education (www.asee.org) are plentiful and can often be valuable for career advancement opportunities.
The majority of colleges and universities that offer graduate degree programs in engineering tend to offer doctorate degree programs in engineering and related specialties, as well as professional development courses and seminars.
Students can choose between the MEng or the MS in Engineering graduate programs to help advance their careers in the engineering field.