Automotive Engineering Schools with Degree Program Overviews

Automotive engineering programs train students in the design, production and testing of motorized vehicles and the numerous subsystems that comprise them. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels through 4-year colleges and universities.

Automotive engineers design electronics and software systems as well as mechanical components that are integrated into the overall design of an automobile. Many entry-level automotive engineering positions require a bachelor's degree in the field, while job seekers who have a master's degree may be able to apply for management-level positions.

Top 10 Engineering Schools

Degree programs in mechanical engineering can be found at various levels at the following schools. While a broad discipline, many of the concepts in mechanical engineering apply to automotive engineering.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)**
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $46,704 Graduate: $49,272
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate and Graduate: $46,320
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate and Graduate: $13,431
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate and Graduate: $45,390
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $12,204 Graduate: $15,644
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $15,054 Graduate: $18,041
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $50,665 Graduate: $41,371
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Master's Graduate: $20,966
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $49,116 Graduate: $29,581
Purdue University - West Lafayette West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate and Graduate: $10,002

Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in automotive engineering programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Pay attention to each school's reputation and consider their position in published school rankings.
  • Evaluate how much hands-on experience opportunities make up a particular program.
  • Consider the quality of the laboratories, diagnostic testing equipment and computer technology offered by a university.
  • Examine the internship and networking opportunities made available by the university.

Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering

A bachelor's degree program in automotive engineering can be completed in four years and prepares graduates for entry-level positions. An internship in an automotive work experience may be offered during the final semester of an undergraduate sequence and can contribute to securing a full-time position shortly after graduation. Other programs require that students complete a senior design project.

Master of Science in Automotive Engineering

A master's degree in automotive engineering requires an additional two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Unlike a bachelor's degree program, which requires that students complete general education courses and automotive engineering courses that cover an array of automotive concepts, a master's degree program allows students to focus on a particular aspect of automotive engineering.

Common specialization tracks include manufacturing processes, electrical and computer systems, mechanical systems and materials science. Students should expect a capstone project or thesis paper in order to complete the degree.

Degree programs specializing in automotive engineering are quite rare. As such, students interested in automotive engineering careers can pursue various degrees in mechanical engineering that will still adequately prepare them for their professional goals.

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