Engineering Degrees 101

Instructor: William White
Engineering degrees vary by the discipline of the major but they all include advanced math and science coursework. Read on to learn more and see what resources are available.

About Engineering Degrees

Engineering degrees are typically divided among the major disciplines:

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Civil
  • Chemical

Although not as common, some schools offer a general engineering degree.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a broad field that prepares students to design various mechanical systems, including HVAC systems, motors and hydraulics. This degree program includes coursework in dynamics, mechanisms of machinery and computer-aided design. The following courses, offered by, are generally required for students pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering:

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering degree programs teach students how to design large structures, such as bridges and roads. Civil engineering students learn about building materials and conditions in nature, including seismic activity. Because of the importance of environmental impact, the following courses are often included in a civil engineering degree program:

Chemical Engineering

In a chemical engineering program, students learn to apply engineering principles to chemical processes to produce new compounds or chemical reactions. These students can use their degrees to work in a variety of industries and engineer many products, including food and household items. Students new to the chemical engineering field might want to first learn more about the foundational topics covered in this course:

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering degree programs give students the skills they need to develop more efficient means of computing, from the systems that comprise the machine to the programs that operate it. These programs teach students how to research, design and test computing systems to keep up with increasingly higher demands on technology. Aspiring computer engineering students can get started in this degree program with these related courses:

Additional Degree and Career Info

The requirement for entry-level employment in engineering is a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's programs are typically 4-year programs, but in some cases, it may take an extra year due to the rigors of coursework or co-opting with a company to gain experience. Most programs are accredited by ABET, Inc. While attending an accredited program isn't required, it can have an impact on professional licensing and other career opportunities.

Master's Degrees

Master's degree programs may be practical for experienced professionals or individuals looking to further specialize. Full-time students can complete these programs in about two years. These curricula typically include just engineering coursework, and they allow the student some flexibility. They may also focus on a sub-discipline, such as energy engineering within the mechanical field.

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Transferring credit to the school of your choice

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