Students interested in pursuing an online bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering can enroll in an ABET-accredited postsecondary program. Some of these programs require students to attend a brick-and-mortar university for a minimum of 1-2 years before starting distance education coursework, while other schools just require that lab segments and examinations be completed on-campus. In roughly six years, a student can earn an online mechanical engineering degree.
Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Earning a mechanical engineering bachelor's degree online involves the intensive study of materials science, thermodynamics and physics. Aspiring mechanical engineers are also expected to possess a thorough understanding of civil, chemical and electrical engineering. In addition to engineering coursework, students enrolled in distance learning bachelor's programs take classes in social sciences, such as political science, psychology and geography.
Information and Requirements
Many accredited distance-learning programs encourage group discussions and participation through chat rooms, message boards and group projects. Students access their course assignments and materials from any computer that supports the school's Web-based programs. Lectures are recorded in video format and accessible online, and students upload their homework to the course site. Some distance learners may need to commute to a community campus in order to complete exams or receive hands-on training and advising.
At times, distance learning programs combine asynchronous components, through which students complete studies at their pace, with synchronous formats, which require all students in the class to login for virtual class participation at specific days and times. For synchronized classes, students often need a Web camera and a headset with microphone. Distance learning mechanical engineering students may also need access to a scanner for assignments. Some courses may require additional hardware and software.
Possible online courses include:
- Fluid mechanics
- Circuitry analysis
- Industrial electronics
- Design of machine components
- Structural stability
- Gas turbine design
- Mass transfer and heat fundamentals
Bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering are available in distance learning format. Although students may need to attend school for lab work, common courses in statics and structural stability can be delivered online.