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Master of Science (MS): General Engineering Degree Overview

Master's degree programs in general engineering are multidisciplinary, non-traditional programs of study. They may be particularly attractive to practicing engineers and professionals in related fields who seek a wider base of knowledge.

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Essential Information

A master's degree program in general engineering typically requires students to complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate-level study. Many programs call for a final comprehensive examination or a thesis project. Some courses may be available online.

A bachelor's degree in a related field is required. Some program specializations include bioengineering, mechanical engineering and environmental science.


Master of Science in General Engineering

Program applicants may be required to at least hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited college or university. Applicants should also demonstrate proficiency in areas of study such as calculus, physics and chemistry. Students in this degree program may be required to study a set of core disciplines, as well as a range of elective courses. Interdisciplinary engineering courses, which could apply to a variety of industries, can include:

  • Engineering management
  • Engineering analysis
  • Applied statistics
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Electrical engineering

Popular Career Options

A graduate of an M.S. degree program in general engineering may be employed in a range of specialized occupations, which may depend on their previous engineering experience and education, as well as their graduate-level concentration option. Some titles can include:

  • Environmental engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Materials engineer

Engineers in general were projected to see a 4% increase in employment over the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) reporting period of 2014-2024. The career outlook of specific engineers, such as those mentioned above, ranged from 1%-7% for the same time. As with the career projections, the median salaries ranged for engineers. For example, electrical engineers earned a median income of $93,010, industrial engineers made a median wage of $83,470 and materials engineers had a median salary of $91,310, based on 2015 figures from the BLS.

Continuing Education and Licensure Info

Engineers who plan on offering their services to the public are required to acquire a professional engineer (PE) license. Candidates for this licensure are required to accumulate at least four years of pertinent work experience and pass a state-issued examination. Once licensed, some states require engineers to meet continuing education requirements in order to retain their license.

At the doctoral level, students may enroll in Ph.D. programs in general or interdisciplinary engineering. These programs can offer concentration options in subjects like environmental health engineering or computer engineering, and typically result in a dissertation based on original research. Ph.D. programs typically lead to academic or research-based careers.

Engineers can earn a master's degree in general engineering to broaden their knowledge of engineering management and analysis. Upon graduation, students may be more competitive candidates for a wide range of engineering careers.

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