Online master's degree programs in mechanical engineering are intended for those who hold a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited school. Prospective students may also need to get access to specific hardware and software before enrolling. Potential students will want to look for programs accredited by ABET.
Mechanical engineers are typically required to hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions, but a graduate degree may be required for upper-level and managerial positions. Mechanical engineers who offer their services directly to the public are required to be licensed in every state, although the exact requirements for licensing vary by state.
Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Master's degree programs in mechanical engineering provide students and working professionals with enhanced theoretical and practical skills. Students use data analysis, research and basic scientific theories to develop a greater understanding of the thermal and fluid sciences. Graduate programs should be accredited by ABET, which is an organization that accredits United States advanced degree programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.
Information and Requirements
Candidates typically must hold a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from an accredited college or university. Some institutions may require students to have work experience in a related field. Many programs are offered completely online. Courses are viewed using online learning management systems, such as Blackboard, as well as streaming video and audio. Students are advised to possess a computer that satisfies the program's hardware and software requirements in order to complete coursework and engage with professors and classmates.
List of Common Mechanical Engineering Courses
Master's students examine the skills and techniques necessary for professional practice. They gain advanced knowledge in the research and problem-solving concepts applicable to the development of products and solutions for industry.
This course provides an overview of the philosophies and methodologies behind machine design. Students explore the concepts of stresses and failure models that are leveraged in static and fatigue loading. Other topics of discussion include the selection and implementation of machine elements.
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of modern computational mechanics. Major areas of study include mappings and iterative methods, numerical and symbolic solutions, and ordinary and partial differential equations.
Fatigue Design and Analysis
In this online course, methods of design analysis to avoid fatigue failures are studied. Topics covered include identifying signs of fatigue in mechanical systems and leveraging life prediction methods in machine design.
Master's degree holders are generally qualified for senior- or executive-level positions in the private sector. Graduates can pursue career options as mechanical engineers and may be responsible for designing and developing engines, machines and electronic devices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for mechanical engineers was about $83,590 as of May 2015.
Engineers need to complete a licensed exam to earn a professional engineer designation. In order to be eligible for this exam, applicants need to have graduated from an ABET-accredited program and have four years of experience.
Those who want to teach at the university level or perform research may need to complete an engineering doctoral degree program. The majority of these programs must be completed on-campus.
Students with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering can boost their job prospects by earning a master's degree in the field, and fully online programs are available. Instruction is typically provided through video and audio lectures in a virtual classroom environment, and students complete assignments that challenge them to solve advanced engineering problems.