Potential students should bear in mind their career goals and the type of program they are looking for when searching for available online degree programs in mechanical engineering and robotics. While programs in this field are most common at the graduate level, we explore the different degree and school options and discuss further considerations for selecting a program.
How to Select an Online Mechanical Engineering and Robotics School
Students considering online mechanical engineering and robotics schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Mechanical engineering and robotics, while they may overlap, are not often available jointly in online form. While online mechanical engineering degrees are fairly common, most online robotics degrees are offered in a hybrid format. Students must also weigh their career choices.
Program Type and Availability
Although mechanical engineering and robotics may at times be studied in the same degree program, there are currently no online degrees focusing specifically on both of these fields. Mechanical engineering degrees can be found at the graduate level, and students who wish to study robotics may have to choose a related discipline from which to approach the subject. Robotics degrees with online components usually require students to complete some portion of the program on campus.
Career Choice and Study Focus
Graduates from a robotics program study and work in areas such as artificial intelligence, systems engineering, database systems, computer communication and power management. Mechanical engineering students may study and focus on careers involving engineering or electronics, as opposed to computer technology or program automation. Students must often choose a degree focus that will determine their career options, such as autonomous vehicle design or process automation.
Online Program Availability for Mechanical Engineering and Robotics
Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Online graduate degree programs are often designed for continuing education and working professionals. This means that programs have flexible schedules with very few set deadlines. Students often take courses in:
- Engineering analysis
- Electronics management
- Heat transfer
- Vibration analysis
- Manufacture design
Online Master's Degree in Robotics Engineering
Online degrees in robotics are extremely rare. The master's degree is one of the few opportunities that students have to complete a robotics degree. Programs vary widely in their scheduling requirements. Common courses in a robotics program include:
- Control systems design
- Project management
Schools With Online Programs in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics
Purdue University offers a top-ranked online master's program in mechanical engineering that requires 30 credits. Students can choose to pursue a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering or an Interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering. They also offer a thesis or non-thesis option.
The University of Southern California has an online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program with three different specializations. Students can focus their program in engineering design, mechanics and materials or thermal and fluid sciences. This program requires at least 27 units.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an online Master of Science in Robotics Engineering degree program that is the first in the nation of its kind. Classes may be live or self-paced and students complete a capstone experience at the end of the program. The program consists of 10 courses for 30 credits and covers topics in robot control, robot dynamics, project management and more.
Online master's degree programs in mechanical engineering and robotics are readily available from various institutions. When selecting a program students need to consider their career goals and how they align with a program's focus and degree level, as well as any on-campus requirements.