Best Graduate Degrees for Engineers

Students interested in enrolling in graduate-level degree programs in the field of engineering have a number of attractive options to choose from across the country. Explore some top-ranked graduate engineering programs and what degrees they offer.

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Individuals who are interested in enrolling in a highly selective and competitive program for their graduate engineering studies may want to check which graduate engineering programs are considered the best in the United States, based on various national rankings. We will explore some well-ranked programs below.

Top Graduate Engineering Programs

The following schools are highly ranked across a number of academic rankings and educational publications. Many of these graduate engineering programs offer graduate degrees in a wide variety of engineering subfields, like nuclear engineering, chemical engineering, and civil engineering.

Stanford University

Considered one of the top engineering schools in the country, Stanford University offers students a number of graduate engineering degree options through its nine engineering-related academic departments. Students can pursue master's and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and materials science and engineering, among other fields. The school also offers a number of coterminal degree programs, like in civil and environmental engineering, which allow undergraduate students to complete both undergraduate and graduate coursework at the same time in order to graduate with two degrees.

Students enrolled in graduate programs are actively encouraged to take courses outside of their specific subfield of engineering in order to gain a broader understanding of the field. Stanford also offers engineering graduate students a number of research assistantships, TA positions, and graduate fellowships.

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley is widely regarded as one of the best schools a student interested in graduate engineering programs could attend. It offers Master of Science and doctoral degree programs in a variety of subfields, like mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, industrial engineering, bioengineering, and electrical engineering. Berkeley also give students the option of pursuing a Master of Engineering degree program, which gives them more flexibility in selecting courses that are of particular interest to them and their career goals. Students attending the graduate school of engineering have the option of participating in student organizations like the Engineering Student Council, as well as professional and academic organizations like the Berkeley Nanotechnology Club or the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, always ranks very highly across a number of ranking systems as offering some of the best programs in the country in fields related to technology, including engineering. At the graduate level, MIT offers degree programs in electrical engineering and computer science, chemical engineering, medical science and engineering, materials science and engineering, and biological engineering, among a few other options.

Beyond these standard options, MIT also is known for allowing students to pursue interdisciplinary studies by combining courses from different fields. For example, students at MIT may choose to enroll in a master's program in computational science and engineering or social engineering systems. The school also offers a number of global opportunities, like its programs in Portugal, as well as the opportunities to partner with other universities like Harvard in pursuing a degree in health sciences and technology.

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, is a well-respected educational institute that offers students a number of graduate degree options in the field of engineering. Students can pursue interdisciplinary programs in environmental science and engineering, which combines courses in biology, engineering, physics, and chemistry. They also can enroll in programs in medical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and aeronautics. Caltech's space engineering programs is a unique program that offers students the opportunity to work with professionals and organizations in the space engineering industry, like NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Most of Caltech's graduate degrees are offered at the PhD level, though some allow students to only complete a master's degree.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Known to be a leader in public university education, the University of Michigan continues this tradition by offering a number of selective and competitive graduate engineering degree programs. The university offers students options in their degree selection, like the traditional Master of Science degree that is designed for students without an engineering background, the Master of Science in Engineering degree that is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and a Master of Engineering degree that can be completed in as few as 12 months. The school also offers students a number of PhD degrees in engineering subfields, as well as the Doctor of Engineering in Manufacturing degree.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs in Engineering

When applying to a graduate program in engineering, admission requirements likely vary from school to school. However, there are some common requirements that students should be able to fulfill. Applicants applying to master's and doctoral degrees will usually need a bachelor's degree in a field like engineering or a related scientific or mathematical subject. Top-ranked schools have competitive admissions, so completing a rigorous undergraduate program and achieving a high GPA will help make a student a stronger candidate. Students will need to submit their transcripts, along with letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume, and GRE scores.

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