Master of Science Vs Master of Engineering: Difference & Salary

Jun 16, 2018

Compare Master of Science in Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees. You will be given a breakdown of admission requirements along with the graduation requirements for each option. You will also find information detailing how either choice affects your salary and job prospects in the future.

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If you're trying to make a choice between earning a Master of Science in Engineering vs. a Master of Engineering, you'll want to consider time to completion and the future prospects that each can give you. Below you will find a detailed breakdown of the similarities and the differences between the two, including the courses and graduation requirements.

Master of Science vs Master of Engineering: Program Comparisons

Master of Science

Common admission requirements: For those who are seeking a Master of Science in Engineering a GPA of at least 3.0 is required for admission into most graduate programs. In addition, you need to have three to five letters of recommendation from either professors or employers in the field of study. Students wishing to pursue this degree should also have a bachelor's degree in engineering technology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science or another related scientific field of study.

Length of program: Typically students can expect to take thirty credit hours of work spanning over three to four semesters in addition to completing a thesis. The average time required for the completion of a Master of Science in Engineering is between one and a half to two years.

Course requirements: Unlike a Master of Engineering degree, a Master of Science in Engineering degree does not require many of the core engineering classes to be taken in order to fulfill graduation requirements. Instead, students focus on research rather than coursework on the way to their degree.

Career outlook: Those who pursue this particular degree tend to become project managers, quality managers, higher education lecturers or biomedical engineers. Unlike those with a Master of Engineering degree, students with this particular degree tend to focus more on the research aspect of the field rather than working directly in the industry itself. As such, those looking to secure a PhD should select this degree path over a Master of Engineering degree.

Master of Engineering

Common admission requirements: Similar to a Master of Science degree, a Master of Engineering degree usually requires that the student have a GPA of at least a 3.0 for admission. Also like a Master of Science degree a student must have three to five letters of recommendation. Students should also have completed an engineering based calculus course as well as have taken their GRE. Bachelor's degree requirements are similar to a Master of Science in Engineering, but it is preferred that students have a degree in either engineering or a related field of study.

Length of program: Typically students who choose this degree path can expect the process to take around a year to complete. Like a Master of Science, students are required to complete thirty credit hours, but they can sometimes do this in just two semesters. The time for completion can be shortened if the student has completed an internship or has transferable credits that are equitable to required course work.

Course requirements: Students who choose this degree path will find that it differs from a Master of Science in Engineering in that it requires completion of a certain set of core engineering courses. Such courses can include, but aren't limited to structural mechanics, biomedical systems, design and manufacturing and systems engineering. The number and variation of courses will depend on which area of focus a graduate wishes to pursue.

Career outlook: Individuals who choose this degree path often times have a job waiting for them upon graduation thanks to internship work. They typically enter the industry right away and secure jobs like software developer, senior electrical engineer, construction project manager and structural engineer.

Master of Science vs Master of Engineering: Jobs and Salary

Careers/jobs: While there are some differences in the jobs that graduates typically select, in terms of what jobs a person can find within the industry there isn't much distinction. With either degree an individual can secure pretty much any job within the field of engineering that they wish. Those with a Master of Science tend to have a slightly greater chance of being hired due to their ability to advance in their education toward a PhD, but the difference is very negligible.

Potential salary: Across the board there isn't really a difference in terms of salary as it relates to degree choice. No matter if an individual has a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science, those within a specific job tend to earn the same amount. There is a slight difference in the variation of jobs that one can do with each degree, since those with a Master of Science can earn a PhD later on and lecture, whereas those with a Master in Engineering typically cannot.

If you are looking for a chance at further education down the road and a larger breadth of courses, then the selection of a Master of Science in Engineering over a Master of Engineering is ideal. As far as your time commitment goes, a Master of Science in Engineering will often take longer to earn.

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