While M.S. and M.Eng. programs in mechanical engineering are fairly similar, M.Eng. programs typically don't require a thesis. M.S. programs may include both non-thesis and thesis options.
To be considered for admission, a bachelor's degree in engineering is often required, but a degree in another field may be accepted with additional requirements such as coursework or work experience. Manufacturing and the government are just a few of the career possibilities for mechanical engineers with graduate-level degrees.
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering allows students to pursue in-depth study in areas such as manufacturing, design, or robotics. Many master's programs provide students the opportunity to choose a thesis or non-thesis track of study. The non-thesis option might require students to pursue an independent study or take additional courses in place of a thesis. This degree program is also designed to prepare individuals for further educational undertakings, such as a doctoral program.
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Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
Many Master of Engineering degree programs are interdisciplinary in nature, allowing students to take courses aside from engineering, such as business administration or biological sciences. Unlike the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, this degree is typically a coursework-only program, meaning students aren't required to complete a thesis.
Many individuals entering this master's degree program typically have previous work experience and are seeking to enhance their skillset or specialize in a concentration, like the areas of robotics or thermo-fluids. Since both a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering degree program are very similar, students enrolled in either program might encounter common coursework themes, including:
- Advanced materials processing
- Mechanical engineering design
- Advanced vibration theory
- Advanced CAD and CAE
- Manufacturing design
- Computation in engineering
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of mechanical engineering jobs is expected to grow 5% from 2014 to 2024, which is similar to the national average for all jobs. Fortunately, mechanical engineers have the training acquired through degree programs to move into other industries, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, agriculture and government jobs. According to a 2015 BLS report, the median annual salary of mechanical engineers was $83,590.
Mechanical engineering graduate students who want to complete a thesis may consider Master of Science programs, which can also prepare them for enrollment in doctoral programs. Master of Engineering programs are often designed for experience engineers and don't require a thesis project. Job opportunities for mechanical engineers are expected to increase at an average pace from 2014-2024.