Best Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees 2024

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If you’re passionate about designing and building complex machinery, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering could be the perfect fit. Mechanical engineering is a field of study that combines mathematical and engineering principles to craft innovative machines that cater to a variety of human needs.

In a mechanical engineering program, you’ll learn various technical skills, including thermodynamics, mechanics, materials science, and computer-aided design. You’ll also gain hands-on experience through laboratory sessions and research projects, where you’ll have the opportunity to design and build machines that solve real-world problems.

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After graduation, various career paths will be available, including aerospace, manufacturing, automotive technology, and robotics. Mechanical engineers are in high demand in these industries, as they are responsible for designing and developing cutting-edge machinery that drives innovation and improves efficiency.

The good news is that you don’t have to attend a traditional on-campus program to earn your mechanical engineering degree. Many online bachelor’s degree programs in mechanical engineering allow you to complete coursework from the comfort of your home. This makes pursuing your dream of becoming a mechanical engineer easier than ever.

Best Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees

Top 5 Best Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees 2024

1. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

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  • LocationsNorfolk (VA)
  • Annual Tuition: $30,960
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Avg. Aid Package: $7,702
  • Repayment Rate: 93%
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Recommend Rate: 87%
  • School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
  • Undergraduate Online: 6,609 enrolled
  • Graduate Online: 2,749 enrolled
  • Certificate Online: 101 enrolled

Old Dominion’s (ODU) Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology offers a specialization in Mechanical Engineering Technology, which examines computer-aided drawing, statistics, automation, and control.

Being a principal university that is a public one, ODU can offer four different concentrations in the degree: (1) Manufacturing Systems, (2) Marine Systems, (3) Mechanical Systems Design as well as (4) Mechatronics Systems. The BS will require 120 hours of credit, including core classes covering Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Design of Machine Elements, and Electrical Laboratory.

It typically takes four years to complete the degree online with a full-time schedule. Students are prepared to work as coordinators of operations for facilities, systems engineers, and technicians.

ODU utilizes Canvas for its online course. Canvas is an online application that provides additional digital resources, including technical and academic assistance and free software.

2. ECPI University Online

ECPI University Online

  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Annual Tuition: $17,479
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 74%
  • Avg. Aid Package: $5,479
  • Repayment Rate: 88%
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Retention Rate: 43%
  • Recommend Rate: 46%
  • School Type: For Profit
  • Undergraduate Online: 6,192 enrolled
  • Graduate Online: 462 enrolled
  • Certificate Online: 18 enrolled

ECPI University Online (ECPI) is a private institution offering a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. The degree requires the completion of 124 credits that full-time students can complete in about four years.

ECPI students utilize Canvas as their primary learning management system, allowing them to complete online courses quickly. The ECPI mechanical engineering degree curriculum was designed to instruct students in mathematics and the scientific processes involved in designing systems.

The study also explores the techniques and tools used in the latest mechanical engineering technology. The courses comprise Manufacturing Processes, Applied Engineering Programming, and Graphics Communication.

Students must also finish the Senior Project. The job opportunities include production engineers, industrial engineers, or mechanical engineering consultants.

3. University of Alabama

University of Alabama

  • Locations: Tuscaloosa (AL)
  • Annual Tuition: $31,090
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 85%
  • Avg. Aid Package: $16,363
  • Repayment Rate: 92%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Recommend Rate: 96%
  • School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
  • Undergraduate Online: 3,290 enrolled
  • Graduate Online: 2,796 enrolled
  • Certificate Online: 830 enrolled

The University of Alabama is a large, public university offering a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The program is based on at least 126 hours of credit and is completed in just four years on an all-time basis. The course is mostly online via Blackboard. However, it requires three labs in person and additional face–to–face elements.

A BS in Mechanical Engineering that teaches students about complicated machines related to robotics, bioengineering, automotive and power generation. Courses of study include small-scale engineering graphics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and engineering foundations.

Engineering job opportunities are in the fields you prefer, like manufacturing, automotive, construction, and biomedical. AU provides students with online services that provide academic guidance, building skills, writing, and tutoring.

4. University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota

  • Locations: Grand Forks (ND)
  • Annual Tuition: $15,037
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94% 
  • Avg. Aid Package: $5,576
  • Repayment Rate: 96%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Recommend Rate: 91%
  • School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
  • Undergraduate Online2,118 enrolled
  • Graduate Online: 2,067 enrolled
  • Certificate Online: 467 enrolled

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a medium-sized university with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering that requires at least 129 hours of credit. With the full-time program, this degree is available online for six years or on-campus for four years.

The course is science-based and focuses on collaboration to solve complicated engineering issues. Students can choose from concentrations within Mechanical Design, Thermal Sciences, Aerospace, or Manufacturing and Materials.

The courses are offered in Engineering Disasters and Ethics, Intermediate Fluid Mechanics, and Manufacturing Processes. Students must also participate in Cooperative Education, which functions as an internship. Students can find jobs in transportation, medicine or renewable energy manufacturing.

UND makes use of Blackboard for online courses. Students online have access to numerous services for students, such as tutoring and career counselling.

5. Indiana State University

Indiana State University

  • Locations: Terre Haute (IN)
  • Annual Tuition: $20,862
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Avg. Aid Package: $8,657
  • Repayment Rate: 89%
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Recommend Rate: 91%
  • School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
  • Undergraduate Online: 1,930 enrolled
  • Graduate Online
  • Certificate Online

Indiana State University (ISU) is a public university that includes the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology, which requires 72 credits. This online program is intended for students with transfer credits that satisfy the minimum requirement of 120 credits at ISU.

The typical time to complete this degree is approximately four years for full-time students. At ISU, students utilize Canvas as their education platform. Courses are offered entirely online. The primary curriculum for this program focuses on two areas: design and management. Students acquire practical skills through the hands-on experience of computer-aided design and develop professional competencies in managing resources and people.

Three examples of courses required for students are technical Graphics with CAD, Applied Statics, and Fluid Power Technology. Students must also submit a final project to show their superior design knowledge. Opportunities for graduates to work in the field include entering fields like design installations, technical sales manufacturing, and maintenance.

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List Of Accredited Online Mechanical Engineering Schools

School Online Enrollment  Annual Tuition 
Old Dominion University 6,609 $30,960
ECPI University Online  6,192 $17,479
University of Alabama 3,290 $31,090
University of North Dakota 2,118 $15,037
Indiana State University 1,930 $20,862
 

Overview of an Online Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is the most enduring and broad engineering field encompassing various disciplines, including aerospace engineering and automotive engineering, computer-aided design (CAD) manufacturing of products, and energy. It is possible to choose one or two of these classes as electives to satisfy the requirements for graduation and to explore potential career options.

Most mechanical engineers have a minimum bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or related engineering. It is possible to complete these courses online, but certain require lab attendance on campus for specific courses. Undergraduate programs generally take about four years to achieve when you are on a full-time course and need 120 to 130 credit hours. These bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering programs could be more difficult for part-time students to complete.

While a mechanical engineering course does not necessarily require an internship, many think this is the best way to gain job experience. School advisors can assist you in locating these types of work-based opportunities that employers view as beneficial. Completing a student internship with your education can aid in building your resume and establishing a network with potential employers.

Levels of Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees

Mechanical Engineering degrees are available at bachelor’s, master’s and certificate levels. Each level helps engineers prepare for increasingly advanced roles.

Bachelor’s Degree

The undergraduate degrees offered in this field equip students with a solid understanding of real-world engineering concepts such as designing and assembling products, heat transfer fundamentals, and various programming languages. The course includes foundational math, chemistry, and physics courses.

Master’s Degree

An online master’s degree in mechanical engineering focuses on the lifecycle of products, including graphic simulation software patent law, design processes, the assessment of risk, advanced mathematics, and team management. Students can take on more senior engineering jobs by selecting an area of study, for example, mechanical engineering for fluids, materials, manufacturing, and design.

Doctoral Degree

At this level, students can conduct innovative research in various fields of study, including nanotechnology and alternative energy technologies, in addition to lean manufacturing. A doctoral degree explains traditional mechanical concepts and recent advancements and technologies. These programs in mechanical engineering could require several years of study, direct the creation and defence of dissertations, and open the doors to teaching at universities or on research or development.

Certificate Programs

Professionals and students seeking additional education within a particular subject may be interested in obtaining the certificate. Mechanical engineering certificates provide a wide range of topics, including matrix theory and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromechanical and thermodynamic systems.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are the same for all mechanical engineering online bachelor’s degrees. Although prerequisite courses are typically not necessary, it is beneficial to have taken the most advanced mathematics, sciences and physics courses in high school. This feat and higher grades can increase your chances of acceptance into your preferred mechanical engineering school.

In general, the requirements for students in the first year comprise the following:

  • The diploma of high school (alternatively, HSE or GED scores from tests)
  • The four core classes at high school include three units comprised of English and three teams in Algebra I or higher, three lab science units, and three Social Studies classes.
  • Scores from SAT/ACT
  • 2.0 minimum GPA
  • An application cost typically ranges from $30 to $50.

Students can transfer to degree programs after completing 24-30 credits from an accredited college. Transfer students aren’t usually required to submit scores from standardized admission tests. However, they must provide high school or college transcripts with a 2.5 GPA and an application fee.

Common Courses in an Online Mechanical Engineering Program

Mechanical Engineering students are required to complete general education courses, the core prerequisites for their major and electives.

Below are a few classes that are the same in all mechanical engineering programs:

Introduction to Robotics and Automation

The material of this course includes system design, studies, and the simulation of robots used for manufacturing automation.

Strength of Materials

In this class, students will study the types of materials used in science and the impact of pressure and stress on engineering materials, including beams, pressure vessel columns, shafts, etc. The course examines how deformations, weaknesses, and design flaws can weaken the material’s strength.

Fundamentals of Manufacturing

Faculty provide students with information about the theories and offer students lab experiences in cutting, inspection, chip forming, numerical control, and other newly developed methods.

Electronic Fundamentals

This course explores the electronic elements, laws, and theories of electronics and their application to current, force power, resistance, and force. This class also offers an overview of power sources and amplifiers.

Applied Statistics

In this class, students learn about statistical concepts in this course, how to apply statistical data and how to use graphic and analytical techniques to establish equilibrium, force, and friction in frames, couples sheaves, trusses and pulleys.

Is an Online Degree in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?

A mechanical engineering degree online is a good option If you’re looking to integrate math sciences, mechanics, and science. Through this program, you’ll be taught the skills of critical and analytical thinking to develop ideas and come up with solutions. A mechanical engineering degree that ABET accredits shows the academic rigour of a program for employers who count on ABET’s approval when hiring engineers with the right skills.

The value of an online education does not merely depend on your preferences but also your learning style and your financial and professional goals. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of a mechanical engineering degree online can assist you in making an informed choice.

Potential Benefits

  • The average take-home salary is excessive for mechanical engineers in general. Mechanical engineers make more than twice the median annual wage for all the other professions.
  • Various engineering organizations across the country give a sense of community and help. Students are often part of organizations in the field, like ASME and ASHRAE, during their time at the school system and maintain with these organizations throughout their lives since they offer ongoing training, opportunities for career advancement, and networking opportunities.
  • You could reduce your expenses by enrolling in classes online. Many schools provide flat or in-state tuition costs for online courses, often less costly than obtaining a degree on campus. Schools may also contribute to waiving certain student costs, and you don’t have to fret about driving to and from the campus.

Potential Drawbacks

  • A web-based ME degree could require classes on campus. It can be not easy to complete the necessary labwork. Be a challenge when you are far from the school. It can also be difficult to arrange the time required to complete the task amid other responsibilities.
  • Physics, math and statistics are difficult to master as they comprise this field. If you find math or science courses particularly difficult, you might not like taking classes in mechanical engineering.
  • There is a substantial gender pay gap between males and women in mechanical engineering. AA 2020 Stanford study shows female mechanical engineers with similar educational backgrounds as male engineers make 15% less than some might find depressing.

Bottom Line

The ability to earn your degree in mechanical engineering online is an excellent opportunity to get your career off the ground and meet your goals. The top schools offering online mechanical engineering programs are accredited and highly regarded. If you’re looking to work in aerospace engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, or any other possibility for those with an online mechanical engineering degree, explore the various options and determine which one is best for you.

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