For working engineers who want to get an advanced degree, finding a cheap online master’s degree in engineering is the best way to start saving money. Many degree programs require you to take classes that may not fall into line with your final goals. Colleges and universities are developing affordable masters of engineering degree programs that are tailored to meet the needs of the student. Instead of requiring students to take courses they really don’t need, students are allowed to choose courses that fall more in line with what they want to achieve. This means the student only pays for classes they really need or want to take instead of paying for classes they don’t.
Talk to your employer to see if they would cover a portion of the cost of your education. Many employers will support their employees returning to school to complete their education, especially if they want the employee to remain with the company. Work-study programs offer employees an opportunity to maintain their job while attending an affordable Masters of engineering degree online. An employer will sometimes choose to pay all or at least half of the cost of their classes.
Our Method: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Master’s of Engineering Programs
To rank the most affordable online engineering master’s programs, Value Colleges editors started with accredited, trusted programs known for their quality, job market value, and return on investment. But for budget-conscious working adults, we ranked programs on one simple factor: their tuition rate, drawn from IPEDS data.
1. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers an affordable masters of engineering that allows students to focus on their career objectives. The MS in Engineering Management from the university prepares students to take on leadership roles and to find creative solutions to address concerns or problems that may arise when working on a project. It ensures that students are ready to work in a management position.
The University of North Carolina in Charlotte emphasizes the combination of management and engineering skills. That unique combination of skills ensures that students are able to handle the challenges of working in a complex environment and helps students manage a team of engineers to complete important tasks and projects. It also teaches students to look into creative methods of addressing challenges or concerns. The University of North Carolina in Charlotte is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Degree: MS in Engineering Management
2. New Mexico State University
When you’re looking for the most affordable masters engineering online, you want to consider the engineering programs at New Mexico State University. The school offers two engineering masters degree programs: electrical engineering and industrial engineering. Students can focus on the type of engineering that appeals to their personal interests and goals. The degree programs emphasize the process of working with multi-disciplinary teams and addressing concerns that may arise in a workplace environment.
New Mexico State University offers a flexible approach to engineering education. Students can take a fully online degree program, a hybrid online program, or a traditional program as it fits their personal interests, goals, and situation. That flexibility allows students to work at their own pace and keep up with work or personal obligations. It ensures that students are able to work on their degree, even if they have challenging schedules. New Mexico State University offers scholarships to students in the online program.
Degree: Electrical or Industrial
3. Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University offers one of the most affordable masters of engineering degrees for students who want to become a leader in their careers. The Master of Engineering Management degree program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to engineering and leadership skills as it relates to working in a management position. It teaches students the skills they need to lead a team or to work in a business setting.
Arkansas State University offers an online and a traditional course for students who want to obtain an engineering management degree at the master’s level. The ability to choose from a fully online degree program to a traditional on-campus program allows students to determine the best option for their schedules and situation. It also ensures that students are able to work around obligations that limit their time during normal classroom hours. Arkansas State University is a military-friendly school that works with students who are in the military.
Degree: Master of Engineering Management
4. Kennesaw State University
Students who want to obtain a master’s degree in engineering will find that Kennesaw State University is a good option for their goals. It offers one of the most affordable masters engineering online degree programs with an emphasis on student preferences. The school allows students to choose from five concentrations within engineering. Since students can focus on electrical engineering, civil engineering, engineering management, mechanical engineering, or systems engineering, it allows students to evaluate their personal goals for a career.
Kennesaw State University stands out by emphasizing student interests within applied engineering. It allows students to focus on specific areas of engineering based on their personal goals and preferences. That flexibility allows students to keep up with their career goals. It gives students the opportunity to gain specific skills that are ideal for their objectives for the future. The Senior Education Group ranks Kennesaw State University in the top 17 colleges for affordability at the master’s level.
Degree: MS in Applied Engineering-Electrical, Civil Engineering, Engineering Management, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering
5. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma offers an MS in Civil Engineering online that allows students to prepare for a leadership role in engineering. The degree program focuses on the complexities involved in civil engineering as well as the technical skills students need to advance in their careers. Students learn the practical application of engineering skills and tools as it relates to different environments and situations.
The University of Oklahoma stands out by offering a fully online program that gives students a flexible schedule. It allows students to work at their own pace and ensures that course material is available as students work through the classes. The program is taught by the same teachers that teach the on-campus classes, so students can expect a quality education while working on their degrees. The civil engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma is an accelerated program that allows students to finish within 21 months.
Degree: MS in Civil Engineering
6. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University offers a Master of Engineering program online that prepares students for the rigors of working as an engineer. The degree program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to engineering and gives students a strong foundation in the practical tools they need when working as an engineer. It also gives students a broad understanding of engineering as it applies to multiple situations and technologies.
Texas Tech University stands apart by offering students the opportunity to study topics of interest through elective courses. Students are able to gain specialized skills and education in specific areas of engineering by taking classes that fit their personal interests and goals. It gives students a chance to focus on their career objectives and to emphasize the skills that are most relevant to their career goals. Texas Tech University offers scholarships to graduate students.
Degree: Master of Engineering
7. Texas A&M University–Kingsville
Texas A&M University in Kingsville offers an MS in Industrial Engineering that teaches students the practical skills they need to improve on industrial systems and technology. It also emphasizes analytical skills as it relates to engineering and critical thinking skills to ensure that students are able to think of solutions to complex problems based on the skills they develop.
The way Texas A&M University in Kingsville differs from other programs is the educational options for students. The engineering degree is available online or on-campus. It gives students the opportunity to determine if they want to study at their own pace and work around a current job, or if they want to take a more traditional approach to their education. That flexibility gives students a chance to determine the best options based on their situation and goals. Texas A&M University in Kingsville has received the HP Catalyst grant for the Developing STEM project.
Degree: MS in Industrial Engineering
8. University of New Orleans
The MS in Engineering Management from the University of New Orleans is a fully online degree program that combines business management skills with engineering skills. The degree program emphasizes skills that allow students to take on challenging leadership roles in engineering or within a business that involves engineers in work projects. Students are able to become team leaders or managers when they are finished with the degree.
The University of New Orleans emphasizes technical and financial skills to give students a broad understanding of the practical application of engineering skills in a corporate or business environment. It gives students a broad education that prepares them to take on challenging roles in the workplace. By emphasizing the business side of engineering, the degree program ensures that students are able to minimize risks and costs when working on a project. The University of New Orleans requires all students to complete a capstone project, even if they are in the non-thesis master’s program.
Degree: MS in Engineering Management
9. Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana Tech University offers two master’s degree programs in engineering. Students can take the MS in Engineering and Technology Management or the MS in Industrial Engineering. The engineering and technology management degree emphasizes leadership skills as it applies to the engineering or technology industries. It gives students a strong foundation in analysis, statistics, and mathematics. The industrial engineering program teaches students to analyze existing tools and then make adjustments to improve the technology or tools for greater sustainability, efficiency, or risk management.
Louisiana Tech University offers online and on-campus courses for two of its master’s level engineering programs. That flexibility allows working adults to complete their degrees when they have time. It also gives students greater flexibility to handle complicated or challenging schedules that may limit their time for studies. Louisiana Tech University uses a quarter system for student degree programs, so students can start their degree at four times of the year.
Degree: MS in Engineering and Technology Management or Industrial Engineering
10. University of Wisconsin Stout
The University of Wisconsin in Stout offers an affordable MS in Manufacturing Engineering that emphasizes critical thinking, system design, and automation. The degree program recognizes that students need practical skills for their work, and it provides a strong foundation that allows students to develop useful skills that work well with different companies and industries.
The University of Wisconsin in Stout offers a hybrid online program that allows students to work around their personal schedules for their educations. Students are able to take online classes for greater convenience to fit their schedules. It also offers night and weekend classes on-campus for students who want to work around their jobs or personal obligations. By providing a flexible solution, the school allows working adults to complete their degrees. The University of Wisconsin in Stout helps students meet some qualification standards for the Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate.
Degree: MS in Manufacturing Engineering
11. California State University, Fullerton
The MS in Environmental Engineering from California State University, Fullerton is an affordable online program that helps students prepare for their work as an engineer. The degree emphasizes sustainable technology and engineering practices as it applies to sustainability and the environment. It gives students the practical skills and training they need to address conventional environmental concerns. Students will be able to work with government agencies, private companies, and corporations to accomplish specific goals for improved environmentally friendly technology.
California State University in Fullerton stands out by using a cohort model for student education. Students follow a cohort schedule for their online degree, so they must keep up with their cohort to complete their degrees. The school does allow students in good standing to fall into the next cohort if a situation arises that prevents them from following the current cohort schedule. California State University in Fullerton requires students to complete a capstone project as part of their degree program.
Degree: MS in Environmental Engineering
12. University of Nebraska Lincoln
The Master of Engineering Management from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln prepares students for the challenges of taking on management and leadership roles. The degree program emphasizes leadership skills as it applies to engineering projects and working with a team of engineers. It also gives students the strong foundation in engineering they need to keep up with the project and analyze potential concerns that may arise. Students gain business skills and engineering skills for a well-rounded education.
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln emphasizes technical skills through its online program. It gives students a chance to develop useful skills that apply to a variety of industries and positions. By combining technical and practical skills with leadership skills, the program prepares students to work as a team lead or a manager in a business that works with engineers for different projects or goals. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is ranked among the top schools for its graduate program in engineering by U.S. News and World Reports.
Degree: Master of Engineering Management
13. University of Wisconsin-Platteville
The affordable online MS in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville builds on student experience and training in engineering theory and mathematics to prepare them for the practical use of theoretical knowledge. It emphasizes engineering skills and leadership skills to help students prepare for a leadership position. It also recognizes that students need effective communication skills when working with professionals from other fields and industries.
The University of Wisconsin in Platteville encourages students to learn communication skills as it relates to engineering. It teaches students the proper methods to communicate with others in different fields so that projects are completed in a timely manner. It also prepares students to take on leadership roles and ensures that students have the management skills to handle challenges when working as a team lead on an engineering project. The University of Wisconsin in Platteville is ABET-accredited for its engineering program.
Degree: MS in Engineering
14. University of North Dakota
Students searching for the most affordable masters in engineering online should take a look at the University of North Dakota. Not only is the school affordable, but it also offers a huge selection of engineering majors. Students can choose from biomedical engineering, civil engineering, data science, energy systems engineering, petroleum engineering, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, cyber security, mechanical engineering, or unmanned aerial systems engineering.
The University of North Dakota was founded before North Dakota was even a state. The school is the largest in North Dakota and is a leader is unmanned aircraft systems, aviation, medicine, and engineering. UND is one of the top research institutions in the nation and excels in academics. Students at UND are prepared not just for their careers, but for life. UND graduates make an impact on the world around them. The University of North Dakota has an average class size of 24.
Degree: Many concentrations
15. University of Maine
The University of Maine Online offers a Professional Science Master’s in Engineering and Business. This affordable masters of engineering consists of 30 credits and is 100% online. The program is made up of nine credits of business courses, 15 credits of engineering courses, and six credits of field experience. Courses for the surveying engineering concentration include advanced project management, advanced adjustment computations, advanced boundary law, introduction to geographic information systems, survey strategies in use of lidar, advanced digital photogrammetry, and geodesy.
The University of Maine is committed to providing opportunities for everyone in the community through its 100+ degree programs. The school was one of the first universities in New England and is affordably priced to be accessible to as many students as possible. The University of Maine is dedicated to seeing its students succeed. The school has a top-notch research program and outstanding faculty. The surveying engineering concentration is offered online.
Degree: PSM in Engineering and Business
16. University of Houston
Next on the list of the most affordable masters in engineering online is the University of Houston, which offers eight online master’s degrees in engineering. Engineering students can choose to major in subsea engineering, petroleum engineering (MS or MPetE), mechanical engineering (MS or MME), electrical engineering – power and energy systems, construction management, or civil engineering. Opportunities for engineers are expected to grow by 11% through 2023, which means approximately 250,000 new jobs that will need to be filled.
The University of Houston Online & Special Programs offers hybrid and online programs for students who require a more flexible way to earn their degrees. The division provides support in developing online programs in order to help the university reach its goal of being competitive both nationally and internationally in its online offerings. The University of Houston started offering distance education in 1953 through its educational television station.
Degree: 8 concentration
17. Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University has earned its place among schools offering the most affordable masters in engineering online with eight online engineering degrees. Students can choose from aerospace engineering, computational engineering, civil engineering, computer science and engineering, industrial and systems engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or a master of engineering with a concentration in military engineering or general engineering.
The Bagley College of Engineering is more than 100 years old and is one of the top engineering colleges for expenditures on research and development. The school is committed to diversity, with 11% of its enrollment made up of African American students. Nationwide, African Americans earn just 5% of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering. The Bagley College is committed to increasing the number of female engineers in the workforce and has programs in place to encourage more high school girls to consider pursuing a degree in engineering. The College of Engineering has an enrollment of almost 5000 students.
Degree: Aerospace, Civil, Computational, Electrical and Computer, Industrial and Systems
18. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers a MS in Engineering Management with a concentration in Engineering Management or Construction Management. This affordable masters of engineering provides students with the skills they need to pursue a career in engineering. The engineering management concentration covers strategic management, leadership and entrepreneurship, decision making and optimization, project management, quality control and reliability, and engineering economics and finance.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science produces graduates who are in demand in the workforce. The school provides a hands-on education that prepares students to take on the challenges they will face in the real world. Students participate in internships and are involved in research. The small class sizes allow for close interaction with faculty members, who serve as mentors, helping students reach their true potential. The school has partnered with many organizations around the world and locally in order to give students the opportunities they need to succeed.
Degree: MS in Engineering Management
19. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers an MS in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering Management. These affordable masters of engineering degrees prepare students to be outstanding engineers. The industrial engineering degree covers topics such as quality control, engineering statistics, applied automation, risk analysis, project management, applied operations research, and decision support systems. The engineering management degree covers decision-making and managerial skills for engineers who want to advance to management roles in their careers.
The University of South Florida is dedicated to seeing its students achieve success. The school has over 50,000 students and is committed to helping close the achievement gap for students regardless of their ethnic, cultural, or economic backgrounds. USF has eight highly-ranked graduate programs and has a technology incubator on campus that has created more than 230 local jobs. The University of South Florida is a major research university.
Degree: MS in Engineering Management
20. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University offers 16 of the most affordable masters engineering degrees online. Students can choose from nuclear engineering, nanoengineering, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, integrated manufacturing systems engineering, industrial engineering, environmental engineering, engineering, electric power systems engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, computer networking, computer engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, and aerospace engineering.
North Carolina State Engineering Online is part of the North Carolina State College of Engineering. The school has top-notch faculty members, some of whom are members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Several faculty members have won recognition from the National Science Foundation, MIT Technology Review, and the White House. The school has partnerships with many industry and government organizations and works with them to help solve global problems. The online engineering programs follow the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus programs.
Degree: 16 concentrations
21. Old Dominion University
Students seeking the most affordable masters in engineering online should not overlook Old Dominion University Online. The school offers twelve online master’s degrees in engineering. Students can choose from systems engineering, mechanical engineering – design and manufacturing, engineering management by portable media, electrical and computer engineering, civil engineering – coastal engineering, modeling and simulation, environmental engineering, engineering management, cybersecurity, and aerospace engineering.
Old Dominion University Online offers more than 100 online programs and has a 97% satisfaction rate with its students. The school’s outstanding faculty helps prepare students to take the next step in their careers. The school is committed to helping its students succeed. The distance education program started with courses offered on US Navy ships and has evolved as new technologies have become available—from ships to interactive television to today’s online programs delivered through the internet. ODU has been offering education delivered via technology since the mid-1980s.
Degree: 10 concentrations
22. Purdue University
Purdue University offers six affordable masters of engineering degrees online. Students can choose from an interdisciplinary MS in engineering or major in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, electrical and computer engineering, or aeronautics and astronautics. Purdue’s online master’s in engineering is ranked in the top three by US News & World Report and features the same top-notch faculty as Purdue’s on-campus classes. Students develop the skills they need to distinguish themselves as outstanding engineers.
Purdue Online is one of the top online engineering programs in the nation and is preparing to expand through a partnership with edX and Kaplan Higher Education. The school is proud to offer a high-quality engineering education at an affordable price. The electrical and computer engineering program is the first program being offered through the edX MicroMasters® program. The partnership will help make Purdue Online’s offerings more accessible. Purdue Online is constantly looking for ways to innovate its online offerings.
Degree: 6 concentrations
23. Clemson University
Clemson University offers an online Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering. This affordable masters of engineering is designed to provide an advanced supply chain logistics degree for working professionals. Students learn to design the best possible supply chain for their place of business, whether they work in construction, tourism, healthcare, banking, distribution, manufacturing, or another industry.
Clemson University offers tough, challenging programs that give its students the skills they need to excel in their careers and in life. The school is ranked #24 in public universities by US News & World Report. Its research, teaching, and outreach is improving the quality of life throughout South Carolina and around the world. Clemson’s graduates are prepared to take on the world and help solve the problems facing humanity. Clemson’s industrial engineering master’s program has gained acclaim among several industries.
Degree: MEng in Industrial Engineering
24. Ohio University
Ohio University offers three of the most affordable masters in engineering degrees online. The school offers master’s degrees in engineering management, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. The civil engineering degree teaches students to design, operate, and supervise infrastructures that keep the modern world connected. The electrical engineering degree teaches students to design electronics and electrical systems for an assortment of varied applications. The engineering management degree is for students who want to take an engineering-centered approach to leadership and management.
The Russ College of Engineering and Technology is about creating for good. The school’s focus is to encourage students and faculty to find ways to make the world a better place. Russ has a history of creating outstanding graduates. The school seeks to be the go-to place for employers to search for outstanding graduates to fill competitive job openings. Russ College graduates make a positive impact on the world around them. Ohio University is one of the nation’s leading research institutions.
Degree: MS in Civil Engineering, MS in Electrical Engineering, Master of Engineering Management
25. Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers several of the most affordable masters engineering degrees online. Students who are interested in engineering can choose from systems engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, information science and technology, geotechnics, explosives technology, explosives engineering, environmental engineering, engineering management, electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, civil engineering, or aerospace engineering.
Missouri University of Science and Technology has been a leader in innovation and research for a long time. The school was started in 1870 as one of the first institutes of technology in the West. The school has a heritage of creativity, discovery, and innovation. Missouri S&T is committed to helping solve the world’s biggest challenges through research and education. The school strives to become the #1 public technological research university for creativity, discovery, and innovation. All online courses are taught by the school’s top-notch faculty and meet the same rigorous standards as their on-campus classes.
Degree: Numerous concentrations
How Do I Save Money on an Online Engineering Masters?
Grants and scholarships are available for engineering students who want to earn their Master’s degree and move into a managerial role. If a student wants to complete their Master’s degree, the first step is to find a grant or scholarship program that you qualify for and submit a detailed application. You may have to fill out an essay or submit supporting documentation that states your intent and why you should be awarded the grant/scholarship.
Will I Make More Money With a Master’s in Engineering?
Once you earn your Master’s in engineering degree, more opportunities for advancement will begin to appear. A Master’s in engineering salary can put you into the six-figure range, depending on the area of study you enter into. A Master’s degree provides you with additional skills that will allow you to further your career. This includes managerial skills that will allow you to oversee complex projects and supervise employees as they complete their tasks. This additional responsibility often comes with a raise in pay that is comparable to the amount of extra work you have to perform.
An engineer who has earned their Master’s degree can expect to have a salary upwards of $100,000 or higher depending on what type of engineer they are and how much experience they have in their chosen field. While an electrical engineer with a Master’s degree can earn on average, $95,000, an aerospace engineer with a Master’s degree can earn as much as $115,000 a year or higher.
If you are wondering if a Master’s in engineering is worth it, you need to ask yourself how much you want to earn and how hard you want to work for your money. With a Master’s degree, you can move forward with your career, making more money by working smarter not harder. Instead of struggling through your day working in a job that may or may not offer opportunities for advancement, take the initiative and earn your Master’s degree. An online degree will help you move ahead in your career and allow you to explore new opportunities. Your earning potential is up to you!
Do I Have to Have a Bachelor’s in Engineering to Get a Master’s?
If you have a major in a non-engineering program, like mathematics or science, you may qualify for an online Master’s of engineering degree program. If you are an engineering major and want to complete a Master’s degree program, you will have to complete the Bachelor’s degree first. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, by completing your Bachelor’s of engineering degree you create the foundation you need to start building your career. Completing a Bachelor’s degree program is an important step in the process and should not be overlooked.
Engineering Masters programs for non-engineering majors build on what a student has already learned in their Bachelor’s degree program. Most Bachelor’s degree programs offer a solid base of information that can be applied to an online Master of Engineering degree program. Bachelor’s degrees that are designed for Mathematics and Science majors include many of the same types of courses found in a Masters of Engineering program. While there are subtle differences, the student can take the information they learned and apply it to the engineering subject matter.
Students who have a Bachelor’s in Mathematics or Science can enter into a Masters in engineering degree program and earn a dual degree. A dual degree that includes a BS in Math/Science and an MS in engineering can actually make you more sought after. Companies are always looking for an employee who is capable of bringing a wide range of talents to the table. Go the extra mile to get a dual degree and you will be amazed at the opportunities you will be presented with.