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Factors to Consider When Selecting an Automotive Engineering Graduate School

Higher Education Articles August 30, 2015

The focus of graduate programs in automotive engineering is on engineering and managerial perspectives of routine vehicle maintenance and the automotive industry’s technological advancements. Those who graduate can look into administrative, development, managerial, or research careers.

Selecting an Automotive Engineering Graduate School

Four-year universities and colleges offer graduate degree programs in automotive engineering. In this article, we take a look at some important factors to consider when you select an automotive engineering graduate school.


Flexibility and scheduling concerns can influence the choice of an automotive engineering graduate program. Online courses are offered at some schools, an attractive proposition for automotive engineering students with commitments such as current employment. Some schools offer night courses whose students can avail the opportunity of pursuing an on-campus education while undergoing a full-time career.

Internship Choices

Students enrolled in some programs are allowed the choice of an emphasis in international automotive study. Those who select this option may have to spend some time overseas as part of an international internship; they may also be required to study a foreign language. In a master’s level program, extra elective courses or an internship may be offered in place of a thesis.

Research Interests and Specialization Areas

Apart from coursework and a dissertation, students enrolled in some Ph.D. programs are offered the choice of pursuing additional education in a select specialization area, such as energy or electronic systems. Some programs give dissertation work preference over coursework, whereby students enjoy more flexibility to focus on their research interests. Some schools prefer post-college work experience over academic prerequisites when considering applications for admission to a Ph.D. program.

Master’s Programs in Automotive Engineering

Bachelor’s degree holders seeking continuing education aimed at securing higher-level positions within the field or learning about new technologies could benefit from enrolling into a master’s degree program in automotive engineering. An engineering project or thesis may have to be completed by students, apart from taking part in an internship and selecting a concentration area in fields such as manufacturing, energy, or automotive systems. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Automotive Manufacturing
•Vehicle Electronics
•Automotive design
•System integration

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs in Automotive Engineering

Applicants for admission to automotive engineering doctoral programs are required to hold a Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Engineering. These also require at least two years of industry experience. Program graduates must complete a dissertation, typically comprising about half of the credit hours required to graduate from the program. The program could include concentration areas such as energy systems and thermal management, materials and materials processing, power electronics, dynamics and controls, or vehicle design. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Vehicle manufacturing processes
•Automotive systems

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