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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Engineering

Majors Overview August 31, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in engineering and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Overview of Graduate Programs in Engineering

Schools most commonly offer the Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering and the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Degree. Students seeking a general, cross-departmental degree where they are allowed to take a wide array of engineering courses could enroll into the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program. Schools offer these programs online, and students can complete them in one year of full-time or 2-4 years of part-time study. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; program graduates have to complete a capstone project.

The focus of the MS in Engineering is on a specific field of engineering, such as mechanical or aerospace, and enrollees are commonly required to hold a bachelor’s degree in a closely related field. Students usually complete an MS program within 2-3 semesters of full-time study and may be required to complete a master’s project, thesis, or exam before they graduate out of the program. Some schools offer these programs online.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria in most engineering graduate degree programs typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, usually in engineering or a related field such as chemistry, physics, or computer science. They must also submit GRE scores. Documented field work experience is also a requirement in some programs.


Program coursework varies in accordance with the area of emphasis of students. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Engineering mathematics and statistics
•Computational methods and models
•Multidisciplinary design optimization
•Principles of robotics and dynamics

Job and Wage Outlook

The job growth rate for engineers over the 2012 – 2022 decade can vary in accordance with the specialty (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The wage outlook of these professionals can also depend on the graduate’s engineering field of study. For instance, in 2012, petroleum, and agricultural engineers brought in respective average annual wages of $130,280 and $74,000.

In all 50 states, engineers who work directly with the general public are required to obtain licensure. They can earn licensure through completion of a degree program from an accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience and passage of a state exam.

Continuing Education Choices

Engineers who seek continuing education opportunities to enhance their career prospects can gain professional certifications from organizations such as the American Society for Engineering Education. Most schools with graduate degree programs in engineering also have doctorate programs in engineering and related specialties, apart from professional development seminars and courses.

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