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Master’s Degree Programs in Engineering Overview

Majors Overview September 10, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in engineering and their coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Engineering Degree Programs

A bachelor’s degree would suffice the needs of individuals who wish to work as a chemical, mechanical, or nuclear engineer. They can enhance their job prospects by earning a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.). Schools offer both a thesis and non-thesis option; those who opt for the thesis option must conduct research aimed at solving an existing problem within the engineering discipline of their choice.

Students in chemical engineering will explore molecular kinetics and chemical transport. Combustion engines, mechanical controls, and fluid mechanics are the focus of graduate programs in mechanical engineering. Reactor design and nuclear laboratory procedures are taught to nuclear engineering students while training them to seek careers in environments such as power plants. They may choose from other specializations such as electrical, biomedical, industrial and civil engineering.

Master’s Programs in Chemical Engineering

Students may enroll in a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Chemical Engineering or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering program after completion of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or chemical engineering. Program graduates gain the advanced skills necessary for improving industrial processes, creating new chemical compounds, developing new agricultural products or addressing alternative energy from the molecular level. Students also learn advanced research skills, and in some programs, enrollees have to use these skills in assisting or supervising undergraduate students.


Enrollees in master’s degree courses gain the advanced mathematical skills employed in chemistry and engineering professions. Incoming students whose bachelor’s degree is not in chemical engineering are required to complete courses that involve discussion of basic chemical separation and analysis. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Chemical transport
•Process analysis and design
•Molecular Kinetics
•Chemical reaction design
•Chemical engineering thermodynamics

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, chemical engineers brought in an average annual wage of $94,350 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, these professionals are expected to see four percent job growth (BLS).

Master’s Programs in Mechanical Engineering

Program graduates from a Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering or a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Mechanical Engineering program can seek employment in a wide range of industries. These industries focus on power generation, aerospace applications, machine tools, manufacturing, and nanotechnology. Additionally, students are allowed to select concentration such as vehicle systems, energy production, dynamic systems, hydraulics, or robotic applications. Graduate students can expect to become adept at developing or improving new products with moving parts or the ability to withstand temperature extremes.


Coursework is devised to teach students about materials science, heating and cooling systems, conducting mechanical engineering tests, and materials design. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Hydraulics and fluid mechanics
•Reverse engineering
•Mechanical controls
•Acoustics in mechanical engineering
•Combustion engines
•Feedback control
•Failure analysis

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, mechanical engineers are expected to see a five percent job growth (BLS). The growth is expected to be driven mainly by employers such as architectural and engineering industries. In 2012, mechanical engineers brought in an average annual wage of $80,580.

Master’s Programs in Nuclear Engineering

Students learning about operating nuclear power plants, disaster mitigation, and controls can focus on different areas of study in Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Nuclear Engineering programs. These areas include reactor physics, fusion energy, or nuclear radiation. Program graduates can expect to gain expertise in applying, analyzing and designing nuclear engineering.


Coursework in master’s degree programs covers topic areas such as engineering mathematics, nuclear safety, and reactor controls. Core coursework can vary by concentration and could cover subject areas such as:

•Nuclear waste disposal
•Reaction Modeling
•Engineering process design
•Nuclear laboratory procedures
•Reactor design

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, nuclear engineers brought in an average annual wage of $104,270. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, these professionals are expected to see a nine percent job growth, growth mainly expected to be driven by employers in the federal government and electric power generation.

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