What is a Master of Engineering?
A Master of Engineering (abbreviated M.Eng, ME, or MEng) is usually considered a professional degree, geared toward getting a career in the field, as opposed to an academic degree that leads to further research and possible professorship. The Master of Engineering degree differs from a Master of Science in Engineering, as it’s a professional degree offered as a coursework-based alternative to the traditional research-based Master of Science. After completing a 4-year bachelor degree a student can enter a 1 or 2-year Master of Engineering degree program, which is considered a terminal degree in the field of engineering, and which is offered by many accredited online institutions.
What are different specializations within a Master of Engineering?
Master of Engineering Management:
This degree is good if you are looking to focus on the management aspects of engineering, wanting to bridge the gap between the field of engineering and the field of business. You can use a master in engineering management within many fields, including: civil computer systems, electrical and software. When you complete your master’s degree, you’ll be able to qualify for teaching positions and even research and improvement initiatives within the field.
Master of Civil Engineering:
This degree allows you to become prepared for jobs you may want in the civil engineering field, such as executive officer or works director. There are many different specializations to choose between in Master of Civil Engineering programs. Each school only offers a few concentrations, so make sure to check that the programs you’re applying to have the particular concentration you’re interested in. Potential specializations include:
- Master of Civil Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering: concerned mainly with structural design and analysis
- Master of Civil Engineering with a focus in Architectural Engineering: deals more with building public structures
- Master of Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Engineering and Management: involves building structures from previously designed plans
- Master of Civil engineering with a focus in Transportation Engineering: deals with designing transportation systems to flow smoothly and safely
Master of Electrical Engineering:
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. The field currently covers a range of subtopics including power, electronics, control system, signal processing, and telecommunications. Online programs are tailored to the needs of engineering practitioners, focusing on advanced technical and hands-on design skills, as well as the professional skills that will qualify you for a more senior position in electrical engineering careers.
Other specialization areas of engineering degrees include:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Software Engineering
Requirements for a Earning a Master of Engineering Degree
There are entrance requirements as well as study requirements for a master’s of engineering.
Entering students need a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university in an appropriate field of engineering, or in a closely related field such as computer science, mathematics, or physics. A students GPA usually needs to be quite high, between 3.5 and 4.0 for the final sixty semester hours. Sometimes schools have governing committees that applicants can petition to if they don’t meet the baccalaureate requirements, but have equivalent professional experience in engineering that could count for special consideration.
Usually in applications a student must indicate their specialization or track that they intend following throughout the master’s program. Usually students are admitted into one track and it is difficult to transfer to another. A plan of study also usually must be submitted before admission is granted. Occasionally GRE scores and reference letters are required.
Master of Engineering programs comprise around 60 credit hours in both technical and advanced classes. Usually technical classes include most upper level and graduate level courses, whereas advanced are specialization classes at the 400 level and above. There’s usually a letter-grade requirement, such as a B average, for classes. If you do not pass the requirement then classes must be retaken. Often a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 must be maintained to continue the program.
Most schools require scholarly project credit in addition to coursework. Projects are usually given a letter grade and must be accompanies by a written report. Often there is a grade requirement for the project proportion, such as a B, and if the requirement is not met it must be re-done or cannot continue the program. Projects usually count for theses.
Some Master of Engineering programs require additional courses beyond those required for Master of Science students in order to better prepare students for professional careers. These courses may include topics such as business fundamentals, management and leadership.
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Engineering Online?
There are many professional online master’s degree programs in engineering. These programs provide their own unique benefits apart from other traditional campus based programs. Online programs are especially helpful to working adults who want to earn a level but continue to hold their current day job. Doing an online program allows students to work and bring home a paycheck while attending college. You can also use an employer’s tuition reimbursement program, if available, and get a discounted education.
Online master’s degrees in engineering provide you the ability to study from your own home and have flexible class times. Objectives of an online MEng program include:
- Providing graduate engineering education to students in remote areas throughout the country and world and/or to students who can only access instruction in a limited form
- Making available interdisciplinary technical upgrading to engineers in small and medium sized industries
- Providing graduate training that’s controlled by the employer’s needs
- Providing training that responds to today’s changing needs in engineering by creating new specializations
- Providing specialized technical training to geographically dispersed groups of students
Online engineering education packages are very prevalent and cater to a wide range of engineering specialists such as computer science and software, civil engineering, and engineering management. With the detailed coaching that an online master’s degree in engineering gives, graduates can advance their careers to more technical or management oriented positions in the industry. Engineering is a complex subject, so online learning can prove to be a great advantage to students compared with traditional classroom style of education. Engineering classes online are usually capped at 25 students. This small number allows for professors to become familiar with every individual in the class, even if there isn’t a face-to-face component of learning. Because the professors get to know their students, there is one-on-one interaction with them that is helpful in getting needed guidance and explanation in challenging topics.
An important aspect to online learning is to be sure the institution you’re considering attending is accredited. With engineering, even if the institution of higher learning is accredited, the actual engineering program also needs to get accredited by another organization that specializes in accrediting programs.
Resources for More Information on Master of Engineering Degrees
- American Academy of Environmental Engineers: This organization focuses on aspects of environmental problems and engineering solutions, and offer several certifications and examinations for environmental engineering.
- American Society for Engineering Education: This organization supports all aspects of engineering studies and faculty for development and enrichment of the engineering education. It encourages young students to advance in engineering programs.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: This is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology and sets the standards for industrial excellence in electrical and electronics engineering. This website is offered for members, publications, education, and mentoring for progress in the development of electrical engineering.
- Institute of Industrial Engineers: This is a monthly publication with focus on engineering management systems, six sigma and other test systems. If you are looking to obtain a master in engineering management, it’s an excellent idea to contact this organization for further information.
- Society of Women Engineers: This society is dedicated to the advancement and educational assistance for women in the fields of engineering.