Online Mechanical Engineering Degrees and Certifications

Mechanical engineers are responsible for building new products and testing materials to make products work more effectively. If this interests you, you might consider earning an online mechanical engineering degree. Read on for program information, common topics of study, and certification requirements. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Degree Programs Are Available in Mechanical Engineering?

In mechanical engineering, online bachelor's and master's degree programs are available. Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) programs in mechanical engineering are also available, but they are rare. In addition to studying advanced concepts in mechanical engineering, earning a Ph.D. requires writing and defending a dissertation, all of which takes about four years.

Online programs are completed using Web conferencing, which involves participating in live classes from your home computer. You can also watch pre-recorded lectures and complete assignments. You may have to complete engineering labs over the summer at the school or an approved site. Some schools require that you take tests on campus or in a supervised setting. Participation is comprised of meeting with classmates to discuss mechanical engineering concepts and working on group projects through online chat and discussion boards.

Degree Availability Bachelor's, master's are common; doctorate's are available but rare
Distance Learning Requirements Some programs may require on-campus lab courses or supervised testing.
Common Undergraduate Courses Thermodynamics, mechanical design, chemical reactions
Common Graduate Courses Statistics, calculus, matter manipulation
Certification Engineer-in-training (EIT) certification can be earned through the NCEES
Career Options Pursue a career in manufacturing, automobile development, or administration

What Will I Learn Through a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Through an online bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology, you study thermodynamics and the basics of mechanical design. You analyze processes for manufacturing products, testing materials, and determining their strength. To complete the degree program, you must have a solid grasp of mathematics. The drive and ability to put things together, take them apart, and make them work better are useful. Other program topics include:

  • Testing the strength of materials and the corrosive process
  • Designing and maintaining machines
  • Using industrial materials
  • Understanding chemical reactions

What Is Covered in a Master's Degree Program?

Through a master's degree in mechanical engineering, you learn to manufacture and weld machine parts. You study alloys and metals by heating them up and cooling them to learn ways they can be used. Many courses are math-based; you take advanced courses in statistics and calculus to explore probability theories and distribution methods. Some courses pertain to controlling the structure and design of robotics and other engineering systems. Other potential areas of study include:

  • Techniques for manipulating matter
  • Conducting and simulating engineering experiments
  • Compiling data to create more efficient engineering processes
  • Using graphics and charts to analyze data

What Certifications Are Available?

According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, to become a licensed professional engineer, you must receive certification as an engineer-in-training (EIT). Other states have similar requirements. You must pass an 8-hour Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), to become an EIT. Product and personnel certifications that allow you to pursue specific career opportunities in mechanical engineering are also available, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. These train you to work on quality systems, boilers, hazardous waste incinerators, and other machinery.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

With a bachelor's or master's degree in mechanical engineering, you can work in manufacturing, automobile development, and food processing industries. Jobs are also available in administration and management. You might be responsible for designing new equipment or testing, operating, and repairing old equipment as a mechanical engineer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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