Top Mechanical Engineering Graduate Schools

Review some of the key characteristics of a school with a strong graduate program in mechanical engineering. Read about three of the top schools with nationally ranked engineering programs, and learn about the different levels of degrees you can earn, internship opportunities and award-winning faculty members. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Mechanical Engineering Graduate School?

Mechanical engineering is a field that offers many career opportunities, from helping to design large machinery to developing small parts used in the medical industry. With so many different specialties available, you need to know what your interests are when you start looking at mechanical engineering schools. Choose a school that's ranked, particularly in their mechanical engineering program.

You'll want a graduate school that offers a faculty experienced and knowledgeable in your field of interest. Have the faculty members received honors or awards for their accomplishments or written publications for engineering journals? What types of fellowships are available to graduates? Research what type of jobs graduates have been offered.

What are Three Top Mechanical Engineering Graduate Schools?

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cornell University 14th overall among graduate schools for its College of Engineering. Cornell was also ranked 16th overall among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. Faculty members have years of experience in teaching and research, and many have written books and articles for academic and engineering journals.

A well-known spot at Cornell is 'The Big Red Barn', a town hall-style meeting place for graduate students and faculty members alike. Student services include career counseling, internship and summer job assistance, access to alumni, on-campus recruiting and online career resources. The mechanical engineering graduate program prepares students for careers in research and development, advanced engineering design or education. Cornell offers the following mechanical engineering degree choices:

  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Michigan State University (MSU) tied for 47th place for its mechanical engineering program. MSU was ranked 85th overall among national universities in 2019. The College of Engineering is one of the oldest schools on MSU's campus.

In addition to being published authors, many faculty members have won teaching and faculty awards, including the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' James M. Beabers Lifetime Achievement Award and the College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award. Student services include career planning and advising, fellowship and internship assistance, co-ops and opportunities to study abroad. Mechanical engineering graduate degrees offered include:

  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S. in Engineering Mechanics
  • Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Virginia Tech 31st overall among graduate schools for their College of Engineering, and 76th overall among national universities in 2019.

The experienced faculty members have won awards for their excellence in teaching and research, such as the W.S. Pete White Innovations in Engineering Education Award. Many have written books and articles in peer-reviewed engineering journals. With a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, faculty members are able to provide more individualized teaching and mentoring than other schools.

Students of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering are assigned an advisor for educational and career guidance. An annual Engineering Expo is offered, allowing students to meet with potential employers. The College of Engineering offers the following degrees for mechanical engineering students:

  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Top Graduate Schools for Mechanical Engineering

College/University Institution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition & Fees*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$55,000
Stanford University 4-year, Private Stanford, CA$51,000
California Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Pasadena, CA$52,000
Georgia Institute of Technology 4-year, Public Atlanta, GA$16,000
Princeton University 4-year, Private Princeton, NJ$51,000
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public Champaign, IL$18,000
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private Pittsburgh, PA$45,000
Purdue University-West Lafayette4-year, PublicWest Lafayette, IN$10,000
University of California-Berkeley 4-year, Public Berkeley, CA$14,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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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