Online Undergraduate Degree Programs in Engineering
Learn about what sort of engineering degrees are available online and what online programs are like. Find out about program prerequisites and included coursework, sorted by engineering specialization.
What Kinds of Online Degrees in Engineering Are Available?
While some schools do offer online undergraduate degrees in engineering, online graduate degree programs are much more readily available. You'll find bachelor's degree programs in civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. Some of these programs are fully online, while others may offer a blend of online and on-campus courses.
|Distance Learning Opportunities||Online bachelor's degree programs in civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering can be found, but graduate programs are more common.|
|Things to Expect||1-2 weeks on campus may be required|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent, strong computer and math skills; an associate's degree may be required for some programs|
|Common Courses||Civil engineering: application of hydraulics, mechanics of soil|
Mechanical engineering: properties of fluids, machine dynamics
Electrical engineering: circuit analysis, network distribution
Chemical engineering: thermodynamics, chemical reactions
|Additional Requirements||A final paper or project in some programs|
|Median Salary (2018)||$86,640* (for civil engineers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||11% growth* (for all civil engineers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What's The Online Program Like?
As an online student, you'll take the same courses as on-campus students. Depending on the program, you may be required to spend between 5-14 days on campus each summer completing in-person lab requirements. The rest of your courses will be taken online. Most degree programs in engineering take between 4-6 years to complete depending on your specialization and full- or part-time enrollment.
Are There Any Prerequisites?
Most programs require little more than a high school diploma or GED. You usually won't need prior engineering experience, but you'll be expected to have strong computer and math skills. Some programs may require you to take general education courses on-campus or through another school before taking core courses online. For bachelor's degree completion programs, you'll be expected to earn an engineering associate's degree prior to admission. A non-related associate's degree may be acceptable, but you'll probably need to take some extra prerequisite courses before being admitted.
What Courses Are Available?
Coursework depends on which type of engineering program you choose. Topics covered in a civil engineering program might include:
- Mechanics of soil
- Building foundations analysis
- Structural surveys
- Application of hydraulics
- Plastic and steel design
A mechanical engineering program may feature subjects like:
- Material mechanics
- Properties of fluids
- Machine dynamics
- Designing machine elements
- Methods of manufacturing
Courses in an electrical engineering program could include:
- Circuit analysis
- Linear controller design
- Semi-conductors and amplifiers
- Creating control systems
- Network distribution
In a chemical engineering program, you might explore concepts like:
- Analyzing transport phenomena
- Chemical process design
- Chemical reactions
- Controlling air pollution
You may need to complete a final research paper or capstone project to meet your program's degree requirements.