What Is Covered in an Online Design Engineering Course?

Online design engineering courses may cover computer-aided design, manufacturing processes and product optimization. These courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels through programs in various engineering disciplines. Read on for more information. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Online Design Engineering Courses

A few associate's and bachelor's degree programs in civil engineering, environmental engineering and engineering technology include online coursework related to design engineering. In general, programs that focus specifically on design engineering or design engineering technology are rarely available online, given the importance of hands-on practice. However, a handful of schools offer online master's programs in general engineering or mechanical engineering with an engineering design emphasis.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degree/Certificate Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's. Some graduate certificates also offer a design engineering focus, but they may not be fully online.
Prerequisites A bachelor's degree in a math or science field for entry into a graduate program. Drafting skills may also be helpful for associate's and bachelor's degree applicants.
Degree Field(s) of Study Construction engineering, civil engineering, and engineering technology degrees may include a design engineering focus.
Possible Careers Design technician, project designer, project leader

Planning and Design Process

This topic deals with the initial phase of product development. Students may be able to explore preliminary design concepts, as well as the way in which these concepts are transformed into concrete plans.


Sketching plays an integral role in design engineering because the majority of product design processes begin with hand-drawn renderings of a concept. In these types of courses, students are generally introduced to the basics of hand sketching and drafting techniques.

Principles of Design for Manufacturing

Manufacturing environments affect how design-engineering procedures may be performed. Without this manufacturing-specific direction, a good design may never reach the production phase. This topic leads students through the necessary steps to ensure their idea is executed in a way that is appropriate for the manufacturing process.

Computer-Aided Design

Possibly one of the most important aspects of a design-engineering professional's career, computer-aided design (CAD) is used in almost all design-related fields. When entering the design-engineering workforce, employees are generally expected to have a firm grasp of the basics of CAD. While online courses that are specific to the study of CAD exist, most will simply reference the topic.


This subject is designed to help students understand the methods necessary to optimize product design. Such courses usually consist of the investigation of failure modes and effects analysis, as well as a discussion of root cause analysis.

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