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Online Undergraduate Engineering Programs

Learners who enroll in an online bachelor's in engineering program can pursue diverse engineering jobs. A bachelor's degree usually combines coursework with real-world applications. Students learn valuable skills to begin or enhance their career.

Most online bachelor's in engineering programs take four years to complete. Many online schools accept applicants with no previous college experience. However, strong test scores and a solid high school GPA help candidates stand out.

Many engineers enjoy high-paying careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), petroleum engineers only need a bachelor's degree. They earn a median annual salary of $137,330. Aerospace engineers also only need a bachelor's degree. They make a median annual salary of $118,610. The BLS projects engineering jobs to grow 6% between 2020-2030.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Engineering?

Engineering covers many topics, including aerospace, civil, mechanical, chemical, and nuclear engineering. Each focus area offers different career opportunities. Many jobs require a minimum education level.

Learners who earn a bachelor's degree in engineering gain the advanced skills needed for high-paying jobs. Some licensure prerequisites also require an engineering bachelor's degree. After completing a bachelor's, students can pursue a master's or doctorate.

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Will I Need a Bachelor's Degree for a Career in Engineering?

Depending on their career goals, learners may need a bachelor's degree in engineering. However, some positions only require an associate degree. According to the BLS, many engineer technician positions require just an associate degree. Examples include positions as civil engineering technicians, electrical engineering technicians, and industrial engineering technicians.

With a bachelor's degree, professionals can often secure positions that pay high median salaries. For example, the BLS reports a $58,230 median salary for mechanical engineering technicians. Mechanical engineers, who need a bachelor's degree, earn a median salary of $90,160 annually.

Students can also earn certifications or join professional organizations to boost their employability and potential earnings.

Accreditation for a Degree in Engineering

When researching engineering bachelor's degrees, prospective students should only apply to accredited schools. When a school or program holds institutional accreditation, it has met the standards set by an accrediting organization. All accrediting organizations must gain approval from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the U.S. Department of Education, or both.

Prospective enrollees should also look for programmatic accreditation. This means that a specific program meets standards set by an industry leader. Bachelor's in engineering programs should hold accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). Some scholarships, professional organizations, and employers only accept learners who earn an ABET-accredited degree.

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What Are the Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering?

Students applying to a bachelor's program in engineering typically submit high school transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters. They may also need to submit a personal essay and/or a resume. Schools set specific admission requirements for engineering programs. For example, some schools require learners to complete prerequisite courses either in high school or through undergrad coursework.

To graduate from an engineering bachelor's program, students must complete about 120-semester credits, maintain a minimum GPA, and complete a final project.

Courses in an Engineering Program

Colleges and universities set their own curriculum requirements, so schools offering the same engineering degree may not require the same courses. However, many undergraduate programs align their coursework with ABET standards.

Degree-seekers also complete specialized courses relating to their major. For example, a civil engineering student must complete environmental engineering and structural design courses. While specific classes vary, many engineering programs feature the courses below.

  • Statistics for Engineering

    This course introduces linear regression analysis, non-linear regression, and experimental designs. Students learn how to interpret confidence intervals, monitor charts, and design their own experiments using statistics and engineering principles. This course often builds on previous statistics courses.
  • Chemistry

    Chemistry teaches the fundamentals of the science, sometimes focusing on its engineering applications. The course covers states of matter, chemical reactions, atomic structure, and chemical bonding. Learners also study chemical thermodynamics and equilibrium. Most engineering fields use basic chemistry. Schools often require chemistry as a core course for all engineering students.
  • Electromagnetism

    Electromagnetism covers the large concepts of electromagnetics, from static and dynamic fields to photon behavior. Students also apply mathematics to electromagnetics, including vectors and partial differential equations. By the end of the course, learners can understand and calculate electromagnetic fields.
  • Differential Equations

    All engineering undergraduates must typically take this upper-division course. The course builds off fundamental math, including statistics, calculus, and geometry. Students learn how to use quantitative reasoning to analyze and interpret data sets. Course topics usually include first-order differential equations and higher-order linear differential equations. Many professional engineers use differential equations to visualize and interpret information.
  • Mechanics

    Sometimes split into multiple courses, mechanics covers topics like force and the behaviors of statistically determinate structures. Degree-seekers learn how to calculate forces in static structures through the application of computer programs and mathematics. While required for all students pursuing mechanical engineering, mechanics teaches important skills that all engineers can apply.

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Certifications and Licensure for Engineering Majors

Some engineering positions require certifications or licensure. These requirements vary by state, position, and industry. Even if professionals do not need certification or licensure for their job, becoming certified or licensed could lead to higher pay and better job opportunities.

Offered by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the PE license is the highest standard of engineering competence. While NSPE does not license PEs, engineers complete prerequisite materials, including an exam, through NSPE and then apply for a PE license through their local or state licensing board. Created for electrical engineers and offered by iNARTE, this certification demonstrates excellence in electronic components, circuits, and sub systems. Engineers can select the EMC certification for recent graduates. Or, experienced electrical engineers with at least three years of professional experience can choose the senior EMC certification. NASP publishes online and hard copy magazines and newsletters with current policies and regulations impacting school psychology practitioners. Members enjoy significant discounts on several professional resources. These resources include liability insurance and continuing education units available through the Online Learning Center. This advanced certification helps mechanical engineers stand out in the competitive manufacturing industry. Engineers need at least eight years of manufacturing-related experience and education.

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FAQ About Online Engineering Programs

Can you be an engineer with a bachelor's degree?

Yes. The BLS reports that many engineering positions require at least a bachelor's degree. Some positions require just an associate degree or a technical certificate. However, most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.

What jobs can I get with a bachelor's in engineering?

Engineering bachelor's degree-holders can pursue jobs as aerospace engineers, civil engineers, maintenance engineers, and mechanical engineers.

Q. What is the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree online?

Some schools offer accelerated online programs, meaning students can earn their degree faster.

Can you get a bachelor's degree all online?

Yes. Many schools offer bachelor's degrees fully online, including some engineering degrees. However, format specifics vary by institution.

Best Online Bachelor's in Engineering Programs 2022

  1. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $15594

    Located in Tucson, UArizona is the state's premier institution of higher education. The esteemed university also ranks among the region's top public research schools and excels in STEM education.

    UArizona's top online bachelor's in engineering program, the electrical and computer engineering bachelor of science, runs entirely online. This unique program combines electrical and computer engineering courses to prepare learners for niche positions in highly technical fields. Students may select a track in either electrical or computer engineering to focus their studies. Both routes take four years to complete.

    Applicants must pass a comprehensive review of their high school transcript. UArizona determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis, and those with strong academic backgrounds increase their chances of getting accepted. Because of the university's close ties with large organizations including NASA, Intel, and Microsoft, graduates often enjoy an edge in the job market.

  2. Stony Brook University
    Location

    Stony Brook, NY

    Tuition

    $14874

    A New York-based public university, Stony Brook maintains a low 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio despite its large size. The university attracts learners from around the world with its state-of-the-art facilities and affordability.

    Stony Brook offers an electrical engineering degree as a degree-completion program. Learners must first complete lower-division courses either through Stony Brook or another institution. Students need a 3.0 cumulative GPA on prerequisite courses. While the online degree only serves transfer students or those with previous college credit, Stony Brook allows learners to continue working full time while completing the program.

    The online electrical engineering program consists of 44 major credits, 12 technical electives, and six open electives. All required courses run completely online.

  3. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    As one of the nation's top public research institutions, FIU attracts talented learners from all backgrounds. Some of the school's top programs include science, engineering, and healthcare, some of which students can complete online.

    FIU offers two undergraduate engineering programs online: electrical engineering and computer engineering. Both 128-credit programs offer discounted tuition for Florida residents. FIU accepts transfer students into both programs, though many students choose to first complete prerequisite courses through the university. Students can choose from various elective courses related to their major, allowing them to specialize their skills. Full-time learners complete either route in four years.

    Applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores and official high school transcripts. Transfer students with fewer than 60 transferable credits must submit both college and high school transcripts. International learners must submit TOEFL scores and undergo course-by-course evaluations.

  4. Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Tuition

    $19508

    A large public institution in Clemson, South Carolina, Clemson educates over 20,000 undergraduate students, many of whom study online. Students interested in online bachelor's in engineering programs can enroll in Clemson's online bachelor of science in electrical engineering degree-completion program. The program is intended for students who complete an associate degree, transfer from other colleges, or those who complete prerequisite courses at Clemson. Qualified students can complete the entire program online.

    The program requires 126 credits, and most students transfer in 60 credits or more. Applicants must demonstrate completion of all prerequisite courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

  5. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $20465

    UA, the state's flagship institution, serves over 37,500 students, many of whom come from across Alabama. Students often choose UA because of its large size, vibrant college atmosphere, and quality academic programs.

    UA offers a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering that runs primarily online. However, learners must complete some of the program onsite in Tuscaloosa. Full-time students can complete the 126-credit degree in four years. Of the 126 required credits, 49 credits fall under mechanical engineering core requirements. Mechanical engineering core courses include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Learners also choose from several electives to focus on mechanical engineering subject matter related to their interests.

    Applicants must submit high school transcripts unless they have already completed 24 semester hours of college credit. Other admission requirements include ACT or SAT scores, specific high school prerequisite courses, and at least a 2.0 GPA.

  6. University of North Dakota
    Location

    Grand Forks, ND

    Tuition

    $15374

    UND is the state's largest university, serving as a regional leader in medicine, aviation, unmanned aircraft, and engineering education. UND's connections to local industries and the military often help graduates find positions.

    UND offers undergraduates six online engineering degree options: chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, geological, and petroleum. Each specialty leads to specific career outcomes. All programs run either on campus or online, with most online learners taking 4-6 years to earn their degree. Online learners usually continue working and enroll part time.

    To graduate, students must complete up to 130 credits, depending on their chosen major. UND requires ACT or SAT test scores and high school transcripts to verify a 2.75 GPA or higher.

  7. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $31798

    With campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida; Prescott, Arizona; and online, ERAU offers learners a quality engineering education while connecting them with local industries in need of new talent. Nearly 18,000 of ERAU's 27,000 undergraduate learners study online, and many of the programs run entirely online.

    ERAU offers two unique engineering degrees for undergraduates: a bachelor of science in engineering and a bachelor of science in engineering technology. The general engineering major prepares students for careers that demand multiple engineering skills, while the engineering technology route leads to research-based careers. The two routes require 122-128 credits, and learners can complete both options entirely online.

    Applicants must complete English and mathematics skill assessments and possess a 3.0 high school GPA. Transfer students need a 2.5 GPA on all transferable courses.

  8. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $17297

    Founded in 1971 by a retired U.S. Navy Captain, NU serves over 25,000 students each year. This innovative university uses four-week courses to help working students complete their degrees while continuing in their careers.

    Students interested in an online bachelor's in engineering choose between the bachelor's in electrical and computer engineering and the bachelor's in manufacturing design engineering. Both options require at least 180 quarter-credits, most of which come at the upper-division level within the school of engineering. The electrical and computer engineering track runs entirely online and culminates with a senior project. The manufacturing design engineering route requires 45 quarter-credits of residency study, meaning students must attend courses on site in San Diego, California.

    All applicants coming out of high school must complete an orientation course through WES Training and Development. Transfer students, including those who previously completed an associate degree, must have a 2.0 GPA or higher on all previous coursework.

  9. Old Dominion University
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    $18922

    ODU, a public research institution in Norfolk, Virginia, ranks among the top universities for military veterans and online learners. ODU features over 30 years of experience with distance learning and currently offers over 100 programs online, including multiple online bachelor's in engineering programs.

    New college students can enroll in ODU's online computer engineering degree, a 128-credit program that covers topics including data analytics, computer networks, and software development. Online courses occur synchronously, so students must attend courses at specific times during the week. The degree includes a minor in computer science.

    ODU also offers engineering degree-completion programs, including computer engineering, civil engineering technology, modeling and simulation engineering, computer engineering technology, and general engineering technology. These options require students to transfer in college credits and complete at least 30 credits through ODU.

  10. Lamar University
    Location

    Beaumont, TX

    Tuition

    $10751

    Located in Beaumont, Texas, LU serves over 15,000 students. Part of the Texas State University System, LU extends low in-state tuition rates to learners, including online students.

    LU offers online engineering bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and industrial engineering. Both options come in a 2+2 format, meaning learners must first complete two years of lower-division courses elsewhere. LU supports transfers from public community colleges in Texas. The electrical engineering route comes in a hybrid format, meaning students must complete some courses on site.

    The industrial engineering option runs entirely online. However, out-of-state learners may become exempt from on-campus requirements for the electrical engineering degree. Most online learners finish either option in two years, though some full-time workers choose to take longer.

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