Mechanical engineering degrees prepare students to research, develop, design, build and test machines, engines and equipment. There are few online undergraduate programs that are specific to mechanical engineering, but options do exist through the University of North Dakota and the University of Alabama. Graduate level programs are more common with Purdue, Stanford and the University of Southern California among those offering programs.
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota offers an online bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. The degree requires 129 credit hours of class work that can be completed in approximately six years, depending on a student's course load. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation. Recorded lectures previously presented to in-seat students are provided as part of the curriculum. Students are required to complete foundation classes in chemistry, math, physics and English.
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama offers another option for undergraduate studies online, although students must go on site to the university's campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or use labs available for the program at Troy University's Dothan , Alabama, campus. A total of 128 credit hours of class work and a minimum GPA of 2.0 are required for graduation. Courses include thermodynamics, propulsion systems, engineering analysis and thermal power. Students are required to complete foundation classes in chemistry, math and English.
Purdue University offers a master of science degree in mechanical engineering as part of its distance learning program. Some course topics include bioengineering, computational engineering, design, fluid mechanics and propulsion, heat transfer and systems measurement and control. The program requires 30 hours of course work for graduation with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students may opt to apply nine of the 30 credit hours to thesis development or to take additional course work in lieu of writing a thesis.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers online programs at a graduate level through its Distance Education Network. The master of science in mechanical engineering program offers four areas of study, including fluid and thermal sciences, engineering design, mechanics and materials and dynamics and control. The program requires 27 class units and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for graduation. Students may opt to develop a thesis or to take four additional credit hours in advanced course work.
Stanford University's master of science degree in mechanical engineering is offered online via the Center for Professional Development. Students pursuing this program may be required to attend some classes on site at Stanford, depending on the area of study. Five academic themes covered in course work include bio-medicine, computational engineering, design, energy and multi-scale engineering. To graduate, 45 units of credit are required, with students maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75.
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