This degree program enables students to understand and apply principles of energy, motion, thermal fluids, and force for the purpose of designing tools.

Degree Benefits:

  • Competitive salaries (Mechanical Engineers generate $90,160* annually)
  • Substantive job growth rate (7% for Mechanical Engineers)*
  • Multiple opportunities for career advancement

Career Options Include:

  • Materials Engineer
  • Consultant or Researcher
  • Patent Law Expert
  • Supply Chain Management

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Mechanical Engineers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

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The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is a four-year degree. When students must complete internship requirements, the term of attendance often runs to five years. Students can complete the degree in four years of online study, and many online programs arrange practical experience or internship assignments near the student’s home area.

Part-time attendance can extend the degree completion to five or six years. Many online students prefer to mix their classwork with jobs, business, or other obligations and typically take more than four years. Online students can also accelerate completion of the degree by taking extra courses and attending during summer sessions.

The costs for a four-year Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering are not the same for every school or student. Across all institutions, the average costs should include tuition, books, room & board, and incidental expenses. These numbers can produce an annual estimate which would apply to four years of education. The average total costs range for private schools is $190,000. The average total costs range for in-state students at public schools is about $156,000. The average total costs of a degree at public schools for out-of-state students is about $85,000.

The choice of major is essential to reaching the student’s career goals. Students should carefully align their choice of major fields of study with their short and long-term career objectives. In the field of mechanical engineering, students need a solid foundation in design, systems, materials, and thermodynamics. They may also wish to focus on some of the broad areas of study within the field such as aerospace technology.

Students must make sure that the faculty expertise, educational resources, and course selection will match their idea of the mechanical engineering major. They must make sure that the majors available at the selected school promote progress towards their career goals.

The website offers graduation rates for nearly every school in the US. Across the US one can use an average figure that crosses all majors to determine the typical graduation percentage.

Public schools:

  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 35%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 65.7%

Private schools:

  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 53%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 68%

The trend across the US is towards later graduation. Students may opt for lower course loads, and in some cases, crowded majors may force students to delay the completion of required courses. The impact may be more significant for the costs than for the educational results. Each added year of attendance increases the costs of a four-year degree by about 25%.

Students must assess the school or engineering program accreditation status. A program or school with no accreditation poses a risk that the degree will not be as useful as it should be to help the student find jobs, higher pay, and further educational opportunities. Accreditation is a required qualification for schools that participate in the federal student loan program.

In the field of engineering, the leading program accreditation agency is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)-recognized accreditation body accredits engineering programs at the baccalaureate and master’s level. A program accreditation by ABET has wide acceptance and makes a powerful combination with regional accreditation for the entire institution. ABET accreditation is recognized by CHEA and accepted in the US and internationally in engineering and many applied science programs.

University HQ places priority on post-graduate placement and assistance. Students should consider the level of resources committed to job placement and career counseling among their selection criteria. A robust career counseling and job placement program is an advantage for students. Career guidance should begin with the first semester and students should have access to counseling and coaching at points along the way to graduation. For example, in the mechanical engineering occupations, employers place value on internships and other hands-on types of experience. Students armed with this information can make better choices for courses, networking, and finding opportunities to learn in real-world settings.

Career assistance should begin at the earliest time with advice and information. Students must navigate a complex array of courses and elective study choices to graduate on time. It is also important to graduate with the background needed to achieve career goals.

The likely impact of college rankings is to boost salary among graduates. Data from the College Scorecard website demonstrate many graduates from top-ranked schools enjoy higher average salaries when measured ten years after graduation. College rankings do not predict higher salaries for everyone, and reputation is a difficult factor to measure. When you are selecting colleges and there are two more or less equal schools, then you can reasonably use rankings as a deciding factor in the final selection.

The idea is to consider rankings, but not to be guided by them. The student experience and success will more likely be a product of the fit between the student’s preferences for learning and that which the school provides. Student success can depend on a number of immediate factors such as a supportive learning environment, available educational resources, and the ability of faculty members to spend time with students.

University HQ recommends selection of an accredited school, college, or university for your education in mechanical engineering. Accreditation is an assurance of high-quality education for the student, the potential employer, and other educational institutions. In the field of engineering, there are both regional and specialized accreditation that the student should note.

The regional accreditation agencies have approval from the Department of Education, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, or both. The regional accreditation agencies assess the entire institution and certify their quality. The Department of Education and CHEA also authorize program accreditation, and the ideal combination is to select a regionally accredited school and an engineering program that has program accreditation.

ABET is a widely used accreditation for engineering and science-based education. ABET is cognized by CHEA as an official accrediting agency. It also has wide acceptance among employers, international groups, and many countries. With all non-DOE accreditation, students must carefully examine the acceptance and determine the level of respect given the organization’s symbol of approval. Accreditation affects the acceptance of your degree ad college credits and as proof of quality education.