For our 2015 Online Bachelor’s in Engineering award winners, we selected online programs from accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities with objectively lower than average tuition cost and have ranked the programs according to their affordability.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering will position students to enter a wide variety of technical fields which are rapidly expanding and always changing. Graduates of a bachelor of engineering program are typically equipped for entry-level positions in one of these fields, but are also generally able to quickly move up to higher tier positions without necessarily pursuing advanced study. Nonetheless, many graduates from bachelor’s programs pursue an advanced engineering degree to better position them for advancement.
Some of these programs are degree completion programs, meaning a substantial amount of college credit or the completion of an associate’s degree is expected to be earned at a regionally accredited 2 or 4 year institution prior to admission in the program, where the student will then complete the remainder of their bachelor requirements (typically the engineering program specific requirements). Degree completion programs in this ranking have been noted as such and tuition rates are calculated based on the national average tuition cost of 60 credits completed at 2 year institutions with the assumption that the majority of students enrolling in completion programs will earn the credits required at local community colleges before transferring into the online program. This national average (as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics) is $11,852. This figure was added to the cost per credit multiplied by the remaining required credits of each completion program to determine a reasonable estimate for total cost of the degree and placement within our ranking.
Though this ranking is primarily concerned with the affordability of Engineering programs, many programs here have consistently been ranked among the top of their kind by other national publications and we believe they deserve to be considered among the best online Master’s in Engineering available.
Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.
#1. Indiana State University
Indiana State University is a public, doctoral research university located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The school was founded in 1865 as a “Normal School” for the preparation of teachers in the region and gained university status in 1965. ISu offers over 100 different programs of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels and enrolls over 13,100 students.
Indiana State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology, both available mostly online with some courses requiring study at the ISU campus or equivalent courses to be taken at a local college or university. These are bachelor’s completion programs requiring students to transfer in their general education coursework from a regionally accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. Both programs build on foundational coursework in basic technical areas, management, mathematics and computer science, and specialized technology which provide a well-rounded education, equipping the student for entry level positions in their chosen specialized field of engineering. The programs require a minimum of 120 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 42%
#2. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University is public research university founded in 1930. ODU offers 70 bachelors degrees, 60 masters and 35 doctoral degrees in various fields and enrolls over 24,400 students. Old Dominion is a leader in technology mediated distance learning and one of the largest providers of online learning in the nation through TELETECHNET, the schools distance learning platform where bachelors and masters degree programs are delivered through video streaming, satellite, 2-say web conferencing, and other online technologies.
Old Dominion University offers a variety of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technologies degree programs available fully online as bachelor’s completion programs, meaning students typically transfer in their general education coursework from another regionally accredited 2 or 4 year college or university and then complete the program core online through ODU. The program require between 120 and 128 credits for completion. Some are offered in asynchronous or synchronous online formats while other are only offered in an asynchronous format.
Accreditation: Old Dominion University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 51%
#3. Southern Polytechnic State University
SPSU is a public university established in 1948 in Marietta, Georgia. SPSU was recently approved to be consolidated with Kennesaw State University and is currently under transformation to make that consolidation happen. The school enrolls over 6,200 students and has a strong professional education focus offering many majors and degrees in Management, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science, and more.
The Industrial Engineering Technology Department at Southern Polytechnic State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology designed for students interested in business, government, or industrial related career fields, dealing with the processes of money, materials, and labor management. Students can choose to specialize in either Logistics or Quality Principles and have the opportunity to connect with SPSU’s chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) student organization via the SPSU OrgSync system. The program requires a minimum of 128 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Southern Polytechnic State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 38%
#4. Liberty University
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. It has long been considered a Christian academic community, the institution’s stated intention being the development of both the intellectual and spiritual nature. Enrolling well over 100,000 students, the majority of which are enrolled online, LU is the largest Evangelical Christian University in the world and the largest private nonprofit university in the nation. Liberty University ranks #80 by U.S. News in best Regional Universities (South).
Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Applied Web Technologies is an online program that equips students with the skills today’s employers seek. Students will study topics including application programming, database management, networks, web development, and more and will prepare students for careers as information technology specialists, mobile developers, web content specialists, web developers, and web programers. The program requires 120 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 46.7
#5. Baker College
Established in 1911 in Flint Township, Michigan, Baker College is Michigan’s largest private, not-for-profit university with 13 locations statewide and an online campus. The college is a four-year vocational school that aims to impart job-specific training to its students while emphasizing broad academic development.
Baker College offers a Bachelor of Computer Science degree in Mobile Application Software Engineering that can be completed online. This is a very specifically focused degree which prepares students with the knowledge and skills to develop advanced, cutting edge applications for growing mobile device marketplaces. Students learn how to apply computer science theories and principles to create, test, and evaluate the software applications and systems that power today’s computers and mobile devices. This program requires a minimum of 131 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Baker College is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 22%
#6. The University of Alabama
Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the University of Alabama is the flagship university of the University of Alabama System. Established in 1831 and enrolling over 36,100 students, UA is the oldest and largest university in the state. As one of the first universities established in the early 19th century southwestern frontier of the United States, UA has made a great impact on the region and the nation. The school was a center of activity during the US Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. UA offers degree programs in 13 academic divisions leading to bachelor’s, master’s, Education Specialist, and doctoral degrees.
The University of Alabama’s “Bama by Distance” offers a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering that is available online with the exception of labs which are offered at two locations in the State of Alabama. Students can train in the science of designing a component, a machine or a system in a process. Students pursue careers in many industries such as automotive, power generation, bioengineering, textiles, robotics, manufacturing, research and development, pulp and paper, steel and materials, petro-chemical and aerospace. The program requires a minimum of 133 credits for completion.
Accreditation: The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 67%
#7. Ferris State University
Ferris State University is a public university located in Big Rapids, Michigan. Ferris State was established in 1884 as an industrial school to prepare students with marketable skills in a rapidly changing society and was noteworthy at the time of its founding for being accepting of female students. Today FSU enrolls overs 14,500 students in associate, bachelor’s, master’s and a couple of doctoral degree programs. The school is known for having a student to faculty ratio of 16:1 and for all classes being taught by faculty instructors instead of graduate students.
The Bachelor of Science in HVCAR Engineering Technology and Energy Management offered through Ferris State University’s College of Engineering and Technology is a bachelor’s completion program available to students who already possess an associate degree. The program is one of two institutions in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACT) and will equip students for a variety of challenging careers in manufacturing, contracting, building operations and in the engineering of commercial, institutional, and industrial building systems. A minimum of 134 credits are required for completion of the program.
Accreditation: Ferris State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 49%
#8. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is a public sea grant and space grant university located in Stony Brook, New York and is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) System. The university was established in 1957 as the State University College on Long Island in Oyster Bay, and later moved to Stony Brook in 1962. The University enrolls over 20,600 students and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Stony Brook is consistently ranked by multiple national publications as a top national university and is particularly noted for the quality of its nuclear physics program.
Stony Brook University’s online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering is a degree completion program offering upper-division undergraduate courses, typically offered during the third and fourth years of a four-year undergraduate program in Electrical Engineering. Students will need to transfer in approximately 60 credits from a regionally accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. A minimum of 120 credits are required for completion of the program.
Accreditation: Stony Brook University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 66%
#9. Excelsior College
Founded in 1971, Excelsior College is a private nonprofit college in Albany, New York. Excelsior College is known for being very liberal in its acceptance of transfer credit, essentially accepting any credit from regionally accredited institions if the course falls under one of Excelsior’s degree programs. EC is also well known for its flexible, distance learning degree programs.
Excelsior College’s School of Business and Technology offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology and an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology with emphasis in electronics, nanotechnology, or power systems. Students will take courses that reflect up-to-date industry practices in Nuclear Engineering and Electrical Engineering and equips them for entry level positions in engineering or to pursue graduate level study in engineering and can be tailored to meet the student’s specific career goals. The programs require a minimum of 124 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Excelsior College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
6 Year Graduation Rate: Data not available
#10. Regis University
Formerly known as Regis College, Regis University is a private Jesuit university located in Denver, Colorado. Founded in Las Vegas in 1877 by a group of exiled Italian Jesuits, the school adopted the name Regis in 1921 in honor of John Francis Regis, a 17th-century Jesuit who worked with the poor in Southern France. Regis has a long history of charity and community service and has hosted Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
The Bachelor of Science in Business Technology Management offered through Regis University’s College of Computer and Information Sciences is equivalent to degrees in “engineering management” which are technically oriented business management degrees that combine technical knowledge and skills with business acumen to equip leaders in technical/engineering fields. The program requires 128 credits for completion, and can be completed in tandem with an accompanying Master’s degree from regis for 155 credits.
Accreditation: Regis University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 58%
#11. Thomas Edison State College
Namesake of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, Thomas Edison State College was established in 1972 and is one of New Jersey’s 11 public universities and colleges. The school has been located in downtown Trenton, New Jersey since 1979. TESC enrolls nearly 30,000 students.
Thomas Edison State College’s School of Applied Science and Technology offers Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology degrees in Electronic Systems Engineering Technology, Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology, and Nuclear Engineering Technology. The programs are designed to educate engineering technology practitioners who are immediately relevant to or practicing in industry to be relevant to the professional and global community. The programs require between 124 and 126 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Thomas Edison State College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
6 Year Graduation Rate: Data not available.
#12. Arizona State University
Founded in 1885 and located on several campus across Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona State University is a national space-grant institution and the largest public university in the country by enrollment. Arizona State University’s online campus was ranked #1 in online Student Services and Technology by U.S. News & World Report and offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
ASU’s online program provides two Bachelor of Science in Engineering options: BSE in Electrical Engineering and BSE in Engineering Management. Throughout these online programs, students will integrate fundamentals with practical real world experience in an online environment. Students are taught by internationally recognized faculty, have access to ASU’s eight award-winning libraries, and can connect to thousands of alumni and community members. The programs require 120 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 47%
#13. National University
Founded in 1971, National University is a private nonprofit university located in La Jolla, California and is the second largest private nonprofit institution of higher learning in the state as well as the 12th largest in the country. The university has satelite campuses located across California and in the states of Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Virginia. NU also maintains extensive online course and program offerings. The school currently enrolls over 24,400 students in over 130 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
National University’s School of Engineering and Computing offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering Technology. that provides students with a well rounded education in construction principles and practices in preparation for a career in the construction industry. Students in this program can expect to complete a two-part engineering senior project, working with team members to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge of construction engineering technology from preliminary development to the final project product. The program requires 180 quarter units (120 credits) for completion.
Accreditation: National University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 38%
#14. Daytona State College
Founded in 1957, Daytona State College is a public state college located in Daytona Beach, Florida and is a member of the Florida College System. DSC awards various associate degrees and as of 2014 began offering six bachelor’s degrees in applied science, education, engineering technology, business management, nursing, and information technology. DSC enrolls over 18,000 students.
The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology offered by Daytona State College is a degree completion program that can be completed fully online. Students must enter the program with at least 60 transferable credits with a a grade of C or above. The program is designed to prepare graduates to work as part of an engineering team and be able to translate theoretical designs into actual products in professions such as: systems engineer, process analyst, technical sales engineer, network supervisor, project engineer, calibration engineer, or programmer. Students may chose to concentrate their studies in the area of electrical engineering. A minimum of 120 credits are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: Daytona State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: Data not available.
#15. Trine University
Trine University is a private, not-for-profit institution located in Angola, Indiana. TU was founded in 1884 as a Normal College for teacher preparation and currently enrolls over 3,700 students on several campuses across the state of Indiana. Trine offers degree programs at the associate, bachelor, and master level in arts and sciences, business, education and engineering.
The School of Professional Studies at Trine Virtual Campus offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Design Engineering Technology. This degree covers design, manufacturing, testing, technical sales, and maintenance industries. The program requires a minimum of 121 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Trine University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 51%
#16. University of North Carolina—Charlotte
Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, University of North Carolina is a public research university established in 1946 to serve the educational needs of veterans returning from WWII. Today, the Carnegie Foundation classifies UNC as a doctoral research university and it offers over 175 programs of study to over 27,200 students at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
UNC—Charlotte’s online Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in Electrical Engineering is designed for individuals who currently hold the Associate in Applied Science Degree in an appropriate field of study but cannot attend classes on campus to complete a Bachelor’s. All courses are completed online with exception of the required labs which must be completed on-campus during the summer. The program requires a minimum of 124 credits for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: UNC—Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 54%
#17. Lamar University
Lamar University is a public research university that was founded in 1918 in Beaumont, Texas. Lamar enrolls over 14,200 students annually and is one of 29 public universities nationally classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Commission of Higher Education.
The Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering program offered through the College of Engineering at Lamar University is an online 2 + 2 completion program allowing students to complete the final two years of an Industrial Engineering program online with minimal travel from home. Students will need to complete the first two years of schooling at a community college or 4 year college or university before enrolling in this program. Courses can be completed entirely online with exception of a 3 day manufacturing lab which requires one weekend visit to Beaumont, Texas. The program requires a minimum of 121 credits for completion.
Accreditation: Lamar University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 34%
#18. University of West Florida
Established in 1963, the University of West Florida is a public university located in Pensacola, Florida with multiple satellite campuses throughout the region enrolling over 12,800 students. UWF maintains a strong presence online with over 500 online courses offered and 30 degrees or certificate programs.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Engineering Technology offered through the College of Professional Studies at the University of West Florida prepares students with the design, implementation, and maintenance of networks, telecommunications, and distance systems that support various organizations. The capstone opportunity gives students hands-on experience in integrating technology into organizations while working with industry professionals and managers. The program requires 120 credits for completion.
Accreditation: The University of West Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 42%
#19. University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi is a public research university located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. USM was originally established in 1910 as a “Normal School” for the preparation of teachers in the region. The university now enrolls over 15,300 students and is known for its extensive study abroad programs. The University of Southern Mississippi is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution with “High Research Activity,” and its school for Polymer Science and Engineering is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
University of Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology through its School of Construction for students interested in entering the field of architecture, engineering, and construction. The program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to coordinate and oversee a construction project from the conceptual development stage through final construction. A minimum of 124 credits are required for completion of the degree.
Accreditation: The University of Southern Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 45%
#20. University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is a public research university located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. UND was founded in 1883 and enrolls over 15,000 students. It is the oldest and largest university in the state of North Dakota. The university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity and is ranked by U.S. News #173 in Best National Universities and #97 in Top Public Schools.
A variety of Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees are available through University of North Dakota’s online program: chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum. These programs are completed entirely online except for brief on-campus labs that are offered in the summer. 133 credits are required for completion of the degree which typically takes 6+ years of part-time study to finish.
Accreditation: The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
6 Year Graduation Rate: 53%