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Methodology

Our 2016 engineering rankings showcase the top online colleges offering the undergraduate engineering programs this year. We based our calculations on the quantifiable factors that we believe contribute to the ideal online learning experience: program cost; student-to-faculty ratio; and institutional financial aid, acceptance, retention, graduation, default, and default rate. Learn more

Top Online Engineering Colleges

  1. RankSchoolStudent to
    Faculty Ratio
    Graduation
    Rate
    Retention
    Rate
    Acceptance
    Rate
    Enrollment
    Rate
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    Default
    Rate
  2. Rank
    1
    School

    Stony Brook University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    17/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    65.93%
    Retention
    Rate
    90.09%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    39.48%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    22.64%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    54%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
    Tuition
    $257 per credit in state
    $815 per credit out of state
    Address
    310 Administration Building
    Stony Brook, NY 11794
    (631) 632-6000
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Stony Brook University instituted an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering program in 2011 and awarded its first degrees in the spring of 2014. Most students opt to take classes part time, although they can sign up for a full load if they wish.

    Undergraduates have the opportunity to earn their degree in electrical engineering without any in-person instruction. Some courses do require students to take exams in proctoring centers and certain hands-on courses require synchronized instruction sessions. Prospective students may need to complete prerequisites prior to matriculating at Stony Brook, but these requirements can usually be satisfied locally or online.

    Online Experience

    Stony Brook uses Blackboard’s learning management system to host course materials, along with homework, grades, and forums. Students have access to Stony Brook’s distinguished electrical engineering faculty and can communicate with them through Blackboard, email, or over the phone. As with on-campus students, web learners have access to Stony Brook’s online libraries and other digital resources.

  3. Rank
    2
    School

    University of Alabama

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    21/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    66.65%
    Retention
    Rate
    87%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    56.55%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    36.85%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    50%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
    +
    Tuition
    $339 per credit hour online
    Address
    739 University Blvd
    Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0166
    (205) 348-6010
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Located in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama is a national leader in online education, and the school’s web-based mechanical engineering program only bolsters its reputation. Alabama offers undergraduates a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) and makes it easy for students to pursue the degree at their own convenience.

    Lectures and coursework are available online, and the university allows you to conduct lab work at either their main campus or at satellite facilities in Dothan, AL and Gadsden, AL. In-person labs are required for only three classes in the curriculum, which ensures that the in-person component of the program is unobtrusive.

    Interested students must satisfy the following admission criteria before applying:

    • The University of Alabama requires a minimum transfer GPA of 2.0 or higher with at least 24 hours of completed course work. Students who graduated high school prior to 2012 must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
    • Students must complete 60 semester hours and all lower-division and general education courses before taking BSME courses.

    The BSME program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), demonstrating the university’s commitment to providing a first class mechanical engineering program for online students.

    Online Experience

    Online classes are conducted through Blackboard, which also hosts notes, homework assignments, and forums. Additionally, students can access digital library resources and view archived lectures online. Like on-campus students, remote learners have access to their own myBama portal, where they can check their grades and set their schedules.

  4. Rank
    3
    School

    Trine University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    8/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    N/A
    Retention
    Rate
    75%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    30.3%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    70%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    25%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
    +
    Tuition
    $480 per credit hour online
    Address
    9910 Dupont Circle Drive East
    Fort Wayne, IN 46825
    (260) 483-4949
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Trine’s Bachelor of Science in Design Engineering Technology (DET) prepares students to design, manufacture, test, maintain, and sell engineering systems. Class schedules follow the university’s semester system, but students can move at their own pace within that framework and sign up for as many courses per term as they like. Trine’s renowned faculty make themselves available for online students and can be reached on Moodle, email, or over the phone.

    To graduate with the DET, students must fulfill several course requirements:

    • 42 credit hours of General Education
    • 48 credit hours of Core Engineering Fundamentals
    • 12 credit hours of Core Management
    • 19 credit hours of Degree Related Electives

    The DET program does not require any campus-based lab work and the degree can be completed entirely online. The DET program is accredited by ABET.

    Online Experience

    Trine uses Moodle as its medium for interactive software. The platform automatically synchronizes and updates coursework in accordance with the university’s academic calendar. Students will learn Moodle’s simple interface quickly and enjoy features like notes, background information, and forums on the site. Some instructors also use it to post links to news or information relevant to course material.

  5. Rank
    4
    School

    Western Carolina University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    16/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    51.08%
    Retention
    Rate
    78.65%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    37.66%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    27.16%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    70%
    Default
    Rate
    8.10%
    +
    Tuition
    $148 per credit in state
    $499 per credit out of state
    Address
    Highway 107
    Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
    (828) 227-2172
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina’s commitment to online education allows working professionals to obtain a degree through part-time evening study. WCU awards a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology – Technical Operations (ETO) and does not require students to attend classes on the school’s main campus.

    Students in the program watch and attend class through a combination of online and in-person instruction; in-person courses are offered at several locations throughout the region. The program follows an eight semester plan that allows students to graduate in four years. To complete the degree, students need to take 124 hours of classes while satisfying several related requirements:

    • 33 semester hours of ETO coursework at the junior and senior level
    • 42 hours of liberal studies coursework (can be satisfied by classes taken elsewhere)
    • 12 hours of 200-level Engineering Electives
    • Specific classes in math and science

    Students should also know that the ETO program is not accredited by ABET.

    Online Experience

    WCU uses Blackboard to give students access to course materials, homework, forums, and evaluation. The school has a 24/7 live support hotline for users struggling with Blackboard; technical support for other programs related to the curriculum can be found through the school’s Online Library Services.

    WCU also provides tutoring support for its online students. The university uses a program called Smarthinking to disseminate help. The service is particularly useful to students in their first few semesters of college, as it provides help across a range of disciplines, including math, biology, economics, writing, physics, and chemistry.

  6. Rank
    5
    School

    University of North Dakota

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    19/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    55.29%
    Retention
    Rate
    75.02%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    73.7%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    59.25%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    48%
    Default
    Rate
    3.6%
    +
    Tuition
    $332 per credit in state
    $787 per credit out of state
    Address
    264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
    Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
    (800) 225-5863
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    The University of North Dakota’s online program offers degrees in five engineering disciplines: chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum engineering. The school designed their online engineering programs with the full-time worker in mind: students only take courses on a part-time basis and each degree will take about six years to finish.

    Students should anticipate spending approximately 8-10 hours per week on school work. Each program follows the university’s typical academic calendar, with classes starting at the beginning of the fall semester. In addition to fall and spring, students can take classes during a summer term that begins in May.

    North Dakota’s chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering degrees are ABET-accredited; the petroleum engineering degree is pending accreditation. In each program, students are expected to watch recorded lectures online and complete most coursework remotely. There is an on-campus lab component that will require students to occasionally visit the university’s campus in Grand Forks, ND.

    Online Experience

    UND uses Blackboard to facilitate and supplement online instruction. The program provides users with access to classes, discussion boards, school news and announcements. Students in the online program work with the same faculty members as students in the on-campus program.

  7. Rank
    6
    School

    Arizona State University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    23/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    59.47%
    Retention
    Rate
    84.4%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    80.23%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    41.06%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    85%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
    +
    Tuition
    $523 per credit hour online
    Address
    University Drive and Mill Avenue
    Tempe, AZ 85287
    (480) 965-9011
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Few universities have embraced online education as holistically as Arizona State University, which has offered online degrees in a number of fields for years. For undergraduates interested in engineering, ASU offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Engineering Management (also known as Industrial Engineering). Prospective freshmen are subject to the same admission criteria that applies to full-time students, and must meet one of the following requirements:

    • 3.0 GPA in competency courses (4.0 system where 4.0 = A)
    • 22 on the ACT (24 for non-residents)
    • 1040 on the SAT Reasoning (1110 for non-residents)
    • Top 25% in high school class

    Students in the programs must earn at least a C grade in certain math courses and engineering prerequisites before they can take upper-division classes. Online courses follow the semester schedule that local students adhere to, and online students are scheduled to take at least six hours of class per term. The electrical engineering degree is ABET-accredited. Students in ASU’s online engineering programs will have access to the same award-winning faculty members that teach in the school’s flagship campus in Tempe.

    Online Experience

    ASU uses a number of tools to ensure that online classes and coursework flow smoothly. The school has partnered with Google and uses a suite of Google apps to help students collaborate with classmates and to save and share information in the cloud. Teachers use a program called Zaption to make interactive videos enhanced with images, quizzes, and text. Zaption’s analytics offer instructors instant feedback on how well students understood the video content and key concepts from lectures.

  8. Rank
    7
    School

    University of Southern Mississippi

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    17/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    45.13%
    Retention
    Rate
    71.62%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    66.31%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    43.03%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    72%
    Default
    Rate
    12%
    +
    Tuition
    $281 per credit hour online
    Address
    118 College Drive # 0001
    Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
    (601) 266-1000
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    The University of Southern Mississippi offers ABET-accredited online engineering bachelor’s degrees in construction engineering and industrial engineering technology. The construction engineering degree is currently the only online degree of its kind, offering students a unique opportunity to remotely integrate architecture and engineering. At $281 per credit, Southern Miss also offers one of the nation’s cheapest online engineering degrees.

    Southern Mississippi’s graduation requirements make it easy for transfer students to obtain their degree. Students must complete 124 hours of study to graduate, but only half of these hours must be completed at a senior college. The school does require students to complete the final 25% of their coursework at USM, 12 hours of which must be in the major.

    Both engineering programs are conducted entirely online and do not require lab work. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace, and can take classes either part time or full time. Those who opt for a full load have the option of following a semester-by-semester plan designed to be completed in four years.

    Online Experience

    Online students have access to USM’s digital library resources and online tutoring is available through the school’s Speaking and Writing Centers. Southern Miss uses Blackboard for lessons and to enhance student communication, and offers video tutorials to acquaint students with the technology. Tech support is also available to students through the Learning Enhancement Center.

  9. Rank
    8
    School

    Kennesaw State University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    21/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    43.38%
    Retention
    Rate
    75.64%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    56.54%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    59.65%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    4%
    Default
    Rate
    6.30%
    +
    Tuition
    $277 per credit hour online
    Address
    1000 Chastain Rd
    Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591
    (770) 423-6000
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Kennesaw State University offers an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology. Coursework is completed in an online synchronous format and allows students to watch prerecorded lectures at their leisure. Online students thus get the exact same teachers, lessons, assignments, discussions, and tests as their on-campus brethren. There is a live component to the degree: a weekly meeting that can be viewed through web conferencing software.

    The industrial engineering program follows the university’s semester-based academic calendar, and instruction typically begins in mid-to-late August. Students may sign up for as many or as few courses as they like, and there is no timeline for completing the degree. WIth no lab work required, students can complete their degree without ever visiting campus.

    Online Experience

    Kennesaw State uses Desire2Learn (D2L) to coordinate online classes. A video recording of all lectures will be available online, and instructors use D2L to post grades and host assignments, homework and notes. Students can also use a program called Virtual Owl to access the online version of KSU’s computer lab, which provides remote users with software available in the school’s on-campus computer labs.

    Distance learners are free to use all digital library materials and student help services remotely. KSU also provides live technical support to students during business hours.

  10. Rank
    9
    School

    Old Dominion University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    20/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    51.17%
    Retention
    Rate
    79.56%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    76.79%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    37.57%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    33%
    Default
    Rate
    6.80%
    +
    Tuition
    $316 per credit in state
    $345 per credit out of state
    Address
    5115 Hampton Blvd
    Norfolk, VA 23529
    (757) 683-3000
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Old Dominion University boasts one of the broadest online engineering programs in the world, offering six majors to prospective students. Once admitted, distance learners can pursue engineering degrees in the following fields:

    • Civil Engineering Technology
    • EET – Computer Engineering Technology
    • EET – Electrical Systems Technology
    • General Engineering Technology: Electromechanical Systems (GETES)
    • MET – Manufacturing Systems/Mechanical System Design
    • MET – Nuclear Systems

    Most of those engineering tech majors are ABET-accredited; the GETES program does not have this certification.

    Most online classes follow ODU’s semester schedule, and courses have specific registration periods. Most classes are asynchronous but some are live and require active participation. There is no lab component to any of these degrees, so all schoolwork can be conducted remotely.

    Online Experience

    Old Dominion is a Blackboard school and the university encourages professors to collect assignments and post grades on the system. Some of the faculty prefer to communicate over email; individual professors make their methods and preferences known on the course syllabus.

    Students are occasionally asked to make web presentations to their class. Blackboard makes it easy to upload live or archived video either from your webcam or through audio and visual files. You can take most of your exams online, although some may require you to take the test at an approved testing center.

  11. Rank
    10
    School

    Tarleton State University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    20/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    43.36%
    Retention
    Rate
    68.35%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    56.82%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    45.73%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    31%
    Default
    Rate
    9.10%
    +
    Tuition
    $343 per credit in state
    $734 per credit out of state
    Address
    1333 W. Washington
    Stephenville, TX 76401-0000
    (254) 968-9000
    Websites
    Program Page
    School Description

    About the Program

    Tarleton State’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Manufacturing and Industrial Management prepares students for a career in engineering management. The program is structured so that students can take business courses in marketing, law, management, and international business to supplement the core engineering curriculum. The program is online only and does not have an in-person component.

    The Manufacturing and Industrial Management program is flexible and allows you to take courses at your convenience. It requires 120 hours in total and students who sign up for a full schedule can graduate in just two years.

    Tarleton allows students to transfer up to 84 credits. Unlike many other programs, TSU accepts transfer hours from a broad assortment of post-secondary schools and institutions, and may give you credit for the following:

    • Workforce credit
    • Technical training
    • Military
    • Work experience

    Online Experience

    Tarleton uses Blackboard to provide course materials to distance learners. On Blackboard, students can expect to find all lectures and homework, as well as discussion forums and their grades. The school provides Blackboard help online and over the phone. Tarleton also offers tutoring services and other technical support through its help desk.

Additional Schools

  1. Rank
    11
    School

    ECPI University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    21/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    36.92%
    Retention
    Rate
    62.8%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    81.14%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    51.63%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    72%
    Default
    Rate
    11.60%
  2. Rank
    12
    School

    Eastern New Mexico University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    18/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    28.75%
    Retention
    Rate
    58.12%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    63.21%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    46.44%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    44%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
  3. Rank
    13
    School

    University of West Florida

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    24/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    42.32%
    Retention
    Rate
    70.03%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    48.08%
    Enrollment
    Rate
    22.45%
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    40%
    Default
    Rate
    N/A
  4. Rank
    14
    School

    National University

    St to Faculty
    Ratio
    22/1
    Graduation
    Rate
    31.25%
    Retention
    Rate
    76.62%
    Acceptance
    Rate
    N/A
    Enrollment
    Rate
    N/A
    Institutional
    Aid Rate
    N/A
    Default
    Rate
    7%

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