Mechanical Engineering - Online and Distance Education

Mechanical Engineering

Master's Degrees | Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Entrance Exam: Not Required

The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) addresses the needs of off-campus students whose schedule or location does not allow on-campus study. The online courses are identical to on-campus courses in terms of content, requirements and academic rigor. Designed for students with a B.S. degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or related field, this M.S. degree requires 30 credit hours. No thesis is required.

Convenience and flexibility are key advantages of this program. The MSME degree is a 30-credit-hour degree program that does not require a thesis, a final oral exam, or on-campus attendance.

Benefits of the degree

  • Flexibility (time and place)
  • No need for campus attendance
  • Earn an engineering graduate degree from a well-established and recognized university
  • Enhance your career opportunities
  • Achieve new competencies, broaden your expertise and expand your knowledge

This program is administered by Engineering Online at NC State.


Prerequisites for admission to Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) include an accredited undergraduate degree in engineering with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Students majoring in other fields may need to complete a number of undergraduate mechanical engineering courses prior to being accepted for admission.

Note: Please complete item 5 of the Graduate School application form as follows: enter “Mechanical Engineering” for the field “Desired Major”, enter “Master of Science” for “Degree Sought”, and enter “Distance Education” for the field “Department/Specialty/ Concentration”. Also leave “Desired Minor” field blank.

The MSME program is designed primarily for those individuals who work or reside in the continental U.S. The program does not currently accept international students who reside outside the continental USA.


This master's degree requires 30 Engineering Online graduate credit hours. At 2020-21 tuition rates, the cost of the required courses is $513 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,361 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the 30-credit program is $15,390 for North Carolina residents and $40,830 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

The program consists of 30 credit hours. A full-time graduate student may take 9 credit hours of coursework per semester; part-time students typically take 3 or 6 credit hours of coursework per semester. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course which appears on the NC State graduate transcript. All students must comply with Graduate School regulations for continuous registration or must request a leave of absence not to exceed one year.

Students who are employed full-time may enroll in only two courses per semester. It is highly recommended that new students enroll in just one course during their first semester.

Students are assigned an academic advisor and work with this advisor to develop an individual Plan of Graduate Work. Some specialty areas have specific course requirements.

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