How do I get a Mechanical Engineering Degree?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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There are four steps required to get a mechanical engineering degree: select a school, gain admittance, pay tuition, and complete the class work. A mechanical engineering degree is required for all professional mechanical engineers. The role of a mechanical engineer is to design and implement mechanical devices to assist in a wide range of tasks.

A mechanical engineer finds employment in manufacturing, product innovation, research, construction and other fields. All employers will require a university degree in mechanically engineering and many positions also require a designation as a Professional Engineer or P.Eng. These designations are available from the National Society of Professional Engineers and require a combination of education, experience and certification exams.

Mechanical engineering degrees are available from a wide range of universities. Courses can be a combination of online and classroom lectures. When selecting a school for a mechanical engineering degree, look at the other programs offered by the engineering faculty. There is a large amount of crossover material between the different discipline and the more options available, the better.

To obtain admission to a mechanical engineering degree program, you will need to have high marks in high school calculus, algebra, English, physics and technology courses. Additional requirements may include a list of science competitions and prizes, personal references or entrance examinations. The competition for these programs is very high, as the number of employment opportunists for mechanical engineers is expanding.


The fees for a professional program, such as engineering are typically higher than a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences program. Compare the tuition fees at the schools you are interested in. Don't forget to include the cost of books, software, technology and living expenses in your cost calculations. Look at the scholarships, bursaries, and other forms of student aid that are available to you.

The course load for a degree in mechanical engineering is very heavy and is focused on science, technology and advanced math. Many top schools have stated that engineering students do not have time for part-time jobs or time-consuming extracurricular interests. The time required to complete the course work is significant and the dropout rate is quite high.

The first year of an engineering degree has many basic courses that all students are required to complete, regardless of discipline. These courses include English, calculus, algebra, structures and basic physics. In the later years, the courses become more specialized within the discipline. There are many opportunities to take courses in other fields and this is generally encouraged.


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Post 3

@ Comparables- There is also the option of getting a mechanical engineering graduate degree completely online. I am not talking about a degree from a for profit online school either. I am an engineering student at University of Illinois Urbana and they offer a well heralded online program. The requirements for admission are stringent, but it has the potential to save money and prevent relocation.

To be admitted you need a gap of at least a 3.5, letters of recommendation, a high score on the GRE and a high class rank. I have thought about trying to pursue this degree online, but I think it might be a little difficult when I ran into areas that i needed help on. It also helps to be able to network with peers.

Post 2

@ Comparables- You do not necessarily need a bachelor's in engineering to be admitted to an engineering graduate program. You will however need to meet the pre-requisites for the courses that you will be taking, so in most cases, an engineering degree or something closely similar will be needed to graduate with a master's in a reasonable amount of time.

Entering a program with a degree in biology may not be that helpful, but a degree in geophysics or physics would likely be enough to get you into a graduate program in structural mechanical engineering. If you are really interested in pursuing a graduate mechanical engineer degree, I would recommend getting the best grades possible and going to talk with an advisor from the department you are looking to join.

Post 1

Do you need to have a bachelor's degree in engineering to pursue a mechanical engineering Master's degree?

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