The average graduate program is 30 to 36 credit hours, which takes two years to complete with full-time study. A shorter program might save you money, and it would certainly save time. The drawback is that your choices of campus or online schools will be limited. Ideally, if your employer pays all or some of the tuition, then cost is not a factor. However, not everyone is employed when enrolled in a master’s degree, or the employer doesn’t provide tuition reimbursement. In addition, there is possibly a purpose for wanting an advanced degree for working individuals—for example, more seniority, which could lead to a higher salary.
This post will present examples of Master’s degrees to give the reader an idea of how long it will take and roughly how much it’ll cost.
The George R. Brown School of Engineering – Rice University
The Master of Engineering Management and Leadership (MEML) offers online and campus formats. Students can complete the 30-credit hours within 20 months online part-time by completing two courses per semester. A capstone project concludes your studies that allow students to solve a real-world problem using their acquired engineering and management skills.
Unfortunately, this program is expensive, with tuition at $1,667 per credit hour or $50,000 total.
Whiting School of Engineering – John Hopkins
The 100% online M.S. in Engineering Management has five technical tracks in engineering or applied science. Classes are on a real-time basis taught by the same faculty as their Baltimore campus. Moreover, if you study full-time, you can graduate in three semesters! A possible completion in one year.
Johns Hopkins lists the School of Engineering graduate tuition at $58,720.
College of Engineering – University of Texas – Arlington
The M.S. in E.M. is available on-campus, and most of the classes are online as well for part-time and working professionals. The study plan has 6 credit hours of Core Courses, 18 hours of Application Courses, and 6 hours of electives for a total of 30. Although this is one with fewer credit hours, the school doesn’t stipulate how quickly you can complete the degree.
College of Science and Technology – Fairmont State University – West Virginia
FSU has a 30-credit online M.S. in Engineering Management that prepares graduates to determine technological-based solutions, perform risk assessments, implement strategies, and manage projects. A full-time student could complete the program in three semesters, with the last or summer semester requiring a thesis (3 credits). Therefore, graduating within one calendar year is possible.
Tuition is less than half that at John Hopkins at $418 per credit hour or $12,450 total.
The William States Lee College of Engineering – University of North Carolina – Charlotte
Students have the opportunity to enter the Master’s degree in E.M. earlier if they have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher and at least 75 hours of bachelor’s studies in Systems, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, or Technology Engineering. Acceptance into the graduate program is contingent on earning a bachelor’s degree.
In 2016, U.S. News ranked UNC’s online graduate engineering programs in the Best category. The online format is delivered asynchronously, which allows working students the flexibility to study when they want. The 31-credits coursework offers a Project or Thesis option – the former allows three credit hours of E.M. Project. In comparison, the thesis research option is 6 credit hours that include oral and written examinations.
The UNC graduate degree cannot be completed within the one-year timeframe; however, for North Carolina residents, you can save money as the tuition is only $240.94 per credit hour. Non-residents pay considerably more at $987.28!
College of Engineering – University of Arkansas
The institution has an online (100%) Master of Science in Engineering Management for undergraduates with an engineering degree. Students can finish the 30-credit hours program in one to two years. Moreover, U.S. News ranked the school’s graduate engineering as Best Online Programs in 2021 and Best for Veterans in 2021.
Courses, delivered via Blackboard, are in accelerated eight-week sessions; two in the fall, two in the spring, and one summer session. It is conceivable to complete the degree in five sessions or one year by taking two courses per session. In addition, the school might be the closest to meeting the desired completion time and the cost, as tuition for the MSEM is $303.88 per credit hour.
The above examples represent programs whose tuition is lower than average or the completion time is less than two years. It is not an all-inclusive list as there are probably other programs that meet the objective of one year to graduate, which would save money, regardless of the tuition rate. In some instances, you’ll be faced with the decision to save time or save money – but not both.