Introducing: The OSU Master of Engineering (MEng) Degree!

Story Posted: 10/1/2004

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An Overview

The OSU College of Engineering is pleased to offer a unique, new Master of Engineering (MEng) degree, which provides students the option of obtaining a master’s-level degree, but without the research component requirement associated with our traditional master’s degree (MS).

We offer the MEng because some professional engineering societies are now calling for a master’s degree as the entry-level engineering degree. We have also found that many graduate students are interested in pursuing more advanced studies in specialized areas, but a career in research is not their professional goal. The MEng offers these students a viable alternative to our MS degree.

The specific learning outcomes for this degree differ from those for our existing MS programs in that MEng students will not be required to learn research methods or to conduct independent research. Rather, the emphasis is on learning specific job-related knowledge and skills as currently presented in our existing graduate level courses. MEng students may elect to take courses with research content, but they will do so primarily as future research consumers and not necessarily as future researchers.

Our MEng complements our MS degree, meeting the needs for many students and industrial partners. For some master’s students, an MEng will be a better fit with their goals. For part-time students, the MEng program can be more feasible and attractive than an MS program due to the lack of a thesis or project requirement.

The MEng is a coursework-only master’s degree of 45 credits based on curricula that allow graduate students to efficiently focus on the academic courses that are most relevant to their professional objectives. Each student works with a committee and undergoes an oral examination. The degree is offered in any engineering field authorized to deliver graduate degree programs. Engineering fields having discrete professional master’s degrees (such as the Master of Ocean Engineering) typically do not participate in the MEng.

The MEng is intended as a terminal degree and not as preparation for a PhD., although there can be exceptions. The MS degree will be recommended to those students pursuing a research and development path in their careers, including continuation to a PhD degree.

Demand has been rising sharply for graduate education, and, it is consistent with our College and OSU Strategic Plans to expand our graduate programs (as well as our research programs).

In five years we expect to have approximately 500 master’s students and 500 PhD students enrolled. Based on the feedback from other universities, we expect that 20 percent of our master’s level degrees will be from the MEng program. This would be 40 to 50 MEng graduates per year, with around 200 MS and 50 PhD graduates. In 10 years, we expect the number of master’s graduates to be about the same, with PhD graduates increasing to approximately 100.

Interested students should talk with a graduate advisor in the department of interest.