A Master of Material Engineering (M.Eng. in Material Engineering) degree can help you optimize metal, plastics, and composite materials, elevate your product design, and open new opportunities for advanced roles in the field. A technical education in material engineering can also help you qualify to sit for state licensing examinations.  Material engineers have access to diverse employment opportunities spanning multiple engineering disciplines.
A master’s degree can help you expand your opportunities as a materials engineer. Whether your goal is academia, research and development, or a higher role within your organization, a master’s in material engineering can give you a competitive edge.  It also assists graduates with qualification for the prestigious Professional Engineer (PE) license, which allows for further career development and flexible employment opportunities in the field of material engineering.  
There are many accredited online Master of Material Engineering programs available, which can provide enhanced flexibility for those who wish to obtain this valuable degree.
The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.
Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.
You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.
While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal across all programs. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework; standardized test scores; a personal statement or essay; letters of recommendation; and an overview of relevant work experience.
In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.
For more information about admissions, please visit our admissions requirements page.
Applicants to the M.Eng. in Material Engineering degree must have a bachelor’s degree in material engineering or in a related engineering field.  Some colleges offer a five-year combined program leading to a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and many colleges and universities offer internships and cooperative programs in partnership with organizations in the industry, which can strengthen graduates’ prospects at obtaining optimal employment. 
A minimum grade point average in the B-range during the bachelor’s degree is generally required for admission to the master’s program  , though there is some variability.
Requirements for admission may also vary based upon the specialty chosen. Check with your selected program, track, and university to ensure that you are aware of the minimum requirements for your chosen specialty.
When considering a graduate degree in engineering, it is important that you choose the degree that is the best fit for your professional interests and career goals. This section illustrates the differences between the M.Eng. in Material Engineering degree and several alternative degree options.
Master of Material Engineering vs. Master of Science in Engineering
Are you planning to focus on technical employment, or research? This answer to this question is crucial when considering whether to pursue an M.Eng. in Material Engineering degree or a Master of Science in Engineering (M.Sc. in Engineering).
The M.Sc. Engineering degree often emphasizes research and may require completion of a thesis for graduation, depending on the institution. If you would like to go on to attain a Ph.D. and work within academia, the M.Sc. in Engineering may be the choice for you.
Master of Material Engineering vs. Master of Engineering Management
The Master of Engineering Management program is commonly called “the Engineer’s MBA.” It is a hybrid degree that combines technical Engineering skills with business management concepts, the latter of which would usually be found in a Master of Business Administration program. 
This degree is best suited to prospective students who wish to work in the engineering management field, as opposed to those who wish to work more technically in the specific field of material engineering. 
Master of Material Engineering vs. Combined Master of Business Administration/Master of Engineering
Similar to the Master of Engineering Management, this dual degree program combines the technical aspects of a Master of Engineering degree with the leadership and business concepts found in an MBA program.
Graduates of the combined MBA/M.Eng. program are prepared to become managers and leaders in the field of engineering. The dual program is offered by an increasing number of universities, and tends to focus equally on technical and business skills. For that reason, it tends to take a longer period of time to complete than previously discussed programs. This degree is well-suited for those who wish to seek entrepreneurial opportunities, such as running a private engineering practice or consulting firm. 
Prospective students and engineers are strongly encouraged to connect with associations and organizations within the industry to learn more about material engineering and engage in professional development. A brief snapshot of some of the major Material Engineering organizations is provided below:
Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of accreditation that an online or traditional college or university can receive. It is granted only after careful consideration by private, not-for-profit organizations tasked with evaluating educational quality.
Regional accreditation is particularly important if you anticipate that you might want to transfer credits from one online degree program to another or use those credits to pursue another degree. Most regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions of higher learning.
You can learn more on this topic at our regional accreditation page.
Within ABET, there are two Engineering Accreditation Commissions. Each program that requests accreditation is assigned to one of the two commissions, depending upon the name of the program:
The EAC accredits programs that lead students toward the professional practice of engineering. In order to qualify for this level of ABET accreditation, the program must have “Engineering” in its name. The EAC accredits programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Students interested in the Master of Engineering in Materials Science degree should look for programs accredited by this ABET Commission. 
ETAC accredits programs that prepare bachelor’s degree holders for employment in the field of engineering technology, or associate degree holders for work as engineering technicians. 
The title “Professional Engineer” (PE) is a regulated credential that can be used only by those who meet the criteria set forth by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and by state licensing boards. In the USA, all states regulate some aspects of engineering practice according to their own laws in order to ensure public safety and welfare. The NCEES is a national council made up of members from the state licensing boards. It seeks to advance and standardize PE licensure at the national level. 
PE licensure is viewed as the optimal engineering credential, as it widens the scope of practice compared to that of unlicensed engineers. It is also held in high esteem by both the public and employers, granting a certain level of prestige. 
Obtaining a PE license can enhance your status within the engineering profession and improve the flexibility of your career options. 
There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.
For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.
If you choose a program that includes a cooperative education or internship option, there may be fees associated with the cooperative education portion of your degree that are charged over and above your tuition. However, most co-op work placements or internships provide a salary to the student while working. 
Areas of specialization include ceramics, composite materials, electronic materials, metallurgy, polymers and materials science. These specialities can be employed in many fields, including aerospace, mining, manufacture, technology, biomaterials, and nanotechnology, among others. 
Both on-campus and online methods of course delivery provide equivalent quality education. As well, there are many ABET-accredited graduate engineering programs offered in the United States.  An online Master of Material Engineering program offers increased flexibility when compared to campus delivery models.
When you enroll in a campus program, you are expected to be on campus to attend classes at specific times. This can interfere with a student’s ability to maintain employment or family obligations during studies, depending upon class timing. With an online degree, students are given the flexibility to watch lectures and complete projects on their own time, and go at their own pace. Engineers are busy, so enrolling in an online degree can allow students to fit their studies into their lives rather than change their lives to fit into an inflexible program. 
As of May 2016, the median annual salary for material engineers is $91,310, which is more than double the median of $35,080 for other workers in the United States. 
In short, yes. ABET accreditation is the gold standard for education in the engineering field. Graduation from an accredited program is required to qualify for a Professional Engineer (PE) license by most state licensure boards. Note that licensure requirements do vary between states, so it is important to check with your state licensing board to confirm requirements before you choose a program.
Although some states allow graduates of an unaccredited program to apply to be a PE, applicants from unaccredited programs may have to return to school for more credits and/or apprentice under a licensed PE for a greater number of years. Given that PEs have a wider scope of practice and earn a higher salary, it is recommended that prospective students choose ABET-accredited programs whenever possible so that licensure remains an available option.
A majority of programs offered within the United States are currently ABET accredited, but it is important to confirm this before enrolling.    
The Professional Engineer credential is seen as proof of competence. Those who obtain it are typically entrusted with a higher level of responsibility for public safety and welfare, which grants them a wider scope of practice related to signing and sealing plans. Many employers, including the government, are now moving toward requiring PE status of their employees.
As a PE, you can have more upward mobility and a higher salary than an unlicensed engineer. PEs are more frequently employed in supervisory and management roles, and given more responsibility when working on engineering projects. By law, most states require engineers working in private practice or who own consulting firms to have PE status, so if entrepreneurship is something that interests you, pursuing a PE may be required.