5 Key Courses in a Master’s in Engineering Program

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Updated August 4, 2020

Master's in Engineering Courses

  • Thermodynamics
  • Mechanics
  • Bioengineering
  • Energy Science
  • Computer Applications

Earning a Master's degree in engineering is a sure way to boost the prospects of any career. Careful planning is, however, critical for ensuring that a prospective degree will yield results that are relevant to a student's future. Master's degrees should ideally compliment existing credibility and experience to realize compounded benefits from an education.

Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

1. Thermodynamics

Engineering students ordinarily have to complete a thermodynamics course that will teach them the fundamentals of heat transfer through processes and within machines. Thermodynamics covers advanced topics, so universities will often schedule these classes later in a student's curriculum. An advanced understanding of math, chemistry, and engineering is required for taking thermodynamics; however, students should already have a firm understanding of these topics upon entering their degree program. Some universities break thermodynamics into multiple courses due to the wide range of topics that have to be covered in order to learn thermodynamics properly.

2. Mechanics

All engineers should graduate with a thorough understanding of how machines operate. Mechanics teaches the fundamentals of the physics and chemistry that go into making machines perform work. Since engineers will be tasked with planning mechanical systems in their future career, universities tend to focus on the calculations that go into planning how a theoretical mechanical system would operate. Mechanics is, therefore, an important class that students should aim to get as much out of as they possibly can. Students who take mechanics often look back at what was learned during this course for decades to come.

3. Bioengineering

Bioengineering is a field that studies how engineering principles can be leveraged to yield advances in medicine and biology. Experts in bioengineering differentiate between applied research for large-scale medical equipment and theoretical research at the molecular level. Applied bioengineering work focuses on improving existing or upcoming medical technologies, such as prosthetics or syringes. The theoretical side of bioengineering, in contrast, is increasingly focused on research at the molecular level. Students who complete a bioengineering course will be prepared for working in several fields, including nanotechnology, research, and bioproduction.

4. Energy Science

The world's energy resources are increasingly constrained due to forces at play in the modern world. Engineers who can develop advances in the energy field can, therefore, add significant value in their future career. Universities are adapting to trends in the energy field by incorporating courses related to energy science into the curricula of students. With the energy field projected to grow rapidly in the years ahead, completing an energy science course can make students much more attractive to employers after graduation.

5. Computer Applications

Computers have made most aspects of modern life more efficient than they were in the recent past, so universities try to emphasize computer applications in most degree programs. Likewise, engineering students seeking a master's degree can expect to take several courses teaching computer applications before graduation. In fact, many universities have computer applications courses that are specifically tailored to the engineering field. Computer applications courses can be highly productive because they teach students how to use modern tools to solve problems that they will deal with on a daily basis.

Students planning to pursue a Master's degree in engineering should prepare themselves for the rigorous demands that will be placed on them while in school. For example, students will need to enter their degree program with a deep understanding of calculus and linear algebra. Students who lack the minimum requirements may find themselves lagging behind. Failing to keep up with coursework can lead to dismissal, so students should start by carefully researching a prospective master's degree program to ensure that it is right for them.

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