Top 9 Online Doctoral Programs in Engineering

Our list of the Top 9 Online Doctoral Programs in Engineering is a broad ranking which takes into account accreditation and general reputation. With the increased presence and acceptance of online Ph.D. programs throughout the U.S., prestigious institutions and many state schools are now offering online degrees with more frequency. The doctoral degree in Engineering has become more common throughout the country. With many emphases being offered at various institutions, it may be difficult to find a degree that suits a students’ purposes. This list provides a list based on reputation that we hope will help guide decisions in picking a top tier school. The schools that made the list were accredited and were non-profit.


In constructing the list, a number of sites were used for research including U.S. News and World Report, The National Center for Education Statistics, and The Guide to Online Schools.

1. Columbia UniversityColumbia

Columbia University offers online Ph.D. programs in Civil Engineering, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. With multiple avenues in Engineering, Columbia offers students a variety of options for a Ph.D. in the field. U.S. News and World Report ranks Columbia at #4 overall in the nation and ranks Columbia’s online engineering programs at #2 in the nation. Tuition is set at $1,782 per credit unit no matter the student’s residence. The online engineering program boasts 75 full-time faculty and 25 part time faculty. Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

2. Auburn UniversityAuburn_University_logo.svg

Auburn University offers an online Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. The program is flexible, giving the student the ability to plan the order of course and take a variety of courses during their tenure in the program. U.S. News and World Report ranks Auburn at #102 nationally and ranks the online Engineering programs at #17 nationwide. Tuition is $795 per credit hour no matter what status the student is in terms of residence. The online engineering program boasts 69 full-time faculty and 1 part-time faculty. Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

3. Missouri University of Science and TechnologyMissouri ST

Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an online PhD. in Systems Engineering. There are a multitude of specializations in the program including big data analytics and management and security, computational intelligence, model based engineering,  modeling and simulation, complex adaptive systems, quality and reliability, risk modeling and assessment, statistics, structures, infrastructure systems, systems architecting and systems design optimization. U.S. News and World Report ranks MUS&T at #146 nationally and ranks the online engineering programs at #20 nationally. The tuition for the Systems Engineering degree is $1643.67 per credit hour. MUS&T is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCAHLC).

4. Mississippi State UniversityMississippi

Mississippi State University offers Ph.D.’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial and Systems Engineering. U.S. News and World Report ranks Mississippi State University at #161 nationally and ranks the online engineering programs at #20 nationally, tied with our #4 and #6 on this list. Tuition is $435.75 per credit hour no matter what status the student is in terms of residence. The online engineering programs boast 43 full-time faculty and 13 part-time faculty. Mississippi State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

5. Texas Tech UniversityTexas_Tech_University_221185

Texas Tech University offers an online Ph.D. in Systems and Engineering Management. Texas Tech is ranked at #25 on our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. U.S. News and World Report ranks Texas Tech at #168 nationally and the online engineering programs at #20, tying with our #4 and #5 on this list. In-state tuition is $263 per credit hour while out-of-state tuition is $625 per credit hour. There are 21 full-time faculty in the program. Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

6. Michigan Technological UniversityMTUSeal.svg

Michigan Technological University offers an online Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Michigan Tech is nationally ranked at #123 and the online engineering programs are ranked at #40 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. There are a number of emphases in the program called “thrust areas” including Advanced Power Systems, Mechanics of Multi-Scale Materials, Multidisciplinary Engineering Dynamic Systems, Multi-scale Sensors and Systems, and Space Systems. Tuition is $821 per credit hour no matter what status the student is in terms of residence. Michigan Tech is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7. Colorado State UniversityColorado State

Colorado State University offers an online Ph.D. in Systems Engineering. The program boasts a synchronous delivery system where students who are distance learners are viewing the professor in class live. The student may also view the courses in an asynchronous manner, viewing course lectures when it is convenient for them to do so. U.S. New and World Report ranks CSU at #127 overall in the nation. Tuition is $995 per credit hour no matter what status the student is in terms of residence. Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

8. Louisiana State UniversityLSU

Louisiana State University offers a Ph.D. in Engineering Science with an emphasis in Construction Management. Students in the program must have 24 credit hours of two sub-areas while completing a total of 54 credit hours for the program. The courses are given in seven week lengths and are available to traditional on campus students as well. U.S. News and World Report ranks LSU nationally #129 nationally. Tuition is $750 per credit hour no matter what status the student is in terms of residence. Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9. Naval Postgraduate SchoolNaval_Postgraduate_School

The Naval Postgraduate School offers an online Ph.D. in Systems Engineering. The degree is a hybrid degree delivered by various means which include the Internet either by a web-conferencing tool or asynchronously online. The Naval Postgraduate School website notes that the total tuition for a typical part-time student taking either 1 course a quarter or 2 courses a quarter followed by 2 years of dissertation research is $84,000. The Naval Postgraduate School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).