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Pursuing an MS in mechanical engineering in USA: What you need to know

By Edvoy• Last updated: Jan 18, 2024
Pursuing an MS in mechanical engineering in USA: What you need to know
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Do you know? More than 200,000 international students moved to the United States to pursue engineering courses in 2023. Engineering has become a popular subject in the country for its excellent curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities, and remarkable opportunities.

Pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering in the USA can be a transformative educational journey for students aspiring to advance their careers in engineering.

Renowned for its world-class universities and technological advancements, the USA offers a stimulating environment that fosters innovation, research, and professional growth. However, before embarking on this path, it is essential to understand the key aspects and considerations involved in pursuing the course.

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In this guide, we will provide you with the essential information you need to know when considering the pursuit of an MS in mechanical engineering in the USA, helping you navigate through the process and make the most of your educational journey.

Unlock endless possibilities in just a click and begin your academic journey in the USA today!

Masters in mechanical engineering in the USA: Key highlights

Course-typeFull-time, part-time
Course duration2 years
Course entry requirementAn international student with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or related programs with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5.
English proficiency
  • IELTS: 6.0-6.5
  • TOEFL: 80
  • PTE: 68
  • Duolingo: 100
Entrance examGRE: Above 310
Work experienceRelevant work experience for at least two years.
Fees range$6,000-$60,000
VisaUS Student Visa

Data updated as of January 2024

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Why study mechanical engineering in the USA?

Studying mechanical engineering in the USA offers numerous advantages. Here are some compelling reasons to consider.

Quality education

The USA is renowned for its excellent education system, and its universities consistently rank among the top in the world. Pursuing an MS in mechanical engineering in the USA ensures you receive a high-quality education valued globally.

Cutting-edge research and technology

The USA is at the forefront of technological advancements and scientific research. Many leading universities and research institutions in the country actively engage in groundbreaking research, providing opportunities for students to work on cutting-edge projects and contribute to advancements in mechanical engineering.

Also read: Studying medicine in the USA

Broad range of specialisations

Mechanical engineering is a vast field with various specialisations. Fields like robotics, aerospace engineering, renewable energy, automotive design, and biomedical engineering offer students specialised programs and research opportunities to match their aspirations.

Career opportunities

The USA has a robust engineering industry with numerous opportunities for mechanical engineers. The country is home to many prominent automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, energy, and technology companies.

Multicultural experience

Studying in the USA offers a rich cultural experience. You will have the chance to interact with students from diverse backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and global perspectives. This exposure can enhance your interpersonal and communication skills, valuable assets in today's globalised job market.

Also read: Explore the best courses in the USA for International Students

Eligibility for studying masters in mechanical engineering in the USA

American universities have a set of prerequisites for international students aiming to pursue mechanical engineering. When applying for a course, ensure your profile satisfies the university requirements. Here are the standard eligibility criteria for an MS in mechanical engineering in the USA.

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Eligibility requirements for MS in mechanical engineering in the USA

FactorEligibility criteria
Educational qualificationsAn international student with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or related programs with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5.
English proficiency
  • IELTS: 6.0-6.5
  • TOEFL: 80
  • PTE: 68
  • Duolingo: 100
Entrance examGRE: Above 310
Work experienceRelevant work experience for at least two years.
VisaUS Student visa

Data updated as of January 2024

Note: The eligibility requirement varies with every engineering program and university. Ensure you check the course page for the requirements before submitting the application.

Cost of studying MS in mechanical engineering in the USA

A master’s in mechanical engineering in the US is moderately affordable for international students. An MS program in mechanical engineering costs between $6,000-$60,000 in the USA.

Here is a general overview of the tuition fees for MS programs in mechanical engineering.

Public Universities (In-State)

For in-state students attending public universities, tuition fees can range from approximately $10,000 to $25,000 per academic year. However, this can vary significantly depending on the specific university and program.

Public Universities (Out-of-State)

Out-of-state students attending public universities typically pay higher tuition fees compared to in-state students. The out-of-state tuition fees can range from approximately $20,000 to $50,000 or more per academic year.

Private Universities

Private universities generally have higher tuition fees compared to public universities. Tuition fees for MS programs in mechanical engineering at private universities can range from approximately $30,000 to $60,000 or more per academic year.

You Might also like: How much does it cost to study in the USA?

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Best mechanical engineering universities in the USA

The USA is home to several prestigious universities offering excellent programs for an MS in mechanical engineering. Here are some top universities known for their mechanical engineering programs.

Mechanical engineering universities ranking 2024

University nameQS World University Rankings 2024
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)01
Stanford University05
University of California, Berkeley10
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)15
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor33
Carnegie Mellon University52
University of California, San Diego62
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign64
Georgia Institute of Technology97
Purdue University99

Data updated as of January 2024 | Source: QS World University Rankings 2024

Admission process for MS in mechanical engineering in the USA

International students should understand the importance of starting their application as early as possible. Applying to an institution in the USA consists of various steps and flawless planning to get selected by the admission committee. Here’s the admission process to apply to an MS in mechanical engineering in the USA.

  • Check the program’s eligibility requirements and ensure you fulfil the standard requirements.
  • Ensure you have documents like academic transcripts, SOP, LOR, English proficiency scores, and entrance exam results ready.
  • Submit the documents and apply to the program before the deadline.
  • Wait for the offer letter, and once you receive it, begin the visa processing.

Visa processing in the USA

The process for applying for a student visa in the United States typically involves the following steps.

  • Receive acceptance from a US educational institution

First, you need to apply to and receive an acceptance letter from a recognised US educational institution. This could be a university, college, or other approved educational program.

  • Pay the SEVIS fee

Once accepted, you will need to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. This fee is paid online through the SEVIS system and is necessary for processing your visa application.

The SEVIS fee for an F1 and M1 visa costs $350, and a J1 visa costs $220.

  • Complete the online visa application

Complete the online nonimmigrant visa application form DS-160, which includes providing personal and educational information. There is a non-refundable application fee associated with the DS-160, which is currently $160.

  • Schedule a visa interview

After submitting the DS-160, you will need to schedule an appointment for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. The cost of the visa application interview fee can vary depending on the country, ranging from $160 to $270.

  • Gather required documents

Gather the necessary documents for your visa application, which typically include a valid passport, Form DS-160 confirmation page, SEVIS fee receipt, acceptance letter from the U.S. institution, financial documentation showing your ability to support yourself, and any additional documents requested by the embassy or consulate.

  • Attend the visa interview

On the scheduled date, go to the U.S. embassy or consulate for your visa interview. The consular officer will ask you questions about your educational background, study plans, financial situation, and ties to your home country. Be prepared to provide your supporting documents for review.

  • Wait for visa processing

After the interview, your visa application will undergo processing. The duration of processing can vary, so it's important to check the embassy's or consulate's website for estimated wait times.

  • Receive your visa

If your visa is approved, there may be an additional visa issuance fee, which varies based on your nationality. This fee is typically between $0 and $500.

MS in mechanical engineering in the USA application deadline

International students should ensure they complete and submit their application way before the given deadline. This is because they need ample time to review their profile, collect documents, and complete the required entrance exams to apply. Here are the upcoming deadlines for MS in mechanical engineering in the USA.

MS mechanical engineering application deadline

IntakeApplication deadline
Fall 2024May 2024
Spring 2025January 2025
Fall 2025Yet to be announced

Data updated as of January 2024

Note: The application deadline for MS mechanical engineering varies with every university in the USA. Check the university website to determine the accurate deadline dates.

MS in mechanical engineering jobs and salaries in the USA 

Mechanical engineering comes with fantastic perks in the global market. Graduates get the opportunity to secure a job in various sectors as the field of study plays a vital role in several industries. The average annual salary of a Mechanical Engineer in the USA is $90,670.

Career options for mechanical engineering graduates in the USA

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Test Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Machinery Manufacturer
  • Control and Instrumentation Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Aerospace Product Manufacturer

Here’s a detailed description of the top career options after an MS mechanical engineering.

Mechanical Engineer

Graduates can work as mechanical engineers in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, energy, robotics, and consulting firms.

The average salary for mechanical engineers in the USA ranges from approximately $75,009 to $120,000 per year, depending on experience, location, industry, and company size.

Research and Development Engineer

Some graduates may pursue research and development roles, working on innovative projects and advancing technologies. Salaries for research and development engineers vary but can range from around $83,947 to $143,800 per year.

Project Engineer/Manager

Mechanical engineers with strong project management skills can work as project engineers or project managers, overseeing the planning, execution, and completion of engineering projects.

Salaries for project engineers/managers can range from approximately $75,000 to $124,668 or more, depending on the industry and project complexity.

Design Engineer

Design engineers create and develop mechanical components, systems, and products using computer-aided design (CAD) software and engineering principles. Salaries for design engineers typically range from around $77,488 to $137,843 per year.

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing engineers focus on optimising production processes, ensuring efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing operations. Salaries for manufacturing engineers can vary from approximately $72,496 to $107,753 per year.

Also read: High paying part-time jobs in the USA

Top recruiters for MS in mechanical engineering in the USA

  • Apple
  • L&T Technology Services
  • NASA
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • The Boeing Company
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • General Electric (GE)
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Samsung

Work permit after MS in mechanical engineering in the USA

A post-study work visa is a permit visa for international students that allows them to stay in the USA to begin their professional life after graduation.

Every F1 or student visa holder is eligible to apply for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work in the country for 12 months.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates can extend this permit to 24 months.

Cost of living in the USA

The cost of living in the USA can vary significantly depending on the city or region you reside in. Some general aspects to consider when estimating the cost of living in the USA are.

Accommodation

The largest expense is typically accommodation. The cost of housing varies significantly depending on the location. For example, in cities like San Francisco or New York, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range from $2,500 to $4,000.

Food

The cost of groceries can also vary based on factors such as location and personal dietary choices. As an example, a basic meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around $15, while a pound of chicken breasts at a grocery store can cost approximately $3 to $5.

Transportation

The cost of transportation can include expenses such as owning a car, public transportation, or rideshare services. The average monthly cost of owning a car, including gas, insurance, and maintenance, can be around $700 to $1,000.

Healthcare

Healthcare costs in the United States can be significant. The average monthly premium for an individual can range from $300 to $500.

Utilities

Utilities, including electricity, water, heating, and internet services, contribute to the overall cost of living. For a typical two-bedroom apartment, monthly utility bills can average around $150 to $200.

Entertainment

Engaging in recreational activities, dining out, or attending events can add to the cost of living. For instance, a movie ticket can cost around $12, and a dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant can range from $40 to $80.

Miscellaneous expenses

This category covers various expenses like clothing, personal care items, and household supplies. For example, a pair of jeans can cost approximately $40 to $80, and a tube of toothpaste can range from $2 to $5.

Also read: Average Cost of Living in USA

Scholarships for MS mechanical engineering in the USA

There are several scholarship opportunities available to help finance your studies. Some popular scholarships available for international students are.

1. Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Scholarships

SWE offers a range of scholarships to female students pursuing degrees in engineering, including mechanical engineering, to support women in STEM fields and promote gender diversity in engineering. Some notable scholarships from SWE include the Betty Lou Bailey Scholarship, the Dianne C. De Reuter Scholarship, and the SWE Scholarship Program.

2. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Scholarships

ASME provides scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing mechanical engineering degrees. The scholarships are available to both US citizens and international students. ASME offers a variety of scholarships, including the ASME Foundation Scholarships, ASME Auxiliary Scholarships, and ASME Foundation/Henry R. Worthington Scholarship.

3. National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Scholarships

NSPE offers several scholarships to support students pursuing engineering degrees, including mechanical engineering. The scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements, leadership potential, and involvement in engineering-related activities.

4. National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Scholarships

NACME provides scholarships to underrepresented minority students pursuing engineering degrees, including mechanical engineering. These scholarships are designed to increase diversity in the engineering field and support students who face financial barriers.

5. University-Specific Scholarships

Many universities in the US offer scholarships specifically for students enrolled in their mechanical engineering programs. These scholarships are often based on academic merit, and some may require students to maintain a certain GPA or participate in research or extracurricular activities. It's advisable to research the scholarship opportunities provided by the universities you are interested in attending.

Also read: Top Scholarships for Indian Students in the USA

Edvoy strives to offer a platform of opportunities for students aiming to begin their academic journey in their desired study destination. We help and guide you in every step of the way, from choosing your desired course and university to submitting your application. Connect with us and kick-start your study abroad journey today!

Frequently asked questions

What is the student visa process to study MS in mechanical engineering in the USA?

The visa processing for international students includes the steps below.

  • Receive acceptance from a US educational institution
  • Pay the SEVIS fee
  • Complete the online visa application
  • Schedule a visa interview
  • Gather required documents
  • Attend the visa interview
  • Wait for visa processing
  • Receive your visa

Is MS in mechanical engineering worth it?

A mechanical engineering degree in the USA is a great choice for students as it offers an excellent curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities, remarkable research and training opportunities, and high-paying employment options.

How much does it cost to study MS in mechanical engineering in the USA?

An MS in mechanical engineering in the USA costs an average of $6,000-$60,000 for international students.

What are the language requirements for Indian students to study in the USA?

Here are the language requirements for Indian students to pursue higher education in the USA.

  • IELTS: 6.0-6.5
  • TOEFL: 80
  • PTE: 68
  • Duolingo: 100

What is the eligibility requirement for Indian students to pursue an MS in mechanical engineering in the USA?

Educational qualification An international student with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or related programs with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5.

English proficiency

  • IELTS: 6.0-6.5
  • TOEFL: 80
  • PTE: 68
  • Duolingo: 100
Entrance exam GRE: Above 310

Work experience

Relevant work experience for at least two years.

How long does it take to complete an MS in mechanical engineering?

The duration of an MS program in Mechanical Engineering is typically 2 years, depending on the university and whether you are enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis.

What are the career prospects after completing an MS in mechanical engineering?

Graduates with an MS in mechanical engineering can pursue various career paths, including.

Research and developmentConsultingAerospace
DesignProject managementEnergy
ManufacturingAutomotiveRobotics

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