Master of Engineering vs Master of Science in Engineering

Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Engineering: Which is Right for You?

If you have a background in engineering and are considering your options for an advanced degree, you may be wondering if you should pursue a Master of Engineering (MEng) or a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE). This is a valid question since these programs share several similarities that make them hard to distinguish between — but there are distinguishing factors.

Rather than a difference in curricula, structure, or time, the true distinction in these degrees lies in the result of which career path they’ll take you. So, to decide which is right for you, it’s vital to understand any and all differences between them and clarify your career goals.

Master of Engineering

Master of Engineering degrees, commonly abbreviated to MEng or ME, emphasize engineering in the context of business management, promoting practical skills that help working engineers move into leadership roles. Often completed in a shorter amount of time than an MSE, adding this degree to your resume shows current and future employers that you’re not only technically adept but well-prepared to lead internal teams. What’s more, an MEng can net a salary of over $90,000 per year, with employment in a wide array of manufacturing and technology fields that include:

  • aerospace and aviation
  • architectural engineering
  • cyber security
  • data sciences
  • robotics
  • software publishing and more.

Master of Science in Engineering

Master of Science in Engineering degrees are generally research-focused, requiring the submission of GRE scores during the admissions process and the completion of a thesis or final project prior to graduation. A practical step toward pursuing a Ph.D. or academically focused career, these degrees generally emphasize practice as much as research, blending leadership-focused core coursework with specialties to build technical skills in a particular engineering vertical. Graduates will develop a deep knowledge of research techniques and methodologies, statistical approaches to research studies, and scientific documentation — plus they’ll potentially net a salary of over $80,000 per year, with employment in fields that include:

  • academia
  • computational intelligence
  • consulting
  • healthcare
  • research and development
  • systems biology and more.

Which Degree is Right for You?


To choose between an MEng and an MSE, you’ll need to carefully consider your personal and professional goals. If you see yourself pursuing a Ph.D. or a career in academia, a research-focused Master of Science in Engineering may be the right decision. Alternatively, if you want to increase your business operations knowledge and learn strategies for leading teams of engineers, pursuing a practice-oriented Master of Engineering could be the proper path.

View MEng vs MSE Infographic

Three Degrees, Limitless Opportunities

No matter the industry, all organizations need forward-thinking engineers who possess a combination of advanced technical and business skills to support the growth of manufacturing as it evolves with industry 4.0. Master these skills through UC Online’s three world-renowned Master of Engineering programs.

The Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering focuses on the next advancements in technology within the manufacturing space, enabling you to step into a leadership position and make significant contributions to your internal business team.

The Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering focuses on combining physics and mathematics principles to design, create and maintain mechanical systems, enabling you to succeed in practically any field, including aerospace, healthcare, energy, and more.

The Master of Engineering in Robotics & Intelligent Autonomous Systems focuses on advanced intelligent hardware devices and software, enabling you to design sophisticated autonomous robotic devices whose capabilities surpass older electro-mechanical automation systems.

So — are you ready to learn more? Explore our online Master of Engineering programs to discover how you can achieve your goals with a degree from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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