Most Affordable Engineering Schools


The technology, transportation, and construction industries are full of technological innovations and engineering jobs. These crucial sectors are great places to build a career if you want to be an engineer, but first, you need a degree. According to Statista, the US is the second most expensive country to get a bachelor’s degree from a public school, which is why we’ve made this guide to the cheapest engineering schools.

Our guide will provide a cost breakdown, career options, scholarships, and tips to find the most affordable engineering schools. Read on to find the cheapest engineering degrees from a wide range of lucrative engineering disciplines.

What Are the Most Affordable Engineering Schools in the US?

The most affordable engineering schools in the US are Oklahoma State University, University of South Florida, and Florida International University. Our list of the cheapest engineering schools includes programs in civil, mechanical, information technology, materials science, and nuclear engineering fields. You’ll be able to find a program that meets your academic and career goals.

How Much Do the Cheapest Engineering Schools Cost?

The cheapest engineering schools cost between $5,070 to $13,239 per year for in-state students, according to our data from the list of schools below. Tuition for out-of-state students is more expensive at public universities, and tuition for international students is more expensive at most schools. You can also explore online engineering degrees as they generally tend to be cheaper than in-person degrees.

Cheapest Engineering Schools Costs Breakdown

  • Tuition rate. The tuition rate per credit hour is the biggest component of the total cost. Public schools charge different rates for in-state and out-of-state tuition, and out-of-state is more expensive.
  • Books. College textbooks are expensive and not included in the cost of tuition. Depending on the semester, you might have to pay more than $400 for books.
  • Room and board. Students have a wide range of housing options from on-campus dorms to living with family off-campus. On-campus dorms and apartments can be expensive and sometimes come with a required meal plan.
  • Student fees. Many schools have student fees in addition to the tuition rate. Student fees usually include an activities fee and a technology fee.
  • Lab fees. Most engineering bachelor’s degrees have many lab course requirements. You often have to pay an additional lab fee for every lab class.

Why You Should Attend an Engineering School

You should attend an engineering school if you want to build a career in a constantly evolving and lucrative sector. The field of engineering is broad and covers topics like software, data science, business, healthcare, and construction. Attending an engineering school will prepare you for sought-after positions across these fields.

Depending on your choice of engineering career, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree. There are some engineering jobs you can get with an associate degree like a civil engineering technician or drafter, but the majority require a bachelor’s degree.

Best Engineering School Career Options

Some of the best engineering school career options are software engineering, cyber security engineering, and mechanical engineering. These are some of the highest-paying engineering jobs with good job outlooks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for engineers overall is expected to grow by four percent from 2021 to 2031. However, the specific job outlook projection will vary by your choice of engineering job. Software-based engineering professions typically have a higher job outlook rate than non-tech engineering jobs.

Engineering Salary

The average salary for an engineering graduate is $79,840 a year according to BLS, but your salary will differ significantly based on your degree and your field. The average salary of an electro-mechanical technician with an associate degree is $60,360, while the average salary for an aerospace engineer with a bachelor’s degree is $122,270.

Can You Attend Engineering School for Free?

Yes, you can attend an engineering school for free if you get a full scholarship or a tuition waiver from a teaching assistantship position. You will need to meet the scholarship’s eligibility criteria, which might include a minimum GPA, financial need, or being a member of an underrepresented social group.

Without a great financial aid package, you can’t attend an engineering school for free. You can find free online courses that are a great resource for those interested in learning some basic engineering skills. You should look into massive open online course (MOOC) platforms such as Udemy or Coursera to find free courses.

Cheapest Engineering Schools That Won’t Break the Bank

School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Graduation Rate
University of South Florida $6,410 $17,324 75%
Florida International University $6,565 $18,963 67%
Lamar University $8,690 $18,482 39%
North Carolina State University $9,131 $29,916 84%
Oklahoma State University $9,244 $24,764 66%
Mississippi State University $9,220 $24,900 60%
Purdue University $9,992 $28,794 83%
Arizona State University $11,348 $29,438 66%
Texas Tech University $11,852 $24,122 63%
Texas A&M University $13,239 $40,134 83%

What Are the Cheapest Engineering Schools? A Deep Dive

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University of South Florida | Average Annual Cost: $8,346

University of South Florida was founded in 1956 and is a top-ranking public university. It offers more than 200 undergraduate programs and is best known for its engineering, computer science, business, and psychology majors. It is a large school with three campuses and over 50,000 students.

University of South Florida Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 75%
  • US News National Ranking: 97
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $50,262
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, PhD in Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at University of South Florida 

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. According to PayScale, the average salary of a software engineer is $89,161. This computer science degree will prepare you for a career in software engineering and cyber security engineering. It requires 120 credits that can be completed in four years. You will learn cyber security, engineering foundations, programming, and computer architecture. 
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering. This program covers engineering technology, structural dynamics, stress analysis, and solid mechanics skills required to excel in a senior civil engineering position. Students can choose a concentration in Engineering for International Development, Geotechnical, Materials, Structures, Transportation, or Water Resources. 
  • PhD in Computer Science and Engineering. A PhD in Computer Science and Engineering is for students who want to build and research innovative software engineering technology. This program is open to both bachelor’s and master’s degree holders and requires 72 to 42 credit hours. It focuses on computer architecture, operating systems, and computer networks. 

University of South Florida Engineering Key Takeaway

University of South Florida is a highly-ranked school with affordable tuition and a wide range of engineering degrees at every level.





Florida International University | Average Annual Cost: $5,298

Florida International University (FIU) is a large public school with a diverse student body of more than 56,000 students. It offers both fully online and in-person degrees with programs in information technology, engineering, business, and healthcare fields. US News & World Report ranked FIU number five in the nation for social mobility.

Florida International University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 67%
  • US News National Ranking: 151
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $54,501
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, PhD in Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Florida International University

  • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. This biomedical engineering program will train you to enter the medical science and technology sector. It covers 128 credit hours of applied engineering design, biomedical devices, and data analysis topics.  
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management. This program prepares students for a career managing technical operations of engineering projects. Students can choose from one of 19 tracks like construction management, environmental engineering, and orthotics and prosthetics. 
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering. A PhD in Mechanical Engineering is for students who want to become researchers in engineering design. This program offers specializations in thermal systems, mechanics, metals and alloys, robotics, and multidisciplinary design fields. 

Florida International University Engineering Key Takeaway

Florida International University offers many online and in-person engineering programs covering data science, computer engineering, environmental engineering, and material science.





Lamar University | Average Annual Cost: $11,739

Lamar University (LU) is a public institution that is a part of the Texas State University System. It’s best known for its health administration, finance, business, and education majors. At Lamar University, over 15,000 students participate in its 139 undergraduate and graduate programs. More than 50 percent of students at LU are first-generation students.

Lamar University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 39%
  • US News National Ranking: 331 to 440
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $44,159
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, Doctor of Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Lamar University

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Graduates of this 123-credit program can find careers in geotechnology, materials safety, workplace safety, structural technology, and civil infrastructure. Most students take four years to complete the program.
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. This non-thesis program requires students to complete 30 credit hours that will cover computer hardware design, electric power systems, engineering technology, and control systems. Students can also take a Power and Energy Certificate for an additional credential.
  • Doctor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering. Industrial engineering is a broad field that can help you land jobs in engineering management, chemical engineering, materials engineering, or operations engineering. This doctorate focuses on industrial research and management topics and requires 61 credit hours of coursework, research, and professional development.

Lamar University Engineering Key Takeaway

Lamar University has a strong engineering management focus in the fields of mechanical engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering, and electrical engineering. 





North Carolina State University | Average Annual Cost: $16,411

North Carolina State University is a well-respected national university with the 12th best public engineering school. It is currently home to more than 37,500 students and offers over 300 academic programs. Even though it’s a large school, it has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to one. Some of its most popular majors are healthcare, computer science, industrial engineering, and biological sciences. 

North Carolina State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 46%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 84%
  • US News National Ranking: 72
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $61,353
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, PhD in Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at North Carolina State University

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. This degree is for students who want to contribute to environmental technologies. The program covers topics in engineering mechanics, soil behavior, solid waste engineering, and design. 
  • Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. This 30-credit-hour program is a combination of courses and research components. Students have the option of completing the non-thesis degree online, but students following the thesis track have to attend in person.
  • PhD in Material Science and Engineering. This PhD requires 72 credit hours in courses and research. Students will focus on a specific type of material science, and they will become experts in engineering research.

North Carolina State University Engineering Key Takeaway

North Carolina State University has a wide range of high-ranking engineering programs, with some of the best civil, materials, industrial, and mechanical engineering programs.





Oklahoma State University | Average Annual Cost: $14,237

Oklahoma State University (OSU) is a public institution that was founded in 1980. It is currently home to more than 35,000 students. Famous OSU alumni include actor James Marsden, UFC fighter Daniel Cormier, and musician Reba McEntire. OSU is highly ranked for its online degree programs and offers majors in fields like business, engineering, architecture, nursing, and computer science.  

Oklahoma State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 66%
  • US News National Ranking: 182
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $52,702
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, PhD

Top Engineering Degrees at Oklahoma State University

  • Bachelor of Architectural Engineering. This program is for students looking to start a career in structural design or construction management. It can be completed in four and a half years, and it follows an ABET-accredited curriculum.
  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The MEng degree takes students through 21 credits of graduate-level mechanical and aerospace engineering classes, 9 credits of electives, and 3 credits of a capstone project. This is a non-thesis master’s degree that prepares students for industry rather than academia.
  • PhD in Biosystems Engineering. This PhD requires a combined 60 credit hours of research and coursework covering biosystems and agricultural technologies. Students will work in a focused research area like food processing, waste management, agricultural machine design, and hydrology. 

Oklahoma State University Engineering Key Takeaway

OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology has degree programs in nine subfield schools and divisions, including the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.





Mississippi State University | Average Annual Cost: $16,122

Mississippi State University is a public school that was established in 1878. The school is popular for its online degree programs and in-person majors in computer science, engineering, business, and healthcare fields. According to US News & World Report, Mississippi State University ranks among the top 100 public schools in the US.

Mississippi State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 60%
  • US News National Ranking: 194
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $46,141
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of in Engineering, PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Mississippi State University

  • Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. This degree is a good choice for students who want to become a software engineer, cyber security engineer, or information technology specialist. Students need to complete 128 credit hours of general education courses, engineering courses, and electives.
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Available both online and in-person, this degree offers specializations in topics like aerodynamics, design optimization, and nondestructive evaluation. Students will master propulsion, aerospace machine, and aeronautical technology through 50 required credit hours in courses like flight test engineering, structural dynamics, aerospace vehicles, and computational fluid dynamics.
  • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This program is for students who want to start a career in research or academia. The degree requires 66 credit hours of research, course, and dissertation work. Students can focus on research areas like communications, computer architectures, microelectronics, and speech processing.

Mississippi State University Engineering Key Takeaway

Mississippi State University offers ABET-accredited in-person and online degrees in an array of in-demand engineering technology fields with a relatively affordable tuition cost.





Purdue University | Average Annual Cost: $13,377

Purdue University is a public college that was founded in 1869 and has a current enrollment of 49,639 students for its on-campus programs. According to the US News And World Report, Purdue University ranks number five in aerospace engineering, number two in industrial engineering, and number six in mechanical engineering undergraduate programs. 

Purdue University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 83%
  • US News National Ranking: 51
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $65,257
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, PhD

Top Engineering Degrees at Purdue University

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Chemical Engineering. In this 130-credit program, students study materials science, quantitative reasoning, engineering technology, and process dynamics. Students can choose from concentration options in biological engineering, data science, pharmaceutical engineering, and energy and environment. 
  • Master of Engineering Management. An engineering management degree is a way for professional engineers to advance to leadership roles. This program requires 30 credit hours and covers systems engineering, business analytics, and operations management. 
  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. This graduate program is for students looking to start a career in aerospace engineering or astronautical engineering technology field. It focuses on aerospace systems, astrodynamics, aerodynamics, and propulsion topics. Students can choose to combine this degree with an MBA program.

Purdue University Engineering Key Takeaway

Purdue University offers some of the most highly-ranked online and in-person engineering programs in the country in fields like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering.





Arizona State University | Average Annual Cost: $13,107

Arizona State University (ASU) is a top research university with a robust technology and engineering program. ASU is well-known for its online programs and is ranked by US News & World Report as the most innovative school in the US. ASU professors are at the top of their fields and have won Nobel Prizes, a Pulitzer Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Arizona State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 66%
  • US News National Ranking: 121
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $55,749
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, PhD in Systems Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Arizona State University

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. This biomedical engineering degree is for undergraduate students looking to venture into materials science and biotechnology fields. It requires a total of 120 credits in liberal arts, applied engineering, and biomechanics. 
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. This master’s degree is a combination of core courses, research, and a thesis in the environmental engineering technology field. Students complete 30 credit hours in fields like water resources, biotechnology, and sustainable engineering.
  • PhD in Systems Engineering.  This program prepares students for an academic or research-based career in engineering. Students in this 84-credit, multidisciplinary program can focus on electronics systems, manufacturing systems, industrial engineering, or civil engineering technology. 

Arizona State University Engineering Key Takeaway

Arizona State University has a distinguished faculty and is a leader in innovative education.





Texas Tech University | Average Annual Cost: $16,194

Texas Tech University is a public university that was founded in 1923. In the fall of 2021, there were 40,666 students enrolled in its 150 undergraduate degrees, 100 graduate degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees. Some of its popular majors are business administration, architecture, law, information technology, and engineering. Texas Tech is a Hispanic Serving Institution and has services to support historically marginalized students.

Texas Tech University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
  • US News National Ranking: 219
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $58,435
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, PhD in Wind Science and Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Texas Tech University

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The demand for mechanical engineers continues to grow, and this 131-credit-hour degree teaches students the skills needed to excel in this field. In addition to engineering classes, students also take English, History, and Political Science courses to round out their education.
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering. In this 30-credit-hour graduate program, students can focus on structural, geotechnical, environmental, transportation, or construction engineering. Students can take the thesis option and write a research paper or complete the non-thesis option and only take courses.
  • PhD in Wind Science and Engineering. Wind energy is an important energy resource, and climate change is making wind from storms more intense and variable. This advanced research degree combines meteorological field experiments, structural dynamics, renewable energy policy, and geophysical data to teach students how to avoid wind damage and harness wind power.

Texas Tech University Engineering Key Takeaway

Texas Tech University is a large public university that offers unique subjects like wind science and engineering.





Texas A&M University | Average Annual Cost: $18,919

Texas A&M University was established in 1876 and currently offers more than 135 undergraduate programs and 270 graduate programs. It is home to around 74,800 students and offers majors in industrial engineering, architecture, business, information technology, and communications fields. Texas A&M has a strong study abroad program, and over 5,500 students study abroad each year.

Texas A&M University

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 83%
  • US News National Ranking: 67
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $66,566
  • Engineering Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, PhD, Doctor of Engineering

Top Engineering Degrees at Texas A&M University

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. This program equips students with specialized skills in electronic systems and circuit design. This program requires 128 credit hours that can be completed in four to five years. It covers electric energy conversion, engineering mathematics, and magnetic fields. 
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering. This 30-credit-hour graduate program is a great choice for those who want to advance in the software or hardware engineering field. There are both a research thesis and a non-thesis option.
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering. A PhD in Mechanical Engineering is best suited for candidates who want to work in mechanical engineering management or research. This program is open to both bachelor’s and master’s degree holders and requires 96 credit hours of coursework and research.

Texas A&M University Engineering Key Takeaway

Texas A&M University is among top public schools and has a great study abroad program.

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Paying for Engineering School With Financial Aid

There are several ways to pay for engineering school with financial aid from both public and private sources. You should talk with your school’s admissions department or financial aid office to get help finding the best combination of financial aid options that work for you. Below are some of the financial aid options you can use to fund your engineering degree.

Federal Grants

Federal grants are tuition assistance programs offered by the federal government to prospective students based on financial need. To apply for these grants, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year you are in school. You can also apply for state grants that follow similar financial eligibility requirements but are offered by the state government to in-state students.

Federal Loans

Federal loans are student loans offered by the government at a fixed interest rate, and they can be subsidized or unsubsidized. You can apply for federal loans by submitting the FAFSA. Because of congressionally mandated borrowing limits, federal loans might not be enough to cover all expenses for students.

Private Loans

Private loans are an alternative to federal loans that are offered by banks or non-governmental organizations. To secure a private loan, you’ll need to get a credit check. You might need a cosigner on your loan if you don’t have a high credit score. Terms and interest rates vary and are set by the private lender.

Work Study

Work study is a federal financial aid program that pays students with financial need a salary for a part-time, on-campus job. Work-study jobs are designed to fit into a full-time student’s schedule. You are also required to work a set number of hours per week to continue receiving this financial aid.

Best Schools For Your Area of Study

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How to Apply for Federal Aid to Finance Your Engineering School Program

To apply for federal aid to finance your engineering school, you’ll need to submit your financial documents, engineering school choices, and other identification documents through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Below is a step-by-step guide for how to submit the FAFSA.

  1. Create an online FAFSA profile. The first step is to create a FAFSA profile for your online application. This will give you an FSA ID, which you will use later in the application process.
  2. Find the required documents. The next step is to gather all the required documents for your application like taxed and untaxed income and proof of identity documents. If you are a dependent, you will need to include your parents’ social security number and financial records with your application.
  3. Start your online application. The third step is to begin your online application. Be sure to click the save button while filling out the application. You can upload all the financial documents at this stage.
  4. List your engineering schools. The next step is to include the engineering schools or colleges of your choice. Because you usually submit the FAFSA before you decide on a school, you can include up to 10 schools.
  5. Submit your FAFSA form. The last step is to double-check all the information and submit your federal aid application.

Best Engineering Scholarships

  • Ansys/Society for Women Engineers Scholarship | Amount: $6,000. This scholarship is offered to women in undergraduate engineering programs who have already completed one year of their program or in graduate engineering programs. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and students from underrepresented groups are given preference.
  • ASHRAE Willis H. Carrier Scholarship | Amount: $10,000. This undergraduate scholarship is for undergraduate engineering students enrolled in HVAC and R industry-related engineering programs. Students need to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and attend an ABET-accredited program.
  • ASME/SHPE Graduate Scholarship | Amount: $5,000. This scholarship is offered to Hispanic students enrolled in a graduate mechanical engineering program. It requires a minimum of 2.5 accumulated GPA.
  • NSPE Steinman Scholarship | Amount: $5,000. This scholarship is offered to students currently enrolled in an undergraduate engineering program in their junior year. The scholarship is awarded based on an ethics essay, GPA, internships, and recommendations.
  • AISES A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship | Amount: $1,000 to $2,000. This STEM scholarship is for Indigenous students with tribal citizenship. Undergraduate students are awarded $1,000, and graduate students are awarded $2,000. Applicants are also required to have an active AISES membership to qualify.

Cheapest Undergraduate Engineering Schools

Below are the cheapest undergraduate engineering programs. These associate and bachelor’s engineering programs will give you the foundational knowledge you need to kickstart your engineering career.

Most Affordable Engineering Associate Degree Programs

  1. Mississippi Delta Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Mechanics Technology | $160/credit (part-time); $1,645/semester (full-time). If you want to be an auto mechanic, then this associate degree is for you. It will cover engine performance, electrical engineering, and engine mechanics of an automobile to help you become a mechanic.
  2. Halifax Community College | Associate in Engineering | $76/credit (in-state); $268/credit (out-of-state). This engineering associate degree will prepare you to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in either software or hardware engineering fields. Courses give a general overview of engineering subjects including programming, mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
  3. Richmond Community College | Associate in Engineering | $76/credit (in-state); $268/credit (out-of-state). This associate engineering is designed for students who want to further their education by getting an engineering bachelor’s degree. It covers foundational subjects like chemistry, math, programming, and engineering dynamics.
  4. Alpena Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technology | $145/credit (in-district); $231/credit (out-of-district). Alpena Community College designed this AAS degree for students who want to become CAD operators or engineering technicians. The curriculum covers material science, 3D modeling, technical math, and design subjects.
  5. Ventura College | Associate of Science in Engineering | $46/unit (in-state); $323/unit (out-of-state). This associate degree covers foundational engineering technology, engineering techniques, and STEM subjects to get you ready for a junior engineering job. It also offers bachelor’s transfer options to students who want to continue their studies.

Most Affordable Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  1. Kennesaw State University  | Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering Technology | $185 (in-state); $654 (out-of-state). This 120-credit engineering degree is best suited for students who want to manage an engineering or manufacturing business. It covers engineering technology, machine tools, business management, and electronics engineering.
  2. Texas Tech University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering | $11,852/year (in-state); $24,122 (out-of-state). Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering opens up career opportunities across data science, software engineering, and network engineering fields. This program covers engineering design, data structures, statistics, electronics, and microprocessor architecture.
  3. University of Alabama | Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering | $11,100/year (in-state); $31,460 (out-of-state). If you want to become an aerospace engineer, structural design engineer, or flight test engineer, then this degree is for you. It covers computer programming, aerospace engineering, engineering design, and mathematics.
  4. University of New Mexico | Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering | $10,860/year (in-state); $27,166/year (out-of-state). This degree will help you launch a career in construction engineering. It requires 125 credit hours of coursework covering general education requirements, engineering design, construction management, and structural engineering.
  5. University of Oklahoma | Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering | $2,460/semester (in-state); $10,743.75/semester (out-of-state). This 123-credit-hour degree covers thermodynamics, solid mechanics, numerical methods, and engineering design. Students also take a professional development course to prepare for joining the workforce.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Cheapest Graduate Schools for Engineering

If you are interested in an academic, research, or management career in engineering, then the cheapest graduate engineering schools are for you. Our list will cover master’s and PhD degree programs in a wide range of engineering fields.

Most Affordable Schools for Master’s Degrees in Engineering

  1. University of New Orleans | Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering | $962./credit (in-state); $1,280/credit (out-of-state). This civil engineering master’s degree can help propel your career into a project or site management position in just 18 to 24 months. It requires 30 credit hours, and students can choose a thesis or a non-thesis option.
  2. Colorado State University | Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering | $602/credit (in-state); $1,476/credit (out-of-state). This materials science and engineering program focuses on robotics, computing, healthcare, and energy fields. Students get hands-on training in technical skills, as well as the opportunity to practice the soft skills needed to excel in the professional world.
  3. University of North Dakota | Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering | $545/credit (in-state); $818/credit (out-of-state). If you want to master biomechanics, bio-modeling, and bioengineering, then this master’s program is for you. Most students take two years to complete the required 30 credit hours in digital image processing, biomedical instrumentation, and physiology.
  4. Mississippi State University | Master of Science in Computer Science | $514/credit. A computer science master’s degree can advance your career across software, cyber security, or computer engineering fields. The curriculum covers 31 credit hours of coursework with concentration options in artificial intelligence, computational science, graphics, human-centered computing, software engineering, and systems and security.
  5. Auburn University | Master of Engineering | $577/credit (in-state); $1,731/credit (out-of-state). This engineering master’s program is a broad degree that allows students to customize their courses to meet their career goals. You can focus on aerospace, civil, computer science, or systems engineering.

Most Affordable PhDs in Engineering Universities

  1. University of Florida | PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering | $12,744/year (in-state); $30,138/year (out-of-state). This PhD is a lengthy program that requires you to complete 90 credit hours. Students can focus their research on data analytics, healthcare engineering, financial engineering, or operations management.
  2. Southern Methodist University | PhD in Mechanical Engineering | $1,200/credit. This mechanical engineering PhD program is designed for students who want to start a research career in thermal fluids, dynamics and controls, or mechanics and manufacturing. Prospective students need a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or a relevant field to apply.
  3. University of Maine | PhD in Biomedical Engineering | $541/credit (in-state); $1,623/credit (out-of-state). This PhD is a hybrid program that focuses on biomedical technology and engineering research. Students will do a research rotation in at least three different biomedical engineering laboratories before choosing their research dissertation topic.
  4. Binghampton University | PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering | $11,310/year (in-state); $23,100/year (out-of-state). This industrial and systems engineering PhD requires students to complete a teaching requirement in addition to satisfying core course requirements and completing a research dissertation.
  5. University of Texas | PhD in Chemical Engineering | $5,277/semester (in-state); $9,660/semester (out-of-state). This is a well-recognized PhD program that can help you land senior chemical engineering jobs in the government, academia, or consulting sector. All PhD students receive full funding, which means they don’t have to pay any tuition and they receive an annual stipend of $30,909 per year to cover living expenses.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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Best Online PhD Programs

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How to Choose a Good and Affordable Engineering School

An engineer welding metal while wearing a blue jumpsuit and welding helmet.  
Enroll in an affordable engineering school to prepare for a lucrative career in software engineering, electrical engineering, or civil engineering.

Choosing a good and affordable engineering school requires you to consider several factors with financial and academic components. Below are five important factors you should consider while choosing one of the cheapest engineering schools.

Curriculum

The first factor to consider while choosing an engineering school is its curriculum. Engineering is a broad field that covers computer science, architecture, design, data science, electrical, nuclear, aerospace, and mechanical fields. Look for a school that offers your desired major.

Degree Format

There are plenty of accredited online and in-person engineering programs you can choose from. You should choose an online degree if you are in search of a more flexible program. However, if you want to learn mechanical, civil, or other site-based engineering subjects, then an in-person format is a better choice.

Tuition and Fees

Even among our list of the most affordable engineering schools, there is a lot of variation in the cost of tuition and fees. Look for tuition rates that match your financial situation. Be sure to include your federal financial aid package, your school’s scholarships, and any teaching assistantship opportunities in your financial decision.

School Reputation

Choosing a school with a highly-ranked engineering program can offer a great advantage during your job search after you graduate. A degree from a well-respected program can impress your prospective employers and help you land a job faster.

Admissions Requirements

Don’t forget to consider the school’s admissions requirements during your decision process. This especially applies to prospective engineering graduate students. Some advanced engineering degrees require prior education in engineering, math, or physics.

Tips for Saving Money While Attending Engineering School

  • Enroll in an online engineering school. If you want to get a degree in engineering management, software engineering, or data engineering, then an online degree is a great option. Distance degrees are typically cheaper than in-person programs.
  • Opt for off-campus housing. You can save money on your monthly rent by opting for off-campus housing. On-campus dorms and apartments are often more expensive and sometimes come with a required meal plan.
  • Buy used books. You can purchase used books or online versions of your textbooks to save some money. New engineering books can be very pricey, and opting for used books is a good financial decision.
  • Get an associate degree from a community college. Getting an associate degree at an affordable community college can save you a lot of money on the first two years of your bachelor’s degree tuition. You can transfer credits into a bachelor’s program after completing your associate education.
  • Attend an in-state program. At public colleges and universities, in-state students pay a much lower tuition rate because they contribute to the funding of the school through state taxes. Check to see if any public schools in your state offer the degree program you want.

Cheapest Online Schools for Engineering

Below are some of the cheapest online schools for engineering. These schools have programs in software, computer, mechanical, and management engineering. In the next section, we’ll cover some of the best bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in more detail.

School Tuition Graduation Rate
University of Central Florida $179/credit (in-state, undergraduate); $716/credit (out-of-state, undergraduate); $327/credit (in-state, graduate); $1,151/credit (out-of-state, graduate) 75%
Southern New Hampshire University $320/credit (undergraduate); $627/credit (graduate) 39%
Thomas Edison State University $411/credit (in-state); $535/credit (out-of-state) 48%
Arizona State University $561 to $661/credit (bachelor’s degree); $434 to $1,343/credit (master’s degree) 26%
PennState World Campus $620 to $664/credit (undergraduate); $1,007/credit (graduate) 72%

Most Affordable Online Engineering Bachelor’s Programs

  • Southern New Hampshire University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Science | $320/credit. Southern New Hampshire University’s online computer science degree will help you start a career in software, data, or cyber security engineering jobs. You’ll learn how to code in Python, Java, and C++.
  • Arizona State University | Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Engineering Management | $6,984/semester (in-state); $8,110/semester (out-of-state). If you want to enter operations or industrial engineering, then this engineering management degree is for you. It covers systems engineering, project management, probability, and risk management.
  • Thomas Edison State University | Bachelor of Science in Electronic Systems Engineering Technology  | $411/credit (in-state); $535/credit (out-of-state). This ABET-accredited degree covers 120 credit hours of electrical engineering, project management, and communication systems topics.
  • PennState World Campus | Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering | $620/credit (59 or fewer credits); $664/credit (60 or more credits). This software engineering bachelor’s degree teaches students about systems analytics, programming, software development, network administration, and web applications.
  • Colorado Technical University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security Engineering| $340/credit. In this 183-credit-hour bachelor’s program, students will learn programming, software engineering, network security, ethical hacking, and database security.

Most Affordable Online Engineering Master’s Programs

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell | Master of Science in Engineering Management | $600/credit. This master’s program offers concentration options in design and manufacturing, infrastructure management, and operations and supply management. You’ll master decision analytics, financial accounting, reliability engineering, and operations management.
  • Southern New Hampshire University | Master’s in Construction Management | $627/credit. If you want to advance into a management position in civil, structural, project, or construction engineering field, then this master’s program is for you. It covers risk management, engineering finance, and construction budgeting.
  • University of Central Florida | Master of Science in Healthcare Systems Engineering | $1,239/credit. This program is for students who want to manage and improve healthcare systems. It covers healthcare management, systems engineering, and computer programming.
  • Arizona State University | Master of Engineering in Engineering Management | $1,009/credit. This degree can help you land senior-level jobs across architecture, systems, or project engineering. It covers operations research, information systems, financial engineering, and engineering administration.
  • PennState World Campus | Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design | $1,121/credit. This master’s program is for prospective students who want to start a career in 3D printing. The course teaches 3D modeling, simulation design and research, engineering and manufacturing technologies, CAD, 3D printing, and material science.

Will Attending an Online Engineering School Save Me Money?

Yes, attending an online engineering school will save you money because you don’t have to pay on-campus fees or pay all the costs that come with relocating. Some online degrees also have cheaper tuition than on-campus programs, but this isn’t always the case.

Benefits of Online Engineering Programs

  • More affordable. Online engineering programs are more affordable than in-person degrees because you don’t have to pay mandatory on-campus fees.
  • Flexible schedule. Courses in online engineering programs usually meet on nights and weekends or can be completed asynchronously on your own schedule.
  • Compatible with a full-time job. If you are a professional engineer wanting to advance into an engineering management position, then online master’s degrees are for you. You can get an online engineering master’s while working at your full-time job.
  • Flexible location. Because you don’t need to be on campus, you can log in to class from anywhere with a good internet connection. You can live with friends or relatives in a city with a low cost of living or travel without disrupting your education.
  • Builds remote work skills. Online degrees are a great way to develop your time management and remote working skills. They will provide you with the discipline needed to work in a remote office.

Highest-Paying Engineering Careers

Engineering Job Engineering Degree Average Salary
Aerospace Engineers Bachelor’s degree $122,270
Software Developers Bachelor’s degree $120,730
Electrical Engineers Bachelor’s degree $104,820
Biomedical Engineers Bachelor’s degree $97,410
Architect Bachelor’s degree $80,180

Best Engineering Jobs Explained

Below are the best engineering jobs you can get after graduating with a degree from our list of affordable engineering programs. These specialized careers each have their own job responsibilities and work environments.

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Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers work in the aviation and space science industry where they develop machines and parts for flights and rockets. They are responsible for designing, maintaining, and developing the equipment needed for mechanical flight.





Software Developer

Software developers are responsible for designing, engineering, and maintaining the front end and backend of a software system, mobile application, or website. They spend a significant part of every workday writing code. You can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or Computer Science to get started in this field.





Electrical Engineer

Electrical engineers work with the electrical components of a computer, circuits, and other digital systems. They are also responsible for designing and engineering electrical equipment. Electrical engineers can find work in a wide range of industries, from designing power-generating equipment to navigation systems.





Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers work in the medical and healthcare sectors. They engineer biomedical equipment and instruments. Depending on their job they might build new prosthetics, automate healthcare management systems, or grow artificial organs. 





Architects

Architects work with engineers to create functional and aesthetically pleasing structural and system designs. They might design private residences, office buildings, or laboratory spaces. Architects need good communication skills to present their designs to clients and partners, as well as technical skills in drafting and drawing.

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Engineering Schools Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Engineering Schools

We chose the most affordable engineering colleges based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.

Additional Reading About Engineering

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-engineering-schools-in-the-south/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-schools-for-engineering/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-engineering-colleges-in-world/

Cheapest Engineering Schools FAQ

What are the cheapest engineering schools?

The cheapest engineering schools are University of South Florida, Florida International University, and Lamar University. You can get a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD at these universities. In-state tuition for all three of these schools is less than $9,000 per year.

Can I get an engineering degree online?

Yes, you can get an engineering degree online at several top accredited universities. Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, and PennState World Campus are some of the cheapest online engineering schools.

What are the highest-paid engineering professions?

The highest-paid engineering professions are aerospace engineering, software engineering, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Almost all engineers with a bachelor’s degree or higher make a higher salary than the national average.

What engineering degrees can I get online?

You can get a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degree in engineering online. The specific engineering fields you can study online include engineering management, software engineering, construction management, data science, and engineering design.

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