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Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: A Brief Summary for International Students

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA is a 1 to 2 year degree offered as both on-campus and online programs. Students can pursue it on a full-time or part-time basis. MS in Automotive Engineering is also available as a specialization of mechanical engineering in USA universities.

  • A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or related field and GRE test scores are required to apply for this program in the USA. 
  • The average tuition fee of Masters in Automotive engineering in USA is between 19,530 USD to 60,000 USD per annum. 
  • Students can earn up to 78,344 USD per year after completing automotive engineering from universities in the USA.

Why Study Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA?

The USA, alongside Germany, China, and Japan, is one of the top 4 automobile manufacturers in the world. This creates immense job opportunities for automotive engineers in the country.

Following trends in the job market makes the USA a preferred destination among international students for pursuing Masters in Automotive Engineering: 

  • Vacancies for automotive engineers in the USA have increased by 8.01% with an annual growth rate of 1.34% between 2004 to 2018. 
  • Total employment has increased from 217,010 in 2004 to 253,100 in 2018 for automotive engineers. 
  • 18,700 new jobs were created in this field in the year 2018. 
  • Wyoming and the District of Columbia had the highest job growth rate of approximately 40% in the USA from 2004 to 2018. 
  • A student with a Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA earns 29% more than those having a bachelor's degree. 
  • The median annual salary of automotive engineers in the USA increased from 54,500 USD in 2016 to 59,700 USD in 2019.
Increase in Salary in USA

Top Universities for Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA

According to QS News Ranking 2020 for engineering, following are the top universities for MS in Automotive Engineering in USA: 

QS Ranking 2020UniversityPrograms Offered and DurationTotal Program Fees (in USD)
21University of Michigan - Ann ArborMEng in Automotive Engineering; 1-2 years51,972
56University of Wisconsin -MadisonMS in Automotive Engineering; 1 year26,540
101Ohio State University (OSU)Master of Global Engineering Leadership (MGEL) in Automotive System Engineering; 2 years103,400
156Minnesota State University (MSU)MS in Automotive Engineering Technology; 1-2 years44974
407University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK)MS Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Design; 1-2 years64000
701-750Clemson UniversityMS in Automotive Engineering; 2 years46000
-Lawrence Technological Institute (LTI)MS in Automotive Engineering; 2 years69000
-University of Michigan - DearbornMSE in Automotive Systems Engineering; 1 year19,530
-University of Tennessee - Chattanooga (UTC)MS Engineering in Automotive Systems; 2 years120,000

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Course Curriculum

Automotive Engineering is a more specialized branch of Mechanical Engineering. Hence, it is also offered as a specialization of Masters in Mechanical Engineering in USA. It is mainly focused on designing, developing and modifying vehicles and automobiles. 

Most of the popular universities of the USA offer this program with following three options:

  • Thesis: Submission of a research paper by the end of completion of the degree.
  • Project: A written report is required to successfully complete the program.
  • Course-only: Students have to complete just the courses taught in the program and pass an examination conducted in the last semester. 

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Admissions Process

To be eligible for admissions to Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA, a student must have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or related field.

Where to Apply: Students can apply to US universities directly via the application portal available on the website. 

When to Apply: Applications are usually accepted for fall and spring semesters. 

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Eligibility for Admission

  • An UG degree with 60% - 70% in mechanical, electrical or in other related fields from recognized universities 
  • Minimum 300 GRE test score
  • IELTS or TOEFL scores as a proof of English language proficiency

Table below shows the minimum scores that a student has to acquire in tests required to study in USA

UniversityIELTSTOEFLGRE (Quantitative)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor6.584155-165
University of Wisconsin –Madison7.092163
Ohio State University9.0114158
Minnesota State University5.561163
Lawrence Technological Institute6.579158
University of Tennessee - Knoxville6.580160
Clemson University6.0100155
University of Tennessee - Chattanooga6.079Required
University of Michigan - Dearborn6.584Required

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Documents Required for Admission

  • Academic transcripts from previous institutions
  • Credit evaluation and English translation of foreign transcripts
  • Copy of passport.
  • A resume, including professional experiences and extracurricular activities.
  • 3-4 letters of recommendation

Visa Requirements for International Students

For studying in the USA, an international applicant is required to apply for an F-1 visa. Upon receiving the confirmation letter from university, students must fill the I-20 form and submit it along with the application.

Documents required for student visa are as follows:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from relevant schools you attended.
  • Financial statement.
  • I-20 or DS-2019 application form.
  • Offer letter from the university.
  • Proof of English language proficiency.
  • Statements from the bank.

Visa interview is conducted at the US Embassy of applicant’s home country. 

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Cost of Study

The USA is the most costly country among various study abroad destinations. The cost of study includes pre-arrival expenses, tuition fees, and living expenses.

Pre-arrival Expenses

Pre-arrival expenses in the USA include the one time fees for test registrations, the application fees for admissions, visa application fees, etc. Thses costs are tabulated below: 

Types of FeesCost (in USD)
GRE 205
IELTS 215 – 240
Visa Registration190
Application fees150

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Tuition Fees

University of Tennessee - Chattanooga (UTC) has the highest annual fees for Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA ie. 60,000 USD. On the other hand, University of Michigan - Dearborn has the lowest fees of 19,530 USD per annum.

Tuition Fees in USA

Cost of Living in USA

Cost for living varies with the state as well as the type of student housing in the USA. In Chicago, the monthly cost for an international student would be 1300 USD - 2500 USD whereas in San Francisco, it is 2200 USD - 4000 USD per annum.

An average annual cost of living for an international student in USA are provided below: 

CategoriesAnnual Cost (in USD)
Books and supplies900
Apartment Housing with amenities16700
Dormitory Housing7000 – 11000
Meal Plan for dormitory residents2426

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Scholarships

Various scholarships are available in the country via universities, private agencies or organizations and government. The table below shows the various international scholarships in the USA for MS in Automobile Engineering students:

ScholarshipsAward Value (USD)Awarding Institute
Inlaks Scholarships100,000Inlaks Foundation
Automotive Aftermarket Scholarships5,000Aftermarket Foundation
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships150,000Stanford University
Forte Fellowship24,623Forte Foundation
BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarships6,000BMW
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships VariableUS - India Educational Foundation
Iowa Automotive Dealers Foundation of Education ScholarshipVariableIowa Automobile Dealers Foundation
Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association Scholarships28,000Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association

For more scholarships in the USA, click here

Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA: Scope

There is a huge demand for automotive engineers in the USA. As per the BLS 2019, the number of automotive engineers varies for different cities like 38,000 in California, 22,800 in Michigan, etc. California offers the highest salary among all states of the USA.

State-wise Salary in USA

Automotive Engineers in the USA are getting employed by reputed firms like General Motors, Ford Motor and FCA Corp. Ford Motor offers the highest annual salary of 91,280 USD. 

The table below shows the jobs in USA for Masters in Automotive Engineering graduates: 

Job TitlesAverage Annual Salary (USD)
Automotive Technician49,933
Automotive Engineer77,000
Automotive Engineering with Engineering Design79,502
Automotive Product development Engineer81,161
Vehicle Engineer69,550
Automotive Design Engineer106,730
Automotive Engineering Technologist74,300
Automotive Engineer with project management81,479
Automotive systems engineer79,756
Automotive Lead Engineer130,000

One of the top US recruiters for automotive engineers, Ford Motor and General Motors offers numerous opportunities to the graduates. They hire graduates mainly for Automotive Engineer, Automotive Technician, Vehicle Engineer, etc. 

On average, the salary in General Motors for automotive engineers is 78,344 USD per year. All these factors make Masters in Automotive Engineering a lucrative degree for students having a thirst for motors and vehicles.


Ques. Which is the best country to study Automotive Engineering?

Ans. The USA along with Germany, China, Japan, and the UK are considered the best countries to study automotive engineering. Top universities for Masters in automotive engineering in USA are Clemson University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University and Minnesota State University. 

Ques. What is the general eligibility required for admission in Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA?

Ans. A student applying for Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA must have a GRE score of 300 or above along with a bachelors degree in related field. Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL score of 90 is required to demonstrate proficiecny in English language.

Ques. What is the average cost of studying for a Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA?

Ans. The average tuition fee is between 19,530 USD to 60,000 USD per annum for pursuing Masters in Automotive Engineering in USA. 

Ques. What is the average salary of an automotive engineer in the USA?

Ans. The average salary ranges between 51,000 USD to 104,000 USD per annum depending upon the qualification and level of experience. The median salary is around 78,000 USD per annum.

Ques. Which companies are hiring automotive engineers in the USA?

Ans. Automotive Industry is growing at a rapid rate in the USA with the rapid need of engineers in various sectors. The popular employers hiring automotive engineers are Ford Motor Company, FCA Corp, General Motors Corporation, Chrysler Group LLC, etc. 

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