MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA: Course Guide for International Students

    Komal Yadav logo

    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    MS in Mechanical Engineering is USA is a full-time program which takes 2 years to complete. The mode of education can be online or on-campus. Some universities in USA also offer a 1 to 2 year MEng in Mechanical Engineering. 

    Why Study Mechanical Engineering in the USA?

    Following are some of the reasons for pursuing MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA:

    • Job growth for mechanical engineers in the USA is projected to be 4% till 2028 which is equivalent to the country’s average growth rate.
    • 12,800 new jobs are expected to b created for mechanical engineers in the USA from 2018 to 2028.
    • Across various countries of the world, mechanical engineers in the USA are third highest-paid with an annual salary of 80,000 USD per annum. 
    Top paying countries
    • Michigan and California are the highest employing cities in USA for mechanical engineers.
    • However, highest paying cities are Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. 

    Top Universities in USA for MS in Mechanical Engineering

    The universities of the USA have been very instrumental in nurturing the students to become successful. It is dwelling to most of the topmost universities of the world and with MIT topping the list. Let us see the details of the universities and their duration and fees:

    QS Ranking 2020 University Program Offered Annual Tuition Fees Brochure
    1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years 109,664 Brochure
    2 Stanford University MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years 69,674 Brochure
    6 University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

    MEng Mechanical Engineering; 2 years

    26,544 Brochure
    10 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor  MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years 51,972 Brochure
    13 Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) MS Mechanical Engineering; 1 year 18,000 Brochure
    17 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years 121,866 Brochure
    20 Purdue University

    MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years

    Professional Masters in Mechanical Engineering; 1 year



    26 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) MS Mechanical Engineering; 2 years 63,898 Brochure
    36 Cornell University

    MEng Mechanical Engineering: 1 year;

    MS Mechanical Engineering: 2 years



    38 Northwestern University MS Mechanical Engineering: 1 year 54,559 Brochure

    Admission Process of MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA

    Most of the universities require a 4-year undergraduate degree in science or engineering for admission in MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA. GRE scores also play an important role in the admission decision. 

    Where to Apply: Majority of the universities accept application via their own portal.

    When to Apply: Students can apply to USA universities for fall or spring semester. Some universities also accept the application for the summer semester. 

    Admission Requirements for Masters in Mechanical Engineering in USA

    Eligibility and additional requirements for admission in top universities in USA for MS in Mechanical Engineering are tabulated below: 

    University Eligibility Additional Requirements
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 4-year bachelors with 87%; GRE: 156 -168 3 Letter of recommendations; Statement of Purpose
    Stanford University 4-year BS in Physics or BEng; GRE 3 Letter of recommendations; Statement of Purpose; CV
    University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Bachelors in related field with 80%; GRE 3 Letters of recommendation; CV; Statement of Purpose; Personal History Statement
    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor  BSE or equivalent with 90%; GRE: 80th to 90th percentile 2 Letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose; Personal Statement; CV
    Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Bachelors in related field; GRE (recommended) CV
    California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 4-year bachelors with mathematics and science; GRE Letters of recommendation
    Purdue University Bachelors with 82%; GRE: 162 in Quantitative Statement of Purpose; 3 Letters of recommendation; CV
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bachelors in related field; GRE 3 Letters of recommendation
    Cornell University Bachelors in related field; GRE Statement of Purpose; 3 Letters of recommendation; CV
    Northwestern University Bachelors in related field; GRE Letters of recommendation; Statement of Purpose; Publications

    English Language Proficiency for International Students

    International students have to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting IELTS or TOEFL test scores. Although, if you are from an English speaking country or your previous education was conducted in English, then you might get an exemption from submitting these scores. Minimum score requirement is provided below:

    • IELTS: 6.5 to 7.0
    • TOEFL (iBT): 80 to 100

    Cost of Studying Masters in Mechanical Engineering in USA

    Planning to study in the USA? There are certain unavoidable expenses that you will suffer. These can be broadly divided into pre-arrival and post-arrival expenses. 

    Pre-Arrival Expenses

    The fees of visa applications, admission application, tests required to study in the USA, etc make up the pre-arrival expenses of an international student. Some of these are tabulated below: 

    Expense Type Cost (USD)
    GRE 205
    TOEFL 170
    Application fee 1,200
    IELTS 250
    Flight fare (one-way) 700
    VISA Fee 170
    SEVIS Fee 200
    Total ± 2895

    Tuition Fees for MS Mechanical Engineering in USA

    Tuition fees are an important and major expense post-arrival in the USA. For pursuing master's in mechanical engineering in USA the tuition ranges from 25000 to 55000. The graphical image below discusses the cost of pursuing the program at some popular universities offering mechanical engineering in USA. 

    Tuition Fees

    Cost of Living in USA

    The cost of living in USA will depend on various factors. These include the type of student accommodation opted for in US, the lifestyle of the applicant, city/university of choice. The details of expenses in various cities are detailed below:

    • San Diego: Ranked 111th for its affordability parameter, and quite a fascinating destination with beaches. It has even ranked 76th in the ‘best cities ranking’ and its University of California, SanDiego in the 48th. The cost of living is roughly around US$ 903 (excluding the rent). 
    • Pittsburgh: Though it has dropped by four it has still kept up with its affordability meter and has ranked 112th. It is the dwelling of two most world-ranked universities, the highest being Carnegie Mellon University. A one-bedroom apartment will amount to US$ 1,166 whereas the same will cost around US$ 3,442 in San Francisco.
    • Atlanta: Quite famous for Georgia Institute of Technology and is bountiful for its culture. Though it is slightly on the costlier side still ranks 115th in the affordability parameter. Though it must also be noted that the cost of studying is around US$ 27,1000.
    • Baltimore: With home to John Hopkins University (ranking 24th), Baltimore has escalated to five places and has been placed 119th and 38th in Mercer Cost of Living Index. 
    • Dallas: It is home to the University of Dallas, Texas, and 123rd in the hierarchy of world affordability. It is known for its cost of living a notch below London by 14.9%.
    • Philadelphia: Famous for University of Pennsylvania ranking 15th in the world. A single person’s monthly budget will be around US$ 1003.
    • Chicago: Graded 41st in the best student cities and home to 5 top universities in the world, a one-bedroom apartment will roughly amount to US$ 1,880.

    The image below details the maximum and minimum costs of studying in various coasts of the USA:

    Monthly Cost of Living by Coast

    Scholarships for Masters in Mechanical Engineering in USA

    It is true that studying in the USA is quite praise-worthy but at the same time quite heavy on the pockets. But the USA has never failed the students and therefore here we present you with the top-notch scholarships offered to the students:

    It tops the list yet again, MIT caters to 6 out of 10 students by providing them with a scholarship amount of US$ 22, 647 which in another way round is the finance needed to pursue a degree from a state school. Furthermore, if any family’s income is less than $90,000 annually then it tends to them by ensuring the tuition fee. 

    Some of the popular scholarships available to international students in USA are listed below:

    Scholarship/Institute Offering Amount (USD)
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for Engineers 22,647
    The Fulbright Scholarships Tuition and other expenses
    The American Association of University Women Upto $18,000-30,000 fellowships
    Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship 50% grant and 50% loan
    BrokerFish International Student Scholarship Health Insurance
    Go Clean Scholarship Tuition fee waiver
    Comindware Scholarship Tuition fee waiver

    As Indian students make up a huge population of international students, there are many Indian student-specific scholarships available in USA.  

    Job Opportunities in USA after MS in Mechanical Engineering

    According to the U. S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the job outlook of the engineers will be escalated by 3,25,700 by 2028 from 312,900 in 2018. An average income of 77,900 USD is earned by an engineer, with the lowest 43,100 USD and the highest being 103,000 USD.

    Some of the popular jobs in USA you can land into with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering are listed below along with their average annual salaries: 

    Job Designation Salaries (USD) Job Designation Salaries (USD)
    Automation engineer 88,500 Mechanical engineering manager 98,400
    Mechanical engineer 81,900 Robotics engineer 93,800
    Ceramic engineer 81,600 Mechanical inspector 83,600
    Equipment engineer 75,200 Equipment engineer 75,200
    HVAC engineer 78,500 Validation engineer 73,600
    Marine engineer 73,400 Pipeline engineer 73,800
    Mechanical design engineer 82,800 Mining engineer 71,900
    Nuclear engineer 86,867 Mechatronics engineering 73,600

    Studying in the USA is a dream for many. It not only presents one with a prosperous future but also with a happening life. There are numerous electives to choose from and the majority of the universities are high-end. One will even get to nurture their English skills which is a great add-on. Lastly, your CV will get an international touch - which will make you fly high. 


    Ques. What is the GPA prerequisite for admissions to MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA?

    Ans. For master's programs, the GPA needed is roughly 3.0-3.5. This is equivalent to an 83-86 and 87-89% score. The grade equivalent of the same is B and B+. 

    Ques. What are the requirements for pursuing a MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA?

    Ans. Documents required for studying masters in mechanical engineering in USA are GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/ scores report, LORs, SOP, Transcripts, resume. Competitive scores are required in GRE and other tests. 

    Ques. What is the cost of pursuing a MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA?

    Ans. The cost of pursuing a MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA is 27,000 to 56,000 USD. This is equivalent to 20,56,387 to 42,65,100 INR for an Indian student.

    Ques. How much can I earn with a masters in mechanical engineering in USA?

    Ans. At an entry-level mechanical engineers can make up to 43,100 USD to 103,000 USD. This is equivalent to 32,60,000 INR to 77,90,000 INR. This makes MS in Mechanical Engineering in USA a lucrative program with high return on investment.