35 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. in Engineering

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Staff Writers
Updated June 25, 2021

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Online PhD in Engineering

The following 35 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. in Engineering can help you get started on the path toward advancing your career and filling experienced leadership positions in engineering. There are several tracks of engineering with unique focuses and goals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 130,000 new jobs in engineering before 2026. As the need for engineers grows, so does the need for experienced engineers who can fill positions in leadership and management. A Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering from one of these 35 schools can prepare you to fill these advanced engineering positions.

An online degree is easier to complete than an on-campus degree which requires more time and rigidity. Even a degree that is only partially online can allow you the flexibility to work whenever and wherever you need, with only short residency requirements. These 35 schools offer online Ph.D.s' that are flexible and affordable so that you can continue working while you take steps to advance your career, boost your salary, and make an impact in the world.

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35 Best Affordable Online Ph.D. in Engineering

  • Auburn University

    Auburn, AL



    Auburn University offers several Doctor of Philosophy in engineering programs. Students can earn their Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, biosystems engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer science and software engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, materials engineering, or mechanical engineering. Each program is research-focused. Students participate in collaborative research designed to solve real-world problems and to be immediately applicable to the industry. Research is meant to improve quality of life and create real change outside of the classroom. Students learn under dynamic faculty with experience in innovation and improvement. There are opportunities for students to participate in teaching and research assistantships. Auburn University has been ranked as the No. 69 for Best Engineering Schools by U.S. News & World Report, the No. 38 Top Colleges in the South by Forbes, and the No. 1 Best College in Alabama by Niche.

  • Binghamton University

    Vestal, NY



    At Binghamton University students learn to collaborate across disciplines with classmates, faculty, and researchers from around the world. Along with the Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Science, Binghamton offers several engineering Ph.D.s', such as Biomedical Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Binghamton is included in the top 100 Best Engineering Schools by U.S. News & World Report and Best Engineering Colleges. Students gain support at every level, including professional services such as interview guidance and networking opportunities. The internationally recognized curriculum blends theory with experience through cutting-edge research. Students can focus their research on a specialized area of interest. The program is also flexible to make it more attainable for working students. There are start dates in the fall and spring and there are flexible options for completing coursework. Binghamton's Doctor of Engineering programs' are also affordable. Money named Binghamton No. 26 Best Colleges for your Money.

  • Bowling Green State University

    Bowling Green, OH



    Bowling Green State University has partnered with five other nationally-accredited universities to deliver a Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management with more resources and opportunities. The web-based program includes rigorous coursework in four areas of study, which are general technology core, research core, technical specialization, and professional studies. Students can specialize in Construction Management, Digital Communications, Human Resource Development and Training, Manufacturing Systems, or Quality Systems. Because of BGSU's partnerships, students have more opportunities for mentorship and professional networking. BGSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Forbes named it No. 149 for Top Colleges in the Midwest and U.S. News & World Report named it No. 121 for Top Public Schools. BGSU also made the Best Engineering Colleges' list in the top 300.

  • Capitol Technology University

    Laurel, MD



    The Doctor of Philosophy in Technology program from Capitol Technology University prepares its graduates to fill leadership positions in their field. Throughout the program, students learn to engage in research and publication. They are able to conduct their own original research which contributes knowledge to their field of interest. A research committee helps each student further develop their research proposal. This Ph.D. in Technology program is designed for working professionals. It can be completed entirely online with no residencies or on-campus courses required, unlike many Ph.D. programs. This allows students to balance their work-life with their education, so they can advance their career and contribute to their field of research. Capitol Technology University is named the No. 5 Best Online Colleges in Maryland by Best Colleges. Best Engineering Colleges ranks it No. 260 in its list of Best Engineering Colleges.

  • Colorado State University

    Aurora, CO



    Colorado State University offers an engineering Doctor of Philosophy program that prepares graduates to meet the challenges of the industry. The program has a strong multidisciplinary focus that teaches students to work in diverse teams and solve problems across any industry. Students are encouraged to gain critical thinking skills that can be applied to multifaceted challenges, as well as to discover creative solutions for these challenges. The Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from CSU prepares students to become leaders in their field. Throughout the program students complete original research with the help of experienced faculty. Students work with an advisory committee to formulate a degree plan that meets their goals in research and academia. The program concludes with a dissertation. As an online program, students can complete the work when and wherever they need. The format is flexible and material is instantly applicable to the students' careers. U.S. News & World Report named CSU No. 61 for Best Engineering Schools and No. 70 for Top Public Schools.

  • Columbia University

    New York City, NY



    Columbia University offers doctorate programs in several branches of engineering. Students can earn their Doctor of Philosophy in Earth and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. Students complete research with a member of Columbia's renowned faculty. They can then complete coursework through an excellent online program for greater flexibility and convenience. Students in one of Columbia's Doctor of Engineering programs create a customized curriculum with the help of faculty and advisors. They can choose an area of specialization to focus their studies and research. The program culminates in a final dissertation. Graduates from the program are prepared to contribute to the field of engineering and become leaders in technology and innovation. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University has been recognized in several rankings of Best Engineering Schools. Business Insider ranks it No. 19, U.S. News & World Report ranks it No. 11, and Best Engineering Colleges ranks it No. 7 in their list.

  • East Carolina University

    Greenville, NC



    East Carolina University is one of several universities partnered to offer students a Doctor of Philosophy with increased resources and opportunities. The courses at ECU are taught by experienced faculty with expertise in their industry. Students can choose from five technical specialties: digital communications systems, construction management, manufacturing systems, quality systems, and human resource development. Students acquire skills and expertise in instructional processes and research procedures. They become familiar with several areas of technology and learn to adapt to today's technological challenges. ECU teaches leadership and teamwork, as well as innovative thinking and creative problem-solving. ECU is ranked No. 82 in Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked No. 194 for Top Research Universities by Forbes. Students have access to several excellent resources, as well as an advising center and several support options.

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    Daytona Beach, FL



    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is among the top 10 Most Innovative Schools according to U.S. News & World Report. This innovation comes across through their state-of-the-art labs and resources. Students can earn their Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Aerodynamics and Propulsion, Structures and Materials, or Dynamics and Control. ERAU also offers Ph.D. programs in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Students in these programs work with faculty and advisors to create a custom plan of study. They complete coursework to develop a strong background in science and engineering. The program is also research-heavy, with mentorship from experienced faculty. As a graduate student at ERAU, students also have opportunities to mentor undergraduate students or get involved in one of many professional organizations on campus. Students can also participate in an internship related to their focus area of study, in order to gain important hands-on experience.

  • Indiana State University

    Terre Haute, IN



    The Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management Program from Indiana State University prepares graduates for leadership positions in the public and private sector. ISU is one of five universities linked by alternative communication systems in order to provide greater resources for their students. ISU offers a unique philosophical quality and helps students develop an intellectual perspective as they consider the challenges of their discipline. Students work with a Program Planning Committee to develop their program of study, and they choose at least one area of specialization. Students have access to specialized laboratories and extensive library holdings. While much of the program can be completed online, students complete an on-campus residency as an opportunity for professional networking. Along with important engineering knowledge, students also learn skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Forbes named ISU as the No. 164 for Top Colleges in the Midwest.

  • Louisiana State University

    Baton Rouge, LA



    The Doctor of Philosophy Program with a Construction Management Concentration at Louisiana State University is an interdisciplinary degree. Students learn to integrate study and research in several multidisciplinary areas of industry. They emphasize teamwork and leadership. Students can also earn their Ph.D. in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering. A concentration can be added to these Ph.D. programs to further specialize and focus the program. At LSU, students have the opportunity to participate in internships and career networking events. Students conclude the program by successfully defending their dissertation. LSU was named No. 106 for Best Engineering Schools by U.S. News & World Report, No. 120 for Best Engineering Colleges, and No. 88 in America's Best Value Colleges by Forbes.

Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools

At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs. We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 25%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 35%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15%
Program Offerings Number of program options 10%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 15%
You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.

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