Online Engineering Master’s Degree Launched

Program will start with bioengineering specialization and expand to other areas

The Bourns College of Engineering

Winston Chung Courtyard at the Bourns College of Engineering

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The Bourns College of Engineering at University of California, Riverside is launching an online master of science in engineering (MSOL) in the fall of 2013.

The degree, aimed at professional engineers looking to advance their education and enhance their value to employers, will be delivered completely online. Visits to campus are not required.

The first cohort of students will be admitted for studies in the bioengineering specialization. The college plans to add one or two concentrations per year over the next five years. Two additional specializations will be added in fall 2014 from materials at nanoscale and either water quality control systems, integrated circuits, or signal processing.

Bioengineering is one of the fastest-growing job fields in the nation according to a recent study by CNN Money and The study rated biomedical engineering the best job in America based on personal satisfaction, low stress, benefit to society, and flexibility. The report said the average salary was $79,500 and that there was 61.7 percent job growth predicted through 2020.

Online master’s students are required to take nine courses, for a total of 36 units. Four classes focus on engineering management, four in an engineering concentration area (initially bioengineering) and one design project class, which includes a literature review and report.

“These type of degree programs are really becoming highly pertinent in our educational system,” said Kambiz Vafai, the director of the program and a professor of mechanical engineering. “And our program is unique in that it combines engineering management courses with specialized engineering courses.”

The course material for the online master’s program is equivalent to the traditional master’s program but there is a greater emphasis on technical skills rather than research. Courses are offered on campus to traditional graduate students and are recorded on video for online students to view at a convenient time.

The same University of California quality is maintained in online courses as traditional courses. Online students also take the same exams, but at off-campus locations.

Online master’s students receive course materials, including lectures, notes, assignments, and announcements online. Proctors at regional locations administer the exams.

Applications are accepted based on work experience, college coursework completed, GPA, professional certifications, reference letters and GRE scores.

The cost of the program is $3,333 per course, or $30,000 for the nine-course, two-year program.

For more information about the program visit: or send an e-mail to: MSOL@ENGR.UCR.EDU or call 951-827-5196. Applications are now being accepted at

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Archived under: Science/Technology, , ,

Top of Page