4 answers

Undergrad engineering vs Grad engineering?

Asked New York, New York

Hi all, I plan to enter Graduate study for Mechanical Engineering next fall and I just want to know, what are the differences (and even similarities) between the undergraduate and graduate levels in engineering? How should I prepare myself to know what to expect? Thanks. #engineering #mechanical-engineering #mechanical #engineer #civil-engineering #electricalengineering #computerengineering #graduateschool #gradschool #undergrad #engineeringstudent #masters #technology

4 answers

Ogechi’s Answer

Updated

Hi Melvin, I don't have my Master's just yet but I did ask my friends with their Masters in Engineering and I was told the following;

1. A engineering Master's program is not as difficult as its undergrad counterpart.

2. Decide what you would like to focus on in your Master's program, as well as the decision to do research or a thesis.

3. There is a difference between a Master's of Engineering degree and a Master's of Science degree.

4. Most of your classes may be in the evening.

5. You may not be in class with a lot of your age mates, as a good chunk of the people in the Master's program are working professionals. You will enjoy having that perspective when working in teams or discussing industry applications. Hope this helps. 

Ogechi recommends the following next steps:

  • Hi Melvin, I don't have my Master's just yet but I did ask my friends with their Masters in Engineering and I was told the following; 1. A engineering Master's program is not as difficult as its undergrad counterpart. 2. Decide what you would like to focus on in your Master's program, as well as the decision to do research or a thesis. 3. There is a difference between a Master's of Engineering degree and a Master's of Science degree. 4. Most of your classes may be in the evening. 5. You may not be in class with a lot of your age mates, as a good chunk of the people in the Master's program are working professionals. You will enjoy having that perspective when working in teams or discussing industry applications. Hope this helps.
Updated
That's great to hear honestly, especially number 1 haha. Thank you Ogechi!
Updated
I have a different view from Ogechi's answer. It does not mean Ogechi is incorrect. It simply means that my view is a little different. I posted my answer below.

Peter’s Answer

Updated Kent, Washington

Melvin:


The big difference between under graduate and graduate work is the following: graduate students generally enjoy a much closer relationship to their professors than undergraduates. There are far fewer graduate students than undergrads and you get to take advanced courses in subject areas that are of great interest to your professors. In addition, you get a chance to conduct original research under the tutorship of your sponsoring professor. I found this to be the most interesting aspect of my entire college career. If you consider undergraduate work as an introduction to your chosen career, graduate work allows you an insider's view of your profession.

Often for a Masters Degree you are given a choice between a research project or the option to take a comprehensive test. I strongly recommend that you opt for the research approach. It will make your graduate work far richer and your research is a great topic to discuss at any job interview, afterward!

Peter recommends the following next steps:

  • Try to find a graduate professor who is engaged in research on a topic of interest to you.
Updated
Awesome! So stronger relationships with professors overall and research. Thanks Peter! Melvin

Jackson’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

I do not have a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. However, I found that my MSEE classes were significantly more difficult compare to my BSEE classes. Most of my BSEE classes were "survey" or overview courses. 


As Ogechi pointed out that MS student needs to choose a "concentration" out of many options. You will be at a disadvantage if you chose a concentration where you know very little about from your undergraduate study.


Graduate school professors assume that the students already have taken the required undergraduate courses that satisfied the prerequisites. Therefore, one of key skills I learned quickly as a graduate student was to teach myself new topics. Or be able to identify resources quickly to teach myself on the topics that I do not understand but is expected from me.


If you go into full time MS in ME program, you will find many of your classes are day time. If you go into part time MS in ME program, you will find that many of your night time class students also work full time in day time. 


To prepare yourself for MS in ME classes, pay attention to the prerequisites. Ask yourself if you have a good foundational understanding. Take the time to obtain foundational knowledge / classes before you embark on taking graduate courses. 

Justin’s Answer

Hi Melvin,

For my personal experience of civil engineering, Bachelor Degree of Science in Civil Engineering is more general even their are certain tracks to take (transportation, structural, geotechnical, environmental and construction management). However, master degree tends to be more depth on specific subject matter unless it focus on management. Also, it is usually recommend to get working experience before getting your master degree in order to gain the most out of the degree.

It also depends on the different schools and different regions of engineering program. It is best to research on what you want to study and what strength and weakness of university you choose to understand the best outcome you want to gain before you get accepted on particular school.