Top universities for masters in automotive engineering

Top universities for masters in automotive engineering

University of Michigan

Program Overview

The University of Michigan offers a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Automotive Engineering degree which you can earn with an emphasis in one of the following areas:

  • Advanced Powertrain and Vehicle Integration
  • Connected and Automated Vehicles
  • Controls and Dynamics

The M.Eng. program is not thesis-based, but instead has a greater focus on coursework than the University of Michigan’s Ph.D. or master’s programs in Automotive Engineering do, as well as requiring an internship with a sponsoring company, completion of an interdisciplinary design project, and completion of more credits than their other programs require to graduate.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Ranked #1 in the world by QS World University Rankings 2019, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned research and science institute located in Pasadena, California. Caltech offers a variety of engineering degrees that pursue a research and application-based approach to education. Its Automotive Engineering program stands out from the rest as it holds both an academic and research focus.

The university’s PhD in Mechanical Engineering includes courses on automotive design and manufacturing, advanced materials for aerospace vehicles, propulsion systems for aircrafts and space vehicles, mechanics of composite materials and more.

According to its website: “Caltech is known for the strength of its core undergraduate engineering curriculum.” The school’s key strengths include mechanical engineering, aeronautics/aerospace and civil engineering. The university was ranked #10 in the world overall by QS World University Rankings 2019, with many individual subjects also receiving top 10 places – including mechanical engineering (9th), aeronautics & astronautics (4th) and civil & structural engineering (5th).

The University of Texas, Arlington

  • [List of course names]
  • Average fees: $7,383
  • Average salary after graduation: $64,000

Stanford University

Stanford University


  • Duration: 2 years, full time
  • Fees: $60,000 per year (out of state) – $68,400 per year (international)
  • Curriculum: The course is designed to offer students a wide scope of knowledge in the field of automotive engineering. Students will be taught
  • Fundamentals of automobile design, testing and thinking.
  • Advanced vehicle structural analysis and design.
  • Automotive electronics hardware/software hardware interfacing and programming.
  • Vehicle emissions control strategies, fuel system components and combustion processes in SI engines.

Admission Requirements

The following are required for admission into this Masters program: CV/Resume; Statement of purpose; Transcripts from all colleges attended; Letters of recommendation (at least two); GRE scores; TOEFL/IELTS scores for international applicants from countries where English is not the official language. Applicants are also required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree with minimum GPA of 3.4 or above on a 4 point scale.International students must also submit their GMAT score as part of the application process.Career ProspectsGraduates can expect to work in auto manufacturing companies such as BMW, Audi or Volkswagen as engineers or designers at an average salary of over $90,000 per annum.

Georgia Institute of Technology

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)’s program is well known for its focus on research and education in the field of transportation. There are three options to choose from: Automotive Systems Engineering, Automotive Systems Integration, and Transportation Systems Engineering. In addition to regular study, each option offers a thesis or capstone project.

The program is ranked #11 nationally by US News. It is a public university that believes engineering programs should be available to all students who want them. The school has excellent facilities including a four-wheel drive dynamometer laboratory which allows tests to be run in a variety of environments.

The Virginia Tech chapter of Alpha Pi Mu (APM), an Industrial Engineering honor society, was founded at Virginia Tech in 1949 and has been active since then as an integral part of the Department’s student activities supporting student leadership development and community service projects.

Clemson University

With one of the largest academic schools in the nation, Clemson is a public university and research center located in South Carolina with over 40,000 students. The College of Engineering and Science offers a comprehensive Master’s degree program that equips students with the fundamental skills necessary to excel in any field. Students will have access to some of the most advanced research facilities in automotive safety, aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. Students will also be able to participate in live projects while gaining practical experience at agencies such as General Motors or BMW.

Students may choose from three tracks, namely:

  • Master’s thesis track;
  • Project track; and
  • Non-thesis track (coursework only)

All three tracks require 30 credits for completion. Some courses include:

  • Structure Analysis of Engine Components,
  • Engine Vibration Control Systems, and
  • Numerical Methods for Fluid Flow Analysis and Heat Transfer Applications.

Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State University offers a Master of Science in Automotive Engineering (MSAE) program. Penn State’s School of Engineering is consistently ranked as a top engineering school in the country and offers many degree programs. The 30-credit MSAE program can be completed either on campus or online, which makes it convenient for students, who may have other responsibilities when they are pursuing their master’s degree.

Penn State’s MSAE program combines elements of traditional automotive engineering with knowledge necessary to address growing environmental and safety concerns associated with vehicles. Students must complete four core courses, including software design applications and fatigue fracture mechanics, before choosing electives that reflect their interests within the field of automotive engineering. Students who study at Penn State can pursue their studies in areas such as:

  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Intelligent vehicle systems
  • Powertrain systems

Ohio State University

  • Ohio State University was founded in 1870 and currently has a student population of around 66,000. It is located in Columbus, Ohio. The university has many facilities including its Center for Automotive Research (CAR), which houses an impressive indoor testing facility that can be used to simulate icy road conditions. OSU also has an outdoor testing facility with a two mile oval track, high-banked curves and a skid pad with its own ice hill. The faculty at OSU have been known to publish groundbreaking research on subjects such as the development of energy storage devices for electric vehicles, fuel cells and alternative fuels.
  • Famous alumni include John Glenn, inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell and politician Robert C. Byrd
  • Tuition: $22,000 per year
  • Ranking: #54

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • MIT is the best university for masters in automotive engineering across the world
  • MIT is the best university for masters in automotive engineering in the US
  • MIT is the best university for masters in mechanical engineering
  • MIT is the best university for masters in engineering

An overview of the top universities in the US for masters in automotive engineering

According to, some of the best universities for masters in automotive engineering courses in the US include:

  • University of Michigan
  • Iowa State University
  • Texas A&M University-College Station

The MastersPortal website also ranked these top universities for masters in Automotive Engineering courses based on the number of students who graduated with a degree in that subject before going on to work for one of the world’s biggest companies. According to this ranking, the top five schools offering this degree are as follows:

  • Texas A&M University-College Station
  • Iowa State University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State university (Virginia Tech)
  • Oregon State University-Cascades Campus
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

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