Earn a Graduate Degree in Engineering to Design and Build Your Future
Meghan Brown posted on March 05, 2020 |
Graduate engineering degrees from CSU offer rigorous hands-on training to solve complex projects.
Colorado State University has sponsored this post.

(Image courtesy of Sciaky, Inc.)
(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)

Like many technically-oriented fields, engineering industries are growing in leaps and bounds.  Engineers who want to work in these high-tech, future-forward careers need an advanced education, and all too often a Bachelor’s degree is no longer enough.  Existing engineering jobs now often want a Master’s degree, for the combination of high-level understanding and application of broad concepts plus the expertise that comes from specializing in a specific discipline or field of research.  This trend is expected to continue, with the careers of the future continuing to require higher levels of education.

What does this mean to the recent engineering undergraduate, or to engineers already out in the workforce?  Chances are good that no matter what career goals an engineer has – whether it’s to get their dream job, get a promotion, or to one day own their own company – they’ll need an advanced graduate degree in engineering, either a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

But just getting the degree isn’t the most important part; choosing a graduate school and degree program that offers the necessary opportunities to achieve those goals is equally vital.  Specific courses offered, laboratory resources, research initiatives and corporate or industry partnerships are all important considerations to take into account – and don’t forget the overall student experience.

Studying Graduate-Level Engineering at CSU

Colorado State University offers a range of graduate and post-graduate engineering degree programs, both through their Fort Collins, CO campus, as well as online.  Nine full M.S. or M.Eng. degrees make CSU an ideal institution to study engineering at the graduate level, no matter what specialty or career goals an engineer is aiming for.

“Students earning a Master’s degree in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at CSU are prepared to solve vexing, interdisciplinary problems that are relevant to many different fields,” said Emily Wilmsen, director of communications and strategic marketing at CSU’s College of Engineering.  “Working in laboratories of internationally known faculty at the graduate level gives students access to cutting-edge, interdisciplinary tools in the classroom that lead to better opportunities for advancement in industry.”

Current degree offerings include:

  • Biomedical Engineering (M.E.)
  • Civil Engineering (M.E. or M.S.)
  • Computer Engineering (M.E. or M.S.)
  • Electrical Engineering (M.E. or M.S.)
  • Engineering Management (M.E.)
  • Mechanical Engineering (M.E.)
  • Systems Engineering (M.E. or M.S.)

For those students who finish their Master’s degree and want to continue their education, CSU also offers two post-graduate degrees: a Doctor of Engineering degree, and a Ph.D. in Engineering. 

Many of these programs are available partly or wholly online through CSU Online, depending on course availability and requirements.  This means that prospective students can pursue their graduate education at CSU even when they live or work outside Colorado.

(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)
(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)

Unique and World-Class Engineering Programs

Among CSU’s graduate engineering offerings are two programs that offer students unique educational experiences.

M.S. or M.Eng. in Civil Engineering, Water Resources Management

Civil engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines, and CSU’s Civil and Engineering Department is known globally for its water programs, with roots dating back to the founding of the university 150 years ago. CSU’s Master’s degree in Civil Engineering features a unique focus on water resources engineering and management aimed at those who have a particular interest in the challenges of sustainable infrastructure and managing the world’s vital water resources. 

CSU is one of the only institutions to offer this water resource management topic focus through an online degree program, as well as their traditional campus degree. Regardless of format, the degree covers water issues including hydrology, water control and management, environmental monitoring, infrastructure management and more.  The program aims to produce highly skilled, environmentally-educated engineers who are well-positioned to enter the green careers that exist now, and those that are predicted to emerge in the future.  Water purification and reclamation, flow management, containment and transport of water resources, as well as systems analysis and optimization, hydraulics and civil infrastructure are all fields that need skilled engineers now, and which promise room to grow.

“Students will work with instructors who are taking a holistic view of the effects of changes to our world on water quality and quantity.  Engineers and scientists consider climate, vegetation and population – all research areas at CSU which are on the leading edge of the discipline,” said Wilmsen.

Graduates with an M.S. or M.Eng. in Civil Engineering from CSU will be strong candidates for careers both at home and abroad, for projects ranging from public works, regulatory, to government and military.

A more in-depth overview of the civil engineering degree program at CSU can be read here.

M.S. or M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering

For engineers interested in the biomedical engineering field, CSU also offers a stand-out cross-disciplinary Master’s degree program in Biomedical Engineering, where both on-campus and online students learn from faculty who are part of a rich environment of interdisciplinary research and collaboration.

“The School of Biomedical Engineering is different, because it stands on a foundation of strong faculty and research programs from four CSU colleges: the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, and the Colleges of Health and Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,” said Wilmsen. “The unique structure of the School involves more than 70 faculty members representing 14 departments, and provides transdisciplinary focus on three areas: regenerative and rehabilitative medicine, imaging and diagnostics, and medical devices and therapeutics.”

With this foundation, the M.S. and M.Eng in Biomedical Engineering offers both breadth and depth to students, in a range of focus areas from biomaterials, biomechanics, biosensors and nanotechnology to tissue engineering, prosthetics and drug delivery. The comprehensive options available in the degree program ensure that students graduate with strong interdisciplinary skills and knowledge that they can use to solve complex problems in medicine and healthcare from diagnostics to treatment.

A more in-depth overview of the biomedical engineering degree program at CSU can be read here.

(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)
(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)

A Degree for Any Engineering Interest

CSU also offers a broad selection of engineering Master’s programs aside from their Civil and Biomedical degrees, which cover a range of wide and narrow focus opportunities.

Master of Science in Materials Science Engineering

Offered through the School of Advanced Materials Discovery, this degree offers a thesis option and a coursework-only option. MSE students study the use, properties, functions and characterization of materials to address complex issues of efficiency, sustainability, cost and equity. 

Master of Science or Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering

CSU’s systems engineering graduate programs equip students with the formal language, tools and methods of analysis to understand and engineer complex, interdisciplinary systems, which is a skill set that is becoming more necessary across companies and industries.

Professional Science Master’s in Biomanufacturing and Biotechnology

This degree program is offered under Chemical and Biological Engineering, in addition to traditional master’s degrees. This degree provides professionals with science and engineering skills as well as business skills to make them highly effective employees.

Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering

This master’s program produces students who are both technically competent and able to balance business and management principles. In addition to developing an ability to assess, determine and test the structures and properties of materials for various engineering projects, these engineers will have the tools for critical decision making.

Master of Science or Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering

These online master’s programs are coursework-only degrees that focus on a wide range of hardware and software applications, with an emphasis on computer system design, architecture of mobile and warehouse scale computers, network programming and internet protocols.

Expert Faculty and Industry Support

Pursuing a master’s degree at CSU means learning from and collaborating with faculty and industry partners at the top of their fields, who can offer expertise and research designed to help CSU’s students succeed in their studies and their careers.

“Industry partnerships are a cornerstone of any CSU engineering program, with opportunities for graduate internships, facility and project sponsorships, scholarships and professorships,” Wilmsen said.  “In mechanical engineering, for example, Professor Todd Bandhauer’s REACH CoLab – Research End Markets and Commercialization Hub – is in the Powerhouse Energy Institute, where practical demonstrations of technology are life-size and at a scale found in industry and much larger than the typical academic research lab.”

“His research has included partners from such national behemoths as Caterpillar and Modine Manufacturing Co. (an industrial chiller manufacturer), and Colorado companies such as Arvada-based Barber-Nichols Inc., which makes turbine engines,” Wilmsen added.

In addition to direct partnerships, CSU has developed its graduate degrees with direct input and feedback from local and regional engineering industry experts. This ensures that CSU graduates are getting a degree that will be directly applicable to solving the problems they will encounter throughout their career.

(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)
(Image courtesy of Colorado State University.)

CSU’s resources are available to students studying both online and on-campus, in order to support all students throughout the course of their studies.  “CSU offers a community to graduate students to provide training and networking, and to ensure their success,” Wilmsen said.  “Students are learning in world-class laboratories and are provided support through fellowships and grants that give them significant research experiences and opportunities to innovate.”

University resources are available to online students as well as traditional on-campus students, including access to library services, electronic books and journals from the Morgan Library, consultation services at the Writing Center, and a range of resources for students with disabilities, veterans and international students.  Online students also have access to university resources including email, department and faculty advisors, and CSU’s career services.

“All graduate students have access to professional development in many areas, such as communication skills, professional writing, navigating mentor-mentee relationships, and socialization activities developed to encourage professional networks,” Wilmsen said.

Flexibility of Online Education at CSU

Many of CSU’s engineering master’s degree programs are available entirely online, which enables students to earn a degree from CSU regardless of where they live—no need to relocate or commute.  Online learning also offers flexibility to the working professional engineers that these degrees are aimed at, who hold full-time employment but also want to pursue an advanced degree.

CSU’s online master’s programs are identical to the on-campus programs.  The same courses are offered to online students, and are taught by the same instructors, cover the same material, and have the same tests and examinations.  This means that the online degree is exactly the same degree as earned by traditional on-campus students, and “while students may not be on campus, they are still learning from the top faculty in their fields,” Wilmsen said.

The benefits of online education are numerous, but flexibility and affordability are right at the top of the list.  Since students can enroll in as little as a single course per semester, up to a full-time course load, students can structure their degree according to their financial situation as well as accommodating their existing schedule of work or personal life obligations.

CSU’s online courses are accessed through the Canvas online education platform, which enables students to view recorded lecture content, access online resources, interact with peers and instructors, and complete coursework and projects.  All lectures are recorded, including the instructor as well as any online interactions from other students, and made available to all enrolled students after the lecture is completed. 

Online students can attend lectures synchronously at the same time as the live lectures take place for on-campus students, by using teleconferencing software.  This enables them to interact in real-time with their instructor and classmates using video or text chat. 

Alternately, students can study asynchronously at a time that fits their schedule, by watching lecture recordings online. 

Another benefit to online education through CSU is affordability.  Graduate degrees are a significant investment no matter the type of enrollment, but rather than having to pay a lump sum tuition for a whole year, an online master’s allows students to pay for their courses at the pace that best fits their financial situation—whether it’s one course per semester, or a full course load.


Interested in CSU’s graduate engineering degrees?  Visit the CSU Online website for more information.

Find the Master’s degree that’s right for you with the Graduate Degree Finder Tool.


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