Online Services that Can Help Find a Masters of Engineering Program

Several online services help prospective Masters students find a program that fits their needs

There are several online services that can help prospective Masters students find a program that fits their needs.  Here are a few pros and cons of the various services including Princeton Review, US News & World Reports,, and’s Masters Discovery tool.

As any engineer considering higher education will tell you, Masters Degrees are not a one size fits all. Some engineers will benefit by specializing in a core topic. Other engineers want to prepare for multidisciplinary projects. Finally, many engineers are looking for the skills to help them lead and manage technical teams and organizations.

As a result, finding the Masters program that is right for you can be a complicated task. Here are some tips to find a program that fits.

Good Old Google

Google is a great place to start any search. However, this option has some serious limitations. Search queries at the top of the list have either paid Google, or Google’s algorithms have placed them there based on popularity. This means that the programs that reach the top are likely to have the highest admission competition and/or are looking for admissions at this moment.

Another issue Google is that it directs you to information on the school websites. Much of that information will be one sided and biased, and in many cases, hard to find. For example, finding the list of courses or admissions requirements often requires a lot of navigation and some good guessing.

As a result, Google won’t be much help to you unless you know where you wish to go (see the Local Search). However, Google is useful for gathering initial information about programs so that you can narrow down disciplines and topics.

The Local and/or Top School Search

Many Masters students choose to study at a local university or the university they attended during their undergrad. Though there is nothing wrong with this option, looking only at local universities is an arbitrary filter to your search. This is especially true when you consider that online education has made leaps and bounds over the past decade.

A similar argument can be made against limiting your search to “the top schools.” Just because a school is nationally recognizable doesn’t mean it will have a program that will fit your career objectives. It may be worth your time to look at various universities to find the program that teaches the courses that are most relevant to you.

The Princeton Review

Perhaps the most annoying thing about the Princeton Review is the fact that it doesn’t remember who you are. I found myself typing in my personal information each time I would use the tool and each time I requested additional information on a specific school.

Though the tool isn’t engineering specific, it offers a large enough list and enough filters to discover a respectable number of engineering programs. For each program, the Princeton Review covers acceptance rates, enrollment, Admissions information, Greek-life, student demographics, and more.

Unfortunately it is clear that the tool is not targeting working professionals. There is no method to filter the available programs by an “online only” option. Most working professionals will prefer the freedom of online learning. Additionally much of the information presented isn’t really important to these Masters candidates, such as Greek-life and student demographics.

If you are a fan of the Princeton Review, then you will probably like Prospective students can use a series of simple filters to narrow down their school searches. Students can also filter education formats from on-campus, online, and hybrid education.

Unfortunately, the filters don’t seem to be perfect, as the top school that appeared while applying an “engineering management” filter came up as electrical engineering. Also the site doesn’t remember the user. For each school you are interested in you will need to fill out a very similar form.

Fortunately, the information available on the website looks good. Users are given program descriptions, admissions requirements, tuition, and credit requirements. In fact the only thing really missing to make a final decision is a course list. has also cut out all the superfluous information such as student demographics and Greek-life found on other masters search tools.

US News

US News is one of the gold standards for the rankings of American schools. The information quality appears strong and students can easily narrow the list using searches and filters.

Unfortunately, this information gathering is not cheap. In order to unlock all the available information, users must pay a yearly fee around $30. Though this isn’t steep, you are paying for information that can usually be found elsewhere.

One other complaint is that much of the information available is school specific as opposed to program specific. Though this may change once you pay the yearly fee, I don’t know that for certain because I didn’t pay the fee.

US News may be a good method to help users narrowing down their options. For instance, once you have found a handful of programs you like, US News’ ranking might tip the balance of your decision.

Similarly, you can narrow down your initial search to just the higher ranking schools when looking for specific programs.’s Masters Discovery Tool

Recently, unveiled their Masters Discovery Tool. Unlike other Masters Search tools, this one is targeted to working professionals and engineering programs.

The tool asks users a series of questions and then gives students a list of schools that best match their education goals. This means that the tool will remember who you are on a per search basis. You will no longer have to fill in the same information for each school.

The tool also provides students with a document that includes a program description, admissions information, tuition, and even a course list. The course list is something not often featured in other tools.

Many program descriptions are accompanied by an article written by the editorial staff that outlines the pros and cons of the specific program offering. While still at an early stage, this tool shows promise in meeting the exact requirements to help a student make a final decision, particularly for online courses.

Unfortunately, the Masters Discovery Tool is a work in progress. It takes a lot of time to compile this level of information. The tool is currently limited to dozens of programs spanning the following disciplines:

  • Engineering management
  • Environmental engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Systems engineering
  • Mechanical engineering

However, over time the list of available programs will grow allowing for a more robust tool.

Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.