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2021 Best Mechanical Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

233 Colleges
37,343 Bachelor's Degrees
$35,571 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Mechanical Engineering Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Mechanical Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsMechanical Engineering is the #15th most popular major in the country with 37,343 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

This year's Best Mechanical Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking looked at 233 colleges that offer a bachelor's in ME. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent mechanical engineering programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

Some of the factors we look at when determining these rankings are overall quality of the mechanical engineering program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. For more information, check out our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best ME Schools for Non-Traditional Students list, to help you choose the best school for you.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Mechanical Engineering Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for non-traditional students studying ME.

Top 25 Mechanical Engineering Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus tops the 2021 list of our schools in the United States that are best for non-traditional mechanical engineering students. Georgia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Atlanta. Georgia Tech also made our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list, coming in at #3.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.3%. 9,852 of Georgia Tech students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 11,859 part time students in attendance at Georgia Tech.

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#2

SUNY Maritime College

Throggs Neck, NY

Our rankings recognize SUNY Maritime College as the #2 school in this year's rankings. SUNY Maritime College is a small public school located in the city of Throggs Neck. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, SUNY Maritime College is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

About 2.6% of SUNY Maritime College students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 444 students take at least one class online at SUNY Maritime College. There are roughly 115 part time students in attendance at SUNY Maritime College. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Texas A&M University - College Station comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. Texas A&M College Station is a very large public school located in the midsize city of College Station. Texas A&M College Station excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.1%. Approximately 4,608 students take at least one class online at Texas A&M College Station. 9,459 of Texas A&M College Station students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Michigan Technological University comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Michigan Tech is a moderately-sized public school located in the town of Houghton. Michigan Tech also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.8%. There are approximately 331 students at Michigan Tech that take at least one class online. 734 of Michigan Tech students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University Report

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor earned the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public school with a very large student population. U-M also made our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list, coming in at #9.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.1%. There are approximately 487 students at U-M that take at least one class online. About 2,376 of the students at U-M are attending part time. U-M does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Missouri University of Science and Technology. Located in the town of Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public school with a moderately-sized student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Missouri University of Science and Technology is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at Missouri University of Science and Technology is lower than is typical, just 3.4% of students default in three years. Approximately 1,028 students take at least one class online at Missouri University of Science and Technology. 1,484 of Missouri University of Science and Technology students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#7

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. Virginia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Blacksburg. Virginia Tech also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

About 1.6% of Virginia Tech students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 8,844 students take at least one class online at Virginia Tech. There are roughly 2,711 part time students in attendance at Virginia Tech.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Gainesville, UF is a public school with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UF also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering ranking.

About 1.5% of UF students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 21,513 students at UF that take at least one class online. About 8,083 of the students at UF are attending part time. UF does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Mechanical Engineering at University of Florida Report

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Our rankings recognize New Jersey Institute of Technology as the #9 school in this year's rankings. NJIT is a fairly large public school located in the city of Newark. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, NJIT also did well on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 4.8% of NJIT students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 2,782 students take at least one class online at NJIT. 2,851 of NJIT students are attending part time. NJIT does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Mechanical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology Report

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Our rankings recognize University of California - Berkeley as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a fairly large student population. UC Berkeley also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.0%. Approximately 930 students take at least one class online at UC Berkeley. There are roughly 3,108 part time students in attendance at UC Berkeley.

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Illinois Institute of Technology comes in at #11 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Illinois Tech is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at Illinois Tech is lower than is typical, just 2.4% of students default in three years. There are approximately 696 students at Illinois Tech that take at least one class online. 967 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#12

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University - Main Campus landed the #12 spot in our 2021 best mechanical engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the small city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public college with a very large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, Purdue also did well on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.3%. Approximately 6,641 students take at least one class online at Purdue. 6,079 of Purdue students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize University of Wisconsin - Madison as the #13 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Madison, UW - Madison is a public school with a fairly large student population. UW - Madison excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at UW - Madison is lower than is typical, just 1.3% of students default in three years. Approximately 6,424 students take at least one class online at UW - Madison. 4,418 of UW - Madison students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin - Madison Report

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#14

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Northeastern University comes in at #14 in this year's ranking. Northeastern is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Boston. Northeastern excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.0%. Approximately 1,838 students take at least one class online at Northeastern. About 842 of the students at Northeastern are attending part time.

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#15

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University landed the #15 spot in our 2021 best mechanical engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Cornell also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering ranking.

About 1.0% of Cornell students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 309 students at Cornell that take at least one class online. There are roughly 101 part time students in attendance at Cornell.

Full Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University Report

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The #16 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. UMN Twin Cities is a very large public school located in the city of Minneapolis. UMN Twin Cities also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

The student loan default rate at UMN Twin Cities is lower than is typical, just 2.2% of students default in three years. There are approximately 13,571 students at UMN Twin Cities that take at least one class online. About 10,971 of the students at UMN Twin Cities are attending part time. UMN Twin Cities does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The University of Texas at Austin landed the #17 spot in our 2021 best mechanical engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public college with a fairly large student population. UT Austin excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

About 2.6% of UT Austin students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 12,546 students take at least one class online at UT Austin. 3,290 students are part time. UT Austin does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin Report

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#18

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

The #18 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Drexel University. Drexel is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Drexel also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering ranking.

About 3.1% of Drexel students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 1,528 students take at least one class online at Drexel. There are roughly 6,322 part time students in attendance at Drexel. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University Report

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#19

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University landed the #19 spot in our 2021 best mechanical engineering schools for non-traditional students. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Baltimore. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Johns Hopkins is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.1%. 8,722 of Johns Hopkins students are exclusively distance learners. About 11,552 of the students at Johns Hopkins are attending part time.

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North Carolina State University landed the #20 spot in our 2021 best mechanical engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a very large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, NC State also did well on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at NC State is lower than is typical, just 2.8% of students default in three years. There are approximately 11,555 students at NC State that take at least one class online. About 7,111 of the students at NC State are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#21

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

The #21 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Michigan State University. Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the city of East Lansing. Michigan State also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

The student loan default rate at Michigan State is lower than is typical, just 3.4% of students default in three years. There are approximately 9,273 students at Michigan State that take at least one class online. 6,488 of Michigan State students are attending part time.

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Our rankings recognize Ohio State University - Main Campus as the #22 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public college with a very large student population. Ohio State excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at Ohio State is lower than is typical, just 4.5% of students default in three years. There are approximately 18,037 students at Ohio State that take at least one class online. 8,041 students are part time. Ohio State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #23 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC is a fairly large public school located in the city of Chicago.

About 3.1% of UIC students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 5,751 students take at least one class online at UIC. There are roughly 4,566 part time students in attendance at UIC. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo earned the #24 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the suburb of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public college with a fairly large student population. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

About 0.9% of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 1,637 students take at least one class online at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 1,017 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#25

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

Our rankings recognize University of Dayton as the #25 school in this year's rankings. Located in the midsize city of Dayton, UDayton is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UDayton also did well on our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at UDayton is lower than is typical, just 2.1% of students default in three years. Approximately 817 students take at least one class online at UDayton. 1,204 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Rest of the Top Schools for Best Mechanical Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

#29

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT
#31

University of Houston

Houston, TX
#33

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, MI

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Mechanical Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
35 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
36 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
37 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
38 Clemson University Clemson, SC
39 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
40 California State University Maritime Academy Vallejo, CA
41 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
42 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
43 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
44 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
45 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
46 California State Polytechnic University - Pomona Pomona, CA

Mechanical Engineering by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Mechanical Engineering colleges in a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Mechanical Engineering is one of 38 different types of Engineering programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Electrical Engineering 31,041
Civil Engineering 21,795
Computer Engineering 15,694
Chemical Engineering 14,363
Biomedical Engineering 11,975

View All ME Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Michel Villeneuve.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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