Engineering

2021 Best Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

267 Colleges
128,724 Bachelor's Degrees
$34,560 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Engineering Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsWith 128,724 bachelor's degrees handed out in 2018-2019, engineering is the #4 most popular major in the United States.

This year's Best Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking looked at 267 colleges that offer a bachelor's in engineering. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent 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 engineering program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

One Size Does Not Fit All

As a non-traditional student, you have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an education. That's why we've developed rankings specifically for you. Check out more major-related rankings here..

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

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

Check out the engineering programs at these schools if you want to see which ones are the best for non-traditional students.

Top 25 Engineering Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Missouri University of Science and Technology tops the 2021 list of our schools in the United States that are best for non-traditional engineering students. Located in the town of Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. Missouri University of Science and Technology also took the #2 spot in our Best Colleges for Engineering rankings.

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

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus comes in at #2 in this year's ranking. Georgia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Atlanta. Georgia Tech also took the #4 spot in our Best Colleges for Engineering rankings.

About 1.3% of Georgia Tech students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 9,852 students at Georgia Tech are exclusively online. 11,859 students are part time.

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The #3 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech is a medium-sized public school located in the remote town of Houghton. Michigan Tech also made our Best Colleges for Engineering list, coming in at #8.

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

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North Carolina State University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, NC State is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

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. NC State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Texas A&M University - College Station. Texas A&M College Station is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of College Station. Texas A&M College Station also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Engineering list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

The student loan default rate at Texas A&M College Station is lower than is typical, just 2.1% of students default in three years. There are approximately 4,608 students at Texas A&M College Station that take at least one class online. 9,459 students are part time. Texas A&M College Station does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize Illinois Institute of Technology as the #6 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Illinois Tech is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for 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. Illinois Tech does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize Pennsylvania State University - University Park as the #7 school in this year's rankings. Penn State University Park is a very large public school located in the city of University Park. Penn State University Park excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.9%. Approximately 13,255 students take at least one class online at Penn State University Park. About 1,670 of the students at Penn State University Park are attending part time. Penn State University Park does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Milwaukee School of Engineering earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Milwaukee, MSOE is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, MSOE is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

About 2.5% of MSOE students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 172 students at MSOE that take at least one class online. About 291 of the students at MSOE are attending part time. MSOE does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #9 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Montana Tech is a small public school located in the town of Butte. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Montana Tech also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

Approximately 392 students take at least one class online at Montana Tech. There are roughly 292 part time students in attendance at Montana Tech. Montana Tech does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#10

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech landed the #10 spot in our 2021 best engineering schools for non-traditional students. Virginia Tech is a very large public school located in the city of Blacksburg. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Virginia Tech is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

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. 2,711 of Virginia Tech students are attending part time.

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New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the remote town of Socorro, New Mexico Tech is a public school with a small student population. New Mexico Tech excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

About 5.6% of New Mexico Tech students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 71 students at New Mexico Tech are exclusively online. 420 of New Mexico Tech students are attending part time.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #12 spot in our 2021 best engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public college with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, U-M also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

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

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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo comes in at #13 in this year's ranking. Located in the small suburb of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public college with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 0.9%. Approximately 1,637 students take at least one class online at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. About 1,017 of the students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#14

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida landed the #14 spot in our 2021 best engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville, UF is a public school with a fairly large student population. UF also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Engineering list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

About 1.5% of UF students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 21,513 students take at least one class online at UF. 8,083 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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New Jersey Institute of Technology earned the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings. NJIT is a large public school located in the large city of Newark. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, NJIT also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

The student loan default rate at NJIT is lower than is typical, just 4.8% of students default in three years. 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.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign landed the #16 spot in our 2021 best engineering schools for non-traditional students. Located in the small city of Champaign, UIUC is a public college with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, UIUC is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at UIUC is lower than is typical, just 1.9% of students default in three years. Approximately 12,503 students take at least one class online at UIUC. 6,389 of UIUC students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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University of California - Berkeley earned the #17 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, UC Berkeley is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

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

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#18

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Our rankings recognize Purdue University - Main Campus as the #18 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public college with a very large student population. Purdue excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at Purdue is lower than is typical, just 2.3% of students default in three years. Approximately 6,641 students take at least one class online at Purdue. About 6,079 of the students at Purdue are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison comes in at #19 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Madison, UW - Madison is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UW - Madison also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

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

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#20

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University landed the #20 spot in our 2021 best engineering schools for non-traditional students. Johns Hopkins is a very 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 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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Our rankings recognize Ohio State University - Main Campus as the #21 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Columbus, Ohio State is a public school with a very large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Ohio State is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

About 4.5% of Ohio State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 18,037 students at Ohio State that take at least one class online. There are roughly 8,041 part time students in attendance at Ohio State. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Iowa State University comes in at #22 in this year's ranking. Located in the small city of Ames, Iowa State is a public college with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Iowa State also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 3.2%. Approximately 6,215 students take at least one class online at Iowa State. About 3,779 of the students at Iowa State are attending part time. Iowa State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#23

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Our rankings recognize Drexel University as the #23 school in this year's rankings. Drexel is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Drexel also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Engineering ranking.

The student loan default rate at Drexel is lower than is typical, just 3.1% of students default in three years. There are approximately 1,528 students at Drexel that take at least one class online. 6,322 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#24

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Our rankings recognize Cornell University as the #24 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Cornell is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Engineering list.

The student loan default rate at Cornell is lower than is typical, just 1.0% of students default in three years. Approximately 309 students take at least one class online at Cornell. There are roughly 101 part time students in attendance at Cornell.

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The #25 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. UMN Twin Cities is a fairly large public school located in the city of Minneapolis. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UMN Twin Cities also did well on our Best Colleges for Engineering list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

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. 10,971 of UMN Twin Cities students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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

#26

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

#34

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#36

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#38

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#39

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#40

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

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 Engineering Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
41 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
42 Clemson University Clemson, SC
43 Auburn University Auburn, AL
44 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
45 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
46 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
47 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
48 SUNY Maritime College Throggs Neck, NY
49 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
50 University of Delaware Newark, DE
51 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
52 Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston, MA
53 Trine University Angola, IN

Engineering by Region

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

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

Engineering Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 47,222
Electrical Engineering 31,041
Civil Engineering 21,795
Computer Engineering 15,694
Chemical Engineering 14,363

View All Engineering Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer & Information Sciences 173,112
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 160,242
Physical Sciences 53,214
Engineering Technologies 52,780
Mathematics & Statistics 49,071

View All Engineering 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 Petty Officer 3rd Class Declan Barnes.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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