Can You Get a Master’s in Engineering Without a Bachelor’s in Engineering?

Can You Get a Master’s in Engineering Without a Bachelor’s in Engineering

Perhaps you finished your college course and either went on to work or decided that perhaps you’d rather get your master’s in engineering rather than the course you graduated from.

Is it possible? And if so, how can you get a master’s degree after previously getting a bachelor’s in a differing course? The answer is actually quite easy.

You are entirely able to get your masters in engineering without having a bachelor’s in engineering, but usually, it must be in a STEM course, meaning those that deal with math, science, technology, and the like.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can do this, go ahead and continue reading.

Not Impossible, But Perhaps Difficult

Taking up a Master’s in Engineering

A large number of graduates do not actually end up working in the field of the degree that they graduated with their bachelor’s degree.

Almost 73% of graduates find work in fields that are either entirely not related to their degree, meaning that they may have had their sights set on some other means of employment and finished their course for the degree.

For some, shifting to take a master’s in engineering may be a choice that you would like to make, but are wondering if it is even possible and if so, whether or not it is difficult.

Thankfully, this is indeed an attainable goal for anyone who has previously graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is now looking to get a master’s in engineering.

Of course, this path will be made easier if you have had a background and education in a STEM related course, as most universities are more prone to accept those with such experience.

But should you have a bachelor’s in a non-STEM related course there is no need for worry, as it is still possible for you to attain a master’s in engineering.

Coming from a bachelor’s education that has no to little background in STEM subjects will prove to be a bit difficult, seeing as engineering is a very mathematics heavy course.

But if you can apply yourself and realize that focus and study must be applied in able to cope up, then your goal of grabbing that master’s in engineering is not far from reach.

Taking up a master’s in engineering when coming from a bachelor’s course that focused in the field of math, physics, or chemistry, along with other related courses, will prove easier in the long run.

This is due to the fact that many subjects in these other STEM courses are shared between them and the core engineering courses.

Having a background in STEM subjects and graduating with a degree in that field will prove much easier overall and will most likely set your master’s journey to right around two years.

However, for those coming from a background unrelated to STEM, you may find yourself taking up to four years to graduate with a master’s in engineering.

The reason for this is that you will need to catch up on courses that you have not taken yet, as well as take prerequisites, as well as undergraduate, subjects to prepare yourself for your master’s.

Keep in mind that even if you are able to attain a master’s in engineering that you may not be able to practice as an engineer (like a civil engineering major) due to most states requiring a professional engineering license.

Of course, you can still attain that status albeit you will need to take the required courses in order to do so. 

How do I Get a Master’s in Engineering?

A number of universities and colleges allow students who have previously graduated in non-engineering courses to take up and apply for their master’s in engineering offerings.

Along with this, it is common for those that offer this option to provide a bridging program for those who are interested in taking up an engineering master’s but have not graduated with a bachelor’s in engineering.

This makes it extremely welcoming and relatively easy for those who are seeking this path. 

Lengths and duration vary from program to program, but overall, these master’s courses can be expected to be completed within two years.

The good news for those who are coming from undergraduate courses that are not under the engineering umbrella, you are still able to attain the same master’s degree as those who graduated with a bachelor’s in engineering.

Some subjects you are often expected to have taken when pursuing up your master’s in engineering after coming from an unrelated course include calculus (both I and II), and other physics and math-related subjects.

If you did not complete these courses prior to your application for a master’s in engineering, then you may need to first take them up before continuing.

Of course, this varies from college to college, so always check what the requirements are prior to your enrolment.

Going back to those who are interested in pursuing a master’s in engineering but did not take up a degree related somewhat to engineering, you also have a number of options.

A number of colleges and universities have the option available for those individuals to take up non-engineering tracks, giving them a way to pursue their dreams.

As stated before, some colleges do in fact offer certain bridging programs for these students, but if they are not available you will need to attain some courses in math before looking to apply.

Benefits of Attaining a Master’s in Engineering

You may be looking to take up a master’s in engineering in order to expand your knowledge in certain areas, but a vast majority of people will look to this as a means of a career change.

Whether you have grown bored of your current career path or have come to the conclusion that it just does not fit you right now, taking up a master’s in engineering can open up many doors for you career-wise.

There are numerous benefits that surround holders of a master’s in engineering, one of the most attractive being the possibility of a salary boost when compared to your current career path.

A master’s in engineering will most likely open up more doors for opportunities in your current position of work, but it will also, most likely, create the opportunity for other roles and jobs.

Many of the job options that open up after attaining a master’s in engineering include various managerial positions in addition to roles in leadership and project leads.

With the rise in options for the positions you can apply for, you will also see an increase in salaries relative to the positions available.

Salaries that you may see upon attaining a master’s in engineering sit right around the range of $110,000, according to the website, Monster. 

Along with the opportunity to rise up to new positions and a possible increase in salary, the experiences and growth you will see after attaining your master’s in engineering will prove worthwhile for years to come.


It is clear that you are more than able to take up a master’s in engineering even if you lack a bachelor’s in engineering, and do so with quite a bit of ease.

For those who have graduated with a degree that is unrelated to engineering, you may have to work a bit harder, but the goal is always within reach with a little focus and application.

The benefits that are posed by attaining a master’s in engineering far outweigh any of the challenges you may face while taking up this course, and will most likely benefit you and your career in the long run.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

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