master of engineering vs master of science

Master of engineering vs Master of science

MS and MEng. are two of the most sought-after master’s courses for science undergraduates.Candidates line up in thousands to apply for these courses. However, most of them are unclear as to what’s the difference between both the courses. In the course of this blog, we’ll discuss both master of engineering vs master of science, who should apply and what’s the difference between the two.

master of engineering vs master of science

Masters of Science:

The Master of Science degree is a full-time two-year degree often abbreviated "MS" or "M.S.” Usually, Masters of Science is offered in subjects focused more on a curriculum based on hard facts, such as mathematics, engineering, medicine, or technology.


The major pre-requisite for a Master of Science is a bachelor’s degree. Besides this, there may be specific pre-requisites depending on the program. Some programs require you to have studied a subject at the undergraduate level. Some programs allow you to pursue a master’s degree only if you have done your undergraduate studies with the same subject. Though it isn’t a hard and fast rule but it is advised you study the same course because it will be easier for you to enhance your knowledge as you have already acquired the basics of the subject. So you’ll not waste your times learning a particular subject from the very beginning.

Most colleges require a valid GRE/GMAT score (taken within the last 5 years), an SOP (Statement of Purpose), 2 LoR’s (Letters of Recommendation) and all your official transcripts. Besides this, individual universities may ask you to submit additional essays to get a better understanding of your reasons and motivation to pursue the program.

Please note that this isn’t a standardized format and each university has its own set of admission requirements. There are universities which do not consider GRE/GMAT scores as well.


The cost of the Master of Science program depends on a lot of factors like:

  • Location
  • Brand Name
  • Program Concentration
  • Public/Privately funded

That said most colleges usually charge anywhere between 15000 USD- 30000 USD as tuition fees per year. Bear in mind that this is just the tuition fees and does not include the food and living expenses. Also, most full-time Master of Science courses are two-year program, so the average total fees is around 45000 USD- 60 USD for the entire program.


Some of the most common specializations are:

  • Computer Science

master of engineering vs master of science

Computer Science has become the most sought-after specialization in the past few years. Tech Giants require computer scientists for almost all their operations and hence they are always in high demand. You could even specialize further in concentrations like Algorithms, Computational Geometry, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture, Databases, Data Mining, Graphics, High-Performance Computing, Programming Languages, Compilers, and Robotics etc.

  • Finance/Financial Analysis

Another popular specialization is the MS in Finance. The program is focused on building expertise in the field of finance and analyzing global economic markets. Again a really popular master’s program because of the kind of jobs that are available.

  • Information Systems

If you want to explore the technological aspect of how computer systems are used for various tasks in management like security, storage, organization etc. then an MS in Information Systems is the way to go.

  • Data Analytics

Data Analytics is the current buzzword and there’s a good reason for that. Data analytics jobs are on the rise as we gather more and more data. So an MS in Data Analytics will be a great stepping stone in this direction.

Employment Opportunities:

Every year, thousands of students apply for MS programs in the USA. Although there are almost 5000 universities in the US, it is very important to choose the right school and program. If you don’t choose your school carefully, you could end up paying a lot more than you expected.

Typically the average cost of an MS program is anywhere between 70,000-80,000 USD. In such a case it becomes all the more important that you recover the cost through the employment opportunities you get in college.

On an average, MS graduates earn something around 60,000-70,000 USD. Both the Business programs and STEM programs offer lucrative remuneration right after finishing the school. A lot of candidates continue their studies further and work in research and development finally earning their doctorate degrees.

master of engineering vs master of science


MSC (Master of science) programs are the most sought-after programs so there is no dearth of well-ranked universities offering MS courses.

Here are some top universities offering MS Courses:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • University of California (Berkeley Campus)
  • University of Cambridge
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University Of Michiga
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • University of Oxford
  • National University of Singapore.

master of engineering vs master of science

Master of Engineering

MEng. Or simply Masters in Engineering is another sought-after degree that undergraduates with a scientific background pursue. Master of Engineering degree is generally a professional degree offered to students after completion of 4-year bachelor's degree. The Master of Engineering degree is offered at many leading universities in the United States, and Canada on either a full-time and part-time (weekends or evenings) basis and is considered a terminal degree in the field of engineering.

Some Master of Engineering degree programs requires a scholarly project in addition to coursework. Some Master of Engineering programs require additional courses and encourage students to participate in collaborative consulting projects. These courses may include topics such as business fundamentals, management and leadership.

In the UK however, things are slightly different. The master of engineering Degree is the normative university-level qualification taken by people wishing to become chartered engineers registered with the Engineering Council (EngC).  EngC's minimum requirement for entry to a recognized master of engineering. The course is BBB at A-level, compared to CCC for a B.Eng. Honors course.

Universities are free to set higher entry requirements if they wish. Some universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial only admit students to study for the Master of Engineering Degree. (Their courses usually allow a student to leave with a bachelor's degree after three years, but these shortened degrees are not ECUK-recognized and therefore do not count towards the educational requirements for becoming a chartered engineer.)

Other universities, such as the University of Greenwich, University of Surrey, Coventry University, Brunel University and Swansea University, admit students to read for B.Eng. Honors and Master of Engineering Courses and allow students to change between the two during the early years of the course.

The Open University offers the M.Eng. Degree as a postgraduate qualification but requires students to complete its course within four years of completing a B.Eng. Honors degree.

master of engineering vs master of science


English language proficiency is a must as the medium of teaching is English and hence students are expected to perform well in the proficiency tests. A score of at least 80 ibt is expected for students in the TOEFL exam. Similarly, you need to have a score of 6.0 or greater in the IELTS exam to have a chance.

Students from Engineering school have to appear for GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and have to score a minimum 300 to get admission in the good university. You also require at least 16 years of graduation (10+2+4) to be eligible for the Masters of Engineering course.

Besides this, you have to submit an SOP (Statement of Purpose), 2 LoR’s (Letters of Recommendation) and all your official transcripts. Also similar to an MS, individual universities may ask you to submit additional essays to get a better understanding of your reasons and motivation to pursue the program.


The tuition costs are similar to the Master of Science course with fees ranging from as low as 10,000 USD per year to 80,000 USD per year. MEng. Courses are focused on providing practical knowledge and therefore, depending on the type of opportunities you get, you could recoup some of that fees while studying itself.

M.Eng. require practical experience or internships. So, apart from group discussions, writing a thesis and, of course, attending lectures, you may be required to have actual professional experience. If you are an international student signing up for a Master’s course, you cannot be employed while studying, but you can avail for a student internship.

master of engineering vs master of science


Masters of Engineering offers various specializations. Some of the popular ones are:

  • Software Engineering: This involves designing and testing computer software for various organizations. Students are trained to work on various stages of the software product lifecycle. They learn how to develop high-capacity computer software in a controlled environment and ensure it is reliable, efficient and economic.
  • Electrical Engineering: Students are required to build an in-depth understanding selected from areas such as signal processing and communication, systems and control, electromagnetics and photonics, and materials, circuits, and devices among others.
  • Mechanical Engineering: This involves teaching students about fundamental principles as well as giving them the freedom to pursue to have an in-depth understanding of dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, mechanical behavior of materials among others.
  • Civil Engineering: The aim of this program is to further enhance the technical knowledge in the planning and design of buildings, construction process, and the impact on the surrounding environment.


Here are some top universities that offer M.Eng. Courses:

  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • University of California, Berkley
  • Northwestern University
  • Purdue University
  • Princeton University

What’s the difference between Master of Engineering and Master of Science?

While the industry doesn’t discriminate when it comes to job opportunities, it is commonly accepted that the Master of Science degree is aimed more at research. If you want to study further and get into research and development, it is recommended that you pursue a MS program. Most Master of Science curriculums involves a dissertation and various research projects, making them ideal for pursuing a Ph.D. later in your career.

Also, remember that this does not restrict your chances of securing a job. In fact, you can even pursue teaching and research-oriented jobs later in your career.

Masters of Engineering, on the other hand, is a professional course with the curriculum designed in such a way that the industry experience is a part of the program itself.  Generally, you do not require any research-oriented coursework for Masters of Engineering degree. It is more advantageous for people who have no inclination towards further research as it is relatively easier to secure admission because of less competition.

Simply put Master of Science allows you to be a specialist in your field while Masters of Engineering is more application driven.

master of engineering vs master of science


Both the programs are good and it totally depends on the student and what he wants to pursue. If you think research is your calling and want to become a specialist in the field of your choosing, then an MS (Masters of Science) is the way to go. If you are more application driven and want to work immediately after your masters, then an M. Eng. (Masters of Engineering) is more suitable for you.

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