Best Affordable Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

Ranked among the highest-paying college majors, mechanical engineering provides a versatile foundation for solving the world’s complex challenges through design, analysis, and problem-solving. But tuition at elite private engineering schools often exceeds $50,000 per year.

Fortunately, a number of public universities offer accredited mechanical engineering degrees at incredible affordability. By evaluating program costs, facilities, research opportunities, post-graduation earnings, and more, these top value schools were identified:

The University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering is recognized globally for its academic excellence in mechanical engineering—while in-state tuition averages only around $11,000 annually. Students gain access to the Texas Inventionworks program, immersive design studios, 3D printing labs, wind tunnels, advanced manufacturing machines, and more. Nearly 30% of undergrads participate in research, accelerating career readiness. Starting salaries exceed $70,000.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech ranks among the nation’s elite mechanical engineering programs, with facilities, faculty, and outcomes rivaling top private schools. Yet in-state students pay under $13,000 per year on average. Unique resources like Tech’s renowned Automotive Research and Materials Characterization facilities provide unprecedented hands-on learning. Cooperative study programs and industry partnerships lead to exceptional job placements at starting salaries over $70,000.

Purdue University

Purdue provides an accredited top-20 ranked mechanical engineering education at an average cost of $10,000 annually for in-state students. Undergrads conduct research across 16 specialized ME labs exploring cutting-edge topics like energy, nanotechnology, and robotics. Hands-on design is emphasized through initiatives like Purdue’s Baja SAE competition team. Graduates secure lucrative roles in aerospace, automotive, energy, and beyond.

Missouri University of Science & Technology

In-state tuition for Missouri S&T totals just $10,700 per year, powering exceptional value as one of the best mechanical engineering schools. Students access 30+ specialized ME labs, from dynamics research to aerospace manufacturing facilites. Missouri S&T’s strong industry relationships facilitate internships and co-ops at companies like Toyota, Boeing, GM, Deere, Caterpillar, and more.

Michigan Technological University

Michigan Tech provides one of the nation’s top 30 ABET-accredited mechanical engineering programs at an average $16,500 per year price tag for in-state students. Award-winning faculty guide research across state-of-the-art facilities like the Keweenaw Research Center, while paid cooperative education programs provide real-world immersion. Michigan Tech graduates enjoy a nearly 100% placement rate.

Beyond comprehensive coursework and immersive curricula, these leading affordable public programs provide abundant research facilities, career resources, and hands-on learning to power ME careers. By selecting an accredited mechanical engineering program that’s accessible financially, undergraduates maximize return on investment.

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