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Study mechanical engineering abroad

An in-depth guide to studying mechanical engineering as an international student.

Mechanical engineering degrees abroad

Mechanical engineering is the study of machines and includes their design, manufacture, analysis and maintenance. It’s concerned with objects and systems in motion and can cover a huge range of fields including aerospace, manufacturing, electronics and the automotive industry.

Most mechanical engineering programs are a combination of science, maths and computing. It’s a subject that touches on all aspects of our lives and is a popular choice among international students looking to study abroad.

Mechanical engineering program structure

The learning and teaching methods for most mechanical engineering programs will be made up of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, lab sessions and design classes.

You’ll be assessed through things like written essays, project reports and exams. Undergraduate programs can last five years and can include a work placement year which gives you real hands-on experience.

The exact structure and content of each mechanical engineering program will be different depending on the university, however most will cover the same core areas:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Engineering concepts
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Mechanics, structures and materials
  • Systems modeling
  • Bioengineering

Why study mechanical engineering abroad

Mechanical engineering is widely considered one of the most challenging subjects you can study, and will arm you with a wide range of skills. Mechanical engineers are always in high demand in the job market, and getting your degree abroad can give you an extra edge.

Studying abroad also means you’ll have more programs to choose from so you can find the university and course that works best for you.

Choosing to live and study overseas is also a great personal adventure where you’ll experience new cultures, make lifelong friends and improve your language skills. Find out more about the benefits of studying abroad here.

Where to study mechanical engineering abroad

When making the big decision of where to study mechanical engineering, there’s a few things worth considering to help you choose:

  • Work out what type of country you’d want to live in. Think about things like the culture, lifestyle and climate you would be happy living with. Remember you could be living there for several years, so it needs to somewhere you’ll enjoy.
  • Think about the university experience you want. It’s important you enjoy your time outside the classroom when you’re studying abroad, so look at what each university offers in terms of student clubs, societies and sports.
  • The content and reputation of the program. Look at what each program covers, and how well it ranks for mechanical engineering. Don’t base your decision on ranking alone, but it’s well worth considering if you want to study the best possible program.

It’s also worth looking at each program’s accreditation. In order to work as a mechanical engineer your degree may need to be recognized by that country’s governing body, so check this before you apply. Here’s more help on how to choose where to study abroad.

Best countries to study mechanical engineering

When working out which country is best to study mechanical engineering it’s worth thinking about which offer the best programs, and which offer the best placement and job opportunities.

The US is home to many of the best mechanical engineering courses, and it’s possible to gain experience by working in top international organizations. Germany is another popular study destination, thanks to its strong manufacturing sector, and quality universities.

Elsewhere, the UK offers a number of the best ranked mechanical engineering programs, and there are also fantastic opportunities in technology hubs like Japan, Singapore and China.

Best universities to study mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is a popular subject around the world, so there are many options when it comes to choosing a university or engineering school abroad.

To narrow down your search and help you find the right university, think about:

  • The campus environment you’d prefer, for example a city based university or a smaller leafy college town
  • If the university’s program includes a year in industry or a year abroad, and what options they offer
  • What the university offers outside of the classroom
  • Where the university ranks for its mechanical engineering programs

It’s worth applying to more than one university if you can to improve your chances of finding a place, but only ever apply to places you want to study in.

See all universities offering mechanical engineering programs

How to study mechanical engineering abroad

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Mechanical engineering study abroad programs

You can study mechanical engineering at a range of levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate.

At undergraduate level you can study a BSc, or BEng (Bachelor of Engineering). There is little difference between the two, however a BEng tends to involve more practical elements. You can also sometimes choose to convert a BEng to an MEng, which includes an extra year of study and is a master’s level degree.

Undergraduate engineering programs can last between three and five years, depending on the country you are studying in, and whether or not you include a year in placement or a year abroad.

As a postgraduate you can study an MSc in mechanical engineering over one or two years. You can also study for a PhD once you have your master’s, which can last up to four years.

Mechanical engineering undergraduate programs

Diploma in mechanical engineering

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    Mechanical Engineering - Dip
    MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    30 months
    Tuition fees per year
    4,200 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering Technician - Dip
    Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,412 CAD
    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering Technician – Design - Dip
    Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,531 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technician – Design
  • false

    CNC Machinist Technician - Dip
    Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    22,050 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about CNC Machinist Technician
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering Technician – Non-Destructive Evaluation - Dip
    Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    28 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,002 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technician – Non-Destructive Evaluation
See all undergraduate diplomas in mechanical engineering

Bachelor's in mechanical engineering

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    Mechanical Engineering - BEng (Hons)
    MAHSA University, Malaysia

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    -
    Tuition fees per year
    7,200 USD
    Start date
    -
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - BSc
    Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,500 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - BEng
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,634 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - BSc
    University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - BSc
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,000 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
See all bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering

Certificate in mechanical engineering

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    Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Machinist Technology - Cert
    Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Machinist Technology
  • false

    CNC Machining, Metrology, and Manufacturing Technology - Cert
    Goodwin University, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    24,888 USD
    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about CNC Machining, Metrology, and Manufacturing Technology
See all undergraduate certificates in mechanical engineering

Associate in mechanical engineering

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    CNC Machining - ASc
    Goodwin University, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,888 USD
    Start date
    January, May, September
    Show program overview about CNC Machining
See all associate degrees in mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering graduate programs

Master's in mechanical engineering

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    Mechanical Engineering - MEng
    Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    3,450 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - MSc
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,118 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - MEng
    University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    23,400 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - MEng
    University of Southampton, Malaysia, Malaysia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,337 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - MSc
    Linköping University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,000 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
See all master's degrees in mechanical engineering

Doctorate in mechanical engineering

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    Mechanical Engineering - Thermal/Fluid Sciences Track - PhD
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,896 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering - Thermal/Fluid Sciences Track
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - PhD
    University of Wyoming, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,500 USD
    Start date
    May, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering Science - PhD
    Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    9,000 EUR
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Science
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - PhD
    New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    16,218 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
  • false

    Mechanical Engineering - PhD
    American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,060 LL
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering
See all doctorates in mechanical engineering

Diploma in mechanical engineering

  • false

    Mechanical Engineering Technician - OCDip
    Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    11 months
    Tuition fees per year
    24,028 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Mechanical Engineering Technician
See all postgraduate diplomas in mechanical engineering

Certificate in mechanical engineering

  • false

    Practical Elements of Mechanical Engineering - OCGCert
    Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,726 CAD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Practical Elements of Mechanical Engineering
See all postgraduate certificates in mechanical engineering

Pathway in mechanical engineering

  • false

    Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering Pathway - PGP
    Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    5 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,845 GBP
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering Pathway
See all postgraduate pathways in mechanical engineering

Entry requirements to study mechanical engineering abroad

To understand the precise entry requirements you’ll need to meet to be accepted onto a mechanical engineering program abroad, you’ll need to check with the university.

All universities and programs will have individual requirements, but there are some common criteria you’ll need to meet:

  • Secondary education with good grades in maths, physics and other science subjects
  • A personal statement that outlines your future plans and your interest in mechanical engineering
  • English language proficiency test scores
  • Academic references
  • A bachelor’s degree (BEng or BSc) in mechanical engineering to study at postgraduate level

If you want to study mechanical engineering in the UK and you’re from a country from outside the EU/EEA, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. Here is more on how to study abroad.

Future mechanical engineering careers

Most mechanical engineering graduates will go on to become engineers, but there are several options you could choose from, including:

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Automotive engineer

However, because mechanical engineering degrees give you such a wide range of skills, there are plenty of other career paths you could take. Popular roles include:

  • Auto electrician
  • Transport planner
  • Patent lawyer
  • Production manager
  • Manufacturing consultant/researcher

If you know what career you want to pursue after graduation, make sure you choose a program that matches your aspirations.