University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Review

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor offers online engineering degrees in niche areas related to both automotive and manufacturing engineering. The school is not only one of the most respected in the industry, it also offers some of the most affordable tuition around.

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The Good

Strong academic reputation

The college of engineering at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (UM) is one of the most well-respected schools in the country, regularly earning high national rankings. The college typically ranks among the top ten engineering schools in the U.S., and also earns the distinction of placing among the top 15 engineering schools in the world. The state of Michigan itself is a leader in automotive manufacturing, and it is only fitting that UM’s online engineering program offers few, but highly specialized engineering degrees related to the automotive industry. As an online student, UM can provide you with a quality network of peers and alumni professionals, in addition to a degree that is respected and valued by employers.

Four specialized engineering degrees

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers four different online graduate engineering degrees strictly related to automotive and manufacturing engineering. The degree choices include manufacturing engineering, automotive engineering, energy systems engineering, and global automotive and manufacturing engineering. These are some of the most technologically compelling specialities in engineering available, and UM is one of the only schools that offer these degrees in an online setting. The online master’s degrees are about 30 credit hours each, and some specialities involve a capstone project which gives opportunity to interact with faculty, peers, and industry professionals.

Competitive tuition rates

The cost of attendance at UM for an online engineering degree is less than the cost at most other comparable programs. Tuition for an online graduate degree at UM varies depending if you are an in-state resident or a nonresident student that lives outside of the state of Michigan. In-state tuition rates are a true bargain, and one of the lowest rates among other top online engineering programs. Out-of-state students will pay more than residents, but the rate is still economical compared to the tuition and fees at other online engineering programs.

Visitor student status available

The school offers a non-degree seeking status where you can take online courses at UM before being admitted or as a visiting student from another university. You can take up to two online classes as a non-degree seeking student, and then either transfer the credits to your UM degree program, or transfer the credits to another university where you are pursuing a degree. This option is available to anyone who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Earning credits this way is an ideal way to either try out UM’s online engineering program or use this as a means to continue learning in the field and stay on top of new developments.

The Bad

Lacking in student services

There are a few student services that are lacking from the online programs at UM. The school does not offer 24/7 technical support which is nearly a standard service at most other schools with online education programs. Additionally, the website for UM’s online graduate engineering programs is well designed and organized, but it does not tell you all the information you may need to know as a prospective student. Some of the answers in the faqs are vague and uninformative. If you have a specific question about any of the degrees in the online engineering program, you are best off contacting someone at the school directly.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 1996-1997
  • Application Deadline: January 15
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Location: MI
  • Number of Graduate Engineering Programs: 12
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $1,341
  • Out-of-State: $1,469


  • Master of Engineering in Automotive Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Energy Systems Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Global Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Manufacturing


  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Average Student Age: N/A
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.40
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: 3.5
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: 163
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: 151
  • Gender Ratio: 12.9% female, 87.1% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 60
  • Total Enrollment: 425


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 5 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 12
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 6

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 78%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 90%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 90%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 48%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 51%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 7
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 72/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 26
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 74/100
  • Peer Reputation Mean Score (1-5): 3.8
  • Student Engagement Rank: 22
  • Student Engagement Score: 66/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 47
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 34/100

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