With a background in mathematics, David Butler saw an opportunity to expand his advancement potential by diversifying his skills. That’s what drove him to earn his Master’s in Engineering with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering online at University of California Riverside. The degree helped him to be considered for more roles within his company before he even graduated.
In the Q&A below, David discusses how the online engineering degree helped him transition from math to mechanical engineering and enhanced his skills as a project manager for Bell Helicopter.
Do you have any insights you want to share with students who are considering earning their Master’s in Engineering degree online from UCR?
My experience was a good one. I didn’t come into the Master’s in Engineering with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering with a background in engineering. My background was in mathematics. Taking the program online, I was able to do extra research to assist me with grasping the engineering concepts. Professors would extend deadlines when I asked ahead of time. The Blackboard tool was user-friendly. I didn’t have any issues with it.
Taking the program online, I was able to do extra research to assist me with grasping the engineering concepts.
Could you describe your experiences with UCR faculty and instructors through the online engineering program?
I had a professor who would swap math lab codes with me. The professor was very responsive in directing me to where I was making mistakes without giving me the answers, so that I could learn. I was able to chat with the professor through Blackboard as well, which was very helpful.
With my project design course, I spent some time on the phone with my faculty advisor discussing projects. We got to know each other a bit since I am from Texas and the professor attended college in Texas.
The information, stories and experiences that Dr. Fryer shared really helped me understand system engineering and processes at a deeper level.
Did you learn anything during the online engineering degree program that you have been able to apply to your current position?
Yes. I currently work as a systems engineer at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas. I have mostly applied the technology and management coursework that I took with Dr. Fryer to my current position. The information, stories and experiences that Dr. Fryer shared really helped me understand system engineering and processes at a deeper level. I am in a project management type of role in my current job.
What impact has the program made directly on your life?
I have worked for Bell Helicopter for years, but before the program, I was in an analyst position working on the financial side of helicopters. While pursuing my Master’s in Engineering degree, I applied for engineering jobs. Because I was pursuing my master’s degree, it opened the door for me. Being in the program put me ahead of other applicants in being considered for positions.
Being in the program put me ahead of other applicants in being considered for positions.
Would you recommend this program to someone seeking a master’s degree in Engineering? Why?
Yes, I would. The experience I had with UCR was good. I would recommend it because you are allowed to work on assignments on your schedule. With a full-time job and children, I was able to do my classwork after they went to bed. The due dates were reasonable, and the professors were responsive on email.
Do you have advice for students enrolled in the online Master’s in Engineering program?
It is like anything else, whatever you put into it, you will get out. If you want to be challenged and learn new things, watch all of the lecture videos. Dive in and learn everything you can with the coursework you are working on.
The University of California, Riverside
One of the 10 universities that make up the prestigious University of California system, UC Riverside takes great pride in its reputation as a premier research institution, with $115 million in annual research funding. We are a pillar of academic diversity, attracting innovative minds from all demographics and walks of life.
Bourns College of Engineering
The Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the top public engineering college of its size in the nation. We are a leader in engineering research, receiving more than $30 million for sponsored research annually.
Cost of Attendance Tuition
Per Credit Hour: $833
Total Tuition: $29,988
Application Fee: $80 non-refundable fee
Books/Supplies: Other additional fees include books and an online
proctoring service. The online proctoring service charges $16 for the first hour and $7 per each additional hour.
The following criteria are considered during the admission process for the M.S. in Engineering program:
A bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field from an accredited institution.
TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international applicants).
Evidence of significant professional engineering experience.
The online Master of Science in Engineering is a comprehensive engineering program that encompasses both leadership strategy and technical skills. Coursework includes 16 credits of core engineering classes, plus 16 credits within your specialization, helping you tailor the program to your area of expertise. To accommodate busy professionals, the online Master of Science in Engineering does not include a required residency. Instead, students participate in 4 one-credit capstone courses throughout the program, providing a rich learning experience that comes with maximum flexibility.
Core (16 credit hours)
Engineering in the Global Environment (4)
Technology Innovation and Strategy for Engineers (4)
Introduction to Systems Engineering (4)
Principles of Engineering Management (4)
Bioengineering Specialization (16 credit hours)
Engineering Analysis of Physiological Systems (4)
Cellular and Molecular Engineering (4)
Integration of Computational and Experimental Biology (4)
Biotransport Phenomena (4)
Materials at the Nanoscale Specialization (16 credit hours)
Thermodynamic Foundations of Materials (4)
Crystal Structure and Bonding (4)
Nanoscale Science and Engineering (4)
Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (4)
Environmental Engineering (Water) Specialization (16 credit hours)
Water Chemistry in Natural and Engineered Systems (4)
Physical and Chemical Separation Processes (4)
Biological Treatment Processes (4)
Advanced Treatment Systems (4)
Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) Specialization (16 credit hours)
Intro to Engineering Optimization Techniques (4)
Power Systems Analysis (4)
Power Electronics (4)
Electric Drives (4)
Introduction to Smart Grid (4)
Power System Steady State and Market (4)
Mechanical Engineering Specialization (16 credit hours)
Plasma-aided Manufacturing and Materials Processing (4)
Secure and Reliable Control Systems (4)
Sustainable Product Design (4)
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics (4)
Capstone (4 credit hours)
Capstone Course A, B, C, D (1)