Top 6 Scholarships for Engineering Graduate Students

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Top scholarships for master's in engineering degrees, providing financial support for students seeking higher education.

Whether you’re just starting out, looking to make your resume more competitive or are switching fields, having an advanced engineering degree can help you progress your career and increase your earning potential. If you’re considering enrolling in a master’s program, it’s important to keep in mind that just like any other investment, earning your degree comes with a cost that must be paid up front.

To make this expense more manageable, financial aid resources (such as scholarships) can help offset or even cover the cost of tuition — so be sure to look into your financial aid options as you prepare to apply to graduate programs. Some schools offer their own engineering master’s scholarships, plus you can also apply for independent scholarship or fellowship opportunities as well.

Read on to find out more about the different available engineering scholarships for graduate students and other ways to make your education more affordable.

How Much Does a Master’s of Engineering Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition and fees for a graduate degree is $19,749. However, the amount you’ll pay for your degree depends on factors such as where you enroll and the degree program you choose. For example, public colleges and state universities often have lower rates than private universities. Additionally, accelerated degree programs may also have lower rates than a full-time program.

If you’re looking for more concrete figures, the University of San Diego’s fully online Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership costs $27,750 to complete. This program provides technical professionals with the specialized knowledge, skills and training needed to manage technology teams and projects, and is designed to be completed in just five semesters. The project-based curriculum is taught by an experienced faculty and includes a capstone project in which students work as part of a team to deliver a project for a client company.

What Is the Average Salary for Someone with an Engineering Master’s Degree?

A degree from a strong, reputable graduate program can provide a good return on investment (ROI) and a promising future. In fact, workers with graduate degrees enjoyed high earnings and the lowest unemployment rates during 2022. As for how much you can make with an advanced degree, PayScale reports that the average annual salary for individuals with a master’s in engineering is $99,000.

Tips for Finding Engineering Scholarships

From finding the scholarships you qualify for to filling out applications, navigating this process can often seem intimidating — especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. Use the following tips to get started.

  • Check with the college’s financial aid office to see what scholarships are available for your course of study.
  • Research professional engineering organizations to find additional opportunities.
  • Network with peers in your field and reach out to alumni from your intended program to ask about potential scholarship opportunities.
  • Take advantage of online resources such as and

As you begin to narrow down your options, be sure to read the eligibility requirements thoroughly. Applying for scholarships can be a competitive process and often involves submitting several different pieces of supplementary information (such as essays, transcripts and letters of recommendation), so it’s a good idea to begin your search as early as possible.

Additionally, you may want to consider looking into fellowships. While scholarships are often awarded based on merit or come with fixed stipulations on how funds can be used, fellowship funding is typically discretionary, meaning that it can be used as awardees see fit. Fellowship awards may also come with a living stipend.

Top 6 Scholarships and Fellowships for Engineering Graduate Students

To help you get started in your search, we rounded up six of the top scholarship and fellowship opportunities for master’s degree candidates.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fellowships

Award amount: Varies by fellowship

ASCE offers seven different fellowships for graduate students, with many awarded to multiple recipients. To be eligible, applicants must be ASCE members and in good academic standing.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Scholarships

Award amount: Varies by scholarship

ASME’s scholarship program for graduate students is open to members who are pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology and are enrolled full-time.

Fulbright Scholarship

Award amount: Subject to availability of federally-appropriated funds

This scholarship is intended to give graduate-level students the opportunity to study abroad in countries all over the world. Programs exist for American students looking to study overseas, as well as for international students who wish to pursue their education in the U.S.

George B. Hightower, P.E. Fellowship

Award amount: $3,000

Sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), this fellowship is awarded to NSPE members who are enrolled in — or have graduated from — an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

GEM Fellowship Program

Award amount: $4,000 living stipend per semester, full tuition and fees, a maximum of two paid summer internships

The National GEM Consortium partners with universities and businesses to provide assistance to underrepresented demographics in engineering and computer science. To be eligible for this fellowship, applicants must be a senior or recent graduate of an accredited program in a related field, meet GPA requirements and agree to intern for two summers with a sponsoring employer.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Award amount: Varies

This program is intended for graduate students who are enrolled in full-time, research-based degrees in STEM education. Both undergraduate seniors and first- and second-year graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Other Ways You Can Afford a Master’s of Engineering Degree

While some scholarships cover all of a student’s graduate school expenses, full-ride awards are more often the exception, not the norm. This means that even with a scholarship in hand, you’ll likely be responsible for at least a portion of your schooling costs. Fortunately, there are other ways to earn the funds you’ll need to support your education, including:

  • Working for the graduate school. Apply for a job at the college or university through a work-study program.
  • Getting sponsored by an employer. See if your employer will pay for some — or all — of your tuition.
  • Applying for grants. One example is the Federal Work-Study Program, which provides part-time jobs to graduate students with financial needs.
  • Working part-time. If you’re attending an online degree program, it’s possible to work while attending classes.

If you’re interested in enrolling in the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership program, financing is available. Contact the USD office of financial aid for more information about your options.


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