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How Online Learning Works

Purdue University’s online programs provide the same world-class education that Purdue’s on campus programs provide. Online students take the same courses that on campus students take, taught by the same expert faculty. Our online programs are designed with busy professionals in mind -- we give online students added flexibility in setting their schedules so they can learn from anywhere and complete their degrees while continuing to work. Course content is structured around teaching practical, industry-relevant skills that students can immediately apply in the workplace. Learn more about how our online programs work below.

Our Rankings

Ranked in the top three Engineering programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2021, our online Engineering Master’s degree programs offer students a prestigious education with added flexibility. Online Graduate program options are specifically designed for working engineers, offering flexible plans of study and a self-paced format. In addition, online students have the option of completing a thesis or non-thesis degree option, and they graduate with the same degree as on campus students. 

Scheduling Courses

Online engineering graduate students take courses asynchronously, meaning course content can be accessed from anywhere at any time.  Instructors provide students with course materials, lectures, tests, and assignments, and students complete their studies at their own convenience. Courses are available for download and viewing two hours after the "live" lecture has been captured.

About the Courses

All course lectures are taught live in a classroom on campus and then recorded and streamed via the internet for online students to access at any time. The same faculty who teach on campus teach online courses, and online students will interact with faculty and ask questions just as if they were in a traditional classroom. For larger classes, teaching assistants are available to provide more resources to students. Courses are delivered via webcast, and in select cases, CD, DVD, or videotape may be available. You will need to view course lectures regularly to keep current with homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. In addition, course instructors regularly post assignments, hold telephone and e-mail office hours for discussion, and communicate about course requirements to their students. 

How Fast You Can Finish Your Degree

On average, Purdue online students can complete their master’s degree in three to four years if they take one course a semester and take a couple of summer courses. Some students take two courses a semester and can complete their degree in less than three years. How quickly you complete your degree depends on your schedule and educational needs.

Learn More About Our Programs

  • Engineering Master's Degrees - Consistently ranked in the top ten programs by U.S. News and World Report, our online engineering graduate degrees offer a world-class education that’s accessible to working professionals.
  • Engineering Graduate Certificates - A great option for students who want to try our course offerings before committing to a master’s degree. Graduate certificates consist of 3-4 graduate engineering courses that can be transferred into your engineering master's degree once you are ready to apply for the full master's.  
  • Professional Development Courses - These non-credit courses are a way for working professionals to become certified in a specialty area, fulfill job requirements, or stay at the forefront of emerging trends. This includes courses in project management and Lean Six Sigma, among others.
  • Our Complete Course List - We offer one of the largest and most diverse online course menus available for graduate engineering. Our graduate students have access to a wide variety of engineering course offerings and can develop expertise in an array of important engineering topics. 


For program-specific questions, please submit an email with your question to