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Difference Between MS And MEng

Updated on 09 April, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

The world is witnessing constant and remarkable advances in the field of science which draw many students who dream to be a part of these outstanding developments. The MS and MEng degrees are the routes to securing such a professional position within Engineering and other sciences. 

Let us take a glance at the differences between the two courses, their curriculums, and specializations, and decide which of the two is a better qualification.

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General Overview

We have already established the similarities between the two courses. But what exactly is the difference between MS and MEng? Read on to learn about them individually.

MS or Master of Science degrees

Master of Science, sometimes known as MS or MSc, is a commonly undertaken postgraduate course, primarily linked to Engineering and Technology, Information Science, and General Sciences.  

The MS degree is for four semesters and its duration may range from 1.5-2 years. To be eligible, candidates must have earned their bachelor’s degree.

MEng or Masters of Engineering

MEng, or Master of Engineering, on the other hand, is a highly specialized master’s degree that focuses on coursework. In comparison to an MS, an MEng degree lasts for a much shorter duration of only two semesters or a full year.

The degree is usually pursued by students who wish to gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in their respective engineering fields.

Course Outlines

The most significant distinction between an MS and MEng is in how the courses are offered. Since MS is an academic degree, it prioritizes research and theoretical study. A thesis or, in some instances, a non-thesis alternative is used to assess the students in addition to traditional examinations and projects.

A Master’s in Engineering (MEng) is a professional degree, and hence, it aims to teach students to apply theory to real-world applications. The coursework focuses mainly on strengthening a student’s skills to obtain relevant employment in their intended sector. 

In this degree exams or projects are used to assess the pupil, with research thesis usually absent.

Specializations

Some of the more popular specializations in the MS and MEng degrees are listed below:

  • Specializations in MS 
    • Machine Learning
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Information Technology
    • Engineering Management
    • Data Science
  • Specializations in MEng 
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechatronics
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Electronics
    • Chemical Engineering

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Difference in Syllabus

MS students learn advanced research techniques, including the application of current approaches and procedures to a project and the critical analyses of findings.

MEng largely imparts only technical skills intended to accelerate a student’s introduction to the employment market. In essence, an MEng allows one to obtain a Chartered Engineering certification much quicker.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance is also a key difference between MEng and MS. Since the duration and coursework differ quite a bit, the fees also differ substantially.

For MS

Name of InstitutionCourse NameYearly Fees (approx)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)All MS coursesUSD 55,510 (INR 42,30,036)
University of OxfordMS in BiotechnologyGBP 28,560 (28,67,574)
Technical University of MunichAll MS coursesEUR 75-147 
University of MelbourneAll MS courseAUD 48,320 (INR 27,04,053)
University of TorontoAll MS courseCAD 30,810 – 62,560 (INR 18,32,313-37,20,544)

For MEng

Name of InstitutionCourse NameYearly Fees 
Harvard UniversityAll MEng coursesUSD 6,366 (INR 4,85,201)
University of MelbourneGraduate Certificates
International University of Applied ScienceMEng in Engineering Management
University of TorontoAll MEng courseCAD 30,810 – 32,688 (INR 18,33,065-19,44,799)

Salary and Job Prospects

Although specific entry-level computer science roles may not require a master’s degree, experts in the field with an MS qualification have notable perks. 

Additionally, computer science graduates are likely to earn the best compensation on receiving a master’s degree, outranking even Engineering, Business, and Math and Science graduates across all MS categories. 

Upon completing an MEng degree in Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, or Civil Engineering, one can work in various Engineering Industries. 

Engineering professionals with advanced degrees are in high demand in the market, and an advanced accelerated course like an MEng can be extremely beneficial.

Here are a few of the remuneration figures for both degrees.

Job ProfileMedian Salary in IndiaMedian Salary in the USMedian Salary in CanadaMedian Salary in the UK
Mechanical engineerINR 3,53,231USD 90,160 (INR 68,42,700)CAD 67,614 (INR 40,43,300)GBP 32,213 (INR 32,49,300)
Electrical engineerINR 3,73,233USD 90,915 (INR 69,00,000)CAD 71,396 (INR 42,69,500)GBP 32,739 (INR 33,02,400)
Software engineerINR 5,95,323USD 119,960 (INR 91,04,400)CAD 78,441 (INR 46,90,700)GBP 38,528 (INR 28,77,619)
Project EngineerINR 3,87,909USD 77,419 (INR 58,55,300)CAD 72,485 (INR 43,34,595)GBP 33,774 (INR 34,06,800)

MS vs. MEng: Which program to choose

Now that the question of what is the difference between MS and MEng has been answered, let us understand which program you should choose.

A vital reason why anyone would choose an MEng over an MS is that despite providing similar coursework, MEng is far more cost and time-efficient. 

Nevertheless, it might be a smart idea to invest some extra time and finances towards obtaining an MS since people often have to go back to school to acquire a more specialized education. Moreover, having an MS degree allows one to acquire a PhD later. This will not be possible with an MEng.

Moreover, understanding the employment opportunities these degrees provide is one of the better methods to pick which course might be more beneficial between MEng and MS. 

But no matter what you pick, both degrees will allow you to hold a Chartered Engineering certification.

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Disclaimer! All course fees/salaries/expenses are indicative.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is an MEng the same as a master’s?

MEng, though a postgraduate degree, is not the same course as a master’s or MS. However, the job prospects are similar. The MEng is an accelerated Engineering degree that only lasts a year or less and focuses on imparting skill-based education to students.

On the other hand, a master’s degree can take twice that time and involve a curriculum rife with research, regular coursework, and practical work. 

Is MEng a bachelor’s or master’s program?

A Master of Engineering or MEng is postgraduate coursework that can be undertaken only if you already possess a bachelor’s qualification. It is almost equivalent to an MS degree, excluding the research opportunities. 

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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