Same as you, I have a BS in mechanical engineering and got the ID bug after working with designers. I completed my MS in ID at Philadelphia University in 2014. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much love on this forum for MS programs that are targeted at students wanting to get into ID from other disciplines. I think half of it is that ID is a very competitive field, and its hard enough for undergraduate ID students to get jobs with their 4 years of design education. Being shorter in duration, many MS programs tend to skimp on the foundation skills necessary in ID, which is not good for the students or the industry. The other half might just be pride
Unfortunately, I don't have any insight into any of the schools you mentioned. The main schools I looked at when I applied were PhilaU, ArtCenter, Pratt Institute, and NC State. I don't really know why I applied to those schools. At the time (2011), I think there were less MS programs in ID. And after completing an MS program, I'm not sure I would have chosen the same path. However, I did gain a few insights from the experience:
- Look for programs that offer an introductory year, where you take basic design courses to get you prepared for the MS level courses. In order to make the most of your course work, you need to have the basic set of skills for sketching, rendering, and design visualization. 3 year programs will be more expensive in the end. However, it is not as expensive as completing a 2 year degree, and then not being able to get the job that you want because you don't have the skills!
- Think about what kind of company you would like to work for in the long run. Do you want to completely switch roles and just be an industrial designer? Try to get into one of the "pure ID" programs. Or do you want to retain your engineering skills and work in product development for a larger company? Maybe choose a more engineering oriented program.
- Once you get accepted to a program, but before deciding on one, try to get in contact with some alumni from the program. See what their experience was and what they're doing now. If their story is similar to what you'd like to see for your future, then it will probably be a good fit.
- If getting the title of "Industrial Designer" is your dream... start sketching now and never stop. Take a look on the forum for the threads about design sketching books and websites. Don't get discouraged when your drawings don't look like the ones you're trying to emulate. It takes years of practice to even become halfway decent.
Best of luck on your journey! Feel free to PM me if you've got any specific questions about my experience.