Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME Graduate Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers Master of Science(MS) and doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

MS degree program students complete 30 credits of graduate work, including in most cases a Master’s thesis requiring 6-8 credits. The MS program can be completed in four semesters. Students with BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics or a related area can be admitted into the MS program.

The PhD Degree is a research-based degree with specific course requirements set by a research adviser and committee to support the student's area of research. Students complete both coursework and research requiring 2 to 5 years beyond the MS degree. Students with an MS degree, or equivalent, in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, or a related area can be admitted into the PhD program. By special consideration students without an MS degree can be admitted directly into the PhD program.

Most of our graduate students receive some form of financial aid, the majority of them in the form of research or teaching assistantships and fellowships. Graduate students appointed as Research Assistants (RAs) work in funded research projects sponsored by various industrial and federal agencies. This work is typically the basis for the student’s MS or PhD thesis. In addition to research assistantships, some students have appointments as Teaching Assistants (TAs). Teaching assistantships enable many of our students to obtain both laboratory and classroom teaching experiences. Many of our graduate students start in their program as TAs, but quickly move to RA positions.

Almost all of our graduate students are involved in a research project. Most research activity in the department is organized around one of several world-class research laboratories which support a variety of experimental, computational, and analytical activities. Graduate courses and research opportunities are available in fluid mechanics, combustion, heat transfer, thermodynamics, biomedical engineering, internal combustion engines, turbomachinery, computational fluid dynamics, system dynamics, controls, vibrations, nonlinear dynamics, mechatronics, manufacturing, computational design, computational solid mechanics, mechanics and processing of composite materials, elasticity, plasticity, experimental mechanics, and micromechanics.

Master of Science (M.S.) Program Components

Master’s Plan A
There is a Master’s plan A for degrees in either Engineering Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering. Master’s plan A has these components: (1) prescribed course work, (2) research, (3) a master’s thesis, and (4) the oral defense of the master’s thesis.
M.S. Degree Examination Committee

Master’s Plan B
There is a Master’s plan B for degrees in either Engineering Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering. The Master’s plan B has two components: (1) prescribed course work, and (2) a final evaluation by the academic advisor and graduate advisor.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree Components

The components of the doctoral programs in Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering are very similar. In each case, the student first finds an advisor and forms a committee. Subsequently, the components of the doctoral degree programs consist of a qualifying exam, a comprehensive exam, prescribed course work, research, the dissertation, and a final oral defense and examination.