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Graduate Students

Graduate Catalog 2015-16


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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
For domestic classified status, the deadline is approximately a month before the start of classes (Definite dates are on the application itself). International students, please see the FAQs #16 for your deadline.


For the Master of Science Degree in mechanical engineering, courses are offered in the area of fluid mechanics and thermal sciences and the area of mechanics and system dynamics. The core courses are offered annually; other courses are generally offered once every two years.


In addition to meeting the Graduate School requirements for admission, applicants must have an undergraduate grade-point average of at least 2.75 (A = 4.0) in engineering, mathematics, and physical science courses. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering from an ABET-accredited program. Applicants who completed a non-ABET accredited program or whose undergraduate studies were in a country other than the United States must have a baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering which is comparable to the United States' bachelor's degree and are encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions) to support their applications. Applicants from selected areas of mathematical and physical science or whose undergraduate engineering degrees are not in mechanical engineering will be considered for admission on an individual basis. Entry into graduate studies without the complete baccalaureate preparation in mechanical engineering may result in the student being required to remove the deficiencies prior to initiating graduate study or concurrently with their graduate programs.

In exceptional cases, the graduate admissions committee may consider applicants who meet all of the Graduate School admission standards but who do not meet certain specified program admission requirements. The committee may consider other evidence that indicates high promise of the applicant's success in the program. Such supportive evidence may include high scores on the GRE, professional registration, extensive professional experience, professional publications, or satisfactory graduate level work.


The department offers both thesis and non-thesis options of program of study. Both options require 30 credit hours. To take full advantage of the academic experience available, however, students are encouraged to take the thesis option. Of the 30 credit hours required, at least 15 credit hours must be at the ME 500 level (which may include ME 599 (thesis) up to 6 credit hours). At least 21 credit hours must be in mechanical engineering courses and 6 hours must be in mathematics selected from a list approved by the Mechanical Engineering faculty. The discipline of mechanical engineering has a close interface with civil engineering in the areas of stress analysis and elasticity and with electrical engineering in the areas of system dynamics and control theory. Whenever possible, courses in these areas will be cross-listed so as to enrich the variety of course offerings for students in all programs. The specific program of study is selected by the student and approved by the student's adviser. The program allows one elective course that may be selected from any of the courses listed in the current Graduate Catalog if they meet the prerequisites. All students are required to complete either ME 530, Advanced Dynamics, or ME 575, Advanced Fluid Mechanics.

Students will be guided in thesis work by a thesis adviser with the assistance and concurrence of an advisory committee. The thesis topic will be selected from an area in mechanical engineering and approved by the student's adviser. When possible, part-time students will be encouraged to select topics complementing their professional responsibilities. Writing a thesis involves an intensive research effort and students are encouraged to initiate their thesis work early in the program, even before registering for any thesis credit.

In the non-thesis option, students are required to prepare a research paper, the topic of which is mutually agreed upon by the student and the advisory committee. No credit is awarded for completion of this research paper.


When all other program requirements are satisfied, a final examination on the course work and related material on the thesis or research paper will be given. This examination is conducted by the advisory committee. In the thesis option, the final examination is an oral examination directed primarily at the material in the thesis. In the non-thesis option, the final examination may include written elements as well as an oral examination including questions on the research paper.


Mechanical Engineering offers a five-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) Degrees. Students with senior level status (at least 90 semester hours) and a grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) overall may be admitted to the BS/MS program that allows them to earn 30 hours of graduate level credit (400- and 500-level) during their combined fourth and fifth years. An application for degree-seeking status as a graduate student must be approved by Graduate Admissions and the Director of the mechanical engineering graduate program. A program outline must also be submitted for approval by Graduate Records and the Director of the mechanical engineering graduate program prior to enrollment in any courses to be included as part of the master's program. Official admission to the graduate program and to status as a classified graduate student is made only after the award of the baccalaureate degree. In no case will a graduate degree be conferred before all requirements for both degrees have been completed.

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