The graduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering prepares students for either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree, offering opportunities with faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized for their research. The graduate program is multidisciplinary, often collaborating with faculty throughout the university and combining research topics across traditional boundaries.

The Department emphasizes four core areas, Controls and Manufacturing, Dynamics and Vibrations, Solid Mechanics, Thermo-fluids. However, students are encouraged to devise a plan of study that fits their interests, regardless of how it cuts across these traditional disciplines.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The University’s and College of Engineering’s Requirements for the Doctoral Degree and the following Mechanical Engineering academic requirements for the Doctoral Degree must be satisfied:

  • Pass a departmental Qualifying Examination. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to determine admissibility to the doctoral program and any technical weakness.
  • Identify an interdisciplinary field of study, a dissertation director, and an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee before completion of 18 credits of course work.
  • Complete a formal Plan of Study that is acceptable to the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee.
  • The Plan of Study must have at least 42 credits at the 600 and 700 level. The minimum total credit hours for the doctoral program is 96 credit hours.
  • Satisfy the language requirement specified by the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee.
  • Pass a Candidacy Examination. The purpose of the candidacy examination is to test the student’s ability to conduct independent research.
  • Present an acceptable Dissertation Proposal that describes the proposed research to the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee.
  • Present and successfully defend the dissertation to the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee.

All doctoral requirements must be completed within 10 years of matriculation for doctoral studies.

Transfer Credits

A student, who has a master’s degree from another university or from one of the departments in the College of Engineering, may, upon recommendation of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Committee, transfer up to 24 credits of course work. A student, who has completed a non-thesis master’s degree or has graduate credits, but has not completed the degree requirements for the master’s degree, can transfer a maximum of 24 credits of course work toward the doctoral course requirements.

No more than six credit hours of research or completed thesis credits can be transferred. The courses comprising the transfer credits must be identified an itemized on the Plan of Study and must be substantiated by an official transcript from the educational institution that offered the courses.

Master of Science Degree Requirements

Thesis Option
Mechanical Engineering Courses 15
Approved Mathematics 3
Approved Electives 6
Master's Thesis 6

Total 30
Nonthesis Option
Mechanical Engineering Courses 15
Approved Mathematics 3
Approved Electives 12
Engineering Report 2

Total 32
  • Master of Science candidates in Mechanical Engineering are limited to not more than three 500-level courses in engineering. Not more than two of the 500-level courses can be applied to the 15 credits of mechanical engineering coursework.
  • Students receiving assistantships are expected to take the thesis option, and have a maximum of two years to complete their degree requirements.
  • All master's degree requirements must be completed within six years.

Admission and Support

The Graduate School oversees the admission procedure into the college. You can learn more about the admission process, requirements, tuition, and financial aid.

There are also resources available for outstanding prospective students to support their graduate education.

Learn more