Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Program Overview

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers a program leading to the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME). This research-oriented academic degree is appropriate either as a terminal degree or in preparation for doctoral studies in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The MSME program consists of coursework and research in advanced mechanical and aerospace engineering topics allowing emphasis in solid mechanics, thermal/fluid systems, or dynamics and controls. Graduate students can participate in on-going interdisciplinary research programs through independent study projects or as research assistants on sponsored research projects. Courses at the graduate level are often offered in the late afternoon or evening to enable students from local industry to complete their studies.

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Prepare the student to perform independent research in their field of specialization
  • Provide students with an understanding of the advanced engineering tools and concepts that apply to their field of specialization, with particular emphasis on the mathematical development of those tools
  • Prepare students to practice engineering at an advanced level
  • Prepare students to pursue doctoral studies in mechanical/aerospace engineering
  • Develop student's communication skills and professionalism

Procedures & Requirements for Graduation

MS Program of Study Form

During the first semester of enrollment, each student will prepare a Plan of Study, which must be approved by the student's graduate advisor and the MAE Graduate Affairs Committee. The plan will specify the student's selected area of interest and list courses related to the area. Any subsequent changes to the Plan of Study must be approved by the student's advisor and the MAE Graduate Affairs Committee.

Students Choose between Plan I (Thesis Option), or Plan II (Course Option)

  • Plan I - At least twenty-four of graduate coursework and up to six hours of thesis credit is necessary to satisfy the thirty credit hour requirement. The thesis credit will be provided for research, preparation of the thesis document, and defense of the thesis (which is required for completion of the program).
  • Plan II - Thirty semester hours of graduate study, with a minimum of six hours of coursework in graduate level pure or applied mathematics.

Upcoming graduate courses are listed on the course offerings page. See the courses page for course descriptions.

Core classes

Students should complete at least one class (3 credits) in each of the three Disciplines Areas (Dynamics and Controls, Thermal Fluid Systems and Solid Mechanics) to ensure some breadth of knowledge in Mechanical Engineering.  Plans not adhering to this expectation are allowed with approval of the advisor and MAE Graduate Affairs Committee Chair.

Math Area

All students must complete a minimum of two classes (6 credits) in the following:

  • Engineering Analysis I (MAE 5011)
  • Engineering Analysis II (MAE 5012)
  • Numerical Methods with MATLAB (MAE 5020)
  • Any graduate course with a MATH designation

Specialty Area

Students must complete a minimum of three additional courses (9 credits) in one of the Discipline Areas which will constitute the Specialty Area. Students completing a thesis only need one additional course to satisfy the Specialty Area requirement.


Elective courses (including Independent Studies) are completed as needed for a total of 30 credit hours. Note that an Independent Study should not be given for thesis research (which has a maximum of six credit hours).


Discipline Areas and Classes

Dynamics and controls
  • Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems
  • Astrodynamics
  • Trajectory Optimization
  • Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics & Controls
  • Digital Control
  • Advanced Dynamics
Thermal Fluid Sciences
  • Intermediate Heat Transfer
  • Incompressible Flow
  • Advanced Thermodynamics
  • Rocket Propulsion
  • Combustion
  • Radiation
  • Space Environment
  • Compressible Flow
  • Multiphase Flows
  • Computation of Rare. Gas Dyn
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Biofluid Mechanics
Mechanics of Solids and Structures
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Constitutive Modeling

Graduate School Application