Masters Degrees

For Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering the overall credit requirement is a minimum of 30 semester credit hours. Three options exist in each program which are detailed below. Students receiving financial support (TA, RA or GA) through the department are required to do the Thesis option, except if they enter the PhD program by passing the PhD qualifying exam and do a dissertation.  

The Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Master of Science program has no core course requirements. However, at least 50% of the student's program must be MAE courses. A detailed list of classes offered in each research area is presented in Appendix. Students in all areas may also benefit by taking an applied mathematics course (e.g. MAE 507).

MS with Thesis

The minimum requirements consist of at least eight approved graduate courses (24 to 27 credit hours) and 3 to 6 credit hours of thesis registration, for a total of 30 credit hours.

The student must submit an application to the candidacy form one semester before the degree is to be conferred and no later than the second semester of full-time graduate study. One semester before the degree is to be conferred, the student must submit an Application to Candidacy form. The Application to Candidacy (ATC) form must be submitted to Rosemary Lombardo in 210 Bell Hall. Informal courses (section 1.9) listed in the Application to Candidacy must be accompanied by complete narrative descriptions signed by the instructors. The Application to Candidacy is then approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.

The department must approve and notify the Graduate School in writing when major changes in the program, such as a change in Thesis title, are made.

The thesis may cover a variety of activities, including theoretical and experimental investigations, practical design projects, and the like. The nature of these activities may vary greatly, but no essential difference should exist in equality and significance as a contribution to engineering. The thesis should be carefully prepared as indicated below. Three people, qualified to render judgment in the area involved, constitute the thesis examination committee: the advisor plus two other faculty members. Non-MAE faculty can serve as a co-advisor or committee members, provided they have a Graduate School appointment. The candidate makes an oral presentation at which the examination committee is present in addition to other interested faculty and students. Advance notice of the oral defense must be sent to all department members at least one week prior to the presentation. Any changes in the thesis examination committee should be approved by the graduate committee.

Following a successful oral defense, the examination committee certifies approval of the thesis by signing the Graduate School "M" form, and the advisor reports the thesis grade (if it needs to be changed).

The typing and detailed format and arrangement of the MS thesis are to be the same as prescribed for the PhD dissertation in Sec. 3.4. After final corrections have been made, the student must submit the thesis electronically to the graduate school; see here for details. Costs of thesis typing, copying, and binding are paid by the student. The department sends the signed "M" form to the Graduate School. The department sends the signed "M" form to the Graduate School. All materials must be in the Graduate School Office on or before the degree conferral deadlines established each year by the Graduate School.

MS with Project

The minimum requirements consist of nine approved graduate courses (27 credit hours) and 3 credit hours of project registration (under MAE 560) for a total of 30 credit hours.

One semester before the degree is to be conferred, the student must submit an Application to Candidacy form (see here) which includes a summary of courses to be applied toward the degree. The Application to Candidacy (ATC) form must be submitted to Rosemary Lombardo at 210 Bell Hall. Informal courses (section 1.9) listed in the Application to Candidacy must be accompanied by complete narrative descriptions signed by the instructor. The Application to Candidacy is then approved by the department Director of Graduate Studies and submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.

The project should be carefully prepared, and must be typed and bound as indicated below. Two people, qualified to render judgment in the area involved, constitute the project examination committee: the advisor plus one other faculty member. Non-MAE faculty can serve as committee member, provided they have a Graduate School appointment. The candidate makes an oral presentation at which the examination committee is present in addition to other interested faculty and students. Advance notice of the oral defense must be sent to all department members at least one week prior to the presentation.

The requirements and procedures for the three-credit Project are as follows:

  • The Project must be done under the supervision or advisement of a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department graduate faculty member, although it can be initiated by a student.
  • A typed report of substantial length is required, written to a satisfactory standard as judged by the faculty advisor. An electronic copy of the report must be submitted to the MAE graduate office (for retention). The detailed format and arrangement of the report should be the same as prescribed for the MS thesis.

Following a successful oral presentation, the advisor certifies approval of the project by signing the Graduate School "M" form.

All-Course MS with Comprehensive Exam

The requirements of this option are at least ten approved graduate courses of three credits each, plus a final comprehensive examination. The general regulations and guidelines governing program course content are the same as for the MS Thesis and Project options.

The comprehensive exam for the All-Course option is an oral exam in the area of the student's specialization conducted by a committee of at least two faculty members of the department. The comprehensive examination is designed to evaluate the student's mastery of their program of study and their ability to integrate knowledge acquired through their program. The comprehensive examination date will be established by the Director of Graduate Studies and will be held within one week of the conclusion of each semester. The result of the exam is to be communicated by the examination committee to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Dual MS Degree

It is possible for a student to complete a program leading to two MS degrees, for example, the Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering degrees described, or one of those and a second degree from another engineering discipline and department. The guideline governing such a program is that the integrity of each degree must be observed. This will usually mean that a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit must be completed for each degree and that 6 semester hours may be applied to both programs. In some cases the curriculum will contain prescribed courses which are common to both programs. Such common courses may be counted for both degree programs.