Graduate Course Advising

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Preliminary Advisor 

Each student is assigned a preliminary advisor upon admission. The preliminary advisor will:

  1. Work with the student to decide course work that should be taken during the first year of graduate study.
  2. Help with any general questions a student may have about the program, opportunities for research, or funding.
  3. Help the student find an academic advisor for their MS thesis or Ph.D. dissertation (may be the same as prelimary advisor).

Academic Advisor

As early as possible in their first semester students should meet with MAE department faculty members to find a common area of research or technical interest with the purpose of deciding a preference for a thesis/dissertation topic and advisor. The advisor must be a member of the Graduate School Faculty. 

Students should discuss regularly with their advisors, who must approve all course selections as well as provide thesis or project supervision.

Advising Policies & Forms

Informal Courses

Informal courses include Individual Problems (MAE 501) and Graduate Internship (MAE 598), which are taught on an informal basis.

Individual Problems (MAE 501): Requires a complete narrative description on the Informal Course Form, which includes the signatures of the student, instructor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and should be submitted to the MAE Graduate Coordinator during registration time.

Graduate Internship (MAE 598): To register for three credits you would need to be working at least 20 hours per week at the company. To be registered, complete Internship Credit Request Form for MAE 598:

To earn credit at the end of the semester you will need to provide Dr. Salac a short document (~1-2 pages) outlining what you have actually done. Your direct supervisor at the company needs to sign this document.

A maximum of six (6) credit hours of informal courses may be applied toward the minimum 30 credit-hour requirement for the Masters degree. Excluding those credits applied towards the Masters degree, a maximum of 6 additional credit hours of informal course work may be applied towards the minimum 72 credit-hour requirement for the Ph.D. degree. 

Full-Time Status

If registering for less than 12 credits (9 for GA/TA/RA), students must fill out the full-time status form.

Advisor will sign the form and submit the signed form to MAE graduate office for further approval. Master’s students can be certified for a maximum of 2 semesters. To apply for an additional semester at the master’s level, a written request and progress update from your major advisor must be submitted.

International students can also fill out the Reduced Course Load due to Final Semester form with ISSS.

Regularly Offered Courses by Research Area

This is a sample of regularly offered classes in different research areas. Courses with * are offered every other year. The semester that a course is offered may change yearly. Note that some courses may be in multiple areas. A current listing of courses can be found online.

It is highly suggested that all students take MAE 507: Engineering Analysis 1 and MAE 508: Engineering Analysis 2.

The courses can be split into four major tracks:

  1. DO: Design and Optimization
  2. DCM: Dynamics, Control and Mechatronics
  3. FTS: Fluid and Thermal Sciences
  4. M&M: Bioengineering, Computational and Applied Mechanics, and Materials
Design (DO) Dynamics (DCM) Fluid/Thermal (FTS) Bio/Comp/Mat'ls (M&M)

Design and Optimization


  • MAE 510: SP TP: Wind Turbine Modeling
  • MAE 550: Optimization in Engineering Design
  • MAE 526: SP TP: Decision based System Design
  • MAE 564: Manufacturing Automation
  • MAE 600: SP TP: Deep Learning in Mechanical Engineering


  • MAE 509: SP TP: Sustainable Manufacturing
  • MAE 527: Intelligent CAD Interface*
  • MAE 551: Advanced Design Theory
  • MAE 576: Mechatronics
  • MAE 577: CAD Applications

Path to Graduation