Offered by: College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department
The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) program builds upon an undergraduate education and facilitates more advanced study in one of the branches of mechanical engineering.
The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) program is a response to the increasing demand of mechanical engineers in the more advanced and rapidly developing fields such as Computer Aided Design using finite element methods, Computational Thermal and Fluid Sciences and the area of Energy Management. This program allows students to acquire specialized knowledge and research skills for the advanced work in their chosen area of concentration. Also, this program requires a student to complete either an engineering project that involves exploration of practical realistic problems of the industry, or a thesis that demonstrates their capability to perform independent research work, or additional coursework along with a comprehensive exam to enable further directed specialization of the student in advanced engineering principles. These options provide students flexibility in their graduate study to meet a wide variety of emergent engineering needs.
Graduates of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering shall have:
- Knowledge of mechanical engineering principles in solid mechanics, mechanical design, dynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and computational mechanics.
- The ability to conduct engineering analyses and to develop and implement designs and problem solutions.
- An understanding of the various technical and non-technical factors that impact the feasibility and implementation of mechanical engineering projects.
- The foundation needed to develop engineering judgment via professional practice, and to effectively identify, consider and account for multiple and competing objectives.
- The technical knowledge and skills needed to pursue life-long learning, with the ability to independently extend personal knowledge and understanding of engineering topics and practices by conducting literature searches, consulting with others, and using other similar techniques.
Admission to the Program
An applicant for admission to the program or Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering must meet university criteria as specified in the Admission section of this catalog as well as the criteria outlined below. Applicants are advised that a reasonable proficiency in computer programming is necessary for successful completion. If the student is deficient in this area, he or she will be expected to remove the deficiency early in the program.
Successful applicants will be admitted to the program either unconditionally or with conditions imposed on them. To receive unconditional admission, an applicant must satisfy these criteria:
- The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree in Mechanical Engineering from a program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and for which the accreditation was in effect at the time of award of the degree. The degree must have been granted within five years prior to the proposed beginning of the graduate program.
- The applicant must have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.00 in all undergraduate upper division coursework in mathematics, science and engineering and, additionally, in all coursework attempted with graduate standing.
Conditional admission may be granted in cases in which the applicant's academic preparation for graduate study is such that criteria 1) and/or 2) above are not satisfied. In such cases, the applicant is required to submit recent test scores of the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, and other documents attesting to the applicant's aptitude for graduate studies. Applicants who do not satisfy criterion 1) may be required to take a limited number of preparatory courses with no degree credit. When an applicant is admitted conditionally, the conditions to be met and the time allowed for meeting them are stated in the letter of admission. If these conditions are not satisfied, the student may be disqualified from the program.
A minimum of 45 quarter units (equivalent to 30 semester units) is required for awarding of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree. The specific requirements are described below. All students must complete either a Master's thesis or a Master's project or additional course work along with a comprehensive examination.
In order to advance to candidacy for the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:
- Completion of all conditions of admission, including any preparatory courses that may have been specified.
- Have an approved program of study on file.
- Completion of a minimum of 32 units of coursework with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
- Passing the graduation writing test (GWT) or receiving a waiver.
A program of study must be submitted for approval before the end of the first quarter of attendance. At the time of filing of the program of study, the student must opt for one of the following plans:
- Plan I - Thesis option, At least 33 units of graduate course work and up to 12 units of Master's thesis is necessary to satisfy the 45 unit requirement. The thesis option is intended to involve independent research by the student with the goal of advancing knowledge in a specialized area. A defense of the thesis is required for the student in front of a committee of at least three faculty members.
- Plan II - Project option. At least 37 units of graduate course work and up to 8 units of Master's project are required. The project provides the student an opportunity to explore a practical and realistic industrial problem in his/her chosen field of specialization.
- Plan III - Course option. 45 units of graduate course work and a comprehensive examination are required. The comprehensive examination demonstrates cumulative mastery of the advanced principles studied in the student chosen areas of specialization.
Information regarding the thesis, the project and the comprehensive examination is available at the Graduate Studies Office. In addition, each student is responsible for satisfying all university requirements specified elsewhere in the catalog.