May 25, 2024  
2012-2013 University Catalog (Revised 2012-10-02) 
2012-2013 University Catalog (Revised 2012-10-02) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering, M.S.

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Offered by: College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department

Angela Shih, Chair
Parham Piroozan, Graduate Coordinator

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.

Mission Statement

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 an engineering project or a thesis that would demonstrate their capability to perform an independent research work. Thus, this requirement instills a great practical value into a student’s graduate work at Cal Poly Pomona.

Educational Objectives

Graduates of the Master of Science in Mechanial 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

In order to advance to candidacy for the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of all conditions of admission, including any preparatory courses that may have been specified.
  2. Have an approved program of study on file.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 32 units of coursework with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  4. Passing the graduation writing test (GWT) or receiving a waiver.

A program of study must be submitted for approval before the end of the second quarter of attendance. At the time of filing of the program of study, the student must opt for publishing a thesis or conducting an independent study and passing a comprehensive examination as a culminating experience of his/her graduate education after completing the required coursework. The thesis effort is intended to involve independent research by the student with the goal of advancing knowledge in a specialized area. The thesis effort includes a defense of the effort by the student before a committee of faculty members. The independent study provides the student an opportunity to explore a practical and realistic industrial problem in his/her chosen field of specialization. The accompanying comprehensive examination is a test of the student’s expertise in his/her areas of coursework concentration. Information regarding the thesis and the independent study with a 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.


General requirements for advanced degrees are found in the Graduate Scholastic Requirements section of this catalog. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be transferred from another graduate institution. No more than 13 units taken through Extended University may be used on the program of study. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be petitioned by an undergraduate student. A total of 13 transfer, Extended University, or units petitioned for graduate credit, or any combination of 13 units, may be included on the program of study.

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering requires a minimum of 45 units of coursework, of which at least 36 units must be in 500 and 600 level courses. Each program of study consists of at least 12 units of breadth courses, at least 12 units of technical emphasis courses, at least 12 units of elective courses, and either EGR 696 , thesis (4-9 units) or EGR 692 , independent study with a comprehensive examination (4 units). The breadth courses must be chosen from the sequence EGR 509  through EGR 515 . These courses are intended to insure that the student acquires a fundamental knowledge in advanced mathematics. A minimum of 12 units of technical emphasis courses must be selected from an approved course list for the MSME program. No 400-level course may be included in this category of technical emphasis, and a maximum of 4 transfer units can be used to satisfy the 12 unit requirement. The rest of the emphasis courses and electives may be chosen from an extensive list of courses in engineering and related areas of mathematics and sciences. They should be chosen in collaboration with an advisor to insure consistency with graduate goals and to assure an integrated educational experience. A course in the program of study may be taken only after the student has satisfied the course prerequisites for enrolling in the course. It is the student’s responsibility to satisfy all prerequisites for a course before enrolling in the course.

Engineering graduate students may be granted graduate credit only for courses numbered 400 and above. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all upper-division and all graduate courses. Candidates must be enrolled in the university during the quarter of graduation


*Up to 8 units of approved 400-level engineering courses may be taken and counted toward the MSME degree.  These courses must be approved by the MSME Graduate Coordinator.

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