Graduation Requirements

Plan of Study

The plan of study shall be appropriate to the needs of the student in the chosen field as determined by the student and the student’s advisory committee. It shall include all courses that the student is expected to complete.

The plan of study consists of a ‘Primary Area’ and a ‘Related Area or Areas.’ The courses in the Primary Area should be closely related. Courses in the Related Area or Areas are less closely related while still contributing to the objectives of the plan of study. Frequently courses in mathematics will be included in the plan of study, but courses may be selected from any academic area listed below. A total of 30 hours is required, at least 18 of which must be in engineering subjects. In general, all courses will be graduate level (500 or 600 numbers).

It is recommended that graduate students meet with their graduate advisor during the first semester to discuss their plan of study. The electronic Plan of Study with advisor approval is submitted to the department at the end of the first semester. The plan will then be completed in the semester prior to graduation with advisor and committee members signatures. Failure to submit the Plan of Study on time will postpone the graduation date.

12-Hour Credit Limit

Maximum 12 hours of pre-admission graduate courses (with grades of ‘B’ or better) may be applied to a Master’s degree.

Faculty Advisory Committee

Each prospective degree candidate shall have an advisory committee consisting of a minimum of three members. The committee assists the student in preparing a plan of study, advises the student, and, if the student elects the thesis program, advises the student regarding research. The student, with the approval of the department head, shall select a major professor who will be the chairman of the student’s advisory committee and, where applicable, be in charge of the research. The major professor and the student shall agree upon and choose other professors in the committee to represent the related area or areas.

Grade Standards

To be in good standing, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 out of 4.0 over the courses on the plan of study. A student not in good standing at the end of any semester will be placed on academic probation. A student whose cumulative grade point average remains below 3.0 at the end of the succeeding semester in which courses were completed may not be permitted to continue in the graduate program.

A final grade point average of at least 3.0/4.0 on all Purdue courses on the approved plan of study.

While grades of A, B, and C may be accepted in fulfilling Graduate School requirements on any plan of study, a student’s advisory committee may require better performance than C in specific courses.

Current graduation deadlines

Please note that pregraduation forms should be submitted to Potter 121.

Graduation Forms

MSE degree with Interdisciplinary Engineering

Non-thesis Option:

  • At least 18 credits of primary graduate-level engineering courses
  • At most 12 credits of graduate-level courses in engineering, math, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology , and management with advisor approval
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study (effective Spring 2013)
  • Maximum of one management course allowed

Thesis Option:

  • 21 credits plus 9 thesis credit hours
  • Six of thesis hours are considered as part of primary courses
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study

MSE degree with ECE Specialization

Non-thesis Option:

  • At least 18 credits of ECE primary graduate-level engineering courses
  • At most 12 credits of graduate-level courses in engineering, math, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology with advisor approval
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study (effective Spring 2013)

Thesis Option:

  • 21 credits plus 9 thesis credit hours
  • Six of thesis hours are considered as part of primary courses
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study

An entering graduate student may be allowed to take an Independent Study (3 credits), titled Project in … in his/her first semester before he/she can register for thesis. This is done at the discretion of the student’s intended thesis advisor. The credits for the Independent Study (one course) will count toward the required seven (7) courses if the student is later allowed to proceed with thesis research; if the student continues with non-thesis option, then the credits will be part of the 30 credits required for graduation.

If a student is already working on thesis research and wants to do Independent Study (3 credits), the Independent Study must be in an area different from the student’s thesis research area and the student’s advisory committee and thesis advisor must approve the intended Independent Study before the student can register for it.

MSE degree with ME Specialization

Non-thesis Option:

  • At least 18 credits of ME primary graduate-level engineering courses
  • At most 12 credits of graduate-level courses in engineering, math, computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology with advisor approval
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study (effective Spring 2013)

Thesis Option:

  • 21 credits plus 9 thesis credit hours
  • Six of thesis hours are considered as part of primary courses
  • Maximum of one independent study allowed as a related course in Plan of Study

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Download a PDF of the course requirements

The MSME degree program requires a total of 30 credit hours to be completed, with thesis or non-thesis option.  It is anticipated that the degree may be completed in two years of full time graduate study. To earn the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree, students must complete 30 credit hours, with an aggregate minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses listed in the Plan of Study. 

Course requirements

  • One advanced mathematics course (3 credit hours) at the 500-level taught by either the mathematics department or one of the engineering departments is required for both thesis and non-thesis options.
  • Thesis option allows a student to earn credit for conducting independent research leading to a publishable report or thesis. This option requires 21 credit hours of advanced ME/mathematics coursework and a minimum of 9 credit hours of thesis research work.  The thesis research is undertaken and completed under the supervision of a graduate faculty member and the thesis committee. The student’s thesis committee is responsible for approving the research plan, monitoring progress and reviewing the thesis prior to acceptance. Thesis option is normally available to students only after their completion of 9 credit hours with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better in the degree program.
    • 3 credit hours of advanced mathematics at the 500 level taught by either the mathematics department or one of the engineering departments.
    • 18 credit hours (six (6) graduate courses) from the approved list of mechanical engineering primary courses (thermo-fluids, dynamics, structural mechanics, machine design).
    • 9 credit hours of research
  • For non-thesis option, the course requirements are divided into three categories:
    • 3 credit hours of advanced mathematics at the 500-level taught by either the mathematics department or one of the engineering departments,
    • 24 credit hours (8 graduate courses) from the approved list of ME primary (thermo-fluids, dynamics, structural mechanics, machine design) courses, and
    • 3 credit hours (one course) from a list of approved courses in engineering, mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, and life sciences.  Any exceptions to the above requirements must be approved by the graduate committee.

List of some primary ME courses

  1. ME 59700 / CE 57000 – Advanced Structural Mechanics
  2. ME 59700 – Finite Element Analysis
  3. ME 56300 – Mechanical Vibrations
  4. ME 59700 – Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
  5. ME 59700 – Theory of Plates and Shells
  6. ME 50200 – Numerical Heat and Mass Transfer
  7. ME 59700 – Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  8. ME 51900 – Introduction to Wind Energy
  9. ME 52100 – Air Quality Modeling
  10. ME 52400 – HVAC&R (Design & Analysis)
  11. ME 52300 – Electronics System Cooling
  12. ME 58300 – Design of Heat Exchangers
  13. ME 51100 – Combustion
  14. ME 59700 – Two Phase Flow and Heat Transfer
  15. ME 59700 – Matrix Analysis of Structures
  16. ME 59700 – Modeling of Micro/Nano Systems
  17. ME 59700 – Vehicle Dynamics
  18. ME 50000 – Advanced Thermodynamics
  19. ME 50500 – Intermediate Heat Transfer
  20. ME 50900 – Fluid Properties
  21. ME 51300 – Engineering Acoustics
  22. ME 56000 – Kinematics
  23. ME 57500 – Theory & Design of Control Systems
  24. ME 58700 – Engineering Optics

List of some related courses 

  1. ME 59700 – Materials Selection for Design
  2. ME 59700 – Numerical Methods for Engineers
  3. ME 59700 – Optimization and Simulation Models
  4. ME 59700 – Energy System
  5. ME 59700 – Solid Waste Management 
  6. ME 54300 – Advanced Engineering Economics
  7. ME 51600 – Adv. Engineering Project Management
  8. ME 59700 – Adv. Mechanical Engineering Projects I
  9. ME 53400 – Systems Engineering
  10. ME 51500 – Quality Control