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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department

MS - Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program is designed to afford ample opportunity for working engineers to continue their education. Courses and scholarly activities in such areas as fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, rigid-body dynamics, vibrations, modal analysis, finite element methods, computer-aided mechanical engineering design and optimization, controls and manufacturing engineering and mechatronic systems engineering can lead to a degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME).

Educational Objectives for Graduate Program

  • 1. A strong foundation beyond the undergraduate level in their chosen focus area as well as in mathematics, basic science and engineering fundamentals, to successfully compete for technical engineering positions in the local, national and global engineering market, advance in their current position or pursue doctoral studies.
  • 2. Professional and lifelong learning skills to be able to apply and extend theory to solve practical contemporary engineering problems.
  • 3. The expertise necessary to design mechanical engineering systems with possible specialization in areas such as: Energy Systems, Electronics Cooling, Electronics Packaging & Reliability, Finite Element Analysis & CAD, Mechatronics & MEMS, Product Design, Robotics, Automation & Manufacturing.
  • 4. Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to read, write and comprehend technical documents.
  • 5. Think and work independently to perform design and in-depth analysis in solving open-ended mechanical engineering problems.

General Admission Requirements

Students desiring to pursue a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering must satisfy each of the following requirements:

1. Must hold a Bachelor of Science degree from an engineering department accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) or equivalent. Special programs can be developed for those with degrees from other related disciplines. These programs must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the department.

2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale over the last 60 semester units completed in engineering and/or science.

3. Student from non-ABET accredited Mechanical Engineering programs must have obtained a minimum score of 1100 in quantitative and verbal and a minimum score of 3.5 in Analytical Writing on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores for each section must also be 400 or greater.

4. Students from non-English speaking countries must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 550. This requirements if waived if the language of instruction in the home country is documented to be in English.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Students whose records show certain deficiencies, such as GPA and/or Non-ME undergraduate major, etc., may be admitted to conditionally classified standing. They may later initiate petitions to be given classified standing in the program when such deficiencies have been removed and their records show promise of success in the degree program.

Candidacy for MS - Mechanical Engineering

Prior to registering for the first time (or upon reentering), a student should consult with the Mechanical Engineering Program Advisor. A schedule of courses will be developed at this time. Students admitted as conditional must satisfy the requirements listed on their letter of acceptance and then apply to the Graduate Studies Office for the change of classification. Students who have completed matriculation and received classified standing in a master's degree curriculum must next be admitted to candidacy for the degree. A student may be admitted to candidacy after completing a minimum of nine units of graded work as a graduate student in 100- or 200-level courses which are acceptable to the department in which the degree is sought.

If a student's preparation for advanced graduate work is considered inadequate to meet the course prerequisites or other departmental requirements, it will be necessary to take the preparatory courses to meet these requirements. Such courses will not count as part of the master's degree program requirements.

Requirements for MS - Mechanical Engineering

The department offers courses designed to provide mechanical engineers with advanced level of knowledge and skills in three areas of specialization: mechanical design; thermal/fluids; and controls and manufacturing. The program consists of thirty (30) semester units of approved work, with at least eighteen (18) of which must be 200-level courses in mechanical engineering. The student has the choice of Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (project).

All students are recommended to concentrate their studies in one of the areas of specialization, with the graduate coordinator's approval. Each area of specialization requires:

  • 6 units of required courses for the degree.
  • 12 units of suggested courses for the specialization area.
  • 6 units of electives recommended for the area but subjected to approval by the Graduate Coordinator, the student may take up to 6 units of course work from the undergraduate program of the Department, or graduate courses from other departments, colleges/universities, or open university units. Students are allowed and encouraged to take up to 6 units of graduate course work from other related Science and Engineering programs.
  • 6 units of Project/Thesis.

With Plan A, six (6) units of thesis credits, ME 299, may be applied. With Plan B, six (6) units of ME 295 are required. Both Plan A and Plan B require an open examination (oral defense) to be conducted by the student's thesis committee.

Both the university GPA and the Department GPA must be at least 3.0. The University requires that all graduate students demonstrate competency in written English as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Competency in Written English" for details. For graduate courses that meet the competency in written English requirement, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation at

Required Courses for MS - Mechanical Engineering

Course Requirements

Graduate Competency in Writing0
At SJSU, students must pass the graduate competency in writing requirement. For information on the Competency in Writing Requirement, please see
Requirement of the Masters30
Core Courses6
ME 230. Advanced Mechanical Engineering Analysis3
Complete one course from:
ME 270. Numerical Methods in Engineering3
ME 273. Finite Element Methods in Engineering3
Area of Specialization12
Specialization courses need to be planned in consultation with the Program Advisor.
Elective Courses6
Elective courses need to be planned in consultation with the Program Advisor.
Culminating Experience6
Choose one option:
ME 299. Master's Thesis6
ME 295A. Mechanical Engineering Project I3
ME 295B. Mechanical Engineering Project II3
Comprehensive Exam
Additionally Approved coursework6
Comprehensive Exam0

Total Units:30

At the completion of the program of study, the student must have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to graduate.