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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program is for individuals wishing to get specialized training in Mechanical Engineering. The MSME program is a great way to develop new technical skills to advance your career. For individuals interested in research, it is the first step toward the Ph.D. degree. Applicants to the program need a strong undergraduate background, an ability to work independently, and a desire to work on problems with no obvious solution.

Students in the MSME program take about nine to twelve additional courses tailored to their interests. The precise number of courses depends on the credits for each course, and whether you wish to work on a research project or thesis. Students need a minimum of 45 graduate credits to graduate.

MSME students wishing to do research will work closely with an individual ME professor.

MSME Degree Options

The MSME program requires students to do independent research. The research can be completed as a project or as a thesis, both of which provide opportunities for doing research with faculty. Students interested in a Masters degree involving only course work should consult the documentation for the MENG degree.

Both the project and thesis options require the student to take the following core courses:

  • ME 551, Engineering Analysis
  • An advisor-approved 5xx level course in Mathematics (not statistics)
  • ME 507, Seminar

The core courses consitute fourteen to eighteen of the 45 credits required to graduate.  The remaining 45 credits are considered elective graduate courses and must be approved by your Graduate Advisor and the Head of the Graduate Program.

The following table gives an approximate comparison of the course and research requirements of the two MSME options.

Option

Specified Courses

Research

Project Option

ME 507
ME 551
Math 5xx


6 to 9 credits ME 501, Research
----------
14 to 18 credits total*

Minimum of 6 credits and maximum of 9 credits registered as ME 501 on advisor-approved topic, presentation of research, completion of written project report as reviewed and approved by advisor.

Thesis Option 

ME 507
ME 551
Math 5xx

9 credits ME 503, Thesis
----------
17 to 18 credits total*

9 credits registered as ME 503 on advisor-approved topic, presentation of research, completion of written thesis as reviewed and approved by advisor and thesis committee and sent to Office of Graduate Studies for final submittal.

* Precise credit total depends on credits for the Mathematics and numerical methods courses approved by your graduate advisor. The number of credits listed here are the minimum requirements for the specified courses. The remainder of the required overall 45 credits must be approved by your graduate advisor.

All Masters Degrees require a total of 45 credits. The Specified Courses in the preceding table are the courses specifically required as part of the 45 credit total.

Choosing an Advisor

Students admitted to the MSME degree program are assigned an advisor based on information in the student's application packet. This assignment is tentative, and is meant to provide support to new graduate students entering the program. It is very important for students to consider their course of study, and to meet with faculty in the department. Students should choose an advisor that is best able to provide the graduate training in their area of interest. An official advisor selection must be made by the end of the student's second term in the program or the student will be switched to the MENG program.

The courses in a student's graduate program are selected in consultation with a student's faculty advisor. The advisor approves elective courses and submits documentation to the Office of Graduate Studies indicating that the selected courses meet the requirements of the Mechanical Engineering Department. Thus, in addition to directing a student's research, the graudate advisor helps the student customize their curriculum.

The following links will help you learn about faculty technical specialities, academic backgrounds, and current research interests.

List of ME Faculty
Technical Specialties of ME Faculty
 

Links to the PSU Office of Graduate Studies

To complete the MSME degree students must meet the requirements of the PSU Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). The OGS web site has important information about graduation dates, forms, and general university requirements for the Master's Degree. The following links will help you find more about the OGS requirements.