Feb 20, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 Previous Edition

Mechanical Engineering, M.S.M.E., or Engineering, M.S.E.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science offers programs of study and research leading to the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.) and the Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.). The M.S.M.E program of study is for students who have completed a B.S.M.E. degree while the M.S.E. degree offers a more generic program of study for students who may not possess a baccalaureate degree in engineering.

The objectives of the M.S.M.E and M.S.E. program are:

  • To provide our students with the opportunity to develop a breadth of knowledge in mechanical engineering so that they can adapt to the changing requirements of the technological workplace.
  • To produce graduates who are able to practice as mechanical engineers with advanced skills and serve state, regional, and national industries.
  • To prepare graduates for personal and professional success, both as individuals and in team environments.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, the following are required for study toward the Master’s programs in Mechanical Engineering:

  • Applicants must demonstrate evidence of satisfactory undergraduate preparation in engineering, usually manifested by the possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in some area of engineering, with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Special consideration may be given to candidates with substantial engineering work experience.
  • Applicants with baccalaureate degrees from fields other than engineering (e.g., biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc.) may be considered for admission to graduate study. Typically these applicants complete mathematics, science, and engineering courses, as determined by the Director of Graduate Programs, before entering the graduate program.
  • The applicant must receive a satisfactory score on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.
  • Acceptability for admission is based upon the applicant’s record and background as determined by the department.

Early Entry to Graduate School

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may be accepted into the graduate program and begin work toward a graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree. An applicant may be accepted at any time after completion of 75 or more hours, although it is expected that close to 90 hours will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken.

To be accepted into this program, an undergraduate student must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA and have taken the appropriate graduate standardized test and have earned an acceptable score. If any Early Entry student has not met the normal admission requirements of a 2.75 overall undergraduate GPA and a 3.0 junior-senior GPA at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, she/he will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Students accepted into an Early Entry Program will be subject to the same policies that pertain to other matriculated graduate students. Generally, it will be assumed that Early Entry students will finish their baccalaureate degrees before they complete 15 hours of graduate work.

Up to six hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted for required undergraduate hours. (Up to six hours of graduate work may be “double counted” toward both baccalaureate and graduate degrees.)

Degree Requirements

The applicant must complete at least 30 approved graduate credit hours as prescribed by the graduate advisor and fulfill the following:

  1. A minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science.
  2. The completion of one mathematics course (3 hrs).
  3. Students pursuing the thesis or creative design project option may complete up to 6 credit hours of thesis research.
  4. Students pursuing the problem report option may complete up to 3 hours of problem report.
  5. Students pursuing the coursework-only option must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive exam that is administered by the advisory committee.

The required mathematics course can be any 6000-level math course approved by the thesis advisor or one of the following:


The decision as to whether a program will include a thesis, design project or problem report is to be made on an individual basis by the advisory committee at the time of filing the student’s Plan of Study.

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study must show at least 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree and the degree completion option as determined by the advisory committee; Option 1) thesis or creative design project, Option 2) problem report; or Option 3) coursework only with comprehensive exam. For students who do not possess an appropriate bachelor degree in engineering, additional coursework will be expected. The specific course requirements will be set by the student’s advisory committee but must include: At least 3 hours of graduate (6000-level or above) mathematics and at least 12 credit hours of MEES coursework. Graduate (6000-level or above) courses from outside the department may be taken, but must be approved by the Associate Chair for Graduate Programs as part of the student’s Plan of Study. The Plan of Study must be submitted to the department for review and approval no later than the second semester after admission to the master’s program.

Academic Standards

Only grades of A, B, or C are accepted towards a graduate degree. A grade of U in any graduate course will suspend the student’s enrollment subject to readmission as prescribed in the Graduate Catalog. Similarly, an accumulation of three C grades will result in suspension of the student’s enrollment, subject to readmission to a program. A student in any graduate program is required to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree. Continued enrollment is at all times subject to review on the basis of academic record and actions with regard to observance of University rules and regulations.

Admission to Candidacy Requirements

Upon completion of a substantial amount of graduate work and in no case later than the 8th instructional day of the semester in which the student expects to complete all requirements for the degree, the student shall file an Admission to Candidacy form to the Graduate School. This application is a checklist approved by the faculty advisor and the Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, listing all coursework to be offered for the degree (including transfer credit and courses in progress). A tentative date for the comprehensive examination should be agreed upon and indicated on this application. The date should be realistic and allow ample time for completion and review of the thesis or project.

The student and faculty advisor will agree on the appointment of an advisory committee. The advisory committee will be composed of at least three graduate faculty members. The graduate advisor will serve as chair of the committee. The committee is recommended by the department after appropriate consultation between the advisor and student.

Application for Degree

Students preparing to graduate must submit an online Application for Degree by the filing data specified in the University Academic Calendar . If a student does not graduate in the semester identified on the Application for Degree, then the student must update his/her Admission to Candidacy and submit a new Application for Degree for graduation in a subsequent semester.

Transfer Credit

At the time of admission, up to six hours of transfer credit may be accepted from an ABET accredited engineering institution.


Teaching and Research Assistantships (TAs and RAs, respectively) are available on a competitive basis.

Tuition Waivers

In-State and Out-of-State tuition support (Resident/Non-Resident Tuition Differentials, respectively) is available, on a competitive basis, to full time students with financial assistantships from UNC Charlotte.