ME Graduate Degree Requirements
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers the following degrees:
- MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) - Thesis Option
- MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) - Accelerated Options
- MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)- Non-Thesis Option
- PhD in Mechanical Engineering (PME)
- PhD Minor in Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Thesis Option
The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS in ME) is available with either a thesis or non-thesis option. Students who are interested in conducting research in the field of Mechanical Engineering are encouraged to enroll in this program. The thesis option is composed of 24 credit hours of formal coursework and 6 hours of thesis research. Students are required to register for ME 7901 (Graduate Seminar) every semester excluding summers. Students must declare a primary specialization in one of the following areas: Thermal Sciences, Mechanical Systems, or Materials Sciences and Engineering. Regardless of their specialization, all ME Thesis students must:
- Take a minimum of three core courses within your primary area of specialization
- Take one core course from one of the other two ME specialization areas outside your primary area of specialization
- Take a minimum of five ME courses
- Take a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of coursework at the 7000 level (4 courses)
- Register for ME 7901 (ME Graduate Seminar) - required to register and attend every semester excluding summers
- Take a minimum of six hours of ME 8000
- Register for one of the following Math courses: MATH (4038), MATH (4340), (MATH 4036), ME (7533)
- Your advisor and advisory Committee must approve all course selections.
- You are required to present your research results at a departmental forum before graduation, usually during your final semester in residence. This is done in the departmental, annual Graduate Student Research Conference (GRSC), prior to graduation.
The Master's Thesis should demonstrate your capacity for research, originality of thought, and facility in organizing materials. An open, announced, oral presentation of the thesis and a "defense" examination is required after completion of writing of the thesis. The exam part is to be administered by the student's advisory committee in a closed session.
Accelerated Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
The Accelerated MS Program was introduced in 2003 as a procedure whereby all the required credits for earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering can be satisfied in 5 years. The primary motivation for the program is to facilitate and encourage our undergraduate students, in particular, Louisiana natives to purse a graduate degree in the Department. Students who have an overall GPA ≥ 3.5 and a Mechanical Engineering GPA ≥ 3.5 after completing ME (2334), ME (2733), ME (2212), ME (3133), ME (3701), ME (3143), ME (3834), ME (4133) are invited to apply for the accelerated program. General requirements for the degree include:
- Total course hours requires 24 hours with a minimum of 5 courses (15 hours) being from Mechanical Engineering
- A minimum of 3 course courses (9 hours) must be the primary area of concentration: Thermal/Fluid Science, Mechanical Systems, or Materials and Engineering.
- At least 1 course (3 hours) must be in Mathematics (MATH 4038), (MATH 4340), (MATH 4036) or (ME 7533)
- At least 1 ME course (3 hours) must be outside the Primary Area of Concentration
- At least 4 courses (12 hours minimum) must be at 7000 level
- At least six credit hours must be for thesis research (8000)
- Enrollment in ME 7901 (Graduate Seminar) is required every semester with a maximum of 1 credit hour counting towards the graduate degree
- No grade of "D" will count towards the Master's degree
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Non-Thesis Option
The Non-Thesis option is considered to result in a terminal degree in a technical field. It is appropriate for practicing and/or employed engineers who wish to acquire advanced background and knowledge in chosen subject areas without having the need to pursue rigorous research. The degree can be earned with a part-time (non-thesis) program of study. You must declare your intent to join the M.S. Non-Thesis option before beginning your program of study. If you are in the non-thesis option, you will not be eligible for any financial aid from the university. If you are currently in the thesis option and have received financial support from the department, you will not be permitted to switch to the non-thesis option. For those interested in the Non-Thesis program, it requires:
- A minimum of six course taken from the course list of Mechanical Engineering courses. At least one course must be taken from each of the specializations: Thermal Sciences, Mechanical Systems, and Materials Engineering.
- One course in mathematics either MATH (4038), MATH (4340), (MATH 4036), ME (7533)
- An additional four courses, approved by the advisory committee to achieve depth and breadth in one or more areas. These courses can be taken in other departments
- Complete a three credit-hour project under ME 7903 and present a report approved by your major professor and the advisory committee. The report is used in your final exam (defense presentation) as a document to portray your knowledge of a Mechanical Engineering topic.
- You must have at least 18 hours at the 7000 level
- You must attain a grade of "B" or above in order for a course to qualify toward the degree requirements
Students who are in the non-thesis option can transfer to the thesis option at any time; however, all of the requirements of the thesis degree program must be met. This includes the appointment of a new advisory committee and possibly a new major professor, the formulation of a new plan of study, and the identification of a research thesis program only at the discretion of the new advisory committee.
Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degree
Direct Admission to Ph.D. from B.S.
If you are deemed eligible by the GSC to enter the Ph.D. program directly from a B.S. degree, you will be required to take a minimum of 36 hours of course work and 18 hours of dissertation research (ME 9000). The entire course work must be approved by the major professor and advisory committee, as evidenced by the attestation of the departmental plan of study form. The form is recommended to be submitted to the department by the end of the first semester for M.S. degree holders and before the end of the first year for the B.S. graduate. Requirements for the Doctoral Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering include:
- Declaring a primary specialization in one of the following areas: Thermal Sciences, Mechanical Systems, or Materials Science and Engineering
- Take a minimum of 12 credit hours of core courses in thermal sciences, mechanical systems, or materials science and engineering.
- Take 3 credit hours of a Math course
- Take 21 credit hours of technical electives that are selected and approved by the student, major professor, and advisory committee
- Register for ME 7901 (ME Graduate Seminar): required to register and attend every semester excluding summers
- Core courses for Ph.D. students are the same as required for M.S. Degree students
- Take a minimum of eighteen (18) hours of ME 9000
- You are required to present your research results at a departmental forum before graduation, usually during your final semester in residence. This done in the departmental, annual Graduate Student Conference (GSC), prior to graduation.
Admission to Ph.D. from M.S.
Students who have earned a recognizable M.S. degree with at least 24 hours of graduate-level courses, will be allowed to transfer up to 18 hours of course work credit upon approval by the major professor and student's advisory committee, which will count towards the requirement of a minimum of 36 hours of course work. Those who hold a M.S. and express interest in the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program will be expected to meet the following requirements:
- Complete a minimum core requirement of 12 credit hours of thermal sciences, mechanical systems, or materials science and engineering.
- Among the 12 credit hours of core coursework, a minimum of 9 credit hours should be taken from the 7000 level courses.
- Register for 6 credit hours of technical electives related to the student's research area, which must be approved by the advisory committee
- Complete 18 hours of dissertation research (ME 9000) for the Ph.D. Degree
Ph.D. Qualifying/Comprehensive Examinations
Qualifying examinations are administered by the department through the Mechanical Engineering Coordinators for Materials, Mechanical Systems, Thermal Fluids, and Math. Passing a minimum of three areas including Mathematics is required to qualify. The areas for examination will be selected in conjunction with your major professor. At least one of the exams will be required in your major field. If you change your major professor after you have successfully completed the qualifying examinations, you may be required to retake some or all of the examinations at the discretion of the new major professor.
If you fail any given qualifying exam, you will be given one more opportunity to pass the subject when the exam is offered again. Two consecutive failures will lead to your termination from the ME Ph.D. program. You will, however, be able to continue if you receive a conditional pass provided you fulfill the stipulated conditions mention below:
- You will not be able to select another subject without the permission from your advisory committee and ME graduate studies committee. If the advisory committee approves the substitution, it will be considered equivalent to the second attempt on that subject and failure in that subject will lead to your termination from the ME Ph.D. program.
- Upon the exam results being made available to students, students have one week (i.e., seven calendar days) to submit a written request for their examination to be regraded. The written request should include appropriate reasons for regrading. Email these written request to email@example.com.
Ph.D. Minor in Mechanical Engineering
Minor: If a student chooses, he/she can complete a minor in an area either within the ME department or outside in another appropriate department, relevant to the program. Students with a major in mechanical systems or thermal fluids may choose materials science and engineering within ME as their minor emphasis area, and vice versa. Alternatively, the minor area could be centered on a program offered in another department at LSU.
For an internal minor, 9 credit hours of graduate level course work in the area is required, of which a minimum of three (3) credit hours must be in 7XXX level courses. The selection of courses relevant to the minor emphasis program is left to the student and the minor professor. An overall average of 3.00 or better is required in the courses of the minor area.