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MS in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a M.S. typically cost?

In a typical scenario, an M.S. student will not pay for their degree. A student will serve as a graduate research assistant (GRA) and/or a graduate teaching assistant (GRA). Both positions come with a stipend and a tuition waiver.

How long will it take to graduate with an M.S. degree?

The M.S. degree requires 30 credit hours past the B.S. degree. The new MAE dual enrollment program allows students to take up to 12 graduate credit hours as an undergraduate, leaving a M.S. student with as few as 18 remaining credit hours. Engaging in undergraduate research with your M.S. advisor will also accelerate the process. Depending on your specific path, the M.S. will typically require 1-2 years to complete.

What if I decide to pursue a Ph.D. degree?

Great! The paperwork to transfer to a Ph.D. degree is minimal, and you may choose to pursue a direct Ph.D. (not pausing to acquire a M.S. along the way). The Ph.D. requirements are more rigorous and will require additional time to complete

How do I find a graduate research advisor?

Learn the average starting salary for MAE graduates, opportunities for career advancement and how almost any organization has a place for a mechanical engineer.

Do I need to write a thesis and present a defense?

Yes, typically. If you are funded as a graduate research assistant, you will write a thesis document based upon your research work and then present your work to a small thesis committee.

How much time will I spend conducting research?

You will typically spend at least 10-20 hours per week conducting research while pursuing your graduate degree.

Interest Areas and Faculty

Our department identifies four interest areas of study for graduate students: dynamics and controls, thermal/fluids, design and manufacturing, and mechanics and materials. Read on to find out more about these interest areas and the faculty who specialize in them.

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Dynamics & Controls

The area of Dynamics & Controls focuses on engineering the temporal response of systems. Example topics include MEMS, analysis and control of nonlinear and hybrid systems, flexible robots, structural damage detection, acoustic metamaterials, and the guidance and control of aerospace vehicles.



Thermal / Fluids

The area of thermal and fluid systems seeks to manage the flow of thermal energy in advanced engineering systems. Research in this area includes oscillating heat pipes, two-phase heat transfer, microgravity heat transfer, microscale and ultrafast heat transfer, solid state energy conversion, and manipulation of thermal emission.


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Design & Manufacturing

The area of Design & Manufacturing will train students to optimize the materials and processes to attain specific functionalities. Specific focus areas include manufacturing process modeling, design of machine elements, advanced additive manufacturing, machine learning, and nanoscale fabrication.



Mechanics & Materials

The area of Mechanics & Materials investigates the propagation of energy in solids and the design of advanced materials with exotic properties. Example projects include wearable sensors, metamaterials, advanced energy solutions, in-situ electron microscope material synthesis, nanoscale materials, neutron characterization techniques, and atomic layer deposition.


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