Mechanical Engineering Graduate Programs
Contact Person: Dr. Saeed Niku
(Last edited 10/15/2012)
New Deadlines for applications for masters degree:
For Masters degree:
- We only admit for Fall quarters. The deadline for applications to the admissions office is December 1st.
- GRE is recommended. Paper copies of electronic transmission is accepted.
Deadlines For 4+1 applicants:
- For Change of Objective effective Winter: November 1, 2012.
- For Change of Objective effective Spring: February 1, 2013.
- For Change of Objective effective Fall: May 1, 2013.
- GRE is recommended for 4+1.
The Mechanical Engineering department offers both a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) as well as a blended 4+1 program (for current Cal Poly students only) leading to MSME degree. The only difference between the two programs is that in 4+1 program, up to 8 units of undergraduate technical electives may be double-counted towards the masters requirements (only 5 units are double-counted if course option is chosen). Other differences between the two programs are only internal and relate to the process of application and financial aid. In 4+1 program the undergraduate degree is not awarded until requirements for both BSc and MSc are satisfied.
Cal Poly's masters program includes 45 units of course work and/or a thesis. The same philosophy and emphasis on best teaching practices, hands-on education, with classes and labs taught by faculty apply to the masters program as well. Our program is still more hands-on than most other schools, especially when a thesis is involved.
We offer both a thesis oriented program as well as coursework oriented program. The thesis (9 units) is conducted by the student under the advice of a committee of three faculty members. Alternately, 9 units of ME-500 level courses and a comprehensive exam may be taken in lieu of the thesis.
It is required that you have a GPA of at least 3 in your formal study plan to receive your masters degree.
The 4+1 "blended" program is applicable only to Cal Poly continuing students. We suggest that the applicant apply two quarters before graduation to be admitted into the program by the above-mentioned deadlines. 4+1 is accomplished by changing the objective of the student from BSc degree to MSc degree. This requires that the student have fewer than 20 units left for graduation. This also means that you may not change your objective before 180 units, and you may not do so after graduation. Please print a graduate application, fill out Part B only, and bring it to the graduate advisor. Please also request 3 letters of recommendation be sent to the graduate advisor. After the submission of the Change of Objective form, your status changes to a graduate student with its new fee requirement, changes in financial aid, as well as priority registration. You will not get your undergraduate degree until all requirements for both degrees are satisfied. Therefore, both degrees will be conferred simultaneously. You may change your objective back to BSc if you change your mind. In 4+1, up to 8 units of ME-400 level senior electives may be double-counted towards your masters degree. The graduate advisor must approve all courses.
We require a minimum GPA of 3 (exceptions possible), three letters of recommendation (see address below), an application, plus your transcripts. GRE is recommended for masters degree and for 4+1 students. The application must be submitted electronically through CSUMentor.edu site with the admissions office. Official transcripts must also be sent to the admissions office. The deadline is December 1.
For 4+1 applicants, a paper version of the application (Part B only) must be delivered to the graduate advisor (transcripts are not required for the 4+1 students). All letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the graduate advisor to the following address:
Dr. Saeed Niku
Mechanical Engineering Department
Cal Poly State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0358
A copy of the Letter of RecommendationForm may be found here.
Students who have studied under other majors may be admitted conditionally into the mechanical engineering program. This means that they will be asked to take all required undergraduate mechanical engineering courses, as determined by the graduate advisor, before taking graduate courses. In most cases, the same applies to students who wish to be admitted under 4+1 program with an engineering major other than mechanical engineering.
The following categories of courses are required for your degree.
A combination of 17 Units
- ME 599 (Thesis), or courses from Recommended Restricted Units (See below) AND a comprehensive examination, 9 units total.
- Approved courses chosen from MATH, STAT, or CSC courses (such as ME 501, ME 540, Math 501, 502, 408, 409, 418,..) 8 units total.
Recommended Restricted Units
A minimum of 12 units
- ME 501 Linear Elasticity (4)
- ME 503 Inelastic Stress Analysis (4)
- ME 504 Stress Analysis (4)
- ME 506 System Dynamics (4)
- ME 507 Mechanical Control System Design (4)
- ME 517 Advanced Vibrations (4)
- ME 518 Rotor Dynamics (4)
- ME 540 Viscous Flow (4)
- ME 541 Advanced Thermodynamics (4)
- ME 542 Dynamics of Compressible Flow (4)
- ME 552 Conductive Heat Transfer (4)
- ME 553 Convective Heat Transfer (4)
- ME 554 Computational Heat Transfer (4)
- ME 579 Fluid Power Control (4)
Approved Technical Electives
A minimum of 16 units
- (400-500-level ME or non-ME courses; maximum of 12 units of 400-level courses allowed. Up to 8 units in this category may be double counted in the 4+1 program).
Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering: 45 Units
Continuous Enrollment Requirement
Until a student completely finishes all requirements and a thesis is uploaded, he or she must be continuously registered. Therefore, if a student is finished with his or her required classes, but continues to work on a thesis, he or she must continually register for 1 unit of GS-S597 course through Continuing Education Department, regardless of whether or not he or she is on campus. The only exception is summer quarters, unless the student finishes during summer quarter. In that case, it is required that he or she be registered even for the summer quarter.
Administrative Progression for MS in ME at Cal Poly
Admission to MS Program in ME
- Eligibility determined by admissions office
- Acceptance determined by ME Department
- Graduate classified (regular or full admission)
- Graduate conditionally classified (admission contingent upon satisfying certain deficiencies or conditions established by the Department)
The following forms are required and must be filed:
- Formal Study Plan, file with the graduate coordinator no later than one quarter before graduation. You must follow the requirements and have approval for courses you take throughout your tenure.
- Advancement to Candidacy, file with the graduate coordinator together with the formal study plan or no later that the beginning of your last quarter.
- Request for evaluation, file with the graduate advisor together with the above.
- Thesis Committee, required as soon as you start your thesis. This committee of three individuals includes the Chair of the committee (who acts as your major advisor) who must be mechanical engineering faculty member. At least one more member must be an ME faculty. The third committee member may be faculty or an industrial advisor.
All forms may be found on the Graduate Studies and Research Office web site.
If you do a thesis, you must defend it. It is required that you create a flyer, including the title, date, and place, indicating that it is a thesis defense in mechanical engineering. Copies of the flyer must be posted around the engineering buildings at least two weeks before the actual date. An electronic copy must be sent to the graduate coordinator for approval and distribution at least two weeks before the defense.
Submission of a Thesis
Starting November 1, 2008, the University will require that graduate theses be submitted electronically. For information about the requirements and the process, please see the Research and Graduate Studies web site. You will also find a document on thesis requirements such as margins, headings, etc.
Additionally, the signature sheet is to be printed and signed by the committee members and handed in. The library staff will scan the signed form and include it in the electronic reference. It is possible to request a delay of up to one year before the thesis becomes public if necessary (such as for proprietary information belonging to a project's sponsor).