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College of Engineering and Applied Science

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UC Denver
 

Mechanical Engineering

Master of Science


The master of science (MS) program builds on the fundamentals of mechanical engineering typically learned in an undergraduate degree program. Our program is comprised of three tracks that allow the students to obtain background in manufacturing processes, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, bioengineering, energy thermodynamics, composite materials and sports engineering.

The Graduate School Rules apply to this program.​

Program Options

Students in each of the plans may choose one of three options. The three tracks are:

  • Thermal Sciences
  • Mechanics
  • General Mechanical Engineering

In the first two options, the student may choose to specialize in either thermal science or mechanics. The third option is the general mechanical engineering option.

  • The thermal science option requires 12 semester hours of course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. The student then selects 9 semester hours of course work in approved electives from a selection of thermal science electives.
  • The mechanics option requires 12 semester hours of course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, elasticity and dynamics. The student then selects 9 semester hours of course work in approved electives from a selection of mechanics electives.
  • The general mechanical engineering option requires the student to take 18 semester hours of required course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, elasticity and dynamics.

After meeting the course requirements for any of the three options the student may select any Mechanical Engineering graduate course to complete the 30 hour credit requirement. The student may also take courses approved by an advisor outside of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Application Materials

All applications must be submitted online​ through the online CU Denver Application Portal. Materials will not be accepted through email, but rather should be submitted through the online application. Send all supporting application materials to the Graduate School.

Graduate School
Campus Box 163
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Courier Address (UPS, FEDEX, etc.)

Graduate School
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1251
Denver, CO 80204

Contact Email and Telephone

Application Requirements

Application

Apply online through the CU Denver Application Portal.

Application Terms and Deadlines

Applicants must make arrangements to ensure all their materials (including transcripts, references, test scores, etc.) are received by the relevant deadlines below. If there are outstanding materials, the application is considered incomplete and will be deferred.

Fall Term

International -- April 15th
Domestic -- May 1st

Spring Term

International -- September 15th
Domestic -- October 1st

Application Fee

Pay the application fee online through the CU Denver Application Portal.

Official Transcripts

Request each academic institution that you have previously attended to submit an official transcript to the Graduate School Admissions Office at the address above.

Letters of Recommendation

Include the email addresses of three recommenders in your online applicationto email them a request. Their response will load directly into the CU Denver online application. If you received your BSME from CU Denver, recommendations are not required.

GRE Scores

Applicants must submit evidence of adequate preparation for graduate study by either (a) submitting official GRE scores, or (b) documenting an earned bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body, or an earned master’s degree with a GPA of 3.50 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body. (effective for fall 2015 admission)

August 1, 2011 or later, the preferred minimum scores are:

  • 150 Verbal / 153 Quantitative / 3.5 Analytical Writing

Prior to August 1, 2011, the preferred minimum scores are:

  • 450 Verbal / 680 Quantitative / 3.5 Analytical Writing

TOEFL/IELTS

Any applicants whose undergraduate language of instruction was not English should have a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of:

  • 600 for the paper-based test
  • 250 for the computer-based test
  • TOEFL iBT: 75
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • Successful graduation from CU Denver¹s Language Academy

English Proficiency Requirements for ESL Students

When new students arrive to the ESL Academy, they are tested to determine at which of five levels they are functioning.  The student may study from two months to a year to reach their goal.  After the student successfully completes the ESL Academy, s/he waives the English language proficiency requirement at CU Denver. 

Types of Admission

Is Conditional Admission available?

YES. We can offer admission to a future term (within one year) conditional upon meeting the Language Requirement.

Is it possible to defer admission?

YES. An application is only valid for one year. To defer to a later semester requires the applicant to reapply for admission. The application fee will be waived when reapplying for a later semester.

Is provisional admission available?

YES. To retain provisional status you must keep your grade point average at 3.25 or above each semester until twelve (12) hours are completed, at which time you will be removed from provisional status. If you fail to maintain this 3.25 or better average, you will be suspended.

Can I be admitted without a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering?

Students who do not possess sufficient Mechanical Engineering educational background may be admitted to the MS program when certain coureses are taken within the first two semesters of acceptance. For details, see the Admissions Tab.

Regular Degree Students

Students must meet the university admission requirements detailed in the Information for Graduate Students section of the catalog.

  • Hold a baccalaureate or master’s degree from an accredited college or university or demonstrate completion of work equivalent to the baccalaureate or master’s degree given at UC Denver. Applicants whose credentials include studies or course work at an institution outside the U.S. must include a validated English translation and an evaluation of the transcript by a professional accrediting service (such as World Education Services).
  • Usually have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or better (“A” is equal to 4.0) and/or a 3.00 or better GPA in a completed or partially completed (at least 1/3) master’s degree program. Applications from individuals who attended a college or university that does not issue grades or a GPA will be evaluated by the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis.
  • Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen program as demonstrated by their performance in the GRE or an appropriate substitute, or an earned MS/MA or PhD from a school in the U.S.A., or completion of at least 12 credit hours of transferable graduate-level course work.
  • Although the Graduate School recommends that applicants take the GRE or other standardized test, it is not a requirement for admission as a regular degree student to the program if one of the other two indicators of preparedness is present and the appropriate earned degree is from a domestic institution.
  • The GRE is required for degrees earned from a non-domestic, accredited institution and for the EAS Ph.D. program.
  • Meet any additional requirements (such as particular undergraduate course work) for admission as established by the program.

International Students

International students must meet ALL of these requirements and also must provide:

  • Documentation in English (or a certified English translation) of the completion of a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or the equivalent at the time of matriculation as evaluated by the International Admissions Office.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam and must score above 600 (paper) or 250 (computer) or 75 (Internet based) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IETLS.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are not required to take the TOEFL test if they have completed a baccalaureate or graduate-level degree program at an English-speaking college or university or have completed at least two semesters at a college or university in the United States as a full-time student and obtained a “B” average (3.0 GPA) or higher.
  • Financial and other documents required by the International Scholars and Students Office to process immigration documents.
  • A certified English translation of all records and references not in English.

Additional requirements and documentation may also be required.

Admission without a Mechanical Engineering BS Degree

Students who do not possess sufficient Mechanical Engineering educational background may be admitted to the MS program when successful completion of certain courses are taken within the first two semesters of acceptance.

Math and Science Pre-Requisites

Students not holding BS in mechanical engineering degrees are required to complete all mathematics, chemistry and physics courses required for the bachelor’s degree before taking graduate courses.  

  • MATH 1401 - Calculus I
  • MATH 2411 - Calculus II
  • MATH 2421 - Calculus III
  • MATH 3195 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • CHEM 1130 - Engineering General Chemistry
  • PHYS 2311 - General Physics I: Calculus-Based
  • PHYS 2321 - General Physics Lab I
  • PHYS 2331 - General Physics II: Calculus-Based
  • PHYS 2341 - General Physics Lab II

Study Track Pre-Requisites

In addition, before taking graduate courses students must complete the following undergraduate mechanical engineering courses depending on the track they plan to follow.

Thermal Sciences Track

  • ENGR 3012 (Thermodynamics)
  • MECH 2033 (Dynamics)
  • MECH 3010 (Intro to Numerical Methods)
  • MECH 3021 (Introduction to Fluid Mechanics)
  • MECH 3042 (Heat Transfer)
  • MECH 3043 (Strength of materials)

Mechanics Track

  • ENGR 3012 (Thermodynamics)
  • MECH 2033 (Dynamics)
  • MECH 3010 (Intro to Numerical Methods)
  • MECH 3023 (System Dynamics I: Vibrations)
  • MECH 3035 (Design of Mechanical Elements)
  • MECH 3043 (Strength of materials)

General Track

  • ENGR 3012 (Thermodynamics)
  • MECH 2033 (Dynamics)
  • MECH 3010 (Intro to Numerical Methods)
  • MECH 3023 (System Dynamics I: Vibrations)
  • MECH 3042 (Heat Transfer) or MECH 3021 (Fluid Mechanics)
  • MECH 3043 (Strength of materials)

Program Plans

For the master of science (MS) degree in mechanical engineering, students may choose between three plans with each plan totaling 30 semester hours.

  • Plan I - Students following Plan I (thesis option) take 24 semester hours of formal course work plus 6 semester hours of thesis work.
  • Plan II - Students following Plan II (project option) take 27 semester hours of formal course work plus a 3 semester hour final project requiring a report.
  • Plan III - Students following Plan III (10-course option) take 30 semester hours of formal course work plus a final comprehensive exam.

Students following Plan I or Plan II must submit a proposal to their examination committee prior to the semester in which they register for their thesis or project semester hours, and the examination committee must approve the proposal for the thesis or project.

The student must present the required thesis or project to his/her graduate committee and the committee must approve the thesis or project for satisfaction of the student’s graduation requirement.​

All courses are 3 semester credit hours.  Students in either plan may choose one of three tracks. In the first two tracks, the student may choose to specialize in either thermal science or mechanics. The third track is the general mechanical engineering option.

Study Tracks

  • Thermal Sciences
  • Mechanics
  • General Mechanical Engineering

Thermal Science Option

The thermal science option requires 12 semester hours of course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. The student then selects 9 semester hours of course work in approved electives from a selection of thermal science electives.

The required courses for the thermal science track are

  • MECH 5110 (Numerical Methods for Engineers)
  • MECH 5120 (Analytical Methods for Engineers)
  • MECH 5122 (Macroscopic Thermodynamics)     
  • MECH 5141 (Viscous Flow) 

Mechanics Option

The mechanics option requires 12 semester hours of course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, elasticity and dynamics. The student then selects 9 semester hours of course work in approved electives from a selection of mechanics electives. For students following Plan I, both the thermal science and mechanics options allow the student to pick one approved 3-semester-hour elective not necessarily in the chosen specialty. For students following Plan II, both the thermal science and mechanics options allow the student to pick two approved 3-semester hour electives not necessarily in the chosen specialty.

The required courses for the mechanics track are

  • MECH 5175 (Finite Element Analysis)
  • MECH 5120 (Analytical Methods for Engineers)
  • MECH 5163 (Dynamics)
  • MECH 5143 (Theory of Elasticity)

General Mechanical Option

The general mechanical engineering option requires the student to take 18 semester hours of required course work in analytical methods, numerical methods, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, elasticity and dynamics. For students following Plan I, the general mechanical engineering option allows the student to pick two approved 3-semester hour electives. For students following Plan II, the general mechanical engineering option allows the student to pick three approved 3-semester hour electives.

The required courses for the general track are

  • MECH 5120 (Analytical Methods for Engineers)
  • MECH 5163 (Dynamics)     
  • MECH 5143 (Theory of Elasticity)
  • MECH 5110 (Numerical Methods for Engineers)
  • MECH 5122 (Macroscopic Thermodynamics)     
  • MECH 5141 (Viscous Flow)