University of California, Riverside

Department of Mechanical Engineering



Graduate Program


Master of Science (M.S.) Program

The M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering can be earned by either one of two plans:

  1. by completion of a thesis (Plan I), which reports a creative investigation of a defined problem
  2. by passing a comprehensive examination (Plan II).

For the M.S. degree, students must meet a minimum residency requirement of three quarters, one complete academic year, in the University of California. At least two of these three quarters must be spent at UCR. Registration in at least 4 units of 100 or 200 level course work is necessary for each quarter of academic residence. Students should enroll in 12 units each quarter unless the Graduate Advisor grants an exception.

View the suggested Timetable and Deadlines for the M.S. Plan I and Plan II.

Plan I (Thesis)

The M.S. degree Plan I (Thesis) requires completion of a minimum of 36 units of upper-division and graduate-level approved course work and submission of an acceptable thesis. At least 24 of these units must be in graduate courses (200-series courses), a minimum of sixteen of these being Mechanical Engineering graduate courses (ME 200 or higher, excluding ME 250, ME 290, ME 297, ME 298I, and ME 299). The student must take 3 units of seminar (ME 250) and at least 7 but no more than 11 units of directed or thesis research credits (ME 297 or ME 299). No more than 8 units of course work may be satisfied with directed studies (ME 290) or individual internship (ME 298I). Students must defend the thesis.

Course work used to satisfy the student's undergraduate degree requirements may not be applied toward the 36 unit M.S. requirement. However, UCR undergraduates who have no more than two courses or eight units of course work remaining in their bachelor degree program, and who have been admitted to graduate status may begin course work for their advanced degrees at the beginning of the final quarter of undergraduate study. After entering the graduate program, these students may petition to transfer these units to their graduate record. These units cannot have been used towards the bachelor's degree.

An acceptable M.S. thesis must be submitted. The M.S. thesis may be based on:

  • a research or advanced design project, either analytical, computational or experimental;
  • an extensive report consisting of theoretical, computational or experimental contribution to mechanical engineering;

The student's M.S. Thesis Committee is responsible for approving the thesis.The thesis committee is composed of three members.

After submission of the M.S. thesis, the student is required to defend the thesis in a defense.

An abstract and title should be submitted to the Graduate Assistant at least 9 days prior to the scheduled defense so that it can be advertised to the public for a period of at least one week. No exceptions will be made for late abstracts.

The student will then modify the thesis based on comments received during the defense. Upon approval, two unbound copies of the final thesis in a format compatible with the guidelines set forth by the Graduate Division must be submitted to the Graduate Division.

Plan II (Comprehensive Examination)

The M.S. degree, Plan II (Comprehensive Examination) requires completion of a minimum of 36 units of upper-division and graduate-level approved course work and successfully passing a comprehensive examination. At least 24 of these units must be in graduate courses (200 series courses), a minimum of sixteen of these being Mechanical Engineering graduate courses (ME 200 or higher, excluding ME 250, ME 290, ME 297, ME 298I, and ME 299). The student must take 3 units of seminar (ME 250) and no more than 7 units of directed studies (ME 290) or individual internship (ME 298I).

Course work used to satisfy the student's undergraduate degree requirements may not be applied toward the 36 unit M.S. requirement. However, UCR undergraduates who have no more than two courses or eight units of course work remaining in their bachelor degree program, and who have been admitted to graduate status may begin course work for their advanced degrees at the beginning of the final quarter of undergraduate study. After entering the graduate program, these students may petition to transfer these units to their graduate record. These units cannot have been used towards the bachelor's degree.

The M.S. Comprehensive Examination will be prepared and administered by the Graduate Examination Committee. The comprehensive examination covers a broad range of topics chosen from upper-division and graduate course sthe student has taken. This examination is prepared and administered by the graduate program committee. The examination is held in the spring quarter and summer of every year.

Subsequent to the examination, the Graduate Examination Committee will issue a passing or failing grade. If a student fails in the first attempt, he or she may retake the examination at the next scheduled comprehensive examination period. No more than two attempts to pass the exam are allowed.

Standard of Scholarship

Only courses in which grades of "A," "B," "C," or "S" are received may be counted toward satisfying graduate degree requirements. To continue in good standing and obtain an advanced degree, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00. In addition, students must demonstrate acceptable progress toward their degree objectives. This entails the acceptable completion of all course work and other degree requirements in a timely fashion.

Students are considered to be making unacceptable progress and become
subject to dismissal when

  1. They have 12 or more units of "I" grades (incomplete course work) outstanding
  2. The overall GPA falls below 3.00. Students with a GPA of less than 3.00 will be placed on probation.
  3. The quarterly GPA falls below 3.00 for two consecutive quarters
  4. They fail to fulfill program requirements such as examinations or research in a timely and satisfactory manner, or
  5. They have not completed their programs within one year after reaching normative time

Normative Time

The normative time for a student to complete the M.S. degree under either Plan I or Plan II is six (6) quarters. This estimate is based on the experience in other departments within the College of Engineering, whose degree requirements are very similar.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188
E-mail: collegeinfo@engr.ucr.edu

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