Graduate Program Coordinator
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers opportunities for graduate study providing for advanced professional competency and leading to the degree of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The main goal of the graduate program in mechanical engineering is to strengthen the ability of the student to solve complex technological problems in a creative way. To achieve this, the program of study is designed to broaden the student’s knowledge, to provide for in-depth study in an area of concentration, and to complement theoretical study with relevant and significant research and/or design. The student will ordinarily concentrate in either the mechanical systems design area or in the area of energy systems/thermosciences.
To qualify for unconditional admission, applicants should have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering with a minimum undergraduate last-60-hour grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Transcripts of all prior work at the college level and two letters of recommendation should accompany the application. Students with undergraduate degrees in related fields of science and engineering or those who do not meet the minimum grade point requirement can be admitted conditionally at the discretion of the department. Requirements for removal of conditional status will be specified in the letter of admission. For students whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of at least 550 is required for unconditional admission.
Students with undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering from institutions other than Bradley University may be required to take undergraduate coursework if their transcripts do not show a satisfactory level of preparation in certain areas.
New students who are planning to take their coursework at an off-campus site must submit copies of their transcripts for evaluation purposes with their first application for off-campus registration. To ensure that appropriate academic advising takes place, all continuing students, including those off-campus, will have their registration capability encumbered each semester until they have met with their advisor or appropriate faculty representative from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
The student must file an approved plan of study with the graduate program coordinator that describes the courses to be taken and any proposed research. It must be filed prior to registering for more than nine semester hours that will be applied toward satisfying degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the graduate program coordinator and by the student’s advisor.
Master’s Degree Curriculum Requirements
In order to graduate, students must complete 30 graduate credit hours with at least 24 graduate credit hours of coursework and a minimum of 3 graduate credit hours of research by taking ME 681, ME 682, or ME 699 Thesis. Students can appeal the research requirement to the graduate coordinator by documenting prior experience.
For all students, the total graduate credit hours must include one graduate mathematics course that must be approved by the student’s advisor. Courses in statistics, numerical methods, and engineering analysis are applicable to this requirement.
Each student must choose to focus on one specialty area out of the following: Mechanical Systems Design and Thermal Sciences.
Mechanical Systems Design students must take the following core courses:
- Systems (Vibration ME 540, Systems ME 544, or Advanced Controls)
- Dynamics (ME 502)
- Advanced Design of Machine Elements (ME 557)
- One fundamental graduate course in Thermal Sciences chosen from:
ME 501, ME 515, ME 521.
Thermal Science students must take the following core courses:
- Thermodynamics (ME 501)
- Heat Transfer (ME 515)
- Fluids (ME 521)
- One fundamental graduate course in Mechanical Systems Design chosen from:
ME 540, ME 544, Advanced Control, ME 502, ME 557.
The student’s advisor must approve the Program of Study, including any subsequent changes. All students are required to pass a Master’s Comprehensive Exam (MCE) in their respective area of concentration according to the policies described below.
Master’s Comprehensive Exam (MCE)
The student will be eligible to take the MCE after he/she successfully completes all the core requirements stated above for all program options. The student must report to the department by February 15 or September 15 a list of five courses (excluding math and the course from other side) to be tested on. The list must include all the three fundamental/applied required courses listed above and two additional ME courses. The department’s graduate committee will combine the list of courses to be tested on by the 3rd week of February or September. A request for test questions will be issued by March 1 or October 1 by the graduate committee to the faculty members who teach the listed courses. The involved faculty will provide two (2) problems for each of their listed courses to the ME Department office by the first Friday of March or October. The student will be required to solve one of the two problems. Each problem should not take more than one-half hour to solve. All tests are open book. Faculty who request a closed-book option for their part must notify the ME Department by the first Friday of March or October and will be encouraged to proctor the exam. The students must be notified by the ME Department by the second Friday of March or October whether certain tests will be closed book. The students will be instructed to solve 5 of the 10 problems. No two problems can be on the same topic. Passing the MCE requires successful completion of 4 of the 5 submitted problems. The student must retake the topic that he/she failed during the next regularly scheduled MCE. Students who fail have only one additional opportunity for reassessment. Time allotted for the test will be three hours. Students who opt to take thesis option will not be required to take the MCE written exam, but still must abide by the degree guidelines as described above. These students will be tested on their fundamental knowledge during the oral defense of their thesis.