MS Requirements

This guide explains some of the requirements for the Master of Science (MS) Degree in Mechanical Engineering. The information provided here supplements the NMSU Graduate School requirements for Masters Degree which are the minimum requirements. Students MUST follow the Mechanical Engineering degree requirements listed below to complete the MS course of study. Students may select one of two options for completing their MS degree. Selection of a particular option must be made during the first semester of study in conjunction with selecting a permanent advisor.


MS Course Only Option

  • Total number of credits – 30
  • ME 570 and one core course from 4 of the 5 following topic areas:
    1. Solid Mechanics: ME502 Elasticity, ME504 Continuum Mechanics
    2. Thermo Science: ME503 Thermodynamics, ME540 Inter. heat transfer
    3. Fluids: ME530 Inter. Fluid mechanics, ME533 Comput. fluid mechanics
    4. Dynamics and Vibrations: ME511 Dynamics, ME512 Vibrations
    5. Engineering Analysis and Control: ME580 Num. analysis, ME518 Finite element analysis, ME527 Modern control of linear systems
  • 4 additional ME courses which may be core courses listed above, research area courses, dual listed courses, ME 509, or ME 510.
MS Thesis Option
  • Total number of credits – 30
  • ME 570 and at least 21 credits (inlcuding ME 570) taken in ME courses.
  • ME 509: A course for individualized studies. Only 3 credits of ME 509 can be counted toward the degree program.
  • ME 510: For courses offered formally on a one-time only or limited basis. ME 510 should be subtitled based on focus. Students may repeat the course one time under a different subtitle
  • Publication Requirement: refereed conference proceeding accepted or a refereed journal article in review by graduation. The MS thesis can be a reformatted version of this paper. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by the department head.

Selection of Option and Permanent Advisor

Newly admitted graduate students will be assigned a temporary advisor for the first semester, but they must select a degree option and permanent advisor before registering for the second semester. In considering a decision about option and advisor, the student should arrange to meet with several members of the graduate faculty during the first six weeks of study to discuss specific educational objectives. The student can use these meetings to become familiar with faculty interests and research projects currently in progress. The faculty member must agree (in writing) to serve as the student’s advisor.

General Requirements for MS in Mechanical Engineering

  • Total number of credits – 30

All students must pass a final examination. The final examination is to be conducted by the student’s advisory committee and is taken after completing all coursework and thesis work for the thesis option, or all coursework for the course-only option

Timeline to MS degree completion

Advancement to candidacy

Selection of a permanent advisor indicates agreement between the student and faculty member on an academic program. The program must fulfill all requirements for one of the two options described above. An Application for Admission to Candidacy for Master’s Degree form, which formally summarizes the student’s program of studies, MUST be filed during the second semester of graduate work. Failure to file this application during the required period will result in the loss of any department assistantships the student may have.

At the time the “Application for Admission to Candidacy” is submitted, the student must have a cumulative graduate grade-point average of 3.0.

The application may specify the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of matriculation, provided that the catalog is not more than seven years old. Otherwise, the current Graduate Catalog will be used.

The student’s program listed in the Application for Admission to Candidacy must:

  1. meet the requirements of the chosen catalog, including the regulations of the Graduate School and of the major department,
  2. include undergraduate deficiencies and required courses specified on the student’s Certificate of Admission,
  3. be certified by the student, the student’s adviser, heads of departments offering major and minor fields, and the cognizant deans, and
  4. list each course number and abbreviated title with the hours and grades.

If the program is not satisfactory in the judgment of the graduate dean, it may be returned to the department for revision. When the “Application for Admission to Candidacy” has been approved by the graduate dean, the student will be formally admitted to candidacy for the master’s degree.

Graduate Committee

The master’s degree committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty members: the student’s advisor and at least two additional members. The student’s advisor will chair the committee. The committee chair and one other member must be mechanical engineering faculty members. The third member of the committee must serve as the dean’s representative. The committee chair and the dean’s representative must be members of the graduate faculty. If the student has a minor area of study then either the dean’s representative or a fourth committee member must come from the minor department. If no minor is declared, the dean’s representative may come from a related area (recommended by the committee chair), or be appointed independently by the Dean of the Graduate School. Selection of the graduate committee for the master’s degree is to be done prior to submission of the Committee for Master’s Final Examination form.

Final Examination

Candidates take a final examination in accordance with the Graduate School Academic Calendar deadlines. The form to schedule this examination Committee for Master’s Final Examination is to be submitted by the department to the Graduate School at least ten working days prior to the proposed date for the examination. It is the student’s responsibility to be sure that the form is submitted to the Graduate School by this deadline.

At the time of the final examination, a graduate student must have an NMSU cumulative graduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 and must be enrolled in the final semester; or, if the student is writing a thesis, he or she must have completed all course work for the master’s degree. Students with a non-thesis option may be required to pay a special exam fee in lieu of registering for 1 credit hour of graduate course work.

The final examination format shall be determined by the department, with the approval of the graduate dean.

Any candidate who fails in the final examination may:

  1. upon recommendation of the adviser and approval of the graduate dean, be granted a second examination after a lapse of at least one semester; or
  2. be excluded from further candidacy for the degree.

Failure in the second examination disqualifies a candidate from obtaining the degree. Certification that the thesis has been accepted and that the final examination has been passed must be filed with the Graduate School not later than one week before the degree is conferred.

Additional Information for Thesis Option

Once registered for thesis, a student must continue to register for a minimum of 1 credit in thesis or graduate course work each regular semester until the thesis is approved by the Graduate School and the copies have been accepted by the binding section in Branson Library. A student who fails to abide by this regulation will be considered withdrawn from the university and, in order to resume studies, must formally apply for readmission and satisfy the requirements in effect at the time of reapplication. If the oral examination is to be scheduled or the thesis is to be completed during the summer, the student must register for 1 credit hour during the summer session in which the oral examination will be held or the thesis completed. To graduate during this summer session the student must also have filed the Application for Degree (Diploma) by the deadline posted in the current Schedule of Classes, or the Graduate School Academic Calendar.

The student must ensure that each member of the examining committee receives a copy of the thesis no later than seven working days before the date of the final examination. The form and style of the thesis must comply with the regulations given in the Guidelines for Preparing a Thesis or Dissertation. These guidelines also contain detailed information on the thesis-approval process and binding. Candidates are encouraged to consult with the graduate editor on format, deadlines, and procedures before final typing.

The thesis must be submitted to the graduate editor on or before the deadlines posted in the Graduate School Academic Calendar. The thesis is not complete until copies have been accepted for binding by the binding section staff in Branson Library.