Graduate Program

Program Overview

Student wearing mechanical gloveThe Mechanical Engineering Department offers the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Mechanical Engineering. The program demands academic rigor and depth yet also addresses real-world engineering problems. The department has four areas of research activity that stem from the core fields of Mechanical Engineering: (1) Biomechanics, (2) Thermal Science and Engineering, (3) Solid Mechanics and Materials, and (4) Robotics, Automation, and Design (which includes elements from Computer Science, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering disciplines). Note that in many cases, individual research projects encompass more than one research area.

Divisions of Research

Biomechanics focuses on the application of engineering principles to the musculoskeletal system and other connective tissues.  Research activities include experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches with applications in the areas of rehabilitation engineering, computer assisted surgery and medical robotics, patient specific biomechanical modeling, intelligent prosthetics and implants, and bioinstrumentation.  The Biomechanics group has strong research ties with other campus departments, the local medical community, and industry partners.

Robotics, Automation, and Design merges research from multiple areas of science and engineering. Topics include the design of robotic and automation system hardware and software, particularly for tasks that require some level of autonomy, intelligence, self-prognostics and decision making. Such capabilities are built upon integrated mechatronic systems that enable pro-active system responses to its environment and current state. These capabilities are applied in applications such as advanced robotics and manufacturing systems. Research in this division explores the science underlying the design process, implementation of mechanical and control systems to enable autonomy, and innovative computational analysis for automation, intelligence and systems optimization.

Solid Mechanics and Materials develop novel computational and experimental solutions for problems in the mechanical behavior of advanced materials. Research in the division spans length scales from nanometer to kilometer and includes investigations of microstructural effects on mechanical behavior, nanomechanics, granular mechanics, and continuum mechanics. Material-behavior models span length scales from the nano- and micro-scale, to the meso- and macro-scale. Much of the research is computational in nature using advanced computational methods such as molecular dynamics, finite-element, boundary-element, and discrete-element methods. Strong ties exist between this group and the campus communities of applied mathematics, chemical engineering, material science, metallurgy, and physics.

Thermal-Fluid Systems incorporates a wide array of multidisciplinary applications such as advanced energy conversion and storage, multi-phase fluid flows, materials processing, combustion, alternative fuels, and renewable energy. Research in thermal-fluid systems integrates the disciplines of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, chemical engineering, and materials science towards solving problems and making advances through experiments and computational modeling in the broad areas of energy conversion, fluid mechanics, and thermal transport. Research projects in this area specialize in some aspect of mechanical engineering but often have a strong interdisciplinary component in related fields such as Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.

Admission Requirements

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee review applicants for admissions for the Fall and Spring semesters. Applicants must have a complete application submitted to the Graduate School by the posted admission deadlines to be considered for admission.

We strongly encourage you to meet the Fall admission priority deadline of January 5th if you are seeking funding. Fall admission decisions with funding decisions are typically determined by early February. Accepted applicants are invited to campus for a Graduate Visit Day in early to mid-March. Accepted students must complete their intent to enroll by April 15th. Details about funding, Graduate Visit Day and more will be communicated directly to accepted students.

The minimum requirements for admission for the MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering are:

  • a baccalaureate degree in engineering, computer science, a physical science, or mathematics with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale;
  • Graduate Record Examination(Quantitative Reasoning) section score of 160 or higher. Applicants from an engineering program at CSM are not required to submit GRE scores;
  • TOEFL score of 79 or higher or (550 or higher paper-based or 213 computer-based) for applicants whose native language is not English.

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee may require that an admitted student complete undergraduate remedial coursework to overcome technical deficiencies. Such coursework may not count toward the graduate degree. The committee will decide whether to recommend regular or provisional admission, and may ask the applicant to come to campus for an interview.

MS Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (thesis or non-thesis option) requires 30 credit hours. Requirements for the M.S. are 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of thesis research. The M.S. non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours of coursework. Both degrees require students to complete a minimum of 9 credit hours in one Research Division area. The remaining requirements come from technical electives (that can be taken inside or outside the department)  and other ME graduate-level courses.

MS Thesis Degree

  • MEGN502 Advanced Engineering Analysis 3
  • MEGN503 Graduate Seminar (enrollment required every fall/spring semester) 0
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one Research Division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division. See list below) 9
  • ME Electives* Can be any ME course at 400-500 level 3
  • Technical Electives (Courses outside the department must be approved by Advisor/Thesis Committee) 9
  • MEGN707 Graduate Thesis / Dissertation Research Credit 6
  • Total Credits 30

MS Non-Thesis Degree

  • MEGN502 Advanced Engineering Analysis 3
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one Research Division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division. See list below) 9
  • ME Electives* Can be any ME course at 400-500 level 9
  • Technical Electives (Courses outside the department must be approved by Advisor/Thesis Committee) 9
  • Total Credits 30

*Students can apply up to 9-credit hours of 400-level course work toward their degree. This can come from ME Electives or Technical Electives or a combination of both.

Research Division Courses

Biomechanics Core Courses
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 531 Prosthetic and Implant Engineering 3
  • MEGN 532 Experimental Methods in Biomechanics 3
  • MEGN 535 Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement 3
  • MEGN 536 Computational Biomechanics3
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics 3
Robotics Core Courses
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics 3
  • MEGN 544 Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dynamics and Control 3
  • MEGN 545 Advanced Robot Control 3
  • MEGN 591 Advanced Engineering Design Methods 3
  • MEGN 593 Engineering Design Optimization 3
  • MEGN 598 Risk and Reliability in Engineering Design 3

Recommended Technical Electives for Robotics

  • CSCI 404 Artificial Intelligence 3
  • CSCI 507 Introduction to Computer Vision 3
  • CSCI 573 Human-Centered Robotics 3
Solid Mechanics and Materials Core Courses
  • MEGN 511 Fatigue and Fracture 3
  • MEGN 512 Advanced Engineering Vibration 3
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 515 Computational Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 598 Micromechanics / Homogenization 3
  • MEGN 598 Nonlinear Mechanics 3
Thermal-Fluid Systems Core Courses
  • MEGN 501 Advanced Engineering Measurements 3
  • MEGN 552 Viscous Flow and Boundary Layers 3
  • MEGN 553 Introduction to Computational Techniques for Fluid Dynamics and Transport Phenomena 3
  • MEGN 566 Combustion
  • MEGN 571 Advanced Heat Transfer 3
PhD Degree Requirements

The PhD in Mechanical Engineering degree requires 72 credit hours of course work and research credits. A minimum of 36 credit hours of course work and 30 credit hours of research credits must be completed. A minimum of 12 of the 36 credit hours of required coursework must be taken at Colorado School of Mines.

All graduate degrees require students to complete 9 credit hours in one Research Division area. The remaining requirements come from technical electives (that can be taken inside or outside the department)  and other ME graduate-level courses. The following requirements are effective Fall 2015. If you began the program prior to Fall 2015, please refer to your bulletin year for degree/course requirements.

All PhD students must take the PhD Qualifying Exam by the third semester of their PhD program.

  • MEGN 502 Advanced Engineering Analysis 3
  • MEGN 503 Graduate Seminar (must enroll every semester until ABD) 0
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one Research Division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division. See list below.)
  • Technical Electives (graduate courses inside and outside the ME Department. Outside courses must be approved by thesis committee.) 24
  • MEGN 707 Graduate Thesis / Dissertation Research Credit 30

Research Core

Biomechanics Core Courses
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 531 Prosthetic and Implant Engineering 3
  • MEGN 532 Experimental Methods in Biomechanics 3
  • MEGN 535 Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement 3
  • MEGN 536 Computational Biomechanics3
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics 3
Robotics Core Courses
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics 3
  • MEGN 544 Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dynamics and Control 3
  • MEGN 545 Advanced Robot Control 3
  • MEGN 591 Advanced Engineering Design Methods 3
  • MEGN 593 Engineering Design Optimization 3
  • MEGN 598 Risk and Reliability in Engineering Design 3

Recommended Technical Electives for Robotics

  • CSCI 404 Artificial Intelligence 3
  • CSCI 507 Introduction to Computer Vision 3
  • CSCI 573 Human-Centered Robotics 3
Solid Mechanics and Materials Core Courses
  • MEGN 511 Fatigue and Fracture 3
  • MEGN 512 Advanced Engineering Vibration 3
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 515 Computational Mechanics 3
  • MEGN 598 Micromechanics / Homogenization 3
  • MEGN 598 Nonlinear Mechanics 3
Thermal-Fluid Systems Core Courses
  • MEGN 501 Advanced Engineering Measurements 3
  • MEGN 552 Viscous Flow and Boundary Layers 3
  • MEGN 553 Introduction to Computational Techniques for Fluid Dynamics and Transport Phenomena 3
  • MEGN 566 Combustion
  • MEGN 571 Advanced Heat Transfer 3
Current Students

New Student Information

Contact Need help or have questions? Contact: Lori Sisneros, Graduate Program Manager at sisneros@mines.edu or by phone at 303-273-3658
New Student Orientation New Student Orientation slides (Fall 2017)
Mailboxes All current graduate students have a mailbox in BB W350
Graduate Student Listserve All current students are subscribed to the ME Graduate Student Listserve.  Watch for important messages from Lori Sisneros and the department!
Degree Requirements Degree requirements can be found on the ME website under Graduate Students, and in the Graduate Catalog.

Resources and Information

Forms The Office of Graduate Studies creates and maintains graduate student forms. All forms need to be filled out electronically and then printed. Obtain appropriate signatures and submit to Lori Sisneros for Department Head signature.
Graduate Bulletin The Graduate Catalog provides academic policies and program requirements. This is an important resource for all students.
Department Seminars Department seminars are held on Tuesdays at 4:00 pm. Watch for fliers and email announcements.
Academic Calendar The Academic Calendar only version provides important deadline information enforced by CSM.
Graduate Student Government CSM Graduate Student Government offers many resources to students. Connect with leaders on campus and take advantage of the resources offered.
Registration Policy Please be sure you are following the registration policy outlined within the Graduate Bulletin. The registration policies provides a quick reference.
Funded Student Requirements If you are a funded student on an RA or TA contract you must complete several university ethics and training requirements. See the funded student requirements document.
MEGN503 All thesis based students (MS Thesis and PhD) must register for the appropriate Research Division section of MEGN503 every semester until they have completed all degree requirements (excluding defense). Non-Thesis students should not register for MENG503. However, students interested in doing research are encouraged to select a Research Division section and attend their scheduled class meetings.
400-Level Graduate students can apply 9 credits of 400-level courses toward their degree requirements. In order to register, you must email the Registrar at registrar@mines.edu to have the prerequisite requirement overridden.
Fellowships The fellowship & grant list provides information on outside fellowships applicable to students by program.
Move to Thesis-based degree How do I move to a MS-Thesis or PhD? To move to a thesis-based degree program, you need to find a permanent advisor willing to support your research interests and to support you financially. You should research the professors in the department to understand what they research to identify where the best fit might be. Then contact the professors who you are interested in working with to discuss potential research and funding opportunities.