Graduate Program

Graduate 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. Our areas of research activity stem from the core fields of mechanical engineering: Biomechanics, Robotics and Automation (which includes elements from Computer Science, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering disciplines), Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing and Thermal Fluid Systems. Note that in many cases, individual research projects encompass more than one research area. We also have faculty representing Interdisciplinary Programs that blend traditional ME concepts with other engineering disciplines to advance research and education in evolving fields.  

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 and Automation 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 on integrated mechatronic systems that enable proactive system responses to the environment and current state. These capabilities are used 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, Materials and Manufacturing develops 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 microscale to the meso- and macroscale. Much of the research is computational in nature, using advanced computational methods such as molecular dynamics and finite element, boundary element and discrete element methods. Strong ties exist between this group and the campus communities of applied mathematics, chemical engineering, materials science, metallurgy and physics.

Thermal Fluid Systems incorporates a wide array of multidisciplinary applications such as advanced energy conversion and storage, multiphase 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 to solve problems and make 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.

Interdisciplinary Programs blend core mechanical engineering concepts with other engineering disciplines to solve problems and advance research in evolving fields. The interdisciplinary programs within ME each have unique degree and/or certificate options. Programs include Advanced Manufacturing, the FEA Professional Certificate, Operations Research with Engineering and Space Resources.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee review applicants for admission 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 December 15 if you are seeking funding. Fall admission decisions with funding decisions are typically determined by early February. Accepted students must complete their intent to enroll by April 15. Details about funding, campus visit opportunities 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 Mines are not required to submit GRE scores)
  • TOEFL score of 79 or higher (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 MS are 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of thesis research. The MS 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

  • MEGN 502 Advanced Engineering Analysis, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 503 Graduate Seminar (enrollment required every fall/spring semester), 0 credits
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one research division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division, see list below), 9.0 credits
  • ME Electives* – can be any ME course at 400-level or above, 3.0 credits
  • Technical Electives (courses outside the department must be approved by advisor/thesis committee), 9.0 credits
  • MEGN 707 Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Research Credit, 6.0 credits
  • Total Credits: 30

MS Non-Thesis Degree

  • MEGN 502 Advanced Engineering Analysis, 3.0 credits
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one research division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division, see list below), 9.0 credits
  • ME Electives* – can be any ME course at 400-level or above, 9.0 credits
  • Technical Electives (courses outside the department must be approved by advisor/graduate program manager), 9.0 credits
  • Total Credits: 30

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

Research Division Courses

Biomechanics Core Courses

  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 531 Prosthetic and Implant Engineering, 3.0 credits, offered odd spring
  • MEGN 532 Experimental Methods in Biomechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 535 Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 536 Computational Biomechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics, 3.0 credits, offered spring

Robotics and Automation Core Courses

  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 544 Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dynamics and Control, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 545 Advanced Robot Control, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 587 Nonlinear Optimization, 3.0 credits, offered even fall
  • MEGN 588, Integer Optimization, 3.0 credits, offered odd fall

Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing Core Courses

  • MEGN 511 Fatigue and Fracture, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 512 Advanced Vibration Engineering, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 515 Computational Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 517 Inelastic Constitutive Relations, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 598 Micromechanics/Homogenization, 3.0 credits

Thermal Fluid Systems Core Courses

  • MEGN 551 Advanced Fluid Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 552 Viscous Flow and Boundary Layers, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 561 Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 566 Combustion, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 571 Advanced Heat Transfer, 3.0 credits, offered spring

PHD DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The PhD in Mechanical Engineering degree requires 72 credit hours of coursework and research credits. A minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework 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.

Click here to view the ME PhD program timeline.

 

Research Core Courses

  • MEGN 502 Advanced Engineering Analysis, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 503 Graduate Seminar (must enroll every semester until ABD), 0 credits
  • Research Division Core Courses (all students must select one research division and complete a total of 9 credits from that division–see list below), 9.0 credits
  • Technical Electives (graduate courses inside and outside the ME Department; outside courses must be approved by thesis committee), 24.0 credits
  • MEGN 707 Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Research Credit, 30.0 credits

Biomechanics Core Courses

  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 531 Prosthetic and Implant Engineering, 3.0 credits, offered odd spring
  • MEGN 532 Experimental Methods in Biomechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 535 Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 536 Computational Biomechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics, 3.0 credits, offered spring

Robotics and Automation Core Courses

  • MEGN 540 Mechatronics, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 544 Robot Mechanics: Kinematics, Dynamics and Control, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 545 Advanced Robot Control, 3.0 credits, offered spring
  • MEGN 587 Nonlinear Optimization, offered even fall
  • MEGN 588 Integer Optimization, offered odd fall

Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing Core Courses

  • MEGN 511 Fatigue and Fracture, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 512 Advanced Engineering Vibration, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 514 Continuum Mechanics, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 515 Computational Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 517 Inelastic Constitutive Relations, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 598 Micromechanics/Homogenization, 3.0 credits

Thermal Fluid Systems Core Courses

  • MEGN 551 Advanced Fluid Mechanics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 552 Viscous Flow and Boundary Layers, 3.0 credits
  • MEGN 561 Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 566 Combustion, 3.0 credits, offered fall
  • MEGN 571 Advanced Heat Transfer, 3.0 credits, offered spring

CURRENT STUDENTS

New Student Information

Contact Need help or have questions?
Dorothy Cheng
Graduate Program Manager
megrad@mines.edu
303-273-3658
Click here to schedule an appointment.
New Student Orientation All current students have access to the ME Graduate Program CANVAS page. Check there for important updates, including New Student Orientation details.
Mailboxes All current graduate students have a mailbox in Brown Hall W350.
Graduate Student Listserv All current students are subscribed to the ME Graduate Student Listserv. Watch for important messages from 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 Registrar’s office creates and maintains graduate student forms. All forms need to be filled out electronically and then printed. Obtain appropriate signatures and submit to the Graduate Program Manager 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 regularly throughout the academic year. Watch emails and the ME Graduate Program CANVAS page for announcements!
Academic Calendar The Academic Calendar provides important deadline information enforced by Mines.
Graduate Student Government Mines 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. To register, you must email the Registrar at registrar@mines.edu to have the prerequisite requirement overridden.
Fellowships The fellowship and grant list provides information on outside fellowships applicable to students by program.
Move to Thesis-Based Degree How do I move to an 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 look into the professors in the department to understand what they research to identify where the best fit might be. Then contact the professors you are interested in working with to discuss potential research and funding opportunities. Be sure to meet with the Graduate Program Manager to discuss policies and forms required to change degree levels.

Dorothy Cheng
Graduate Program Manager
303-273-3658
megrad@mines.edu

Click here to schedule an appointment