An online non-thesis master’s degree in mechanical engineering launching next year at Mines will offer the same depth and rigor of the on-campus experience with the convenience of online learning.

The Mines Board of Trustees approved the new online degree offering this spring. Enrollment for the first term, starting in January 2023, will begin in the fall.

“Colorado School of Mines is home to one of the top mechanical engineering programs not only in the U.S. but also globally,” said Carl Frick, professor and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mines. “This fully online master’s degree gives us the opportunity to extend the quality education that Mines is known for to students regardless of geography and time zone.”

The non-thesis master’s program was designed with flexibility in mind, both for working engineers looking to advance their careers and for graduate students looking to continue their education without having to relocate for a residential program. The fully online classes will be eight weeks long with regularly scheduled options for Q&A with faculty, but students will have the flexibility to complete assignments when it best fits their schedule. Online instructors will include the same Mechanical Engineering faculty who teach the on-campus versions of those courses, employing best practices in dedicated online instruction.

Students in the program can also customize their path based on interests and existing expertise. A total of 10 courses are required for the non-thesis MSME degree – in addition to one required course in applied mathematics, all online students will take nine more courses of their choosing: three from a core area that aligns with one of the ME Department’s research strengths — solid mechanics, materials and manufacturing; biomechanics; or thermal fluid and energy systems, among them – three mechanical engineering electives and three technical electives. Students should expect to spend 12 to 15 hours a week on coursework during the term and can complete the program part-time in five semesters, or less if they take more than one class per eight-week term.

“This is the same non-thesis MS we offer on campus – we’re not pulling any punches here,” said Tony Petrella, program director and associate professor of mechanical engineering at Mines. “We’re simply leveraging online instruction to provide broader access to the richness of our residential graduate program — without the geographic and scheduling constraints. The requirements for the degree, the learning goals, and the value will all be the same.”

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