Current Mechanical Engineering Graduate Students

The Mechanical Engineering graduate program is designed to increase the student's breadth of knowledge, to permit depth of specialization, and to provide the opportunity for cutting-edge research. Graduate work in Mechanical Engineering at UC is designed to allow flexibility for students to conduct unique research while learning fundamental basic engineering knowledge. The degrees offered by the ME program are Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Masters of Engineering.


Master’s Degree (MS Degree)

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program offers both a thesis and non-thesis program of study for the MS Degree.

Each student is required to develop an individual Program of Study with his/her Academic Advisor. Advisor assignment is usually based on the student's plan of study and the advisor's area of specialization. A copy of the student's Program of Study, signed by the Academic Advisor, must be placed on file in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Graduate Studies Office (665 Baldwin Hall) by the student during the first semester registered at the University. A revised copy must also be submitted at the designated times.

For credit-hour and specific requirements in MS program, please refer to Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Handbook.  

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Degree)

Credit Hour Requirement

  • A minimum of 90 graduate semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. Completion of a Master’s degree, either prior to matriculation or while enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering graduate program, is a prerequisite to PhD degree completion. A Master’s degree earned prior to matriculation into the program is subject to approval by the Mechanical Engineering graduate studies committee, usually at the time of admission. All students who matriculate into the program with a Master’s degree (whether thesis or non-thesis) will receive 30 credits toward the required 90 for a PhD. Therefore, a minimum of 60 graduate semester credits beyond the Master’s degree is required. Students possessing only a BS degree who are admitted into the direct-admit PhD program are required to complete a Master of Science (MS) degree while enrolled in the program. 
  • The required 60 credit hours beyond the MS degree may include up to 42 credit hours for research courses (which must include a minimum of 21 semester hours of MECH-9030 Dissertation with the remainder being comprised of MECH-9015 Research/Thesis). Prior to electing MECH-9030 Dissertation, the student must pass the ME PhD Fundamentals Exam
  • In addition, a minimum of 18 graduate semester credit hours must be classroom work, i.e., academic work other than Research/Thesis (MECH- 9015), Research (MECH-9020), PhD Dissertation (MECH-9030), Topics in Mechanical Engineering (MECH-9021), or Seminar (MECH-9022)
  • Of the 18 credit hour classroom course requirement, a minimum of three (3) graduate credit hours of study in advanced mathematics beyond the MS degree are required. In addition to courses offered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, certain courses in MECH, AEEM, EECE, and other selected programs may be eligible to be approved as substitute courses for the math requirement. Approval by the student’s academic advisor is required. Due to changing course availability, students seeking to use a substitute course for this requirement should contact the Graduate Director for more information
  • Of the 18 credit hour classroom course requirement, a minimum of 12 graduate semester credits of Mechanical Engineering courses (MECH-xxxx or EGFD-xxxx) beyond the Master's Degree are required. Research/Thesis (MECH-9015), Topics (MECH-9021), Dissertation (MECH-9030) and Seminar (MECH-9022) do not count toward the requirement. Substitute courses, as previously described, may be allowed on an exception basis to satisfy the MECH course requirement. A petition for a substitute course should be submitted to the ME Graduate Program Director, following a recommendation by the Academic Advisor.

Exclusive of seminar and dissertation grades, the grade point average (GPA) in his/her Program of Study must not be less than 3.0 (B average). In addition, a student's GPA for all credits in his/her Program of Study must not be less than 3.0. If a student's term and/or cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student is on academic probation until the cumulative GPA is above 3.0; if this deficiency persists for two or more semesters, the student is subject to dismissal. 

  • Full-time traditional students are required to register for the ME Graduate Seminar (MECH-9022). Registration is required during all semesters in which the student maintains full-time status. Non-traditional students (parttime and GE students) are encouraged, but not required to participate. Seminar credits do not count toward credit toward the degree.
  • Students enrolled in the ME graduate program on a continuous, full-time basis beyond a specified period of time (nominally two years in the MS program or three years overall, including both MS and/or PhD study) may apply for a waiver of the seminar requirement. Students in this category may contact the seminar director for more information. 

Transfer of Credits

As a means of assuring that the character and standards embodied in graduate degrees awarded by the University of Cincinnati are preserved, limits are set on the amount of work completed at other institutions which can be included as fulfilling graduate degree requirements. The limits complement residency requirements, and are:

  • A maximum of 9 graduate semester credit hours (exclusive of 30 credits for an MS Degree at another university) can be transferred (one time) from another university and/or academic program, upon approval of the Academic Advisor, with subsequent approval from appropriate department and university authorities. Specific policies regarding such transfer of credits are:
  • Approval of these courses must be obtained before taking them unless the student is transferring to this program from another university.
  • Transfer of graduate credits is not allowed for coursework taken to satisfy the requirements of a previous or concurrent undergraduate or graduate degree program
  • Credit hours allowed for a course will not exceed the semester credit
    hours of any University of Cincinnati course(s) which covers equivalent
  • The student's Academic Advisor must send a written request for transfer
    of credits to the Director of Graduate Studies (ME). Upon approval, the
    Director of Graduate Studies (ME) will submit the request to the
    University Graduate Faculty for approval.
  • Thesis or Dissertation work cannot be transferred
  • Credits taken at the University of Cincinnati, prior to formal admission to
    the ME Graduate Program, are likewise limited to 9 graduate credit hours.

PhD Qualifying Exam

  • The ME PhD Fundamentals Exams must be completed by all students enrolled in Mechanical Engineering PhD program. Students must appear for their first attempt no later than the second time the exams are offered, following their initial date of enrollment in the ME PhD program.
  • The Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Fundamentals Exam takes place over four days. The student is tested for ninety (90) minutes in each area. A total of nine areas are offered. Any student newly matriculated into the PhD program may appear (during the quarter in which the first attempt occurs) for a maximum of two attempts in five (5) subjects approved by his/her advisor. If a second attempt is required, the student need not re-take subjects which were passed on the first attempt.
  • One of the three selected areas must be a declared primary area of the student’s Program of Study. Students who do not successfully complete this requirement within the required time frame are dismissed from the program. Please note that exceptions are not made for part-time or irregular registration. The student bears the primary responsibility for maintaining his/her enrollment status as well as for maintaining contact with his/her advisor and the COE Graduate Studies Office in order to receive necessary instructions.
  • The student is graded on a pass/fail basis in each area. All exams will be closed book and closed notes - appropriate reference materials will be provided, if necessary. In order to pass the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Fundamentals Exam, the student must pass three (3) exams in a maximum of two (2) attempts. No conditional passes will be issued.
  • The following are the nine areas included in the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Fundamentals Exam. The offered subjects are:
    • Fundamental Dynamics and Mechanical Vibrations
    • Strength of Materials, including static and dynamic failure theories
    • Fluid Mechanics
    • Heat Transfer
    • Thermodynamics
    • Engineering Statistics
    • Manufacturing Processes and Systems
    • Measurement and Control
    • Nuclear and Radiological Engineering
  • Representative sample exams in the format offered prior to and beginning in the 2007-2008 academic year are available for review within the ME PhD Fundamentals Exam Blackboard organization.