Graduate Study
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Master's Curriculum

The MS program has two options: the thesis option and the non-thesis option for terminal MS degree.

In addition, MS students may choose an area of specialization:

A separate professional master's degree program is available through the Segal Design Institute:

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Breadth Requirement

Thesis or non-thesis MS students must take at least one course from four of the eight subareas: solids, fluids/thermodynamics/energy, dynamics/controls, design/manufacturing/tribology, MEMS/nanotechnology, biomedical/biology, mathematics/sciences, and engineering management. See course suggestions below.

Please note: Not all courses are offered every year. Check the mechanical engineering course catalog for current offerings.

Solids

ME 327, ME 362 ME 426-1, ME 426-2, ME 456, ME 466, ME 495 (fracture mechanics), ME 495 (dynamics deformation), ME 495 (thin films), ME 495 (metamaterials), ME 495 (multi-functional materials), CE 413, CE 414-1, CE 414-2, CE 415, CE 417-1, CE 422

Fluids/Thermodynamics/Energy

ME 370, ME 373, ME 377, ME 395 (energy), ME 395 (nuclear reactor), ME 395 (life cycle analysis), ME 420, ME 423, ME 424, ME 425, ESAM 426, ESAM 427, ESAM 429-1, ESAM 429-2

Dynamics/Control

ME 314, ME 333, ME 363, ME 390, ME 433*, ME 448, ME 449, ME 450, ME 454, ME 495 (computational nanodynamics), EECS 360, EECS 374

Design/Manufacturing/Tribology

ME 315, ME 320, ME 340-1, ME 340-2*, ME 340-3, ME 341, ME 346, ME 366, ME 432, ME 439, ME 441, ME 442, ME 445, ME 446, ME 451, ME 495 (computational stat methods for design), ME 495 (sustainable manufacturing)

MEMS/Nanotechnology

ME 381, ME 382, ME 385, ME 417, ME 418, ME 451, ME 495 (computational nanodynamics), ME 495 (metamaterials), ME 495 (mechanics of cells and bioMEMS)

Biomedical/Biology

ME 495 (mech of cells and bioMEMS), BME 462, BME 464, BME 465, BME 467

Mathematics/Sciences

ESAM 311-1,2,3, ESAM 322, ESAM 346, ESAM 411-1,2,3, ESAM 420-1,2,3, ESAM 421-1,2,3, ESAM 424-1,2, ESAM 426, ESAM 427, ESAM 429-1,2, ESAM 430-1,2,3, ESAM 446-1,2,3, EECS 328, ME 432

Engineering Management**

IEMS 402, IEMS 407, IEMS 415, IEMS 426, IEMS 486, IEMS 490

* Note that ME 340-2 and ME 433 are undergraduate senior design courses that are project-based and have a much higher workload than most other courses.

** Admission to the Engineering Management Minor program through the IEMS department is required in order to enroll in any of these IEMS courses. The minor requires IEMS 402, IEMS 407, and one additional IEMS course from the list.

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Energy & Sustainability Specialization Breadth Requirement

Thesis or non-thesis MS students participating in the Energy & Sustainability specialization must take ISEN 410 plus one course from each of the four topical areas: energy, environment, core principles of energy systems, and economics and policy. See course suggestions below.

Please note: Not all courses are offered every year. Check the mechanical engineering course catalog for current offerings.

Energy

ME 395 (Nuclear), ME 395 (Energy Systems),ME 395 (Life Cycle Analysis), ME 495 (Sustainable Manufacturing), MatSci 395 (Fuel Cells)

Environment

CEE 363, CEE 364, CEE 368, CEE 440

Core Principles of Energy Systems

ME 346, ME 370, ME 445, ME 446, CEE 414-1, CEE 414-2, MatSci 381

Economics/Policy

ISEN 420, ISEN 430, CEE 303, ChE 365

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Thesis Option Requirements

Courses

Nine course units are required, excluding research project units (ME 590).

Breadth

Courses are listed above.

Level

A minimum of five course units (excluding ME 590 research units) must be 400-level or above. All courses must be 300-level or above and must be from a department in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science or be on the list of Energy & Sustainability courses.

ME courses (except for Energy & Sustainability specialization)

A minimum of five course units (excluding research units) must be ME courses or CE mechanics courses.

Seminar

Registration and regular attendance for the non-credit ME512 Seminar is required for all quarters.

Approval

Students must obtain approval from their advisor for all courses in advance and submit a signed course form each quarter to the ME graduate program assistant before registration.

Research

Three credit units of ME 590 are required in which a suitable thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor must be completed and defended.

Residency

Three quarters of full-time registration (three to four courses or project units per quarter) are required.

Minimum GPA

The Graduate School requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 computed over all graded courses taken while in the program in order to earn a MS degree. The Graduate School requires ME 590 units to be taken on a pass/no pass basis, so they do not factor into the GPA.

Master's Thesis and Examination

The mechanical engineering department requires a written thesis to be approved at a final examination. The final examination shall include a presentation by the student of the thesis material and examination by the examining committee. The Examining Committee is comprised of at least two full-time members of the Northwestern University faculty, and at lease one of them must also be a member of the graduate faculty.

Coursework and core courses must be filled out on the ME / MS Degree Requirement form, signed by their adviser and by the graduate studies chair. This form must be presented at the time of final examination. Upon successful completion of the final examination, the examining committee signs the Report of Committee on Examination of Candidate for a Master's Degree, which is then submitted to The Graduate School.

MS Thesis

The thesis should be based on original research that is of publishable quality and should have a quantity of material equivalent to at least one journal paper. It should be prepared according to The Graduate School format for PhD dissertations.

An application for degree must be submitted to The Graduate School by the relevent published deadline for graduation in a specific quarter (June [spring], August [summer], December [fall], or March [winter]).

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Non-thesis Option Requirements

Courses

Eleven course units plus one project unit are required.

Breadth

Courses are listed above.

Level

A minimum of five course units (excluding project units) must be 400-level or above. All courses must be 300-level or above and must be from a department in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science or be on the list of Energy & Sustainability courses.

ME courses

A minimum of seven course units (excluding project units) must be ME courses, or CE mechanics courses, or "ME core courses" for the Energy and Sustainability specialization.

Seminar

Regular attendance for the non-credit ME512 Seminar is strongly encouraged for all quarters.

Approval

Students must obtain approval from ME Assistant Chair or the Graduate Studies Chair for all courses before registration.

Project

One credit unit of ME 499 or an approved project course is required in which a suitable research project under the direction of a faculty adviser must be completed.

Miniumum GPA

The Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all graded courses taken while in the program in order to earn a MS degree.

An application for degree must be submitted to The Graduate School by the relevant published deadline for graduation in a specific quarter (June [spring], August [summer], December [fall], or March [winter]).