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Quick Facts

The basics at-a-glance

We offer the following graduate degrees through Northwestern University’s Graduate School:

Master of Science (MS) in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics


Northwestern University’s Evanston campus


1 year

4 years if the student has a master's degree

Start date: Fall quarter

Group size

Full-time, small cohort guarantees a meaningful and in-depth mentorship experience between students and faculty.


Application Opens:
September 1

Application Deadline:
December 31

Why Northwestern

The TAM program at Northwestern University ranks among the top programs in engineering mechanics. Its reputation arises from the pursuit of innovative and high impact research with attention to addressing societal challenges. The TAM program takes a broad and comprehensive approach to education and research, allowing students to partake in various courses and research topics of interest to ensure an interdisciplinary academic experience that’s grounded in the reality and demands of a global research trend. 

Wide Range of Study

Students study and conduct research in all fields of mechanics from classical fields such as fluid and solid mechanics to more novel trends in science such as mechanics in biology, multifunctional materials, computational mechanics, and nanomechanics. Our monthly seminars offer students additional insight into the research and expertise of a variety of invited academic and industrial professionals.

Learn about our research

Customized Curriculum

Our curriculum combines both traditional and novel trends in a diversity of topics across engineering and science fields. Students work closely with faculty from a wide range of engineering departments and industries to determine their unique program of study. Students are invited to take classes within all the McCormick departments and Northwestern schools.

Learn about our curriculum

Excellent Faculty

Our faculty include four National Academy of Engineering members, two National Academy of Sciences members, four European Academy of Sciences and Arts members, a Presidential Medalist, and several ASME Timoshenko medalists. Tenured faculty from the McCormick School of Engineering, the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, are members of TAM.

Meet the faculty

Our Students

Each year, Northwestern welcomes a diverse group of talented students into our program, which fosters a creative and highly interdisciplinary research environment. Typically, our students have a bachelor’s or Master of Science degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or an applied science, and varied work experience. Some enter directly after completing their undergraduate or master’s degree, while others bring work experience in related fields. The highly interdisciplinary nature of the program allows our students to acquire significant breadth and depth in topics not necessarily related to previous education acquired by the candidate.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Program are well prepared for immediate employment in a variety of professional environments. Shortly after completing the program, the majority of our students (65%) receive academic offers (post-doc or assistant professor) while others receive offers from prestigious industrial partners, including Chrysler-Daimler, Dow Corning, Dassault Systèmes, or National Labs.

Program participants have full access to Northwestern University’s extensive career placement resources. Additionally, our graduates are mentored directly by faculty as they seek employment near completion of their graduate studies at Northwestern.