Requirements for the Master of Science (M.S.) Degree

Plan A (thesis required)

  • Minimum 30 semester credits of graduate work in approved course of study
  • Minimum 24 semester credits earned at CSU in courses numbered 500 and above
  • Minimum 21 credits taken after program admission
  • Maximum 6 transfer credits (with original transcript) not counted towards any other degree
  • Minimum 18 credits in regular courses numbered 500 and above (not including thesis/dissertation, independent study, or supervised teaching)
  • Two core courses with a B or better
  • Minimum one publication in submission
  • Minimum 12 seminars attended
  • Thesis credits (minimum of 6 and maximum of 12)
  • Final thesis defense
  • Final thesis submission

Program:  Students pursuing the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in mechanical engineering are expected to conduct research under the supervision of a faculty advisor who also is usually the Principal Investigator (P.I.) for a government or industry sponsored project.  The student’s research, in conjunction with thesis credits and coursework, will culminate in an article for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and a final thesis.  The final thesis may incorporate findings from the article.

Thesis Defense: The thesis defense (also known as the final examination) is presented at the end of the master’s degree program.  It is most often an oral presentation describing the research and findings reported in the thesis.  The defense is open to all mechanical engineering faculty, staff, and students and includes an open question period for all in attendance as well as a private question period for the committee.

Scheduling: The Department has set deadlines two weeks prior to Graduate School deadlines to avoid last minute emergencies that could prevent a student from graduating.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact the graduate program director to schedule a room for the defense, obtain a template for the announcement, to submit the announcement with abstract, and submit an electronic draft of the thesis to be shared with mechanical engineering faculty and graduate students.  Students should begin planning for the defense and thesis submission a minimum of three weeks prior to the defense and a minimum of four weeks prior to Graduate School deadlines.

Suggested Timeline

Three weeks prior to the defense:

  • Confirm a date and time for your defense with your graduate committee

Two weeks prior to the defense:

  • Contact the graduate program director to schedule the room and provide you with a template for your announcement with abstract
  • Submit announcement with abstract by email to graduate program director for distribution and advertising
  • Email a draft of the thesis (.pdf format) to your graduate committee and the graduate program director

Two weeks prior to the Graduate School deadline for Thesis & Dissertation Submission:

  • The final examination/defense should be conducted at least two weeks prior to the Graduate School deadline for Thesis & Dissertation Submission to allow for unexpected delays.

If circumstances prevent a student from meeting department deadlines, the graduate program director should be informed by the student’s advisor so that steps may be taken to ensure that the Graduate School deadlines and requirements are met for the intended graduation term.

Graduate School Deadlines

On the day of the defense: the student’s advisor is required to pick up the student file from the mechanical engineering office.  The file will contain the GS24 form (Report of Examination Results) for committee signatures.  Student files are not released to students. The student may choose to bring the completed Thesis/Dissertation Submission Form for committee and department head signature to the defense as a matter of convenience. However, the committee reserves the right to withhold signatures until they have seen the final thesis.

Results:  At the conclusion of the examination, the committee members will sign the GS24 form under the “pass” or “fail” section. The student is required to obtain the department head’s signature on the original GS24 form and submit a copy to the graduate program director.  The advisor is required to return the student file to the graduate program director.

The signed original of the GS24 form must be delivered in person by the student to the Graduate School within 2 days following the examination.

Thesis Submission: The student submits the Thesis/Dissertation Submission Form to the Graduate School, after which the Graduate School provides directions for electronic submission.  Directions may also be found here.

Clearance to Graduate:  In addition to submission to the Graduate School, the final thesis also must be emailed (pdf preferred) to the graduate program director for archiving before the student will be cleared for graduation by the department.  Graduating students also should check their “Graduate Degree Plan” in RAMweb for discrepancies or comments.  Any issues found there must be resolved before the student will be cleared for graduation by the Graduate School.