Jun 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering Major, MS

In mechanical engineering, three options are available for each concentration.

  • A traditional thesis option
  • A project option, an independent research experience with a written report
  • A course only option with examination. This option does not require a thesis or research project, and provides graduate students, including co-op and other off-campus students, the opportunity to focus their programs in special areas through extended course work.

Concentrations (Optional) and Options Available

Applied Mechanics — Thesis, Project, Course Only with Comprehensive Exams

Automotive Manufacturing Simulation and Design — Thesis, Project, Course Only with Comprehensive Exams

Systems and Controls — Thesis, Project, Course Only with Comprehensive Exams 

Thermal-Fluid Mechanics — Thesis, Project, Course Only with Comprehensive Exams

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus
UTSI Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Entrance into the Master of Science program is available to qualified graduates of recognized undergraduate curricula in mechanical or mechanical engineering and to qualified graduates of other curricula who satisfy the necessary prerequisites.
  • The general GRE is required of all applicants for admission.
  • Changing between mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering requires departmental approval.
  • Each applicant is advised as to any prerequisite courses before entering a program.

Academic Standards

  • Students majoring in mechanical engineering may not normally use more than one 400-level engineering course to meet their advanced degree requirements.
    • Undergraduate courses that are required for the bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering may not be taken for graduate credit by graduate students in biomedical engineering.
    • For students majoring in engineering science, 400-level graduate courses in engineering may be used to meet requirements at the discretion of the advising committee.
  • At least two-thirds of the minimum required hours in a master’s degree program must be at or above the 500-level.
  • With the approval of the student’s major department, a student whose major is outside the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) may take 400-level graduate courses in the department. Such students should consult with instructors regarding prerequisites for undergraduate courses.
  • Changing from one of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering programs to another requires departmental approval.

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Option Requirements
    • Thesis Option: ME 500  Thesis, 6 credit hours (minimum)
    • Project Option: ME 590  Selected Engineering Problems, for independent research, 3 to 6 credit hours
  • Course Work Requirements
    • Thesis Option - 24 credit hours graduate course work plus thesis credit hours
    • Project Option - 27 credit hours graduate course work plus project credit hours
    • Course Only Option with Examination Option - 30 credit hours of graduate course work
  • Are determined in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee to meet the needs of the individual program Courses from MABE, 500-level or above
    • Thesis Option: 12 credit hours minimum
    • Project Option: 12 to 15 credit hours minimum
    • Course Only Option: 18 credit hours minimum
  • Mathematics, 400-graduate level or above excluding MATH 400  – 6 credit hours minimum.
    • Other 500-level engineering courses that are approved by the student’s master’s committee and the graduate programs committee may be substituted for the mathematics courses.
  • Mechanical Engineering (ME) courses below 500-level (only those courses that are listed in the Graduate Catalog are allowed) - 3 credit hours maximum.
  • Thesis Option: One-time enrollment in ME 595  in the departmental graduate seminars program

Non-course Requirements

  • Concentrations represent areas of faculty research in which students may engage or they may select to complete the degree using an interdisciplinary approach without selecting a concentration.
  • Thesis Option: Pass a final examination on all work submitted for the degree. Submission and defense of a written thesis that demonstrates the ability to conduct and report an independent investigation.
  • Project Option: Pass a final examination over all course work. Students also have to submit a written report and oral presentation of a project.
  • Course Only Option: Pass a final examination over all course work.


Five-Year BS/MS Program – Mechanical Engineering Major, MS

The department offers a 5 year BS-MS program for qualified students. The primary component of the program is that qualified students may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Significant components of the program are:

  • Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.4 to be admitted to the program. Conditional admission may be granted after completing 64 credit hours of required course work while full admission is granted after completing 96 credit hours of required course work with a minimum overall GPA of 3.4 in required course work.
  • Students must at least have conditional admission before taking graduate courses for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the departmental chair of the program. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.
  • Admission of students into this program must be approved by the department and the Graduate School.
  • Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are admitted to Graduate School.