Current Students

Specific Fields of Emphasis

Mechanical Engineering is a multidisciplinary field that includes the traditional areas of continuum solid and fluid mechanics with the pertinent transport phenomena associated with processes related to design, fabrication, and analysis of mechanical devices and systems. With the research experience gained in these areas, Mechanical Engineering graduates can develop successful careers in a wide range of areas including biomedical, health sciences, space, transportation, agriculture, energy, materials, computational sciences, and many other fields.

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Group at UC Merced offers a multidisciplinary research and training program for M.S. and Ph.D.-seeking students who want to learn advanced methods for solving mechanical problems at various length and time scales. Research projects are available on topics ranging from fundamental mathematical methods to advanced applications, and coursework will provide a background in the latest techniques in analytical, computational, and experimental methods in Mechanical Engineering.

Master’s Degree

Students may be admitted to the ME graduate program to work toward an M.S. degree. The recipient of an M.S. degree will possess knowledge of a broad field of learning that extends well beyond that attained at the undergraduate level, but is not necessarily expected to have made a significant original contribution to knowledge in that field.

The ME group has established the following requirements for the M.S. degree.  Each M.S. student must have a faculty advisor responsible for designing and approving a plan of study detailing all classes to be taken. Two different tracks are recognized as described below. Students may switch from one M.S. plan to another with their faculty adviser’s consent.

PLAN I (thesis option)

  • Complete at least two semesters of full-time academic residence at UC Merced.
  • Complete at least 20 units of graduate course work.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Register for and obtain a Satisfactory (S) grade in one semester of ME 291: Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series
  • Complete at least 8 units of research.
  • Prepare a written thesis describing relevant research in the field that is read and accepted by a thesis committee.
  • Defend the M.S. thesis via oral presentation attended and approved by the committee.

M.S. Plan I Thesis and Defense: The student will prepare a written thesis under supervision of their faculty advisor until the work is judged ready for review by the faculty committee.  The student must provide a copy of the thesis to each member of the faculty committee and allow each committee member at least two weeks to read and comment on it. If one or more committee members believe that there are significant errors or shortcomings in the thesis or that the scope or nature of the work are not adequate, the student must address these shortcomings before scheduling a defense. Once the committee members are in agreement that the thesis is ready to be defended, the defense may be scheduled by the student in consultation with the committee. Once the date of the thesis defense is determined, this information must be reported to the Graduate Dean, and one copy of the thesis must be filed with the Graduate Division no later than two weeks before the scheduled date of the thesis defense. The thesis defense consists of an open seminar followed by a closed-door examination by the thesis committee. During the examination, the student is expected to explain the significance of the research, justify the methods employed, and defend the conclusions reached.

PLAN II (non-thesis option)

  • Complete at least two semesters of full-time academic residence at UC Merced.
  • Complete at least 28 units of letter-graded graduate course work (see Section 3.2.5).  No research effort is required in this plan.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Register for and obtain a Satisfactory (S) grade in one semester of ME 291: Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series
  • Pass an oral comprehensive examination administered by the faculty committee.

M.S. Plan II Comprehensive Examination: The M.S. comprehensive examination is a 2-hour oral test and the content of the exam represents a capstone requirement that integrates the intellectual substance of the program. The test will be given by three members of the ME faculty who will jointly determine the outcome.

Doctoral Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is granted to students who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of a broad field of learning and have given evidence of distinguished accomplishment in that field. The degree also signifies that the recipient has critical ability and powers of imaginative synthesis as demonstrated by a doctoral dissertation containing an original contribution to knowledge in his or her chosen field of study.

The ME graduate group has established the following requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Post M.S.

Students entering the program with an M.S. degree must:

  • Complete at least four semesters of full-time academic residence at UC Merced.
  • Complete at least 12 units of letter-graded graduate course work (see Section 3.2.5).
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Register for and obtain a Satisfactory (S) grade in two semesters of ME 291: Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series.
  • Serve as a Teaching Assistant for at least one semester.
  • Give one open technical seminar on campus or make a presentation at a professional conference.
  • Pass a written Preliminary Examination to show mastery of fundamental mechanical engineering topics.
  • Present a written thesis proposal and pass a Qualifying Examination in which the proposed research is presented to the dissertation committee.
  • Present and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation containing an original contribution to knowledge in the field.

M.S. and Ph.D.

Students whose degree objective is a Ph.D. but who wish to also receive an M.S. from UC Merced must complete all requirements for an M.S. degree either Plan I or II in addition to the requirements for the Post M.S. degree described above.

Direct Ph.D.

Students who directly enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree and do not intend to pursue an M.S. degree en route to the Ph.D. must:

  • Complete at least six semesters of full-time academic residence at UC Merced.
  • Complete at least 32 units of letter-graded graduate course work (see Section 3.2.5).
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Register for and obtain a Satisfactory (S) grade in two semesters of ME 291: Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series.
  • Serve as a Teaching Assistant for at least one semester.
  • Give one open technical seminar on campus or make a presentation at a professional conference.
  • Pass a written Preliminary Examination to show mastery of fundamental mechanical engineering topics.
  • Present a written thesis proposal and pass a Qualifying Examination in which the proposed research is presented to the dissertation committee.
  • Present and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation containing an original contribution to knowledge in the field.

Unit Requirements

The unit requirement for each degree is described in the previous section. Graduate students must remain in good academic standing to be awarded an academic graduate degree.

Specific scholarship requirements are as follows

  • Only courses in the graduate 200 series in which the student receives grades of “A”, “B”, or “S” may be counted in satisfaction of the requirements for advanced degrees. A course in which a student receives a “C”, “D”, or lower cannot be used to satisfy the unit requirement for the degree but will count in determining the grade point average.
  • Candidates must maintain an average of at least three grade points per unit in all graduate courses elected during their residence as graduate students at the University of California. Students must maintain an average grade point of 3.0 for advancement to candidacy and conferral of the degree.
  • Courses graded “S/U” will not be counted in determining grade point averages.
  • Students must make satisfactory progress on their programs of study as determined by their graduate research advisor.

No courses are uniformly required for all ME graduate students. Students should work with their advisors to determine which courses are best suited for their research areas. Course selection should be discussed with advisors each year at the annual review meeting. This may include any letter graded graduate level ME course (200 or higher) as well as graduate level courses in other areas with the consent of the advisor.

Normally these courses should be taken during the first two years of graduate study. Requirements for formal course work beyond the minimum are flexible and are determined by the individual student’s background and research topic in consultation with the student’s graduate research advisor. Exceptions of these requirements due to transference from another graduate program will be analyzed on an individual basis.

 

For more information, refer to the Mechanical Engineering Policies and Procedures.

Contact Us

Graduate Admissions:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
 
Graduate Funding:
Phone: (209) 228-4622
 
Mailing Address:
University of California, Merced
ATTN: Graduate Division
5200 N. Lake Road, Ste KL 227
Merced, CA 95343

 

 
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5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
 
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