The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a program leading to the M.S. in mechanical engineering. The program is designed to stimulate creativity, to provide an in-depth understanding of the basic physical phenomena involved in mechanical systems, and to provide the student with the ability to use modern techniques in the analysis and design of mechanical components and systems.
Admission to the graduate program in mechanical engineering requires a baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering or related areas such as physics, mathematical sciences, chemistry, computer science, and engineering disciplines. NIU undergraduate majors in mechanical engineering can, however, be admitted to the integrated B.S./M.S. sequence after finishing 90 semester hours with a GPA of at least 3.00.
Check departmental information for any additional requirements.
All students admitted to the M.S. program are initially classified as thesis option students. The thesis option is designed to prepare students for graduate work at the doctoral level or advanced engineering work in industry and focuses on original research techniques. Students pursuing the thesis option generally have more opportunities for receiving financial support from the department. The graduate program of study must include 6 semester hours of MEE 699, Master’s Thesis, on a topic approved by the student’s thesis committee. The thesis must be satisfactorily defended at an oral examination. Portions of the research work required in MEE 699 may be performed in off-campus facilities if approved by the student’s graduate committee.
Two non-thesis options, the project option and the course option, are available to students who wish to pursue a M.S. degree and who do not want to pursue the traditional research experience of a thesis option. The non-thesis options are designed primarily for practicing professionals, but they are also available to full time students. Those who wish to pursue the project option or the course option are required to petition the department’s graduate committee.
Students pursuing a M.S. degree under this option must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit including 3 semester hours of MEE 697, Independent Study, for a master’s project resulting in some original work which must be defended at an oral examination and presented in a written report. Employed students may use topics and facilities from their work if approved.
Students pursuing a M.S. degree under this option are required to complete 33 semester hours of graduate credit. Students pursuing the course option generally do not take MEE 697 or MEE 699. However, such students are required to write a research paper related to one or more mechanical engineering courses taken as part of the graduate program. The topic must be approved by the student’s paper committee at least one semester prior to graduation, and the completed paper must be examined and approved by the committee as a requirement for graduation.
Students must satisfy the following departmental requirements.
Submit to the department a program of graduate study approved by the student’s graduate committee or the department.
Complete at least 30 (thesis option or project option) or 33 (course option) semester hours of graduate work, not more than 30 percent of which may be in courses numbered 500-599. All courses taken outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering must have departmental approval in advance.
Students are required to fulfill all the requirements mentioned in the previous section. In addition, students with a B.S. degree in an area other than mechanical engineering are required to take at least three courses from one of the following groups depending on their chosen field of study. The department will stipulate the courses to be taken. A grade of B or better must be obtained in each of these courses.
This integrated sequence leads to both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and is available to all undergraduate mechanical engineering majors who have finished at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate work with a GPA of at least 3.00. A minimum GPA of 3.00 must be maintained during the course of study. Failure to meet the requirements of the integrated sequence may lead to a B.S. degree only, but only after all the requirements for that degree have been met.
All students enrolled in the integrated B.S./M.S. sequence must have their schedule approved by their faculty adviser each semester. Any deviation from the approved course schedule may delay graduation.
Students must complete all undergraduate required courses, including 9 semester hours of technical electives. Only those technical electives or required courses taken for graduate credit during the student’s final undergraduate term will be credited toward the M.S. program, up to a maximum of 9 semester hours.
Students are required to fulfill all requirements for thesis option, project option, or course option mentioned in the previous section.