Engineering Mechanics: Masters Degree Options



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Graduate studies in Engineering Mechanics lead to the Master of Engineering (M.Eng) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree, which offers a thesis or non-thesis option.

The department offers areas of study in mechanics of solids, mechanics of fluids, dynamics and vibrations, and applied mathematics. Normally, each graduate student selects a major and designs a program of study in consultation with a graduate committee. Minors may be taken in other engineering fields, mathematics, physics, and other physical sciences.

Students pursuing the MS thesis degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours, including at least 21 graded course credit hours and satisfactorily prepare and defend a master’s thesis. The final transcript will designate the degree as thesis.

The MS thesis option Plan of Study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5994 Research and Thesis (at least 6 credits)
  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following three areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 9 credits)

MS students must also register each semester for one credit hour of 5944 Seminar. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MS Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

Students pursuing the MS non thesis degree option must complete at least 30 graded course credit hours and satisfactorily pass a comprehensive oral examination. The final transcript will designate the degree as non thesis.

The MS non-thesis option Plan of Study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 18 credits)

MS students must also register each semester for one credit hour of 5944 Seminar. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MS Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of nine (9) credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the Plan of Study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding nine (9) hours.

This program is oriented toward engineering practice instead of fundamental research, teaching or further study. This degree is intended to increase the competence of students who are interested in design, development, operation, and engineering practice.

Students pursuing the MEng degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours and satisfactorily prepare and defend an engineering project report. The purpose of the project report is to develop and demonstrate the candidate's ability to plan and execute projects relating to the practice of engineering.

The MEng option Plan of Study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5904 Project and Report (3 credits)
  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 15 credits)

MEng students must also register each semester for one credit hour of 5944 Seminar. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MEng Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of six (6) credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the Plan of Study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding six (6) hours.

Financial support

The department is pleased to offer assistantships to selected graduate students. Fully enrolled graduate students may be appointed to a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) or a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). The responsibilities of an assistantship are to serve the teaching, research, and public service functions of the department and university. All students appointed on an assistantship are provided a monthly stipend, as well as a tuition scholarship.

Top priority for assistantships goes to PhD students, but highly competitive Masters students have also been funded.

For information about the funding opportunities available outside the department, check out Graduate School Funding Opportunities.

Applicants and current students are encouraged and expected to apply for all non-Virginia Tech scholarships for which they are eligible, especially those offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG).

Graduate Regulations Manual

This document is a guide for students who are planning their graduate studies in Engineering Mechanics. Admission and degree requirements as well as information on required courses, examinations, and grades are included. This guide is intended to supplement, not to replace, the Graduate School Catalog and the Graduate Manual published by the Virginia Tech Graduate School.

Ready to apply?

If you are ready to apply, be sure to:

Contacts

Jessica Grimes
Graduate Coordinator, Engineering Mechanics
jessicagrimes@vt.edu

Amanda Covey
Graduate Coordinator, Biomedical Engineering
amturne3@vt.edu