The master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in engineering mechanics are offered within a graduate program covering contemporary areas in both theoretical and applied mechanics. With the guidance of a major professor, a program can be designed to meet an individual student's needs and interests.

The program is broadly structured into several main areas of instruction and research interests in mechanics of materials and astronautics: continuum mechanics, computational mechanics, dynamics and vibration, fluid mechanics, nanomechanics, solid mechanics, and biomechanics. Related fields in which minor work may be done include civil and environmental engineering, chemical and biological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering and engineering physics, physics, geological engineering and geology, mathematics, statistics, and computer science.

Current faculty research interests include adhesive-bonded joints; composites; failure criteria; analytical and computational solid mechanics; analytical and computational dynamics; multibody dynamics; analytical and computational active and passive space-structure control systems; dynamic stability; nonlinear fracture mechanics of traditional and advanced materials; continuum mechanics; modal analysis; nanomechanics and nanotribology; fluid-structure interaction; non-Newtonian fluid flow; structural mechanics; viscoelasticity; viscoplasticity; cell mechanics; and biomechanics.

Laboratories are well equipped for experimental testing and research; these include holography, Moire, atomic force microscopy, vibration testing, and other optical methods for experimental mechanics research. The department has access to collegewide facilities. The Wisconsin Laboratory for Structures and Materials Testing has facilities for testing large structures, fatigue and vibration labs, and complements the department's laboratories. The Materials Science Center provides state-of-the-art instrumentation, support facilities, and expert technical assistance for research and education in materials. Its facilities include scanning and transmission electron microscopes, image processing and analysis systems, surface and thin film characterization facilities, and x-ray diffraction facilities.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S.

This is a named option within the engineering mechanics M.S.

The Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics option of the master of science degree in engineering mechanics (FAM) is primarily designed for students with a science background who would like to transition to engineering. It may also be suitable for non-mechanics engineering students (electrical, chemical, etc.) who are interested in transitioning to mechanics. The goal of this program is to provide a bridge to careers in engineering or to a Ph.D. program in mechanics. FAM is fast-paced; students are expected to complete the curriculum over a twelve-month period, starting in a summer session. Prospective graduate students with a background in mechanics are encouraged to consider our primary M.S. and Ph.D. engineering mechanics programs.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.
Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.

15 of the required 30 credits must be in graduate-level coursework from EMA, math, physics, computer science, or any other engineering department except EPD; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.  

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

15 of the required 30 credits must be in graduate-level coursework from EMA and engineering physics. Courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 6 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

No transfer credits are allowed.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.

With faculty approval, students who have received their undergraduate degree from UW–Madison may apply up to 7 credits numbered 400 or above toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. This work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

With faculty approval, students who have received an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree (not including UW–Madison) may be eligible to apply up to 7 credits of their undergraduate coursework toward the Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement.  No credits can be counted toward the Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, nor the Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement.  Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 7 credits of coursework from the following list of courses:

E P/​E M A  547 Engineering Analysis I3
E P/​E M A  548 Engineering Analysis II3
E M A 303 Mechanics of Materials3
E M A/​M E  307 Mechanics of Materials Lab1
E M A 405 Practicum in Finite Elements3
E M A 405 Practicum in Finite Elements3
E M A 506 Advanced Mechanics of Materials I3
E M A/​CIV ENGR/​M E  508 Composite Materials3
E M A 519 Fracture Mechanics3
E M A 542 Advanced Dynamics3
E M A/​M E  570 Experimental Mechanics3
E M A 605 Introduction to Finite Elements3
E M A 611 Advanced Mechanical Testing of Materials3
E M A 622 Mechanics of Continua3
E M A 642 Satellite Dynamics3
E M A 705 Advanced Topics in Finite Elements3

These may be counted toward the Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement as applicable. No credits may be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement, and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.

Program of study must include: At least 15 credits of EMA courses in the 500 level or above; at least 6 of these 15 credits being in 700-level or above EMA courses; combined EMA course content of the student’s undergraduate and graduate program of study must include at least 24 credits of 500-level or above mechanics coursework.

With thesis: a maximum of 12 credits of E M A 790 Master's Research and Thesis may be granted for the thesis.

Without thesis: a maximum of 12 credits of E M A 690 Master's Research may be counted toward the M.S. requirements.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

Summer Session3-6
E M A 303 Mechanics of Materials3
Recommended prerequisite (strongly recommended):
E M A 202 Dynamics3
Fall Semester14
M E/​E M A  307 Mechanics of Materials Lab1
E M A 506 Advanced Mechanics of Materials I3
E M A 542 Advanced Dynamics3
E M A/​E P  547 Engineering Analysis I3
E M A 601 Special Topics in Engineering Mechanics1-3
E M A 405 Practicum in Finite Elements3
or E M A 605 Introduction to Finite Elements
Spring Semester13
E M A/​E P  548 Engineering Analysis II3
E M A 601 Special Topics in Engineering Mechanics1-3
Choose three of the following: 19
Composite Materials
Fracture Mechanics
Experimental Mechanics
Advanced Mechanical Testing of Materials
Mechanics of Continua
Satellite Dynamics
Advanced Topics in Finite Elements
1

 At least one of the three must be either E M A 705 Advanced Topics in Finite Elements, E M A 622 Mechanics of Continua, or E M A 642 Satellite Dynamics.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.
A course that is to be counted toward the M.S. degree must be passed with a grade of A, AB, or B.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

Courses in which grades of BC, C, or below are received cannot be counted toward the degree except as follows: 1) Credits of C will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of A or by four times as many credits of AB, 2) Credits of BC will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of AB or by an equal number of credits of A.

Probation Policy

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment (or 12 credits of enrollment if enrolled part-time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for one additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

Each student is required to meet with his or her advisor prior to registration every semester.

Assessments and Examinations

Students who complete a thesis must defend it orally in front of a committee of three faculty.

Time Constraints

Engineering Mechanics, M.S.

Students with a B.S. degree in engineering mechanics or equivalent are typically expected to complete the master of science in three semesters. Students with non–EM backgrounds will typically be permitted four semesters to complete their master’s degree if more than 27 credits are required.

Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics, M.S. (named option)

Students are expected to complete the FAM degree program in one calendar year, i.e. 12 months (summer session plus two semesters). One additional semester is permitted to complete the requirements, if needed.

Language Requirements

No language requirements.

The Graduate School sets minimum requirements for admissions. Academic program admission requirements are often more rigorous than those set by the Graduate School. Please check the program’s website for details.

Knowledge and Skills

  • demonstrate a strong understanding of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles in the field.
  • demonstrate an ability to formulate, analyze, and solve advanced engineering problems.
  • demonstrate creative, independent problem solving skills.
  • apply the latest scientific and technological advancements, advanced techniques, and modern engineering tools to these problems.

Professional Conduct

  • recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: Professors T. Allen, Blanchard (chair),  Bisognano, Bonazza, Crone, Drugan, Fonck, Hegna, Henderson, Kammer, Kulcinski, Lakes, Moses, Pfotenhauer, Plesha, Smith, Sovinec, Waleffe, Wilson; Associate Professors M. Allen, Witt; Assistant Professor Schmitz; Affiliate Professors Bednarz, Bier, Deluca, Graham, Ma, Mackie, Miller, Morgan, Nellis, Porter, Robertson, Szlufarska, Thomadsen, Trujillo, Vanderby