grad-engineeringmechanics

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 Engineering Mechanics M.S. program is appropriate for students with an undergraduate background in mechanics. Prospective M.S. students with an undergraduate background in science, who would like to transition into engineering, are encouraged to consider the Engineering Mechanics: Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics named option.

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.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

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 website for details and admissions deadlines.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Admission and funding are separate decisions. Not all admitted students are offered support. International applicants must secure a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, fellowship, or independent funding before admission is final. A portion of the top domestic applicants is invited to visit Madison in March. The funding for RAs comes from faculty research grants. Each professor decides on his or her own RA offers. Funded students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment. See the program website for additional information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 of the required 30 credits must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements 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.
Assessments and Examinations A thesis is not required for a Master's degree in Engineering Mechanics. Credit for Master's research (E M A 790) will be granted toward meeting the M.S. requirements only when a formal M.S. thesis is submitted and approved by the thesis committee. If submitting a M.S. thesis, a thesis Oral Defense is required. Candidates must pass an oral exam administered by a three-member committee, selected by the student’s advisor. At least two of the committee members must be members of the UW-Madison Graduate Faculty. (For more information, see https://grad.wisc.edu/documents/committees/.) Typically, the student presents an overview of their thesis/research, and then the examiners ask questions in closed session. See the Graduate School's information https://grad.wisc.edu/current-students/masters-guide/ and note the requirement for an advisor approval page; the form that appears in Appendix C of the Handbook may be used.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES 

General
The program requires 30 credits of technical coursework approved by the student's advisor.
All courses must be at the 500-level or above. At least 15 credits must be 600-level and above OR from the following list:15
Composite Materials
Fracture Mechanics
Aerodynamics Lab
Flight Dynamics and Control
Experimental Vibration and Dynamic System Analysis
Heterogeneous and Multiphase Materials
Engineering Analysis I
Engineering Analysis II
Experimental Mechanics
Mathematics Requirements3
Students must take at least 3 credits (1 course) from the following list:
Engineering Analysis I
Engineering Analysis II
Ordinary Differential Equations
Analysis I
Analysis II
Linear Algebra II
Analysis of Partial Differential Equations
Complex Analysis
Methods of Applied Mathematics 1
Methods of Applied Mathematics-2
Methods of Computational Mathematics I
Methods of Computational Mathematics II
Breadth Requirement
Students must take at least 5 courses from the list below. At least 3 must be identified by a *. The courses must span at least 2 of the 3 areas defined below. For each of the 2 areas, the student must take at least 2 courses.
Solid Mechanics
E M A 506 Advanced Mechanics of Materials I *3
E M A/​CIV ENGR/​M E  508 Composite Materials3
E M A 519 Fracture Mechanics *3
E M A/​M S & E  541 Heterogeneous and Multiphase Materials *3
E M A/​M E  570 Experimental Mechanics3
E M A 605 Introduction to Finite Elements *3
E M A 611 Advanced Mechanical Testing of Materials *3
E M A/​E P  615 Micro- and Nanoscale Mechanics *3
E M A 622 Mechanics of Continua *3
E M A 630 Viscoelastic Solids *3
E M A 700 Theory of Elasticity *3
E M A 703 Plasticity Theory and Physics3
E M A 705 Advanced Topics in Finite Elements *3
E M A/​M E  706 Plates, Shells and Pressure Vessels3
E M A/​M E  708 Advanced Composite Materials3
E M A/​M E  722 Introduction to Polymer Rheology3
M E/​B M E  603 Topics in Bio-Medical Engineering (Topic: FE for Biomechanics)1-3
M E 753 Friction, Lubrication and Wear3
Fluid Mechanics
E M A 521 Aerodynamics *3
E M A 622 Mechanics of Continua *3
M E 563 Intermediate Fluid Dynamics *3
M E 572 Intermediate Gas Dynamics *3
M E 573 Computational Fluid Dynamics *3
M E 769 Combustion Processes3
M E 770 Advanced Experimental Instrumentation3
M E 774 Chem Kinetics of Combust Systems3
M E 775 Turbulent Heat and Momentum Transfer3
MATH 705 Mathematical Fluid Dynamics3
Dynamics
E M A 523 Flight Dynamics and Control *3
E M A/​M E  540 Experimental Vibration and Dynamic System Analysis *3
E M A 542 Advanced Dynamics *3
E M A 545 Mechanical Vibrations *3
E M A/​ASTRON  550 Astrodynamics3
E M A 610 Structural Finite Element Model Validation *3
E M A 642 Satellite Dynamics *3
E M A 742 Theory and Applications in Advanced Dynamics *3
E M A 745 Advanced Methods in Structural Dynamics *3
E M A 747 Nonlinear and Random Mechanical Vibrations *3
M E/​E C E  577 Automatic Controls Laboratory4
M E 740 Advanced Vibrations3
M E 747 Advanced Computer Control of Machines and Processes3
M E 748 Optimum Design of Mechanical Elements and Systems3
Depth Requirement6
At least 2 courses (6 credits) must be 700-level or above in mechanics, from the following list:
Any E M A course except E M A 790, E M A 890, or E M A 990.
E M A 601 Special Topics courses may only be counted as 700-level if designated as such by the instructor.
Microhydrodynamics, Brownian Motion, and Complex Fluids
Engineering Properties of Soils
Soil Dynamics
Mathematical Fluid Dynamics
Advanced Vibrations
Dynamics of Controlled Systems
Advanced Computer Control of Machines and Processes
Optimum Design of Mechanical Elements and Systems
Advanced Computational Dynamics
Friction, Lubrication and Wear
Combustion Processes
Advanced Experimental Instrumentation
Chem Kinetics of Combust Systems
Turbulent Heat and Momentum Transfer
Optional Independent Study/Research Credits
A maximum of 6 credits of E M A 599 may be used toward the 30-credit minimum. A maximum of 12 credits of E M A 790 may be used toward the 30-credit minimum. If using credits from both E M A 599 and E M A 790 toward the 30-credit minimum, a maximum combined total of 12 credits is allowed. Credit for E M A 790 will be granted toward meeting the M.S. requirements only when a formal M.S. thesis is submitted and approved by the thesis committee.
Optional Seminar Credits
Up to 3 credits of Mechanics Seminar may be used to count toward the 30-credit minimum.

Named Options (Sub-Majors)

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With permission from their faculty adviser and the department chair, students may use up to 6 credits of graduate course work taken at another institution if they meet departmental M.S. requirements. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

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.

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.

Probation

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.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

Students with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics or equivalent are typically expected to complete the Master of Science in 3 semesters. Students with non-EM backgrounds will typically be permitted 4 semesters to complete their Master's if more than 27 credits are required.

Other

n/a 

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Demonstrate a strong understanding of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles in the field.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate, analyze, and independently solve advanced engineering problems.
  3. Apply the relevant scientific and technological advancements, techniques, and engineering tools to address these problems.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

FACULTY

PROFESSORS

Blanchard, Bonazza, Bronkhorst, Crone, Hegna, Henderson, Lakes, Schmitz, Smith, Sovinec, Waleffe, Wilson(chair)

ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS

Allen, Witt

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS

Choy, Couet, Geiger, Franck, Notbohm, Thevamaran

AFFILIATE PROFESSORS

Bednarz, Bier, Engle, Graham, Kolkowitz, Ludois, Ma, Miller, Morgan, Nellis, Pfotenhauer, Porter, Prabhakar, Robertson, Szlufarska, Thomadsen, Trujillo, Vanderby

EMERITUS PROFESSORS

Abdel-Khalik, Bisognano, Callen, Carbon, Conrad, Cook, Corradini, DeLuca, Drugan, Emmert, Fonck, Hershkowitz, Kammer, Kulcinski, Mackie, Malkus, Moses, Plesha, Sandor, Schlack, Vogelsang