This is a named option within the Engineering Mechanics M.S.
This 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.
For more information on this specific degree plan, please see the ME website.
Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||December 15|
|Spring Deadline||September 1|
|Summer Deadline||December 15|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||Not 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|
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS and PROCESS
Degree: For admission to graduate study in Engineering Mechanics, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical science, and an undergraduate record that indicates an ability to successfully pursue graduate study. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree.
It is highly recommended that students take courses that cover the same material as these UW-Madison courses before entering the program:
Course and Semester Credits Typical Courses
Mechanics of Materials, 3 cr E M A 303
Descriptions of course content can be accessed through The Guide. Students may enter without having taken these courses. However, in such cases the students must inform their advisors, who will help them plan courses of study that will provide adequate background for our department's graduate curriculum. Provisions for admission on probation, or as an applicant for more than one master's degree (e.g., simultaneous MS degrees in two departments) are given in the Graduate School website.
All applicants must satisfy requirements that are set forth by the Graduate School.
GPA: The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 basis on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours from the most recent bachelor's degree. In special cases, students with grade point averages lower than 3.0 who meet all the general requirements of the Graduate School may be considered for admission on probation.
MS-thesis track advisor selection process: MS applicants who intend to complete a thesis are encouraged to identify potential faculty advisors and seek a confirmation. Please review the department Research and People websites and contact those whose research interests align with yours. Only faculty members listed with the titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, can serve as graduate advisors. Do not contact Emeritus faculty, Lecturers, Research Scientists, or Faculty Associates. You are also encouraged to inquire about possible funding opportunities. If a faculty member agrees to be your advisor, ask the person to email an acknowledgment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each application must include the following:
- Graduate School Application
- Academic transcripts
- Statement of purpose
- Three letters of recommendation
- English Proficiency Score (if required)
- Application Fee
To apply to the EM program, complete applications, including supportive materials, must be submitted as described below and received by the following deadline dates:
- Fall Semester—December 15
- Spring Semester—September 1
- Summer Session—December 15
Within the online application, upload the undergraduate transcript(s) and, if applicable, the previous graduate transcript. Unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted for review, but official copies are required for admitted students. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the Department of Mechanical Engineering unless requested. Please review the requirements set by the Graduate School for additional information about degrees/transcripts.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
In this document, applicants should explain why they want to pursue further education in Engineering Mechanics and discuss which UW faculty members they would be interested in doing research with during their graduate study (see the Graduate School for more advice on how to structure a personal statement).
Upload your resume in your application.
THREE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
These letters are required from people who can accurately judge the applicant's academic and/or research performance. It is highly recommended these letters be from faculty familiar with the applicant. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically to graduate programs through the online application. See the Graduate School for FAQs regarding letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are due by the deadline listed above.
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY SCORE
Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. The UW-Madison Graduate School accepts TOEFL or IETLS scores. Your score will not be accepted if it is more than two years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level and how recent the language instruction was taken are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.
For more information regarding minimum score requirements and exemption policy, please see the Graduate School Requirements for Admission.
Application submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or debit/ATM. Additional information about the application fee may be found here (scroll to the ‘Frequently asked questions).
Fee grants are available through the conditions outlined here by the Graduate School.
If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.
If you were previously enrolled as a graduate student in the Engineering Mechanics program, have not earned your degree, but have had a break in enrollment for a minimum of a fall or spring term, you will need to re-apply to resume your studies. Please review the Graduate School requirements for previously enrolled students. Your previous faculty advisor (or another EM faculty advisor) must be willing to supply advising support and should e-mail the EM Graduate Student Services Coordinator regarding next steps in the process.
If you were previously enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree, completed that degree, have had a break in enrollment since earning the degree and would now like to apply for another UW-Madison program; you are required to submit a new student application through the UW-Madison Graduate School online application. For EM graduate programs, you must follow the entire application process as described above.
CURRENTLY ENROLLED GRADUATE STUDENT ADMISSIONS
Students currently enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison, whether in EM or a non-EM graduate program, wishing to apply to this degree program should contact the EM Graduate Admissions Team to inquire about the process and deadlines several months in advance of the anticipated enrollment term. Current students may apply to change or add programs for any term (fall, spring, or summer).
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 restrictions related to funding.
There are three mechanisms for Graduate Student funding through the university for M.S. Engineering Mechanics: Research students:
- Graduate assistantships: project assistantships, teaching assistantships, and research asisstantships
Funding is awarded based on the qualifications of the student, the number of applicants, the amount of available funding, the number of continuing students receiving support, and the degree program a student is enrolled in. Fellowship and research assistantship funding is only considered for thesis-based M.S. students. You can apply for funding for research assistantships by contacting individual faculty members directly. Please check our website to look for faculty (only those listed with titles of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor can serve as graduate student advisors). Search for faculty who have research interests that align closely with your own by viewing faculty directory entries, visiting the faculty’s website (linked from the directory page), and reviewing publications by the faculty member. Once you have identified faculty with interests close to your own, you are encouraged to contact them by email to inquire regarding available research assistant positions. The admissions office does not know if a particular professor has research assistant positions available.
Students who apply to the M.S. Research program will be automatically considered for fellowship opportunities within the department. Admitted students will be eligible to apply for Teaching Assistantship positions. More information, including the application, will be available to students after admission is complete.
More information on graduate student funding is available from the UW-Madison Graduate School.
Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may be eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least 4 credits during the fall and spring semesters, and 2 credits during summer. Private loans are also available. Learn more about financial aid at their website.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SERVICES FUNDING AND SCHOLARSHIPS
For information on International Student Funding and Scholarships visit the ISS website.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
Named Option Requirements
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||30 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||16 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required. |
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
|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.|
|The program requires 30 credits of technical coursework approved by the student's advisor.|
|All courses must numbered 500 or above. At least 15 credits must be taken in courses numbered 600 and above OR from the following list:||15|
|Flight Dynamics and Control|
|Experimental Vibration and Dynamic System Analysis|
|Heterogeneous and Multiphase Materials|
|Engineering Analysis I|
|Engineering Analysis II|
|Students must take at least 3 credits (1 course) from the following list:|
|Engineering Analysis I|
|Engineering Analysis II|
|Ordinary Differential Equations|
|Linear Algebra II|
|Analysis of Partial Differential Equations|
|Methods of Applied Mathematics 1|
|Methods of Applied Mathematics-2|
|Methods of Computational Mathematics I|
|Methods of Computational Mathematics II|
|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.|
|E M A 506||Advanced Mechanics of Materials I *||3|
|E M A/CIV ENGR/M E 508||Composite Materials||3|
|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 Mechanics||3|
|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/M E 703||Plasticity Theory and Physics||3|
|E M A 705||Advanced Topics in Finite Elements *||3|
|E M A/M E 706||Plates, Shells and Pressure Vessels||3|
|E M A/M E 708||Advanced Composite Materials||3|
|E M A/M E 722||Introduction to Polymer Rheology||3|
|M E/B M E 516||Finite Elements for Biological and Other Soft Materials||3|
|M E 753||Friction, Lubrication and Wear||3|
|E M A 521||Aerodynamics *||3|
|E M A 524||Rocket Propulsion *||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 Processes||3|
|M E 770||Advanced Experimental Instrumentation||3|
|M E 774||Chem Kinetics of Combust Systems||3|
|M E/CIV ENGR/E M A 775||Turbulent Heat and Momentum Transfer||3|
|MATH 705||Mathematical Fluid Dynamics||3|
|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||Astrodynamics||3|
|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 Laboratory||4|
|M E 740||Advanced Vibrations||3|
|M E 747||Advanced Computer Control of Machines and Processes||3|
|M E 748||Optimum Design of Mechanical Elements and Systems||3|
|At least 2 courses (6 credits) must numbered 700 or above in mechanics, from the following list:|
E M A 601 Special Topics courses may only be counted as course numbered 700+ if designated as such by the instructor.
|Microhydrodynamics, Brownian Motion, and Complex Fluids|
|Engineering Properties of Soils|
|Mathematical Fluid Dynamics|
|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|
|Advanced Experimental Instrumentation|
|Chem Kinetics of Combust Systems|
|Turbulent Heat and Momentum Transfer|
|Independent Study/Research Credits|
|All students must take a minimum of 3 credits of E M A 599. A maximum of 6 credits of E M A 599 may be used toward the 30-credit minimum. Students in the thesis track may use a maximum of 12 credits of E M A 599 and E M A 790, combined, toward the 30-credit minimum. 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.|
|Thesis pathway1: minimum of 3 credits of E M A 599 and a minimum of 6 credits of E M A 790|
|Independent study pathway1: minimum of 3 credits of E M A 599|
|1These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.|
|Optional Seminar Credits|
|Up to 3 credits of Mechanics Seminar may be used to count toward the 30-credit minimum.|
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.
Named Option-Specific Policies
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With advisor and EM Graduate Studies Committee approval, students may use up to 6 credits of relevant coursework from a prior graduate program. Please review the Graduate Program Handbook (see contact box) for information about use and restrictions to this policy.
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 in courses numbered 700 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 numbered 700 or above. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
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
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.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Department of Mechanical Engineering Grievance Procedures
If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues to resolve the grievance. Students’ concerns about unfair treatment are best handled directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action. If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the individual(s) involved, they should contact the advisor or the person in charge of the unit where the action occurred (program or department chair, section chair, lab manager, etc.). Many departments and schools/colleges have established specific procedures for handling such situations; check their web pages and published handbooks for information. If such procedures exist at the local level, these should be investigated first. For more information see the Graduate School Academic Policies & Procedures: https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/?policy=grievancesandappeals. The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs (email@example.com) provides overall leadership for graduate education in the College of Engineering (CoE), and is a point of contact for graduate students who have concerns about education, mentoring, research, or other difficulties.
The student is encouraged to speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed to see if a situation can be resolved at this level.
Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies or the John Bollinger Chair of Mechanical Engineering to discuss the grievance. The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies or Department Chair will facilitate problem resolution through informal channels and facilitate any complaints or issues of students. The first attempt is to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment, discrimination, disability accommodations, and other related concerns can be found on the UW Office of Compliance website. Other campus resources can be found above.
If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction the student can submit the grievance to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies to manage the grievance. The faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.
The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received.
At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the School/College.
Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely.
The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level. These policies are described in the Graduate School’s Academic Policies & Procedures: https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/?policy=grievancesandappeals.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
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