This is a named option within the Mechanical Engineering MS.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Mechanical Engineering with a named option in Accelerated Program. Graduate students may take coursework in the six Department of Mechanical Engineering emphasis areas: Advanced Manufacturing, Biomechanics, Computational Engineering and Design, Energy Systems, Fluid and Solid Mechanics, and Robotics, Controls and Sensing. The Accelerated Program takes approximately three terms (one calendar year) to complete. The Accelerated Program only includes coursework. Each student will be assigned an academic advisor, based on emphasis area, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


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 exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy:
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3**

Submitted scores will not be used in admission decisions.


Applicants earning a BS degree from UW-Madison are not required to obtain any letters of recommendation. Within the Graduate School application, in the letters of recommendation section, you will need to enter at least one contact.

Application Requirements and Process

All applicants must satisfy requirements that are set forth by the Graduate School. Admitted applicants without Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science degrees may be required to complete one or more courses in addition to degree requirements to satisfy any deficiencies (this requirement cannot be determined prior to admission).


Most applicants have a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Applicants with a Bachelor of Science in other engineering or physical and natural science disciplines will be considered for admission. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited US bachelor’s degree.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering prefers a 3.2/4.0 GPA. The minimum GPA to be reviewed by the admission committee is 3.0/4.0.

Application Materials

Each application must include the following:

  • Graduate School Application
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation (see below for exception)
  • English proficiency score (if required)
  • Application fee

Academic Transcript 

Within the online application, upload undergraduate transcript(s) and, if applicable, the previous graduate transcript. Unofficial copies of transcripts are required for review, but official copies are required for admitted applicants. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the Department of Mechanical Engineering unless requested. 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 Mechanical Engineering (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 work performance. 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. 

Applicants earning a BS degree from UW-Madison are not required to obtain any letters of recommendation. Within the Graduate School application, in the letters of recommendation section, you will need to enter at least one contact.

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, IETLS, or Duolingo English Test 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.

International degree-seeking applicants must prove English proficiency using the Graduate School's requirements.

Application Fee

Submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. See the Graduate School for FAQs for fee information.

Fee grants are only available through the conditions outlined here by the Graduate School. The Department of Mechanical Engineering is unable to offer fee grants for applicants to this program.

Reentry Admissions

If an applicant was previously enrolled as a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and did not earn the degree, but has had a break in enrollment for a minimum of a fall or spring term, that applicant must re-apply to resume studies. Please review the Graduate School requirements for previously enrolled students. The previous faculty advisor (or another Mechanical Engineering faculty advisor) must be willing to supply advising support and should e-mail the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Services Coordinator regarding next steps in the process.

If an applicant was previously enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree, a completed that degree, had a break in enrollment since earning the degree and would now like to apply for another UW-Madison program, they must submit a new student application through the UW-Madison Graduate School online application. For Mechanical Engineering graduate programs, you must follow the entire application process as described above.

Currently Enrolled Graduate Student Admissions

Applicants currently enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison, whether in Mechanical Engineering or a non-Mechanical Engineering graduate program, wishing to apply to this degree program should contact the Mechanical Engineering 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, contact


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.

Program Resources

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Additional Resources

Student Loans

Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may be eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. Private loans may also be available. Learn more about financial aid at the Financial Aid website

International Student Services Funding and Scholarships

For information on International Student Funding and Scholarships, visit the International Student Services 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  

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

 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.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 18 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy:
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required. Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy:
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a C or above in all required coursework.

Students may not have any more than two incompletes on their record at any one time.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Two semesters of M E 903 Graduate Seminar are required. These should be taken the first two semesters the student is in residence.

A minimum of 24 formal credits are required (minimum of 15 credits in Mechanical Engineering (M E) taken at UW-Madison). Acceptable courses are numbered 400 and above. Up to two courses numbered 300-399 in engineering, math, or the sciences may also be used towards the formal course credit requirement. (If Mechanical Engineering courses, they must be approved by the faculty advisor and the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Committee).  

For a list of mechanical engineering courses numbered 400 and above, review the list of mechanical engineering courses.

The remaining 6 credits may be formal credits*, independent study credits, or seminar credits (see Graduate Program Handbook for additional guidance). No thesis/research credits are permitted. Up to 3 credits of independent study are permitted but not required. 

*Formal credits are any course offering that is not a seminar course, thesis research course, or independent study course.

Advisor Approval of Study Plan

The faculty advisor must always approve the courses a student takes in the MS program. Students should schedule an appointment with their adviser when selecting their courses. During the final semester, the faculty advisor will review the courses taken again and if approved, sign the warrant request form.

Other Policy

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

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

Prior Coursework

Graduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions

With faculty advisor approval, students may transfer up to 12 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum credit requirement and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits from other institutions can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

  • Undergraduate credits from UW-Madison: With faculty advisor approval, a maximum of 7 credits from a UW-Madison undergraduate degree may be applied toward the minimum credit requirement. Only coursework that is applicable to the degree curriculum is eligible. These credits are not allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement unless taken in courses numbered 700 or above. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement.  Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
  • Undergraduate credits from other institutions: Undergraduate credits from other institutions are not permitted to be used in this degree program.

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers)

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special student at UW–Madison

With faculty advisor approval, students may transfer up to 15 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison University Special student toward the minimum credit requirement. Only coursework that is applicable to the degree curriculum is eligible. UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement unless taken in courses numbered 700 or above or are taken to meet the requirements of a capstone certificate and has the “Grad 50%” attribute. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering graduate programs satisfactory academic progress policy may be reviewed in the Graduate Handbook (see Contact box for link). 

Advisor / Committee

All students will be assigned a mechanical engineering faculty advisor, based on emphasis area, who assists them in planning a course sequence that meets degrees requirements and who will discuss career objectives with the students.

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits

Time Limits

Refer to the Graduate School: Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

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: The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs ( 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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:


Students are strongly discouraged to pursue positions as Project Assistants, Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants during their time in this program, as the rigor and accelerated nature of this program may not accommodate those work time commitments. Students in this program will not receive the tuition remission that is typically part of the compensation package for a graduate assistantship.

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

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



Darryl Thelen (Chair)
Peter Adamczyk
Mark Anderson
Riccardo Bonazza
Curt Bronkhorst
Wendy Crone
Christian Franck
Jaal Ghandhi
Sage Kokjohn
Dan Negrut
Gregory F. Nellis
Frank Pfefferkorn
Xiaoping Qian
Douglas Reindl
David Rothamer
Scott T. Sanders
Krishnan Suresh
Mario F. Trujillo
Lih-sheng Turng
Fabian Waleffe

Associate Professors

Lianyi Chen
Melih Eriten
Katherine Fu
Tom N. Krupenkin
Ying Li
Franklin Miller
Sangkee Min
Wenxiao Pan
James Pikul
Pavana Prabhakar
Alejandro Roldan-Alzate
Michael Zinn

Assistant Professors

Yunus Alapan
Joseph Andrews
Jennifer Franck
Corinne Henak
Eric Kazyak
Xiao Kuang
Allison Mahvi
Luca Mastropasqua
Jacob Notbohm
Josh Roth
Shiva Rudraraju
Eric Tervo
Ramathasan Thevamaran
Dakotah Thompson
Michael Wagner
Wei Wang
Jinlong Wu
Xiaobin Xiong
Xiangru Xu
Lei Zhou

See also Mechanical Engineering Faculty Directory.