M.S. degree thesis requirements

Thesis requirements apply to all students in the thesis option, including part-time and EDGE students.

Thesis credits

Students in the thesis option need to register for a total of 12 thesis credits: ME 700.

Thesis supervisor and committee

By the end of the second quarter in the Master's degree program, students in the thesis option must have:

  1. Selected their faculty supervisor
  2. Selected their thesis committee
  3. Submitted their thesis proposal

The ME Department requires that students who plan to write a thesis have at least three committee members, including the faculty supervisor who serves as Committee Chair. These must be members of the graduate faculty. The Committee Chair must be from the Mechanical Engineering Department core faculty. Core faculty comprises Mechanical Engineering Faculty in all ranks with tenure or tenure-track appointments, and research, emeritus, and joint appointments. Faculty with adjunct and affiliate ranks are not included. The Department further requires that at least two must be core Mechanical Engineering faculty. Alternately, non-core faculty may act as Committee Chair, but in that case, the remaining members of the thesis committee must include at least two core faculty members.

Thesis proposal

The thesis proposal should be submitted by the student, to the ME Graduate Adviser, before the end of the second quarter of study. Failure to meet this requirement is regarded as unsatisfactory progress in the program. The proposal should include:

  1. Objective
  2. Justification for conducting research
  3. Approach and methodology
  4. Schedule of work
  5. Estimated cost

Thesis approval and presentation

During the student’s last quarter, the student must request graduation from the Graduate School; have the written thesis approved by their committee; and make the M.S. presentation (prior to the last day of class instruction) before an audience that includes the committee, other faculty, and invited guests.

Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with Graduate School policies about Submitting a Thesis/Dissertation during the beginning stages of research.

At least one week before the M.S. presentation, the student must send an email to with the following presentation details:

  • Exact title
  • Date, time and room number of the presentation
  • Names (please indicate chair) and email addresses of the committee.

The morning of the presentation, the student must stop by the ME office to pick up their ME warrant. This document (along with any documents required by the Graduate School - Masters Supervisory Committee Approval Form) will need to be signed by the committee.

After the M.S. presentation, the student must return the signed warrant to the ME Office.

By 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the quarter, students must submit an electronic copy of their thesis and Master's Supervisory Committee Approval Form to the Graduate School.

Students who make their M.S. presentation but cannot submit their thesis by the deadline should consider applying for the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee.