May 30, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

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Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a program leading to the M.S. in mechanical engineering. The program is designed to stimulate creativity, to provide an in-depth understanding of the basic physical phenomena involved in mechanical systems, and to provide the student with the ability to use modern techniques in the analysis and design of mechanical components and systems.

Admission to the graduate program in mechanical engineering requires a baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering or related areas such as physics, mathematical sciences, chemistry, computer science, and engineering disciplines. NIU undergraduate majors in mechanical engineering can, however, be admitted to the accelerated B.S./M.S. sequence after finishing 90 semester hours with a GPA of at least 3.00. University Honors students who are actively accumulating points through honors course work or Engage PLUS are guaranteed admission.

Educational Objectives

Graduate students in the M.S. program are expected to attain the following objectives by the time and within a few years of graduation: 1. become successful professionals; 2. contribute to their professional fields and assume leadership roles in industry or research organizations; 3. assume professional responsibilities and exhibit effective communication skills; 4. collaborate with faculty and conduct research and scholarly activities at the forefront of the field and engage in professional societies by publishing professional papers and attending and presenting papers at professional conferences.

Program Outcomes

Program graduates should attain the following outcomes by the time of graduation: design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in one of the specialty areas (applied mechanics, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, design of thermal-fluid systems, vibrations, dynamics and control systems); identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems and to conduct research in one of the specialty areas; communicate effectively; understand professional and ethical responsibility; use of modern engineering tools.

Thesis Option

All students admitted to the M.S. program are initially classified as thesis option students. The thesis option is designed to prepare students for graduate work at the doctoral level or advanced engineering work in industry and focuses on original research techniques. Students pursuing the thesis option generally have more opportunities for receiving financial support from the department. The graduate program of study must include 6 semester hours of MEE 699, Master’s Thesis, on a topic approved by the student’s thesis committee. The thesis must be satisfactorily defended at an oral examination. Portions of the research work required in MEE 699 may be performed in off-campus facilities if approved by the student’s graduate committee.

Two non-thesis options, the project option and the course option, are available to students who wish to pursue a M.S. degree and who do not want to pursue the traditional research experience of a thesis option. The non-thesis options are designed primarily for practicing professionals, but they are also available to full time students. Those who wish to pursue the project option or the course option are required to petition the department’s graduate committee.

Project Option

Students pursuing a M.S. degree under this option must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit including 3 semester hours of MEE 697, Independent Study, for a master’s project resulting in some original work which must be defended at an oral examination and presented in a written report. Employed students may use topics and facilities from their work if approved.

Course Option

Students pursuing a M.S. degree under this option are required to complete 33 semester hours of graduate credit. Students pursuing the course option generally do not take MEE 697 or MEE 699. However, such students are required to write a research paper related to one or more mechanical engineering courses taken as part of the graduate program. The topic must be approved by the student’s paper committee at least one semester prior to graduation, and the completed paper must be examined and approved by the committee as a requirement for graduation.

Requirements for Graduates with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Students must satisfy the following departmental requirements.

Submit to the department a program of graduate study approved by the student”s gradaute committee or the department.

Complete at least 30 (thesis option or project option) or 33 (course option) semester hours of graduate work, not more than 30 percent of which may be in courses numbered 500-599. All courses taken outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering must have departmental appoval in advance.

Complete two courses in applied mathematics or advanced engineering analysis from the following (6)

And one of the following (3)

Complete two courses from one of the following groups (6)

Requirements for Graduates with a B.S. in an Area other than Mechanical Engineering

Students are required to fulfill all the requirements mentioned in the previous section. In addition, students with a B.S. degree in an area other than mechanical engineering are required to take at least three courses from one of the following groups depending on their chosen field of study. The department will stipulate the courses to be taken. A grade of B or better must be obtained in each of these courses.

Applied Mechanics

  • MEE 210 - Engineering Mechanics I Credits: 3
  • MEE 211 - Engineering Mechanics II Credits: 3
  • MEE 212 - Strength of Materials Credits: 3
  • MEE 220 - Mechanism Design Credits: 3
  • MEE 350 - Engineering Thermodynamics Credits: 3
  • MEE 470 - Design of Machine Elements Credits: 3

Dynamic Systems and Control

  • MEE 211 - Engineering Mechanics II Credits: 3
  • MEE 321 - Mechanical Vibrations I Credits: 3
  • MEE 322 - Dynamic Systems and Control I Credits: 4,
    OR ELE 380 - Control Systems I Credits: 4
  • MEE 470 - Design of Machine Elements Credits: 3

Materials and Manufacturing

  • MEE 212 - Strength of Materials Credits: 3
  • MEE 330 - Materials Science Credits: 3
  • MEE 331 - Manufacturing Processes Credits: 3
  • TECH 345 - Plastic Molding Processes Credits: 4,
    OR TECH 441 - Hazard Control in Industrial Operations Credits: 3

Thermal-Fluid Engineering

  • MEE 340 - Fluid Mechanics Credits: 3
  • MEE 350 - Engineering Thermodynamics Credits: 3
  • MEE 351 - Applied Thermodynamics Credits: 3
  • MEE 352 - Heat Transfer Credits: 3

Requirements for Accelerated B.S./M.S. Sequence

The department also offers an accelerated B.S./M.S. sequence that leads to an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering after students received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Industrial and Systems Engineering. This accelerated sequence leads to both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering and is available to undergraduate majors in the programs listed above who have finished at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate work with a GPA of at least 3.00. A minimum GPA of 3.00 must be maintained during the course of study. Failure to meet the requirements of the accelerated sequence may lead to a B.S. degree only, but only after all the requirements for that degree have been met.

Students must complete all undergraduate required courses, including 9 semester hours of technical electives. Only those technical electives or required courses taken for graduate credit during the student’s final undergraduate term will be credited toward the M.S. program, up to a maximum of 9 semester hours.

Students are required to fulfill all requirements for thesis option, project option, or course option mentioned in the previous section.

With this program, a student can take B.S. and M.S. courses simultaneously, up to three semesters before earning the undergraduate degree. Depending on the undergraduate major, one can have up to 18 semester hours count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students coming from programs other than Mechanical Engineering may also have to take additional foundational mechanical engineering undergraduate courses as described in the Graduate Catalog.

A GRE is not required. Students must meet Graduate School application deadlines. Interested students should talk with an adviser as early as possible and are encouraged to apply during the spring semester of their junior year.

Students wishing to take part in this program should be aware of all the regulations and restrictions of accelerated baccalaureate/master’s degree programs as outlined in the NIU Graduate School Catalog under the heading of Early Admission of NIU Undergraduates, and Admission to Accelerated Baccalaureate/Master’s Degree Programs.

All students enrolled in this sequence must have their schedules approved by their faculty advisers each semester. Any deviation from an approved course schedule may delay graduation.

University Honors students in Mechanical Engineering who are actively accumulating points through honors course work or EngagePLUS are guaranteed admission to the B.S./M.S. program.

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