UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York UB Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Masters Degree Programs

Program Description

For Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering the overall credit requirement is a minimum of 30 semester credit hours.  Three options exist in each program:  a six-credit Thesis plus at least eight courses of three credits each; a three-credit Project plus at least nine courses of three credits each; or, the all-course option which consists of at least ten approved graduate courses of three credits each, plus a final comprehensive examination.  Students receiving financial support (TA, RA or GA) through the department are required to do the Thesis option, except if they enter the Ph.D. program by passing the Ph.D. qualifying exam and do a Dissertation. 

The Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Master of Science program has no core course requirements. However, at least 50% of the student’s program must be MAE courses. Aerospace Engineering Masters students are also required to select at least three courses from the Aerospace Engineering program courses.  Exceptions to this require the permission of the Department Chair or the Director of Graduate Studies.

The M.S. programs have no formal core course requirements. However, any student seriously considering a Ph.D. should consider taking the courses required by the PhD qualifier. In general, students specializing in the following areas should consider taking the courses listed.

  • Fluid and Thermal Sciences
    Fluid Mechanics (MAE 515, 516)
    Heat Transfer (MAE 545, 546)
  • Computational and Applied Mechanics
    Advanced Mechanics of Solids (MAE 505/CIE 511)
    Finite Elements (MAE 529)
  • Materials
    Advanced Materials (MAE 581)
    Thermodynamics of Materials (MAE 570)
    Diffraction (MAE 589)
  • Dynamics and Control
    Systems Analysis (MAE 571)
    Vibration and Shock (MAE 567)
  • Design
    Optimization in Engineering Design (MAE 550)
    Computer Aided Design (MAE 577)
  • Bioengineering
    Cardiovascular Biomechanics (MAE578)
    Evaluation of Biomedical Materials (MAE 514)

Students in all areas may also benefit by taking an applied mathematics course (e.g. MAE 507).

Subject to the foregoing requirements, graduate courses may be taken from other departments in Engineering or the School of Arts and Sciences (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Mathematics, etc.), in consultation with advisor.

Graduate courses from other Faculties, such as Health Sciences, for example, may also be taken.  However, students should have the explicit approval of their academic advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies before taking such courses.

M.S. students may undertake a maximum of two informal courses under faculty supervision, each study counting a maximum of three credit hours.  Also, a maximum of two advanced undergraduate (400-level) courses may be taken for graduate credit for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees upon petition to and approval by the Graduate School at the time of registration.  Failure to petition at the time of registration will result in no credit being granted. 

           

Students who have previously completed graduate courses at other universities may, at the discretion of the department, receive transfer credit for a maximum of two three-credit-hour courses or six credit hours. The student should have received a grade of “B” or better to transfer the course(s).

 

Master of Science Degree with Thesis

The minimum requirements consist of at least eight approved graduate courses (24 to 27 credit hours) and 3 to 6 credit hours of thesis registration, for a total of 30 credit hours.  One semester before the degree is to be conferred, the student must submit an Application to Candidacy form. Informal courses listed in the Application to Candidacy must be accompanied by complete narrative descriptions signed by the instructors.  The Application to Candidacy is then approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.

The department must approve and notify the Graduate School in writing when major changes in the program, such as a change in Thesis title, are made.

The thesis may cover a variety of activities, including theoretical and experimental investigations, practical design projects, and the like. The nature of these activities may vary greatly, but no essential difference should exist in equality and significance as a contribution to engineering. The thesis should be carefully prepared as indicated below. Three people, qualified to render judgment in the area involved, constitute the thesis examination committee: the advisor plus two other faculty members. The candidate makes an oral presentation at which the examination committee is present in addition to other interested faculty and students. Advance notice of the oral defense must be sent to all department members at least one week prior to the presentation.

Following a successful oral defense, the examination committee certifies approval of the thesis by signing the Graduate School "M" form, and the advisor reports the thesis grade (if it needs to be changed).

                       

The typing and detailed format and arrangement of the M.S. thesis is to be the same as prescribed for the Ph.D. dissertation in Sec. 3.4. The student also submits the thesis electronically; see http://grad.buffalo.edu/Academics/ETD.html for details. Costs of thesis typing, copying, and binding are paid by the student. The department sends the signed "M" form to the Graduate School.  All materials must be in the Graduate School Office on or before the degree conferral deadlines established each year by the Graduate School.

 

Master of Science Degree with Project

The minimum requirements consist of nine approved graduate courses (27 credit hours) and 3 credit hours of project registration (under MAE 560) for a total of 30 credit hours.  One semester before the degree is to be conferred, the student must submit an Application to Candidacy form (see here ) which includes a summary of courses to be applied toward the degree. Informal courses listed in the Application to Candidacy must be accompanied by complete narrative descriptions signed by the instructor. The Application to Candidacy is then approved by the department Director of Graduate Studies and submitted to the Graduate School for approval by the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.

       Two people, qualified to render judgment in the area involved, constitute the project examination committee:  the advisor plus one other faculty member.  The candidate makes an oral presentation at which the examination committee is present in addition to other interested faculty and students. Advance notice of the oral defense must be sent to all department members at least one week prior to the presentation.

       The requirements and procedures for the three-credit Project are as follows:

  • The Project must be done under the supervision or advisement of a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department graduate faculty member, although it can be initiated by a student.

                       

Following a successful oral presentation, the advisor certifies approval of the project by signing the Graduate School "M" form.

 

All-Course Master of Science Degree with Comprehensive Examination

The requirements of this option are at least ten approved graduate courses of three credits each, plus a final comprehensive examination.  The general regulations and guidelines governing program course content are the same as for the M.S. Thesis and Project options.

                       

The comprehensive exam for the All-Course option is an oral exam in the area of the student's specialization. At the end fo the semester (usually around the reading days) the oral exam will be given on one day. You will be notified by e-mail regarding day & time.

 

Dual M.S. Degrees

It is possible for a student to complete a program leading to two M.S. degrees, for example, the Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering degrees described, or one of those and a second degree from another engineering discipline and department. The guideline governing such a program is that the integrity of each degree must be observed. This will usually mean that a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit must be completed for each degree and that 6 semester hours may be applied to both programs. In some cases the curriculum will contain prescribed courses which are common to both programs. Such common courses may be counted for both degree programs.

See also information on the Graduate School site:

http://grad.buffalo.edu/Academics/Policies-Procedures/General-Graduate-Degree-Requirements.html

Deadlines

In order that students receive their degrees when expected it is necessary that certain deadlines be met in their programs. See the Deadlines for M.S. and Ph.D. section. It is the student's responsibility to be cognizant of these deadlines and ensure that they are met.