College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2017-2018

Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering

Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science

This plan is available for students as of Fall 2018

Effective Fall 2018, this plan replaces the Master of Science in Engineering with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering.

This program assists students who wish to further their engineering education and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle challenging contemporary engineering problems. The plan of study features courses, on classical and contemporary topics, that prepare students on how to use traditional and modern engineering analysis, characterization and design tools to generate efficient and economic engineering solutions for dynamically evolving societal environments.


What Can I Do with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering?

The knowledge gained during this program, will prepare you for tackling real world engineering challenges, providing solutions to complex engineering problems, and creating products that will benefit the society. The Mechanical Engineering Master of Science will help you enter a satisfying, productive and exciting profession, or continue on to a doctoral degree. 

The program will help you understand the application of your profession to a wide range of mechanical engineering problems. Faculty are engaged in research and its creative application to relevant problems, and you will have the opportunity to work closely with them.
Students wanting to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously may qualify for our Accelerated Program which allows students to count six units toward both degrees, shortening the time to graduation.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Positions in industry
  • Research organizations
  • Doctoral programs

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Post-doctoral appointment
  • Academia or Research Institute
  • Consulting

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering aims to educate mechanical engineers in advanced topic related to fluid mechanics, heat transfer, advanced materials, dynamics and controls, and applied mathematics. Through coursework and research, students are exposed to modern theories and techniques required to tackle modeling, analysis, and characterization of advanced mechanical systems. Upon completion of the program, students acquire knowledge and skills that provide them with a high level of versatility toward practicing successfully in the contemporary mechanical engineering environment, advancing their existent careers, or pursuing further studies in a doctoral program. Many mechanical engineers with advanced degrees are at the forefront of technological advances, researching, designing, creating, and testing nearly everything. Students’ exposure to the diverse topics covered in the coursework and research enhance their competitiveness in the local, regional, and global job markets. Our graduates can practice in many industries, including automotive, robotics, bioengineering, wind energy, solar energy, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Student Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate the ability to apply graduate level critical thinking skills to formulate and solve advanced mechanical engineering (ME) problems:

  • Examine, analyze, and explicate contemporary ME topics and assess and apply ME specific computational tools.
  • Identify, formulate, and solve advanced ME problems.
  • Synthesize, explain, verify, and justify solutions to complex ME problems.
Demonstrate the ability to independently and creatively design and conduct research studies:
  • Assess the state of the art in their field of study, including a thorough literature review.
  • Design a research study of personal or professional interest and importance including: planning, organizing, scheduling, and executing the project with the guidance and input of their thesis advisor.
  • Apply independently and creatively appropriate ME and cross-disciplinary engineering theories and tools towards finding a viable solution to the thesis topic.
  • Perform and interpret complex quantitative analyses specific to the thesis.
Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively the results of a comprehensive research study through oral presentations and publications:
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the research study and the implications of the resulting data
  • Synthesize and present the relevance of the research study in both technical and non-technical terms.
  • Conduct an oral thesis defense to a community of engineering faculty and peers.
  • Create a publishable paper reflecting the integration of knowledge acquired through the research study.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • B.S. degree in Engineering or completion of prerequisite courses (see department website for details)
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 30 units:

    • Graduate-level mathematics or statistics (3 units)
    • Select from (12 units):
    • Select from (6 units):
    • Additional electives in consultation with your advisor.  (9 units)
      • A maximum of two courses, up to 6 units, may be at the 400-level.
      • You must complete at least 18 hours of formal coursework, other than such individualized studies as independent study, directed readings, thesis and research.
    Since the Mechanical Engineering M.S. program emphasizes interdisciplinary topics, students may wish to take courses outside of their primary emphasis area. Some courses may require prior completion of prerequisite courses. Other requirements for Mechanical Engineering Master of Science students include the following: 
    • You are responsible for choosing the chair and members of your advisory committee before completing 9 units of coursework.
    • You must submit a plan of study that lists all coursework intended to satisfy the M.S. degree requirements by the first month of the semester in which you take your 10th credit. The elective and math/statistics courses are selected in consultation with and acceptable to the student's graduate committee and its chair.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
  • Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program 

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan.  Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree, which may allow them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by applying 6 units toward both degrees.  Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission.  Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.  Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.

Campus Availability

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