Degree Programs-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Degree Programs

M.S. Degree Course Work Option

This is a self-supported Masters Degree option that primarily consists of graduate-level course work. For this option the student or an outside funding source (such as the student's employer) must pay for tuition and living expenses (this information is maintained by the university on the HUB website). However, in return for this investment, students in the program can receive their Masters degree in two semesters, taking four 12-unit courses each semester. This allows a student to move very quickly toward pursing a Ph.D. degree or employment in industry.

A unique aspect of this degree option is that a student is allowed to receive up to 12 units (1 course) of research project credit, which can be earned by undertaking research under the supervision of a faculty member. Thus even this "course" degree program allows a student to participate in an academic research project.

M.S. Degree Course Work Option — Accelerated Master’s Program

For Current Carnegie Mellon Undergraduates

An accelerated program is available to Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students who also wish to complete a coursework Master's degree in mechanical engineering. Exceptional students can apply for admission to the program at the end of the first semester of the Senior year and must meet the requirements for admission to the Department's graduate program. 

Please refer to the Accelerated Graduate Program website for additional information.

M.S. Degree Project Option

The self-supported Master of Science Project degree option consists of a mix of course work and independent research. Course requirements for this option are less than those for the M.S. Course Work Option. However, because of its added emphasis on research, students typically complete this degree after four semesters and one summer (i.e. 2 years minus 3 summer months). The culmination of the project-option MS is a final research report and presentation to faculty and students at the annual Bennett Conference, held in the spring of each year. All masters students are self-supported or have an outside funding source (such as the student's employer) to pay for tuition and living expenses.

Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services

The Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services (MII-PS) degree combines engineering, design and business skills to create products that meet users’ or stakeholders’ value expectation. The degree is offered by the Integrated Innovation Institute, which is a joint program of the Carnegie Institute Technology (CIT), the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Tepper School of Business. The program takes one year (two semesters) to complete and is self-supported.

The MII-PS program focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to developing products. The MII-PS is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, industrial design or related fields with a strong interest in product development. Please visit the Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services website for more information.

Master of Science in Computational Design and Manufacturing

This innovative program is intended for students who have a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and desire to advance their careers by acquiring problem-solving skills with modern computational engineering tools such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Students will sharpen their skills by learning the theories and applications of computational design and manufacturing methods through a balance of course and project work. The project work provides students with practical problem-solving experiences through the use of commercial computational tools or the development of their own custom software.

Master of Energy Science, Technology and Policy

Effective solutions to energy problems will come from engineers and technical managers who understand the interdisciplinary challenges of energy, and who are well informed on the broad issues of energy supply, demand, storage, utilization, policy, sustainability, and the environment.  The Carnegie Mellon Energy Science, Technology and Policy (ESTP) program addresses this need with a professional engineering master’s degree that is based in engineering, aligned with new discoveries in science, attuned to sustainability and the environment, and informed by a broader perspective in economics and public policy.  Depth in the ESTP curriculum is associated with declaring a concentration and taking specialized coursework in one of six engineering disciplines, which include Mechanical Engineering.  Students must apply and be admitted directly to the College of Engineering ESTP program, and applications are submitted through the program's website.

Dual Degree and Master of Engineering & Technology Innovation Management

Engineering and Technology Innovation Management MS (E&TIM) educates future engineering leaders by coupling technical education with frameworks to lead, foster, and manage technical innovation. A summer internship is an integral element of this interdisciplinary program.
The Mechanical Engineering M.S. Degree Course Work Option may be combined with the E&TIM program to form a 21-month dual degree M.S. program that equips students to drive value creation from technical innovation based on their understanding of technical concepts, innovation management fundamentals and real world implications.

Ph.D. Degree

A Ph.D. degree allows students to pursue a career in research and academics. Our Ph.D. degree requirements (or Direct Ph.D. Requirements)are similar to those in other American universities, culminating with the writing and defense of a research thesis. The Ph.D. degree typically takes 3-5 years to complete. Courses are the focus of the early part of the PhD degree in order to enhance ones knowledge to conduct research. Within one year of entering the program a student must take the departmental Ph.D. qualifying examination, which is an oral examination of the student's knowledge in three subject areas in Mechanical Engineering. The student’s research experience forms the core of the PhD program. Research involves active, student-directed inquiry into an engineering problem. Conducting research requires combining knowledge gained in the classroom with the ability to read the scientific literature, identify critical knowledge gaps, structure complex problems, formulate and test hypotheses, analyze and interpret data, and present and discuss technical results. Dissemination of new knowledge at technical conferences and in peer-reviewed archival publications is an important part of research. Upon completion of his or her dissertation, the student will be an international expert in a technical area. Students pursuing a Ph.D. are typically supported by the department through assistantships or fellowships. That support generally consists of a full tuition scholarship and a monthly stipend for the academic year. There is a slight increase in the stipend level after passing the qualifiers. Graduates from the mechanical engineering doctoral program pursue careers in industry, government and academics.

International Ph.D. Degree Programs

Carnegie Mellon's Mechanical Engineering Department has two active dual Ph.D. programs, and one partnership Ph.D. program with foreign institutions.

A Note for Students Interested in the M.S. Project and Ph.D. Degrees:

Because research interactions with an advisor are a major part of these degrees, a student's choice of advisor is extremely important. Because of this, the department does its best to match students to advisors during the application process. We encourage students to review our faculty web pages and note the projects currently being researched by each advisor. Including specific interests in your Statement of Purpose may assist in the decision process. It is generally a good idea to understand what type of project you intend to work on should you be admitted to Carnegie Mellon's mechanical engineering program.