Graduate Students: Degree Programs & Requirements

All students must satisfy all graduate school requirements in addition to any MAE requirements for graduation.  Please see the graduate school website for graduation requirements and checklist.  

Master of Science & Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering:

Any master's degree candidates may elect to pursue the Master of Science degree (MS), but only those holding ABET-accredited baccalaureate degrees in engineering (or equivalent in articulation courses) may choose the Master of Engineering degree (ME). All other degree requirements are the same.

A total of 30 credit hours is required for the Master’s degree. For the Master’s degree with thesis degree option, this includes a minimum of 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits of thesis research (EAS/EML 6971). Of this total, at least 12 credits of coursework (excluding S/U courses) must be in the student's major field of study. Technical courses from other fields may be used to satisfy the remaining 12 credits, so long as they are graduate level courses (5000 and above). For a student pursuing a non-thesis degree option, a total of 30 credit hours (excluding S/U courses) is required. Of this total, at least 17 credits must be in the major field. For both the thesis and non-thesis degree, up to 6 credits of coursework at the 3000 or 4000 level from another department may be taken and used to satisfy degree requirements as long as they are a part of an approved plan of study. However, 3000 and 4000 levels with the EGN suffix are not considered outside of the major, and therefore, shall not be considered for graduate credit.  

If a minor is chosen, at least 6 credits of course work with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are required. Two six-credit minors may be taken. Courses numbered 3000 and above but offered by other departments may be taken for the minor. A plan of study may include MAE courses numbered below 5000 and/or special individualized courses designed to provide review and/or articulation of educational objectives that are part of the undergraduate curriculum in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Such courses, if included, shall be considered to be in excess of the minimum requirement. The number of credits of non-structured courses (a special course with objectives tailored to the need of each registrant such as 6905 courses) is limited to 4 course semester hours toward a master's degree. To exceed this limit, a petition for waiver must be filed with the approval of the advisor and committee and approved by the Graduate Committee.

A comprehensive final examination is required by the Graduate School for a master’s student taking the non-thesis option for the M.E. degree or the non-thesis option for the M.S. degree. The exam may not be scheduled earlier than the term that precedes the semester in which the degree is to be conferred. The student should contact the MAE Graduate Coordinator to schedule the final examination. Students should select an examination in one of three general subject areas, corresponding to the three core focus areas of DSC, SMDM, and TSFD. Passing the written qualifying Ph.D. exam is an acceptable M.S. non-thesis examination for those pursuing the Ph.D.; note however, that the exam must be taken in either the term of graduation or the previous term.

Please consult the MAE graduate policy handbook for complete requirements. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering:

The Ph.D. is a research oriented degree requiring independent mastery of a field of knowledge. As such, considerable flexibility is allowed by the Graduate School in the tailoring of individual programs. All students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in MAE must file a Plan of Study with the Graduate Office upon successful completion of the written portion of the Candidacy Examination (i.e. Qualifying Exam). The Plan of Study must list all courses the student has taken and expects to take to satisfy their degree requirements.

All Ph.D. students must take a minimum of 39 graded credit hours (excludes S/U graded courses) beyond their B.S. degree. In addition, the Plan of Study should list a tentative title for the student’s dissertation. Any deviations from the general guidelines as outlined in Section 2.0 must be explained and justified and approved by the Graduate Committee. The completed Plan of Study must be discussed and signed by the student’s Advisor and approved by all members of the Supervisory Committee, and returned to the Graduate Studies Office.

As the student progresses toward the degree, any significant deviations in their program from the approved Plan of Study (see below) should be discussed with the advisor, and if the proposed changes are approved, a revised Plan of Study must be signed by the Advisor and Supervisory Committee and placed on file in the Graduate Office.

At the time of the final dissertation defense and examination, the Advisor and Supervisory Committee are expected to examine the student’s transcript and insure that the courses completed are in substantial agreement with the Plan of Study. Any significant deviations from the approved Plan of Study may be discussed by the Committee and either approved or rejected. Students should be aware that the Committee is under no obligation to allow a student to graduate whose coursework differs significantly from the approved Plan of Study.

After being accepted into the Ph.D. program, the following are required for the successful completion of a degree:

  1. A minimum of 90 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for the doctoral degree, including a minimum of 39 graded credit hours (excludes S/U graded courses) beyond the B.S. degree.  If a minor is chosen, a minimum of 12 graduate credits in the minor must be taken. If two minors are chosen, each must include at least 8 graduate credits. For a minor to be valid, a minimum of 3.0 GPA in the minor must be earned. Students with a recognized master's degree from another institution must petition to have that master’s degree count for 30 of the required 90 credits, including toward the minimum graded credit hours as appropriate.
  2. Students must meet the University’s residency requirement which states that “Beyond the first 30 hours counted toward the doctoral degree, students must complete 30 hours in residence at the University of Florida campus or at approved branch stations of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.”
  3. Students must be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy (see link).
  4. There is a minimum time lapse of two semesters between being admitted to candidacy and receiving the doctoral degree. The term in which the student is officially admitted to candidacy may be counted as one of the two semesters, provided that the exam is completed satisfactorily before the midpoint of the semester (students should consult the Graduate School calendar critical dates for each term).
  5. A dissertation must be presented which shows independent research to the satisfaction of the Graduate school and the Supervisory Committee.
  6. The final dissertation defense and examination must be passed.
  7. All work must be completed within 5 years of the oral portion (Research Proposal) of the candidacy exam, or the written portion must be retaken.

Dissertation format requirements are essentially the same as those for the Master’s degree thesis. Of course, the level and significance of the work must be much greater. However, the final typed draft of the dissertation must be delivered to the Supervisory Committee for review at least one week prior to the oral final defense presentation.  The dissertation must meet all requirements of the Graduate School Editorial Office, and must be submitted to the Editorial Office for review by the published Graduate School dates of the semester of graduation (students should consult the Graduate School calendar critical dates for each term).

Guidelines for Plan of Study

During the first year of graduate study, the normal expectation is that each student would take a minimum of three regular courses in both the Fall and Spring semesters.  Generally, these would include core courses and (if Ph.D. student) those which will prepare the student for the qualifying exam, as well as an appropriate mix of elective courses for the chosen specialization. Except for a minority of students doing interdisciplinary specializations whose plans of study will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee, a student will follow the requirements of one of the three MAE graduate study groups:

  • Dynamics, Systems, and Control (DSC)
  • Solid Mechanics, Design, and Manufacturing (SMDM)
  • Thermal Science and Fluid Dynamics (TSFD)

The plan of study (and qualifying exam if a Ph.D. student) will be based upon the chosen group from among the following three:

Ph.D. students must take a minimum of three of the following courses:

EML 5215 Analytical Dynamics (or EGM 5430)
EML 5311 Control System Theory
EML 5223 Structural Dynamics
EML 6281 Robot Geometry I

All Ph.D. must complete 3 of the 5 courses listed in Group A below.  Ph.D. students must also complete a minimum of 2 additional courses from Group B. 


EML 5526 Finite Element Analysis and Application
EGM 5533 Applied Elasticity and Advanced Mechanics of Solids
EML 6934 Failure of Materials in Mechanical Design
EML 6324 Fundamentals of Production Engineering
EGM 6611 Continuum Mechanics


EML 5045 Computational Methods for Des. & Manuf.
EGM 5111L Experimental Stress Analysis
EGM 5584 Mechanics of Soft Tissues
EAS 6242 Advanced Structural Composites
EML 6267 Structural Dynamics of Production Machinery
EGM 6352 Advanced Finite Element Methods
EGM 6365 Structural Optimization
EML 6506 Fluid Film Lubrication
EML 6507 Wear of Materials
EGM 6570 Principles of Fracture Mechanics
EGM 6595 Bone Mechanics
EAS 6xxx Design and Optimization
EGM 6xxx Inelastic Materials
EML 6xxx Design of Precision Machines

All Ph.D. students must take a minimum of four of the following core courses.

EML 5104 Introduction to Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics
EML 6154 Conduction Heat Transfer
EML 6155 Convection Heat Transfer I
EML 5714 Introduction to Compressible Flow
EGM 6812 Fluid Dynamics I
EGM 6813 Fluid Dynamics II

All MAE Ph.D. students must demonstrate their basic skills capability by successfully passing (with a B or better) an overall total of nine credits of basic skills courses with a minimum of three credits each in at least two of the following three areas:

A. Applied Mathematics

EGM 6321 Principles of Engineering Analysis I
EGM 6322 Principles of Engineering Analysis II
MAP 6327 Applied Differential Equations I
MAP 6505 Mathematical Methods of Physics and Engineering
MAP 6506 Mathematical Methods of Physics and Engineering II

B. Numerical Methods

EML 5526 Finite Element Analysis and Application
EGM 6341 Numerical Methods of Engineering Analysis I
EGM 6342 Numerical Methods of Engineering Analysis II
MAD 6406 Numerical Linear Algebra
MAD 6407 Numerical Analysis

C. Statistics and Data Analysis

EGM 5121C Data Measurement and Analysis
STA 5325 Mathematical Methods of Statistics
STA 6166 Statistical Methods in Research I
STA 6167 Statistical Methods in Research II
STA 6200 Fundamentals of Research Design
STA 6207 Basic Design and Analysis of Experiments

Other courses may be counted towards these Basic Skills requirements if a petition to that effect is approved by the student's Supervisory Committee and the Graduate Coordinator.

All Ph.D. graduate students are expected to have passed one credit of EAS 6935 or EGM 6936 (Graduate Seminar course) prior to graduation. Students working exclusively at the REEF campus are exempted from this requirement.

Please consult the MAE graduate policy handbook for complete requirements.