There are eight focus areas for mechanical engineering students enrolled in the Master of Science Thesis program. Each has a unique curriculum. Click the links below for curriculum information on each focus area.

MS Thesis Degree Requirements

MS Thesis students must complete the following requirements:

  • Coursework: 30 graduate-level credit hours must be completed with a grade of C or higher in each course. All MS Thesis students must complete the following courses: MCEN 5020 Methods of Engineering Analysis 1 (3 credits), MCEN 5208 Introduction to Research (1 credit), MCEN 6959 MS Thesis (6 credits). Note: At least 18 credits must be mechanical engineering credits, including the 6 required thesis hours. Up to 12 credit hours may be taken outside the Department, inclusive of any transfer credits applied towards the degree. Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing. 
  • Thesis Advisor Selection: In order to enroll in the MS Thesis program, students must first secure a thesis advisor. Once an advisor has been found, students may be admitted into the MS Thesis program from the Professional MS, BAM, BS/MS or PhD programs. Upon finding a research advisor, MS Thesis students should complete the MS Thesis Research Expectations Form. This form should be completed no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment in the MS Thesis program. This form is also a required element of MCEN 5208 Introduction to Research. Note: MS Thesis students are eligible to work with CU research advisors outside the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering; in such cases, the MS Thesis Research Expectations Form must still be completed in its entirety. MS Thesis students should also consult with their thesis and graduate advisors for course selection recommendations.
  • MS Thesis Hours: 6 credits of MS thesis hours (MCEN 6959) must be completed, typically in the final two semesters of the program. Students are not able to register for MS thesis credits on their own and should submit a request for thesis hours through the Thesis/Dissertation Hours Enrollment Request Form.
  • Research Development Requirement: A passing grade in MCEN 5208 Introduction to Research is required. This course is offered each fall semester and provides a strong foundation in a variety of topics related to research that will prove valuable both as a student and professional. Covered topics include ethics in research, literature review and grant writing, among others. This requirement should be completed during the first fall semester. 
  • Professional Development: 10 Professional Development Program (PDP) seminars must be completed during the course of the MS Thesis degree. More information on PDP requirements can be found in your individual student portal. 
  • Written Thesis: The written thesis must comply with Graduate School rules and procedures in terms of format and submission and meet set deadlines. Students are required to submit the full written thesis electronically at the ProQuest website.
  • Thesis Defense: Students must pass a thesis defense, which is a final examination on the thesis and related topics. In the defense, students are expected to explain their research clearly and concisely and to discuss how it relates to other research in the field. This is an opportunity for recognition of completed MS Thesis research. It is also an opportunity for discussion and formal evaluation of the thesis. The thesis defense may occur before or after the final electronic submission of the written thesis to the Graduate School but must take place prior to the end of the final semester.