Welcome, prospective graduate students! We hope you'll consider joining our community of mechanical engineers at Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering. Apply now!

With a mechanical engineering graduate program ranked 18th among public university peers by U.S. News & World Report, our program is one of the top-ranked in the nation. We offer paths to customize your degree in support of your unique interests and career goals, a variety of specialty courses taught by experts in the field, entrepreneurship resources and events like New Venture Challenge, and opportunities for high-impact research in air quality, biomedical, materials, mechanics of materials, micro/nanoscale, robotics and systems design, and thermo fluid sciences. 

As part of our graduate student community, you will join MS and PhD students who come to Boulder from across the world. You will have the opportunity to participate in community gatherings organized by graduate students and department-organized networking and mentorship events to support students and in their unique experiences. 

We make it our mission to establish an environment of respect and inclusive excellence where high-quality instruction, project-based learning and cutting-edge research are leveraged to educate and nurture the next generation of socially conscious, deeply knowledgeable engineers, scientists and problem-solvers. 

Finding the Right Program for You

As a prospective graduate student, you have multiple programs from which to choose:

Mechanical engineering PhD students take part in cutting-edge, tier-one research, learning from nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Our research harnesses state-of-the-art experimental, theoretical and computational approaches to expand the frontiers of technology while advancing fundamentals in the underlying disciplines of fluid and solid mechanics, thermal engineering, and materials science and engineering. Our PhD program will prepare you for a career in industry or academia. You do not need a master's degree to be admitted to this program. Many of our students enroll directly from their undergraduate institution.

Our master's program offers two flexible options: the MS Professional and MS Thesis. Most students interested in earning a master's degree choose the MS Professional, a program that emphasizes project-based and curriculum-driven learning geared toward working engineers interested in furthering their education or current undergraduates planning a career in industry. The MS Professional offers exciting opportunities for a wide range of prospective students from diverse backgrounds.

Our master's program offers two flexible options: the MS Professional and MS Thesis. If your future is in academia, research or the public sector, you should select the thesis option. The MS Thesis Program is intended for MS students interested in a short-term research experience, leading to the preparation and defense of a research-based thesis.

Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's (BAM) offers currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to receive a BS and MS degree in a shorter period of time. This program has replaced our previous joint BS/MS degree program.

Our Dual Degree Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Management program allows students to pursue further education in engineering management in addition to a mechanical engineering degree. Students in the MS Professional Program may apply for a dual degree in Engineering Management. This program is intended for students seeking a strong education in both technical and fundamental topics as well as the unique skills required to be a successful leader in industry and the public sector.

Either degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking students can enroll in four-course certificate programs offered by our department. These certificates indicate expertise in a focused topic area and are intended primarily for continuing education and non-traditional students, though they can be pursued as a supplement to the MS or PhD programs. The department currently offers a certificate in Biomedical Engineering, designed to train next-generation professional engineers to interface engineering and medicine with design and problem solving to improve human health. Additional certificate options are in development.

Regardless of the program you choose, you will also have access to seminars, colloquia and workshops delivered by notable engineering leaders in education, research and industry through the Professional Development Program (PDP). These seminars will allow you to grow in knowledge, network with professionals and peers beyond the classroom and lab, and gain exposure to diverse styles of research presentation in support of your future career. 

Tier-One Research Opportunities

As a mechanical engineering graduate student at CU Boulder, you will have the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking tier-one research. Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering is home to over 60 faculty members conducting both fundamental and applied research in the following areas: 

Boulder is also home to a variety of well-known companies and labs doing research and development. Our faculty researchers and their research groups, for example, often collaborate with scientists at federal research labs including National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

GEARRS for Admitted Students

Every spring, Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering holds the Graduate Engineering Annual Research & Recruitiment Symposium GEARRS for admitted graduate students, a great way to get to know our researchers and staff as well as the Boulder campus. If you are admitted, we invite you to visit the GEARRS website to learn more about this event.