Sep 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Mechanical Engineering, MSME


Cullen College of Engineering  > Department of Mechanical Engineering  > Mechanical Engineering, MSME

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has an active graduate program encompassing advanced study and research in the major areas of dynamics and controls, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, materials science and engineering, and theoretical and computational mechanics.  Current research topics include:

  • computational fluid dynamics applied to problems ranging from the circulatory system and to the dynamics of offshore platforms;
  • control of complex systems such as engine exhaust after-treatment, orbiting spacecraft, and structures built from smart materials;
  • health monitoring and design optimization applied to a range of structures from micro-scale devices to bridges;
  • biomedical research into biosensing, micro-scale bioreactors and health prognostics of the cardiovascular system;
  • experimental studies of turbulent flows occurring in energy systems and two-phase flows in micro-scale heat exchangers.

Research activities in nanomechanics include:

  • structure-property relationships
  • strain-quantum behavior in quantum dots
  • nanoscale piezoelectricity
  • the application of magnetic nanostructures to sensors and biomedical devices.

Our materials engineering activities are driven by applications of composite materials to wind turbines and off-shore structures, ceramic components for aerospace systems, and superconducting materials for imaging and energy systems.

Admission Requirements


To be unconditionally admitted to the MS thesis or non-thesis program, an applicant should have:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or in a related field, preferably from an accredited engineering program.
  • a grade point average of at least 3.00 out of 4.00 on the last 60 credit hours attempted exclusive of grades received for activities such as seminars, physical education, industrial internships, etc.
  • an adequate score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Texas law prohibits the definition of minimum acceptable scores on the GRE. However, 160 to 163 is a typical average score on the Quantitative section across all degree programs for an admission class.
  • a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on  the internet-based TOEFL examination for students whose native language is not English.
  • three letters of rec­ommendation attesting to the student’s capacity to perform in the classroom and (for applicants to the thesis program) in a research capacity.  A minimum of two letters should be from tenure-track faculty members who have observed the academic performance of the applicant, and one can come from an engineering industry supervisor.
  • a statement of purpose that is consistent with the areas of instruction and (for applicants to the thesis program) the current research areas within the Department.  The “Application for Financial Aid and Statement of Purpose” form available on the Application section of this website allows the applicant to specify areas of interest, and it lists issues to address in the statement of purpose.

Degree Requirements


Credit hours required for this degree: 30.0

Program of Study for the MS Program without Thesis


The program requires successful completion of 30 hours of course work distributed as follows:

Methods of Applied Mathematics I


Three hours from the following course:

Core Courses


Nine hours of core courses, consisting of one course from each of the three areas chosen from:

Mechanics

Thermo-Fluids

MECE 6000-level or Above


Nine hours of elective courses from the MECE 6000-level or above, exclusive of graduate seminar (MECE 6111) and Graduate Project (MECE 6368).

6000-level or Above


Nine hours of elective courses at the 6000-level or above from a list of approved courses in the College of Engineering, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, the Bauer College of Business, and the UH Law Center, with no more than three hours from one academic unit (department or program). The up-to-date list of approved courses will be posted in the department Graduate Office. Three hours can be satisfied by completing the directed-study Graduate Project course, MECE 6368.  A statement of the intent of the directed study must be approved by petition to the Graduate Director prior to registration in MECE 6368.  A report describing the results of the project must be filed with, and archived by, the instructor at the end of the course.

Note(s):


If a graduate course is dual-listed with an undergraduate 5000-level section, the student must enroll in the graduate section.  Approval of any course that falls outside of the description given here must be requested by petition to the Director of Graduate Studies.  Approval must be received prior to enrollment in the course.  Non-thesis students should not enroll in research or thesis courses (6x98, 6399, 7399).

The graduation requirements for this program are at least a 3.00 grade point average over all courses, and separately, at least a 3.00 grade point average on all MECE courses, including MECE 6384. In calculating the grade point average on all MECE courses, if a student receives a grade “C+” or lower on an MECE course, and repeats the course with a better grade, the lower grade is dropped in the calculation.

Program of Study for the MS Program with Thesis


The program requires completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours distributed as follows:

Thesis Hours


Nine hours of thesis credits:

Methods of Applied Mathematics I


Three hours from the following course:

MECE 6000-level or Above


At least nine hours from the MECE 6000-level or above, exclusive of the seminar (MECE 6111), research credits (MECE 6x98), and thesis credits.

6000-level or Above


The remaining hours must be at the 6000-level or above from a list of approved courses in the College of Engineering, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, the Bauer College of Business, and the UH Law Center, with no more than three hours from one academic unit (department or program). The up-to-date list of approved courses will be posted in the department Graduate Office.

Note(s):


If a graduate course is dual-listed with an undergraduate 5000-level section, the student must enroll in the graduate section.  Approval of any course that falls outside of the description given here must be requested by petition to the Director of Graduate Studies.  Approval must be received prior to enrollment in the course.

The graduation requirements for this program are a successfully defended thesis and at least a 3.00 grade point average over all courses.  The Director of Graduate Studies must approve the composition of the thesis examining committee prior to the defense date.  The committee consists of at least three tenure-track faculty members, with one member from outside the Department.

Department/Program Academic Policies


A student must meet the requirements listed here for continued enrollment in, and successful completion of, any of our graduate programs:

  • Degree plans must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and must meet the specific requirements listed in this document for the degree program. These requirements are in addition to the general requirements of the University as described in the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog.
  • Students on F-1 or J-1 visas are required by U.S. law to be enrolled as full-time students.
  • Only full-time students are eligible to receive financial support from the University in the form of scholarships, academic fellowships, teaching fellowships or assistantships, research fellowships or assistantships, or other comparable forms of support.
  • Continuous enrollment in MECE 6111 Graduate Seminar is required of full-time students.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.00 over all graduate courses attempted is required for the successful completion of any graduate degree. See the specific degree program descriptions for any additional graduation requirements.
  • No grade lower than “C-” can be counted toward the completion of the credit hour requirements for a degree program.
  • Up to 6 credit hours of course work may be transferred from another institution with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.*Note:Graded homework, mid-term, any exams, and syllabus must be received in order to determine transfer eligibility.
  • No course used for a prior degree can be repeated or applied to another degree.
  • No more than 6 hours can be transferred from post-baccalaureate to the graduate credit level.
  • The Four-C rule: the University requires that a graduate student who receives a grade of C+ or lower in 12 credit hours attempted at this institution for graduate credit or for application toward the graduate degree, whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree at this institution and will not be permitted to re-enroll for graduate study. Students wishing to enroll in courses not for graduate credit (hence not subject to the 4-C rule) must submit a written declaration to that effect to the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrollment in those courses.
  • Changing degree programs requires approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and of the research advisor and may result in withdrawal of departmental financial support.

Students requiring Masters/Doctoral Research and Thesis/Dissertation hours should be advised of the following:

MS Thesis Option.  A student can only sign up for two thesis courses 6399 and 7399.  Most departments also allow Masters Research 6398 course which reduces the course requirement by one course.  All our Masters degrees except for Petroleum Engineering are 30 credit hours degrees.  An IP grade must be assigned to the first thesis course (6399) and a final letter grade via grade change request be assigned when the thesis is successfully completed (defended and submitted).  If a student is not done after registering the required research and thesis hours, additional hours should be enrolled as 6398 (Masters Research) which is graded on S/U basis.  In case a student registers for thesis hours over and above the six hours, these additional hours will remain as IP on the student’s transcript.  This is a Graduate School directive and aimed at avoiding grade inflation.