MSE in MEAM Requirements

Summary of Course Requirements:

Math Requirement: 2 Courses
MEAM Core Requirement: 5 Courses
Electives Requirement: 3 Courses
Seminar Requirement*: 2 Semesters
*Full time students only. There is no charge for the seminar course.

Total = 10 Courses + 2 Seminar

MSE students in excellent academic standing (GPA of 3.5 or better) may take up to five courses each semester. All MSE students are required to take two mathematics (ENM) courses chosen from a pre-approved list. The remaining courses may be chosen from the appropriate pre-approved list for the chosen concentration area, in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Learn more.

To earn an MSE degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), a student must complete 10 graduate level courses plus two semesters of the MEAM Seminar. Of the 10 courses at least five must be MEAM courses, two must be mathematics, and the remaining three are electives. There is one required course for each concentration area. In addition to the one required course for each concentration area, two additional courses must be selected from the preapproved core requirement list for the student’s chosen concentration (Appendix A of the handbook). The remaining two MEAM courses can be any MEAM graduate courses selected by the student in consultation with their advisor. A concentration area should be chosen and declared before the beginning of the second semester of study. The two mathematics courses must be selected from the approved list in handbook. The elective courses should also be chosen from the preapproved elective list for the student’s chosen concentration  Advisor approval is required if a student wishes to take a graduate course not listed. Elective courses are typically in MEAM or other SEAS departments. Courses taken outside of SEAS should be relevant to the student’s career goals or to the subdiscipline of interest to the student. Up to two courses may be transferred from other institutions upon the approval of the Graduate Group Chair. Students may take up to two independent study courses (MEAM 5990). Students electing to write a thesis cannot take an independent study course for degree credit.


MSE candidates will choose to concentrate in one of the following areas:

Mechatronic and Robotic Systems

Ongoing effort in mechanical systems focuses on modeling and controlling dynamical systems, especially as applied to mechatronic and robotic systems. The graduate courses provide students with a firm theoretical foundation and the interdisciplinary experimental skills that are necessary for dealing with modern-day complex systems. Much of our work involves collaborations with Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering, as well as the Wharton School of Business Administration.

Micro/Nano Systems

Micro/Nano systems is a broad field encompassing the design, development, and fabrication of devices and systems that derive unique functionality due to the small size of key components within them. Examples of such systems include microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nanoelectronic devices, and microfluidics. Mechanical Engineering plays a central role in all of these systems, such as the mechanical design of MEMS-based sensors and the understanding of heat transfer in nanoelectronics. The graduate courses in this area of concentration provide students with a solid theoretical foundation, knowledge of micro/nano-fabrication techniques, and skills to design micro/nano systems.

Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, and Energy

Aerospace engineering, materials fabrication and manufacturing, cooling of microelectronic equipment, energy conversion and power generation, and thermal control and treatment of living organisms are critically important in today’s economy. Our program in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and energy is designed to provide the basic tools for dealing with these and other problems of current and future technological interest. The program maintains close collaboration with the departments of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Electrical and Systems Engineering, and Materials Science.

Mechanics of Materials

The development of new technologies often depends critically on the availability of materials systems capable of withstanding extreme thermomechanical loading conditions. Current examples are provided by the development of advanced engines in the aerospace industry and the design of microchips that are resistant to thermal cycling in the microelectronics industry. In addition, new technologies, such as biomedical technologies, often require the development and understanding of completely new classes of materials systems. The Penn MEAM MSE in Mechanics of Materials is designed to provide the fundamental tools needed to tackle these and other problems of current and future technological interest. These include basic courses in continuum mechanics, elasticity, and plasticity, as well as more advanced ones in fracture, composite materials, biomechanics, and atomistic modeling of materials. The program maintains close collaborations with the Material Science Department and with the bio-medical community.

Design and Manufacturing

Global business trends have created a demand for companies to rapidly develop new products at lower costs. In response to these demands companies have been exploring new methods to decrease costs, increase productivity, and create innovative products. In keeping with the needs of local industry the graduate courses below prepare students for careers in Product Design and Manufacturing. Students in the program will study topics such as mechatronics, CAD, computer graphics, industrial design, product design, materials engineering, manufacturing processes, assembly, tolerances, design analysis, plant/process modeling and design, robotics, electrical systems, mechanical systems, controls, intellectual property, and management skills. Graduates of the program will be prepared to be leaders in global manufacturing environment. Much of our work involves collaborations with, among others, the Departments of Computer and Information Science, Electrical and Systems Engineering as well as the School of Design and the Wharton School of Business Administration.

Opportunities are also available for students to customize their program with the guidance and approval of their academic advisor. The student and his/her academic advisor should agree upon a program of courses before the student may embark on his/her graduate study.

Master’s Program:

Staff Contact:
Byron Lee, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator
229 Towne Building
Phone: 215-746-3686