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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at NC State Engineering Online

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) distance education program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or a closely related field who wish to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering. It is a 30 credit hour degree program that does not require a thesis, final oral exam or on-campus residency.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites for admission to the MSME degree program include an undergraduate degree in engineering from an accredited institution with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Students majoring in other engineering fields may need to complete a number of undergraduate mechanical engineering courses prior to being accepted for admission. General Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required for admission.

The Graduate School requires that all international applicants take the TOEFL or IELS examination if they have not received a degree from a U.S. institution or completed one year of study in the United States. Find out more about the admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of 30 credit hours of graduate level courses at the 500 or 700 level with an overall grade-point average of 3.0
  •  Submission of three satisfactory letters of recommendation
  • Completion of a minimum of six MAE courses
  • Completion of three credits of MAE 586 – Project Work in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering
  • The remaining three courses may consist of any department approved graduate-level engineering or mathematics course offered through Engineering Online (such as MA 501 or MA 502)

MSME distance education students are permitted to take and attend courses on campus. However, approval must be obtained from the Director of Graduate Programs prior to registering. Under no circumstances can more than three courses taken on campus be applied to satisfy the off-campus student’s degree requirements. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course appearing on the NC State graduate transcript. Admitted students must comply with the Graduate School regulations for continuous enrollment or must request a leave of absence not to exceed one year. Find out more about the degree requirements.

Course Registration

It is preferable to seek admission to the MSME program as soon as possible to assure integration into the advising process. However, a person does not have to be admitted to a degree program to enroll in an online credit course. Prior to applying to Graduate School, a qualified individual may enroll in Engineering Online courses as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student. The NDS classification is designed for individuals who wish to undertake academic work but who are not currently admitted to a degree program. If the student is admitted to the MSME program, a maximum of twelve hours taken as an NDS student or from another institution may apply toward the 30 credit hour requirement. Students register for online courses through Engineering Online. Those who wish to take only a few courses and not pursue a degree do not need to apply for formal program admission to NC State University. However, students who wish to earn the MSME degree must formally apply for admission to the Graduate School. When completing the online application, please be sure to select the “Distance Track” version of the degree.

To register for an Engineering Online course, complete the registration form on the Engineering Online website. Students cannot register through the University MyPack Portal system for Engineering Online courses.

Course Offerings

A list of distance education courses available for each semester can be found on the Engineering Online website. Full-time employed individuals may only enroll in two online courses per semester. It is highly recommended that new students enroll in only one course during their first semester.

The following courses will be available through the Engineering Online program in various semesters.

MAE 501 Advanced Engineering ThermodynamicsMAE 545 Metrology for Precision Manufacturing
MAE 504 Fluid Dynamics of Combustion IMAE 550 Foundations of Fluid Dynamics
MAE 505 Heat Transfer Theory and ApplicationMAE 551 Airfoil Theory
MAE 513 Principles of Structural VibrationMAE 553 Compressible Fluid Flow
MAE 518 Acoustic Radiation IMAE 561 Wing Theory
MAE 521 Linear Control & Design for MIMO SystemsMAE 562 Physical Gas Dynamics
MAE 533 Finite Element Analysis IMAE 573 Hydrodynamic Stability and Transition
MAE 535 Design of Electromechanical SystemsMAE 589 Design for Strength and Endurance
MAE 537 Mechanics of Composite StructuresMAE 589 Mechanical Design Engineering
MAE 538 Smart Structures and MaterialsMAE 589 Nanotechnology
MAE 539 Advanced MaterialsMAE 742 Mechanical Design for Automated Assembly
MAE 541 Advanced Solid Mechanics IMAE 776 Turbulence
MAE 543 Fracture MechanicsMAE 789 Aerothermodynamics

For a list of distance education courses approved for the fall, spring or summer semester, visit the Engineering
Online website.

Course Logistics

Online courses are the same as on-campus courses in terms of content, requirements and academic rigor. On-campus class lectures are captured, digitized and placed on the Internet for distance students to access at any time and from any location. Students must, however, follow the on-campus class schedule in terms of submitting homework and taking exams. Course assignments, lecture notes, and handouts are made available to distance students on the course website. All in-class exams must be proctored.

Contact Information

  • For more information about the MSME program available online, contact:
    Dr. Katherine Saul, Director of Graduate Programs
    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    Telephone: 919. 515.1273
    Department website:
  • For more information about the registration process, course offerings and course logistics, contact:
    Dr. Linda Krute, Director of Distance Education Programs
    College of Engineering
    Telephone: 919.515.5440
    Engineering Online website: