Skip Navigation

Mechanical & Materials Engineering


M.S. in Engineering Mechanics

Program Options

The university provides three different options for earning an M.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics. 

Option I (Thesis Option): This option is recommended to students getting a M.S. degree with plans to continue for a Ph.D. degree, or with plans to work in a research and development position. This option is the only accepted option for students holding a research or teaching assistantship. The requirements for Option I are:

  • Total credits needed: at least 30 
  • EM credits needed: at least 15

    EM credits must include: 

    • Advanced Dynamics (847) or Vibration Theory and Application (875) 
    • Advanced Mechanics of Materials (848) 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (ENGM 996 [formerly listed as ENGM 978]; students must register for seminar every semester, but only one credit will count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 

    In addition, it is recommended students take at least one course from each of the following areas: 

    • Mechanics of Deformable Bodies 
    • Vibration or Dynamics 
    • Laboratory Course 
    • Mathematics (Math 821 does not earn graduate credit and will not count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 
  • Graduate only credits needed: at least 8 
    • “Graduate only” refers to 800 level courses without 400 level equivalents and 900 level courses 
    • Math 821 does not earn graduate credit 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (996) will count for only one “graduate only” credit
  • Thesis credits: at least 6 
    • No more than 6 credits will count toward the minimum total of 30 credits 

A student has the option of getting a minor by taking at least 9 credits in another field. 

Option II (Non-thesis Option):  This option is only recommended for students considering the M.S. degree as their terminal degree.  The requirements for Option II are:

  • Total credits needed: at least 36 
  • EM credits needed: at least 18 if one minor, at least 15 if two minors

    EM credits must include: 

    • Advanced Dynamics (847) or Vibration Theory and Application (875) 
    • Advanced Mechanics of Materials (848) 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (ENGM 996 [formerly listed as ENGM 978]; students must register for seminar every semester, but only one credit will count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 

    In addition, it is recommended students take at least one course from each of the following areas:

    • Mechanics of Continuous Bodies 
    • Vibration or Dynamics 
    • Laboratory Course 
    • Mathematics (Math 821 does not earn graduate credit and will not count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 
  • Graduate only credits needed: at least 12
    • “Graduate only” refers to 800 level courses without 400 level equivalents and 900 level courses 
    • Math 821 does not earn graduate credit 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (996) will count for only one “graduate only” credit 
  • Minor:  at least 9 credits in each minor (at least one minor is required) 

Option III (Non-thesis Option): This option is recommended for students planning to continue scholarly work.  The University requirements for Option III are: 

  • Total credits needed: at least 36 
  • EM credits needed: at least 18

    EM credits must include:

    • Advanced Dynamics (847) or Vibration Theory and Application (875) 
    • Advanced Mechanics of Materials (848) 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (ENGM 996 [formerly listed as ENGM 978]; students must register for seminar every semester, but only one credit will count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 

    In addition, it is recommended students take at least one course from each of the following areas:

    • Mechanics of Continuous Bodies 
    • Vibration or Dynamics 
    • Laboratory Course 
    • Mathematics (Math 821 does not earn graduate credit and will not count toward the minimum total of 30 credits) 
  • Graduate only credits needed: at least 18 
    • “Graduate only” refers to 800 level courses without 400 level equivalents and 900 level courses 
    • Math 821 does not earn graduate credit 
    • Engineering Mechanics Seminar (996) will count for only one “graduate only” credit

Policy for Master of Science in Engineering Mechanics

  1. A student admitted to the M.S. program (Option I) is required to select a thesis adviser within his/her first semester.
  2. Before completing nine hours of graduate work (in addition to those which he/she may have already completed prior to acceptance to the M.S. program) the student must, in consultation with his/her adviser, prepare a study program for the M.S. degree.  This study program and subsequent changes must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate Committee.  The initial review includes determining acceptability of graduate credit hours completed prior to its submission.
  3. A Memorandum of Courses, required for Candidacy, must be filed and approved before grades (letter grades, no reports or incompletes) have been received in more than one-half of the student's program.  The Memorandum of Courses must be recommended by the major and minor departments and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  4. A written comprehensive examination and/or oral examination is required to cover the student's approved memorandum of courses.  The written examination, if administered, must be successfully taken within the 10 months prior to the date of graduation.
    • Option I students normally will have the written comprehensive waived in lieu of a mandatory final oral exam during which the thesis will be defended.  If a student's performance on course work has been marginal, the Graduate Committee may request a written examination of the student for further evaluation. 
    • Option II and Option III students will be required to take a written comprehensive examination within 10 months prior to the date of graduation.  A written examination for those working under Option II will be requested by the adviser from the minor department.  It is the responsibility of the minor department to set criteria for waiving this examination and standards for passing. The written comprehensive examination may not be waived if any of the grades in the minor are below a B. The final oral examination will normally be waived.  However, if a student's performance on course work has been marginal, the Graduate Committee may request an oral examination of the student for further evaluation. 
  5. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all published deadlines are met.
  6. Nothing in this policy statement is intended to supersede any university or graduate studies policy. The UNL Graduate Studies Bulletin has further details.