Masters Program

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Master of Science Degree Program

The program leading to the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering requires completion of a minimum of 30 points of approved coursework consisting of no fewer than ten courses. A thesis based on either experimental, computational, or analytical research is optional and may be counted in lieu of up to 6 points of coursework. In general, attainment of the degree requires one academic year of full-time study, although it may also be undertaken on a part-time basis over a correspondingly longer period. A minimum grade-point average of 2.5 is required for graduation.

The M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering requires a student to take a sequence of courses that shows a clearly discernible specialization. In consultation with his or her advisor M.S. students can develop a focus specifically tailored to his or her interests and objectives. We refer to this as the standard track. Alternatively, M.S. students can pick from a set of predefined elective specializations.

Typical choices in the standard track include such subjects as mechanics of solids and fluids, thermodynamics, heat transfer, manufacturing engineering, robotics, kinematics, dynamics and vibrations, controls, and power generation. Nevertheless, the following guidelines must be adhered to:         

  1. All courses must be at the graduate level, i.e., numbered 4000 or higher, with at least two 6000-level courses, chosen in consultation with an adviser. At least one of the 6000-level courses must be in Mechanical Engineering.
  2. Every program must contain at least one course in mathematics (APMA, MATH, STAT course designations) covering material beyond what the student has taken previously. It is recommended to be taken early in the sequence, in order to serve as a basis for the technical coursework.
  3. Out-of-department study is encouraged, but at least five courses must be in Mechanical Engineering.

Rather than selecting the standard option, students can select an elective specialization in either energy systems, micro/nanoscale engineering, or robot­ics and control. The requirements for a specialization are identical to those of the standard track, with one exception: students must take at least 15 points from a list determined by an adviser in consultation with an advisory committee. The currently available elective special­izations are listed below.

The requirements for a Special Track are identical to those of the Standard Track, with the exception that a special track student must take at least 15 of his/her points from a list determined by a Special Track Advisor in consultation with a Special Track Advisory Committee. Detais for the currently available Special Tracks are provided below.


 M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Concentration in Energy Systems

Advisers: Professors Vijay Modi, Arvind Narayanaswamy, Pejman Akbari, Michael Burke 

The concentration in energy systems provides the M.S. candidate with a global understanding of current energy challenges. Advanced thermofluidic knowledge is provided to design and optimize energy systems, with a strong emphasis on renewable energies. Courses related to energy and environmental policy, two strong areas of Columbia as a global university, can be integrated into the course sequence. This concentration is a suitable preparation for careers in energy production and energy consultation.

Requirements: 30 points of graduate level coursework, i.e. courses numbered 4000 level or higher, at least two of which must be 6000-level (MECE E6100 Advanced Mechanics of Fluids and MECE E6313 Advanced Heat Transfer are strongly recommended). Furthermore, students must take one course in statistics (STAT / SIEO designations) and at least five courses from the following list*: 

MECE E4210: Energy infrastructure planning
MECE E4211: Energy: sources and conversion
MECE E4302: Advanced thermodynamics
MECE E4304: Turbomachinery    
MECE E4305: Mechanics and thermodynamics propulsion
MECE E4312: Solar thermal engineering
MECE E4314: Energy dynamics of green buildings
MECH E4320: Intro to combustion
MECE E4330: Thermofluid systems design
MECE E6100: Advanced mechanics of fluids
MECE E6104: Case studies in computational fluid dynamics
MECE E6313: Advanced heat transfer
EAEE E6126: Carbon sequestration

*One 3-point research course can be counted towards the concentration if the research is approved by the student’s adviser and is energy related. 

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Concentration in Micro/Nanoscale Engineering
Advisors: Profs. James Hone and Jeff Kysar

The concentration in Micro/Nanoscale Engineering provides the MS candidate with an understanding of engineering challenges and opportunities in micro- and nano-scale systems. The curriculum addresses fundamental issues of mechanics, fluid mechanics, optics, heat transfer, and manufacturing at small size scales. Application areas include MEMS, bio-MEMS, microfluidics, thermal systems, and carbon nanostructures.

Application: To choose this special track, select "Mechanical Engineering Micro/Nanoscale Engineering Master of Science" in the Program field when filling in the online application for the M.S. program. The name of this program will be listed on graduates' transcripts. 

Requirements: While satisfying the general mechanical engineering requirements, take at least five courses from:

MECE E4212: Microelectromechanical systems
MECE E6700: Carbon nanotubes
MECE E6710: Nanofabrication laboratory
MECE E6105: Transport phenomena in the presence of interfaces
MECE E6720: Nano/Microscale thermal transport processes                                                         
ELEN E4503: Sensors, actuators, and electromechanical systems
ELEN E6945: Device nanofabrication
BMEN E4590:BioMEMS: Cellular and Molecular Applications
MSAE E4090:Nanotechnology
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Concentration in Robotics and Control

Advisors: Profs. Sunil Agrawal, Matei Ciocarlie, Prof. Lipson, Richard Longman and Fred Stolfi

The field of Robotics is seeing unprecedented growth, in areas as diverse as manufacturing, logistics, transportation, healthcare, space exploration and more. This program will prepare students for a career in Robotics and its many applications in society. Students will perform in-depth study of topics such as robotic manipulation, navigation, perception, human interaction, medical robotics, assistance and rehabilitation. This concentration is a suitable preparation for joining established companies, information-age dominant players investing heavily in this field, or the new wave of Robotics start-ups aiming to provide disruptive innovations. Many of the acquired skills can be applied in other fields, as diverse as automation, manufacturing, computer graphics or machine vision. This program can also be a foundation for a research career in Robotics and related areas, in both academia and industry.

Application: To choose this special track, select "Mechanical Engineering Master of Science" in the Program field when filling in the online application for the M.S. program, and check "Robotics and Control" under the Area of Research Interest field of the application. Indicate your preference for the Robotics and Control special track during the orientation period at the beginning of the program.

Requirements: While satisfying the general mechanical engineering requirements, take at least five courses from:

MECE E4058: Mechatronics and Embedded Microcomputer Control
EEME E4601: Digital Control Systems
MECE E4602: Introduction to Robotics
MECE E6400: Advanced machine dynamics
EEME E6601: Introduction to Control Theory
EEME E6602: Modern Control Theory
EEME E6610: Optimal Control Theory
MECE E6614: Advanced Topics in Robotics and Mechanism Synthesis
MECS E6615: Robotic Manipulation
MECS E4606: Digital Manufacturing
COMS W4731: Computer Vision
COMS W4733: Computational Aspects of Robotics
COMS E6733: 3-D Photography
ELEN E4810: Digital Signal Processing
BMME E4702: Advanced Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

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