Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science | Mechanical Engineering

Program Format:   
Entrance Exam: Not required

The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) addresses the needs of off-campus students whose schedule or location does not allow on-campus study. The online courses are identical to on-campus courses in terms of content, requirements and academic rigor. Designed for students with a B.S. degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or related field, this M.S. degree requires 30 credit hours. No thesis is required.

Convenience and flexibility are key advantages of this program. The MSME degree is a 30-credit-hour degree program that does not require a thesis, a final oral exam, or on-campus attendance.

Benefits of the degree

  • Flexibility (time and place)
  • No need for campus attendance
  • Earn an engineering graduate degree from a well-established and recognized university
  • Enhance your career opportunities
  • Achieve new competencies, broaden your expertise and expand your knowledge

This program is administered by Engineering Online at NC State.


Prerequisites for admission to Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) include an accredited undergraduate degree in engineering with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Students majoring in other fields may need to complete a number of undergraduate mechanical engineering courses prior to being accepted for admission.

Note: Please complete item 5 of the Graduate School application form as follows: enter “Mechanical Engineering” for the field “Desired Major”, enter “Master of Science” for “Degree Sought”, and enter “Distance Education” for the field “Department/Specialty/ Concentration”. Also leave “Desired Minor” field blank.

The MSME program is designed primarily for those individuals who work or reside in the continental U.S. The program does not currently accept international students who reside outside the continental USA.


This master's degree requires 30 Engineering Online graduate credit hours. At 2018-19 tuition rates, the cost of the required courses is $504 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,312 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the 30-credit program is $15,120 for North Carolina residents and $39,360 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

The program consists of 30 credit hours. A full-time graduate student may take 9 credit hours of coursework per semester; part-time students typically take 3 or 6 credit hours of coursework per semester. All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course which appears on the NC State graduate transcript. All students must comply with Graduate School regulations for continuous registration or must request a leave of absence not to exceed one year.

Students who are employed full-time may enroll in only two courses per semester. It is highly recommended that new students enroll in just one course during their first semester.

Students are assigned an academic advisor and work with this advisor to develop an individual Plan of Graduate Work. Some specialty areas have specific course requirements.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) degree include completion of 30 credit hours of graduate-level courses at the 500 or 700 level with an overall grade point average of 3.0. Each student in the MSME Distance Education program must complete a minimum of four core MAE courses from a concentration area and two additional MAE courses at the 500 or 700 level. In addition, each student must complete three credit hours of MAE 586 (Project Work in Mechanical Engineering). The remaining three courses may consist of any graduate-level engineering, mathematics or statistics course offered through Engineering Online.
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.  
Entry Semester Application Deadlines and Details
FallJan 15 (Financial Aid Priority); Mar 1 (Int); Jun 25 (US)
SpringJul 15 (Int); Nov 1 (US)
Summer 1DE Students ONLY: Mar 15 (US); Dec 15 (Int)
Summer 2DE Students ONLY: May 1 (US); Dec 15 (Int)

Dr. Kara Peters

Director of Graduate Programs, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering