This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.S., Mechanical Engineering

Program Description

The M.S. in Mechanical Engineering program provides the opportunity for students to specialize in one of four emphasis areas: aerospace systems, mechanical design, system dynamics and controls, and thermal-fluid systems.

The program also features a thesis plan and a comprehensive exam plan so that the students can tailor their studies to complement their specific career and educational goals.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

  1. General University requirements apply for all applicants.
  2. For admission, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a 3.0 or higher overall grade point average is required. Applicants with an overall grade point average between 2.75 and 3.0 may be admitted if their grade point average in the last 60 units is at or above 3.0.
  3. For admission with a baccalaureate degree other than Mechanical Engineering, applicants must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Qualified applicants without a baccalaureate degree in Mechanical Engineering will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Additional preparatory coursework should be anticipated.
  4. The GRE Standard test is required for all applicants to the M.S. program in Mechanical Engineering. A minimum 50th percentile score is required on the GRE Quantitative standard test to be eligible for admission consideration. The department may request additional supporting material to assess an applicant’s preparation and likelihood for academic success.
  5. Approval by the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the department graduate coordinator.
  6. Foreign students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language.
  7. To be considered for admission the grades received in the undergraduate program and cumulative GPA must be available on a four-point letter grade scale of A-F. This admission requirement applies to applicants whose undergraduate (or other) institution does not report course grades in a letter format corresponding to a four-point numerical scale (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0) equivalent to the grading system used at CSUN. Those individuals are required to submit the results of a third party official transcript evaluation as the report of their official transcript. The Mechanical Engineering department only recognizes evaluations and organizations that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Service (NACES), which is an association of private educational credential evaluation services committed to formulating and maintaining ethical standards in the field of foreign educational evaluation. Visit the NACES home page to obtain a listing of member evaluation services. An example of an acceptable service would be the World Education Services (WES) ICAP report, which includes course-by-course evaluations.
  8. Students interested in the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree program who do not have an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering should contact the graduate coordinator regarding prerequisite requirements. The “Prerequisites” courses or their equivalents are required if they have not been taken previously, but they do not count as part of the M.S. program.

B. Requirements for Advancement to Classified Graduate Status

  1. Completion of 6 to 12 units and satisfaction of University requirements for classified status (see University section regarding Graduate Programs in this Catalog).
  2. Completion of all requirements noted on individual admissions documents.
  3. Submission of a tentative program of study to the graduate coordinator.
  4. Approval by the department graduate coordinator.

Note: Classified status is required for enrollment in culminating experience courses (ME 697D, ME 698D) and Directed Graduate Research enrollments (ME 696).

C. For the Degree

  1. Completion of 30 units under the thesis plan or the comprehensive examination plan.
  2. Completion of the core curriculum requirements.
  3. Completion of the Culminating experience requirement (ME 697D or ME 698D) which is one (1) unit (CR/NC).
  4. Students in the thesis option must include six (6) units of enrollment in Directed Graduate Research (ME 696).
  5. A maximum of 9 units (three courses) completed outside CSUN’s Mechanical Engineering program may be approved for transfer credit, but must be relevant to the MSME program of study and must have grades of B or higher. Credit transfer is considered on a case-by-case basis and is subject to graduate coordinator approval.
  6. All coursework taken at CSUN in the student’s graduate program must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  7. Students must satisfy the requirements for the thesis or comprehensive plan.

Formal approval of granting of the Degree by the Mechanical Engineering faculty.

D. Required Courses

The number of required units is fixed for all students in the M.S. degree program, “Suggested Background” courses (400 level) not taken previously as part of a B.S. degree program may be used to fill knowledge gaps to better prepare for 500 and 600 level courses. A maximum of 6 units of these courses may be used to fulfill the formal program degree requirements in the elective area.

1. Required Core (15 units)

Math Analysis

ME 501A Seminar in Engineering Analysis I (3)

Breadth Requirement

AM 509 Methods of Applied Mechanics (3)
ME 575 Applied Heat and Mass Transfer (3)
ME 584 Modeling and Simulation of Dynamic Systems (3)
ME 590 Advanced Fluid Dynamics (3)

2. Culminating Experience (1 unit) [CR/NC only]

ME 698D Thesis (1)
or ME 697D Directed Comprehensive Studies/Exam (1)

3. Electives (15 units)

A. Thesis Plan

ME 696 Directed Graduate Research (6)

Three elective courses (9 units) relevant to the thesis topic and approved by the thesis faculty supervisor.

B. Comprehensive Exam Plan

Five elective courses (15 units) with at least three courses (9 units) selected from a single emphasis area.

Emphasis Areas

A maximum of two 400-level ME courses (6 units) from the list of “suggested background” courses in each emphasis may be used as electives for either of the culminating experience options.

Mechanical System Design

Prerequisites: ME 309, ME 330, ME 370, ME 375, ME 384, ME 390

Suggested Background

AM 410 Vibration Analysis (3)
ME 415 Kinematics of Mechanisms (3)
ME 430 Machine Design Applications (3)
ME 460 Automotive Engineering (3)

Graduate Electives

ME 501B Seminar in Engineering Analysis (3)
ME 536 Mechanical Design with Composites (3)
ME 532 Mechanical Design with Polymers (3)
ME 630 Computer-Aided Machine Design (3)
ME 686A Advanced Modeling, Analysis and Optimization I (3)
ME 686B Advanced Modeling, Analysis and Optimization II (3)

System Dynamics and Control

Prerequisites: ME 309, ME 330, ME 370, ME 375, ME 384, ME 390

Suggested Background

AM 410 Vibration Analysis (3)
ME 415 Kinematics of Mechanisms (3)
ME 484 Control of Mechanical Systems (3)

Graduate Electives

ME 501B Seminar in Engineering Analysis (3)
ME 503 Biomedical Instrumentation (3)
ME 515 Dynamics of Machines (3)
ME 520 Robot Mechanics and Control (3)
ME 522 Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle (3)
ME 684 Design and Control of Dynamic Systems (3)

Thermofluid Systems

Prerequisites: ME 309, ME 370, ME 375, ME 390

Suggested Background

ME 470 Thermodynamics II (3)
ME 490 Fluid Dynamics (3)

Graduate Electives

ME 501B Seminar in Engineering Analysis (3)
ME 583 Thermal-Fluids System Design (3)
ME 593 Compressible Flow (3)
ME 595 Advanced Measurements (3)
ME 670 Advanced Topics in Thermodynamics (3)
ME 675A Conductive and Radiative Heat Transfer (3)
ME 675B Convective Heat and Mass Transfer (3)
ME 683 Energy Processes (3)
ME 692 Computational Fluid Dynamics (3)


Prerequisites: ME 309, ME 370, ME 375, ME 390

Suggested Background

AE 472 Aero-Propulsion Systems (3)
AE 480 Fundamentals of Aerospace Engineering (3)
ME 470 Thermodynamics II (3)

Graduate Electives

AE 680 Flight Vehicle Performance (3)
AE 689 Advanced Aerodynamics (3)
AE 572 Rocket Propulsion (3)
AE 586 Aircraft Design (3)
AE 589 Aerodynamics (3)
AE 672 Advanced Aero Propulsion (3)
ME 501B Seminar in Engineering Analysis (3)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 31


Department of Mechanical Engineering
Chair: Hamid Johari
Jacaranda Hall (JD) 4513
(818) 677-2187

Student Learning Outcomes

The overall learning outcomes for the program are:

  1. Understand and apply advanced engineering mathematics, particularly to problems requiring matrix analysis and solutions of differential equations.
  2. Be able to apply modern computational tools to attain solutions of complex mechanical engineering problems in one of the four emphasis areas.
  3. Demonstrate achievement of the specific learning outcomes assigned to their chosen emphasis area.