Graduate Programs

With faculty expertise in mechanics, materials, manufacturing, thermal and fluid sciences, robotics, mechatronics, control, design, and optimization, along with partnerships in various departments within the College of Engineering and Computing and College of Science, the Department of Mechanical Engineering provides opportunities for students to continue their studies and pursue research in a wide range of disciplines.  Read on for further information, or contact Robert Handler.

Graduate Programs


PhD in Information Technology with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering: Mason Engineering’s PhD in information technology with a mechanical engineering concentration is designed for students interested in pursuing research in a specific area. Doctoral students may choose research in areas as broad as continuum mechanics, or more specific topical areas such as solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, or robotics. The program prepares students to become leaders at universities, as well as at national and industrial laboratories.

PhD in Systems Engineering and Operations Research with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering: This concentration is suitable for students who wish to pursue doctoral research in areas related to mechanical engineering with a foundation in systems engineering and operations research. The concentration has modified requirements for coursework, qualifying exams, and the doctoral supervisory committee, as described in the relevant sections.

Check the catalog for official information and requirements.

For more information, contact Robert Handler.


Accelerated Master's

The breadth of the mechanical engineering discipline prepares motivated students to pursue an accelerated master’s degree. Up to twelve credits of graduate coursework can be applied towards the completion of both BS and MS degrees allowing a student to earn both degrees in as little as 5 years. Currently, the department administers this degree in several areas including applied and engineering physics, bioengineering, civil engineering, computational science, data analytics, electrical engineering, information technology, operations research, and systems engineering.  For the latest list of programs and requirements, please visit the catalog.

Graduate Certificate in Microfabrication

Microfabrication involves the process of creating miniature structures on a micro or nanometer scale. It plays a crucial role in the semiconductor, biomedical, and other industries, being responsible for producing electronic devices such as computer chips, memory devices, and sensors. The certificate program in microfabrication is designed to equip students with the skills needed for the growing job opportunities in this field. Students will gain a solid understanding of advanced materials and sensors, along with hands-on experience. They will also learn about device design principles. Upon completing the certificate program, students will possess the ability to comprehend the unique properties of materials and device performance at the nanoscale. They will be able to fabricate microsensors within a cleanroom environment and operate key instruments used in the cleanroom. Given the increasing demand for well-paying jobs in microfabrication, students holding a microfabrication certificate will enjoy enhanced competitiveness. The training process not only augments their capacities in microfabrication but also complements their STEM majors.

The program consists of four core courses. Details on specific course requirements are available in the catalog. Questions can be addressed to Pei Dong

Graduate Certificate in Naval Ship Design

The graduate certificate in naval ship design provides students with the fundamentals and hands-on experience to be effective ship designers and design managers. Through coursework and experiential learning, students will develop specific knowledge in the art of naval ship design and acquire the skills to support the management of new and in-service design programs. Upon completion of the certificate program, graduates will be able to:

  • Design a vessel to execute a specified mission profile.

  • Critically assess the impact of vessel design decisions on the concept of operations.

  • Support programmatic needs by translating fleet requirements to design specifications while managing cost.

The program consists of four core courses plus a student-selected relevant elective course at the 500 level or above. Details on specific course requirements are available in the catalog. Questions can be addressed to Leigh McCue. See application information here.

Graduate Certificate in Responsible AI

The graduate certificate in Responsible AI provides students with the fundamentals of artificial intelligence (AI), how AI systems are architected, the principles of systems engineering as they relate to AI systems, theories of AI safety and risk, how to test and evaluate such systems to meet risk thresholds, and how to identify ethical, legal and regulatory issues that arise in such systems. Students will be prepared to develop and manage complex systems with embedded AI, including identifying unique requirements for systems with embedded AI, testing and certifying these systems, and defining and maintaining safe levels of performance for deployed AI. Graduates will also be able to develop acquisition plans for complex systems with embedded AI, and develop AI maintenance programs including auditing. Areas of application include safety-critical physical systems like self-driving cars, air taxis and health applications, as well as software-based systems like financial and banking systems, and those that support education and research.

Details on specific courses and their requirements are available here. Questions can be addressed to See application information.

“Our program is designed for students interested in traditional areas of mechanical engineering, as well as research topics of current interest such as biosensors, nanomaterials, and microfluidics.”

— Robert A. Handler, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the graduate program