The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers flexible programs in a variety of technical areas leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Engineer in Mechanical Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering. In addition, some specialized programs are also available. In particular, the Petroleum Engineering option is available to undergraduates.
An ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering requires a total of 133 semester units of courses in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, humanities and social sciences, and general education. A Bachelor of Science degree with the Petroleum option requires a similar mixture of courses among various technical and nontechnical disciplines.
Presently, there is a Cooperative Education Program with industry for undergraduates. Students in this program attend alternate periods of on-campus study with periods of work within the industry. The industrial experience at the time of graduation typically amounts to a total of one year. Details of the Co-Op program can by obtained by calling (213) 740-4530.
Degree requirements for Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
General education requirements common to all undergraduate curricula for BS degrees in Engineering
The degree of Master of Science requires 27 semester units of approved course work either with or without a thesis. A student pursuing a MSME degree is expected to follow a coherent program of study that must be approved by a graduate advisor.
An additional 30 units of course work including a specialized research project is required beyond the MSME degree for the Engineer in Mechanical Engineering degree. Nine out of these 30 units must be in a minor area of engineering, and 6 units must be devoted to a research topic. No dissertation is required. However, a candidate for the EME degree must pass a qualifying examination at the conclusion of the formal course work. The EME requires approximately the same academic preparation in terms of course work as the Ph.D., and the coursework may be applied towards a Ph.D. degree if the student is admitted to a doctoral program in the department.
In order to be admitted to the Ph.D. program, the applicant should have the potential for carrying out doctoral research. The department requires applicants to take the general Graduate Record Examination. Minimum acceptable scores for admission to the Ph.D. program are as follows:
Minimum acceptable grade point averages are as follows:
Ph.D. Students are expected to maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or better.Screening Procedures
The department conducts the screening examination once a year. At the beginning of the degree program, the student must pass the examination. Prior to taking the screening examination, the student should have chosen a faculty member of the department who is willing to be the student's thesis advisor.
The registration deadline for the 2001 screening exam is November 2, 2001.Admission to Candidacy & Defense
The formal course work requirements for the Ph.D. is 60 units beyond the Baccalaureate degree. Of these at least 24 units (exclusive of 794) beyond the MSME must be taken at USC, uninterrupted by course work elsewhere. After the completion of the formal course work, the student is required to pass the qualifying examination in order to be admitted to candidacy. The qualifying examination is given by a committee of five faculty members. In preparation, the student should present a proposal consisting of a well-defined and feasible plan of research for the doctoral thesis. Upon the completion of the proposed research and writing thesis, the degree candidate has has to defend the thesis. Finally, after the successful defense of the thesis, the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering is granted under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School in recognition of superior academic preparation and creative scholarly reserach.
The Ph.D. degree must be completed within eight years after beginning graduate work at USC. For students who earned an applicable Master's degree within five years prior to the doctoral program, the time limit for completing the doctoral degree is six years.
The program of study depends on the student's interest and background. There are nine different areas of concentration in mechanical engineering (see list below). Each concentration has a number of required courses. In general, the remaining courses will be other mechanical engineering courses; however, courses from other departments within the University may be approved if a particular coordinated interest can be demonstrated. In some instances, applicants with non-ME undergraduate degrees may be required to take courses to make up certain deficiencies.
Each student should select an area of concentration from the given list and choose an advisor from the department assigned to this concentration. The student should then establish a program of study together with the advisor. When an acceptable program is agreed upon, a copy of the plan of course work will be approved and kept in the department for reference. Such a plan of study must be established by the second semester of attendance; otherwise the department will not approve registration. Accepatable changes may be endorsed on the approved program by the advisor at any time.
|Area||Required Courses||Graduate Advisors|
|Combustion & Propulsion||ME 436, ME 513, ME 514||Egolfopoulos, Ronney|
|Continuum Mechanics||ME 506a, ME 509, ME 510||Dravinski, Udwadia|
|Controls & Guidance||ME 451, ME 524, ME 541, ME 542||Flashner, Udwadia, Yang|
|Design Methodology||ME 410, ME 503, ME 509, ME 541||Dravinski, Jin, Shiflett|
|Dynamics & Vibrations||ME 521, ME 522, ME 523, ME 524||Flashner, Shiflett, Udwadia, Yang|
|Fluid Dynamics||ME 457 or equivalent, ME 518, ME 519||Campbell, Maxworthy, Redekopp, Sadhal|
|Heat Transfer||ME 457 or equivalent, ME 515, ME 516, ME 517||Campbell, Sadhal|
|Intelligent Design Systems||ME 410, ME 505||Jin, Lu|
|Stress Analysis & Materials||ME 509, ME 559, ME 560, ME 584||Dravinski, Langdon|
Requirements for graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering
General requirements for graduate degrees
For more information on undergraduate and graduate admissions and/or to request an application, please refer to the USC Admissions Web Page. You may also contact Mechanical Engineering if you have any further questions.
Numerous types of scholarships, fellowships and student loans are available through USC. Prospective students in need of financial aid are encouraged to apply. In addition, there are federal, state and industry fellowship programs.
For graduate students of exceptional caliber, Research Assistantships are awarded by the Department through funded research projects. Also, there are a limited number of Teaching Assistantships for graduate students with strong academic credentials. Each type of award generally consists of a tuition award along with a stipend. The awardees are assigned duties for research or tutoring, as the case may be.
The Assistantship & Fellowship Application for Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs is available in PDF format. To read documents in the PDF format, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader.