The graduate program in Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering has over 150 MS and PhD candidates. West Virginia University is classified as a "Carnegie Research Extensive I" (R1) institution, the highest classification possible. Our graduate program in Mechanical Engineering is ranked a top 100 program and our Aerospace Engineering program is ranked in the top 50 in most the 2023-2024 US News and World Report rankings.
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
The MSAE program is designed to give students greater knowledge of Aerospace Engineering while conducting research to advance the field as a whole. Students can choose to take courses in aerospace systems design, aircraft or spacecraft dynamics, stability and control, flight mechanics and simulation, advanced materials, vehicle propulsion, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity and computational mechanics. For a tentative schedule of courses and requirements, see the MSAE curriculum.
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
The MSME program builds knowledge and skills in Mechanical Engineering by combining both research and academic course work. Students choose coursework in mechanical systems design, system dynamics, solid mechanics, energy systems, engineering materials, automatic controls, mechatronics and computational mechanics. For a tentative schedule of courses and requirements, see the MSME curriculum.
Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
The MS-MS&E program builds knowledge and skills in Materials Science and Engineering by combining both research and academic course work. For a tentative schedule of courses and requirements, see the MS-MS&E curriculum.
Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering
The Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. program is designed to give students competence at the highest level in Aerospace Engineering. A Ph.D. is a research-based degree and students are required to research, complete and successfully defend a dissertation in a subject of his/her choosing. The goal of the Ph.D. is to expand the field of knowledge in the Aerospace Engineering fields. For tentative schedules and requirements, see the Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering curriculum
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering
The Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program is designed to give students competence at the highest level in Mechanical Engineering. A Ph.D. is a research-based degree and students are required to research, complete and successfully defend a dissertation in a subject of his/her choosing. The goal of the Ph.D. is to expand the field of knowledge in the Mechanical Engineering fields. For tentative schedules of courses and requirements, see the Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering curriculum
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
The MS&E doctoral program is designed to give students competence at the highest level in Materials Science and Engineering. A Ph.D. is a research-based degree and students are required to research, complete and successfully defend a dissertation in a subject of his/her choosing. The goal of the Ph.D. is to expand the field of knowledge in the Material Science and Engineering fields. For a tentative schedule of courses and requirements, see the Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering curriculum.
Admission to the mechanical and aerospace engineering and materials science engineering graduate programs are detailed in the Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; and Master's of Science Engineering areas of the WVU Catalog.
Admissions requirements for International students can be found at WVU Graduate Admissions.
The MSAE, MSME and MSE degrees require completion of 24 hours of coursework (with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0) plus 6 hours of research leading to a thesis. The coursework must include 6 hours of mathematics from an approved list and 12 hours of courses from mechanical and aerospace engineering.
The PhD degree program has the following four main stages:
All students enrolled in the PhD program must take their qualifying examination no later than during their second semester in the program, not counting summer sessions. The exam is administered every fall and spring semester. It is a written exam. Students failing the first time are allowed to take it again during the next semester. Only two consecutive examinations are allowed for every student with no exceptions. Student passing the exam become candidates for the degree.
PhD candidates must constitute their advisory committee and defend their proposal for their dissertation no later than a year after becoming PhD candidates.
PhD candidates must successfully defend their dissertation in front of their advisory committee as a prerequisite for graduation. Subsequently, they must gain approval of their written dissertation from the same committee. The written document must be submitted and approved in format by the WVU Library before graduation.
PhD students are required to complete 24 credits ours of coursework with an average GPA above 3.0. Certain restrictions regarding the type of courses are listed in the graduate catalog. For example, a minimum of two math courses and two MAE courses are required. There is no limit to the number of courses that can be taken at the election of the student. Normally, students take some courses that help them prepare for the qualifying exam as well as preparing for their chosen area of research.
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The Department has been successful in awarding financial assistance to many of our graduate students through a combination of research assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships.
Research and teaching assistantships and fellowships range from $1,650 to $2,000 per month plus a waiver of tuition fees. Exceptional students in some areas of research might qualify for even higher stipends. There is no specific financial aid application form; all applicants are considered for assistantships.
For Applicants in the PhD Program in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering
Departmental Financial Support
Students admitted in the PhD program in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering are automatically considered for graduate teaching assistantships for the first academic year and they have priority over all other applicants. GTA students earn $1,950/month by working 20 hours per week grading, teaching or otherwise assisting faculty in laboratory courses. GTA positions are not renewable on subsequent years since new applicants have priority. Students are responsible for contacting a faculty member and obtaining research funding for subsequent years by working on a project that serves also as their dissertation topic. MMAE offers between six and 12 new GTA positions each fall semester, starting August 16. Some GTA students might quit their GTA appointments at the end of their first semester to join a research project, thus leaving some openings available for the spring semester, starting January 1. GTA positions are awarded to the most qualified candidates from the pool of incoming students enrolled in the PhD program. Only under extraordinary circumstances would a GTA position would be offered to a MS student, for example, when the student posses some unique expertise that is required to conduct the work assignment.
Faculty members normally award graduate research assistantships to students that have demonstrated their competence over a period of at least one or two semesters here at West Virginia University. A few students with extraordinary credentials and unique expertise required by the faculty are awarded a GRA in advance of enrolling at WVU.
No request for GRA or GTA will be considered before a completed application has been received at the University and Department levels.
The information in this page is only a partial description aimed to provide a quick glance for prospective students. The graduate catalog and other approved documents supersede all the information provided in this page.
Fellowships and Scholarships
- Hansen, Inc. Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded annually to juniors, seniors, or graduate students majoring in mechanical engineering.
Travel Grants for Doctoral Students
Support is available for up to one trip per year for doctoral students. The College contribution is matched dollar-per-dollar by the Department. Applicants must submit the form (provided in the web site on this page) to the Department for approval. Presentation of a technical paper or other academic activity and partial monetary support from the advisor are encouraged.
- WVU Graduate Education Fellowships
During the course of the academic year, the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering conducts a series of seminars. Graduate students in mechanical and aerospace engineering become members of a scholarly community devoted to the discovery and transmittal of new knowledge. One of the purposes of the seminar series is to broaden our student's intellectually and to aid in their professional development by providing another connection with the world of industry and business. Exceptional speakers whose research span the range of the mechanical and aerospace engineering discipline are invited to speak at the seminars.
Through these seminars we seek to expose our faculty, graduate students and undergraduate researchers to a spectrum of topics in areas both similar to and complementary to those areas investigated within the department.
For information on our research visit MMAE Research or one of the links below for college and university research information.