MAE Master of Science Program

Please see the live calendar for most updated MS advising hours.

The MS program is intended to extend and broaden the undergraduate background and/or equip practicing engineers with fundamental knowledge in their particular fields. The degree may be terminal, or obtained on the way to the Ph.D. The degree is offered under both the Thesis Plan I and the Comprehensive Examination Plan II. A strong effort is made to schedule MS-level course offerings so those students may obtain their MS degree in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

Students may choose either Plan I or Plan II. We highly recommend that students not make this decision until the completion of at least one quarter of course work.

MS Faculty Advisors are finalized after one quarter of MS coursework in the department. The decision is a mutual agreement between the student, the faculty member, and the MAE Student Affairs Office. At the time that a faculty advisor is chosen, students should also decide between Plan I and Plan II. Students in Plan I must have the approval for a thesis from their faculty advisor.

MS Time Limit Policy: Full-time MS students are permitted seven quarters in which to complete all requirements. While there are no written time limits for part-time students, the department has the right to intervene and set individual deadlines if it becomes necessary. 

 

Master's Plan I - Thesis Defense

Master’s Plan II – Comprehensive Exam

 


Master’s Plan I - Thesis Defense

MS Planner
MS Preparation for Thesis Defense

This plan of study involves both coursework and research, culminating in the preparation of a thesis. A total of 36 units of credit are required: 24 units (6 courses) must be in course work, and 12 units must be in research. The student's program is arranged, with approval of the faculty advisor, according to the following policies:

1. Course work must include 16 units (4 courses) of MAE 200-level courses.
2. Units obtained in MAE 205 or 299 may not be applied toward the course work requirement.
3. A maximum of 8 units of MAE 296 and 298 may be applied toward the course work requirement.
4. A maximum of 12 units of upper-division 100-level courses may be applied toward the course work requirement. However, if you choose 12 units of 100-level courses, you most likely will not have the required knowledge to complete a successful thesis.
5. Twelve units of MAE 299 must be taken to fulfill the research requirement.

Students must maintain at lease a B average (3.00 GPA) in the courses taken to fulfill the degree requirements.  All required courses for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of MAE 299 research units, which may be taken as S/U only.

These 36 units should be arranged into three areas of specializations, organized as follows:

   Specialization 1: 3 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 2: 3 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 3: 12 units of research

At least two of these three areas of specialization must be chosen from the list below of MAE research areas. The third specialization can be one of the listed MAE areas or a Math/Science area.

Current MAE Research Areas:

   Applied and Solid Mechanics
   Material Sciences
   Fluid Mechanics
   Thermal Sciences
   Engineering Physics
   Dynamics Systems & Controls
   Environmental Engineering
   Biomechanics
   Design

Students should reference the MAE Graduate Course Structure for MS and PhD students to see which courses fall into which of the research areas.  There are no specific course requirements for the MAE Master’s program; however, it is important to follow the guidelines listed above, have your curriculum approved by your faculty advisor, and follow the polices above.

Thesis Defense:  Following advancement to candidacy, the student electing Plan I must submit a thesis. The thesis committee, selected by the student and their faculty advisor, consists of at least three faculty members (including their advisor), of which two must be from MAE.

Information covering thesis preparation is contained in the publication: Preparation and Submission for Masters Thesis. The completed thesis is submitted to the thesis committee for review. The review typically includes an oral defense of the thesis. A student can take the oral defense twice. If the student does not pass the oral exam the second time, there will not be a third exam and the student will be asked to leave the program.

The student must make two separate appointments with the Office of Graduate Division. The first appointment will be scheduled prior to defending and will cover, in person, formatting of the MS Thesis and forms required to graduate. The second appointment is when the candidate submits the thesis and all final paperwork to Graduate Division and upon approval by the Dean of Graduate Division, files the thesis with the university archivist, who accepts it on behalf of the Graduate Council. Acceptance of the thesis by the archivist with a subsequent second approval by the Dean of Graduate Division represents the final step in the completion of all requirements by the candidate for a Master of Science degree on the UC San Diego campus.

(Back to top)

 

Master’s Plan II- Comprehensive Exam

MS Planner
MS Preparation for Comprehensive Exam

This plan of study involves course work only and culminates in a comprehensive examination. A total of 36 units of credit (9 courses) are required. These 36 units should be arranged into three areas of specializations, organized as follows:

1. At least 16 units (4 courses) must be MAE 200-level courses
2. Units obtained in MAE 205 or 299 may not be applied toward the degree requirements.
3. A maximum of 8 units of MAE 296 and 298 may be applied toward the degree requirements.
4. A maximum of 12 units of upper-division 100-level courses may be applied toward the degree requirements. However, if you choose this option, you most likely will not have the required knowledge to complete a successful examination.
5. Only 4 units from the ENG series may be applied to the degree.

Students must maintain at lease a B average (3.00 GPA) in the courses taken to fulfill the degree requirements.  All required courses for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of MAE 299 research units, which may be taken as S/U only.

These 36 units should be arranged into three areas of specializations, organized as follows:

   Specialization 1: 3 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 2: 2 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 3: 2 classes (4 units each course)
   PLUS: Students Choice:  2 classes (4 units each course)

At least two of these three areas of specialization must be chosen from the list below of MAE research areas. The third specialization can be one of the listed MAE areas or a Math/Science area. The final two courses are free for the student to decide.

Current MAE Research Areas:

   Applied and Solid Mechanics
   Material Sciences
   Fluid Mechanics
   Thermal Sciences
   Engineering Physics
   Dynamics Systems & Controls
   Environmental Engineering
   Biomechanics
   Design

Students should reference the MAE Graduate Course Structure for MS and PhD students to see which courses fall into which of the research areas.  There are no specific course requirements for the MAE Master’s program; however, it is important to follow the guidelines listed above, have your curriculum approved by your faculty advisor, and follow the polices above.

The Comprehensive Examination covers the 36 units of course material the student has taken. It typically takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours to complete. You will be asked questions based on your completed coursework listed in the Application for Candidacy. Faculty are looking for comprehension of concepts as opposed to simple memorization.

If an area of specialization is not completed with a passing grade, the student will be allowed to re-take that area ONE TIME within a 12-month period. If the student fails a second time, he/she will not be awarded the MS degree. Testing is on all three areas and students must pass all three.

(Back to top)