Frequently Asked Questions

Admission

Q: What are the requirements for admission to the MS program?

A: UNC Charlotte admission requirements for the MS program are listed at: http://mees.uncc.edu/academics/master-science-mechanical-engineering/masters-program-admission-requirements. The application is available online. The applications are reviewed for undergraduate performance (GPA and individual course grades), GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

Q: What are the requirements for admission to the Ph.D. program?

A: UNC Charlotte admission requirements for the Ph.D. program are listed at: http://mees.uncc.edu/academics/doctor-philosophy/doctoral-program-admissions-requirements. The application is available online. The applications are reviewed for undergraduate performance (GPA and individual course grades), MS performance (GPA and individual course grades) if applicable, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

Q: When is the deadline to submit applications for admission?

A: The priority application submission deadline for fall (August) admission is March 1st. The priority application submission deadline for spring admission (January) is October 1st. Final submission deadlines are August 15th for fall admission, and January 1st for spring admission. For both MS and Ph.D. programs, late submissions will be considered, but it is the international student's responsibility to make sure all I-20 documentation is processed in time to start the requested semester.

Q: Is there a deadline to accept my admission?

A: We strongly recommend the following acceptance deadlines, to allow time to prepare for arrival and other details related to beginning your program at UNC Charlotte.

Fall Semester (August) - July 1st
Spring Semester (January) - November 1st

Q: Am I eligible for admission to the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy programs with an baccalaureate degree other than a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)?

A: For students with an undergraduate degree that is not in mechanical engineering, it is sometimes necessary to complete post-baccalaureate courses to supplement the undergraduate curriculum and ensure success in graduate coursework and research. In this case, Dr. Schmitz (tony.schmitz@uncc.edu) will review the student's transcript and provide the recommended courses, if required.

Q: What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement for admission to the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program? What about for the Ph.D. program?

A: The minimum GPA requirement for admission to the MSME program is 3.0. For admission to the doctoral program, we would prefer to see a minimum GPA of 3.5 or better, particularly for the graduate (Master's) GPA. We will consider applications for the doctoral program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 as well.

Q: What scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are considered satisfactory?

A: We prefer to see a Verbal GRE score of 150, a Quantitative GRE score of 159 or better, and a 3.4 or better on the Analytical Writing portion of the GRE.

Q: What are the English Language Proficiency test score requirements for admission to UNC Charlotte?

A: English Language Proficiency information for graduate admission can be found at http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/future-students/admissions/international-applicants/english-language-proficiency.

Q: I have application or admission questions not addressed here. Where can I obtain help?

A: For other application or admission questions (e.g., I have not received my official GRE scores, can I submit my application, etc.) there is a message board available after logging into the online application. Post the question on the message board and the Graduate School staff will respond shortly.

International Students

Q: How and when do I obtain my I-20?

A: For international students, all I-20 and other documentation questions are handled by the International Student Scholar Office (ISSO). For questions about the cost of graduate education at UNC Charlotte, visit: http://finaid.uncc.edu/aid-basics/estimating-costs/graduate-cost-attendance.

Additional resources for international students can be found at: http://gradadmissions.uncc.edu/international-applicants.

Funding

Q: What types of funding are available for graduate students in mechanical engineering?

A: There are two primary means of funding graduate students; through Research Assistantships (RA) and Teaching Assistantships (TA).

Research Assistantship (RA)

RA funds are made available from research grants and contracts awarded to faculty members. These funds are used to support graduate students to complete the work described in the grant/contract. This support can include a stipend or stipend and tuition. A summary of the research interests for UNC Charlotte mechanical engineering faculty can be found here. Students may contact faculty to learn about research opportunities.

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

TA funds are supplied by the department. Teaching assistants act as laboratory assistants or graders for undergraduate and graduate courses in the department. TA funds are typically reserved for PhD students and require that the student has identified a research adviser. The adviser is responsible for requesting TA support from the department. Requests are not accepted directly from students.

Other opportunities for support include jobs on and off campus. These are not related to the department. Additional information is available at: http://hr.uncc.edu/students/student-job-opportunities. Additionally, the Graduate School provides a wealth of information on funding graduate education at this link: http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding.

Q: What is the cost of graduate tuition at UNC Charlotte?

A: Complete information on tuition and fees at UNC Charlotte can be found at http://finance.uncc.edu/controllers-office/student-accounts/tuition-and-fees.

Registration

Q: How do I register for classes?

A: Instructions for course registration are available at: http://registrar.uncc.edu/students/registration-information.

Q: I am receiving a registration error when I try to enroll in a course. What do I do to resolve this?

A: Some courses require a registration permit. Ms. Tracy Beauregard (tlbeaure@uncc.edu) can provide permits or authorizations for MEGR courses. Please provide your name and UNCC ID (800#).

Q: How long do I have to make changes to my schedule? When does registration begin and end for a term?

A: Registration and other important dates are available at: http://registrar.uncc.edu/printable-calendar.

Plan of Study and Enrollment

Q: What is the Plan of Study? How do I complete the Plan of Study?

A: The plan of study is the sequence of courses that students take during their MS or PhD studies. The courses available for each semester can be found at: http://mees.uncc.edu/graduate-programs/course-delivery-schedule

The courses in each semester are further categorizes by research discipline. Note that math courses are also required to satisfy the degree requirements.

MS Students: For MS students, the approximate schedule is described at: http://mees.uncc.edu/master-science-mechanical-engineering/masters-degree-requirements

PhD Students: For PhD students, the approximate schedule is described at: http://mees.uncc.edu/phd-mechanical-engineering/doctoral-degree-requirements

The form to complete the plan of study is available at: http://mees.uncc.edu/graduate-program-resources/graduate-forms

For MS thesis and PhD students, the plan of study should be completed in collaboration with the student's research adviser. For MS coursework only students, the students can schedule a meeting with Dr. Schmitz (tony.schmitz@uncc.edu) after arriving on campus to have remaining questions answered. The Plan of Study must be completed during the first semester at UNC Charlotte and submitted to Ms. Tracy Beauregard (tlbeaure@uncc.edu).

Q: Should I choose the MS thesis or design option?

A. The thesis option requires successful completion of 24 credit hours of graduate-level coursework and 6 credit hours of thesis research (MEGR 7991). A thesis adviser, which must be identified in the first or second semester after enrollment, directs the research which culminates in a written and defended thesis.

The design option requires successful completion of 24 credit hours of graduate-level coursework and 6 credit hours of graduate design (MEGR 7955 and MEGR 7956). The student joins a team composed of both graduate and undergraduate students to complete a two-semester, industry-sponsored project. In the first semester, the design is completed by the team. In the second, the design is constructed and tested. Projects begin in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Students are assigned to teams based on the project focus and student's interests.

If an MS student has not identified an adviser during the first or second semester since enrollment, the design option is automatically selected at the end of the second semester. The project then begins in the third semester and ends at the conclusion of the fourth semester. For those students who select the Design Option, a questionnaire must be submitted to Dr. Tarbutton (Joshua.Tarbutton@uncc.edu) in the semester preceding the two-semester design sequence. For example, if a student was admitted for the Spring 2017 semester and has not identified a thesis advisor by the midpoint of the Fall 2017 semester, he/she will default to the design option. The questionnaire should be completed and submitted to Dr. Tarbutton by the end of the Fall 2017 semester.

Q: How many credit hours constitutes a full-time courseload at the graduate level?

A: Full-time enrollment at the graduate level is 9 credit hours per semester (3 classes or equivalent research hours). Students may enroll in a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.

Q: How many semesters/years will it take to complete the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering? What about the Doctoral program?

A: Students enrolled full-time typically complete the MSME in four semesters, or two years. The time limit for the Master's degree is six years. Full-time students in the Doctoral program complete their degree between three to five years. Time to completion of the doctoral degree depends on whether an MS has already been earned. The time limit for the doctoral degree is eight years.

Q: How many students are enrolled in the Master of Science program? How many in the Ph.D.?

A: We currently have about 116 graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The distribution between the two programs is roughly equal.

Q: What courses do I take as part of my Master's degree? How many credit hours total?

A: The plan of study for MSME students is determined by the student and their faculty advisor, however you will complete a total of thirty credit hours, including at least one graduate-level math course, twelve hours of MEGR (Mechanical Engineering) courses, and a mix of electives and research hours, depending on the degree option you choose (thesis, project, or coursework-only). Please review the suggested plan of study for more detail.

Q: What courses do I take as part of my Doctoral degree? How many credit hours total?

A: The plan of study for Ph.D. students is determined by the student and their faculty advisor, however you will complete a total of seventy-two credit hours, including at least two graduate-level math courses, eighteen hours of MEGR (Mechanical Engineering) courses, twenty-one hours of elective courses, and and a minimum of eighteen research credit hours. Please review the suggested plan of study for more detail.

Q: Does your department offer any online courses? What about evening courses?

A: We do not currently offer any online courses in our graduate degree programs. We do offer several courses in the late afternoon or evening, however it is not possible to complete our graduate degree programs exclusively in the evening or online.