The George R. Brown School of Engineering
Undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering can lead to specialization in one or more of a diverse set of areas, including aerospace engineering, biomedical systems, computational fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, fluids-thermal science, mechanical design, mechanics, robotics, systems dynamics and controls.
The graduate program offers professional degrees in mechanical engineering, which permits specialization in the areas previously mentioned. Graduate students also may pursue research degrees. Faculty research areas are indicated in the previous paragraph. A coordinated MBA/Master of Mechanical Engineering degree is available in conjunction with the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
The graduate program, in its comprehensive educational and research activities, collaborates with other departments at Rice and other institutions in Houston, including those in the Texas Medical Center. Collaborations also are extended to universities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. International collaborations include joint research activities and faculty and student visitor exchanges.
Jump to: BSME Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) with a Major in Mechanical Engineering
Upon completing the BSME degree, students majoring in Mechanical Engineering will be able to:
Requirements for the BSME Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BSME degree with a major in Mechanical Engineering (MECH) must complete:
The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) program prepares students for the professional practice of engineering. The program's goals and objectives are available on the departmental website. The BSME degree program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, www.abet.org . Lists of representative undergraduate courses and the usual order in which they are taken are available from the department.
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete a total of 32 courses (82 credit hours) to satisfy the Mechanical Engineering major's Core Requirements.
Basic Math and Science Courses (Required Pre-Requisites)Students must complete the following 13 courses (31 credit hours):
Computational and Applied MathematicsStudents must complete the following 3 courses (9 credit hours):
Senior DesignStudents must complete the following 2 courses (7 credit hours). During their senior year, mechanical engineering students in the BSME program complete these courses in design application while completing a major design project.
Laboratory Courses Students must complete the following 4 courses (4 credit hours):
Mechanical EngineeringStudents must complete the following 10 courses (31 credit hours):
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining Mechanical Engineering major requirements, students must complete a total of 4 additional courses (12 credit hours) as listed below.
Limited Electives Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Technical ElectivesStudents must complete a total of 3 technical electives (9 credit hours). A minimum of two of these courses must come from Group A. The remaining course can come from Group A or B. Group A courses are fundamental courses in the following focus areas: aerospace engineering (AE), computational engineering (CompE), fluid mechanics and thermal science (FT), solid mechanics and materials (SMM), and system dynamics and control (SDC). Group B courses are additional technical electives that complement the focus areas listed above.
Group A Students must complete 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:
Group BStudents must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) at the 300-level or above from School of Engineering departmental course offering, including any ENGI course offerings.back to menu
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Mechanical Engineering (MECH) must complete:
The BA program in mechanical engineering is highly flexible, involves less technical content than the BS, and allows students greater freedom to pursue areas of interest outside of engineering. The BA degree is not accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Lists of courses, including general university requirements and the usual order in which students take them, are available from the department. The BA program mirrors the BSME program in the freshman and sophomore years, with the exceptions that MECH 331 and MECH 340 are not required. Specific major requirements are completed in the junior and senior years.
BASIC MATH AND SCIENCE COURSES (Pre-Requisites)To fulfill the Mechanical Engineering major requirements for the BA degree, students must first complete a total of 13 courses (31 credit hours) as pre-requisites needed for the courses required in the major.
REQUIRED COURSES FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERINGStudents pursuing the BA degree must complete a total of 12 courses (37 credit hours) as listed below to satisfy the Mechanical Engineering major's requirements.
Computational and Applied Mathematics Students must complete the following 3 courses (9 credit hours):
Mechanical Engineering Courses Students must complete the following 9 courses (28 credit hours):
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the undergraduate Mechanical Engineering degrees and major. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: MECH Department Description and Code - Mechanical Engineering: MECH Degree Descriptions and Codes - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA - Bachelor of Science degree: BSME Major Description and Code - Major in Mechanical Engineering (attached to both the BA and BSME Degrees): MECH
Jump to: MME Degree in Mechanical Engineering MS Degree in Mechanical Engineering PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Professional Degree Program—The professional master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (MME) is a non-thesis degree program intended for students who have completed a 4-year bachelor’s program in engineering and wish to join the workforce as practicing professionals, rather than pursuing a research oriented or academic career. It offers preparation in advanced engineering topics in order to enhance an engineer’s technical qualifications and increases competitiveness in the job market. The MME program is open to students who have shown academic excellence in their undergraduate studies. Students who have a BS or BA degree in any field of engineering or related study may apply, although some may need to fulfill prerequisites or take remedial courses to earn the MME degree. Students may enroll on a full or part-time basis.
For the MME, degree students must complete 30 semester hours of course work at the 500 level or higher. Lists of required and suggested courses are available from the department. Students should develop a specific plan of study based on their particular interests and discussions with their advisor.
For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees.
Research Degree Programs—The programs leading to the Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are open to students who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their undergraduate studies. The granting of a graduate research degree presupposes academic work of superior quality and a demonstrated ability to do original research.
Course requirements for the research degrees vary depending on the extent of individual undergraduate preparation as well as each student’s performance in graduate courses and on qualifying examinations. For both the MS and PhD degrees, students must present a thesis that comprises an original contribution to knowledge and defend it in a public oral examination.
For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees.
As part of their degree requirements, graduate students are expected to provide instructional assistance to the department not to exceed 10 hours per week. The department chair will assign graduate student work at the beginning of each semester.
All graduate students (except professional master’s students, MME) must attend at least 75 percent of the Mechanical Engineering seminars. For details, please see the degree requirements on the mech.rice.edu.
Upon completing the MME degree, students will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees. Students pursuing the MME degree must complete:
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete a minimum of 6 courses (18 credit hours) from the following to satisfy the MME degree program's Core Requirements.
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining MME degree program requirements, students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) from courses offered at the 500-level or above with approval by the advisor and the department, some of which could be from outside the department. None of the remaining required 12 credit hours can be from Independent-Study (MECH 611 or MECH 612) courses.
Professional Science Master’s 5th Year Degree Option for Rice Undergraduates
Rice students have an option to achieve the Master of Mechanical Engineering degree by adding an additional fifth year to the four undergraduate years of science studies. Advanced Rice students in good standing may apply during their junior year to the graduate program. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables they may then start taking required core courses of the mechanical engineering program during their senior year. A plan of study based on their particular focus area will need to be approved by the program director and the PSM director. Students should be aware there could be financial aid implications, if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time (12 credit hours) status.
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Graduates awarded the PhD in Mechanical Engineering will be able to:
Students seeking the MS degree are expected to complete all the requirements for the degree within two calendar years following entrance into the program. Continuation in the program beyond this time limit will require special approval of the department.
All entering graduate students pursuing a thesis degree program will be subject to a preliminary candidacy evaluation for the highest degree program they intend to pursue. The evaluation will be conducted by the end of the second semester of enrollment in the graduate program in the Mechanical Engineering department.
Each candidate for the MS degree must complete a thesis demonstrating ability in research of a fundamental nature (analytical, numerical, or experimental). It is expected that the research will be of sufficient importance and quality that positive results would lead to publications. A committee consisting of at least three members will conduct the examination. Two, including the committee chair, must be members of the department.
The minimum semester hours of course work (a one-semester course is usually three semester hours credit) required for the MS degree is tabulated below as a function of the degree held on entrance into the program. Research and thesis hours, as well as seminar hours, do not count towards these course requirements but do count toward the minimum requirement that a student complete 30 credit hours at the 500 level or above. In all cases, a student’s specific course of study is formulated in consultation with the departmental advisor (thesis director) and must be approved by the department.
For details, please see the degree requirements on the Mechanical Engineering website .back to menu
Students seeking the PhD degree are expected to complete all the requirements for the degree within five calendar years following entrance into the program. Continuation in the program beyond this time limit will require special approval of the department.
All entering graduate students pursuing a thesis degree program will be subject to a preliminary evaluation of their candidacy for the highest degree program they intend to pursue. The evaluation will be conducted by the end of the second semester of enrollment in the graduate program in the Mechanical Engineering department.
By the end of the third year of enrollment in the graduate program in the Mechanical Engineering department, the student must pass an oral qualifying examination.
Each candidate for the PhD must complete a thesis that constitutes an original contribution to scientific knowledge (analytical, numerical or experimental). It is expected that the research will be of sufficient importance and quality that positive results would lead to publications. On completion of the thesis, each candidate for the PhD degree must pass a final public oral examination. The examination will be conducted by a committee consisting of at least four members. Three, including the committee chair, must be members of the department. One member must be from another department within the university.
The minimum semester hours of course work (a one-semester course is usually three semester hours credit) required are tabulated below as a function of the degree held on entrance into the program. In all cases, a student’s course of study is formulated in consultation with the thesis director and must be approved by the department.
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the various Mechanical Engineering graduate degree programs. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: MECHDepartment Description and Code - Mechanical Engineering: MECHDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Mechanical Engineering degree: MME - Master of Science degree: MS - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering: MECH
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for Mechanical Engineering can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To see course offerings during the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Mechanical Engineering, see the department's website: https://mech.rice.edu/.