Advising and Program Planning

Selection of Academic Advisors and Committees

Each new student shall meet with the Department Chair at the beginning of the first semester of enrollment, and shall subsequently contact faculty members participating in the student's stated specialty field to discuss the student's degree objectives. In most instances, this will result in the mutual selection of an academic advisor. The faculty member and the student shall report this agreement to the Department Chair. It is generally expected that an advisor be selected within one semester after enrollment in the graduate program. A graduate student must have an academic adviser who holds a primary or a secondary appointment within the department. Students appointed on specific grants and contracts are expected to work under the supervision of the faculty member responsible for the grant or contract and to consult with that faculty member and their faculty advisor on their Plan of Study. If an advisor has not been agreed upon, the Department Chair shall either serve in that capacity or designate a faculty member to act as the student's temporary advisor until such time as a permanent advisor is selected. Either the student or the advisor may, at any time, place a request with the Department Chair that a new advisor be appointed. The Department Chair will serve as advisor until the appointment of a new advisor is made.
MS non-thesis students will be advised by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) if no other faculty member has been identified.

After a student passes the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination and is formally admitted to the Ph.D. program, a Ph.D. Committee shall be appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the student and the advisor, and subject to the potential Committee member’s willingness to serve.


All graduate students are required to register for Graduate Seminar in Mechanical Engineering ME:6191 until successful completion of their Final Examination or thesis defense. These seminars include presentations by graduate students, faculty members, and visiting speakers. Seminar credit of ME:6191 does not substitute for regular coursework or research semester credit hours.


The student shall consult the Graduate College Thesis & Dissertation webpage and their faculty advisor on matters pertaining to thesis/dissertation format. All Committee members have the right to examine corrected drafts to assure that recommended changes have been made before the final manuscript of the thesis/dissertation is submitted to the Graduate College. One copy of the thesis/dissertation, complete and in final examination form, must be presented at the Office of the Graduate College before the Final Examination, and not later than four weeks before the graduation date on which the degree is to be conferred. Two copies of the approved thesis/dissertation must be deposited with the Graduate College at least ten days prior to the graduation date. The final deposit can be no later than the end of the semester (summers excluded) following the session in which the Final Examination is passed. In addition to these Graduate College requirements, the student is required to provide other copies as required by the Committee.

Special Requirements for International Students

Prior to consideration for admission, foreign student applicants whose native language is not English must attain a score of at least 550 (equivalent 81 or higher on the Internet-based version of the test iBT) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  Upon arrival on campus, foreign students with a score of less than 600 (equivalent to 250 in on-line version) on the TOFEL, or 7 for the IELTS, are normally asked to take the English proficiency tests administered by the Department of Linguistics to determine whether remedial English courses would assist the student in pursuing studies in the Department.

Foreign students must maintain full-time registration (excluding summers) at the University in order to comply with regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. It is recommended that all foreign students consult the University's Office of International Education and Services for information concerning rules and regulations that may affect their status.

Students who are offered teaching assistantships should be aware that such an appointment is contingent upon demonstration of a command of English that is adequate for the assigned duties. Foreign students with English as a second language are required to undergo special testing and training prior to assuming their teaching assistant duties. The specific duties assigned will be determined, at least in part, by demonstrated English language communication skills.