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Master of Science: Thesis Option

Student researchers from the Socha Lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics perform testing involving gliding snakes on the lawn at the German Club. Professor Jake Socha is an organismal biomechanist studying the relationship between form and function in animals, with a broad range of projects involving locomotion, breathing and feeding. Current work focuses on gliding flight in snakes.

A BEAM graduate student explains her research findings to several onlookers during a presentation

M.S. in Engineering Mechanics: Thesis Option

Students pursuing the M.S. thesis degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours, including at least 21 graded course credit hours, and satisfactorily prepare and defend a thesis. The final transcript will designate the degree as the thesis option. 

Plan of Study

The M.S. thesis option plan of study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5994 Research and Thesis (at least six credits)
  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (three credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas:
    • Dynamics (three credits)
    • Solid mechanics (three credits)
    • Fluid mechanics (three credits) 
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (three credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least nine credits)

M.S. students must register for 2 semesters of ESM 5944 Seminar. These credits do not count toward the 30 required credit hours but are required for program completion.

The M.S. plan of study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

  • A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

Final Examination

All M.S. students must pass an oral examination upon completion of the degree requirements. Administered by the student’s advisory committee, the examination is expected to cover all mechanics course work as well as the research completed by the student.

See the Engineering Mechanics Graduate Manual for more detailed information.


The thesis should be a scholarly discourse on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. Detailed guidelines for publication of theses are specified in the Graduate Catalog


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