Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MS in Mechanical Engineering

Master of Science (MS) in
Mechanical Engineering


Program Overview

Develop the skills you need to advance your career by earning a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering online from The University of Alabama. Other than delivery format, the online MSME program is identical to the degree program offered to campus students.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Drive Innovation in Your Career

Graduate students are vital to the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s research efforts. Faculty and their students conduct research and study in the areas of acoustics and vibration, biomechanics, computational fluid mechanics and heat transfer, computer-aided automation, CAD, combustion, design, energy conservation and management, HVAC, internal combustion engines, manufacturing, precision engineering, and turbomachinery.

This program does not require a thesis; instead, you will complete a comprehensive exam. Live, in-person proctoring is required to complete exams.

  • Application DeadlineApplications accepted year round
  • Other Program SpecificsLive, in-person proctoring is required to complete exams
  • Are test scores required?Test scores are temporarily waived


The MSME requires the completion of 30 credit hours and a comprehensive exam. Students will pursue a non-thesis option that is intended for those who are employed full time in government or industry.

Other than delivery format, this program is identical to the degree program offered to traditional campus students. Live campus lectures are recorded and then made available to distance learning students. You will turn in all assignments online and examinations are conducted in predetermined, proctored locations thereby requiring no campus visits.

  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of 500 level Mechanical Engineering courses, no more than 6 hours at the 400 level.
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours of mathematics.
  • Pass a comprehensive exam during the final semester of study.
  • Curriculum must be approved by the graduate advisory committee.

Please note that courses are subject to change.

Students can tailor their courses to focus on the following areas:

  • Acoustics
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Additive repair
  • Additive friction stir
  • Biomechanics
  • Combustion
  • Computer-aided automation
  • Computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer
  • Dynamic systems and control
  • Fatigue and fracture mechanics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Heat transfer

  • High strain rate mechanics
  • HVAC
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Materials processing and characterization
  • Mechatronics
  • Renewable and sustainable energy
  • Robotics
  • Smart manufacturing
  • Structural mechanics
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Vibrations


Mechanical Engineering distance programs are open to US students as well as international students residing in the US with appropriate visas. To be considered for admission students should meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE minimum score of 300 or 5 years of related work in the field*
  • Other engineering majors or related math and science disciplines are encouraged to apply but may need to meet prerequisites

Students who hold a bachelor’s in a discipline other than Mechanical Engineering are encouraged to apply but will need to meet prerequisite curriculum requirements. The Department of Mechanical Engineering standards are higher than the Graduate School’s minimum requirements and all application materials are carefully considered. Students pursuing UA’s Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering are eligible to participate in UA’s Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP).

*Test waivers are available for graduates of an ABET-accredited engineering program OR for applicants with five or more years of field-related work experience. 

Can the GRE be waived?

  • It can be waived if the applicant has five or more years of related work experience. Applicants should contact Dr. Steve Shepard, graduate program coordinator, at to establish if their work experience qualifies for the test score waiver.

Do all the letters of recommendation have to be from previous professors?

  • No. They also can be from your employers.

Can I apply even if my bachelor’s degree is not in Mechanical Engineering?

  • Yes. Other engineering majors or related math and science disciplines are encouraged to apply but may need to meet prerequisites. The prerequisites are:
    • Calculus I-II-III (12 credit hours)
    • Ordinary Differential Equations (MTH 238 Applied Differential Equations I)
    • Statics (AEM 201 Statics)
    • Dynamics (AEM 264 Dynamics)
    • Mechanics of Materials (AEM 250 Mechanics of Materials, AEM 251 Mechanics of Materials I Lab)
    • Fluid Mechanics (AEM 311 Fluid Mechanics)
  • Unfortunately, we don’t offer mathematics courses online. We do offer the engineering classes online, although AEM 251 is a lab requiring some campus visits. You can apply as a non-degree-seeking student to complete them.

Is this program 100% online?

  • Yes


Find more information and learn about restrictions related to this degree program that may exist regarding licensure in the state in which you reside.


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