Travis Knight, Interim Chair
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in both mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. The department, jointly with the Department of Chemical Engineering, offers the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biomedical engineering. Degree requirements for biomedical engineering are listed under the college offerings at Biomedical Engineering| .
Faculty fields of specialization include mechanics and materials, thermal and fluid sciences, dynamics and controls, design and manufacturing, sustainable systems, biomedical engineering, and nuclear engineering. Current research areas include manufacturing (cutting, joining, simulation), fracture mechanics, experimental mechanics (computer vision methods, impact/fracture/creep testing), computational mechanics, biomechanics, MEMS, nanosystems, smart materials and active sensing, structural damage detection and health monitoring, mechatronics, combustion, solidification, sustainable design, production and medical applications of radioisotopes, microstructure-property-processing relationships in high performance/high temperature ceramics and nuclear fuels, advanced reactor design, nuclear space power, and propulsion.
Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Accelerated Program
The Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Accelerated Program in Mechanical Engineering allows undergraduate students to complete both the B.S.E. degree and M.E. or M.S. degree in as few as five years. The use of dual credit—courses that can be used toward both degrees—enables acceleration of the program, reducing the total enrollment of the student by one semester.
Mechanical engineering undergraduate students may apply for approval of an accelerated education plan in the semester in which they will complete 90 hours of undergraduate course work. In addition, students must have a sufficient foundation in mechanical engineering course work to enable them to take graduate-level courses. University and department regulations stipulate that applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.40, both overall and in mechanical engineering courses. Students in the accelerated program must maintain a GPA of 3.40 while pursuing the B.S.E. degree.
Students applying to this program must submit to The Graduate School a completed “Accelerated Bachelor/Graduate Study Plan Authorization (G-ABGSP)” with endorsements of the undergraduate advisor, the department graduate director, and the department chair. The dean of The Graduate School has final authority for approving accelerated education plans. A “Senior Privilege Course Work Authorization” must be submitted for each semester in which one or more of these courses are taken.
Participation in the accelerated program does not require acceptance into The Graduate School. After completing the B.S.E. degree, students wishing to continue toward a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at USC must apply formally to The Graduate School by submitting the appropriate form and required supporting documents. Students in the accelerated program will be eligible for graduate assistantships upon admission to The Graduate School.
Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above, including up to three credit hours of project/research work leading to a master’s thesis) satisfying both B.S.E. and master’s degree requirements may be used for dual credit. No more than 12 credit hours may be used as dual credit.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers six graduate degree programs: the Master of Science (M.S.) in mechanical engineering and in nuclear engineering, Master of Engineering (M.E.) in mechanical engineering and in nuclear engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in mechanical engineering and in nuclear engineering. The Graduate School, based on recommendations from the department, grants admissions to these degree programs. All applications to the degree programs must be processed through the Graduate School office on the Columbia campus. Application information and forms can be obtained from the Graduate School’s “Future Students” website at http://www.gradschool.sc.edu/futurestudents/index.html. Applications can be made online at the above website or by submitting the application forms to:
The Graduate School
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208, U.S.A.
USC admission standards are described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. Specific admission requirements for graduate degree programs offered by DME are described below.
In general, the admission processes for the M.E., M.S., and Ph.D. programs in Mechanical Engineering and in Nuclear Engineering are highly competitive. Admission decisions are based on the quality of the applicant’s previous university-level academic work (as reflected by grade point average or GPA), letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and other evidence of past accomplishments. GRE General Test scores must be submitted by all applicants seeking assistantships and/or tuition support and all applicants applying for a research based degree program (PhD or MS). A typical successful applicant has a GRE-Verbal score of at least 150 (450 prior scale) and GRE-Quantitative score of at least 155 (700 prior scale). Applicants applying for the Masters of Engineering program who graduate with a 3.0 or higher from an ABET accredited engineering program are not required to submit GRE scores.
International applicants must also submit internet based TOEFL (IBT) or IELTS International Academic Course Type 2 exam scores. An IBT minimum score of 80 or an IELTS score of 6.5 or better is required by the graduate school.