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The Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. This field of study is one of ninety-four major fields of study comprising The Graduate School at Cornell University. Graduate fields cross traditional college and department boundaries and afford a graduate student maximum flexibility in designing a program represented by faculty from virtually any discipline on campus. One of the top ten Mechanical Engineering departments in the U.S., our department hosts 40 faculty members with diverse research interests. Cornell, located in the beautiful New York Finger Lakes region, is home to a diverse student community with a large international student population. Many of our graduates obtain high-level academic, research, industry, and leadership positions.  

Our Master of Science (M.S.) program in Mechanical Engineering provides classroom training and experience with research methodology at one of the premier research universities in the world. Our graduates find that their Cornell training and the resulting MS degree prepares them to succeed in industry, government, and academia. 

The two-year M.S. program combines academic rigor with a strong research component. Working with faculty advisors, M.S. student tailor their studies to their particular interests and backgrounds, incorporating core topics in mechanical engineering as well as specialized courses. 

Our M.S. students undertake a substantive body of research in the research group of a Field faculty member. They document their research in a master's thesis, which they defend in a formal examination by a faculty committee. Research projects are chosen in consultation with the supervising faculty member and enable students to benefit from Cornell's powerful combination of an unusually collaborative and interdisciplinary culture and outstanding research facilities. Mechanical Engineering has vibrant research programs in many research areas. 

M.S. Program details: 

  • Duration: 4 terms
  • MS Thesis required. The collective academic expectations of committee is that an MS Thesis should be publishable as independent research or be a significant secondary author contribution to a publication with postdoc/grad student/PI as first author. 

Course requirements:

  • 48 credits total
  • 20 credits of research credit (MAE8900)
  • complete MAE7999 2 times
  • exclusive of MAE8900 and MAE7999, students must complete 15 credits at 5000 level or above;6 credits of which must be at 6000 level or above.

You do not choose a master's thesis advisor before applying. Applications, reviewed by a committee of the faculty, are selected for admission based on a combination of factors: academic performance, letters of recommendation, research experience, and research interests that are a good fit with the research interests of our faculty. Matriculated students are afforded the opportunity to interact with a number of faculty in seeking a good student-advisor match. 

The M.S. program results in a "terminal" master's degree;it is not related to the Ph.D. program and is not a pathway into the Ph.D. program in Mechanical Engineering. This program is not recommended for students wishing to pursue at PhD at Cornell.  Financial aid in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships are not provided for the M.S. degree program.

Contact Information

Marcia James Sawyer, Ph.D.

Assistant Director for Graduate Affairs
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
107 Upson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-5250
maems@cornell.edu