Graduate Admission Information
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General Admission Requirements
Admission to the Graduate Programs of the Mechanical Engineering Department is highly competitive; the Department looks for strong evidence of motivation and achievement. Admission decisions are generally based on quantitative metrics (GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores), letters of recommendation, essay statements, and previous work experience. In addition, it is expected that a Mechanical Engineering or Reliability Engineering Faculty member be interested in advising the applicant before she can be accepted into the program.
All applicants to the Graduate Program must meet the general admission requirements of the Graduate School.
Please note that all application materials submitted (online application, ETS score reports, transcripts, etc.) should indicate the exact same first and last name and date of birth.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering has considerably stricter admission requirements than those set by the Graduate School. Applicants are required to take the GRE General test (whose scores must be submitted to University of Maryland) Applicants can request for official scores to be sent by ETS to the University of Maryland, institution code of 5814 (no department code necessary).
The minimum requirements of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for acceptance into the Graduate program are:
- Bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited college or university (or equivalent from a foreign institution)
- At least a 3.0 G.P.A. (on a 4.0 scale) in a program of study in engineering, math, or physical science.
- At least 3 letters of recommendation strongly supporting the applicant’s admission into the Graduate Program
- An essay or statement of goals and experiences
- A quantitative score for the GRE of at least 163, and an analytical writing score of at least 4.5.
- For international applicants: please refer to UMD Grad School requirements.
In 2015, the Department of Mechanical Engineering received over 500 applications. Of these, 18% were accepted.For the applicants accepted the average undergraduate and graduate GPA were, respectively, 3.54 and 3.6, and the average GRE Quantitative scores was 165. For international applicants the average TOEFL score was 104 on the internet based exam.
The Department also encourages more senior applicants with distinguished professional experience to apply. For these applications, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and some weight may be given to the work experience, publications, professional contributions, or engineering management experience of the applicant.
Additional Admission Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program
Normal requirements for admission into the Ph.D. Program are a Master’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical sciences from a recognized university, outstanding academic record, general test scores, and grade point averages. Academically exceptional students are encouraged to apply for admission into the doctoral program directly after obtaining a B.S. degree. A Master’s Degree is usually awarded to students admitted directly into the Ph.D. program upon their successful completion of the coursework and presentation of the dissertation proposal. Students admitted directly into the Ph.D. program are generally not allowed to switch to the M.S. Program.
Additional Admission Requirements for the Joint B.S./M.S. Program
The combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree (B.S./M.S.) Program is available only to current University of Maryland undergraduate students. The minimum requirements for acceptance into the Combined B.S./M.S. program are:
- At least a 3.70 G.P.A. (on a 4.0 scale)
- No more than 30 credits of ENME courses remaining for B.S.
- No more than 6 credits of CORE requirements remaining for B.S.
- At least 3 letters of recommendation strongly supporting the applicant's admission into the Graduate Program.
Students wishing to apply to this program should contact the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Office, to ensure compliance with items two and three, during their junior year.
Application Deadlines for the Fall 2017 Semester
- Priority Deadline for Funding (all applicants): January 13, 2017
- Final International Applicant Deadline (including international applicants currently studying at U.S. institutions): March 1, 2017
- Final Deadline for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: May 12, 2017
Admission recommendations are made on a rolling basis, and admitted applicants are notified as the decision is made. Most admission decisions and offers of financial assistance are made before April 15. All applicants that do not receive admission offers will have their applications canceled by Graduate School on May 31, and will subsequently be notified.
Application Deadlines for the Spring 2017 Semester
- Priority Deadline for funding (U.S. applicants): October 14, 2016
- Final International Applicant Deadline (including international applicants currently studying at U.S. institutions): September 30, 2016
- Final Deadline for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: December 1, 2016
Admission recommendations are made on a rolling basis, and admitted applicants are notified as the decision is made. Most admission decisions and offers of financial assistance are made before October 15. All applicants that do not receive admission offers will have their applications canceled by the Graduate School on December 15, and will subsequently be notified.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering does not accept applications for the summer semester. Since all admission decisions and offers of financial assistance are made on a rolling basis, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications early.
Graduate Application Process
- For information about the application process, please visit the Graduate School website
- A graduate application must be submitted online. A link to the application and instructions on how to apply can be found here.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering does not have the authority to waive the application fee of an applicant, regardless of extenuating circumstances.
Checking the Status of a Graduate Application
Applicants may obtain more detailed information regarding the status of their application and materials received via the Hobsons website.
The student's files are evaluated independently by the Graduate Director, by the members of the Graduate Committee, and by a committee from the technical area of interest to the student. Only students that meet or exceed the admissions standards of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Section IV.1) will be considered for admission. The following are some of the criteria used in deciding whether to admit an applicant:
- An applicant’s competitive ranking among other applicants, based on test scores and GPA
- The quality of an applicant’s letters of recommendation, including the authority of the author
- A match of the applicant’s research interests with the interests of the Mechanical or Reliability Engineering faculty
- An applicant’s degree of professional experience
- The availability of funding
Since admission into the program is frequently contingent on the availability of financial support, which requires the student to engage in directed research, applicants should determine carefully which areas of mechanical engineering most interest them, and to indicate their interests explicitly in their statement of goals and experiences. Contacting faculty directly may be useful, but the applicants should carefully examine the field of interest of the faculty that they wish to contact. Blanket, impersonal mailings are not useful, since the average faculty receives scores of them every semester. An outstanding academic record and strong letters of recommendation are not sufficient to guarantee admission into the program: many qualified students are denied admission each semester because the department could not provide financial support.
Admission recommendations and offers of financial support are made on a rolling basis. Most Graduate Assistantship offers are made before the April 15 deadline. Rejection letters to candidates who do not have the required qualifications are also sent out also on a rolling basis. In some cases no decision is made until May 31 for the Fall Semester or December 15 for the Spring Semester. Qualified applicants will have their application remain active until this time in the hopes that financial assistance and/or an available advisor can be located. If funding and/or an advisor cannot be located by this time, the Department of Mechanical Engineering will cancel the application of all the candidates that cannot be recommended for admission.
Additional Applicant Information
Admission into the Department of Mechanical Engineering Graduate program is very competitive. Each semester, only 15 to 20% of the applicants are accepted; those accepted have outstanding academic records, and strong letters of recommendations. The accepted applicants are required to select a thesis (or dissertation) advisor within the first semester of their enrollment. The thesis advisor will direct the student’s research, decide (in conjunction with the student) a coursework plan, and identify other members of the thesis or dissertation committee. Applicants who need financial assistance must have exceptional academic records and very strong letters of recommendation. In addition, the admission is contingent upon the availability of financial support, which is offered by the faculty member, and is typically in the form of a research assistantship. This faculty member will become the student’s advisor for the duration of the student’s assistantship. Students receiving financial assistance are required to pursue their degree full-time. Applicants that do not require financial assistance from the Department to pursue a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering are admitted based upon their credentials only.
Timeline for the Mechanical Engineering and Reliability Engineering Applicant Evaluation 2017 Process
October 14 - Preferred deadline for all U.S. applicants for upcoming spring semester
October 31 - Majority of applicants that will receive department offers of financial assistance and/or recommendations for admission for upcoming spring semester will be notified by this date
December 1 - Deadline for all U.S. applicants for upcoming spring semester
Majority of graduate applicants that have not received department recommendations for spring admission will have application for lack of available advisor
December 15 - End of spring application period; any remaining applicants not recommended for admission by graduate department for the upcoming spring semester will have application rejected for unavailable advisor
January 13 - Preferred deadline for all applicants for the upcoming fall semester
March 1 - Deadline for all international applicants for the upcoming fall semester
March 31 - Majority of applicants that will receive department offers of financial assistance and/or recommendations for admission for upcoming fall semester will be notified by this date
April 15 - Majority of graduate applicants that have not received department recommendations for fall admission will have their application rejected for unavailable advisor
May 12 - End of fall application period; any remaining applicants not recommended for admission by graduate department for the upcoming fall semester will have their application rejected by the Department of Mechanical Engineering for unavailable advisor.
Graduate School Application Withdrawal and Cancellation Policies
All applicants that have not been recommended for admission by the Graduate Director on the last day of the admission period will automatically have their application withdrawn by the Graduate School. For the fall semester the last day of the admissions period is May 31; for the spring semester the last day of the admissions period is December 15.
Applicants who are offered admission to the University of Maryland may defer their admittance by one semester, once only. If a student is unable to attend during the semester to which they have deferred their admission, the offer of admission will be terminated. Should the applicant still wish to attend the University of Maryland, she must reapply, repeating all the original application process steps.
Applicants that have been offered financial assistance from the Department of Mechanical Engineering will not necessarily have that financial assistance carried over into the semester to which they are deferring. If an applicant’s admission is contingent upon this offer of financial assistance and the funding cannot be renewed for the semester to which they defer, the applicant’s offer of admission may be terminated by Graduate School.