Accelerated Masters

In their senior year, select top students in the Mechanical Engineering Department may opt for the Accelerated Masters Program, in which students conduct individual research under faculty advisement as their Senior Design Projects.  This research continues after graduation with a B.S. into the M.S. study and forms the basis for the M.S. thesis. In this way, a student may earn the M.S. degree one calendar year from graduation with a B.S. degree.


  • An Accelerated M.S. student will gain exposure to high-level research topics sooner, starting from the undergraduate senior year.  Typically, under the advisement of the same advisor, the student will carry out their senior design course sequence and the subsequent M.S. degree research in a continuous manner, thereby increasing research productivity.
  • An Accelerated M.S. student will be able to combine coursework at both undergraduate and graduate levels towards the M.S. study.  Typical M.S. Plan A course work includes 7 courses (4 core courses, 1 math, and 2 electives; please refer to the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Handbook).  In the undergraduate senior year, the student can take up to two ME graduate-level (5000-) courses that fall into the M.S. Plan A coursework requirement and can use them toward the undergraduate plan-of-study (e.g., as ME electives).  When the student enters the M.S. study, in lieu of those two courses, the student can choose to sign up for two independent-study courses with the advisor to focus on the specific research.  This generally expedites the student’s M.S. curriculum progress.
  • Almost all students working on research projects are financially supported during their M.S. study (after finishing the B.S. degree).  Typical financial support includes monthly stipend, full tuition waiver, and highly subsidized health insurance under the Graduate Assistant plans.


  • The Accelerated Masters Program is a Plan A M.S. (thesis option). 
  • A student cannot have a time gap between the undergraduate study and the following M.S. study.

How to get started?

  1. Maintain excellent academic standing.
  2. In your junior year (or even earlier), contact faculty members who might serve as your advisor and sponsor your M.S. study.
  3. Complete the ME Accelerated Masters Mutual Agreement on Kuali Build (which is considered a mutual agreement with your advisor) no later than June 15th (before the Fall semester of your senior year), The Director of Graduate Studies and the Senior Design Director will be notified of this agreement.
  4. In consultation with your Accelerated Masters advisor, register for a graduate-level course in your senior year Fall semester, and another course in your senior year Spring semester.
  5. Lastly, submit a regular graduate application in your senior year before the deadline (recommended Feb 1 for Fall admission into the graduate program). When working towards your Accelerated Masters, the faculty advisor agrees to cover the graduate application fee. Please discuss this further with your intended faculty advisor. Once agreed, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at to help process the application fee waiver. Do not submit your application until the fee waiver has been applied, as we will be unable to reimburse you this cost after the fact.  

Useful links

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Handbook

Contact: Dr. Julian Norato