Continue Your Studies in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program reviews the degree requirements for M.S. students on a regular basis and determines what requirements students must fulfill to successfully earn their degree. Students must follow the degree requirements that were in effect during their first quarter of enrollment, although the department will allow students to petition the Graduate Advisor for Continuing Students if they would like to change their degree requirements to the most current year’s requirements. Please note that students cannot petition to change their degree requirements to any year before they were an enrolled graduate student.
There are two pathways to completing an M.S. degree. These are:
M.S. Plan I – Thesis
The M.S. I pathway requires that, in addition to 24 units of letter graded coursework, students engage in substantial, independent research that culminates in writing a thesis. This pathway is for students who have a strong interest in gaining or expanding their research experience. The ability to participate in the MS I pathway requires concurrence of a faculty member, either prior to, or shortly after, arrival at UC Davis. Financial support for this pathway is generally limited to availability of Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions on funded research projects.
M.S. Plan II – Comprehensive Exam
The M.S. II pathway requires that, in addition to 36 units of letter graded coursework, students complete a capstone written technical report. Financial support for this pathway is generally very limited. Please note that GSR positions are typically awarded to PhD students and MS students on Plan I.
Master's Student Milestones
Finding a Permanent Major Professor
You will be assigned an initial advisor who serves as a mentor for your first quarter. They may or may not end up being your permanent major advisor. They will assist you in choosing courses, monitor your academic progress and refer you to other faculty members who might end up being your permanent advisor. Your permanent major advisor will assist you in preparing a detailed program of study, supervise your research and serve as chairperson of your thesis or comprehensive exam committee. You must notify the Graduate Program Coordinator once you have established a permanent major professor.
Advancing to Candidacy
Master’s students can submit their Advance to Candidacy form once they are enrolled in the final required courses for their degree and have established their thesis or comprehensive exam committee. Please review our degree requirements for committee constitution requirements. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and be in good academic standing in order to advance to candidacy. They must also complete the appropriate form below. Ask the Graduate Program Coordinator if you have questions on how to fill out this form.
Completing your Thesis or Comprehensive Exam
M.S. - Plan I
Once you have completed your thesis, it will be signed by your thesis committee and then you must file it with the Office of Graduate Studies. Signatures must be in ink and original. More information on how to prepare and file your thesis, as well as deadlines to be on each quarter’s degree list, can be found on the UC Davis Graduate Studies website.
M.S. - Plan II
Once you have advanced to candidacy and have prepared, you can complete your comprehensive exam. In order to complete your degree, the M.S. Report Form, Plan II must be signed by your Comprehensive Exam committee chair and returned to the Graduate Program Coordinator for processing. More information on completing the examination, as well as deadlines to be on each quarter’s degree list, can be found on the UC Davis Graduate Studies website.
You must have advanced to candidacy, be in good standing and either be registered or in filing fee status in order to graduate. Review the deadlines to file your thesis or complete your comprehensive exam in order to graduate during your desired quarter and plan ahead in order to meet them.
Graduate Studies commencement is held once a year in June. You are eligible to register for the commencement ceremony once you have advanced to candidacy.