The Master of Mechanical Engineering (MME) is a non-thesis degree program designed for those who wish to contribute to the workforce as practicing professionals.

Students interested in pursuing a research-oriented academic career should apply to PhD or MS program.


The MME requires 30 semester credit hours of approved coursework at 500 level or higher. Of these courses, at least 24 must be taken at Rice. A student’s course of study is formulated with approval from the MME advisor and must adhere to the course requirement located in the General Announcements.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program:

12 credit hours must be from the following course set:

  • (MECH 501 - Dynamics and Control of Mechanical Systems or MECH 508 - Nonlinear Systems)
  • MECH 517 - Finite Element Analysis
  • MECH 554 - Computational Fluid Mechanics
  • (MECH 588 - Design of Mechatronic Systems or MECH 598 - Introduction to Robotics)
  • MECH 594 - Introduction to Aeronautics
  • MECH 599 - Finite Difference Methods in Fluids and Heat Transfer

For the MME with a focus on Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of 6 credit hours must be from the following course set:

  • MECH 502 - Vibration
  • MECH 530 - Tribomechadynamics
  • MECH 575 - Introduction to Hydrodynamic Stability
  • MECH 582 - Convective Heat Transfer
  • MECH 584 - Microscopic Thermodynamics and Transport
  • MECH 587 - Capillarity and Wetting
  • MECH 589 - Microfluidics
  • MECH 597 - Neuromusculoskeletal Modeling

For the MME with a focus on Aerospace Engineering, a minimum of 6 credit hours must be from the following course set:

  • MECH 578 - Orbital Mechanics and Mission Design
  • MECH 590 - Aerospace Propulsion
  • MECH 591 - Gas Dynamics
  • MECH 592 - Aerospace Environments
  • MECH 596 - Introduction to Flight Mechanics
  • MECH 691 - Introduction to Hypersonics

Elective Requirements

For both sets of degree requirements, the remaining credit hours will be elective 500+ level courses in Mechanical Engineering. In exceptional cases, two classes or a total of 6 credits, at the 500-level or above can be taken outside of the MECH department with approval. None of the remaining required 12 credit hours can be Independent-Study (MECH 611 or 612) or MME Research Project (MECH 621 or 622) classes.

Replacement Courses

Note: For each pair of courses listed as (MECH AAA or MECH BBB), only one can be taken to meet the MME Course Set requirement. If a course or its undergraduate version was taken earlier as part of meeting the requirements of an undergraduate degree, it can be replaced according to the following table:

  • MECH 501 < MECH 508
  • MECH 508 < MECH 501
  • MECH 502 < (MECH 678 or MECH 679)
  • MECH 517 < MECH 503
  • MECH 554 < (MECH 555 or MECH 654)
  • MECH 582 < MECH 583
  • MECH 588 < MECH 598
  • MECH 598 < MECH 588
  • MECH 594 < MECH 596
  • MECH 665 < MECH 667

Prerequisite courses may be required for students who have a BA or BS in another engineering or science field.

Field Report

MME students are required to prepare a field report for one of the MME Course Set classes. With the approval of the course instructor, students must prepare a report and presentation on a mechanical engineering field or design related to that course. Topics must be decided before the mid-term break. The written field report is due at 5 PM on the last day of classes for that semester. The oral presentation will be given at a time to be scheduled by the instructor.

Students are responsible for contacting the instructor of the class they want to write the field report for and confirming with them through email the topic of the field report. The student is also responsible for making sure that the graduate administrator is copied on the final email communication between the student and the faculty regarding the topic of the field report.


The minimum residence requirement for the MME degree is one semester (fall/spring) of full-time (9+hrs) at the university.

Special MME/TA Program

Students selected1 for the special MME/TA program and required to provide TA service will have the option of replacing two of the 10 required courses with two independent-study classes for 20 hrs/week of TA service. Then their field report will be for these independent-study classes, one for each class. Students will have the option of taking the independent-study classes with the MECH faculty member they want to take those classes with, subject to the consent of the faculty member. Otherwise, by default, the topics of these independent-study classes will be assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies. The number of courses required from the 12-credit-hours and 6-credit-hours course sets cannot be reduced by more than one total.

1 Students are selected from among those who will be enrolled by using the “Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students,” as described in the General Announcements.

Apply Now

Ready to apply? Visit our Graduate Admissions to review the requirements and submit your application to Rice University.