Prospective Graduate Students

Degrees Offered

The Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico offers the following graduate degrees:

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Generally, admission to the Ph.D. program requires that the applicant has earned an appropriate M.S. degree and has demonstrated a high potential for research and graduate studies. The evidence of such achievement is, for example, publications in archival journals based on the applicant's Master's thesis work. Exceptional students may pursue a Ph.D. without first earning an M.S.
  • PhD Program description in detail

Faculty Specialties

  • Mechanical Sciences and Engineering (including Dynamic Systems, Controls, and Robotics)
  • Engineering Mechanics and Materials (including Solid Mechanics and Materials Science)
  • Thermal Sciences and Engineering (including Energy/Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer)
  • For additional information, please also visit our departmental faculty page.
  • Note: All degree requirements are explained in the ME Graduate Manual.

Application Information

We welcome applications from students who have earned distinguished academic records.  At this website you will find information about the ME Department's admission requirements and application procedures. Please read the requirements carefully and follow the instructions.

The following deadlines apply:

Domestic Applicants not Requesting Financial Aid (TA/GA positions only)   International Applicants and Domestic Applicants Requesting Financial Aid (TA/GA positions only) *
Fall July 1   March 1
Spring November 1   August 1
Summer April 30   January 1

* All ME Application Materials (please see the list shown below) as well as Admissions Office authorization form must arrive at the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Office before these deadlines (for priority consideration for TA/GA positions). However, students who miss these deadlines will be placed on a wait list for Financial Aid (TA/GA). Also, TA/GA financial support is not available for Summer Terms. For RA (Research Assistant) positions, there is no set deadline; additional information about RA positions is provided below.

The Graduate Committee in the department makes admission decisions. Applicants must hold (or will have completed by the time they arrive) an accredited (ABET) Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree and at least a B (i.e., 3.0 / 4.0) average in their final two years of relevant courses (or their final, earned 60 credit hours) of their last degree. Applicants seeking admission to the PhD Program must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 / 4.0 in their master's degree. Meeting these minimum GPA requirements, however, does not constitute a guarantee of admission to the graduate program. Applicants seeking admission to the PhD program should secure the agreement and support of one of our faculty members to serve as their mentor before formally applying for admission. A large emphasis and weight is given to this kind of support when the applications are considered by the department. Applications without such support are normally not considered favorably.

Applications from individuals with a B.S. degree in other Engineering disciplines, Math, Computer Science, and Physical Sciences (such as Physics or Chemistry) are also considered. To qualify for a graduate degree, applicants are expected to have at least an undergraduate-level exposure to most of the core ME disciplines. Those who are deemed deficient will be asked to take additional (leveling) courses. The ME Department does not offer "provisional," "probationary," or "conditional" admissions. Under normal circumstances, applicants who do not hold a BSME degree should complete the leveling courses before formally applying for the degree program. This can be accomplished while in graduate, non-degree status (please see the information shown below).

Note: Degrees obtained from career/vocational schools do not constitute an acceptable background for admission to the MSME program at UNM.


Application Procedure and Material

Both domestic and international applicants should apply online. The online application system will guide you through the process and material required by the University and Department.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test - The GRE scores are required and should be submitted to the University directly by ETS (Institution code: 4845; no department code is needed). During the online application process, please report your scores unofficially for review. The GRE scores are considered for general benchmarking purposes and are examined in the context of all other application requirements; these include the GPA, letters of recommendation, and statement of intent. As such, a minimum required score has not been set.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation - UNM BSMEs with a GPA of 3.5 (or higher) on their last 60 credit hours of coursework have the option of submitting only two (2) letters of recommendation. The letters must be written by professional references such as instructors and supervisors, not friends and relatives. Letters should be submitted directly by your recommenders through the online system. Specific directions are included within the application system.
  • Statement of Intent (or Letter of Intent) - This document must be submitted through the online application system. The presence of overlap of applicant's interests with the expertise of one or more of our faculty members is given a significant weight in terms of application acceptance decision. So, this statement should show clear evidence of such overlap.
  • Updated CV (Resume) - This document must be submitted through the online application system.
  • Official Transcripts - Follow the instructions on the online application system.
  • For International Students - The TOEFL or IELTS score is required by the University for all international applicants. Further information and the minimum score requirements can be found at the UNM Global Education Office website.

Financial Support

For tuition rates please visit the UNM Bursar's Office website.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships (RA) are available to MS and PhD Students. These assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members who have the necessary research funding. Typically, students who have successfully arranged for an RA appointment have secured it by contacting a faculty member directly.

Research assistants typically receive tuition coverage and a salary (subject to state and federal tax withholding) in exchange for 20 hours of work per week. Some students opt to work fewer hours per week, and their salary and tuition benefits are adjusted accordingly.

Teaching and Grading Assistantships

A few Teaching Assistant (TA) positions are available each semester. The TA positions typically provide recipients with tuition coverage and a salary, requiring 20 hours of work per week. Reduced hours (10 hours per week) may also be available, with salary adjusted accordingly to serve as a Grading Assistant (GA) for a course. TA/GA-ships are offered by the Department; to apply, complete the TA/GA Application Form.

Other Funding Sources

Information regarding other sources of funding and application packets can be obtained at the UNM Office of Graduate Studies website.


For the most up-to-date information, including PhD qualifying exam descriptions, please refer to the ME Graduate Programs website.