Department of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering

Coordinator: Dr. Akihiko Kumagai
Voice: (916) 278-5838
Fax: (916) 278-7713
E-Mail: kumagaia @

General Information  

The Master of Science program in Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Sacramento, prepares students for leadership in the practice of mechanical engineering. The program includes the study of the scientific and technical principles underlying modern engineering practice and of the advanced mathematical techniques needed for their application in research and design. An individual applied research or design study, the results of which are presented in a Master's thesis or project report, complements the formal class work and completes the program.

Graduate courses are generally offered in the evenings, after 5:00 pm, to allow students to pursue their advanced educational goals without interfering with their professional work schedules.  A student working full time can usually take two courses each semester, spending two evenings per week on campus. Of course, full time students may schedule more than two courses each semester.

Specialty Areas

A student selects one of the following three options as his/her specialty area:

  • Design and Dynamic Systems
  • Manufacturing
  • Thermal and Fluid Systems

Elective courses allow for the development of the particular interests of each student.

Design and Dynamic Systems

This area focuses on the design of products and on the manufacturing systems needed for their production. Classical and computer-aided techniques are studied to provide a strong background in mechanical design theory and practice. Industrial software tools are used to perform finite-element modeling, dynamic system analysis and design optimization.


This area involves the use of mathematical methods as well as current computer techniques to solve problems encountered in planning, designing and/or controlling manufacturing systems. Study of the techniques for Product Design and Manufacturing, Neural Networks, Artificial Intelligence, and Industrial Management is conducted.

Thermal and Fluid Systems

This area concentrates on the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics as applied to such products as heat exchangers, internal combustion engines, gas turbines, and solar energy systems. Courses make use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software tools to explore the behavior of a variety of thermal energy conversion systems and components. In this area of interest, innovative system design is becoming more important as progress is made toward increasing the efficiency of thermal systems while reducing the adverse effects on the environment.

General Degree Requirements

The Master's degree requires 30 semester units:

These consist of 24 units (eight courses) of course work, a 2-unit research methodology seminar, and an applied research or design thesis study (4 units).
The course work may include up to 6 units of undergraduate-level courses.

If a student lacks some of the undergraduate courses needed for successful completion of the graduate program, such prerequisite courses must be taken before the student can be fully accepted into the program, although conditional acceptance may be granted before the prerequisites are completed.

Requirements for Admission

Admission as a classified student requires:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering or Computer Science;
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in upper division engineering courses; , and
  • (For international students) A TOEFL score of 550 or higher.

Applicants who do not meet the three admission requirements listed above because they have a Baccalaureate degree in a field other than Engineering or Computer Science and/or because their grade point average is below 3.0 but above 2.5 (in the last 60 units of undergraduate work) may be admitted with conditionally classified status. Any such deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the applicant.


The Graduate Program Coordinator serves as the liaison between graduate students and the office of the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. Upon admission to the graduate program, a student is assigned an academic advisor to lay out a mutually agreeable course of study for accomplishing the degree objectives. After advancement to candidacy, the student proceeds with research for the thesis or project. Guidance of this phase of study is given by a faculty member with expertise in the particular thesis/project topic, who becomes the supervising professor for the thesis or project.

For further information, contact the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Akihiko Kumagai.