Graduate Certificate Programs

Engineering Mechanics

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Program Description:

This certificate program allows working professionals to keep current with the rapid pace of technological changes in the area of engineering mechanics and to earn a graduate certificate in their field of interest. Furthermore, this program provides students with the opportunity to improve their academic record for possible admission to the MS degree program in mechanical or aerospace engineering. All courses are available over the Internet.

Topics covered include continuum mechanics, solid mechanics, stability, fracture mechanics, composites, fatigue analysis, plates, shells and laminated composites.

Persons enrolled in the program will have a choice of 4 courses from the following list:

Mech Eng 5211: Introduction to Continuum Mechanics
Introductory cartesian tensor analysis to aid in the development of the theory of a continuum. Kinematics of deformation, stress tensor, equations of motion, equations of mass and energy balance. Examples from specific material theories in solid and fluid mechanics. Prerequisites: Civ Eng 2210, Math 3304.

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5212: Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Variational formulation of the governing equations. Finite element model, interpolation functions, numerical integration, assembly of elements and solution procedures. Applications to solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer problems. Two-dimensional problems. Computer implementation and use of commercial finite element codes. Prerequisite: Mech Eng 3708 or Aero Eng 4253 or consent of instructor for majors that do not require either of these courses, or graduate standing. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5212).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5220: Advanced Mechanics of Materials
Comprehensive insight into mechanics of materials. Topics to include: theories of failure, torsion of noncircular sections, shear flow and shear center, asymmetric bending, bending of curved members, beams on elastic foundation and pressurization of thick walled cylinders. Prerequisites: Civ Eng 2210, Math 3304. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5220).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5234: Stability of Engineering Structures
Solution of stability problems with applications to columns, plates and shell structures. Torsional and lateral buckling of columns. Buckling under high temperatures. Effect of imperfections introduced by a technological process on stability. Design issues related to stability requirements. Prerequisites: Civ Eng 2210; Math 3304; and Mech Eng 2350 or Mech Eng 2360 or Aero Eng 2360. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5234).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5236: Fracture Mechanics
Linear elastic and plastic mathematical models for stresses around cracks; concepts of stress intensity; strain energy release rates; correlation of models with experiment; determination of plane stress and plane strain parameters; application to design. Prerequisite: Civ Eng 2210. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5236).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5238: Fatigue Analysis
The mechanism of fatigue, fatigue strength of metals, fracture mechanics, influence of stress conditions on fatigue strength, stress concentrations, surface treatment effects, corrosion fatigue and fretting corrosion, fatigue of joints, components and structures, design to prevent fatigue. Prerequisite: Civ Eng 2210. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5238).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 5282: Introduction to Composite Materials and Structures
Introduction to fiber-reinforced composite materials and structures with emphasis on analysis and design. Composite micromechanics, lamination theory and failure criteria. Design procedures for structures made of composite materials. An overview of fabrication and experimental characterization. Prerequisite: Civ Eng 2210. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 5282).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 6212: Advanced Finite Element Analysis
Higher order, isoparametric and mixed finite elements. Eigenvalue and time-dependent problems. Solution procedures for dynamic analysis. Implicit and explicit methods. Applications to viscous incompressible fluid and plate bending problems. Three-dimensional problems. Nonlinear finite element analysis. Practical applications using commercial software. Prerequisite: Mech Eng 5212 or Aero Eng 5212. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 6212).

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 6222: Applied Linear Elasticity
Formulation and study of boundary-value problems in 2-D linear elastostatics: Equilibrium and compatibility. Stress function formulations in Cartesian and polar coordinates. Curved beam, wedge and plane contact problems. Dislocations and cracks. Thermoelasticity. Prerequisites: CIV ENG 2210, Math 5325 (Co-listed with Aero Eng 6222).

Mech Eng 6230: Theory of Plates
General coverage of various approaches to plate problems and the application of these methods to practical problems. Special topics include applications to elastic foundations, buckling and energy methods in plate theory. Prerequisite: Math 5325.

Aero Eng/Mech Eng 6284: Analysis of Laminated Composite Structures
An overview of isotropic beams, plates, and shells. Bending, vibration, and buckling of laminated composite beams and plates: exact and approximate solutions. Development of composite shell theory and simplified solutions. Analysis of composite structures including transverse shear deformation and thermal effects. Prerequisite: Mech Eng 5282 or Aero Eng 5282. (Co-listed with Aero Eng 6284).

* Curriculum is subject to change. Please contact the department for up-to-date information on courses. Other courses approved by the department may be substituted for any of the above listed courses on a case-by-case basis. The administrative coordinators must approve the substitution prior to enrolling in the course.

Please check the semester wise Schedule of Classes for a current listing of the courses available for distance students.

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Bachelor's degree in appropriate engineering discipline with GPA of 2.75 or better; minimum of two years of professional experience. Additionally, students who are currently accepted into aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering programs may pursue the graduate certificate through the respective program.

Graduate Certificate Requirements:
The certificate program consists of four courses. In order to receive a graduate certificate, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in the certificate courses taken. Once admitted to the program, the student will be given three years to complete the program as long as a B average is maintained in the courses taken.

Students admitted to the certificate program will have non-degree graduate status but will earn graduate credit for the courses they complete. If the four-course sequence approved by the graduate advisor is completed with a grade of B or better in each of the courses taken, the student will be admitted to the MS degree program in which they pursued the graduate certificate, if they apply. The certificate courses taken by students admitted to the program will count toward their master's degrees.

Click here for more information on admissions.

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Students applying for a business project management graduate certificate will need the following:

Complete the Online Application. When you start your application select "Graduate Online/Distance" and then select which certificate you are applying for. Don't forget to list your current employer and company location on the application.

More Details

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

Effective July 1, 2011, the Department of Education requires that all certificate programs must disclose particular Gainful Employment information to current and prospective students. The information that is provided in the disclosure includes the estimated cost of the certificate program as well as on-time graduation and job placement rates for this particular certificate program. The disclosure information is based on data from the 2015-16 school year (defined as the period between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016)


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Graduate certificates were designed as a gateway to a master’s degree. If a student earns a B or better in each certificate course they may continue for the graduate degree (in the corresponding department), without needing to submit GRE/GMAT scores, or letters of recommendation*. A student does not need to continue on for the graduate degree, however most do. Graduate certificates were designed for working professionals who have real life work experience and may not have time to take the GRE/GMAT. Admission requirements for the graduate certificate program are also more relaxed than the graduate degree. This graduate certificate may act as a gateway to the following master’s programs:

Aerospace Engineering (MS)
Mechanical Engineering (MS)

(Applicants must indicate which program they wish to use the certificate as a gateway for when initially applying for the certificate).

*Completion of a graduate certificate program does not automatically guarantee admission into a corresponding graduate degree program. To continue in a master’s degree program, you must apply. Click here for details and check with academic department for program specific details and requirements.

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All courses are offered through distance education in a short condensed format, typically 5-8 weeks in length, over the internet, via live streaming video; collaborative learning software includes WebEx and Blackboard; classes are archived online for review and easy access.

Course Management Software: Blackboard.

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