All mechanical engineering graduate students apply online through the Rackham Graduate School. Please view Rackham’s Checklist for Completing Your Application. We follow the College of Engineering’s application deadlines and accept PhD applications for fall only.

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Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program Requirements

Undergraduate Degree: Applicants should have completed their undergraduate work in an accredited program and earned a B.S.E. or equivalent degree in a field relevant to Mechanical Engineering (e.g. math or fundamental science).

Grades & Scores: The general GRE is required for both the doctoral and masters programs. SUGS and JI-SUGS applicants are exempt from submitting GRE test scores. Scores are sent to the University of Michigan by providing the institution code of 1839 to ETS. GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the testing date. Scores must be received on or before the application deadline in order to avoid any delay in the application being reviewed. If you sent multiple test scores to us, please know that ME will receive all of them. We will use the best scores when evaluating your application.

There are no specific minimums for the GRE or GPA, however, the successful applicants are those students who are strong in at least 3 out of the 4 areas below:

  • GPA of 3.7 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores in the 80th-90th percentile in the verbal and quantitative sections
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Personal Statement (PS)

Application Document Checklist

  • Statement of Purpose: Your SOP should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background as well as your career goals. In addition, the SOP should communicate how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. The length of the SOP should be 1-3 pages.
  • Personal Statement: It should be a discussion of the journey that led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  • Curriculum Vitae: 1-4 pages Writing sample, Article or Journal paper: No more than 2. Encouraged but not required.
  • Transcripts: Sent to Rackham Graduate School. DO NOT send your transcript to the College of Engineering or the Mechanical Engineering department.
  • Letters of Recommendation:
    • Doctoral: 3 letters are required (2 must come from an academic professor).
    • Master: 2 letters are required (1 must come from an academic professor).
    • SUGS and JI-SUGS: 3 letters are required (2 must come from an academic professor).
    • Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD): 2 letters are required (both must come from an academic professor)
    • NOTE: An academic professor can be an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor. A Lecturer would not count as a professor, but could provide a third letter.

Application & Decision deadlines

Graduate Application Deadlines (Ph.D., MSE, SUGS, JI-SUGS)

The ME Department accepts external Ph.D. applications during the Fall term only.

Fall Term Application
Doctoral (PhD) December 15th
Master (MSE) January 15th
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Institute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Study (JI-SUGS) January 15th
Change of Program (Current ME MSE to Ph.D.) February 1st
Winter Term Application (Current U-M Students Only)
Master (MSE): For currently enrolled U-M students August 1st
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Institute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Study (JI-SUGS) August 1st
Change of Program (Current ME MSE to Ph.D.) October 1st

Dual Degree Application Deadlines

Information about Dual Degree Application Processes can be found here.

Fall Term Application
Non-Rackham students January 15th
Current Rackham students February 15th
Winter Term Application
Non-Rackham students August 1st
Current Rackham students October 15th

Decision Deadlines

We ask that all applicants allow us to provide decisions within the time frame listed below. The ASO will inform the Rackham Graduate School of all application decisions for the Mechanical Engineering (ME) graduate program. Rackham provides the final application decision via e-mail to applicants who were recommended for admission by the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Fall Term Decisions Provided to Applicants
Doctoral (PhD) Mid-March through April
Master (MSE) Mid-March through April
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Insitute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (JI-SUGS), & Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) Mid-March through April
Current or previous U-M Rackham student Mid-March through April
Winter Term Decisions Provided to Applicants
Master (MSE) Mid-November through December
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Insitute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (JI-SUGS), & Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) Mid-November through December
Current or previous U-M Rackham student Mid-November through December

Providing Evidence of Financial Support (non U.S. students only):

  • If recommended for admission by Mechanical Engineering, the Rackham Graduate School will notify applicants to submit the Affidavit of Financial Support along with required financial documents (e.g., bank statement).
  • Please do not submit any financial documents until requested by Rackham.  Financial documents and immigration documents will not be kept if they were submitted during the application period.
  • Financial document deadlines:  May 15 for the Fall term and November 15th for the Winter term. If financial documents are not received by these dates, Rackham will withdraw offers of admission.

Additional forms


Available for up to one year under special conditions.

Rackham Graduate School deferral policy: To request a deferral, send an email to International students cannot defer admission to Spring or Spring/Summer terms. There are not enough credits to maintain the F1 visa status.


Former PhD students who withdrew or were discontinued from the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program may seek reinstatement to the same program by submitting:

Rackham Reinstatement policy

Former master’s students who have not registered for more than 12 months may apply for readmission to the same program by submitting: