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Course Enrollment

The University of Michigan is home to a large collection of strong graduate programs. There are renowned faculty teaching courses all over campus. Students are encouraged to explore interests outside of Mechanical Engineering. The Rackham Graduate School maintains a list of all graduate degree programs and courses offered on the Programs of Study website. Students should also consult the website of the academic department where the course is being offered.

ME Course Information. The courses offered by the Mechanical Engineering department can be found in three places: (1) the Rackham Graduate School website, (2) the College of Engineering website, and (3) the ME Department website. All locations should include the same information.

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Sections of this Page:

Registering for Classes: Waitlists, Overrides, Auditing, and Withdrawing

Grade Requirements and Important Rules

Acceptable Math List

Cognate Courses

Tentative Course Offerings

Registering for Classes

When can I register for classes?

The Office of the Registrar maintains deadlines and resources relevant to course enrollment. Current students will have the opportunity to register for the upcoming term during the last month of the semester. You should be particularly mindful of deadlines for dropping and adding classes, withdrawing from classes, and for payment of fees. Typically the drop/add deadline will be three weeks after the first day of class.

How do I register for classes?

Students at the University of Michigan register for classes using Wolverine Access. Before the start of registration, the Registrar’s Office will release the course offerings for the term. These courses will now appear in Wolverine Access. At this point, students are able to start “Backpacking.”

“Backpacking” is a common term at the University of Michigan. Backpacking is similar to a shopping cart for online buying. You have the ability to store all of the classes you might be interested in taking during the term. Then after further deliberation, you can purchase (a.k.a. register) your courses.


How do I decide what classes to choose?

The resources below are helpful in determining which classes might be a good fit for you:

Wait Lists & Overrides

An electronic permission is required to register for any class that is full and has a waiting list or that has specific enrollment restrictions. If Wolverine Access denies a request to register because an electronic permission is needed, an error message will appear that says an instructor or departmental permission is required. If this occurs, please contact the student services staff in the department, school, or college that is offering the class which needs a permission to register. Each department or school/college has its own procedures for granting permission, but ME students are welcome in most courses around the University.

Please note that it may be necessary to wait until the first class meeting (which should be attended) to obtain permission from the instructor to register. The Academic Services Office (contact [email protected] and [email protected]) can only give electronic permission to register for Mechanical Engineering courses. 

Wolverine Access allows students to put themselves on waiting lists for full classes. If you are able to successfully get on the waitlist, you do not need to notify anyone of your desire to take the class.  Once a class fills and a waiting list is generated, the class does not re-open automatically if seats become available. Open seats are filled with students from the waiting list in order of need. Students on the waiting list will receive an Electronic Override (“Class Permission”) email granting permission to register if seats become available.

Once an electronic override notification email has been received, it is still necessary to register for the class using Wolverine Access. In order to use the Override, a student must first drop the waitlisted course from their backpack and then re-add the course the same as before, except the Class Permission will then be active and will allow the student to successfully register.

Withdrawing from a Class

At the beginning of each semester, there is a drop/add period (the first three weeks of classes) during which students are allowed to register through Wolverine Access without penalty. Deadlines are set University-wide by the Office of the Registrar, please refer to their “Student Registration Deadlines” on the Academic calendar for specific dates.

After the drop/add deadline, students can still use Wolverine Access to drop or add courses, however it will be considered a “late-drop” or “late-add.”  When a student attempts to late drop/add they will see a prompt asking them if they wish to continue.  After saying yes, the instructor will receive an automated email to approve or decline the request followed by the Graduate Coordinator receiving an automated email to approve or decline the request.  A “late-drop” will result in the student receiving a “W” grade on their transcript (for withdraw).  There is no way to remove this “W” from the transcript.  A student can withdraw from a class up until the last day of classes though we encourage to do so as soon as they have intent to withdraw.

Auditing/Visiting a Class

With permission of the advisor and the course instructor, a student may enroll in a course as a visitor (auditor) rather than for credit. A notation of “VI” appears on the transcript when the course is completed successfully. After a grade has been issued, a course may not be changed from letter grade to visit (audit) status, or vice versa. A visit (audit) will not be counted toward degree credit requirements.

In order to audit the class, a student needs to email the course instructor for permission. Once received they should forward that permission to [email protected]. The ME ASO staff can then update the grading status.

Grade Requirements & Important Rules

Grade Requirements

  • All courses must be letter-graded with the exception of research credits, which have a grade of “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory). Minimum Grade Requirements for degree credit are:
    • Cognates: B-
    • Math: B-
    • All other coursework counted toward degree: C-
  • Graduate students must maintain a B average, equivalent to a 3.0.

Important Rules

  • All students must be enrolled in at least 8 credits to be considered a full-time student unless on a GSI or GSRA appointment and then 6 credits is considered full time. SUGS students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits.

  • Distance Learning courses (listed as sections 881 in Wolverine Access) may not be used for credit toward the ME graduate degrees. NOTE: An exception to this policy is made for Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Fall 2021 due to COVID-19.

  • Seminar courses must be letter graded. The credits accepted from seminar courses do not equal the number of hours for the course. For a 3 credit hour seminar, 2 credits are earned and for a 2 credit hour seminar, 1 credit is earned toward the master’s degree. 1 credit hour seminar courses do not count toward the degree. Only 1 seminar course may be used to meet degree requirements.
  • ME450, ME490, ME495, ME481, and ME 457 cannot be taken for graduate credit (because they are undergraduate courses).
  • Only 6 credits of ME590 can be counted towards the MSE degree requirements. ME590 credits do not fulfill the 500 level coursework requirement. It is considered 400 level work. Any ME 590 credits beyond 6 will be extra and not contribute to degree requirements. 
  • X90 courses in other CoE Departments may satisfy the ME 590 requirement, such as ROB 590 and AEROSP 590.
  • International MSE Students: If you choose to elect courses that are not required for the completion of your MSE degree, the ME department will not support an extension of your visa for the purpose of completing the remainder of your degree requirements. Should this occur, it is possible that you will not be able to finish your ME master’s degree prior to the completion of your stay in the United States. To avoid this complication, please ensure that all of your elected courses are relevant to your degree. Likewise, the ME department will not support a reduced course load letter if the remainder of the student’s courses are not relevant to the MSE degree

Acceptable Math List

Any graduate-level Mathematics or Statistics course may satisfy a math requirement. Any 400 level or above Math or Stats course will satisfy a math requirement. Check the Math and Stats Department websites for more election options.

Substitutions for Math Courses

The following courses can be used to satisfy the math requirement in place of math or statistics.

  • EECS 501 (4) Probability and Random Processes
  • EECS 562 (3) (AE 551) Nonlinear Systems and Control
  • IOE 510 (3) (MATH561) Linear Programming
  • ME 501 (3) Analytical Methods in Mechanics I
  • ME 502 (3) Methods of Differential Equations in Mechanics
  • ME 564 (4) (AE 550, EECS 560) Linear Systems Theory (may not take with Math 417 for math credit)
  • ROB 501 (4) Math for Robotics

Other classes not listed here may be petitioned to count for math credit. Students can submit a petition here to the ME Graduate Chair for review. Students are able to petition up to two exceptions as part of their degree requirements.

Cognate Courses

The ME department recognizes the value of intellectual breadth in graduate education and the importance of formal graduate study in areas beyond the student’s field of specialization. Cognate courses are those that are in a discipline or area different from a student’s field of study but are related or connected with some aspect of this field.

More specifically, cognates are graduate level courses and may be taken within the College of Engineering or in other STEM departments on campus. For example, acceptable departments are Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc. The minimum acceptable grade for a cognate course is a B-. If the course is not a graduate level STEM course, then the course must be petitioned to the Academic Services Office to count toward the cognate requirement.  The following are approved as cognates:

  • Graduate courses from other STEM departments (Engineering, math, physics, chemistry, biology, etc.)
  • ME courses cross-listed with other engineering departments
  • One ENTR course (3 credits) can count toward the cognate requirement; the other three would need to be fulfilled by a regular cognate.

The following DO NOT fulfill the cognate requirement by policy and will require a petition:

  • ENGR courses
  • MFG and AUTO courses that are cross-listed with ME
  • CHE 580, FIN/ES 629, and MFG 599
  • Courses outside of STEM fields
  • Any course can be petitioned to count as a cognate.

Students can submit a petition here to the ME Graduate Chair for review. Students are able to petition up to two exceptions as part of their degree requirements.

Tentative Course Offerings

Graduate Level ME Courses – Fall 2024 & Winter 2025

In order to facilitate graduate students planning their coursework for the academic year, a tentative list of graduate level courses to be offered in the upcoming academic year is below.  Please note that while we make every attempt to offer the courses listed below; due to unforeseen circumstances, we can not guarantee a course will be offered. A longer description of the courses can be found on the ME Courses page.

Fall 2024 Winter 2025
MECHENG 401 – Statistical Quality Control & Design MECHENG 406 – Biomechanics for Engineering
MECHENG 424 – Engineering Acoustics MECHENG 433 – Advanced Energy Solutions
MECHENG 438 – Internal Combustion Engines MECHENG 440 – Intermediate Dynamics and Vibrations
MECHENG 440 – Analytical Product Design MECHENG 458 – Automotive Engineering
MECHENG 452 – Design for Manufacturability  MECHENG 461 – Automatic Control 
MECHENG 461 – Automatic Control MECHENG 511 – Theory of Solid Continua
MECHENG 489 – Sustainable Engineering and Design MECHENG 524 – Advanced Engineering Acoustics
MECHENG 501 – Math Methods in ME MECHENG 538 – Advanced Internal Combustion Engines
MECHENG 505 – Finite Element Methods in ME MECHENG 539 – Heat Transfer Physics
MECHENG 515 – Contact Mechanics MECHENG 543 – Analytical and Computational Dynamics
MECHENG 519 – Theory of Plasticity MECHENG 558 – Discrete Design Optimization
MECHENG 520 – Advanced Fluid Mechanics I MECHENG 560 – Modeling Dynamic Systems
MECHENG 521 – Advanced Fluid Mechanics II MECHENG 568 – Vehicle Control Systems 
MECHENG 527 – Multiphase Flow MECHENG 569 – Control of Advanced Powertrain Systems
MECHENG 530 – Advanced Heat Transfer MECHENG 570 – Fundamentals of Defects in Materials and Applications of Atomistic Modeling
MECHENG 541 – Mechanical Vibrations MECHENG 586 – Laster Materials Processing
MECHENG 542 – Vehicle Dynamics and Automation MECHENG 599 – Foundations in Design Theory
MECHENG 553 – Microelectromechanical Systems MECHENG 599 – Data Driven Methods for Control Systems
MECHENG 557 – Front-End Design MECHENG 599 – Radiative Transfer
MECHENG 561 – Design of Digital Control Systems MECHENG 599 – BioInspiration
MECHENG 564 – Linear Systems Theory MECHENG 623 – Hydrodynamic Stability
MECHENG 599 – Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Processes  
MECHENG 599 – Cellular Engineering  
MECHENG 599 – Introduction to Nanofabrication   
MECHENG 599 – Lithium Battery Engineering, Life and Management  
MECHENG 599 – Applied Optimal Control