Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree

The Mechanical Engineering department offers a combined five-year Bachelor’s/Master’s program for Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics majors.

Learn more about the Whiting School of Engineering’s various combined bachelor’s/master’s programs.

  • This is an excellent program for individuals who would like to earn a graduate degree quickly. The degree will increase a student’s chances for higher quality employment than would a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • After a Johns Hopkins student completes eight semesters and earns an undergraduate degree, the Whiting School of Engineering will pay 50% of the student’s tuition every semester while he or she is a graduate student.

    Note that this and any policy may be subject to change.

  • This program is available only to undergraduates in the Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Mechanics majors of the Johns Hopkins University.
  • The application must be submitted during the student’s junior year. There are two deadlines to submit applications to the BS/MSE program:

    • January 6 – Juniors only – admissions decisions occur around January 24
    • June 17- Rising Seniors only – admissions decisions occur around July 23

    Seniors who have missed these deadlines are welcome to apply for the master’s program separately.  Visit the Full-Time Graduate Admissions page for details.

  • Visit the Johns Hopkins “Combined Degree Student” page for instructions on how to apply. Despite the website stating that you are required to contact the department to start the application process, that is not correct for Mechanical Engineering.  You can move to the next step to begin your application.

    The application package includes:

    • Online graduate application.
    • Statement of Purpose that describes career plans and rationale for advanced study.
    • JHU transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
    • Three letters of recommendation.

    GRE and TOEFL scores are not required.

  • The application will ask you to select a semester to which you are applying.  Select the next available semester, not the semester when you would become a master’s student (i.e., your 9th semester).

    • If applying before the January submission deadline, one would normally select the first available Spring semester.  Note that in December 2018, the University switched application systems where the first available semester is Fall 2019.  Select Fall 2019 for applications submitted in January 2019.
    • If applying after the January deadline but before the June submission deadline, select the first available Fall semester.

    For example, students applying by June 2019  would select the “Fall 2019” semester.  Students applying by January 2020 would select the “Spring 2020” semester.

  • Three letters of recommendation are required for the application; two of the letters should be from Mechanical Engineering faculty. The third letter can be from anyone else who would be able to vouch for your credentials and potential. This person could be a professor, but could be someone else.

    When you create your online application, you will be asked to provide the names and e-mail addresses of your recommenders.  Upon submission of the application, your recommenders will receive an e-mail request to submit their letters of recommendation directly to your application.

  • The Graduate Recruiting Committee, made up of four faculty members, one each from the robotics, fluids, solids, and biomechanics areas will review the applications. Students will be notified of results by e-mail.

    Those who are admitted are welcome to accept admission, even if they are not 100% sure they will stay for the master’s degree after earning the BS degree.

    The admission is non-binding. The department understands that students may change their minds or be offered an opportunity outside the combined BS-MSE that is a better fit for their aspirations. If students change their minds, they simply can notify Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard at me-academic@jhu.edu.

    Upon acceptance into the program, students will be asked to develop their graduate programs with their faculty advisors.  They or Mike can help with creating a master’s course plan.

  • Students may continue to work with their current undergraduate advisor or may seek another masters advisor.

    Reasons for seeking another advisor could include the desire to concentrate coursework in a specific research area other than those of the current advisor, or to seek an advisor to research and write a masters essay.

  • Students can generally expect to complete their degrees in this timeframe:

    • Junior/Senior Undergraduate Years
      • Double-count two .400-level academic courses from the Bachelor’s Degree. It is recommended that these courses are graded B- or higher.
      • Take two courses that count for the master’s degree but do not count for the Bachelor’s Degree.
    • 5th Year Master’s – Semester 1
      • Complete required introductory courses:  Academic Ethics, Title IX Harassment Prevention, and Opioid Awareness
      • Take 3 academic courses
      • If taking or planning to take a research course or writing an essay, register for and complete:
        • The required Lab Safety online modules and optional EN.500.601 Research Lab Safety course.
        • AS.360.624 online Responsible Conduct of Research course.
        • (Essay only) EN.530.602/EN.530.821 (for those matriculating Fall 2020 and later) MSE Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 (for those matriculating Fall 2020 and later) MSE Essay – Co-Op, 3 credits
    • 5th Year Master’s – Semester 2
      • All-Course: Take 3 academic courses and graduate.
      • Essay:
        • Take 1 academic course
        • Register for EN.530.602/EN.530.821 MSE Essay – Research and Writing of EN.530.609/EN.530.822 MSE Essay – Co-Op, 3 credits
        • Continue essay research and begin writing the essay.
        • Complete the essay, have readers approve, submit essay to the library, and then graduate.  Note that some students writing an essay may need a third semester to complete the program.

    If students do not take two courses outside the bachelor’s degree in their Undergraduate Years, they will likely have to return for a third semester.

  • The department requirements for an M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering are described in Sections “A” and “B,” where both sections must be met:

    Section A:  Satisfactorily complete eight one-semester advanced courses approved by your advisor:

    • At least four courses must be at the graduate level (xxx.600 or higher, up to two Engineering for Professionals xx5.4xx or higher).
    • No more than four courses may be at the advanced undergraduate level (full-time programs xxx.400 – xxx.499, Engineering for Professionals xx5.3xx).
    • At least two courses should be in applied mathematics, numerical analysis, or computational methods. This requirement can be waived in writing by your advisor, if sufficient prior preparation in these areas can be demonstrated.
    • Ineligible Courses: EN.530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE Graduate Research, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section A’s requirement.
    • At least 4 of 10 courses, or at least 3 of 8 courses if writing an essay – must be Mechanical Engineering or related courses:
      • EN.530.xxx Mechanical Engineering
      • Any of these courses:
        • EN.580.451/452 (Fall/Spring) – Cell and Tissue Engineering
        • Intro to Linear Systems – any one of EN.530.616, EN.520.601, or EN.580.616.
        • EN.560.772 Nonlinear Finite Element Methods
        • EN.560.773 Finite Element Methods
        • EN.520.773 Advanced Topics in Fabrication and Microengineering
        • EN.535.xxx – courses from the Engineering for Professionals (EP) program. New in Fall 2020:
          • For all current and incoming students enrolled in the Fall 2020 semester – no more than three “EP” courses can count.  This is to accommodate those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
          • For students matriculating in Spring 2021 and later – no more than two “EP” courses can count.

    Section B:  Plus either:

    COURSE OPTION

    • Two additional one-semester graduate-level courses (xx.xxx.6xx or higher, Engineering for Professionals EN.xx5.4xx or higher).
    • EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE Graduate Research
      • BS/MSE and MSE students only: one of these two courses can be EN.530.600/EN.530.820 (for those matriculating in Fall 2020 and later) MSE All-Course- Graduate Research. Students must also have completed the appropriate Responsible Conduct of Research and Research Laboratory Safety courses.
      • PhD students earning the MSE degree cannot count EN.530.600/EN.530.820 MSE All-Course – Graduate Research.
    • Ineligible Courses: EN.530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing, EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s – Co-Op, EN.530.801/EN.530.802 Ph.D. Graduate Research, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section B’s requirement.

    ESSAY OPTION

    • An M.S.E. essay (the official title of master’s theses at Johns Hopkins) acceptable to your advisor and one other eligible reader.
    • There are two options to complete the essay:
      • Conduct Laboratory Research – Register for EN.530.602/EN.530.821 (for those matriculating in Fall 2020 and later) Master’s Essay – Research and Writing for semester(s) when research and writing are done. Learn more about the master’s essay here!
      • Work in Co-Op – Register for EN.530.609/EN.530.822 (for those matriculating in Fall 2020 and later) Master’s Essay – Co-Op for semester(s) when co-op and writing are done.  Learn more about the Co-Op program here!
    • Both EN.530.602/EN.530.821 and EN.530.609/EN.530.822 are “Pass/Fail” courses that do not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the essay. The courses are generally the equivalent of six credits and can be taken in one semester or split into three-credit courses over two semesters. If a student needs subsequent semesters to continue essay work, he or she can simply register for the same course each semester.
    • For International Students – International students completing the degree with an Essay – Co-Op option must also enroll for EN.500.851 Engineering Research Practicum and apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This course is not graded.  Visit these sites for information:

    Double-Counting Courses

    Students either in a bachelor’s/master’s program or seeking a master’s degree in the Whiting School, after having earned a Whiting School or Krieger School of Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree may double-count two courses (.400-level or higher) to both programs with the permission of the master’s faculty advisor.

    For information, visit the Whiting School’s “Graduate – Full-Time Academic Policies” page and select the “Policy on Double-Counting Courses” bar.


    MSE Course Plan

    You can use the MSE Certificate of Completion as a Course Plan, similar to a “checkout sheet.”

    Your faculty advisor or Academic Program Manager Mike Bernard can help you with planning your coursework.


    EN.530.602/EN.530.821 Master’s Essay – Research and Writing or EN.530.609/EN.530.822 Master’s Essay – Co-Op – 3-10 credits – students must enroll in one of these “Pass/Fail” course when doing essay research and writing for each semester where essay work is done.

    • Students matriculating as master’s students before Fall 2020 will use the course numbers EN.530.602 and EN.530.609.
    • Students matriculating as master’s students Fall 2020 and later will use the course numbers EN.530.821 and EN.530.822.

    This “Pass/Fail” course does not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the essay.  The course is generally the equivalent of six credits and can be taken in one semester or split into three-credit courses taken over two semesters. If a student needs subsequent semesters to continue essay work, he or she can simply register for the same course each semester.

    According to the Graduate Board’s Procedures for Administration of Approved Policies for the Award of Advanced Degrees, “Thesis [essay] readers are selected and appointed by the chair or appropriate faculty of the sponsoring department or committee. Any duly appointed member of a department or committee holding the rank of assistant professor or higher (excluding lecturers) is eligible for selection as a referee without prior approval. The Graduate Board Office must approve readers from outside the University, or from any non-Ph.D. sponsoring department, laboratory or institute within the University.”

  • See the Master’s Student Advising Manual on the MechE Graduate Academic Advising page for information on coursework and degree requirements.

    • A course is satisfactorily completed if a grade from A+ to B- is obtained. Grades of C+ or lower are evidence of unsatisfactory academic performance.
    • No more than one course with a grade of C+, C, or C- can be counted toward the MSE degree.
    • A student earning one grade of D or F or two C+, C, or C- grades will receive notification, with a copy to his or her advisor, of academic performance concerns and an explanation that a second D or F or a third C+, C, or C- grade for a master’s student will result in termination from the program.

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