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  Extended to June 30 – 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.

    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. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be asked to develop their graduate programs with their advisors.
  • 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.
      • 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, and Opioid Dangers
      • Take 3 academic courses
      • If taking or planning to take a research course or writing an essay/thesis, register for and complete:
        • 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 MSE Essay Research and Writing, 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 MSE Essay Research and Writing, 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: 530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.600 MSE Graduate Research, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section A’s requirement.
    • New in Fall 2019: At least 4 of 10 courses, or at least 3 of 8 courses if writing an essay – must be Mechanical Engineering: either – all Mechanical Engineering – or – up to two courses from Engineering for Professionals’ Mechanical Engineering and the rest Mechanical Engineering.  (The former requirement was half of all courses – 5/10 or 4/8 with essay – must be Mechanical Engineering.)

    No more than two courses may be chosen from the Engineering for Professionals program.

    Section B:  Plus either:


    • Two additional one-semester graduate-level courses ( or higher, Engineering for Professionals EN.xx5.4xx or higher).
    • 530.600 MSE Graduate Research
      • BS/MSE and MSE students only: one of these two courses can be EN.530.600 MSE 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 MSE Graduate Research.
    • Ineligible Courses: 530.800 Independent Study, EN.530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing, and other departments’ Graduate Research, Independent Study, and Special Studies are not eligible courses to complete Section B’s requirement.


    • An M.S.E. essay (the official title of master’s theses at Johns Hopkins) acceptable to your advisor and one other eligible reader.

    If an essay is going to be written, students must register for the course EN.530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing every semester that he or she works on master’s thesis research and writing. This is separate from the Ph.D. dissertation.

    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.

    NEW! 530.602 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing – 3-10 credits – students must enroll in this “Pass/Fail” course when doing thesis research and writing for each semester where thesis work is done.

    This “Pass/Fail” course does not count as one of the eight courses required in addition to the thesis.  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 thesis 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 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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