Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degree Programs Graduate Studies

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Graduates of the programs within Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering will be expected to:

  • Engage in professional practice at or beyond the entry level or enroll in high-quality graduate programs, applying their engineering knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.
  • Become leaders in engineering, science, academia, business, and public service.
  • Continue their intellectual development through participation in continuing education, professional development, and/or community service.

The outcomes we desire our graduates to demonstrate are:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering to engineering problems.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design systems, components, or processes to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with written, oral, and visual means.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  • A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  • An ability to use modern engineering techniques, skills, and computing tools necessary for engineering practice.

Program Enrollment Data: Mechanical Engineering

Academic Year

Enrollment Year

Total Undergrad

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

2013-2014

FT

132

182

185

198

696

PT

1

1

2012-2013

FT

141

141

206

205

693

PT

1

1

2

2011-2012

FT

115

157

181

215

668

PT

1

1

2010-2011

FT

132

150

176

253

711

PT

1

1

2

2009-2010

FT

136

139

214

221

710

PT

1

1

2008-2009

FT

95

180

200

214

689

PT

1

1

2

Program Enrollment and Degree Data: Aeronautical Engineering

Academic Year

Enrollment Year

Total Undergrad

BS Degrees Awarded

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

2013-2014

59

89

83

77

308

N/A

2012-2013

73

76

77

92

318

80

2011-2012

77

75

97

79

328

68

2010-2011

68

92

71

104

334

82

2009-2010

88

68

100

106

362

88

2008-2009

84

101

105

83

373

53

Program Enrollment and Degree Data: Nuclear Engineering

Academic Year

Enrollment Year

Total Undergrad

BS Degrees Awarded

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

2013-2014

23

25

40

20

108

N/A

2012-2013

24

33

23

36

115

30

2011-2012

32

25

38

30

125

25

2010-2011

24

30

27

41

122

34

2009-2010

31

30

38

33

132

38

2008-2009

30

33

32

38

133

30

The Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering degree programs are each independently accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Dual Major Programs

Dual majors lead to a single baccalaureate degree embracing two fields. Special programs which can be completed in eight semesters have been developed. Examples include dual majors in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation, and Society (STS), and others.

Graduate Studies

Among the available degrees are the M.Eng., which is perceived to be more practically oriented and includes a research project; the M.S., which is considered more scholarly or fundamental and must include a thesis; and Ph.D.

The department offers graduate programs in mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, nuclear engineering, and engineering physics. To accommodate a student’s career plans and interests, the graduate programs are structured to allow great flexibility in choosing appropriate courses, while ensuring sufficient depth and breadth. The professor assigned to or chosen by a student as the adviser has the knowledge to make suggestions of specific courses to further the student’s educational goals.

The department offers graduate programs in mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, nuclear engineering, and engineering physics. To accommodate a student’s career plans and interests, the graduate programs are structured to allow great flexibility in choosing appropriate courses, while ensuring sufficient depth and breadth. The professor assigned to or chosen by a student as the adviser has the knowledge to make suggestions of specific courses to further the student’s educational goals.

Doctoral Programs

For the doctoral degree, 72 credits in addition to the bachelor’s or 48 credits in addition to the master’s degree are required. Usually, this means that 12 or more courses beyond the bachelor’s are needed, as specified by the adviser and the doctoral committee, in addition to residence and thesis requirements. Under the guidance of a thesis adviser, the student conducts advanced study and research. If a student chooses to do a thesis with a thesis adviser from another department, a Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering Department faculty member must be appointed co-chair and the doctoral committee must contain at least two department faculty members. After approximately one year of full-time study, the student should have a research adviser and be advanced to doctoral student status. To attain this milestone a qualifying examination is required. When thesis research has begun and after approximately two years of full-time study, the candidacy examination is taken. At the completion of the research project and after the dissertation has been written, the student must defend the thesis in an open presentation to his or her committee. The degree awarded is the Doctor of Philosophy.

This degree is awarded under the auspices of the Office of Graduate Education when the thesis is directed toward making an original contribution to fundamental knowledge in a particular field or in an interdisciplinary field. A dissertation that is scholarly, creative, original, and publishable may deal also with the relation of a discipline to educational problems and objectives within the field.

Graduate Student Housing

College Suites at City Station is a new housing community built exclusively for Rensselaer graduate students and graduate-level affiliates.

Developed to make locating and entering housing at Rensselaer a hassle-free process, it is within walking distance of the campus, enjoys Rensselaer services such as the Rensselaer Red Hawk Shuttle, and is, at the same time, an off-campus private community in itself.

Rensselaer provides family housing through a partnership with College Suites at City Station South.

City Station South offers an atmosphere where residents with families can sit back and live, learn, and relax. College Suites provides the convenience and quality of life you need to focus on balancing your academic and home life. Located just slightly off the southern edge of the RPI campus in Troy, these beautiful, affordable apartments provide all the comforts of home right next to the Rensselaer campus.

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