Master of Science, Engineering Mechanics – Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics option

Program Details: Engineering Mechanics - Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics option

The Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics (FAM) option of the Master of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics is an accelerated coursework-only program in Engineering Mechanics. The goal of the FAM program is to provide a bridge into careers in engineering or into a PhD program in mechanics for students with backgrounds in science. The program is fast-paced; students are expected to complete the curriculum over a twelve-month period, starting in a summer session. The summer session introduces students to basic concepts of mechanics. The fall and spring semesters extend these concepts into advanced-level solid mechanics and dynamics courses with application-specific examples. In addition to experimental mechanics techniques, students also learn the analytical and computational methods that are critical for engineering analysis.

Although designed for students with backgrounds in science, the FAM program may also be suitable for non-mechanics engineering students (electrical, chemical, etc.) who are interested in transitioning to mechanics. Prospective graduate students with a background in mechanics are encouraged to consider our traditional MS and PhD Engineering Mechanics programs.

Degree Information

The Department of Engineering Physics (EP) reviews Engineering Mechanics graduate student applications for the fall, spring and summer terms of each year. The application deadlines are below. In order to be reviewed for admission, ALL application materials must be submitted online through the Graduate School’s application portal by the deadline.

Application Deadlines:

January 1st

October 1st

January 1st

Graduate School Application Website

ALL application materials, including test scores and letters of recommendation, must be submitted online through the Graduate School’s application portal by the application deadline.

Admission Requirements & Materials:

  1. ALL applicants must meet the general Graduate School Admission Requirements. 
  1. Apart from current UW-Madison NE/EP/EMA undergraduate students, all MS and PhD applicants must submit GRE General Test Scores. Scores may not be more than 5 years old from the start of the admissions term for which applicants are applying. Scores need to be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS) using the institution code 1846. (GRE scores are not required for current UW-Madison NE/EP/EMA undergraduate students.) 
  1. All degree-seeking students must submit an online application to the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Graduate School and pay the application fee. 
  1. Within the application:
  • All applicants must upload a copy of their transcripts from their undergraduate institution and other previous higher education institutions. Applicants must upload a transcript for each college-level institution attended. Please do not send any hard copies of transcripts unless specifically instructed to do so by the UW-Madison Graduate School.
  • All applicants must submit a statement of purpose/reasons for graduate study. UW-Madison Graduate School Guidelines for the statement of purpose are found at Note that information on research interests and aspirations is important for the application review process.
  • All applicants must submit at least three letters of recommendation, uploaded electronically through the electronic application system. 
  1. International Students: International applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please refer to the Graduate School’s Admission Requirements page for the minimum required scores. Scores are accepted if they are within two years of the start of the admissions term for which applicants are applying. TOEFL scores should be electronically sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to institution code 1846 (no department code is needed). IELTS scores should be electronically sent directly from IELTS to UW-Madison, Graduate Studies. 

Scores from this exam are required unless you met one of the following exemptions:

  • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate level
  • You earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment
  • You completed at least two full-time semesters of graded course work, excluding English as a second language (ESL) courses, at an institution where English is the exclusive language of instruction, not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment

Please do not mail any paper copies of application materials. They will not be reviewed. Please only upload the required application materials with the Graduate School application. This includes transcripts. Applicants who are recommended for admission by the EP Graduate Studies Committee will receive further instructions from the EP Graduate Admissions Office. 

Application Status:

Monitor your application status by visiting the “Graduate Application Status” window within your MyUW portal (information on this is received after submitting an application). You may need to activate a NetID to gain access to the MyUW portal (information sent after submitting an application).

Most admissions decisions are made by the end of March or by early April. Applicants receive an e-mail from the EP Graduate Admissions Office with the admissions decision as soon as the office receives it.

Note:  The Department of Engineering Physics does not offer assistantship positions to its FAM students.  The two semesters of the program are academically accelerated, and students are not expected to accommodate time for assistantship work.

Further questions related to the Engineering Mechanics program admissions process may be directed to

Re-entry applicants:  If you were previously enrolled as a graduate student in the Department of Engineering Physics but have had a break in enrollment for a minimum of a fall or spring term, you will need to re-apply to resume your studies. Please review the Graduate School requirements for re-entry students. Your previous faculty advisor (or another EP faculty advisor) must be willing to supply advising support and should contact/e-mail the EP Graduate Admissions & Student Services Coordinator regarding next steps in the process.


Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics Curriculum

Credits Requirement: 30

Of the 30 credits counted towards the degree, at least 15 must be at the graduate level.

Summer Session 3-6 Credits


EMA 303        3cr                  Mechanics of Materials         [on line]

Recommended prerequisite (strongly recommended):

EMA 202        3cr                  Dynamics [on line]

Fall Semester 14 Credits


EMA 307        1cr                  Mechanics of Materials Lab

EMA 506        3cr                  Adv Mechanics of Materials

EMA 542        3cr                  Adv Dynamics

EP 547            3cr Grad         Eng Analysis I

EMA 601        1cr                  Mechanics Seminar

Choose 1 of the following:

EMA 405        3cr                  Prac Finite Elements

EMA 605        3cr                  Intro to Finite Elements

Spring Semester 13 Credits


EP 548            3cr Grad         Eng Analysis II

EMA 601        1cr                  Mechanics Seminar

Choose 3 of the following (at least 1 of 3 must be either EMA 705, 622, 642):

EMA 508        3cr Grad         Composites

EMA 519         3cr Grad         Fracture Mechanics

EMA 570        3cr Grad         Experimental Mechanics

EMA 611        3cr Grad         Adv Mech Testing of Materials

EMA 622        3cr Grad         Mech of Continua

EMA 642        3cr Grad         Satellite Dynamics

EMA 705        3cr Grad         Adv Topics in Finite Elements

TOTAL = 30 cr; Grad = 15 cr

Note: EMA 202 is a recommended prerequisite, but it does not count toward the Graduate School’s 30-credit minimum.