Accelerated Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering

The Automotive Engineering MS program is geared toward preparing students for a career in the automotive industry. With a strong emphasis on in-cylinder energy conversion processes, the graduates of this program will be poised to immediately participate in engine development programs in the automotive, heavy duty, or recreational engine sectors. The coursework includes a summer practicum that pairs a hands-on laboratory course with a hands-on modeling course; the two courses will be tightly linked, and the data from the former will either feed into, or be used to validate the latter.

Is This Program Right For You?

The accelerated pace of the Automotive Engineering program is well suited to individuals who have a passion for internal combustion engine development, and the design and actualization of power-converting systems. The required coursework draws upon the 70-year history of world-leading internal combustion engine research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engine Research Center, but does not have a required graduate research component. Instead, students in the Automotive Engineering program will complete a summer practicum that exposes them to both the experimental and computational tools that are required of engineers in the industry. This exposure will prepare graduates be ready to contribute on their first day on the job.

The required coursework includes 12 credits of thermofluid processes that will prepare the graduate for engine combustion development. The remaining 12 formal course credits can be used to deepen this knowledge or explore other relevant topics such as controls, electro-mechanical energy conversion, or environmental impacts. The summer practicum coalesces this information by applying it to internal combustion engines in a hands-on environment.

The purpose of the Automotive Engineering program is to prepare students to work in engine development. This focus differs from the standard research-based MS program by the replacing the independent research that leads to a written thesis with an accelerated coursework plan and the summer practicum. If you are interested in research and advanced concept development, you are better served pursuing a research-focused MS program. If you want to complete your degree in 12 months and be part of engine development in the work force, then the Automotive Engineering program is right for you.

What You Learn

  • Fundamentals of energy conversion processes (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, combustion) with an emphasis on internal combustion engines
  • Internal combustion engine data acquisition and analysis, including steady-state port flow measurements, cylinder pressure and heat release, and pollutant emission measurement
  • Internal combustion engine thermofluid modeling, including 1-D system models and 3-D computational fluid dynamics models.
At A Glance
DeliveryIn class instruction
Credits30 graduate credits
Time Frame1 year - Completion of program to be done within 1 year starting Fall semester only
TuitionResident: $5,993.88/semester + $2,985.62 for 6 summer credits (Spring 2017 information)
Nonresident: $12,657.32/semester + $6,317.34 for 6 summer credits (Spring 2017 information)
Degree ConferredMaster of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Offered ByThe UW-Madison College of Engineering
Application DeadlineJanuary 1st

Degree & Prospective Student Information

  • 30 credit degree program; may transfer up to 12 credits of prior graduate coursework from an institution other than UW-Madison with program approval. Course work earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
  • UW-Madison students completing their Bachelor’s degree in the Mechanical Engineering department at UW-Madison may count up to 7 credits of coursework numbered 400 and above towards degree with program approval.
  • Half of degree coursework (15 out of 30 total credits) must be graduate coursework. Must maintain 3.00 GPA to remain in program. Students must earn a C or above in all formal coursework.
  • Completion of program to be done within 1 calendar year (Starting Fall semester only).
  • For complete degree requirements and policies see the ME Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook – MS and PhD

Applicants must first meet all of the requirements of the Graduate School.
Please visit for details.

Applicants must also meet department specific requirements as outlined below:

  • BS Degree in Mechancial Engineering or related area or equivalent
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose
  • Submit 3 letters of recommendation
  • Non-native English speakers must have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 580 (written), 243 (computer-based test), or 90 (Internet version).
  • Scores from one these exams 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 accrcedited 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 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
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required

Apply now 

Information for Current Students

30 credits are required.

Two semesters of ME 903 Graduate Seminar are required.

A minimum of 4 courses (12 credits total) must be taken from the courses listed:

  • ME 469 (3 credits, Fall): Internal Combustion Engines
  • ME 561 (3 credits, Fall): Intermediate Thermodynamics
  • ME 569 (3 credits, Fall): Applied Combustion
  • ME 572 (3 credits, Fall): Intermediate Gas Dynamics
  • ME 573 (3 credits, Fall): Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 761 (3 credits, Fall – odd years): Topics in Thermodynamics
  • ME 764 (3 credits, Fall – even years): Advanced Heat Transfer – Conduction
  • ME 770 (3 credits, Fall – even years): Advanced Experimental Instrumentation
  • ME 775 (3 credits, Fall): Turbulent Heat and Momentum Transfer
  • ME 461 (3 credits, Spring): Thermal Systems Modeling
  • ME 466 (3 credits, Spring): Air Pollution Effects, Measurements and Control
  • ME 563 (3 credits, Spring): Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 564 (3 credits, Spring): Heat Transfer
  • ME 769 (3 credits, Spring – odd years): Combustion Processes (odd years)
  • ME 774 (3 credits, Spring – even years): Chemical Kinetics of Combustion Systems (even years)

The time offered given in the listings above is based on typical course offerings and may vary. Acceptable courses for the remaining course credits are those numbered 400 and above. Certain 300-level courses outside of Mechanical Engineering are also accepted (click here for a list of acceptable courses).

During the summer term, students are required to enroll in 6 credits of ME 699 for the following:

  • Engine Testing Practicum (3 credits)
  • Engine Computational Fluid Dynamics Practicum (3 credits)


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. If an applicant is admitted by the ME Admissions Committee, they will receive further instructions from the ME Graduate Admissions Office.

Applicants should 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.

We anticipate most decisions will be made by mid-March for Fall semester applications. Applicants will receive an e-mail from the ME Graduate Admissions Office with the Admissions Committee’s decision as soon as the office receives it.

Further questions related to the ME admissions process may be directed to .