Master’s Programs Overview

The College of Engineering has established graduate curricula and programs that emphasize creative design and research in major fields of engineering. The College of Engineering offers the following master’s-level degrees:

  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Engineering (MEng)
  • Alternative Master of Science Programs in Manufacturing Engineering

Master of Science Degree

To be admitted to a master of science degree program, an applicant should have a BS degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program, or equivalent, and have attained a high degree of scholarship in an undergraduate program in engineering or science. Upon completion of the master of science program, students may accept employment in engineering or applied science or elect further graduate training in an appropriate doctoral program.

The Master of Science degree is a professional degree with emphasis on advanced training in engineering science and design.

  • The Master of Science in Computer; Electrical; Mechanical; Manufacturing; Global Manufacturing; Materials Science & Engineering; Photonics; or Systems Engineering requires a minimum of 32 semester credits.
  • The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering and the Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering portion of the Dual MS/MBA program requires 36 credits.
  • No more than 8 credits may be transferred from other approved graduate schools.
  • No fewer than 28 credits must be at the graduate level. Some programs may require more than 28 credits at the graduate level.
  • Coursework used to fulfill the Master of Science degree requirements may not be used to fulfill the requirements of any other degree program.

A 32-credit Master of Science without thesis program nominally requires one year; a full-time student can usually complete it in one academic year, although some students may find it advisable to plan to remain for the full calendar year in order to complete a project, thesis, or laboratory course in the summer term. A 36-credit program requires a minimum of one academic year of full-time study, plus one summer session course. Students supported by research assistantships or teaching fellowships should be able to complete a Master of Science with thesis program within two calendar years.

Part-time students who take two courses each semester should be able to complete a Master of Science program within two calendar years. The program must be completed within five years after admission to degree-seeking status.

The Master of Science degree may be earned with one of the following designations:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Global Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Photonics
  • Systems Engineering

General Engineering Program

The General Engineering Program designation is appropriate when the program of study does not conform to any of the other specializations listed above and involves coursework from several departments and disciplines. Typical Master of Science in General Engineering programs include areas such as operations research, engineering economic systems, and energy systems. In addition to the general requirements of the College for the Master of Science degree, the specific requirements for the interdisciplinary degree of Master of Science in Engineering are:

  1. The student’s program must be coherent and have a well-defined objective, and must be approved in advance by the College’s Graduate Committee; and
  2. The program must consist of a minimum of 32 credits, at least 16 of which must be earned within the College of Engineering. Students must complete a minimum of one semester as a Master of Science student before applying to this program.

Alternative Master of Science Programs in Manufacturing Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering also offers the following means to attain a Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering degree:

  • Distance Learning Program
  • Dual Degree Program with the School of Management (MS/MBA)

For more detailed information on each of the master’s programs, please see the Programs landing page.

Master of Engineering

The Master of Engineering has been developed specifically for students interested in careers in industry rather than academic research.

  • A minimum of 32 semester credits is required for the Master of Engineering program.
  • No more than 8 credits may be transferred from other approved graduate schools.
  • No fewer than 28 credits must be at the graduate level. Some programs may require more than 28 credits at the graduate level.
  • Coursework used to fulfill the Master of Engineering degree requirements may not be used to fulfill the requirements of any other degree program.

A 32-credit Master of Engineering program nominally requires one year. A full-time student can usually complete it in one academic year. Part-time students who take two courses each semester should be able to complete a Master of Engineering program within two calendar years. The program must be completed within five years after matriculation to degree-seeking status.

The Master of Engineering degree may be earned in Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, Manufacturing, Materials Science, Mechanical, Photonics, and Systems Engineering.

Master’s Policies

Academic Standing

A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) is required for all courses taken at Boston University as part of this degree program. Grades of C– or lower, while part of the overall GPA, are not acceptable for master’s degrees and cannot be used toward degree requirements. Individual departments or programs may impose additional grade and/or academic standing requirements.

Advising

Candidates for the MS and MEng degrees are required to have as an advisor a member of the graduate faculty in the department/division of their major field.

Thesis Committee for the Master of Science with Thesis Degree

A committee composed of at least two readers, one of whom must be a faculty member of the department/division offering the degree, must be approved by the department/division before the student registers for thesis credits.

Deadlines for announcements of the master’s thesis can be found at Graduate Program Deadlines.

Time Limit for Courses

All coursework applied to the degree requirements must have been completed within five years of the degree’s being awarded.

Time Limit for Degrees

The program leading to the master’s degree must be completed within five years of the student’s matriculation to degree-seeking status.