Tarleton’s College of Science and Technology recently added a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering to its list of graduate programs.
We visited with three faculty members from the program: Dr. Jun Xu, Dr. Hoe-Gil Lee, and Dr. Ruaa Al Mezrakchi, to gain perspective into the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering program. All three of these faculty members have many years of extensive experience within the field and are eager for students to join the program.
Learn more about Tarleton’s Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the following interview.
COGS: What sets Tarleton’s M.S. in Mechanical Engineering apart from other universities’ MSME programs?
ME: What sets our program apart is its’ strong emphasis on the integration of applied mechanics, computer simulations, design, and energy science and technology. The graduate program provides a strengthened technical background for work in mechanical engineering and other multidisciplinary problems. Our program is more flexible and tries to accommodate students’ needs by providing the online option so that students do not need to be on campus to attend classes.
COGS: What does the job market look like for those who obtain an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering?
ME: Obtaining a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering is the key to more job opportunities in multiple areas such as aerospace, biomedical, nanomaterials, automotive, etc. A master’s degree is increasingly required to advance into higher-paying supervisory and managerial roles. The field of Mechanical Engineering is poised to offer ample career opportunities in the coming years, as engineers are charged with tackling a wide spectrum of multidisciplinary and technical challenges that industry and society must overcome. Since mechanical engineers design, build, and test products that offer solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, they are expected to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future.
COGS: What are the benefits of earning a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering?
ME: Earning a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering will significantly enhance a students’ knowledge. A master’s degree could raise their annual salary by around 30-50%, compared with the average salary for a person with a B.S. degree. A bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level mechanical engineering positions, however, those seeking to advance in the profession typically find it beneficial or even essential to earn their M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. A master’s degree is an entry point for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs.
COGS: Are there opportunities for in-the-field learning experiences?
ME: Of course, there are several opportunities for in-the-field learning experiences. Conducting research with specific topics under faculty mentors is a perfect example of the in-the-field learning experiences.
COGS: What’s the significance between the thesis and non-thesis options?
ME: Both options will expose students to a rigorous curriculum with built-in flexibility to pursue a specialized area of choice. The thesis option is geared towards students who are interested in furthering their studies at the doctoral level or working in academia down the road. The non-thesis option is for students who are interested in advancing their careers in the industry, or for students who want to specialize in a specific area. If the students are interested in getting a job in a research lab or would like to pursue a Ph.D. in the future, then the thesis is a better option for them.
COGS: How would you describe the relationship between students and faculty within the program?
ME: Our program is designed to encourage frequent interactions between students and their instructor and amongst peers. Small class sizes are emphasized, along with research advising and career consultation. Students will have ample opportunity to research alongside their faculty advisor, gaining valuable insight into theoretical practices and real-world applications.