Areas of Study

A student may pursue the MSE in any one of the following areas of study, which we refer to as emphasis areas:

Students are expected to have the prerequisite knowledge required for each course they wish to take.  In general, this requires an undergraduate degree in an engineering or science field.  However, students who pursue the manufacturing operations emphasis come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds.

Students without all necessary prerequisite knowledge are required to obtain this knowledge by taking undergraduate courses that do not apply toward the MSE degree.

Curriculum Structure

The GVSU graduate engineering structure is unique in its design. The curriculum consists of three "focus areas" culminating with a capstone project. The graduate engineering curriculum consists of the following areas.

Professional Practice

Every engineer needs certain skills. This area of the curriculum focuses on technical writing, project analysis, and research methods.  These courses cover a broad range of topics from build procedures and fabrication to research and data modelling.  This area of the curriculum consists of three classes for a total of nine credits

Elective Courses

The electives of the MSE program explore specific engineering topics.  Students may opt to take electives outside the engineering school with permission from the graduate director.  Also, a graduate practicum may be taken to satisfy three elective credits.  The graduate practicum is essentially a graduate internship in which the student works at a company in his or her area of interest.

Emphasis Core

The emphasis core of the graduate curriculum contains classes specific to each emphasis area.  The courses are similar to electives but are considered necessary to a specific study program.  The emphasis core consists of three or four classes for a total of 9 to 12 credits.

Capstone Experience

The graduate engineering program offers three options to satisfy the capstone experience.  The student may perform research and present it in the form of a thesis.  Because Grand Valley works so closely with local industries, the graduate student may opt to work on a company sponsored project.  The grad student may also work with a senior project group and perform extra work assigned by the project manager.  The capstone experience satisfies six credit hours.


Page last modified April 28, 2015