Course Information - Engineering, M.S.E.

Required Coursework

The Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) program of study consists of the following basic components, regardless of the emphasis area chosen, which must total at least 33 graduate credit hours:

  • Professional Practice Courses (3 courses for 9 credit hours)
  • Capstone Experience  (3 or 6 credit hours)
  • Emphasis-area Courses (at least 3 courses for at least 9 credit hours)
  • Elective Courses

Each of these will be described in turn. Full course descriptions may be found in Masters of Science in Engineering Course Descriptions in the Catalog. 

Note:  Programs of study tailored to individual students' needs may be developed with the assistance of the Graduate Program Drector and require approval of the Graduate Program Committee. A substitution may be requested for a required course when the student can demonstrate knowledge of the material covered in that course.

Schedule Options

Courses are typically offered in three-hour sessions, one night a week, Monday through Thursday. 

Some courses are offered in the late afternoon twice per week and some are offered on Saturday. 

All classes are offered on the Pew campus in down­town Grand Rapids.

Type of Student

Typical Calendar Time to Complete Program

Full time

 20 months
(late August of Year 1 through April of Year 2)

 Part time
 (2 courses per semester)

24 months (2 calendar years)

 Part time
 (1 course per semester)

44 months (3 years and 8 months)

The graduate program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours, usually 11 classes. Classes are available in each of three academic semesters. The typical amount of calendar time to complete the MSE program is shown in the following table. The actual amount of time is unique to each student.

Emphasis Area Requirements

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

Graduate Practicum

Graduate engineering students have the option of satisfying 3 elective credits with a graduate practicum.  The graduate practicum is an opportunity for graduate students to gain highly valuable work experience in a technical position.  The graduate practicum often helps develop research topics useful to thesis development.

The Capstone

The Capstone experience is required for ALL emphasis areas. It is the culminating activity of the MSE program. It provides the student an opportunity to work on a large-scale project over a period of at least eight months. The project may be any of the following:

  • Based on a problem at the student's place of employment or another application setting
    • EGR 692 Masters Project Planning and EGR 693 Masters Project (6 credit hours)
  • An academic research problem
  • EGR 696 Masters Thesis Research and EGR 697 Masters Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • EGR 690 Capstone Design Project (3 credit hours)
  • A group project experience plus additional breadth in course work

Students should note the following about the capstone experience:

  • The professional practice core and at least two emphasis-area courses should be completed before beginning the capstone experience.
  • Consultation with the graduate program director is helpful before registration for a capstone experience.
  • Guidance will be provided by a faculty advisor, selected with the guidance of the graduate program director.
  • The Project/Thesis Guide should be consulted for capstone course requirements.
  • The capstone experience courses are available every semester.

The following restrictions apply to the capstone experience:

  • Full-time graduate students must complete the EGR 696/697 capstone.
  • Students completing the Manufacturing Operations emphasis depth area may NOT use EGR 690 as the capstone experience.
  • Students selecting the EGR 690 capstone must complete at least 36 credit hours of graduate course work.

Capstone Examples

Here are some titles of recently completed capstone activities:

  • Brackenridge, Chad: Product Architecture and Standardization of Worksurfaces and Support Brackets
  • Brill, Ryan: Chair Glide Redesign
  • Kundrat, Mary:  Utilizing Bioceramics in Spinal Lumbar Prosthetics with the Purpose of Alleviating Spinal Dysfunction
  • Maas, Sara:  Procedure for Multi-Project Scheduling and Inventory Management
  • Resler, Cory:  Design and Analysis of Winter Athlete Wrist Brace Concepts, Including Parametric Models
  • Swisher, Ben:  Helium Induced Cooling of Aluminum Castings in a Permanent Mold Process
  • Wiler, Nathan:  Reducing, Scrap, Downtime, and Production Inefficiency with Overall Equipment Effectiveness Analysis