Mechanical Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers three graduate degree programs: the Master of Engineering (M.Eng), the Master of Science (M.S.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Master of Engineering (M.Eng)

This accelerated Masters of Engineering Program has been designed in collaboration with several other departments in the College of Engineering for the purpose of developing professional leaders who understand the technical, environmental, economic, and social issues involved in Mechanical Engineering. It is supported by the College of Engineering's Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership. For more information about this interdisciplinary program, please see the Fung Institute Website.

There are full-time and part-time options for pursuing this program.

Master of Science (M.S.)

The MS degree can be earned only in conjunction with a Ph.D. (for the MS/PhD option) as application for the terminal M.S. is currently paused. Degrees are granted after completion of a program of study that emphasizes the application of the natural sciences to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. Advanced courses in engineering, math, and the sciences are normally included in a program that incorporates the engineering systems approach for the analysis of problems.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

This degree can be completed in conjunction with a master of science degree or alone. Degrees are granted after completion of programs of study that emphasize the application of the natural sciences to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. Advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the life sciences are normally included in a program that incorporates the engineering systems approach for the analysis of problems.

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Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:

    • courses in English as a Second Language,

    • courses conducted in a language other than English,

    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and

    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.


Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time

Five years or 10 semesters.

Minimum Number of Units to Complete Degree

36 semester units.

Minimum Units Required in Order to Be Registered Each Semester

As a graduate student in ME, each student must enroll in 15 units each semester.

Maximum Amount of Independent Study Units (298, 299, 300 and Above)

Independent course units are not counted towards the 36 semester units needed to graduate. The maximum of these units you can enroll per semester are listed below.

  • 298s:  8 units
  • 299s:  12 units
  • 300s:  6 units
  • 600s:  8 units

Maximum Number of Courses that Can Be Transferred Towards Degree

Students can transfer up to two courses from another school towards the PhD.

GSI/ME 300-Level Course Requirement

Each student must either serve as a graduate student instructor (GSI) for at least one semester or have taken a 300-level course on teaching.

Minimum Grade Point Averages (GPAs)

All students are required to have the following minimum grade point averages: 

  • 3.5 in Major     
  • 3.0 in Minors

Required Emphases 

Each student must declare one major area as well as two minors. At least one minor is required to be outside of the department. The minor fields are required to broaden the base of the studies and lend support to the major field as well as the dissertation research. 

Required Number of Courses

  • Five courses in your major, all of which must be letter-graded.
  • Three courses in your First Outside ME Minor (only 1 of these courses can be taken with the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option rather than letter graded).
  • Two courses in your Inside ME or 2nd Outside ME Minor, all of which must be letter-graded.
  • Two courses to support your major or one minor.

Please note that 2/3 of the courses counted towards your degree must be letter-graded.

Preliminary Examination

This written exam covers undergraduate coursework in their major field.  Those students who do not have an exam in their major field must select one of the other available exams.

Qualifying Examination

The intent of the qualifying examination is to ascertain the breadth of the student’s comprehension in at least three subject areas related to the major field of study, and to determine whether the student has the ability to think incisively and critically about the theoretical and the practical aspects of these areas. The examination may consider a number of academic points of view and the criteria by which they may be evaluated.

Advancement to Candidacy

All students must complete the advancement to candidacy application directly after passing their qualifying exam. 

PhD Dissertation

Filing your doctoral dissertation at the Graduate Division is one of the final steps leading to the award of your graduate degree. Your manuscript is a scholarly presentation of the results of the research you conducted. Dissertations are required of all students. 

PhD Candidate Seminar

Each student must present their dissertation findings in a public seminar with at least one member of their dissertation committee present. The seminar must take place prior to the end of the semester in which you receive your degree.

For more detailed information, please refer to the following pages:

Master's Degree Requirements (MS)

Note: The MS degree can be earned only in conjunction with a Ph.D. (for the MS/PhD option) as application for the terminal M.S. is currently paused temporarily. 

Plan II

Normative Time

One and a half years or three semesters.

Minimum Number of Units To Complete Degree

24 semester units.

Course Restriction:  Must be either in 200 series or 100 elective upper division series

Minimum Number of Mechanical Engineering Units

12 Semester Units (must be in 200 series and letter-graded with the exception of the optional 4 units of ME 299 that can be included in the 12).

Minimum Units To Be Registered Each Semester

As a graduate student in ME, each student must enroll in15 Semester units each semester.

Maximum Amount of Independent Study Units (298, 299, 300 And Above)

The semester enrollment restrictions for independent study courses are as follows:

  • 298s: 8 units
  • 299s: 12 units
  • 300s: 6 units

Please note that only 4 semester units of 299 can be counted towards the 24 unit total requirement.

Minimum Required Number of Units in Major Field Area (E.g. Bioeng, Controls, Etc.)

12 semester units from 200 or 100 upper division series.

Maximum Number of Units Transferable Towards the Master’s Degree

A master’s student may transfer up to 4 semester units or 6 quarter units of course work completed as a graduate student at another institution.

Advancement To Candidacy

If the MS is the student’s terminal degree, students should apply for advancement to candidacy in their second semester. 

Oral Presentation and Final Report

An oral presentation and a written report are required.  All committee members are required to be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.

For more detailed information, please see the following websites:

Please note that the requirements above are for the Plan II MS Degree (which the majority of our students choose).  If you are interested in the Plan I requirements, please see

Master's Degree Requirements (MEng)

Normative Time

Nine months or two semesters.

Minimum Number of Units to Complete Degree

25 semester units.
Course restriction:  must be in 200 series.

Minimum Number of Mechanical Engineering Units in Area of Concentration

12 semester units (must be in 200 series and letter-graded).  Only courses with a C- or better can count towards graduate requirements.

Minimum Grade Point Averages (GPAs)

All students are required to have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0. 

Minimum Units You Are Required to Take in Order to Be Registered Each Semester

Full-time graduate students must enroll in 12 Semester units each semester.

Maximum Number of Units Transferable Towards Master's of Engineering Degree

A master of engineering student may petition to transfer up to 4 semester units or 6 quarter units of 200-level courses completed as a graduate student at another UC campus.

Advancement To Candidacy

Students should apply for advancement to candidacy at the beginning of their second semester. 

Comprehensive Leadership and Technical Exam

A student must pass a comprehensive leadership exam and a comprehensive technical exam to receive their MEng degree..  


  • Advanced Energy Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomechanics 
  • Control of Robotic and Autonomous Systems
  • Fluids and Ocean 
  • Mems/Nano 
  • Mechanics and Dynamics 
  • Modeling & Simulation of Advanced Manufacturing Processes
  • Product Design
Courses Required
Approved individualized study list per student’s interest in concentration area, including the courses below:
ENGIN 270AOrganizational Behavior for Engineers1
ENGIN 270BR&D Technology Management & Ethics1
ENGIN 270CTeaming & Project Management1
Choose ENGIN 270D or ENGIN 270E
ENGIN 270DEntrepreneurship for Engineers1
ENGIN 270ETechnology Strategy & Industry Analysis1
Choose ENGIN 270F or ENGIN 270G
ENGIN 270FData Analytics1
ENGIN 270GMarketing & Product Management1
ENGIN 270HAccounting & Finance for Engineers1
ENGIN 296MAMaster of Engineering Capstone Project3
ENGIN 296MBMaster of Engineering Capstone Project2
ENGIN 295Communications for Engineering Leaders ( 1 unit in fall and 1 unit in spring )1

For more detailed information, please refer to the following page:


Mechanical Engineering

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Alice M. Agogino, Professor. New product development, computer-aided design and databases, theory and methods, intelligent learning systems, information retrieval and data mining, digital libraries, multiobjective and strategic product, nonlinear optimization, probabilistic modeling, supervisory.
Research Profile

M. Reza Alam, Assistant Professor. Theoretical Fluid Dynamics, Nonlinear Wave Mechanics, Ocean and Coastal Waves Phenomena, Ocean Renewable Energy (Wave, Tide and Offshore Wind Energy), Nonlinear Dynamical Systems, Fluid Flow Control, ocean renewable energy.
Research Profile

Francesco Borrelli, Associate Professor. Automotive control systems, distributed and robust constrained control, manufacturing control systems, energy efficient buildings, model predictive control .
Research Profile

Van P. Carey, Professor. Mechanical engineering, non-equilibirum thermodynamics, statistical thermodynamics, microscale thermophysics, biothermodynamics, computer aided thermal design, thermodynamic analysis of green manufacturing.
Research Profile

James Casey, Professor. Continuum mechanics, finite elasticity, continuum thermodynamics, plasticity, theories of elastic-plastic materials, history of mechanics, dynamics.
Research Profile

Jyh-Yuan Chen, Professor. Computational modeling of reactive systems, turbulent flows, combustion chemical kinetics.
Research Profile

Chris Dames, Associate Professor. Nanostructured materials, thermal rectification, graphene, microscale heat transfer, nano scale heat transfer.
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Carlos Fernandez-Pello, Professor. Biofuels, heat transfer, fire, combustion, ignition and fire spread, wildland fire spotting, smoldering and flaming, small scale energy generation.
Research Profile

Michael Frenklach, Professor. Silicon carbide, chemical kinetics, computer modeling, combustion chemistry, pollutant formation (NOx, soot), shock tube, chemical vapor deposition of diamond films, homogeneous nucleation of silicon, diamond powders, interstellar dust formation.
Research Profile

Kosa Goucher-Lambert, Assistant Professor. Design theory, methodology, and automation: decision-making applied to engineering teams and individuals, ideation and creativity, analogical reasoning in design, preference modeling and design attribute optimization, design cognition, neuroimaging methods applied to design, sustainable design, new product development, crowdsourcing and collaboration.

Costas P. Grigoropoulos, Professor. Heat transfer, laser materials processing, nano-manufacturing, energy systems and technology.
Research Profile

Grace Gu, Assistant professor. Composites, additive manufacturing, fracture mechanics, topology optimization, machine learning, finite element analysis, and bioinspired materials.
Research Profile

Roberto Horowitz, Professor. Adaptive control, learning and nonlinear control, control of robot manipulators, computer mechatronics systems, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), intelligent vehicle, highways systems.
Research Profile

George C. Johnson, Professor. X-rays, plasticity, elasticity, instrumentation, sensors, acoustoelasticity, materials behavior, materials characterization, texture analysis, thin shells deformation, ultrasonic stress analysis.
Research Profile

Alexis Kaminski, Assistant Professor . Stratified flows, hydrodynamic instabilities, transition to turbulence, mixing and entrainment, internal waves, non-normal stability, upper-ocean dynamics, physical oceanography, geophysical and environmental fluid dynamics.
Research Profile

Homayoon Kazerooni, Professor. Robotics, bioengineering, design, control systems, mechatronics, automated manufacturing, human-machine systems.
Research Profile

Tony M. Keaveny, Professor. Biomechanics of bone, orthopaedic biomechanics, design of artificial joints, osteoporosis, finite element modeling, clinical biomechanics.
Research Profile

Kyriakos Komvopoulos, Professor. Contact mechanics, fracture and fatigue of engineering materials, finite element modeling of surface contact and machining, thin-film processing and characterization, adhesion and fatigue of MEMS devices, plasma-assisted surface functionalization of biomaterials, surface patterning for cell adhesion and growth control, mechanics and tribology of magnetic recording devices, mechanotransduction effects in natural cartilage, microfibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering, surface nanoengineering techniques, tribology and mechanics of artificial joints.
Research Profile

Dorian Liepmann, Professor. Bioengineering, mechanical engineering, bioMEMS, biosensors, microfluid dynamics, experimental biofluid dynamics, hemodynamics, valvular heart disease, cardiac flows, arterial flows.
Research Profile

+ Dennis K. Lieu, Professor. Actuators, magnetics, acoustics, electromechanical devices, rolling elements, spindle motors, structural mechanics.
Research Profile

Liwei Lin, Professor. Nanotechnology, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), NEMS (nanoelectromechanical systems), design and manufacturing of microsensors, microactuators, development of micromachining processes, silicon surface/bulk micromachining, micromolding process.
Research Profile

Fai Ma, Professor. Dynamical systems with inherent uncertainties, vibration, stochastic simulation.
Research Profile

Simo Aleksi Makiharju, Assistant Professor.

Samuel Mao, Associate Adjunct Professor. Mechanical engineering, processing, materials, energy transport, conversion and storage, nano, micro and meso scale, phenomena and devices, laser-material interactions, nonlinear science.
Research Profile

Sara Mcmains, Associate Professor. Geometric and solid modeling, general purpose computation on the GPU (GPGPU), CAD/CAM, computational geometry, layered manufacturing, computer graphics and visualization, virtual prototyping, virtual reality.
Research Profile

Mohammad Mofrad, Professor. Nuclear pore complex and nucleocytoplasmic transport, mechanobiology of disease, cellular mechanotransduction, integrin-mediated focal adhesions.
Research Profile

Stephen Morris, Professor. Continuum mechanics, micro mechanics of solid-solid phase changes, interfacial phenomena (evaporating thin films), electroporation .
Research Profile

Grace O'Connell, Assistant Professor. Tissue engineering, biomechanics, intervertebral disc, cartilage.
Research Profile

+ Oliver O'Reilly, Professor. Continuum mechanics, vibrations, dynamics.
Research Profile

+ Andrew Packard, Professor. Design, robustness issues in control analysis, linear algebra, numerical algorithms in control problems, applications of system theory to aerospace problems, flight control, control of fluid.
Research Profile

Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Professor. Continuum mechanics, computational mechanics, contact mechanics, computational plasticity, materials modeling, solid mechanics, applied mathematics, dynamics of pseudo-rigid bodies.
Research Profile

+ Kameshwar Poolla, Professor. Cybersecurity, modeling, control, renewable energy, estimation, integrated circuit design and manufacturing, smart grids.
Research Profile

+ Lisa Pruitt, Professor. Tissue biomechanics, biomaterial science, fatigue and fracture micromechanisms, orthopedic polymers for total joint replacement, cardiovascular biomaterials, synthetic cartilage, acrylic bone cements, tribology of diamond and DLCs.
Research Profile

Robert O. Ritchie, Professor. Structural materials, mechanical behavior in biomaterials, creep, fatigue and fracture of advanced metals, intermetallics, ceramics.
Research Profile

S. Shankar Sastry, Professor. Computer science, robotics, arial robots, cybersecurity, cyber defense, homeland defense, nonholonomic systems, control of hybrid systems, sensor networks, interactive visualization, robotic telesurgery, rapid prototyping.
Research Profile

Omer Savas, Professor. Fluid mechanics.
Research Profile

Shawn Shadden, Associate Professor. Cardiovascular biomechanics, computational mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, dynamical systems, fluid dynamics, Lagrangian coherent structures, mathematical modeling, thrombosis.
Research Profile

Lydia Sohn, Professor. Micro-nano engineering.
Research Profile

David Steigmann, Professor. Finite elasticity, mechanics, continuum, shell theory, variational methods, stability, surface stress, capillary phenomena, mechanics of thin films.
Research Profile

Hannah Stuart, Assistant Professor. Dexterous manipulation, bioinspired design, soft and multi-material mechanisms, skin contact conditions, tactile sensing and haptics.
Research Profile

Andrew Szeri, Professor. Biomedical engineering, fluid dynamics, dynamical systems.
Research Profile

Hayden Taylor, Assistant Professor. Manufacturing, microfabrication, nanofabrication, semiconductor manufacturing, computational mechanics, nanoimprint lithography.
Research Profile

Masayoshi Tomizuka, Professor. Mechatronics, control systems theory, digital control, dynamic systems, mechanical vibrations, adaptive and optimal control, motion control.
Research Profile

Paul K. Wright, Professor. Mechanical and electrical engineering design, 3D-printing, manufacturing, energy systems, wireless sensor networks, sensors/MEMS/NEMS, IT systems, automated manufacturing and inspection.
Research Profile

Kazuo Yamazaki, Professor. Etc , micro custom diamond tool design and fabrication system, CNC machine tool control software and hardware system, ultrasonic milling, intelligent manufacturing systems, mechatronics control hardware and software for manufacturing processes and equipment, computer aided manufacturing system for five axis, milling - turning integrated machining process, nano/micro mechanical machining processes and equipment, precision metrology for nano/micro mechanical machining, Non-traditional manufacturing processes such as electric discharge machining, laser machining and electron beam finishing.
Research Profile

Ronald W. Yeung, Professor. Mathematical modeling, hydromechanics, naval architecture, numerical fluid mechanics, offshore mechanics, ocean processes, separated flows, wave-vorticity interaction, vortex-induced vibrations, stratified fluid flow, ocean energy, green ships, tidal energy, multi-hull flow physics, Helmholtz resonance, ship motion instabilities, tank resonance.
Research Profile

Xiang Zhang, Professor. Mechanical engineering, rapid prototyping, semiconductor manufacturing, photonics, micro-nano scale engineering, 3D fabrication technologies, microelectronics, micro and nano-devices, nano-lithography, nano-instrumentation, bio-MEMS.
Research Profile

+ Tarek Zohdi, Professor. Finite element methods, computational methods for advanced manufacturing, micro-structural/macro-property inverse problems involving optimization and design of new materials, modeling and simulation of high-strength fabric, modeling and simulation of particulate/granular flows, modeling and simulation of multiphase/composite electromagnetic media, modeling and simulation of the dynamics of swarms.
Research Profile


George Anwar, Lecturer.

+ Sara Beckman, Senior Lecturer SOE. Business, innovation, management, product development, operations strategy, environmental supply chain management.
Research Profile

Robert Hennigar, Lecturer.

Marcel Kristel, Lecturer.

Christopher Layne Myers, Lecturer.

David B. Rich, Lecturer.

Michael Shiloh, Lecturer.

Julie Sinistore, Lecturer.

Kourosh (Ken) Youssefi, Lecturer.

Contact Information

Department of Mechanical Engineering

6141 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-1338

Fax: 510-642-6163

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Christopher Dames, PhD

6143 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-643-7013

Vice Chair of Graduate Study

Shawn Shadden, PhD

6149 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-664-9800

Director, Student Services

Carolyn Clark

6187 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-5085

Graduate Student Affairs Advisor, MS & PhD

Yawo Dagbevi Akpawu

6189 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-5084

Graduate Student Affairs Advisor, MEng

Isabel Blanco

6189 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-6780

Graduate Student Affairs Advisor, 5th Year MS

Ricky Vides

6193 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-4094

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