Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Graduate Programs


The MAE department offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

The department also offers a track of study within the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering that focuses on Fire Science and Engineering. Additionally, students can earn their master's degree in Mechanical Engineering 100% online.

Degree requirements and course descriptions for both the Master of Science and the PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering can be reviewed in the university's General Bulletin.


Incoming students are encouraged to apply for Departmental Research positions, which offer full tuition and support to qualified students. In addition, research funds are used to provide assistantships that support the thesis research of graduate students. A limited number of fellowships providing partial support is also available for students enrolled in the B.S./M.S. program.

The department believes that the success of its graduates at all levels is due to emphasis on project and problem-oriented course material coupled with the broad-based curricular requirements.

Each M.S. student may select either Plan A (Thesis Focused) which requires a research thesis or Plan B (Project Focused) which does not require a thesis, or *Plan C (Course-Focused) The department also offers an M.S. Comprehensive Option (no thesis) which requires coursework and a passing grade on a comprehensive exam (to be arranged by the student and his/her advisor). Thesis or dissertations in all programs must be original contributions to the existing body of knowledge in engineering and science.

In addition, the minimum scores to gain admission to a Course Focused MS are 6.5 IELTS or 80 TOEFL. The minimum scores to be switched to a Research Focused or Project Focused Masters are 7.0 IELTS or 90 TOEFL. If your applicant is able to acquire the 90 TOEFL/7.0 IELTS before admission, we can change their admission letter and admit them to a Research or Project Masters. If they do not meet the scores before admission but want to be changed later, they will need to retest until they receive the minimum scores. Once they have received the minimum required scores, please consult with the Graduate Coordinators in Graduate Studies to switch their plan. 

Students entering Plan C can NOT be teaching assistants, graders, and will not be enrolled in research credits (therefore they will not be writing a thesis). 

* Please note that the Course Focused MS is not only for international students who do not meet the language requirement. Anyone can choose to take the Course Focused option. 

Academic requirements for graduate degrees in engineering are as specified by The Case School of Engineering. A more detailed set of rules and regulations for each degree program contained here is available from the department. More general information may be found at the School of Graduate Studies website and in the university's General Bulletin.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $50 is required for each online application submitted.

Application Guidelines

To maintain the high quality of our graduates, we require the GRE General exam and the TOEFL exam where applicable. The admissions guidelines for the Department are given below. Please consider these guidelines to decide whether you should apply. Students not fitting within the guidelines but demonstrating they would be excellent students may also be admitted.

Applicants are expected to have their undergraduate or M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering, or Aerospace Engineering or related areas from a reputable university. The GRE is a departmental requirement all incoming students must take. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Quantitative score should be at least in the 80th percentile or higher.

International applicants cannot be admitted without receipt of a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE  score that meet the minimum requirements as mentioned below. All scores are valid for two years after the test date. The GRE is valid for five years after the test date.

TOEFL Waiver

In order to waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement, the applicant must meet one of the following requirements:
  1. The student speaks English as their native language
  2. The student has completed a Bachelor's or a higher degree at a foreign university where the instruction was in English (this statement must appear on the student's official transcript).
  3. The student has earned a Bachelor's or a higher degree at a U.S. college or university

Language scores (TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE)

Minimum scores (all of these scores are valid for 2 years from the date of testing)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet based: 90
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0
Pearson Test of English (PTE- Academic): 61

Some quick reminders about Plan C (Course-Focused):

  • International applicants must have a minimum 80 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS in order to gain admission. 
  • They are admitted only for the Plan C. International students cannot transfer into a Plan A or B, or continue to a PhD program unless they score a 7.0 IELTS or 90 TOEFL. (This will be stated in their admission letter).
  • They cannot grade papers or teach students.


Application Deadlines

• Fall 2019 Semester: May 31
• Spring Semester: October 1


Foreign applicants

To be eligible for a student visa you must be able to show that you have sufficient financial support. If you are awarded an Assistantship, this support comes from our department. Otherwise, you must submit an affidavit of financial support sufficient to cover your first year of studies which is tuition for the academic year plus $13,000 for living expenses.

Please email Carla Wilson at for the amount for the academic year.


The on-line application and instructions can be found at this link - you must create an account first.
Applications are reviewed twice a year; in February for the Fall semester, and in October for the Spring semester. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES, SEE BELOW.

Please do not send emails with your resume and test scores asking if you could be admitted. We can only make admission decisions after a complete and thorough reveiw of a complete application packet. If you meet all of the application requirements including minimum test scores mentioned above, we welcome you to apply to the program.

Financial Aid

If you wish to be considered for financial aid, you must indicate so on your application. The department faculty makes the final decisions concerning the award and type of aid offered to the student applicants. Decisions on awarding aid occur at various times during the application process, but generally are announced in March for fall semester and in November for spring semester enrollment. Learn more about financial aid now. 


Academic Records/Transcripts

On your application, you are required to identify and upload all post‐secondary educational
Institutions you have attended. If admitted, all official transcripts, degree verification and official translations should be mailed to:

School of Graduate Studies

Tomlinson 203

Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Ave

Cleveland OH 44106-7027


It is suggested that recommendations come from those sufficiently familiar to assess your
academic preparation, abilities and accomplishments. At some point during the online application, you will be prompted to input email addresses of the three people you have chosen to write a recommendation letter for you. If for some reason this feature doesn’t work, you will find a recommendation form on the online instructions page, please send this to your recommenders to complete, they can also attach a separate letter. If your recommenders were unsuccessful in uploading your recommendation, they can send it directly to me via email but, the email must originate from a business or university email server.

Other Documentation

Official score reports of all standardized tests (GRE, TOEFL, etc.) designated for receipt by the University (Code 1105) will be coordinated with your application by the Graduate Admission Officer. Pending our receipt of your scores from the testing agencies, you may also want to send a copy of your “candidate score report” when you receive it. The test scores are currently reported electronically. The School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering can view the official scores as needed. You are free to include with your application any supporting materials of your own selection, e.g., a list of your publications, or a summary of a paper. CD’s or full publications are rarely looked at in total so a synopsis is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Quick answers to some of the most common questions.

What is the deadline for completing an application?
A. Domestic application materials should be received in our office by: May 31st for the Fall semester admission and December 20th for the Spring semester admission. International application materials should be received in our office (not postmarked) by: May 31st for the Fall semester admission and October 1st for the Spring semester admission

Can I check the status of my application on-line?
A. Yes, you can use the same system you're applying on to check what documents we have received.

What is the minimum TOEFL score needed?
A. The University requires a minimum score of 90 for the internet based test (IBT). WE ALSO ACCEPT THE IELTS AND THE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE SCORE IS 7.0

What is the minimum GRE score needed?
A. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Quantitative score should be at least in the 80th percentile or higher.

What is the minimum GPA score needed?
A. Each program has a slightly different minimum, but in general it is around 3.2.

My country does not use your standard for GPA, how can I convert it to receive fair consideration by the faculty?
A. If your country uses a percentage system please convert that score for the GPA. To convert your percentage score to a GPA using this formula:
4 x <your percent score> / 85 = GPA
It is still better to put in the percentage than leave the GPA blank.

Can I send a copy of my GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS now and still be considered for admission?
A. You MUST upload all unofficial test scores to the online application system in order for your application packet to be evaluated. If you would like to go ahead and send the official scores, you can have ETS send them to Case using institutional code 1105. If you are admitted, you will be REQUIRED to send all OFFICIAL test scores.

What is your institutional number for ETS to send the official GRE and TOEFL test scores?
A. The institutional code for Case is 1105. You no longer need a dept. code since official test scores are uploaded into a database and each dept. has its own access.

Can I send my financial statement after I am admitted?
A. Yes. However, your I-20 will not be processed until the financial statement is received by International Student Services. If there is a problem with the information this will just further delay you papers. It is better to send them early.

Is there an official financial statement form that can be downloaded?
A. No. There is no official form. All you need is a bank statement stating the amount of support, who the support is from, and a verification from the bank that the money is there. This is a standard support statement.

I am confused about the letter of recommendation? Does this have to be submitted on-line or can it still be sent to you via regular mail?
A. Your recommenders can uplaod your recommendation letters to the online applicaiton portal.

I would like to get a TA position, how do I go about getting that?
A. Sorry, but all the TA positions are filled by our current Ph.D. students. All of our Ph.D. students are required to teach three classes to receive their degree.


If you should have any further questions, please contact:

Carla Wilson, Student Affairs Coordinator
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Case Western Reserve University
2123 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7222
Phone: (216) 368-4580
Fax: (216) 368-3007