All mechanical engineering graduate students apply online through the Rackham Graduate School. Please view Rackham’s Checklist for Completing Your Application. We follow the College of Engineering’s application deadlines and accept PhD applications for fall only.

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Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program Requirements

Undergraduate Degree: Applicants should have completed their undergraduate work in an accredited program and earned a B.S.E. or equivalent degree in a field relevant to Mechanical Engineering (e.g. math or fundamental science).

Grades & Scores: The general GRE is required for both the doctoral and masters programs.

There are no specific minimums for the GRE or GPA, however, the successful applicants are those students who are strong in at least 3 out of the 4 areas below:

  • GPA of 3.7 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores in the 80th-90th percentile in the verbal and quantitative sections
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Personal Statement (PS)

Application Document Checklist

  • Statement of Purpose: Your SOP should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background as well as your career goals. In addition, the SOP should communicate how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. The length of the SOP should be 1-3 pages.
  • Personal Statement: It should be a discussion of the journey that led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  • Curriculum Vitae: 1-4 pages Writing sample, Article or Journal paper: No more than 2. Encouraged but not required.
  • Transcripts: Sent to Rackham Graduate School. DO NOT send your transcript to the College of Engineering or the Mechanical Engineering department.
  • Letters of Recommendation:
    • Doctoral: 3 letters are required (2 must come from an academic professor).
    • Master: 2 letters are required (1 must come from an academic professor).
    • SUGS and JI-SUGS: 3 letters are required (2 must come from an academic professor).
    • Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD): 2 letters are required (both must come from an academic professor)
    • NOTE: An academic professor can be an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor. A Lecturer would not count as a professor, but could provide a third letter.

Application deadlines

We ask that all applicants allow us to provide decisions within the time frame listed below. The ASO will inform the Rackham Graduate School of all application decisions for the Mechanical Engineering (ME) graduate program. Rackham provides the final application decision via e-mail to applicants who were recommended for admission by the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Fall Term Decisions Provided to Applicants:
Doctoral (PhD): Mid-March through April
Master (MSE): Mid-March through April
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Insitute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (JI-SUGS), & Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD): Mid-March through April
Current or previous U-M Rackham student: Mid-March through April
Winter Term  Decisions Provided to Applicants:
Master (MSE): Mid-November through December
Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS), Joint Insitute - Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (JI-SUGS), & Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD): Mid-November through December
Current or previous U-M Rackham student: Mid-November through December

Providing Evidence of Financial Support (non U.S. students only):

  • If recommended for admission by Mechanical Engineering, the Rackham Graduate School will notify applicants to submit the Affidavit of Financial Support along with required financial documents (e.g., bank statement).
  • Please do not submit any financial documents until requested by Rackham.  Financial documents and immigration documents will not be kept if they were submitted during the application period.
  • Financial document deadlines:  May 15 for the Fall term and November 15th for the Winter term. If financial documents are not received by these dates, Rackham will withdraw offers of admission.

Additional forms

Corrections and revisions

Once your online application is submitted the only way to modify your Personal Statement, Academic Statement of Purpose, CV or application is to submit the revision in PDF format (with full name and UMID on the document) via email to

Research Interest Survey

Included in the Rackham Application on page 11, and required by the department, this survey helps us determine which faculty should review your application.


Available for up to one year under special conditions.

Rackham Graduate School deferral policy: To request a deferral, send an email to International students cannot defer admission to Spring or Spring/Summer terms. There are not enough credits to maintain the F1 visa status.


Former PhD students who withdrew or were discontinued from the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program may seek reinstatement to the same program by submitting:

Rackham Reinstatement policy

Former master’s students who have not registered for more than 12 months may apply for readmission to the same program by submitting: